Automated Blind Opener

blindautomation3Dan used InstaMorph to help him create a custom part needed to help finish his project, an automated controller for opening and closing his blinds. For those that are interested in making one of these, Dan gave us some details on how it was put together.

“I’ve got all the lights in my apartment controlled over DMX (via an application I wrote that interfaces through a USB>DMX box), with schedules to turn on in the morning, change color when I need to leave for work, etc.  To add to this, I decided to make my curtains also controllable via DMX.  I strung control lines from the inner lower corners of the curtain up through to pulleys at the top outer corners, and ran a single control line from the top down to a control box at the bottom.  That box contains a motor, which raises and lowers them, in the same fashion you would see at a theater.

To control when the motor stops as raising or lowering them, I put a knot into the control line.  I then modified a reed switch with InstaMorpf to create a captured channel near the activation side of the reed for the control line to go through, but narrow enough that the knot would trigger the switch and cut power to the motor, stopping the raising/lowering at the correct position.  The ability to create exactly the channel for the control line I needed  with a ‘hood’ to ensure that the knot activated the switch, and the ability to easily tweak the design by adding additional pellets made it the perfect tool to finish the project.”

Well I don’t know about you, but now I want one. Very cool!

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