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Author Topic: [How-Do-I] Assemble a Low-Cost, Heat-Activated Automatic Drapery Controller?  (Read 32816 times)

rms59

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I have no idea where to post this but move it to where it goes.....

I have a drapery motor connected to an appliance module that I use to control a 20 foot drape. It works great and I use it to close the drapes when the sun begins to pour into the room.

Now, I would like something (inexpensive) that I can use to automate the drapes to close when the temperature reaches a certain temp.

I would prefer it not to be a pc program but a standalone unit.

The x10 appliance module used to control the drapery motor needs to have a 3 second off command sent before the ON command is sent and the ON command must remain on for at least 20 seconds.

Any thoughts...

Dick the geezer.
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Puck

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You could use a PowerFlash module with a standard 2-wire thermostat.

Thinking of the logic though, you would probably need to make an interface to reverse the switch from the thermostat, so that it actives on heat rather than cold.
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HA Dave

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..... you would probably need to make an interface to reverse the switch from the thermostat, so that it actives on heat rather than cold.


Most of the thermostat's sold "down here" have air conditioning settings..... So your idea should be simple. Good idea Puck!
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steven r

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You could use a PowerFlash module with a standard 2-wire thermostat....

...The x10 appliance module used to control the drapery motor needs to have a 3 second off command sent before the ON command is sent and the ON command must remain on for at least 20 seconds....

It looks like you'll need to have the thermostat trigger a macro for the "3 sec off" followed by the "20 sec on". I'd have the macro end with a few off commands just to make sure X10 didn't continually try to close the drapes.

Are you going to want X10 to automatically open the drapes also?
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rms59

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I like the thermostat and powerflash idea.  8) If the powerflash doesn't have a latching type relay which remains in the last state when power is removed, then I don't need the 3 sec or 20 sec timing event.

However, the drapery motor is a dumb unit. Apply power and keep it applied and the drapes run one way until it stops. Unplug power and reapply, and the drapes retract until they stop.

So, I need to figure something out so when the thermostat applys power on high temp, the drapes will close.

And yes, I would use the appliance module to bypass the thermostat if I wanted to close them for other reasons.

Suggestions welcome. I just want my drapes to close when the temp climbs high enough and open again when it drops.

Thanks

Dick
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Oldtimer

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Check out this (*EXCELLENT* Members Sharing Their Original X10 Home Automation Ideas [Updated: 2006/10/21]  (Read 1394 times)) X10 application post: HOW SOLAR HEAT IS CAPTURED AND WHY (Read 1026 times)

It uses a thermostat with swtchable heat/cool options to control a heat circulation fan but instead of the fan it could control the drapes.  The final control is via two macros, one ON and one OFF.  I'd be happy to post details so you could modify them for the special signals needed to operate the draperies.


[TTA Edit: Added description to LINK, 2nd LINK, well-deserved accolade and a new Helpful! ]
« Last Edit: March 30, 2007, 10:25:11 PM by TakeTheActive »
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rms59

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Check out this (*EXCELLENT* Members Sharing Their Original X10 Home Automation Ideas [Updated: 2006/10/21]  (Read 1394 times)) X10 application post: HOW SOLAR HEAT IS CAPTURED AND WHY (Read 1026 times)

It uses a thermostat with swtchable heat/cool options to control a heat circulation fan but instead of the fan it could control the drapes.  The final control is via two macros, one ON and one OFF.  I'd be happy to post details so you could modify them for the special signals needed to operate the draperies.


[TTA Edit: Added description to LINK, 2nd LINK, well-deserved accolade and a new Helpful! ]

This is good stuff and I appreciate the links. However, how does any programmer know the status of the drapes? There is no feedback from the drapery motor to indicate whether its open or closed?

Thanks, Dick
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steven r

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...how does any programmer know the status of the drapes? There is no feedback from the drapery motor to indicate whether its open or closed?...
Short of sewing a magnet in the drapes or figuring out some other way of detecting their position, there's really not a lot you can do. Do the drapes have any "end of line" switch built in? i.e. Do they automatically shut off when closed or opened all the way? If so, there's a chance you might be able to use that. Otherwise, I'd look at toggling a flag in your macros to indicate position.

e.g. I use one low voltage push button switch to trigger both my welcome and exit macros. By checking the status of my home flag, lights either turn off or on. The garage closes in both cases but closes sooner when leaving.
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rms59

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...how does any programmer know the status of the drapes? There is no feedback from the drapery motor to indicate whether its open or closed?...
Short of sewing a magnet in the drapes or figuring out some other way of detecting their position, there's really not a lot you can do. Do the drapes have any "end of line" switch built in? i.e. Do they automatically shut off when closed or opened all the way? If so, there's a chance you might be able to use that. Otherwise, I'd look at toggling a flag in your macros to indicate position.

e.g. I use one low voltage push button switch to trigger both my welcome and exit macros. By checking the status of my home flag, lights either turn off or on. The garage closes in both cases but closes sooner when leaving.

The motor is here... http://www.smarthome.com/images/3142big.jpg The wheel has two adjustable claws on it that physically move the larger limit lever shown in the center of the two claws. Mechanically, the lever is to the left when the drapes are closed and to the right when open.

I'm going to either open it up and see whats inside or figure a way to attach two micro switches to the case to detect which side the limit lever is on. I think the combination of the motor, a heating/cooling thermostat that has a mercury actuated switch, and one or two micro switches attached to the case, should work without any computer program.

All I need now is to figure how to wire it up...  ???

Dick
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TakeTheActive

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I like the thermostat and powerflash idea....

...Suggestions welcome...

"Attention Cheers Gang ":

No more soup for Dick (aka rms59) until he completes his Newbie Intro !!!
:o

...So, put down your "Old Geezer " cane and start typing up your "Cheers Gang " Intro:D
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Tuicemen

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rms59    you may wish to check out Accessah.com there are a few users there that have played with remote blinds one may have an idea for you! I'm sure someone here will figure something out for you as many go out of there way just to play with gadgets to help others, with no intention of using it themself ;) :D ;D
The Ideas will keep coming I'm sure!
Cheers
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dave w

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RMS 59

Using some to sense dape position is the surest,  but is difficult to do. I (as Steven R suggests) use flags to anticipate drape position and determine which direction to set drape motor in. If the flag is wrong the draps do nothing since the drape motor internal limit switches prevent it from activating in the wrong direction.
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steven r

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...If the flag is wrong the draps do nothing since the drape motor internal limit switches prevent it from activating in the wrong direction.
It appears from his original post that it is just one button that closes if the drapes are open and vice-versa. Some some sort of position indicator could play an important function even with macro flags.

I also got the impression that he was interested in controlling them without the use of AHP or computer control. This presents the problem of finding a way to get the close signal to not be continually sent to the drapes. A thermostat will send a continuous signal. This could be a problem even with motor limit switches. e.g. My garage door may stop but I don't imagine it would be great for it if I effectively left the button pushed continuously.

While there there maybe a way to do as an independent setup, I believe this is a great opportunity for him to jump into X10 automation with AHP.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2007, 02:23:19 PM by steven r »
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rms59

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I have taken the drape unit apart and have drawn a schematic of the internal wiring. Its really simple, consisting of two relays and two switches. I'm trying to figure on how to do it I'm really close. I'll let you know.

BTW is anyone interested in the schematic drawing?

DIck
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steven r

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...BTW is anyone interested in the schematic drawing?...
I for one would be interested and I expect at least one other person here that has been commenting is also interested.  ;)
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