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Author Topic: [USER IDEA] Modification to the AAM80 Drape Controller to Automate Your Drapes  (Read 49695 times)

rms59

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As promised, here is my modification to the drapery controller that will automate your drapes. RM Sartori 5/2007 Rev A.

****** (Modified on 5/16/2007 to switch hosts from Geocities to ImageShack and to change some photos to clickable thumbnails) *****

****** (Modified on 3/10/2009 to explain addition of foam piece. See end of document.) *****

****** (Updated on 4/29/2012 to to fix some broken links, add the following video, and to tell you that this drape controller is still running every day) *****

A SHORT VIDEO....

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/5019/7itz.mp4

The AAM80 drape controller...



What it is, and what I wanted....

This procedure describes a modification to the inexpensive “Add a Motor” AAM80 drape controller to ensure that it will always close the drapes when an “on” command is given, and once closed, will always open when the “off” command is given.

I wanted this feature so I could connect an ordinary home thermostat to the drape controller to automatically close my drapes if the heat in the room rose to a preset temperature and reopen them when the room cooled down. In the summer months this will greatly help the work my AC has to do. Other applications can also be used with it since it only requires a dry switch closure.

As good as the AAM80 is, it’s a dumb unit. It has no idea whether its open, closed, or somewhere in between, so a switch closure from the thermostat to close the drapes could open them instead if someone manually left them in the wrong state. It’s the price you pay for something that costs as little as $78.00 which is a great bargain but I needed to make it smarter.

The AAM80, in its purest form consists of the drape controller and a wall wart which is controlled by plugging the wall wart into an appliance module. When the Appliance module turns on, it powers the wall wart, which powers the drape motor.... The sequence of operation goes something like this….

Press the ON button on your X10 transmitter and power is applied to the motor which will start moving in some direction. Pressing the off button kills the power and they will stop. Press the ON again and they will continue in the same direction from where they left off. Continue like this as many times as you want but eventually the drapes will reach the end of their travel, trip the limit switch, and stop. Pressing the ON button again will give you the identical sequence but now the drapes are going in the opposite direction. That was the problem. The “ON” can either open or close them and I had to get rid of this feature.

Schematics and theory of operation for those interested in that stuff.....

The original AAM80 schematic vs the new schematic

http://img29.imageshack.us/img29/5084/drapecontrolleroldtonew.png

New schematics showing the new sequence of operation

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/8314/drape01.png
http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/3197/drape02.png

Modification explained

Although the modification involved a lot of cursing and hair pulling, it ended up being very simple. However, I had to give up a minor feature. In the old method you could stop the drapes anywhere during the open or close cycle by pressing the “off” command when the desired drape position was reached. You can still do that after the modification but ONLY during the close cycle. During the open cycle, they will not stop and will continue to their limit. (This is how I got rid of the intermittent state problem.) Again, you can still stop them at any point but only while their closing.


When you are finished making the changes, you will have a drape controller with the following features:

1.   Automatically close the drapes on any “switch closure” no matter where they are parked.

2.   Once closed, automatically open the drapes on any “switch open”.

3.   Manually stop them at any point along the close cycle.

4.   If a thermostat, or other device, opens or closes them you can still bypass them manually with your transmitter.


Parts needed to modify the drape controller

--- Two diodes. I used 1N4005’s but any diode will do since we are talking low voltage. THESE ARE A MUST! Without them, the coil spike can cause the drapes to open as soon as they close.

--- A chassis mounted phono jack. You can do without it but it makes the job more professional looking.

--- A Universal module or an Appliance module modified to dry contacts. (If you have a small 115vac relay, I will show you what I did.)

--- A little wire, solder, and a razor knife….. That’s it.

Parts needed to automate the drape controller to close and open on temperature.

--- A Powerflash module

--- A spare thermostat


Photo of the finished unit with its modified Appliance module.


Photo of the Powerflash and Thermostat.[/color][/size]





Here we go.....[/color][/size]


Step 1




Step 2



Step 3 (Don’t cut the wires because you are going to solder them to another location later)



Your board should look like this now.




Step 4. Make sure the traces are cut completely through.




Step 5.. Add the two diodes as shown. I didn't add mine until the very end but adding them now makes it easier. Just observe the polarity. (The diodes are across the relay coils).




Step 6.. Add two jumpers as shown just soldering them to the existing solder blobs. (Notice the diodes are not there in my photo, but yours will be.




Step 7.




Step 8.. Any color will do, but just make sure the location doesn’t interfere with the board so use the board as a guide when mounting the jack.



Step 8A.. Make the white wire longer and trim it later.




Step 9. Mount the board back into the case and follow the steps in the photo. I've provided extra photos to see the wiring from different angles. (The BLACK motor wire now connects to the RED dot.)













That’s it for the controller so replace the rear cover. You can test it by putting in a phono plug with two wires on it and shorting and opening them.

****DO NOT ATTACH A STANDARD APPLIANCE MODULE TO THE PHONO PLUG!  THE PHONO PLUG IS LOW VOLTAGE!.****

The drape controller will behave like I told you and the photos I have supplied are the actual working unit. There are no modifications inside the unit or on the component side of the board so what you see… works.

Modification of the Appliance module

14.   You will need an Appliance module, a small 115vac relay to fit inside it, and a phono jack.  If you have trouble finding a small relay, you would be better off forgetting this mod and getting the Universal module.

15.    Remove the back of the Appliance module and unsolder and remove the two AC prongs. Discard the separate plastic block that the AC prongs went to. I also removed the local sensing that has already been explained in other mods. (you don’t need to do that for this mod)



16.    Solder the coil wires of the relay to the same pads where you removed the AC prongs.



17.    Drill a hole in a piece of plastic the same size as the block you removed  and mount a phono jack with two wires on it.






19.    Replace the case and it will look like the photo here and when connected to the drape controller it looks like the first photo in this project.



20.    Connect the thermostat to the Powerflash and set both code wheels to be the same as the modified Appliance module or the Universal module. Plug the Powerflash into the wall outlet and mount your thermostat. Connect up the drape controller and you should be good to go.

This system is fun to watch. I have a macro set up on my Active home so when the Powerflash trips and the drapes close, the ceiling fan will come on too.

I will be around to answer any questions you may have……have fun.

Dick Sartori
5/2007


Update... 3/10/2009


Just wanted to check back and let everyone know that the drape controller has been opening and closing my drapes flawlessy two two years. They
open at 8am in the morning and close at 11pm at night via my Active Home Pro and They also will close or open if the thermostat calls for it. I also have to add an apology for not updating the drawings for a small modification I had to add very early on. Let me explain. Once in a blue moon the drapes
wouldn't open or close and as soon as I touched the unit they began working again. Long story short was that when the drapes were almost fully
open, and the lever was beginning to move, the transfer switch would drop power too early and leave the switch balanced in the
middle...neither open nor closed. This made the unit electrically dead.

To overcome this problem I glued a small piece of silicone foam rubber (SHOWN BELOW) that does not have any memory. In other words when
something compresses the foam and then is removed, the foam will not temporarlily remain compressed. It will spring back to it's original
shape immediately no matter how long it's been in the compressed state. By adding that foam to the left side of the transfer switch as shown
in the photo below, it acts as a springboard so when the lever pushes on the foam, it will begin to compress but as the switch moves further
the load lightens up and the foam springs back to it's original position snapping the switch hard over. No more stuck in the middle. The other
side of the switch does not have that problem so it has no foam added.

Someone could probably add a capacitor to the motor circuit to keep the motor running for a nano second more when the switch moves over but
the foam idea has been working flawlessly.

Foam:
http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/1069/foamo.jpg

Final Assembly
http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/1231/finalzs.jpg
« Last Edit: April 29, 2012, 04:42:28 PM by rms59 »
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TakeTheActive

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Gorgeous Job!
Ding, Ding, Ding... ;) #3
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 04:28:52 PM by TakeTheActive »
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steven r

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Wow!
[/size]

I rarely give "helpfuls" since the way the forum is setup here they have limited meaning (see multiple other discussions) but I wish I could give you 2 helpfuls for your documentation of this project.

Again...

Wow!
[/color][/size]
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 09:34:55 AM by steven r »
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:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

Brian H

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Great job. Thanks for sharing and I also gave a helpful.
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JMac

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Terrific job !  I may try this in the future.
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Oldtimer

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Super job!  You have raised the bar for all of us!  The appliance module mod is great.  Your drape control mod is great.  Photos are some of the best I've seen.  Excellent diagrams.  You must have put as much work into documenting as you did into designing and implementing.
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Having "fun" with X-10 since 1980.

TakeTheActive

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...You have raised the bar for all of us!  ...Photos are some of the best I've seen...

Unless rms59 is constantly REFRESHING this thread himself ::) ;), I believe that he has also raised the bar on the LIMIT of bytes per hour (i.e. so *MANY* gorgeous photos) that a GeoCities site can support when dealing with the X10 Community:o

This limit:
did not cross my mind at all :-[ when Oldtimer PM'd me yesterday that he couldn't see the photos and felt severely deprived of the joy and excitement that the first wave of viewers were experiencing. :D

bcondemi used ImageShack® for his [User Idea] ULTIMATE DUAL ANTENNA Setup for CM15A  (Read 1200 times) , so it appears that future queries for recommendations for sites to store images included in X10 Community articles will need to be prefixed by the question - "How *MANY*?" :P

Any other recommendations besides ImageShack® ?


rms59,

Would you please visit your GeoCities site and capture and display these two charts:


I, for one, am VERY curious as to how much bandwidth your article utilized in the past 24 hours. ???

[Ah, they're back (for me) - let's see - 23 photos at an average of 75KB each is 1,725KB | 1.725MB x 65 views = 112.125MB transferred, just for the photos. So, what's the limit? ??? 4.2MB/hr -> 2.434 views/hr :-X There's our answer...]

Thanks Dick! :)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2007, 01:46:49 PM by TakeTheActive »
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Tuicemen

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rms59 excellent Job! ;) :D ;D
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HA Dave

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Very impressive! Thank-you for sharing with us... your work is inspiring.
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This is the golden age of home automation. Don't blink or hesitate.... or you will miss it.

rms59

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I hate things that don't work right so I'm presently uploading all the images to Imageshack and redoing my links in the event a host switch is needed...

Thanks for the comments. Much appreciated.

Dick
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essp2003

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Very professional graphics. Nice job, and maybe the record 'helpfuls' per 'posts' ratio on the site.

Thanks for bridging the gulf of understanding through mental mapping.
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immyfish

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Wow! I am DYING to see thise pix. great job!
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rms59

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Ok.... The images are now stored on ImageShack. I saved some bandwidth by making some images clickable thumbnails. Hope this does it for you guys.

Dick
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TakeTheActive

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...The images are now stored on ImageShack. I saved some bandwidth by making some images clickable thumbnails...

Dick,

Would you please post the GeoCities Site Status and Site Activity screens for the curious (amd before the pertinent numbers roll off)?

Thanks! :)
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rms59

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...The images are now stored on ImageShack. I saved some bandwidth by making some images clickable thumbnails...

Dick,

Would you please post the GeoCities Site Status and Site Activity screens for the curious (amd before the pertinent numbers roll off)?

Thanks! :)

This is what I got when I went there just now....

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