How to improve this project. Automated blinds with inline servos. (The build, not the circuit)

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gdr2404

Joined Aug 8, 2021
1
Hi, I think I'm posting this in the right sub heading.

Last year I built / programmed some automated blinds. 5 separate continuous servos, into a servo Controller, then a ESP8266. Been using them for while now and somewhat happy with them. But i'm considering or i've wondered, is there a better way.

At the minute (Ref 4, two blinds together) you can see i've attached the servo inline with the rod that turns the blinds. Turning then at this point is allot more work than if i turned them using the actual mechanism in Ref 3. But hooking them up to use that was beyond my skill set. I also feel i cant quite close them as tight with my method than what i use to be able to do by hand.

How would you have tackled this project?

Please excuse my armature approach to this, i am a bit of a noob, as you can probably see from using lego and wire straps to keep the servos in place.
Thanks
Gav
 

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LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
1,188
I would speculate that the Servos chosen are simply not powerful enough.
There are certainly Servos available that can easily twist that rod into a pretzel,
but they are by no means cheap, (~$100.oo and up each).
If this is doable for You, simply check out the RC Truck suppliers online.
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djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,870
Check out ServoCity. They sell gearing kits that can drive your blinds with a higher torque. They will take longer to move, but they will move.
 

GetDeviceInfo

Joined Jun 7, 2009
1,897
I agree, more torque is required. To be truthful. all the blinds I've worked with have drives for hoist functions, not tilt. Pretty creative drive configurations for seemingly simple functions.
 

twohats

Joined Oct 28, 2015
249
Looks like you have done a neat job.
Our blinds are motorized via the manual operating rod, with a small DC motor(Geared down) out of VHS video machines.
The motor is situated at the lower end of the rod. I made a clutch out of acetal (Like nylon) so they could be manual adjusted if necessary. It's controlled with a Picaxe 08M2 via a LDR sensor. 5 volt supply.
It's difficult to hide the motor, curtains help.
Good luck............
 

sparky 1

Joined Nov 3, 2018
591
If you decide remote over wifi or IoT control, how easy is that to impliment over a simple key fob.
If you design an approximation when you get to a stage where you want to go further you have to define what is a perfect operation.
As each blind sequentially needs more torque which is amp draw what effect does that have on the demonstration?
What should it sound like to give the most impressive demonstration? At various blind rotation angles what light level demonstration would convince the consumer that the product does just what they want it to do ? Is that a number that related to brightness ? What else does a consumer like to feel when they operate their window covering control unit ? How precise is the fit when they are closed compared to average blind ? How is the fit and finish an improvement from the prior art ? What makes your design new and useful ?

The sales person where they sell the most electric window blinds will sell more of one product than another at least in the free world
the marketing is supposed to include opinions and feelings that are influenced by decor atmosphere and ambience so a popular restaurant would use a commercial grade and one step down would be standard home quality. Quiet seems to win out and the market appears to be upscale.
The video shows convenience that it is a pleasure to stay seated and adjust it right where they usually like it while others feel if only that annoying sun light would be gone and the air conditioner would kick in then the comfort level would be awesome.
 
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