Automated curtains

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Since we had some really nice curtains made for the bedroom I decided this justified splashing out and getting a motorised curtain rail. I bought one of the Autoglide units, the cheapest version has a dawn/dusk sensor and a manual override switch. It's going to be integrated under Idratek control so none of the timer or IR remote control options is relevant.

I had to guess physical placement of power supply and controlling module since I didn't have fitting dimensions in advance. The power supply is connected to a fused spur outlet and what I didn't account for was the position of the motor. This obscures the switch on the fused spur, but since it is rarely used it's not a big deal.


I think if I was wiring a house from scratch I would put in a dedicated 12V feed and remote the transformer for neatness.

The unit is controlled using a DRB-001 unit wired instead of the manual override switch - this is accessible easily on the bottom of the unit on an RJ11 connector and avoids complications with limit switches etc. I cheated and cut off the override switch. The wire is a convenient size to fit through the vent holes on the bottom of the DRB , I came up under the circuit board and back over the top and a bit of hot melt secures the wire.


The wire has three cores, a common and an "open" and "close". So bridge the common to both relays and feed open to one and close to the other. The DRB is configured in Cortex as an on/off load and I use the curtains icon to make the plan look pretty. The pulsed operation is used to simulate a finger press, 0.1S is adequate. This allows for partial opening, since the Autoglide will stop on a short press of the alternate control.

I haven't decided exactly when to have automatic opening, we are overlooked and I don't want to shock the neighbours, so currently the Idratek system is mainly replacing the original manual button. An obvious application is for security reasons, opening and closing at appropriate times when the house is empty, but macros should allow a "safe" decision on regular occupied opening to be made.

One thing I don't have is an outside light sensor, I'd quite like it if Cortex was able to read dawn/dusk times from one of these geographic websites.

Another consideration when putting a module close to the window is the option to add a window closure switch. This can be fed conveniently into the DRB and provide window open indications, for example to inhibit heating or to provide warnings when leaving the house.

I also note that Cortex v22 has some new motor control functionality, so I'll be upgrading and checking that out soon.

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This page contains a single entry by David published on August 25, 2007 12:20 AM.

It's Been A While was the previous entry in this blog.

Cortex v22 is the next entry in this blog.

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