Motorized blinds for small window

I've got Somfy motorized shades on windows in my home and am very happy with them. With some relays on my ELK and a little fine wiring work I've got them running automated and its fantastic.

My problem are two narrow windows up by my front door. They'd be really really awesome to have automated cause its pesky when they are left open after dark or when i'm not home. Problem is my Somfy shade provider only makes motorized blinds as small as 16inches wide. I've scoured google for a motor shade 12inches wide, the max i can fit in this space, and can't find anything.

I come to you guys for help. If I can find a product for these I'll be 100% motorized on all but my least used locations, and all my locations that are of any privacy concern.

I'm open to blinds, shades, wood, cloth, whatever..I'm just wanting to see some option made in this size.

Thanks in advance!
 

az1324

Senior Member
I think the smallest somfy tubular motor is 10.5" wide but not sure if that leaves room for brackets, caps, etc...

The problem with the somfy tilt motor or cord lift motor is that you need space for the motor (5" i think) between the end of the headrail and the first vertical cord.

Maybe you could do shutters with a custom mechanism for using the tilt motor.
 
I'm not stuck on using Somfy at all. I'm open to any and all solutions at this point. Only requirement is that it look 100% slick/finished.
 

az1324

Senior Member
Well that leaves the possibility for just about everything from hobby servos to electrochromic glass. So you should probably state your preferences for window coverings, budget, and amount of hacking/manual fabrication you are willing to do.
 
Fair enough. My favorite kind of window coverings are cellular shades. These also seem to be the most challenging to put into a space this small. That said I'm willing to be open to either roller shades or wooden slats that tilt.

The outside coverage size of this window would be 11 or 12 inches. An inside fit would be ~8.

Budget is perhaps $200/window. Its a bit higher than I'd ideally like to spend for smaller windows, especially since there are two, but motor shades are special items and i want something that looks very professionally finished.

As far as hacking/manual fabrication I'm excellent at electrical hacking, modification, relays, sensors, etc. I'm only lightly experienced with integrated microprocessors. I'm ok with milder fabrication but I only have simple household tools for that kind of stuff cause I don't deal in it professionally like I do low voltage electronics, for which I have just about any tool imaginable.

I think that helps spell out where i'm needing help; the mechanical/fabrication part of this. Its where I don't have knowledge or much experience.
 

JimS

Active Member
Hobby servos for motorization as was mentioned seems like a good path. Find a non-motorized shade that suits your tastes and that you can defeat the cord lock and route the cords to a spot above or behind the top rail. Build a small box the width of the window to house the servo motor and extension shaft for cord reels. Modify the servo for continuous rotation (lots of sites with that info). A few micro switches for limit stops and you should be good to go. You shouldn't need a microprocessor since you already have control with the Elk.
 
Have you checked blindsgalore.com? The last motorized blind I bought was from there. It was IR-controlled, a larger window, but still under your budget for composite/wood.
 

murphmama

New Member
Hi,

I've been looking around for a long time as well. I found this site last week. I'm considering purchasing from this site. Check out the Projects tab. I want to give my daughter a project to do this summer... Of course I am not affiliated with this company in any way.

rollertrol.com (too new to post links)

BTW, long time lurker, first time poster...
 

drozwood90

Senior Member
Hi,

I've been looking around for a long time as well. I found this site last week. I'm considering purchasing from this site. Check out the Projects tab. I want to give my daughter a project to do this summer... Of course I am not affiliated with this company in any way.

rollertrol.com (too new to post links)

BTW, long time lurker, first time poster...

Interesting:
"(minimum is 11", or 29 cm)"

Seems to fit your 16" need...

At those prices, I'm tempted to push some $$ together for my house.

--Dan
 

Deane Johnson

Active Member
I just looked through this site and it appears to me to be a great DIY find. I have no way of knowing anything about the quality of the company, but the description of the products makes them appear to be very useful for home automation projects. The prices seem right to me.

I note they have an X-10 module with momentary or sustained contact. While we all shun X-10, if one needs a cheap momentary contact remote located relay, this might be handy. It would be great if they made it in Z-Wave and UPB also.

It's nice to run into a company that caters to the DIY market.

If anyone builds anything with this stuff, be sure to make a report and share some photos.

Here's the link:

http://rollertrol.com/

Thanks for posting this.
 

rollertrol

New Member
Hi Folks, and thanks for noticing our new 'mini' motor for retrofitting blinds, it's a unique product. We've been doing the home automation thing since x10 first came out in the 70's. We're not stuck on it though, but it works fine for plenty of situations, and the entry $barrier is very low. However, we design our products to work with all home automation systems; there's no reason it has to be system specific. So if you start with x10, just to get something that works, you can always upgrade later as your budget allows.

Regards, Adrian
RollerTrol.com
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
hi Adrian, welcome to CT!

Your site mentions this product can be used to automate blinds/shades as well, but the examples I can find all rely on rollershades, am I missing something? I have regular shades and vertical blinds, would love to know how to make this work. Thanks!
 

rollertrol

New Member
hi Adrian, welcome to CT!

Your site mentions this product can be used to automate blinds/shades as well, but the examples I can find all rely on rollershades, am I missing something? I have regular shades and vertical blinds, would love to know how to make this work. Thanks!
Hi Dan, thanks for the welcome. This is a very useful forum and I'm glad I found it. There is a lot of confusing terminology around and CocoonTech really helps explain a lot of it.

The question you ask is a good example, and the issue is centered around the difference between a blind and a shade.

Technically, according to industry experts, a 'shade' is something that is a solid opaque material with no ability to see through it, and a 'blind' is something that can allow some ability to see through it. Unfortunately the terms are used interchangeably and this leads to confusion.

For instance, we generally know what someone means when they say 'roller blinds' and 'blackout blinds' but I suppose the correct terms would really be 'roller shades' and 'blackout shades'.

Our tubular motors are used mainly for 'roller shades' and we tend to focus primarily on that use. However, we do see people using them to automate units like venetian blinds too, in terms of raising and lowering them. You simply mount the motor so that it winds up the dual cords that you normally pull to raise and lower the blind.

We have another series under development that has an extra control channel and actuator for controlling the 'tilt' of the slats, and we are also working on a unit for vertical blinds too, which would operate in a similar way, except rotated 90 degrees.

Also, we have customers using our tubular motors in all kinds of interesting ways. Recently we saw a project where a system was designed for a large 120" projector screen, not just to raise and lower it, but to change the black surround area to adjust the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 (and in between).

Our stand-alone remote control units can control up to 14 motors, so all the different functions can be handled by a single remote. This individual was also planning to tie in some software control to further automate the choice of aspect ratio.

Another customer used it with one of our counter-balancing coil springs to raise and low a large flat screen TV out of the floor, and yet another one used it to lower a tapestry in front of the TV when not in use.

Hope that helps,

Regards, Adrian
 
For instance, we generally know what someone means when they say 'roller blinds' and 'blackout blinds' but I suppose the correct terms would really be 'roller shades' and 'blackout shades'.
It says "blackout blinds" on your website... :wacko:

...just ribbing you. Great info, welcome!
 
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