Automated Window Blinds - Spark Core


(Justin Wurth) #1

So I purchased a Spark Core a few weeks back and decided to have some fun.

First and foremost a big thank you to @juano2310, I borrowed and updated your Spark Core device type. It now serves as a dimmer switch for blinds.

So the core of the code is located here:

Things you will need:
A Spark Core
A servo (preferably analog)
Standard horizontal slat window blinds (plantation style will work too)
DIY mentality :wink:

1. Wire up your spark core with the servo.
2. Create your Spark Core Blinds device type using the github code
3. Create your window Blinds device
4. Load the Spark code to
5. Add the Spark Core device id and access token to the device this can be done on the smart app under preferences for the device.
6. Put on your DIY hat finally and with your wife's permission dissect and determine a way to hook this up to your window blinds

I am still figuring out a way to power this, but I have been looking into solar powered usb chargers there are a few that range from 1500 to 2600 mah and some can stick to windows.

Let me know any feedback. I hope this helps and inspires.

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(Juan Risso) #2

Congrats @jjhtpc! That's so awesome! @Ben this is newsletter worthy!

(Ben Edwards) #3

Post videos, please!

(Justin Wurth) #4

It is not video ready yet, to much duct tape and extension cords. Give me two weeks. I thought I would get this out here quick as code is solid and I know there has been interest.

(Hawesg Garrett) #5

Amazing, I was going to tackle this in a couple weeks. Have planed out all the physical hardware, but this saves me the time of starting from scratch with the code. Thank you very much. I am really interested in what you come up with on the solar front. I've been considering just that.

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(sandesh) #6

I tried the code (removed the turning off and turning on bit in smartthings for whatever reason it never changed state) and kept the servo settings at 0 -90 to avoid the servo from buzzing and it seems to do a 180. Using a futaba 3003 and it works flawlessly with the slider and all. Using the spark core battery shield to see how long it lasts and doing something like what the jalousier guys did instead of the other attach to rod hackish versions out there

and maybe 3d print a box to hold all of this or put this inside the blinds box.. the code from the spark side and the smarttthings side works flawlessly this might be one of the simplest systems out there

(Hawesg Garrett) #7

Interesting approach @jjhtpc I am planing to just put the servo directly interfacing with the rod that controls the blinds in the header. It will be interesting to see how yours turns out.

(Keith Croshaw) #8

I've been looking into tilting my blinds open and closed like this for a while now. I made one set of blinds that already work with a simple RF remote. Any new progress on this project?

(Justin Wurth) #9

Not yet, I picked up a 3d printer this christmas season and I'm hoping to start using that to build servo mounting devices inside of the blinds. I need to get back on this project as the photon will be coming out soon and will make these devices even more inexpensive.

(Keith Croshaw) #10

Thanks for the reply, If you could keep me in the loop on this project I would greatly appreciate it, I have a friend with a 3d printer so maybe I can even "borrow" some of your mounts. I used a shaft couple from for mine but it was hard to get an exact measurement for the shaft.

I'm back and forth about using a 1 spark per window vs an arduino with the thingshield as the controller with RF transmitter and little arduinos in each window as the receivers.

Any thoughts on that? 1 spark per window sounds like less things to fail I guess...

(Juan Risso) #11

@keithcroshaw with spark coming down as low as 19 dollars I think this is the best solution.

(Keith Croshaw) #12

Yea I keep picturing the whole project in my head, the only benefit I can see in my head with the thingshield method would be the possibility of local control with the v2 Hub, but who knows how that will work.

(Juan Risso) #13

I can see that being and advantage over the spark smile

(Mark S) #14

Where did you see it for $19?

(Juan Risso) #15 smile

(Mark S) #16

Oh wow i didn't see this one! Thanks! Pre-ordered!

(Juan Risso) #17

It's an awesome price point! Imagine the possibilities. I'm working in stream lining the discovery process to make it easier to use on SmartThings for projects like this.
Here is my first attempt

(Mark S) #18

wow that's great!!! Can't get my cores now..! smiley

(Mark S) #19

Did you get a chance to do the video of this project?!!

(Hawesg Garrett) #20

Here is a video @cali0028 and @Ben , I've just used the code posted by @jjhtpc going to play around with the code later to change the interface in the smart things app and I'm going to add some sort of local control so you don't need to use a phone, maybe a pull string switch. Oddly a day later it seems as though the movement is smoother, not sure why.

As you can see I used a servo to shaft coupler from servocity, I haven't settled on a mount yet, the spacing was perfect when I trimmed off the plastic tabs on one side of the servo.

Everything is all tucked away except the bottom right hand corner of the window where a usb cord comes out and plugs into an outlet right beside it (not pictured).

Now I just need to figure out how to do the top window in that room, i'm thinking a continuous rotation servo used to pull the two cords rather than getting a ladder and going up to the header which is like 19 feet up.