Connected Somfy Blinds to Smartthings for under $80 with Linear Relays GUIDE with Pictures

amazon'alexa'echo
echo

(Andrew) #1

Hey Everyone, I actually did this project months back, but felt very much inclined to take the time take some pictures and write up a guide on what I did, because, well, let’s face it, this community wouldn’t exist without people contributing. So here it is:

This guide can definitely be modified to really work with any RF remote control that isn’t z-wave compatible, because all you are doing when you press a button down, is completing a circuit. That is to say, you are allowing an electrical current to pass through from one end of the circuit board to the other.

Items Needed:

  1. Somfy Remote (Model 74300 Came with the system)
  2. Soldering Kit ( I had one laying around but you can get one on Amazon for $10.00)
  3. Electronic Project Box (ES – Inches (7.5" x 4.3" x 2.2") mm (191mm x 110mm x 57mm) | Color: Black) http://amzn.com/B0002BSRIO Is the exact one I used. Everything Fit Perfectly.
  4. 2 x Linear FS20Z-Z-Wave 20-Amp Fixture Mount Control LINFS20Z1 ( I Got these with HD and they price matched Jet.com for $34 Each. Free shipping.
  5. A 3-Prong Electric Cable (I had an old component sitting around that I didn’t use, so I cut it off)
  6. Electric Tape (Optional)
  7. Wire Nuts (Not Optional in my opinion)

Standard Disclaimer: Don’t be stupid. You are messing with electricity, and circuit boards. If you aren’t comfortable with frying your components, then don’t try this. I am a DIY’er. I love this type of stuff.

Guide:

Get your Somfy Remote ready, and flip it over and open it up. Be Careful as the circuit board is fragile and small.

Get the circuit board out of the remote, and once you have it out of there depending on which remote you are using, you will see the buttons. I marked on the actual circuit board which was up and which was down. I never used the stop button so I didn’t need to get a relay for that one, but this can get pretty pricey if you are using remotes that have lots of buttons. One relay per button. Keep in mind, all this relay does, is allow current to flow through it (from one blue wire to the other in this particular model).

I Went ahead and soldered smaller gauge wire to the ends of the buttons that needed to have power run through them. The way I tested which sides needed to be soldered, is I took the wire I used (Black in this photo) and stripped both ends. Then simply touched one side to one, and then touched the other end to one of those four small prongs where the button attaches to the board. When I found the right connection the button actuated. (The remote is powered by the battery on board, I haven’t introduced the relay at all at this point.)

Here is the same photo but marked where the points are in red. I didn’t use the center button so it was irrelevant (Orange).

Once I found the right points to solder to went ahead and soldered these cables to the board. FYI I don’t have a lot of experience in soldering but, well, youtube will be your friend if you need help. Just get your hands dirty, its fun!

Ok, Next up, get your project box opened up, drill a hole big enough to have the 3 prong cable pass through, but still be snug. I cut the cable only about 18 inches long, because I knew I was going to have this project box sitting right next to my components and didn’t need a long wire. Do what you need with length. Most important part is that it needs to be three prong as opposed to two prong, because these relays need to be grounded.

These are both of my Linear FS20Z-1 Relays. So it basically has its own power source, (Black, white, Green - Ground), and that powers the relay, then the blue wires, that allow power to simply pass through it. You can have 120v run through, or you can even have this little watch battery pass through. They simply open and close a circuit through those blue cables.

So now, I took the smaller gauge wires (Two for each button - one for each side of the button) and used wire nuts to attach the cables to a corresponding blue cable. That is to say:

Somfy Button 1 - Black cable 1 to Linear Relay (a.) blue wire 1
Somfy Button 1 - Black cable 2 to Linear Relay (a.) 1 blue wire 2.

Then repeat for second button:

Somfy Button 2 - Black cable 1 to Linear Relay (b.) blue wire 1
Somfy Button 2 - Black cable 2 to Linear Relay (b.) blue wire 2.

Use Wire Nuts. I then wrapped each pair with electrical tape to keep them a bit separate. as you can see.

So I took the ground cables (green) from each of the two relays, and twisted them with the ground (green) cable that I exposed from the 3-prong cable being used to power the project. Total of three green wires, use a wire nut and join them together.

Now do the same for the white (neutral) wires. Because this is AC it actually doesn’t matter which part of the three prong powers the wires as long as the ground is accurate.

Follow the same as above but for the black wires. Use wire nuts.

Here are all three sets of wires joined with nuts before placing into the project box.

Now place the Relays in the project box how you see fit. Some people mount these inside the project box, but in reality, its not moving around once its in its place, and the cables and relays take up enough space that it sits pretty snug once the cover is on. Feel free to do what you want here. Most important part is that there are no bare wires exposed because of wire nuts, and I added electrical tape around them just for an extra precaution. Don’t want anything to short out.

As an extra optional step, I put electrical tape around the comfy remote circuit board just to keep the board from sitting naked in the project box. Again, just an extra precaution. I know people with electronic experience would make this more pretty, but this baby works like a charm, and I’ve had it working flawlessly for 6 months now.

There ya go, everything is in and good to go. Now, before closing up, plug in the power to insure all connections are good to go, and pair the relays to your Hub before closing up. There will be an additional step through the IDE setup (https://graph.api.smartthings.com) Which I will get to in a moment.

Alright Now close it up.

Viola!

Final Step, Once the relays have been successfully paired to the hub, you will need to log on to the IDE Section and change the device type under “My Devices”.
To do that:

  1. Log onto IDE with your smartthings username/pw.
  2. Click on the third link from the left at the top “My Devices”
  3. Click on the name of the relay that you created when pairing it. I called one of mine “Sun” and the other “Darkness” so that I could use Amazon Echo (Alexa) and tell it to turn on the Darkness or the Sun respectively. This will be the Left-Most hyper link for the device.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “edit” button that is right next to the “delete” button.
  5. The fifth option down should say “Type *” - Click on that list, and change the device type to “Z-Wave Virtual Momentary Contact Switch.”
  6. Click Update. You’re done.

This last step was a crucial point because otherwise When you actuate or turn on this device, it will “open” the flow to complete the circuit for the button indefinitely, until you turn it off. Being that we are actually still utilizing the battery on the remote, this would run the battery out quickly. It also would stop you from actuating the other button because it would be like pressing all buttons at once. This monetary contact switch essentially actuates the button for a moment, then turns it back off. Like pressing a button.

Here is a video of the finished product working with my Amazon Echo

Video

I went Ahead and added it to my Amazon Echo, as well as many routines, and this works, every time, without fail Super reliable, and again, you have absolutely no limitations with this. If you have any device that you want to control, but it isn’t Z-wave or Zigbee compatible, you are no longer limited. Endless possibilities. I hope this was of service to you, thanks for reading, and thanks for making this community great!


Blinds/Shades/Curtain Control - No solutions for us EU Smartthings owners?
(Cody Truscott) #2

Just a heads up to anyone reading for a simpler option — thesmartesthouse has the vision zwave curtain control module for about $30. Depending on the blind/curtain, you sometimes need to find yourself a few transistors to reverse the voltage on the actuator pins.


(Andrew) #3

Well Damnit. If only I knew about this. Hahah. Thanks @codytruscott. Hopefully the guide will still be of service to those that want to apply this to anything else they want to run. Garage door openers, etc. Unlimited potential.


(Marc) #4

Also, not to rain on you parade, you can order the Somfy zWave relay device for $95 through Lowes. I do think it’s great that you figure this out as some folks like to hack things :slight_smile:


(Andrew) #5

Yeah, I went to Lowes, and they couldn’t get this sucker for me for $95 at the time of my hacking. Keep the rain coming. El Niño time. :joy:


(Steve M.) #7

Kit ready to use!!! We have developed our own version of the Somfy dry contact interface. If you do not want to go into extra work soldering wires, this is the best option:

For $80 or less you can get

  • Small Case Box: 3.9" x 2" x 0.8" In.
  • Connector Male Female, reliable and conveniently to connect.
  • USB powered, 5volt adapter included.

(Jimmy) #8

Is this zigbee, z-wave or wifi?


(Steve M.) #9

This interface works with any contact closure device, for example, Linear FS20Z-1 Relays. It means, when the relay is closed the interface sends the RTS command “UP” when the relay is opened it sends the RTS command “Down”.

This interface is ideal for Raspberry PI o Arduino projects.

If you don’t have any dry contact device you can use the Dry contact KIT and use your own Zwave On/Off module.

https://hapacks.com/collections/somfy-alexa/products/somfy-kit-for-insteon-dry-only-works-with-amazon-alexa?variant=28509223817


(Steve M.) #10

You can use your own Home Automation device, it means if you need WiFi we recommend you the WeMo version, the INSTEON version is nice if you have the Insteon HUB, for zwave we recommend the Evolve or any on/off module plugin.