Info on curtains or blinds


(Chris) #1

Hi all,

I’m wondering if anyone has setup motorised blinds or curtains? There’s a few posts around on the forums but information is really limited. I’ve found some info on somfy, dooya, fibaro 222, but there’s no start to finish project where I can find all the information I need. At the moment, I have totally manual venetian blinds in some windows and curtains in others. I’m not opposed to replacing these if it is easier with other methods or building things with non-purpose built motors. I’m looking for someone who has done a project that can give some advise.

The end goal is to have them integrated with smartthings. I’m starting with nothing.

Does anyone have any info on:

  • Should I start with getting motorised blinds that have nothing to do with smartthings initially?
  • Should I get 240v mains or battery operated?
  • Where can I buy motors? Or where can I buy blinds + motors?
  • If I go 240v, I think the z wave options are fibaro 222 and qubino flush shutter?
  • If I go battery operated, I assume they will be RF controlled so would need some sort of RF blaster connected to smartthings? Or a Logitech harmony?
  • What are my options for integrating with smartthings?
  • What should I avoid?

(Tyler Durden) #2

I just started my smart blinds project… I purchased kits at mysmartblinds.com to motorize my existing blinds. I bought 9 kits with solar panels. They just finished a kickstarter campaign that allowed me to get them for about $99 per kit with solar panel. I think right now it would run you about $150 per. These kits use bluetooth communication with you IOS or Android phone to control the blinds. This gives you phone app control of your blinds, and you can set schedules and energy saving modes for the blinds that run autonomously. But this alone wasn’t enough to make me buy them. They are launching a hub this March that will control the blinds and integrate with Alexa, SmartThings and Google Home.

I recieved my kits a few days ago and have installed 3 of the kits so far. The first kit took me a few hours to install, but after the first one I can now knock one out in 15 to 30 minutes. I think it could be faster if you have a twist rod on your blinds. Once the kit is physically installed and the blind rehung, the app will auto calibrate the blinds and you can upgrade the firmware.

So far I’m pleased with the experience, but it’s only been a day or so. I can’t wait for the hub to arrive in March. I don’t know if the ST support for the hub will be immediately available, but it should be available sometime in 2018. I hope the integration will give ST access to the temperature sensor built into the kit. And it would be really cool if it could leverage the solar panel power output as a luminance sensor. The ST community should suggest that to them so that we end up with a robust integration and not just a simple blind control. I think that deeper integration, if possible, could help some ST users rationalize spending $150 per window plus the hub.


(Chris) #3

Sorry, should have mentioned that I’m in the UK. I didn’t realise our American cousins checked the UK threads :slight_smile:

I mean this thing looks perfect and I think I’ve finally managed to find a place that sells it.

http://motorsandremotes.co.uk/blind-motors/tilt-50-wirefree-rts/tilt-50-rts-12v.html

Then the next step would be how I get an RF signal from SmartThings.


(Tyler Durden) #4

Sorry for the confusion, I overlooked the UK tag on your post when I was browsing the latest posts. However, I don’t believe there is any reason the self contained solution won’t work on your side of the pond. It’s just bluetooth which last I checked is an international standard. It also looks like they have no qualms about letting you ship your order to the UK based on the checkout form. I guess the shipping and any customs fees could be a deal breaker. There are other threads discussing DIY blind automation and the more I read the more I was concerned about putting together a system that would recharge itself and not have me screwing around with one of nine windows a few times a week… not to mention the time involved just to get it all up and running. So for me, a turnkey solution that promised ST integration was a god sent, and I probably would have considered buying it from the UK if necessary. Depending on the shipping and customs cost, it might be just as, if not more economical than trying to piece together a solution with those Somfy motor units.

update: You can use coupon code ACTNOW to save 10% at the mysmartblinds checkout…that might help take some of the sting out of the international shipping costs.


(Chris) #5

Thanks for the info. I’ll take a deeper look into it but your right, importing them from the USA will make them much more expensive. The pound is really weak right now due to the uncertainty with brexit meaning everything in the USA is approximately 10-15% more expansive than it should be. Also, sales tax here in the UK is 20%.

To you, each blind costs what we would expect to be £95.

To me, in reality now, I’d be looking at about £145 including the shipping and taxes.


#6

As info, the beta hubs are going out for Alexa integration (Mysmartblinds.) If someone gets the beta hub and can figure out how to get the blinds show up as “things” quicker than their planned integration down the road, that would be awesome… I wish I could do it, but I am not a talented programmer, for sure :slight_smile:


#7

Have you seen this? Brunt blind engine

Been following the development of this concept with interest, as it looks rather promising. I’m in the market for new blinds so exploring the options, and this looks like a great retrofitting and relatively affordable option…


(Chris) #8

Hey all,

It’s been a while but I’ve finally got something that works with roller blinds. I’m hoping that curtains and venetian blinds are going to have the same success now that I’ve figured this out.

Things you will need:


  • This is to replace the tubing of a blind since most blinds I could find, the tube wasn’t anywhere near wide enough.

  • https://www.diy.com/departments/floplast-push-fit-waste-pipe-dia-40mm-white/109190_BQ.prd

  • Any roller blind. I got a cheap one from B&Q for £12

  • Some 240v electric cable

  • A plug socket

  • Some strong glue

  • General tools for cutting, measuring, etc.

  • IHC App for Android (official broadlink app)

  • Broadlink RM Plugin for Android - £4.99

  • A spare android device that you can leave plugged in and turned on 24/7. I use my wall mounted actiontiles tablet for this since it’s running all the time anyway.

  • WebCore

Onto the project!!

  1. Replace the inner tube of the blind with the 40mm pipe (unless you can find blinds with a 38mm tube already fitted). To make up for the 2mm gap, put some electrical tape around the edge of the roller blind so it fits snug in the pipe.
  2. Fit the blind. Instructions come with the kit.
  3. Pair the remote. Instructions come with the kit.
  4. Download the android apps listed above
  5. Install and power up your Broadlink RM
  6. Add the Broadlink RM to the IHC app
  7. Add the three buttons of the RF remote of the blind to the Broadlink RM Plugin app. I found the quickest way was by adding them as widgets to the home screen
  8. Test the widgets raise and lower the blinds
  9. In the Broadlink RM Plugin App, turn on the HTTP service
  10. In a web browser, go to the Broadlink RM Plugin API page e.g. http://10.0.0.3:9876/codes
  11. Make a note of the codes for each button. It will be in a section that looks like this: “id”:“l1523379255525” just take the id. e.g. l1523379251121
  12. For your entire links for the API calls. The code needs to be replaced at the end. You should have 3 links. One for each button. e.g. http://10.0.0.3:9876/send?deviceMac=65ea37731349&codeId=l1523379251121
  13. Test the links. They should raise, lower and stop the blind
  14. Go to the Smartthings API and create a simulated garage opener
  15. Go to webcore in the Smartthings app and allow access to the new button
  16. Go to webcore and create a new piston. For the “if” you can use the door opening and closing. You can enter the links into a “then” statement using “location” and then selecting “make a web request”. Paste the link in from the earlier step.

I hope this helps someone. The routing of the command basically goes:

Smarthing button triggered >> Webcore rule runs >> Webcore calls API of app on android >> Android sends the RF signal. It is quite long winded but in my case there is no delay at all.

Notes:

  • It’s not an ideal setup since more equipment, ANOTHER hub and a 24/7 android is needed.
  • You can use webcore to send raise/lower and a delayed stop command to half open the blind.
  • Although the blind says it will work with Sonoff RF hub (which would have made it much easier since this supports IFTTT) it DOES NOT!! It will not recognise the remote commands.
  • I looked at many other options and I actually have a ASP2866 wifi device and some RF receiver/transmitters on the way. This is to replace the Broadlink RM and the android device. The idea is to use my synology server as a MQTT broker and pass commands through the ESP2866 to the RF transmitter. Although I’ve never touched MQTT so if anyone is in the mood for helping and likes to tinker, let me know :slight_smile: I’ll be happy to provide myself for testing.

(Aldo) #9

hey Fizzymartini, are those compatible with Smartthings ?? I went to the web page and looks interesting…