Remote control your blinds


I was dredging my brain for interesting topics to cover and this vertical blind hack popped into my head. The page isn’t the prettiest, but it’s the hack that counts. The mechanism is constructed from PC board. A motor fitted with a ball chain drive gear pulls the chain in either direction. When the end of travel is reached, a micro-switch is triggered by the stand off that’s actuated by the chain. The motor is driven by a pair of relays that latch to form a simple direction control. When power is triggered on or off, the motor starts moving until the stop is triggered.

12 thoughts on “Remote control your blinds

  1. I’ve been planning to rig a motor to my curtains and trigger it with my alarm clock so that I might actually notice when the sun comes up.

    Maybe this is a sign to get off my arse and do it.

  2. Curtains is a good idea, although for simplicity I was thinking about just sticking a 300W floodlight over my bed and tying that to the alarm. Light wakes me up a lot better than noise, in the long term.

  3. Back in High School, i could never wake up on time (6:30am) so I just bought a digital security time and hooked it up to a few halogen lights directly above my bed. I set the lights up to turn on about 5 minutes after my alarm. They were so bright and disorienting that I’d get out of bed right away just to avoid the hellish beams. But this looks good for my new apt, I’d much rather wake to natural light than 300 W shining down.

  4. Looks neat, and very simple. Seems rare to see any purely mechanical devices anymore. Everyone just programs an PIC. But I can’t tell what the springs are for, can someone clue me in?

  5. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I could never find the ball-chain gear.

    *** Where can I buy/acquire ball-chain gears? ***

    Also, this hack was posted on usenet in 1997, apparently.

    @ comment 7: the ball-chain must have stops that, when the proper place on the chain is reached, push the arms down, triggering the switches and turning off the motor

  6. #12, the answer is in the article:

    “I also called Levelor, the maker of the blinds, and requested extra ball-chain gears. These are identical to the gear which allows the ball-chain type rope to control the movement (tilt) of the blinds. I adapted this gear to the reduction gear assembly output and simply slid the blind’s ball-chain onto the gear which I had mounted to the motor assembly.”

  7. Any chance of modding this for rod-controlled tilt of horizontal blinds? There used to be a device on the market a few years ago, but I can’t find it anymore.

    - A

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