Automatic blind opener

blinds

[Contraptionmaker] ran into a problem when putting plastic insulation over his windows during the winter. When you cover the windows from the inside to prevent drafts, your access to the stick that opens the blinds is cut off. His solution was to build an automatic blind opener from a cordless drill. He started with some motors he had around the house, but none of them were strong enough. The final solution was a $10 Black & Decker drill. After removing the handle and trigger to extend it, he made a simple wall mount for it. You may notice him soldering some batteries into it, in his directions. Those are just for backup, in case the power goes out. You can see a video of it in action after the break. If you want something triggered by an alarm, or for a different type of blind, we may be able to help you out.

Comments

  1. polymath says:

    pretty sweet. I think I’ll wire one to my alarm clock.

  2. qoncept says:

    Fine, but, uh, who wants that eyesore in their window?

  3. DanS says:

    eye sore? that’s a decorating style. i call it ‘post apocalyptic’.

  4. Todd Grigsby says:

    I’ve got blinds in my living room that are automated with a motor built into the blinds, and it even has a remote. While I think the innovation is interesting, I’m sorry to say it’s been done before and better. On the flip side, if you can make automatic remote controlled blinds like these on the cheap and list the parts as a DIY project, *that* would be cool.

  5. Max says:

    Interesting, I usually just poke a hole in the plastic

  6. andres says:

    @todd

    it doesnt matter if its been done before, or if its been done better, most people do this stuff for shits and giggles.

  7. Andy says:

    I think it’s pretty sweet. Sure I could buy one with a motor built in, but where’s the “Hack a Day” spirit in that. Right on amigo. Keep it up.

  8. Roamer Iron Lion says:

    Most inexpensive blinds have a cord inside the top piece which is attached to that stick which opens and closes the slats.
    This whole works can and will jam if moved too far. Like if you are using a strong motor on a timer.
    Sure you could use limit switches, but why not use split shot fishing weights to stop the cord and slats where you want them?

  9. No one says:

    How about some photo sensors to adjust the blinds as it got brighter outside. That would be pretty neat.

  10. Hi all! My name is ContraptionMaker and I built the blind opener. Thank you all for the comments but I have a couple responses.
    To qoncept:
    You could always build a box around it or cover it with a curtain, but this isn’t in my formal living room anyway.
    To Todd Grigsby:
    Ya, I could of bought pre-made ones too, but who wants to spend all that money on blinds? Besides that where’s the fun, the mental challange of doing your self? If you read my post at http://www.instructables.com/id/Automatic_Blind_Opener/ you will see I encourage anyone to improve on the idea.
    To Max:
    Then why bother with the plastic?
    To Roamer Iron Lion:
    I have built two of these and they are both on their second year with no problems at all! My wife does run them to far some times and all they do is make a clicking sound, she stops. they still work just fine.
    To no one:
    I agree
    To polymath, DanS, andres, Andy:
    Thanks!!!

  11. cde says:

    @ Roamer: This is to open the blinds, not raise them.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    Anyone seen my screwdriver?

    sonofa…

  13. Wwhat says:

    True in this setup it’s quite an eyesore, and those drills are like $35 here too :/
    But still, it’s a fun thing to do if you got a spare motor and some time and as said you can make a box around it if you do it yourself.
    Make sure it doesn’t automatically open while you are cooking meth or making an atomic bomb though :)

  14. SoundwaveHi says:

    now all we need are plans for 3 inch think metal zombie proof shutters, of course I’d have to live in a house for that, but shutters to keep zombies, homeless people, the government and them religious nuts out would be wicked…

  15. TenGees says:

    Hey contraptionmaker, I have an idea for your next project…

    Push button windows! run a threaded rod with the drill motor through a nut fastened to the window frame and voila! power windows.

    I haven’t seen those at walmart.

  16. Kyle says:

    Motors and blinds? I hope he doesn’t crank it the wrong way, and then try to force it.

  17. Greg says:

    I tried making an automatic window once. It involved an automatic baseball thrower that was aimed toward the window and on a timer. Turned out it was only a one time use. Opening the window was easy, getting it closed was a different story. All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn’t put my window back together again.

  18. travispulley says:

    My first thought was why not use a smaller, less expensive motor and employ some gearing? I know extra steps, added complexity and all that. Can’t say I’ve ever worked with gears other than small plastic toys and bicycles.

    I think it’d be easy though. Attach a large wheel to the bottom of the stick, and have a belt around that and the motor. I’d have some kind of collar around the stick and make sure everything was mounted sturdily.

    I’ve been thinking about this one for a while! It would be great to have it on a time so no one can see in your house at night, but it lets light in for the daytime.

  19. Yes, it looks a simple job, but effective.

  20. fartface says:

    It is easy to have the stick outside the plastic. did he read the instructions on how to do that? It’s included with every kit.

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