Clever Mechanism Easily Automates Pulling The Blinds

an image of the mechanism used to move the curtains

There are few things that we all can agree we hate, and the shrill of your alarm clock waking you from a wonderful slumber is definitely high on that list. To wake up more naturally, [nutstobutts] created an automated curtain opener.

the automated curtain's driving motor

The curtain opener is very simple; a stepper motor in the control box pulls a string, which is run to an idler on the far side of the curtain rod and through two clips, attached to the back of each curtain. This design makes it so that both curtains will open smoothly at the same time, and will always come closed again directly in the center. This design is especially favorable for students in dorms or those that live in an apartment, as the installation requires no screws in the wall or permanent modification to the curtains.

The curtains can be opened and closed either by pressing a button on the control box or by sending HTTP requests to the ESP32 that controls everything. This allows for integration with many different IoT systems, for instance [nutstobutts] has been having Home Assistant open the curtains every morning at 6:30 a.m. in lieu of an alarm clock, and then closing them automatically at 9:00 a.m. to help save on cooling costs.

Automated curtains are a great first IoT project if you are looking to just get your feet wet, check out a different style we covered a few months back for more inspiration!

[via r/functionalprint]

15 thoughts on “Clever Mechanism Easily Automates Pulling The Blinds

  1. Adhesive rips a hole in the wall surface when removed, not exactly non-destructive. I’d slide a metal shim behind the trim to avoid holes in the wall. Or make a flat metal extension mounted under the curtain rod holder bracket with screws that are already there.

    1. Not sure it needs any – once it reaches max state in that direction the string will slip or stepper stall both harmless enough. Should be sufficient to correct for power outages and manual moves I would think.

    1. You can get ‘silent’ stepper drivers, which really do work quite well, and would fit in this application fine I would think…

      Still with you on that score though, even ‘silent’ steppers make a noise I’d rather not listen to, though it might not be audible over the curtain – I know my curtain makes one hell of a racket when its moved… Either way still better than an alarm clock screaming away though…

      1. I don’t know if you’re speaking of trinamic stepper drivers, but I’ve installed some on my 3d printer and I can’t hear a thing when it’s moving, it’s really impressive! (And recommend them 120%)

        But maybe I was just biased by how loud they were before and indeed make some noise.. although as you pointed out, with curtains it will be quite negligible !

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