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Anyone retrofitted automation to plantation shutters?

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  • ksum
    replied
    With MQTT you would use an MQTT Plugin on HomeSeer and set up an MQTT Broker. Both are available from the free mcsMQTT plugin. From there you end up with a HomeSeer device which can then control your shades. Use the HomeSeer Alexa integration to get Sunrise and Sunset Events with other options such as offsets. I have z-wave shades and use Sunrise or 7 AM, whichever is LAST for an event. Looking to add control to the one set of Plantation Shutters and add them to the same event.

    As for MQTT on an Arduino, it is fairly straight forward. There is a library and examples to send and receive messages. While writing this, I did a quick search and if you use MQTT you can also use Tasmota so now you do not need custom Arduino code: Tasmota Shutters and Blinds page. I personally might still be inclined to roll my own solution, but there is something to be said for spending my time on other projects.

    So the MQTT route keeps everything internal to your network. Alexa control is not direct but handled by HomeSeer, and does go to the cloud. I have no experience with Alexa/HomeSeer outside helping with some Node Red flows so I cannot provide input there.

    Don't take all this as anything more than information on using MQTT vs Arduino IoT, from an MQTT user's point of view.

    Leave a comment:


  • ianpeteravery@gmail.com
    replied
    Hi there, to be honest I don’t know much about MQTT, I chose the Arduino iot since it could link directly to Alexa which I felt would make things easier since we already have Alexa smart sockets. Also I’m hoping that the Alexa option will make sunrise and sunset automation easier rather than having to set timers or get day length from the internet myself. I didn’t want to rely on ambient light since we have a lot of security lights. It is possible to move the shutters against the servo in my current design, doesn’t seem to cause any damage.

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  • ksum
    replied
    Here is a Switchbot solution: https://gopro.com/v/Lv9nL5qDqpeD5 Personally I would need a second one to close them as well. The idea of using monofilament to move the shutter, though, means you could also manually control them. But you would not know their state in that case, unless you also add a sensor. Just showing a different idea I found.

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  • ksum
    replied
    Is the Arduino IoT better than using MQTT? I have not looked at the Arduino IoT stuff since it seems to need the cloud connection and I was already using MQTT on other Arduino projects.

    Leave a comment:


  • ianpeteravery@gmail.com
    replied
    Hi, it’s currently running off batteries, I’ve left it running for a few hours opening and closing so I think battery life should be ok. It also needs a battery for the Arduino and since that’s on all the time it might run down more quickly. I don’t know yet. The Arduino IOT has WiFi built in so that’s what I’ll use to remote control it.

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  • outbackrob
    replied
    Pretty cool! Could this run on batteries? If so and assuming on/off twice a day, how long do you think it would last on batteries? Future wireless control?

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  • ianpeteravery@gmail.com
    replied
    I'm working on automating the plantation shutters in my house using a retro fit solution rather than carving them up. I've managed a proof of concept using a micro servo attached to a shutter blade by a wire linkage. This gives me just over 90 degrees of movement which I think is ok as I can go from closed to fully open this way. I've used an Arduino to control the servo and have also shown that I can connect an Arduino IOT to my Amazon Alexa so putting these together I should be able to get Alexa to control the shutters. My next steps are to build a more robust mounting for the servo and I intend to 3D print this as the servo itself at the moment is just stuck to the shutters with sticky pads and looks a bit naff, also tends to fall off when it gets hot. The attachment of the wire to the shutter itself needs to be neater, the rubber band works but looks rubbish. Once the mechanics is done I'll link it to the Arduino IOT and hopefully have voice activated shutters. Attached is a video of the prototype.

    Leave a comment:


  • devoir
    replied
    My whole house is noting but PLANTION Shutter..... you grow to Love them.

    Interested in h0w to automate them.






    Devoir

    Leave a comment:


  • Cazbmw
    replied
    Originally posted by bradleyward View Post
    Ok, let’s revive this thread again.

    I’ve got plantation shutters I want to automate, and I have some ideas. I’m an Arduino hobbiest, so I’m thinking of attaching having a servo motor like used on a CNC device. It would drive a threaded rod attached inside the plantation shutters so as to be mostly invisible, but still externally attached (don’t want to hack up my shutters any more than I have to). The threaded rod once rotated by the servo motor would raise or lower a nut on the threaded rod. This nut would raise or lower a plastic fixture that connects to one of the actual shutters, forcing the shutter blade to move. The rest of the shutters would move because of the standard center rod that attaches all the shutter blades.

    I’m a software guy, so the Arduino part is no problem. I figure I’ll connect the Arduino controller to HomeSeer via MQTT, which I’m also quite familiar with.

    My weak point is 3D printing. I think to do a nice clean implementation it’s going to require a 3D printed piece that attaches to one blade of the plantation shutter and is driven by the threaded rod that is in turn driven by the servo motor. I understand the concepts of 3D printing but don’t really want to lean how to draft 3D parts to feed to a printer. I definitely don’t want to drop $500 or so for a decent 3D printer, but would be fine sending the 3D design file (STL file?) off to an online 3D printing fulfillment company.

    Anybody out there want to work with me on this? Anybody with 3D printing expertise?
    I’m game. Have a friend who does 3D printing and can whip some up. I need to be able to control 4 sets of shutters (all on the same window) via hopefully one controller and 4 different servos.

    Leave a comment:


  • bradleyward
    replied
    Ok, let’s revive this thread again.

    I’ve got plantation shutters I want to automate, and I have some ideas. I’m an Arduino hobbiest, so I’m thinking of attaching having a servo motor like used on a CNC device. It would drive a threaded rod attached inside the plantation shutters so as to be mostly invisible, but still externally attached (don’t want to hack up my shutters any more than I have to). The threaded rod once rotated by the servo motor would raise or lower a nut on the threaded rod. This nut would raise or lower a plastic fixture that connects to one of the actual shutters, forcing the shutter blade to move. The rest of the shutters would move because of the standard center rod that attaches all the shutter blades.

    I’m a software guy, so the Arduino part is no problem. I figure I’ll connect the Arduino controller to HomeSeer via MQTT, which I’m also quite familiar with.

    My weak point is 3D printing. I think to do a nice clean implementation it’s going to require a 3D printed piece that attaches to one blade of the plantation shutter and is driven by the threaded rod that is in turn driven by the servo motor. I understand the concepts of 3D printing but don’t really want to lean how to draft 3D parts to feed to a printer. I definitely don’t want to drop $500 or so for a decent 3D printer, but would be fine sending the 3D design file (STL file?) off to an online 3D printing fulfillment company.

    Anybody out there want to work with me on this? Anybody with 3D printing expertise?

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I had similar issue for a while. Finally I came up with a simple solution for my Norman shutters which have an invisible railing connecting all the slats. So I was able to pull out the middle slat and attach shaft to the end of slat and cog wheel on the other end of the shaft. Then attached stepper motor with cog wheel to the other cog wheel. Stepper motor can be controlled with a mobile app or from web browser. I am currently working on attaching light and temperature sensors so shutters would open or close depending on light and temperature levels set by the user along with scheduled open and close operations.

    Leave a comment:


  • jmaddox
    replied
    To my knowledge there is only one commercial solution for this. Norman shutters use an RF controller. With a bit of work you could capture the RF signals and use homeseer to transmit them. I think I remember a blog where someone opened up a spare remote and hard wired relays to the contacts to control the zones. Besides costing 50% to 100% more than non-motorized shutters each remote can only control 5 separate zones which some folks might find limiting if you want individual room control, or say top/bottom slat control.

    http://www.normanusa.com/NormanPerfectTiltRFetimer.asp

    A big downside to these shutters is that you no longer can manually adjust them without disengaging the motor first. (granted it's been a couple of years since I researched them so maybe that's been fixed) If a guest were to try to manually open/close the shutters it might strip the gears.

    The DIY approach of using a stepper motor still lets you manually adjust the shutters but then you have the whole DIY thing....

    Leave a comment:


  • spudz
    replied
    Sorry to revive this 4 year old thread but we have plantation shutters I would like to automate the tilting and it seems shuttereaze never actually came through to ship a product. It would have worked perfect for my use though. 4 years later are there any other options other the the DIY approach?

    Leave a comment:


  • Rupp
    replied
    Originally posted by gearyt View Post
    It looks like they are going to consider z-wave over zigbee
    Smart decision as the Z-Wave standard is light years ahead of ZigBee.

    Leave a comment:


  • gearyt
    replied
    Just received a reply from Kickstarter, It looks like they are going to consider z-wave over zigbee.. you can get in and specify z-wave only.. fyi

    geary

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