Motorized blinds with Moteino

James from snorp.net looked into automated blinds but when he saw the eye watering prices he decided to make his own wireless motorized blinds. He posted a great detailed tutorial to do just that. The result is motorized blinds automation device that is wireless, low power and costs just $40 for the DIYer. This is a blast considering commercial devices can cost upwards of 10x or more. Here are the highlights of his project:

  • after experimenting with Bluetooth, he decided to use Moteino a try for it’s ability to use ListenMode and make the project very low power
  • the chosen motor was the 28BYJ-48 stepper motor for its low cost ($2), quiet operation and fine control ability
  • he used Fritzing to design a simple yet very elegant shield to host his motor driver and Moteino and posted the schematic, layout and BOM then fabbed the PCBs at MakerStudio:
  • the whole assembly is pretty compact, it uses a 4xAA pack to yield a consumption of just 46µA while running the motor an average 12s/day, that comes to a theoretical 7 years life on a set of high quality 4xAAs. In real life that should last at least 2 years. Here’s what it looks like assembled and installed:

And a demo of it in operation:

4 thoughts on “Motorized blinds with Moteino

    • Sorry but probably would be too complex and costly to make it worth it for the simple function. Since it’s a device that is seldom used, it’s much simpler to just pop some AA battteries in/out every year or so when they run out.

  1. Felix, this inspired me to make my own, and not use James’ design. My board is all ready, using RFM69 HCW 915 MHz, controlled by bare bones Arduino Uno (Atmega 328P, ceramic caps and a crystal). The hcw listens for signal from central module and then the mcu controls the stepper. Is there a way to reduce power consumption for the hcw? Jay

    • There are different ways, depends on what you really mean. During RX you time slots for listening (aka “listen mode” but the hardware listen mode seems to be unreliable so some folks have implemented this manually), during TX you use only as much power as required (see RFM6_ATC).

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