Author Topic: Planning for future motorized shades  (Read 10814 times)

Offline arthurmck

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Planning for future motorized shades
« on: July 29, 2011, 06:18:53 pm »
Here's my situation.   I'm moving into a new house and need to purchase window shades.  I want to eventually do motorized shades but it doesn't look like that's in the budget right now.  Am I able to purchase window shades now and later make them motorized?   Are there specific shades I need to purchase or certain types that work better with this?

Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 06:54:37 pm »
I will assume you are looking at roller shades as that is what I can best provide advice about.  It is possible to purchase manual shades now and later convert them to motorized.  The brackets may change and the spacing between brackets, so if you are going to inside mount into a window frame (which restricts your measurement to the width of the frame) then you would want to be sure to take that into consideration.  You will probably have to have a conversation with the fabricator of the shades, either through your dealer or directly, to find out what the options are.  It may be possible to order the shades with the deductions for a motorized system, but the components for a manual system (Which may look not wide enough in the window, unitl you go motorized later at which time the brackets would spread out to fill the opening).  Motorized deductions are typically greater than manual deductions, but you might be able to find something that is close to equal.  If you outside mount (over and above the window), then you'd typically overlap the opening and you have more flexibility for the width changes between manual and motorized systems.

The other thing to consider is the tube.  The tube needs to be compatible with the motor and the manual systems, or plan on replacing the tube at which point you want to make sure that the fabric attachment would be the same or compatible between the two different tubes.  As a last resort you can tape the fabric on the tube with double sided tape (lower quality fabricators use packing tape or duct tape), but you may find higher quality fabricators use a spline system to attach the fabric for easy removal/service.

What style of window covering were you interested in?  Roman shades could be easy to motorized later by adding a motor/tube assembly and possibly a wider board for it to mount to.   Wood blinds could be motorized later but would require a different headrail and should be ordered with the lift cords in the proper placement for motorized.  Specialty cellular shades are the same way.
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Offline DANNER

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 02:43:15 pm »
I'm interested in this as well.  I'm doing a remodel and would like my contractor to setup for motorized shades.

In particular, I'm wondering what sort of wiring for power should I have them install?

Also, Is there a good list of motors and rollers I could purchase?

Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2011, 02:49:41 pm »
The different options between different manufacturers is staggering, with tubes, motors, fabric, there are a lot of choices.

I'd ask your self if you want Z-Wave controlled shades to enable opening to percentages and receive confirmation of movement or if you are OK with just up/stop/down with no confirmation of movement.

If you want Z-Wave then that narrows things down, there are standard motors with an added Z-Wave motor controller (AC or DC) and then there are smarter ($$$) motors that add a Z-Wave interface.

If you to want wait and see what is happening with the Somfy ZRTSI and what functionality it will provide or if it will even be available outside of Tahoma system, then that may take some time.
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Offline DANNER

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2011, 07:13:34 pm »
I'd ask your self if you want Z-Wave controlled shades to enable opening to percentages and receive confirmation of movement or if you are OK with just up/stop/down with no confirmation of movement.
I think I'd be okay with up/stop/down with no confirmation.  I would mainly like to integrate my shades into a scene: So had the shades in the bedroom come up in the morning or have the living room shades close when I want to watch a movie.

In that case what would be some good options?

Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 07:50:28 pm »
Somfy RTS (Radio Technology Somfy) works well through Vera using the Somfy Blind Plug-In and a Somfy URTSI connected via an RS232/USB cable.  Of the 16 channels on the URTSI, you can pick which ones populate into child devices of the plug-in in the UI.  Each child device is a window covering device with a slider (non-functioning for RTS), and a drop-down menu with commands up/stop/down (buttons if you open the device's config page).  These will work in scenes, I will double check to be sure.

The URTSI alone will set you back close to $400, but you'll typically be saving money by going with Somfy over other motors like Lutron.  Somfy RTS is available from any WC shop, and works with their controls and accesories.  Motors are available in AC or DC versions, quiet or standard noise levels.  Also all RTS motors have an intermediate stop (a "My" position) activated through Vera by issuing a 'stop' command if the shade is already stopped.

Also you are not limited to roller shades, as the same motors can be used to motorized romans and slatted blinds.  If you want something completely quick and DIY, then I have seen some eBay retailer trying to sell custom shades, but you'd have to figure out the integration into Vera.  Possibly a serial relay board wired to the buttons on a remote triggering radio commands (Somfy has a similar single channel RTS interface which is just wires soldered to the guts of a remote control too for $67, BTW).
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Offline DANNER

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2011, 08:31:37 pm »
Somfy RTS (Radio Technology Somfy) works well through Vera using the Somfy Blind Plug-In and a Somfy URTSI connected via an RS232/USB cable.  Of the 16 channels on the URTSI, you can pick which ones populate into child devices of the plug-in in the UI.  Each child device is a window covering device with a slider (non-functioning for RTS), and a drop-down menu with commands up/stop/down (buttons if you open the device's config page).
Cool.  

So how do you connect the URTSI to the Vera 2.  There is no USB jack in the URTSI.  In the URTSI manual there is an RJ45 Jack that says it's for RS232.  Would I use a USB to RS232 cable then another RS232 to Ethernet cable to make the connection?  Seems overly complex.

What about wiring for the motors?  What sort of power or outlets need to be installed on the wall next to the motors for these to work?
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:44:07 pm by DANNER »

Offline DANNER

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2011, 07:56:01 pm »
Thanks for your PM Shady.  Still don't have the ability to PM ppl yet >:(

Sounds like 3-wire 100VAC will work to power the motor.

Looks like Somfy makes a RS232 to RJ45 connector:

And USB to R232 Converters are pretty common



Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 08:22:37 pm »
Looks like Somfy makes a RS232 to RJ45 connector:

Sorry @DANNER I forget to check your post count before sending PM's, I just thought I could answer specific questions off thread.  It sounds like you understand what is required.  There are low voltage motor (12 and 24VDC) options too, if 110VAC is a problem or difficult to run.

Somfy doesn't make the DB-9 to RJ45 adapter shown in your link, you can get those at any electronics store for $2-3 (not $17) and then do the pins yourself.
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Offline Kristopher

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2011, 09:03:02 pm »
@shady,

Sorry if my other post is kind of a duplicate of this one.  Are you saying that one could get a set of Somfy RTS motors, which will pair with a URTSI, and then you just plug that URTSI into the Vera2? What do those RTS motors cost on average (I'm just looking to tilt).

Kristopher


Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 10:27:39 pm »
@Kristopher

Sorry I missed your post there, but here's a late reply.  The RTS motors are reasonably priced and convenient with all of the accessories available.  They might be the most widely sold tubular motor, as they are used in awnings and window coverings alike.  They have smaller RTS motors for just tilting, (depending on the size of window) for normal sized windows you'd probably have your headrail motorized with a Somfy CT32 or similar which just tilts and is compatible with their Modulis Remote with a scroll wheel to tilt (pretty cool).  I'm not sure how tiliting would work through an URTSI and Vera though, it may just allow you to go full open, full tilt close, and possibly a MY position in between, but you could still have the Somfy remote for granular movements.
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Offline mysticjay

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 10:29:50 pm »
Could someone share where to start with Z-waving blinds / drapery?

1. Z-Wave enabled motor I suppose

I'm not sure after that...

Thank you...
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Offline mysticjay

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 10:39:00 pm »
I may as well post the whole thing here - This post looks more relevant.

1. It appears a Z-wave enabled motor control?

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/ZWAVE-DRAPERY-CONTROL/Z-wave-enabled-load-monitoring-DC-MOTOR.html

2. So ...What motor to use...
http://www.discounthomeautomation.com/Add-A-Motor-Drapery-Control-Motor-AAD80
It says add a motor for drapery or vertical blinds

I dont know how to put it all together though  
I'd like to try it - If I get some help from anyone who've installed it previously. Any help would be appreciated.
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Offline mysticjay

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 10:41:35 pm »
1. It appears a Z-wave enabled motor control?

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/ZWAVE-DRAPERY-CONTROL/Z-wave-enabled-load-monitoring-DC-MOTOR.html

2. So ...What motor to use...
http://www.discounthomeautomation.com/Add-A-Motor-Drapery-Control-Motor-AAD80
It says add a motor for drapery or vertical blinds

I dont know how to put it all together though   ;D
I'd like to try it - If I get some help from anyone who've installed it previously. Any help would be appreciated.
Vera 2 (1.1.1338), Trane TZEMT400BB3,ML IWD600S(2), ML IWS1000S(2) , FI8905W, Aeon DSB04100-ZWUS, GE 45609(2), GE 45606(2), GE 45608, GE 45614 (5), LFM-20(2), Kwikset 99100-011 (5) , Hawking HRMD1, Droid X and Xoom as Remotes, Harmony Link

Offline shady

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Re: Planning for future motorized shades
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2011, 10:50:33 pm »
I am not sure how the ADD A MOTOR works with the DBMZ you have linked to.  The DBMZ is designed for DC motors that are bi-directional (if you reverse polarity it moves in the opposite direction) and works great to be able to calibrate the motor's travel time using its load sensing ability, so the controller "knows" roughly where the motor is based on its run time.  Also it allows you to get feedback to Vera as to its position.

The ADD A MOTOR may be able to work, but it says it can work with a simple light timer so it must be doing something with its internal switching (it may be possible to bypass the internal switching or configure it to work off of a double-throw switch, which would be the same as using a DBMZ).

Any DC motor with a voltage in the range of the controller, that you can connect to a double-throw switch and operate it in either direction should work with the DBMZ and allow for calibration and feedback information.
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