Automating Your Curtains with a PowerCord motor

elegant automating your curtains / drapes? What about having them close at dusk each day, or maybe having them open immediately at a specific time each morning.  having the capability to open as well as close your curtains can be a severe deterrant against break-ins whilst you’re away from your residential property too. together with a somewhat randomised replay of your typical everyday illumination routine it provides a home a extremely convincing resided in look.

Powercord – We bought a PowerCord series 1 (£184) as well as series 2 (£240) motor to replace our aging Butler Add-a-Motors.  The photos in this evaluation are of the larger motor (Series 2) which we’ve installed downstairs on a silent Gliss 5100 track which has two sets of two bends in it (inner bends in a bay window, plus reverse bends round the outside of the bay) as well as for half the year has extremely heavy full length lined velvet curtains which evaluate a overall of about 14-15KG.  This track/curtain combination did, believe it or not, work completely well with a Butler Add-a-Motor in spite of the truth that it looks as well as feels about as weedy as a gnats’ toe!

Installing – The PowerCord motors are trivial to install, with just 4 screws needed to connect them to the wall. There’s no modification possible of the installing setting other than getting the holes drilled in the ideal place, considering that there are holes in the backplate, not slots, so the motor setting cannot be changed in any way after fixing.

 New PowerCord series 2 next to the old Butler Add-a-Motor

We just used them as much as the wall, marked the hole positions, then drilled as well as fixed them in place. then looped the track cord around the pulley as well as changed the cord tension by means of the track itself. The pulley wheel has a groove in it which the cord sits in as well as therefore the pulley doesn’t seem to depend on the cord being taut in buy to exert sufficient friction.  There’s no modification within the motor of the cord tension either, that needs to be changed by means of the curtain track itself.  a lot of half-decent corded track will enable modification of the cord length although to be honest, during fitting as well as modification we ran ours a few times with a fair amount of slack in the cord loop as well as it didn’t seem to concern it one bit.  The units utilize a bog-standard IEC mains lead as well as plug into a common 13-amp socket.

The units find the end of travel by sensing when the motor has stopped moving when it hits the end of the track.  The level at which it senses the boosted resistance can be changed to account for extremely heavy curtains that cause a fair amount of tons on their own.

It’s worth pointing out that unlike some other electric curtain motors as well as rails these don’t do anything in action to a power cycle so putting them on an X10 module for example would be pointless.

Brute force – This new motor is about 5 times the size, as well as about 20 times the weight – it evaluates a ton! (well almost).  I don’t believe it would look out of location bolted to the front of a Landrover.  Needless to state with its power it runs this curtain completely quickly as well as it’s about twice as quick to travel across the window as the old Butler (maybe even a bit faster) with full travel taking just 3 seconds.   It is audible in operation nevertheless it’s quieter than the old Bultler motor as well as as it’s quicker the duration is shorter too.  As it sits behind our long curtains the noise is rather muffled too.

Interface to Automate – The system can be interfaced to lots of other systems utilizing their function made connection unit.  While it’s bit a lot more than a chocky block in a box it does have the all-important connector on it for the motor end, which looks extremely much like a 5-pin DIN style round connector.

Inside the connection Unit

While PowerCord offer their own variety of manage units (local switches, timers, etc) we of program want to add a lot more advanced logic, manage as well as automation.  So we always meant to manage them by means of our Comfort

intelligent safety system as well as our C-BUS setup.  From the connection box it’s wired back to a couple of spare relays on our comfort (one for open, one for close) each relay needs to pulse for 1 second to activate the motor.  These devoted manage lines are a happiness as they supply discrete open as well as close commands, there’s no faffing about with a toggle as well as trying to keep track of the specify of the curtains.  The connection box likewise has a discrete stop manage line as well, so in theory, it’s possible to stop the curtains part method if you desired to, however I haven’t bothered utilizing that choice at this point. (It’s not something I discover I want to do extremely often!).

Interfacing to comfort Relay Board

There’s likewise one more manage line called “SEQ” –this does a full open/close (or close/open) sequence, as well as again, I haven’t linked that line as much as comfort, considering that the comfort relay board has 4 relays on it, as well as by only linking up the open as well as close lines, I can fit two sets of curtain motors with a single relay board.

Curtain Bus – We programmed actions into comfort (4 events in total) which pulse the proper outputs as well as thereby open or close the curtains. There are events programmed to open/close them immediately at specific times of the day (some linked to sunrise/sunset, some are fixed times). There’s likewise a action in comfort which opens/closes the curtains trigerred by a counter value change, – this system allows us to have handbook manage over the open/close by means of C-BUS buttons (C-BUS group numbers map onto comfort counter numbers.  So when C-BUS group 22 switches on or off, comfort counter 22 modifications to value of 0 or 255). The C-BUS UCM makes this extremely easy, it’s all totally automatic as well as so whatever occurs on the CBUS network, comfort always understands about it immediately, as well as therefore can utilize it to activate actions.

Our Existing Saturn Switches

For the downstairs curtains, we’ve utilized two buttons on a Saturn switch, once again discrete open as well as close buttons – generally since in the C-BUS Saturn pre-labelled button caps there are a couple with “Open” & “Close” labels, however there isn’t a pre-labelled cap that’s proper for a single button that toggles them (no photos of curtains etc.). A great upgrade for the future right here would be to switch out the common Saturn switch as well as replace it with a DLT enabling our own custom-made graphic labels.

 Upgrade? – Saturns with DLT (Dynamic Labelling Technology)

Upstairs I have Neo’s as well as a mechanical Clipsal short-lived switch with a bus coupler behind it (a leftover from the poor old days of X-10 DIN Rail modules as well as earmarked to be replaced with a Saturn extremely soon).  In this situation I have utilized a single button for the curtains which toggles them. now both SWMBO as well as I have the capability to open or close the curtains from our private bedside C-BUS Neo’s, in addition to the wall switch by the door.

Remember the recently revealed C-Bus Shutter motor manage Relay as well for those of you that have C-Bus however no comfort setup.

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Conclusion – Our upstairs motor is significantly smaller than this as well as having seen them both in action, I’m quite sure that the smaller (Series 1) would nearly definitely have been appropriate for the heavier downstairs curtains too.  The PowerCord motors are definitely well engineered as well as their strong building must provide years of service.  Automating your curtains is a fun task as well as a quite directly ahead install.  provide it a try in your house too. (now closed down?)

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Last update on 2021-10-04 / affiliate links / pictures from Amazon product marketing API

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