Absolute beginner seeking advice on automating unique set of blinds/shutters

Hello there, new friends!
My name is Jonathan and I’m a complete beginner. I have an Arduino Duemillanova I bought years ago and haven’t really played with more than once or twice.

I would like to automate my shutters, but they’re not exactly like most shutters you see. They operate using a lever system, which is very very easy to move (not a lot of strength needed). See photos for how the lever-operated blinds work

I would appreciate any help determining what components I need to buy (which servo? “servo controller”? power supply?) and possibly, if you’re feeling generous or want to participate in a fun project, help designing and coding the thing.

Project specs:

  • Servo motor will turn to move the lever every morning and let in natural sunlight
  • (Optionally), it would be cool to put a pulley system in place to allow the servo to also CLOSE the blinds every evening
  • Potentially operated by a timer?
  • If cost effective, it would be nice to be able to program it from a web interface
  • It would be super cool to be able to connect it to IFTTT so that I can, say, email my blinds to close them!

Any guidance as to which components I’ll need would be extremely helpful. I can probably figure out some of the code, but I’d also LOVE help on that, too.

Thank you so much!
JL

I spent years coding for people who would happily buy things and wanted to save money but when confronting with learning and doing would go out and buy more things which makes no sense.

Learn the code basics to save you from spending hours and hours writing reams of 'hard way' code.

Your IDE has Examples built-in. Try ones that you have hardware to work, many need no extra hardware, and skip the others. You will find them in your IDE File menu under Examples. Each one has some explanation on the Arduino site in the Learning menu, Examples, in the green bar you see at the top of this forum page.

Sections 1, 2 and 3, many require some small components and maybe a breadboard.

Skip 04.Communication since it was written to use C++ Strings that are a BAD HABIT on AVR's.

Cover and learn as much of section 05.Control as those are your biggest time and hair savers.

If you want to buy anything, see about buying a set of parts to run those Examples that need them, but work on another skill and Shop Around (including eBay) for parts. I can give you links....

Your project isn't out of the park but I see motor and sensor at minimum plus the code to run them together and a user button (and code) and/or other user control input method like IR remote (and code) plus any sensors used for automation like light/temperature, and code.

There is a Gigs and Collaborations section if you want to hire the job out but since you're here, I tell you the path of learning and doing.

Good luck, put in the work and succeed!

entreprenewer: Project specs:

  • Servo motor will turn to move the lever every morning and let in natural sunlight
  • (Optionally), it would be cool to put a pulley system in place to allow the servo to also CLOSE the blinds every evening
  • Potentially operated by a timer?
  • If cost effective, it would be nice to be able to program it from a web interface
  • It would be super cool to be able to connect it to IFTTT so that I can, say, email my blinds to close them!

I don't understand point 2. If point 1 works, why can't it also close the shutters ?

If a servo is sufficient to move the lever (and I suspect it should be) the rest is just programming. I suggest you start by doing some tests with a servo and some very simple Arduino code. See the servo sweep example that comes with the Arduino IDE.

Plus what @GoForSmoke said while I was typing.

...R

mechanically, you need to determine the power needed to move the lever. if you can mount a bracket where you hope to put the motor, and mount a pulley, you can connect them to some sort of weight, maybe a bucket, then add weights until the shutters move fully.

with the weight known, you can start to select a motor.

I would offer than a light sensor or LDR could be mounted so you can watch for the sun, then open the shutters when it is light outside.

then close them when it is dark.

all of this is beginners stuff.

GoForSmoke: There is a Gigs and Collaborations section if you want to hire the job out but since you're here, I tell you the path of learning and doing.

Good luck, put in the work and succeed!

I didn't realize there was such a section - thanks for pointing me to it. Over the years, I've discovered that coding frustrates me and isn't as good a creative outlet for me as, say, aerial photography or playing the guitar. I'll probably take the less noble road and head over to the gigs section and ask someone to help me do this for payment! ;)

Thanks! JL