Automation

All posts tagged Automation

In this project we explore how to add automatic window control for a relatively cheap price to your car. I have a 2003 civic and due to its age it doesn’t have any of these features built in. It has one touch auto down for the driver window, like many cars. But I wanted auto down and auto up like luxury cars of its period. I also wanted to roll my windows up, or down, from my car’s remote/key fob. Many cars these days in the mid to high price range come with both of these features stock. Not only are these upgrade cool, but they’re useful. For one, just being able to hop out of my car, and hit lock and know that my windows will be up on their own is nice. Also on hot sunny days it’s nice to be able to crack the window an inch or two, or drop them down all the way as I approach to let the car air out.

A pleasant side effect of doing this project is it turns all of your driver side window switches into one touch auto up and auto down switches. The passenger switch will still work but won’t be automatic. IF you wanted the passenger side to be automatic, you would have to run a pair of wire from it, back to this DIE530t control unit.

4680394203_35f77a618c_zLink to the full manual: http://www.directed.com/guides/manuals/ig/accessories/N530T_1-00.pdf

The install is pretty simple so don’t let the instruction manual fool you. Follow the tutorial posted below. One issue with this guy’s tutorial is he decided to pop the door panel and wire this unit closer to the wires at the switch panel and motor. Although this is easier as far as figuring out which wire is which, ultimately it is completely unnecessary. When you open your door and look near the hinges you will see a black rubber tube going from the door to your car. This tube or hose contains all the electrical wiring going to your door panel. If you see my point here you will realize you can wire everything up under your drivers kicker panel behind the steering wheel. All you have to do is find where those wires coming in from that tube goes, and which wire does what. These wires are in a harness that just clips into a connector. That is where you should wire everything from. However popping the door panel to initially trace the wiring is probably the easiest thing.

zzzzzPanelIf you try this project and want to get your door panel off, do yourself a favor and invest in a panel popper. You can get these at your local automotive store, they’re cheap, and because they’re purpose built for doing just this very thing, they work like magic. It’ll look something like one of these on the right.

If you’re too cheap or impatient to get one of these, you can use a butter knife, but you’ll probably break a few tabs. But at the end of the day the door panel will probably go back on fine. They put more tabs than required for a solid fit.

My last bit of advice is instead of tying into an existing 12v source found under your dash, run a wire from the battery. You might already have a wire if you have a subwoofer/speaker amp or a carpc. I found that when I tied into an existing power source, it wasn’t delivering enough amperage, and in cold weather the window motor was under powered.

How-To install DEI530t: http://home.comcast.net/~c_wrzesniewski/windowsmod.htm
How-To then install PAC TR-7: http://www.rx8club.com/series-i-do-yourself-forum-73/diy-auto-up-down-windows-factory-key-fob-168029/
Additional installation instructions and photos: http://forums.clubrsx.com/showthread.php?t=177722

Parts:

Videos of others who have done this project

arduino-logo1

I just wanted to do a post giving a big thanks to all those in the arduino.cc community. Every since I’ve posted my project on their user’s WIKI I’ve been getting steadily 10 times the traffic I used to, every day.

http://playground.arduino.cc/projects/arduinoUsers

And I can see that many of them are also looking at my other non-Arduino projects. I would love to hear from the community and know what kind of stuff interests them.

I’ve only been using Arduino’s for a couple of months now but I’ve quickly become addicted. I have some more projects on the way…

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This video below shows all the parts and how I’ve connected the servo.

This is the pull string for “manual” control

Well the fun keeps on coming, and by now you should see that the running theme in my world is many competing projects. Which is why you’ll often see me post new cool stuff before I properly tie off the loose ends with existing stuff. So for that I apologize for not completing many tutorials and postings of source code. I also have a day job you know 😛

Annnyway stand back witness a very cool project that literally took me less than an hour to prototype. And the prototype isn’t that far from the complete project. For a long time now I wanted automated window blinds, because to me, blinds are pretty useless on their own. I don’t open them when it’s sunny, and if I do, I forget to close them for privacy when it’s dark. Can’t this just happen for me? Like come on.

There are solutions available but clearly the other theme to my blog is cheap. If I had to pay for premium home automation, I simply wouldn’t do it. I may be lazy but I’m even more so cheap.

I successfully converted existing blinds in my house to automated blinds with many features for about $35-40. The blinds themselves cost about $35-40. So all in all this is a cheap upgrade for what you get.

What my blinds do (aka what sensors does it have). My window blinds will:

  • Open when it’s day light, and close when the sun goes down. This is accomplished EASILY with a $1 Light Dependent Resistor.
  • Will close partially when it’s a very hot day. Accomplished by a $1 Thermal sensor model TMP36.
  • Open or close blinds to any degree I wish using my logitech harmony remote (or any remote), accomplished by an IR Receiver for $1.
  • Open “manually” by waving hand near top of blind using a IR motion sensor

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I am operating the blinds using a servo, which is a type of geared electric motor. They are about $9.

I’m doing this all through an Arduino, it’s cheap, super easy to use and has great tutorials for all of the features I’ve mentioned above. All I can take credit for is combining the tutorials and adding some basic logic. If you know any programming/scripting language this will probably be a breeze.

The beauty of the Arduino is you don’t need to buy all the stuff I listed, you can just pick what you need and roll with it. IF you want what I want, it’s a few bucks more here or there.

Lastly (and I’ll add better details later), I was able to do this so easily because I had room to work within the header of my blinds. I’ve watched 6 examples of similar projects online, and not to knock them, they all look ugly. Many of them have components exposed and usually this is because they are retrofitting thin, half inch, cheap blinds. And I ask why put this kind of effort and money into $10 blinds, especially if it will look harsh on the eyes after? Go get yourself some nice blinds, 2″ faux or real wood. They look good and because of the size of the blinds there is plenty of room up top to hide all your gear.

You can find my Arduino source code AND diagrams on github:
https://github.com/ssshake/arduino

Parts List:
 - 2" Venetian Blinds (Faux or Real Wood)
 - Arduino UNO or preferably an Arduino Mini
 - Servo (Any standard RC car servo should do)
 - Photocell / Light Dependent Resistor
 - 10k resistor
 - Some wires

Optional:
 - 90 Degree Servo Mount
 - TMP36
 - 38Khz IR detector

Perma Link: https://homeawesomation.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/automated-window-blinds-with-arduino/

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