How to make your own electric roller blinds

Electric roller blinds are often expensive, which is unfortunate and unnecessary.
It’s unfortunate, because electric curtains offer many advantages:

– They are safe for children and comply with the current European guidelines
– They are easy to operate – no hassle with cords, just one press of a button
– You can make them work automatically – so they go down when it gets too light (via a sensor), close and open at a time of your choice (via a wireless clock) or they can be operated through an app (with Tahoma operating system).

But how do create them yourself?

It’s not difficult; as long as you know what parts you need and how to assemble them. You will learn all of that here.

1. What parts do you need?

We assume that you will need everything, so we provide you with a complete list of parts. If you decide that you do not need the fabric, because you already have some, you can remove this from the list.
First, let’s first have a look at the list.
OK, here we go:
1. Hollow shaft – preferably with double-sided tape and an edge
2. Shaft plug with coupling – to put the shaft at the non-engine side on the brackets
3. Engine with engine mount
4. Adapter set – matching the shaft
5. Supply – many motors are 12V engines
6. Control – a remote control, time clock or even an entire operating system
7. Fabric
8. Mounting brackets with covering caps.

1. The shaft

The shaft is important, it should not only provide plenty of space, but must also be easy to use when attaching the fabric.

To attach the fabric, there are two things that are important:
1. A strip with double-sided tape, to make sure the fabric is secure and can be easily attached.
2. A stop, i.e. an edge, against which you can lay the fabric, so that the fabric will be perfectly straight on the shaft.

We are using a 38 mm shaft with stop and pre-sticked double-sided tape. This will make it easier to place the fabric fast and perfectly straight on the shaft.

2. The shaft plug

The shaft plug is especially helpful with the simple assembly of the shaft with engine in the wall / wall brackets.
If the plug is telescopic, you can move it, so the assembly will be easier and there won’t be too little space. Just make sure the shaft is shorter than the required space, otherwise there won’t be much room for sliding.
3. The engine and engine mount
There is a whole range of engines that can be used. The right choice depends on:
– The space in the shaft – the bigger the shaft diameter, the more engines will fit
– The available adapter kits – there are no adapter sets for each combination tube + engine
– The control – with switch / home automation system or with remote control
– The type of supply you want to provide: either batteries, so you won’t need an electricity point, or 220 always available.

A good option we would like to recommend is the Somfy Roll up wirefree 28 RTS.

This is a 12V motor, powered by rechargeable batteries or a transformer. A solar cell is also an option.
Another advantage is the option to control the motor remotely through the built-in radio receiver.
Through the wireless reception it is also easy to connect a sensor that will close the blinds automatically when sunlight gets too bright.
Also, you can connect a wireless time clock, allowing the curtain to open and close automatically at determined times.
And of course it would be possible to control your blinds from a smartphone, tablet or PC via Tahoma.

4. The adapter set

The adapter set consists of an adapter (crown) and a driver.
They ensure that the engine fits perfectly into the tube.
So the adapter set is specifically designed for the engine where it belongs to, as well as for the shaft in which it fits.
The combination of shaft, engine, and adapter set is one of the most difficult things to find, so make sure you always buy the adapter set, shaft and engine as a combination. It’s very frustrating to find a tube, only to discover there is no matching adapter.
We deliver an adapter set for the 38 mm tube that fits perfectly with the Roll Up wire free RTS. This way, you will be sure to get the correct parts.

5. The power supply

Because the engines are so small, they are almost always 12 V engines.
With the Roll up 28 RTS, you will have the following options for the supply:

A. A sleeve with rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable batteries will make things easier for you, because you won’t need to have a power outlet near the blinds.
Plus, you don’t need to recharge them on a daily or weekly basis, they last for months. We cannot give you the exact time you need to recharge them, this depends on the size of the blinds and on the amount of times a day you let them up or down .
It has a charger that you can connect directly to the battery sleeve, so you don’t need to remove the batteries from the sleeve in order to charge them.

B. A transformer

A transformer enables the engine to be plugged directly into the socket.
The Somfy 12V transformer, shown here, comes with a 3 meter long cable. A long cable ensures that you can properly hide the cable. Furthermore, a long cable enables you to use an outlet that is further away.

C. A Solar panel

A solar panel is a convenient way to recharge your engine.
This package consists of a sleeve with rechargeable batteries. These batteries will be recharged by the solar panel.
By using the solar cell, you don’t need to use a separate charging cable and your curtains will always be able to function immediately.

6. The control

There are several options for the control. However, you should keep in mind that the smallest engines all have a built-in receiver. Therefore, it’s not possible to control them with home automation.

If you have tubes that are slightly bigger, the engines can be connected directly to 220V. These are controlled by a switch, but if you eliminate the switch, you can connect these engines to a home automation system.
Because most engines are Somfy RTS engines (there are no IO solutions yet), we will now discuss the control options for RTS engines:

A. Remote control

First and foremost, you will need a remote control to adjust the engine. This is how you connect the remote control. Establish the ultimate roll-in and roll-out point (and if desired a preferred position, or “My” position).
Apart from that, you will use the remote control for the everyday control of the blinds. Here you can choose whether you use one remote control for one or more blinds / engines.

You can also choose a one-channel transmitter or a multi-channel transmitter. On each channel, you can control one or more engines. With a multi-channel transmitter you can control a number of curtains separately, while you use one channel for simultaneously opening and closing a group of curtains.
Options that are often selected are:

1. Telis 1 RTS
Hand-held transmitter with one channel for controlling one or more rolling blinds simultaneously

2. Smoove Origin RTS

Transmitter for wall mounting for controlling one or more blinds simultaneously – €39.50.
This most closely resembles a normal light switch, as you have on the wall.

3. Telis 4 RTS

Hand-held transmitter with five channels. This allows you to control up to five blinds or groups. – €53.95
Ideal for four blinds, you can use four channels to control each blind individually, and you can use channel 5 to open and close them as a group.

4. Telis 6 RTS

The Telis 6 RTS is a perfect remote control for installations with up to six blinds. This remote control combines six channels with time control.

This means you can control all the curtains individually (six blinds or five blinds and one group channel for all), but you can also include them all in a time control. That means that curtains will open and close automatically at determined times.

5. Telis 16 RTS

If you have many curtains to control, the Telis 16 RTS will be your best solution.
It allows you to control 16 blinds or groups.

B. Sensors

Sensors give you the option to automatically let your blinds down when something happens.
That “something” may be too much sunlight entering the room, or the temperature getting too high.
The Sunis Indoor RTS measures the amount of sunlight; the thermos unis lets you set a combination of light and temperature.
The sensor can be used together with a remote control, so you don’t have to choose one option. You can use both options simultaneously.

C. Time control

You can automatically open or close your blinds at determined times.
This can be done through a wireless time clock. We have a number of options:

1. Chronis Easy RTS

Wireless time control, once up and once down each day. It is possible to control one or more blinds simultaneously.

2. Chronis Smart RTS

Wireless time control, once up and once down each day. It is possible to control one or more blinds simultaneously.
This also includes a weekly program, as well as the option to close when the sun goes down.

3. Chronis Comfort RTS

Wireless time control, once up and once down each day. It is possible to control one or more blinds simultaneously.
Opening and closing according to sunrise and sunset.
Additional option to connect to a sun sensor.

D. Control through smartphone, PC or tablet – option with the widest range of possibilities

If you would like to have the most comprehensive control and automation of your blinds, Tahoma would be your best option.
If you install the system on your PC it allows you to control on time, on input from a sensor, or directly from your smartphone, PC or tablet.
Of course you can still use your normal remote controls.

7. The fabric for the blinds

Obviously, you also will need fabric for your blinds.
You can buy fabric separately (we can deliver this – please send us an email at info@rolluikshop for colors and prices), but it is also possible to transfer the fabric from a hand-operated roller blind.

There are many different types of fabrics available, from transparent to light proof.

No matter what fabric you choose, make sure there is some weight at the bottom. This can be in the form of a bottom frame, but you can also place a loop in the fabric with some weight inside.
This is in order to roll out the fabric correctly when you roll it down. In addition, the weight creates a level hanging fabric when the blind is rolled out and it prevents the fabric from flapping when there is wind (or draft)

8. The brackets

Obviously, the blinds should be assembled, and therefore you will need brackets.
The brackets usually consist of two parts:
– One metal base
– One or more covering caps that provide a finished look

The brackets are different at the engine side and at the non-engine side.

You will need a coupling piece to take care of the connection with the engine; on the other side there is a coupling piece that takes care of the connection with the shaft plug.

Conclusion

With the right parts it is easy to create your own electric blinds, with an extensive choice of sizes, fabrics and ways to control the blinds.
You can order all these components as one package, to make sure everything fits.

If you have any doubts, or if you would like to receive a quote, please fill out the form here.