“By using a simple setup, we can accomplish everything we’d want in a Smart Curtain while keeping things cheap and easy. Wins all around.
Smart devices are easier to make than ever as more resources become available for them and opening/closing the curtains every day feels like the perfect task for a robot. The goals are to not only activate the curtains on command, but also to determine the time of sunrise and sunset such that the curtains can just run autonomously from now on. Of course, if we’re adding nice-to-have’s anyway, we may as well throw in some additional features like Theater-Mode. The existing solutions are pretty pricey (looks like $250-300 from a quick browse, and also need at least an additional covering to hide the tracks), so you’ll be happy to know this will cost a tiny fraction of that. What we’re building it from is part of the fun as well.
Over time, the age old question of “where the heck did all this random junk come from??” becomes a more and more prevalent one as we accumulate stuff. Fortunately, it’s pretty fun to repurpose it; like a puzzle of sorts. We’ll be using items you likely have around the house to make a minimalistic Smart Curtain. As much as upcycling parts for a Smart Curtain may raise some eyebrows, no one wants to add an eyesore to their home for fun, myself included. What we’re putting together today is hardly noticeable and works great, so let’s get into it.
In addition to the upcycled parts, we do need some electronics. And hey, even these may be part of an old project in need of repurposing as well! I’ve provided affiliate links to the exact parts that I used (I promise to use all 8 cents I get for future projects like this ). Here are the electronics we’re using:
- ESP8266 (microcontroller)
- L298N (for controlling the motor)
- 12V DC Motor
- Barrel plug adapter (for connecting the L298N to its power supply)
In terms of the items you may have lying around your garage that we’re repurposing, here’s what I used. A lot of it should be things that are pretty interchangeable with items most people will have, so this won’t need to be overgeneralized. The fishing line can be any string that’s strong enough and looks nice enough to be visible, the metal bracket could be anything similar or something like a shelf support, etc.
- Strong fishing line (it has to be extra strong line - normal fishing line will break)
- Wood pieces
- Wheel (something for the string to rotate on)
- Binder clip”