Community made automated blinds [Help needed]

Hey guys! (Not sure which category fits best)

I would love to have my blinds automated. So far I’ve found two solutions:

  • Buy some really expensive blinds with a motor.
  • Wait for small companies to ship their products.

I’ve found these companies, that makes ‘aftermarket’ solutions for blinds:

  • AXIS
  • SOMA Smart Home

What they all have in common, is that their products isn’t ready yet to be sold. I’ve been in contact with MOVEZ which just keeps delaying their product. Right now it’s delayed by almost 300 days. (That’s why it’s a great idea to think before you back something on kickstarter/indiegogo). SOMA does not even answer. AXIS seems to be shipping something, but first in 2018 and only US.
Another thing they have in common is that they are really expensive.

So I was looking around the web, and stumbled upon these instructables:

They look really great and promising, but the first one, have some problems with the code and/or the motor getting hot.
The second one does not seem to be able to calibrate like the first one, and it would be preferred to make it all into a single closed box. (For us with wife’s that don’t like electronics etc. hanging around)

Therefor I thought we could make a community made automated blinds solution. It does not seem to be that hard, but I could need some help with the different parts of the project. I figured that if we were more, we could improve the idea and make it really great.

I’ve made a Discord channel for the project, feel free to join:
I think it’s a bit more easy to discuss the different things in there, make a to-do list etc in there…
It’s not much yet, but I added some introduction text and some different channels. The project does not have to be finished within 3 weeks, so we will take the time we need.

When we are done, we will publish the entire project including the 3d files, source code and parts used for every Home Assistant user to use, here on the forum.

I hope you guys want to team up with me and make some awesome automated blinds!


I think it’s a great idea, I’m up for whatever level of help I can provide.

Great! Some people already joined the discord. I’ll start working on the project in the weekend.



Jane here, from SOMA Smart Home.

I’m very sorry to hear that nobody has replied to you. We aim to respond to 24-48h during business days.

For the record, we have been shipping daily since last year.

For any further questions, please do e-mail us at: [email protected]

Kind regards,

have a look here

i used his code and it works brilliantly

I’m also using this. However I only have manual control over the blinds. (Sending Open then Stop command)
I could not find how to calibrate the blinds within the MQTT Cover component of hass.
Do you have that working as well?

My configuration:

  - platform: mqtt
    name: "Comka Left"
    command_topic: "/raw/esp8266/688641/in"
    state_topic: "/raw/esp8266/688641/out"
    qos: 0
    retain: true
    payload_open: "-1"
    payload_close: "1"
    payload_stop: "0"

I calibrated using its inbult web page. i then use the following to control it in HA

  • platform: mqtt
    mqtt name: “2nd Blind”
    name: “2nd Blind”
    state_topic: “/raw/esp8266/988387/out”
    value_template: ‘{{ value_json.position }}’
    command_topic: “/raw/esp8266/988387/in”
    payload_on: “0”
    payload_off: “100”
    state_open: “0”
    state_closed: “100”
    optimistic: false
    retain: true

i am only using the open close part though as i am using mqtt switch not cover

Updated the project on Discord.

Also just asked a question about it should run on batteries or not. Go on Discord and add your opinion.

Hi @SOMA_Smart_Home / Jane

I just discovered your product while looking into solutions to retrofit my blinds and I’m considering purchasing it. Some kind of HA integration is a must-have. I assume you dont have it now, but you said on your faq that “For advanced users, there is Raspberry Pi integration.”. Do you have more information? Is it possible to download the image?

Does anyone have any experience with stepper motors? I’ve looked at the 28BYJ-48, but I’m not sure it will be powerfull enough to control large blinds. And should we look into the gearing? We can all agree that a more stable and low-noise solution is better than a turbo that can raise the blind i .2 seconds…

Any inputs to stepper motors?

Hello @zonax,

I have a 28BYJ-48 and I don’t think it will handle large/heavy curtains but it is a lot more quiet than my MG995 servo, maybe the servo can be covered with something like foam to kill the noise(?).

Overall I think the sketch wont be the hardest, there are already a few great examples online for references. I think the master key will be the 3d designs, we should only need to buy a esp8266 a servo and wire/rope and everything else 3d printed and design for vertical and horizontal mode.

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Thanks for giving input Sthope.
Great idea about the foam, It’s really important to have a quiet setup, as this is something we are going to use inside our homes. I’ve read on some of the already avaliable sketches, that some of them had issues with heat, so It’s really important to find a motor that isn’t under dimensioned for such a project.

If I’m correct a servo motor is not as precise as a stepper, but is more powerful.
What do you think? Is a servo enough for our needs?

I think the servo is enough, mine is doing is job just fine, I have some bugs/problems with the retain msg on my sketch but I made a work-around in Node-Red to fix it.

Foam is just an idea anything that can absorb the sound can be used aslong it doesn’t damage the servo.

We should find someone whiling to write the sketch for the esp8266 and someone else to design the 3d parts used, if they don’t have the hardware (esp+servo) we should all get together and send them a free sample.

Maybe both can be used, servo and stepper and let the user choice which one using.

I’ve been reading a bit around, and people generally have some problems with finding the right motor for the job. Our friends at Arduino have discussed this a lot, and there is a way to measure the torque needed. (Use a pulley-weight on the strings). I’ll try to take a measurement as soon as I get my blinds home. I have large windows (174cm x 241cm) so if the motor can deal with my blinds, I think most people should be good to go.

I’m not familiar with 3D printing myself, but was hoping someone from the community had the abilities, that also was interested in making their own automated blinds. But if we can’t find any i’m in on the idea that we could send someone the hardware and they could help us out, or even find someone to make the design.

about the esp8266 should we go with the WeMos D1 mini? Seems to be very popular.

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For board, wemos D1 or Nodemcu doesn’t really matter they both will work with little to no adaptation.

Hello @clyra,

Please write to our support team at [email protected] and we’d be ahppy to provide you with more information.

Best regards,

Hi Jane,

Could you post your answer here? We are a lot that wants to know how/if you integrate with other systems.

Here’s my rudimentary attempt using a servo and node mcu. Works for me and would work far better if the wife allowed me to screw it to the wall:

I bought the blind bits from amazon for a couple quid, which came with the metal beads, and the cogs to pull them. Just needed to be glued to the servo which is very quiet compared with some videos online - also bought from amazon for a tenner I believe, needs to be continous though

1 Like

Hi Paul,

Looks really good! Which servo did you use?
And have you tried testing your setup on a roller blind with beads?

KOOKYE 360 Degree Continuous Rotation Micro Servo Motor for Smart Car Robot Helicopter

Down to 7quid and next day delivery with prime. It has enough torque that’s for sure. Continous servos work slightly differently to the 180 ones, you specify a spin duration and a direction, whereas the 180s go to specific angles - I used these automating my central heating.

I think the roller blinds have different beads in them (there’s a bigger space between each bead) but you just need another bit like what’s in the top of your blinds as this is essentially your mechanism, I just ripped mine apart and used the cog essentially. Here’s the blind spares I bought:

Roller Blind controls spare part kit 25mm plus metal brackets

You may need this one to house plastic beads:
Easy Fit 25mm Roller Blind Fitting & Repair Kit - Free Child Safety Clip Included by BARGAIN HOMEWARE

But looking at that pic maybe they are universal…

2 nodes for 11

MakerHawk 2pcs ESP8266 Serial Wireless Module CH340 NodeMcu V3 Lua WIFI Internet of Things New Version Development Board EK1677 Arduino Compatible

You could attach the servo to the window frame if your wife will let you, and power it all with a power bank.