FAQ: Do you have a drapery motor kit for motorized opening and closing of drapes and curtains?
Drapery and curtain motorized remote control operation is something our clients have been asking for, ever since we introduced our roller blind and shade motors a few years back. We decided it was time to introduce a DIY kit for opening and closing drapes and curtains.
This drapery motor kit uses our radio equipped, rechargeable battery motors that utilize RF (Radio Frequency) for transmission of the remote control signal. A small antenna in the motor receives the control signal and an onboard microprocessor then uses the decoded signals to activate the motor.
We had a number of goals in mind when we developed the drapery control system; here's a list of the main features:
- Make it very affordable.
- Make it very easy to install.
- Make it very robust, with a long life.
- Make it very quiet when operating.
- Make it compatible with our LED lighting systems.
- Make it unobtrusive, without a visual impact on the room.
- Make it green, with very low power consumption and solar option.
- Make it very adaptable, so it can be used with any type of curtain track or rod.
- Make it very smart, compatible with our internet remote control system for phones, tablets & PC.
Here's a short video, the bare track demo sits in front of an actual motorized curtain that is used to conceal the 13 foot home theater screen in our senior design & production engineer's state-of-the-art home theater (if it appears jerky, it's not the motor, it's the internet). If you are interested to see how it was used in the home theater shown in the second video below, visit my article about the ultimate home theater, or "How I got out-theatered" ...
Note the clearly visible idler sprocket at the beginning of the video ->
(see video below for actual demonstration of home theater screen curtain)
We feel that we have accomplished these goals in the design and production of these drapery motor kits, and we hope you agree with us. If you wish to place an order, please visit the drapery and curtain motor section of our online store. These drapery kits can also be used in combination with our motorized blackout blinds.
What's in the DIY Drapery and Curtain Motor Kit
The drapery kit comes with the battery motor pre-mounted onto the mounting clamp, which is easily bolted to any existing curtain track, rod, or adjacent wall. It works well with just about any off-the-shelf track or rod you can buy, if you are starting from scratch (not retrofitting existing drapes or curtains).
We used the 78" Vertical Blinds Headrail & Valance Kit from Home Depot for this demo unit, as we liked the way the spacers keep the curtains evenly spaced, and the fact that the mechanism is completely concealed (you can't see the cord anywhere). It costs around $20, and you can use 2 of them back to back if you want to make a large one (Model: 1079347880603-4, Store SKU: 1000655202).
Here is the same system (seen in the video above) actually in use, drawing the home theater curtains with the 13 foot screen activated:
A cord (provided) attaches to the first drapery or curtain hanger, then runs back to the battery motor, and around a drive sprocket (provided) on top of the motor. It then runs down the length of the rail or rod, around an idler sprocket (see start of first video with visible track) that you have mounted at the other end (sprocket and clamp provided) and finally attaches to the first hanger, same as the other end of the cord.
If you can drill a hole and tighten a bolt, you can do this - no rocket science required. Please keep reading if you are interested in further details.
List of Contents:
- 1 x tubular motor with tube, drive sprocket and mounting brackets
- 1 x 8 ch remote control, compatible with our other radio motors (if radio motor kit selected)
- 1 x 50' - 1/8" braided nylon cord
- 1 x 'in window or door frame' solar panel (if solar kit option selected)
You can purchase this kit at the drapery and curtain motor section of our online store
An Affordable Drapery Motor Kit
Existing drapery motor systems tend to be very expensive because they use proprietary parts in every area of the product. The railings are custom made, with special drive belts and various other custom components. The long railings are particularly expensive to ship.
They work well, but are very expensive, especially if you have to pay a professional installer. The ones we have seen are in the $750 to $2,000 range (not installed).
We took a different view on this and decided to make something much more affordable, that could be retrofitted onto existing railing systems, or used with off-the-shelf drapery railings and rods. We don't see the need for expensive custom railings and drive belts, and we wanted something easy to install (don't forget to also consider the cost of installation that will be saved by DIY).
At the same time, we did not compromise on the quality of the motor or components that we used, and in fact, our motors systems are actually very sophisticated, with the ability to extend control to any browser based device such as smart phones, tablets and laptops. Add to that fact the very easy solar powered wireless installation, and you'll end up with some pretty smart drapes!
The components we use are all very high quality and have been rigourously tested for long term performance
An Affordable Drapery Motor Kit that Installs Very Easily
If you can drill holes and tighten bolts, you can install one of these systems. We estimate that even a novice will not spend much more than an hour installing one of these units. It does depend on the type of railing you use, but no part of this process takes a really long time. If you are not inclined to DIY, you will still save money paying a professional installer because of the simplicity of this system.
The motor and bracket mount comes pre-assembled, as does the idler sprocket assembly for the opposite end of the rail. The basic installation procedure goes like this:
- Bolt the motor assembly into one end of your curtain railing or rod. It doesn't matter which end, the motor is programmable re direction of travel.
- Bolt the idler sprocket assembly onto the the other end of the railing in a similar manner.
- Attach the provided cord to the first eyelet or curtain loop in the center, then route it around the idler sprocket at one end.
- Continue feeding it back along the railing until you get to the motor sprocket at the other end, then loop it back along (or through) the railing or rod and attach it to the same place as the other end.
- Use a piece of wire or some other appropriate method to fasten the other half of the curtain to the back cord (assuming they are to part from the center).
- Adjust the cord tension so there is no slack by moving the slider bracket on the end mounts.
- Assign the motor to a remote control channel, and you're good to go. You can then set the travel limits with the remote once it is operating.
- If you are using the solar charging option, screw the solar panel into the window or door frame in an appropriate location, and plug it into the motor.
Please note that you don't have to do a center pull system, it could be just as easily set up to pull the drapes all to one side.
A Very Quiet Drapery Motor Kit
At RollerTrol™ we have always considered motor noise, or the lack of it to be a very important specification. We don't like motors that whine and grind, and we don't think others do either.
We used our very quiet rechargeable solar battery motors for this application, and we guarantee you won't be dissapointed with the noise level. We measured a very, very low noise figure of 18 db at a 6 inch distance from a 'naked' motor, and a barely perceptible 7 db at 4 feet, which is probably as close as you'll get in a typical room arrangement.
Add to that the fact it will be even quieter when the drapes are concealing the motor and further muffling the sound, and you've got one very quiet installation! If there is any background noise, it is unlikely you will hear it at all.
A Word About Safety
Our motors are capable of delivering a considerable amount of torque (up to 16 lb/7.25 kg lift with 1.5" tube), more than enough to injure hands or feet that might get caught in the mechanism that is being driven with it. Drapery and curtain railings are typically not in an accessible location, but we wanted to be sure that you understand that injuries can be caused if your fingers get caught in it. We know these systems get used for other applications that we've never thought of, by other crazed DIYers, and we wanted to be sure that safey is considered.
Another issue that should be considered is shock hazard. These low voltage motors (with no external wiring if you have the built-in battery type) are extremely safe from that point of view, especially compared to motors that are powered by the standard AC voltage grid. There is no shock hazard whatsoever.
A Very Green Motorized Drapery Kit
Solar energy has been dropping in price for many years and is now very close to the cost of fossil fuel energy; cheaper if you factor in the cost of war and subsidies to oil companies. We have worked with solar energy systems for over 40 years and fully support this increasingly prevalent power source. All our systems are designed for DC solar operation and will effortlessly interface with standard PV (Photo-Voltaic) systems.
We feature extremely low standby radio motors, on the order of 30 microamps, including the motors inside our battery units used in these drapery and curtain systems. The battery charge will last 4 to 6 months with typical daily use, and some clients that use our solar charging option are reporting that they have never had to charge the battery motors.
A Very Smart Motorized Drapery Kit
You can start off with the 8 channel hand held remote included in the kit. Even this unit is very powerful, capable of controlling 8 individual drapes, roller shades and LED lighting strips. You can also group motors and lighting onto specific channels if you want them to operate all at once. There is also a master ALL channel that activates all 8 channels at once. You can also replicate the remote control program and have more than one in the same room for added convenience.
But then you can take it one giant step forward ... at very little cost you can add our Zwave interface + Vera web server to enable control from any web based device: phones, tablets, PC, etc. You can keep this system localized to your home, or you can use our free firewall encryption server to control your home from a remote location over the internet. That's Pretty smart! Please see this article for more info:
You can purchase this kit at the drapery and curtain motor section of our online store
We sincerely hope you enjoy using these advanced motors; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!