remote control blinds and shades

Maxi Series Blind Motors with Radio Remote Control: Introduction

These instructions apply to the TMDG-12-35-45-9-R (wired power) and TMDG-12-35-45-9-RB (internal battery power) blind motors. These powerful remote control blind and shade motors (45 lb lift capacity) are essentially the same, except one runs on external 12v DC power, while the other runs on the built-in 12v rechargeable battery.

Products used in this article:

TMDG-12-35-45-9-R (pictured below) and TMDG-12-35-45-9-RB "MAXI" radio remote control blind motors
DCG-5W-RF (1 ch) wall mount remote control (and DCGQ-1W-RF alternate type)
12v AC/DC power supply (110/240v 50/60 Hz)

45 lb lift Maxi remote control motor for blinds and shades These motors are often used for large projector screens (golf target type) and large shades fabricated by our Custom Shade Division. They are packaged with adapters for industry standard 2.5" Rollease tubing and have a lift capacity of 45 lbs (22 kg) when used with that size of tube.

The radio portion of these two motors functions in the same manner, but the battery version (TMDG-12-35-45-9-RB) is physically longer to accommodate the battery. For full specifications, please refer to this list of G series blind motors.

This article uses our G series (and GQ alternate series) wireless wall switch controlling the heavy duty wired Maxi motor (non battery type), but you could just as easily use our hand held 5 and 15 ch remotes, as well as our surface mount wireless timers. Each remote can control as many motors as you like on each single channel.

Our radio control system is very flexible, here are some notable features:

  • Our 5 and 15 channel remote controls have 5 or 15 separate channels + an ALL channel
  • Assign individual channel control to each motor controller AND group them on a different channel
  • Assign motors and other 12v devices to different remotes for multiple control points (motors can hold up to 20 channel assignments)
  • The digital control signal is very strong and can usually reach anywhere in a typical home, passing through walls and floors

All our G series remotes use the same digital radio protocol and can be controlled by the BroadLink™ Hub (please see article series about blind motor control with phone app). You can also use voice control systems such as Alexa™ to control your blinds (see how we implemented Alexa blind control with a Raspberry Pi and Node-RED).

Additional remotes can also be added at a later time, and they will work in conjunction with the 1 ch hand held remote described in this article. You can also add our BroadLink™ home automation interfaces at any time.

This is the same radio control system we use with our window openers and other built-in radio motors for blinds and shades, so you can open/close windows (and other devices) and adjust shades with a single multi-channel remote control that you can add later.

We also have Z-wave and other interfacing devices for use with any home automation hub that supports relay modules (which can be added later). Use with many different home automation hubs, such as Control 4, Wink, SmartThings, Vera, Homeseer, Rasberry Pi, Staples Connect, OnHub, etc.

Please Note: it is always a good idea to set this up on a table first to test the operation


1. Locate the Setting Button on the RollerTrol™ Blind Motor

setting button for Maxi blind motor Each RollerTrol™ motor has a setting button on the motor head that is used to program the channel assignment(s) with a remote control; you can see it quite clearly in this picture.

Sometimes the setting button is recessed inside a small hole, but the larger models have a button that can be pressed with a finger.

You can feel a pronounced tactile click when this switch is activated, and you do not need to apply much pressure for activation.

Also shown are the two wires emerging from the motor head - the thicker wire is the antenna for the digital radio signal, and the other pair is for the 12v DC power input (the striped side of the pair is negative). The battery motor has a plug-in jack for a charger or solar panel instead of the power input wire.

Please Note: if you have the battery type, please don't leave the charger plugged in after the red LED light on the charger turns green, indicating a full charge condition has been reached. It is possible for the battery to be overcharged and damaged if the charger is left in for a long time.

2. Connecting Power to the RollerTrol™ Blind Motor

power supply adapter screw terminals are polarized If you are using our AC/DC 12v power supply (only for wired power motors, not battery type), the 12v DC output line has a screw adapter on the end to facilitate easy connections.

It is important to observe polarity (negative and positive wires from motor connect to respective terminals) when connecting the power input wires from the motor (the striped wire coming from the motor is negative). You won't damage the motor if you accidentally connect it the wrong way, but it will not work.

You will need a small Philips or blade screwdriver to tighten the screw terminals on the adapter. We recommend that you get a set of small jeweller's screwdrivers for this purpose. We also provide a white 2 pole spring loaded wire connector that you can use however you like.

The motor has a short cable that feeds power to the unit for testing, but you will likely want to splice additional wire onto the motor for your permanent run. Lamp cord or heavy duty speaker wire works well as wiring for the system, and it is usually available in different colors that can match your decor.

3. Preparing the Wall Mount Radio Remote Control:

blind and shade motor remote control surface mount 5 ch wall switch

This is a picture of the 5 channel wall mount remote control (DCG-5W-RF). Our wall remotes are available in 1, 2, 5 and 15 channel versions; the hand held units (with wall mount holster) are available in 1, 5 and 15 channel versions.

For more information, please see a list of all our blind and shade remote controls.

Please Note: If your wall mount remote looks different from the 5 ch unit in these pictures, please see the section further down with details about the GQ wall mount series in section 3b.

We have two different series that are cosmetically different, but they work the same way, with slight differences in button positions.

Also, if you have a multi-channel remote (as pictured), you will need to select the channel (using the channel selector button) before you start the cloning or master channel assignment procedures starting at section 4 below.

When you have a number of motors, the usual procedure is to use a multi-channel hand held remote as the MASTER remote that controls the motors on various channels. This MASTER remote can be used to set the travel limits of each motor separately, then those MASTER channels are cloned to the actual working remotes and the MASTER remote is put away somewhere.

It may seem like a waste to put the MASTER remote away, but it prevents anyone from tinkering with the travel limits.

3a. Removing the Back Cover (G Series)

blind and shade motor remote control surface mount wall switch The surface mount wall remotes and timers all use the same type of 'press fit' housing.You will need a small flat blade screwdriver to pry the back cover off, exposing the battery compartment and programming button (if it has one).

Insert the blade near a corner, to start separating the back cover from the main housing (picture 1).

Rotate the blade gently (picture 2) to continue the process of separation, but don't try to do it all at once. Move the blade along the edge and rotate it gently as you move around the 4 sides and you will find that it comes off quite easily, even though it is fastened tightly when snapped in place.blind motor remote control surface mount wall switch cover removal

Note the two mounting holes in the back cover that can be used for attaching the switch to the wall. These switches are attractive, bone white, low profile units that do not require an embedded box.

They operate on button batteries for many years, and the radio control signal has the ability to reach anywhere in a typical home, passing easily through walls (but more signal loss if walls are concrete or brick).

You can assign as many motors as required to a single channel on these 1, 2, 5 and 15 channel wall switches, and you can have as many wall remotes as needed in the same room.

Locating the Programming Switch and Battery Compartment

blind motor remote control surface mount wall switch cover removal Once the cover is removed, you will see the button battery compartment and the programming switch (P2).

You can remove the button battery cover by inserting a coin in the slot provided. Insert the CR-2430 button battery into the battery receptacle (make sure the stamped + symbol is facing up).

You should be able to see the P2 programming button beside the battery compartment (see picture). The single channel wall switch uses this button for programming the motor functions, but the 2 channel unit does not use this (even though the plastic button appears to be there).

Please Note: The 2, 5 and 15 channel wall switches use a combination of 2 buttons (UP and STOP) to execute programming instructions. Wherever you see an instruction to press the P2 programming button in this article, if you are using the 2, 5 or 15 channel remote, you need to press the UP and STOP buttons simultaneously instead.

There is also a dedicated page for these remotes, for more info please see the directions for 2, 5 and 15 channel wall remotes.

3b. Preparing the Wall Mount Radio Remote Control (GQ Series):

Please Note: This series does not use the combination keypress like the other type, as discussed above. There is an internal setting button on each one, regardless of how many channels it has.

1 channel RF remote control for blinds, shades and window or skylight openersThese attractive switches are bone white and look good with any decor. The LED indicator flashes when the control buttons are pushed, confirming the OPEN/STOP/CLOSE action. They last for years on a single button battery because there is no current draw in their rest state.

As previously mentioned, when you have a number of motors, the usual procedure is to use a multi-channel hand held remote as the MASTER remote that controls the motors on various channels. This MASTER remote can be used to set the travel limits of each motor separately, then those MASTER channels are cloned to the actual working remotes and the MASTER remote is put away somewhere.

It may seem like a waste to put the MASTER remote away, but it prevents anyone from tinkering with the travel limits.

This single channel unit can then clone (copy) the digital radio channel signature from the MASTER remote, with a very easy procedure as per the Channel Cloning Procedure below (see the Before You Continue section).

If you only have one remote, you can assign it as the MASTER. In either case, you need to remove the back cover to access the setting switch on the remote.

The back cover is removed simply by inserting a small blade screwdriver into the slot on the side of the housing. A gentle rotation of the blade will cause the switch housing to spring apart, exposing the battery compartment and setting switch, as in the picture below.

1 channel RF remote control for blinds, shades and window or skylight openers 1 channel RF remote control for blinds, shades and window or skylight openers

After removing this cover, you will see the battery compartment at the top right of the remote. If the button battery is not installed, insert it now. Please pay attention to the battery polarity. The battery has a large plus + sign on one side - this should be facing up, towards you.

There is a hole in the opposite lower corner (see picture) of the remote with a button inside it; please familiarize yourself with the location of this button switch, it is used to confirm channel assignments and other programming actions. It is referred as P2 in the instructions.

This switch also has tactile feedback, and you do not need to press very hard. Try to use something that is rounded and slightly smaller than the hole as it is possible to miss the switch entirely if you use a pointed object.

Please Note: If you have the multi-channel version of this remote, the only difference is that you will need to select the channel (using the channel selector button) before you start the cloning or master channel assignment procedures below.

4. Programming ... Before You Continue ...

You may have set up your motor on some other remote control MASTER so that you can set individual motor travel limits. If you have done this, you can very simply clone the motor assignment to this remote (and others).

You only need to assign a MASTER channel once (see Part 5), so if you have already done that, you can just clone the master channel using the following procedure.

RollerTrol™ Channel Cloning Procedure:

  • Set the MASTER REMOTE to the master channel you want to clone (if multi-channel type).
  • Press and release the P2 button TWICE on the MASTER REMOTE that holds the master channel you want to clone, the motor controller will beep once each time.
  • Press the P2 setting button on the single channel unit, as per the above picture. The motor will beep 5 times.
  • At this point, you are finished - the cloned channel will control the motor receiver, and you can test it with the motor or whatever 12v device you have connected.
  • Please Note: Wait 10 seconds for programming cycle to complete before you clone another channel.

Note: The following procedures require 6 seconds of pause after completion. Please wait before you try a new procedure.

5. Setting Up The RollerTrol™ MASTER CHANNEL:

AS PER THE PRECEDING NOTE, PLEASE SKIP THIS STEP IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ASSIGNED A MASTER CHANNEL TO THIS MOTOR CONTROLLER WITH ANOTHER CHANNEL or ANOTHER REMOTE THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP, this procedure erases any previous settings.

Please Note: The time between consecutive button presses must not be longer than 6 seconds, otherwise the operation will time out and you will have to start over. Also, some wall mount remotes use a combination keypress instead of the P2 button, please see wall mount remote control instructions.

  • Set the REMOTE to the master channel you want to assign to the motor (if multi-channel type).
  • Press and release the SETTING BUTTON on the DCG-1R-RFR radio receiver/motor controller once, it will beep.
  • Press P2 button on the REMOTE, the receiver will beep (wait for it).
  • Press P2 button on the REMOTE again, the receiver will beep.
  • Press the UP or DOWN button on the REMOTE CONTROL (this sets travel direction), the radio receiver will beep 6 times; the memory clearing procedure and MASTER assignment is complete.

The operation is done at this point - the memory of the receiver has been cleared, and the master channel has been assigned. You can re-set the memory as many times as you like, but please understand that any other channel assignments will be erased from the receiver. You can add other channels and remotes to this RollerTrol™ motor controller by following the cloning procedure in the Before You Continue section above.

Note: All procedures require 6 seconds of pause after completion. Please wait before you try a new procedure, or repeat this one.

6. Testing the Motor Direction:

You should be able to run a connected motor at this point - try the UP/DOWN/STOP buttons on the REMOTE. If the motor runs in the opposite direction to the one desired, you can permanently reverse the motor direction (although you could also just reverse the output wires). The next actions for reversing the output mode must be completed within 6 seconds of each other:

  • Press the UP button on your REMOTE and make note of the direction
  • Press and release the P2 button on the REMOTE, the motor controller will beep once.
  • Press and release the DOWN button on the REMOTE, the motor controller will beep once.
  • Press and release the P2 button on the REMOTE, the motor controller will beep twice, indicating the end of the procedure.
  • At this point the motor travel will be permanently reversed (unless you clear all the memory, or change it back)
  • You can test this by pressing the UP button on the REMOTE to see if it moves in the opposite direction from when you started this procedure

Note: All procedures require 6 seconds of pause after completion. Please wait before you try a new procedure.

7. Setting the Travel Limits:

You can set the travel limits after the installation is complete because it is done entirely with the MASTER remote; there is no need to touch the motor.

Setting the Upper Limit (using MASTER remote):

  • Press and hold down the 'Limit' button (figure 4) for 3 seconds, until you hear the 3 'short beeps'. This action places the motor into its limit programming mode.
  • Press the UP button on the remote; the motor will move in the up direction at normal speed.
  • When it gets close to the upper limit, press the STOP button. The motor now enters the 'Jog' mode.
  • Press the UP or DOWN buttons to move the motor slightly in one direction or the other. You'll see the motor move in very short steps that are a small fraction of a full rotation. Use this mode to position your motor at the exact upper limit you desire.
  • Press the 'Confirm' button. After you hear the 3 'short beeps', the upper limit has been set. The motor is still in 'programming mode' so that you can set the lower limit.

Setting the Lower Limit (using MASTER remote):

  • Press the DOWN button on the remote; the motor will move in the down direction at normal speed.
  • When it gets close to the lower limit, press the STOP button. The motor now enters the 'Jog' mode.
  • Press the UP or DOWN buttons to move the motor slightly in one direction or the other. You'll see the motor move in very short steps that are a small fraction of a full rotation. Use this mode to position your motor at the exact lower limit you desire.
  • Press the 'Confirm' button. After you hear the 3 'short beeps', the lower limit has been set. The motor is now back in normal running mode and you should be able to test the full excursion.

Repeat the above steps for each motor:

The process is the same for all motors in the group, but each one will normally be assigned to a different channel on a MASTER remote. Once the travel limits have been set, they will be observed for each individual motor, even when activated simultaneously in Group Mode with the ALL button.

8. Using More Than One Remote for Multiple Control Locations:

You can assign (clone) a motor to more than one remote control; the motors can 'learn' the bit pattern of more than one remote. Note that no two remotes use the same encoding, so you must go through the learning procedure with any additional remote you wish to use. The first remote assigned to the motor (after the initial clearing of memory) is considered to be the 'primary' remote and is the only unit that can be used to set the travel limits and motor reversal.

9. Bracket Dimensions & Clearances for the Blind and Screen Motor

adjustable bracket dimensions for Maxi motorsThe adjustable brackets for the Maxi allow for a good range of adjustment to accommodate different roll sizes and fabric lengths.

They require an allowance of 2" (51 mm) within the window frame, so if your window frame inside width dimension is 50", the maximum width of your fabric/tube would be 48".

Please check the specifications for minimum tube length in the online database for the Maxi blind and shade motors.

The brackets also come with cotter pins if you feel it necessary to lock the square pin at the motor end into the bracket.

The adjustable brackets for the Maxi allow for a good range of adjustment to accommodate different roll sizes and fabric lengths.

 

smaller bracket type for Maxi blind motorsThere is also a smaller bracket set available, for installations where space is at a premium. These brackets are not adjustable.

 

10. Extending Blind Motor Control: Use Phone Apps

Our BroadLink® automation hub can LEARN both radio (RF) remote control signals for our blind motors AND infra-red (IR) remote controls that are typically used with your TV and audio systems (see home theater phone app article series)

11. Extending Blind Motor Control: Use Voice Control Systems Such as Alexa™

See our article series about using the Node-RED visual design program (with Alexa™) for blind control and window openers

12. Wiring DC Shade Motors in 'Daisy Chain' Fashion

We are often asked how to wire our shade and blind motors in 'Daisy Chain' fashion. This situation often occurs when you want your wiring to 'hop' from one window to the next, when the shades are covering multiple windows on the same wall. The following picture is an illustration of how it is done:

shade or blind DC motors wired in daisy chain style - parallel connections

You don't actually need double lines going to each motor, as shown in the picture; the wire from the motor can be connected to a 'mains pair' running across the wall, above the windows. As long as all the positive wires are connected to each other, and all the negative wires are connected, it will work (third motor from left is connected in this way).

Be sure to use a reasonably sized wire - ordinary lamp cord is a good choice, and it comes in various matching colors. The most important point is that all positive wires (+) must be connected together, as do the negative wires leading to the power supply. As long as this requirement is met, you can arrange the motors however you like ... in a row, as per 'daisy chain', in a star topology (where the power lines radiate in different directions from the power supply).

 

We sincerely hope you enjoy using these advanced systems; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!