Any PowerRise Hunter Douglas Motorized Shade Experince Here? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 123 Old 09-17-2007, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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My wife and I are looking to retrofit total room darkening shades for our family room to allow for use of a projector / home theater system. I don't want unsightly wires and plugs dangling everywhere so I was intrigued by the Hunter Dougles Battery Powered PowerRise Motorized Shade system.

Does anyone have experience experience with PowerRise and if so, can you please share your experience?

Lastly, if you have other battery powered, motorized and remote controlled shade suggestions please let me know.

Thanks!

bradesp
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post #2 of 123 Old 09-17-2007, 08:27 PM
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I have two motorized (36" x 72") blackout shades in our bedroom. They are not Hunter Douglas but are suppose to have the same electro-mechanical assembly as the HD's. They were installed in November, are raised and lowered every day and I haven't had to change the batteries yet.

I purchased them from: http://www.shadesshuttersblinds.com/index.asp

No affiliation etc., just a satisfied customer.

"I'm a fanatic without a cause and I believe in it!" - B. D. G.
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post #3 of 123 Old 02-05-2008, 01:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradesp View Post

My wife and I are looking to retrofit total room darkening shades for our family room to allow for use of a projector / home theater system. I don't want unsightly wires and plugs dangling everywhere so I was intrigued by the Hunter Dougles Battery Powered PowerRise Motorized Shade system.

Does anyone have experience experience with PowerRise and if so, can you please share your experience?

Lastly, if you have other battery powered, motorized and remote controlled shade suggestions please let me know.

Thanks!

bradesp

I just got some of these and love them. Let me know if you have any questions.

80" Vizio LED - (60" Vizio plasma - retired)
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X10 Commander Iphone App = full control of lights, fireplace, pool, shades, from Iphone
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post #4 of 123 Old 02-05-2008, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradesp View Post

My wife and I are looking to retrofit total room darkening shades for our family room to allow for use of a projector / home theater system. I don't want unsightly wires and plugs dangling everywhere so I was intrigued by the Hunter Dougles Battery Powered PowerRise Motorized Shade system.

Does anyone have experience experience with PowerRise and if so, can you please share your experience?

Lastly, if you have other battery powered, motorized and remote controlled shade suggestions please let me know.

Thanks!

bradesp

I have 3 of them (H-D) for 3 years. Batteries last for about 9-12 months using them daily. They work.
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post #5 of 123 Old 08-21-2008, 01:00 PM
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Hi folks,

I know this is an old thread, but I had question: How loud are these things? I have some old Springs Window Fashions shades with the AutoVUE power option. I hate them, they're quite loud. They make a mid-pitched "weeeweeeweeeweee" sound when they're moving. I'm remodeling the entire room and am replacing the blinds, and I'm looking for a motorized blackout option that's quieter.

I've found some AC powered units that are likely silent, or nearly so, but the problem I'm running into is I have some 22" wide windows... and it appears the Hunter Douglas PowerRise is the only motorized option that will go that skinny.

So, any more info on the noise these things make, etc, would be most appreciated. Also, if anyone has integrated these into a home automation controller, would love details there, too. My AutoVUE system used a dual-frequency IR remote to combat sunlight and made integration with automation equipment difficult. I wound up buying a spare remote to tear apart and trigger via relays. Not ideal.

Thanks in advance.
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post #6 of 123 Old 08-21-2008, 06:34 PM
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There's been a lot of discussion on integrating PowerRise with home automation. You might find it with a search, not sure. The old units could to a small degree, and there is an ESI module made for the old PowerRise, but not the current units that are now on the market.

Bottom line is that it's pretty much impossible. The PowerRise now uses a combination of RF and IR, something that can't be accomplished with home automation to my knowledge.

This is a sad state of affairs for us HA users, as the PowerRise is a great product. It's pretty quite, about as quite as anything on the market. Sadly, I don't think we're going to be using it much with home automation.

I spent 2 1/2 hours face to face with the sales manager of the company that designed and builds the new PowerRise mechanism and every technical approach I tried with him as a method of utilizing them in HA failed to produce a possible result.

The biggest technical issue from the beginning is that the PowerRise goes to sleep to conserve batteries. It has to be awakened before it gets it's commands.
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post #7 of 123 Old 08-22-2008, 11:46 AM
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Well, no biggie on the automation. I'll just buy a spare remote, hack it open and trigger it's buttons with relays. My old AutoVUE blinds have been working this way for years; it's a bit of a hack but is effective and reliable. You can put the torn up remote in a small Radio Shack project box and hide it in a closet.

My biggest concern is the noise of the PowerRise system. I'd love to hear perspectives on that from owners. I hate these loud AutoVUE blinds and don't want to repeat that expensive mistake. I'd rather have non-motorized blinds than listen to these things screech at me anymore.
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post #8 of 123 Old 08-22-2008, 02:14 PM
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I consider the PowerRise very silent, but our perceptions might be different.

I have never heard the Autovue and don't know which motors they use, but I have some Hunter Douglas EasyRise motorized. These use the Somfy motors and are disgustingly noisy. When my six all go at once, they sound like an Air Force KC135 tanker in the landing pattern that passes over my house, and I'm a good 10 miles from the end of the runway. I would speculate that the Autovue might use this same motor as Somfy sells it elsewhere.

Why don't you try to hear a PowerRise operate. Most dealers have an operating model in their showroom. My guess is that you will be happy, but as I said, we might have different expectations.

If you do decide to tear the remote apart and modify it, why don't you consider documenting your work and posting it. There is a lot of interest around in achieving some interfacing and I think your experience with it would be appreciated.
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post #9 of 123 Old 08-22-2008, 02:44 PM
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Deane,

Thank you for the response. I'm going to check the PowerRise out next Friday; the closest dealer that has these available for demo is about 2 hours away. I'm glad to hear they aren't very loud. I found some YouTube footage of these and some of them were fairly loud, but others weren't, so I'm wondering if the loud ones were the old style. The ones that were quiet were REALLY quiet, so I'm hoping that's what is in store for me.

Your experience with the "EasyRise" noise levels mirrors mine exactly. My system is incredibly loud. In fact, I'm nearly positive the old Hunter Douglas designs DID use the AutoVUE system, or something very similar. I recall being unhappy with the noise on my motors when I bought the blinds 8 years ago and I considered returning them in favor of the more expensive Hunter Douglas stuff, but I remember the Hunter Douglas remote and headrail looked identical to mine, so I assumed they were identical. Based on your reports of noise, they probably were.

I'd be happy to document my remote interfacing. It was quite easy on the AutoVUE system. That system was pure IR, but it used a pair of IR transmitters on wildly different wavelengths and both had to transmit at the same time. I think they did that to combat sunlight, but the result was no IR learning system could learn the codes. So, I bought an extra remote, tore it apart and wired relays to the up/down buttons. I then replaced the remote's IR diodes with A/V style stick-on emitters, hid the remote in a closet and routed the IR signal over in-wall cat-5 to the emitters on the blinds. It works perfect, though I do have to replace the batteries in the remote once a year or so because I never got around to putting a 3v DC power supply on it.

Since the Hunter Douglas system uses RF, I'd imagine this will be even easier, as I won't have to route any IR signals. Just hide the remote somewhere in the room and I should be good to go.
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post #10 of 123 Old 10-22-2008, 11:57 AM
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Any update?
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post #11 of 123 Old 10-22-2008, 03:08 PM
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My blinds have been ordered and are due to arrive in a couple more weeks. Holy cats these things are expensive. $3,000 for one room (five windows). And I didn't pay anywhere near retail.

Hacking the remote should prove easy. I'll open it up and connect leads to the various buttons, then connect those to an AMX relay board. The automation system will then be able to "push" any of the four group buttons & the up/down buttons to actuate the blinds. Since the group functions are RF controlled, the remote can stay hidden away in a drawer and won't have to point at the blinds. I don't expect any problems here. I'll take pictures and post it, but really, anyone can do this, there isn't much to it... This is how I automated my old blinds.
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post #12 of 123 Old 10-31-2008, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Wright View Post

Since the group functions are RF controlled, the remote can stay hidden away in a drawer and won't have to point at the blinds.

Brings up a good question -- Learning remotes can replicate IR signals, is there an RF remote (or something) that can replicate RF signals?

This goes beyond your blinds - My ceiling fan's also RF and thought it'd be cool to add it to the HA mix.
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post #13 of 123 Old 11-02-2008, 07:32 PM
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Here you go, folks. Basic instructions on how to automate PowerRise. As I said, this was very easy; I simply bought an extra remote, took it apart, soldered wire leads to the button contacts and attached those to relays. The PowerRise remote uses those obnoxious rubber buttons, which can't be re-used once you solder to the contacts and you really need actual buttons to program the thing, so I wound up putting some buttons on it, too. Plenty of pics & info at the link.

Feel free to ask any questions here.
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post #14 of 123 Old 11-03-2008, 05:40 PM
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Nice job of documenting Ryan.

In case anyone is interested, here is a link to a simple procedure for cloning an additional Platinum remote.

http://www.designerblinds.com/CSTips/CSTips_291.htm
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post #15 of 123 Old 11-06-2008, 07:38 PM
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Rather good timing this thread...

I'm planning my pre-wire next week and was doing some research on hard-wiring for motorized shades. The Hunter Douglas seem to be very attractive for a number of reasons especially now that I've found a possible automation solution... well done Ryan! Anyway, I'm a little unclear as to the nature of their hard-wired solution and how they compare to the PowerRise (the battery powered solution).

Does anyone know much about them? I used to think that all the HD shades used Somfy motors, but in reading this thread it sounds like that is no longer the case? Or is that just for the battery operated shades? I've seen tried a battery version locally and was impressed with how quiet it was, but if the hard-wired solution is noisy... that would be a major drawback.

Anyway, technical details are a bit scarce on their site. A spec sheet would sure be nice as I'd I'd especially like to know at what DC voltage they need to be powered? It would seem reasonable to assume 12V given the number of AA batteries needed, but are there other options? 24V? How much of a voltage drop can they tolerate... as my power cable runs may be a bit long (sub 100' range I think). How much current do they draw?

Ryan: I'm curious, but what type of range can you get out of the remote? Would one of these be needed per room, per floor or just one for the house tucked away somewhere "in the middle"? I'm just looking for a general idea of what to expect. Our house is three stories and (given enough time) I may well end up with motorized shades on all 3 floors.

Anyway, all pointers would be great.

Paul
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post #16 of 123 Old 08-03-2009, 07:44 PM
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Hey Paul, sorry I didn't reply last year. I just now stumbled upon your question.

In regards to range, it's pretty poor. Maybe 25 feet on the stretch. I have my remote hidden in a cabinet in the room and it works fine, also works fine in the adjoining kitchen, but if I walk past the kitchen the blinds quit responding.
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post #17 of 123 Old 05-27-2010, 12:59 PM
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Just to let you guys know, there is now PowerRise 2.0 that came out in early May. If you are using wireless shades, there is now a way that you can control with a universal IR remote. I'm told you can run wire to a wall IR switch, then you can control them...

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post #18 of 123 Old 06-09-2011, 01:08 AM
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Thanks. Any tips to get Powerrise 2.0 to work with X10? If so, then I could get it to work from my iphone I bet.

80" Vizio LED - (60" Vizio plasma - retired)
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X10 Commander Iphone App = full control of lights, fireplace, pool, shades, from Iphone
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post #19 of 123 Old 06-09-2011, 04:41 AM
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Jasonn:

Hunter has a new plug in RF device that causes the shade to go up when it senses AC and down when it senses the AC is removed. It's small and simply plugs into a wall socket.

It can operate a single shade or a group of shades.

I am using one plugged into a Z-Wave appliance module to raise and lower a PowerRise 2.0. You could use it with an X-10 appliance module just as well. Anything that adds or removes the AC to the device, even a wall switch operating a wall socket.

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post #20 of 123 Old 06-09-2011, 08:25 AM
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Cool, I remember us talking about something coming out like that.

1) Do you have a link to it??

2) So, then the shade runs off ac power, instead of batteries then as well?

3) This will only work for 2.0? If you have 1.0, no go?

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post #21 of 123 Old 06-09-2011, 11:32 AM
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1) Do you have a link to it??

I don't find it anywhere on the internet, and certainly not on the Hunter Douglas site which has been a terrible site for years.


2) So, then the shade runs off ac power, instead of batteries then as well?

The shade is unchanged by this device. My shade is AC from a wall cube. If you are using battery now, you can go right on using battery.

The device is nothing more than a small remote control that is triggered by the power line. It is called a Platinum RF Adapter. Your dealer will find it on page PT-9 of their HD reference guide.

It uses a coin type lithium battery (expected life-2 years). The AC is only to activate it, not power it. The battery powers the transmitter. Battery life is long because it's only on for a brief burst to transmit the pulse to the shade.

The device looks like a large replacement male plug you might buy to put on the end of an AC cord. When it gets AC, it transmits an UP command to the shade, when the AC goes off, it transmits a down command.

When I first got the device, I walked around sticking it in various sockets. When I stuck it in the socket, the shade went down, when I pulled it out, it went up. It has about the same range as the Hunter hand held remote, perhaps slightly better. In other words, it will operate shades within most rooms.


3) This will only work for 2.0? If you have 1.0, no go?

It will only work with 2.0.

Hunter Douglas products cannot be sold on the internet, so the only place to get it is at your local dealer. I don't recall the MSRP, but that doesn't mean much anyway. My guess is that you might expect to find it for somewhere around $100-$125 at your dealer. They will probably never have heard of it and will have to order it from Hunter. Mine took less than a week to get here.

It has worked very well, having never failed. Your failure will likely come from your X-10 module not responding to a command, if there is a failure.

EDIT: I should also add that Hunter has a new "Connection Interface" for the PowerRise 2.0 that allows for hardwire, momentary contact (1 sec.) control of the shades. I used one while waiting for the RF module and it's clutsy to hook up and I don't like it. It does, however, work. They also have a sun sensor which transmits a down command when it sense a certain light level, which is adjustable. I have never cared for these either, but they are available.
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post #22 of 123 Old 08-01-2011, 09:26 PM
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You guys are amazing...reading through this and the other threads from '07 and earlier....wow! My question is very simple. I have the Hunter Douglas PowerRise Timer. Two weeks ago, I managed to drop it, brake it. We have never mounted it or put it on a time schedule. We only close our 11 blinds all at once if there is something on TV in the middle of the day and the sun is causing a glare or when we are showing them to friends who have not seen my favorite toy! A few other occasions, but we have only changed batteries twice since installed in August, 2005. We never had any problems with this PowerRiser remote. Does any one know where I can get a replacement. The guy who sold and installed said Hunter Douglas sent them one that would not work and apparently the technology has changed. There has to be one somewhere!

Thanks!
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post #23 of 123 Old 08-15-2011, 10:22 AM
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Stephanie I am a Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer in Southern California and am a certified motorization specialist. I have a stock of old style remotes and timers do you have a picture of the old one that is broken, I could ship you a replacement if I have one in stock.

In regards to automating a Powerise 2.0 shade I have a simple solution that can be controlled with serial, cc, and IR that is plug and play. It also has an optional hardware piece that allows for iphone control using a free app with a simple gui interface I've designed. Let me know if anyone is interested.
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post #24 of 123 Old 08-19-2011, 07:03 PM
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We tried learning IR codes from the HD remote for some PowerRise shades and it would not work, no matter what I tried. Is there something odd about the codes that do not allow them to be learned in the traditional method? I tried learning on an older Marantz RC5200 and a URC MX850. Neither would work. Also, none of the codes in the URC database work either.

Any ideas? The HD IR remote works but only if you are within about 8' of the IR sensor.
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post #25 of 123 Old 08-20-2011, 02:07 PM
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Any ideas? The HD IR remote works but only if you are within about 8' of the IR sensor.[/quote]


Are these the newer powerise 2.0 with RF and IR or the older just ir shades???
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post #26 of 123 Old 08-22-2011, 05:52 AM
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I have had great success in learning the older PowerRise IR codes with my Pronto TSU-2000. Works better than the Hunter remote. Not all brands learning remotes work well, however.

PowerRise 2.0 cannot be used in a learning remote. The reason is that there are actually two transmissions with a button push. An RF transmission to wake the receiver up, then the IR code to raise or lower the shade.
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post #27 of 123 Old 08-27-2011, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deane Johnson View Post

I have had great success in learning the older PowerRise IR codes with my Pronto TSU-2000. Works better than the Hunter remote. Not all brands learning remotes work well, however.

PowerRise 2.0 cannot be used in a learning remote. The reason is that there are actually two transmissions with a button push. An RF transmission to wake the receiver up, then the IR code to raise or lower the shade.

Thank you for the information. WTF??!! Who on earth thought that would be a good idea? I would love to hear the engineers' logic behind that one. I remember looking at the HD website and IIRC, they advertise the Power Rise 2.0 products as being available with either IR or RF control. That is primarily false....misleading at best. The choices should be RF only or the silly RF/IR combo....with an asterisk that points out that you CANNOT use any other IR learning remote to operate these products. Brilliant!
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post #28 of 123 Old 08-27-2011, 04:25 PM
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Hunter makes great and innovative products, but their record of acheivement on electronics is abysmal. To make it even more non-understandable, they own one of the best electronics companies in the US. (Electronic Solutions Inc.)

To make things clear, the PowerRise 2.0 can be operated with the Hunter remote using RF only, or using the IR on the same remote.

Hunter now makes a small AC operated RF module that will run them. Remove power and they go down, apply power and they go up. I use one of these with a Z-Wave appliance module and it's working great.
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post #29 of 123 Old 08-28-2011, 11:20 AM
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i have 3 Duettes with PowerRise operated by a wireless wall switch that is about 10-20 feet away from their sensors. They usually work but occasionally it takes a second or third selection of a shade and "all" frequently does not select all.

I also have a Leviton z-wave network that has irregularity problems. I do not think the combination would be suitable for something you want to always work like when you are away for an extended period.

"Most people would die sooner than think, in fact they do so."  Bertrand Russell The ABC of Relativity, 1925

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post #30 of 123 Old 08-28-2011, 04:29 PM
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So that the availability information is complete, Hunter also has a momentary switch contact interface for PowerRise 2.0. I think it's rather poorly designed, but I used it for a while and it seems to be pretty much 100% reliable. It takes two relays, and 3 wires. A common, and one for up, one for down.

Hunter's RF and IR control just plain misses the target by a little bit. It's way up from the old days when the best I could get out of my EasyRise IR control was about 50% reliability.
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