DIY Curved AT screen with Somfy based automated masking - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 111 Old 01-27-2011, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artsmart View Post

Moggie your documenting the fabrication of the curved screen with auto masking is amazing. I have been following your HT and the screen build. The only part that I don't see in the photographs or in the detailed explanations that you have been writing is "how the Bungee cord is attached to the Somfy motors to provide the necessary movement of the masking" I will appreciate if you can write about this with few photographs to show it as well.

I'll try and make it clear with the next post but in a nutshell one end of the bungee cord is attached to the black slider that runs in the t-track (the solid leading edge of the mask is also attached to this). The bungee then stretches to the other side of the screen where it is tied off (not shown in any photo so far). Thus the bungee is constantly pulling on the leading edge of the mask trying to pull it out. The somfy motor unwinds the reel of fabric and as it does so the bungee keeps the mask tight. When the motor winds the fabric back it pulls against the bungee.

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post #32 of 111 Old 01-27-2011, 07:46 PM
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Moggie: Great progress!! It looks like all you need to do is attach the fabric and program the motors. Did you ever get the software to program the motors? Are you going to need another piece of hardware to program the initial motor direction and endpoints?
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post #33 of 111 Old 01-27-2011, 08:51 PM
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Moggie, I kind of understand it from your explanation above and realise that the bungee is not attached to Somfy Motors but it always creates an opposite re-action to the Somfy's action. I look forward to your next post and the photos showing where the bungee is tied off. Your screen and Masking build is very inspirational and practical. Thanks
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post #34 of 111 Old 01-29-2011, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_2008 View Post
Moggie: Great progress!! It looks like all you need to do is attach the fabric and program the motors. Did you ever get the software to program the motors? Are you going to need another piece of hardware to program the initial motor direction and endpoints?
Hi Mike, yes I managed to find and download the software from the Somfy site. I still need to order the device to set the end stops. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to program my wife's sewing machine

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post #35 of 111 Old 01-30-2011, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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It worked!!! Didn't have time to program the motors or hang the screen, but it worked. I'm so frigging happy I'll take some video of the mechanism when the screen is on the wall. That is if it still works when vertical



Just in case this inspires anyone else to build one here are the final details.
I added up all the receipts, total cost was $2123. A little over my original estimate but still about 1/8 of the cost of a commercial system.

Here is some detail on the leading edge of the masks. The picture show how the bungee cord was attached to the slider with two grub screws. Note that the lower hole was elongated to prevent binding if the horizontal frame wasn't perfectly parallel. I also drilled a couple of holes in the flat section so I could sew the fabric tight and flat.



The masks were made from GOM FR701 with a 2 1/2" pocket on the leading edge sewed from felido velvet. The holes in the aluminum allowed me to keep the fabric tight at the ends. This isn't a very good picture but it shows the no stretch edging strip made from iron on hemming tape (single sided) on the back side of the panel. This has the added advantage of stopping the GOM from fraying.



Once assembled the masked were fed in from the ends as I tightened the bungee at the opposite end (the bungee simply exits through a hole and is tied off with a knot). I made room for up to 3/16" bungee but in the end the 1/8" stuff seems to provide adequate pull. If it starts to sag over time I'll upgrade it.



Once the fabric was squared up and stuck to the roller with double sided tape the two side pieces were installed.



Hopefully my RS50 will arrive soon so I can show some screen shots... what you to reckon Jason?

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post #36 of 111 Old 01-30-2011, 08:00 PM
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Sexy!
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post #37 of 111 Old 01-30-2011, 08:22 PM
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I salute you Moggie!
Very detailed and executed plan.

Are you having a Superbowl party next week to show off your set-up?
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post #38 of 111 Old 01-30-2011, 08:44 PM
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Moggie, Amazing!!! Just Amazing!!!
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post #39 of 111 Old 01-31-2011, 12:01 AM
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That is a very good-looking screen indeed.
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post #40 of 111 Old 01-31-2011, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the very positive feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Are you having a Superbowl party next week to show off your set-up?

Superbowl, what's that? Oh yeah, that game of aerial ping-pong.... I'm an ex-pat Brit and more of a Rugby man myself.

Anyway I won't have a projector by then.

Cheers.

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post #41 of 111 Old 01-31-2011, 08:33 PM
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Hi Moggie: Congratulations on your screen and masking !!!

I would be interested in your thoughts on building a non curved version. I know you mentioned in a previous post that t slotted extruded aluminum would be the way to go for the frame. Would you still look to build the masking system into the wood molding or would you opt for a different solution? Any other changes that you could think of to simplify the process for the average DIY?

Again, I think your screen and masking system is terrific and is an inspiration to the DIY looking for a quality system. Thanks for sharing and documenting your screen build.
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post #42 of 111 Old 02-01-2011, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_2008 View Post

HI would be interested in your thoughts on building a non curved version. I know you mentioned in a previous post that t slotted extruded aluminum would be the way to go for the frame. Would you still look to build the masking system into the wood molding or would you opt for a different solution? Any other changes that you could think of to simplify the process for the average DIY?

Mike, I think a flat screen would be *much* easier.

I can think of a couple of ways to go.

For example, one way would be to purchase some rectangular aluminum extrusion with two t-slots on the front face and one on the edges. You could then stretch the screen material and fasten to the inner most t-track on the front face (with t-track covers as others have done). The outermost t-track could be used for a masking system just like mine. The wooden screen border would then be fastened with right angle brackets to the t-track on the sides of the frame.

Another way would be to grommet the screen cloth and attach with rubber o-rings around the inside of a frame made from square aluminum extrusion and use simple 'u' aluminum extrusion facing up at bottom and down at top in front of the screen. It would be easier to make glides for 'u' molding than t-track. Attaching the border without much of a gap would be harder in this case...

If was were to start over I don't think I could improve much on what I built given my objective of a very low profile screen although I needed to be very tight with tolerances all the way through construction.

Check out the other builds and combine ideas from each. Don't forget to document your work

Cheers.

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post #43 of 111 Old 02-03-2011, 05:58 PM
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Moggie: Thanks for your response. You have provided a couple of good suggestions. Your screen and masking build is by far the best I have seen on this site. You have set the bar high. I look forward to your screen masking video. Please comment on how difficult it was to program the ILT motors.

Thanks
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post #44 of 111 Old 02-06-2011, 03:10 PM
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Hi, I am planning to do masking and I really like your method with the Somfy motors. While researching these I came across the RS485 4ILT receiver. This lets you control 4 Somfy motors either individually or as group. This sounds perfect for 4 way masking. Sounds like a perfect controller for you.
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post #45 of 111 Old 02-06-2011, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hihuq View Post

Hi, I am planning to do masking and I really like your method with the Somfy motors. While researching these I came across the RS485 4ILT receiver. This lets you control 4 Somfy motors either individually or as group. This sounds perfect for 4 way masking. Sounds like a perfect controller for you.

Do you have a link or part number? Is is just a 4 port TAP or does it integrate power supply, IR, etc? One thing I'm finding frustrating with Somfy is that the parts seem to dribble into the US and they are often out of stock. Also I saw some parts in a 2010 European catalog that were not available in the US. Anyway I used the following parts:

#1870127 - RS485 ILT link with power supply tap
#1870154 - RS485 ILT (4 tap) interface
#9154205 - IR reciever
#9050280 - Limit setting switch (Another story but I'm still waiting for this)

plus a 12v power supply, RS485/USB converter (from http://www.ftdichip.com) and programming software from Somfysystems.com

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post #46 of 111 Old 02-06-2011, 07:47 PM
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post #47 of 111 Old 02-06-2011, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yes, this is the part I could not get hold of. It is convenient but I don't think it is any different from the individual parts I ended up purchasing. Note that you will also need the limit setting tool.

Cheers.

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post #48 of 111 Old 02-06-2011, 08:40 PM
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Moggie: I am sure you will comment further once you setup the ILT motors. It looks like the device that hihuq references integrates both part #1870127 (ILT Link) and #1870154 (ILT 4 Tap) into one device. I believe part #1870127 converts the RS-485 protocol into the TTL commands needed by the motors. I believe the PC software you loaded will interface with the device and is needed to program the intermediate motor stop positions via RS-485. Part #1870154 (ILT 4 Tap) is used to connect all the motors. Once you have completed programing the motors, you can use IR or RS-485 for control. Which device is the IR sensor connected to? Obviously, I am interested in how all this works. Thanks
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post #49 of 111 Old 02-13-2011, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie View Post

Hi Mike, yes I managed to find and download the software from the Somfy site.

Do you have a link? I looked around their site, and couldn't find anything. I'm thinking of using some of the Somfy motors for some roller shades in my house. (Nothing nearly as cool as your project, though! )
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post #50 of 111 Old 02-14-2011, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you have a link? I looked around their site, and couldn't find anything. I'm thinking of using some of the Somfy motors for some roller shades in my house. (Nothing nearly as cool as your project, though! )

Yeah, Somfy has the worst web site content ever and their support is awful too. You can you tell I'm happy with them...

You can find the software here: http://www.somfy.us/SDNConfig.html. ITL2-ST30 is one.

Cheers.

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post #51 of 111 Old 02-15-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie View Post

Yeah, Somfy has the worst web site content ever and their support is awful too. You can you tell I'm happy with them...

You can find the software here: http://www.somfy.us/SDNConfig.html. ITL2-ST30 is one.

Cheers.

Now that you've put the link out there for Google to index, Somfy's going to have to hide the page again!

Thanks!
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post #52 of 111 Old 02-25-2011, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I've just about given up waiting for my projector

I had hoped to share some glorious screen shots, instead here is an amateurish VIDEO of the automated masking system in action. I have my graphic eye in what I call "music scene".

And a couple of static shots in case you don't want to wait for the video download:



I'm going to cover the screen wall around the screen this weekend.

You can expect one more post when I have some projected content!!

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post #53 of 111 Old 02-26-2011, 06:41 AM
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Great job, Moggie! It's been fun watching your progress. Nice pics too. I think I'm getting closer to wanting to add masking to my screen. It seems many of the films I've been renting lately are in 1.78 and the masking would be nice to have.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_2008 View Post

Moggie: I am sure you will comment further once you setup the ILT motors. It looks like the device that hihuq references integrates both part #1870127 (ILT Link) and #1870154 (ILT 4 Tap) into one device. I believe part #1870127 converts the RS-485 protocol into the TTL commands needed by the motors. I believe the PC software you loaded will interface with the device and is needed to program the intermediate motor stop positions via RS-485. Part #1870154 (ILT 4 Tap) is used to connect all the motors. Once you have completed programing the motors, you can use IR or RS-485 for control. Which device is the IR sensor connected to? Obviously, I am interested in how all this works. Thanks

Can you comment on Mike's post? I too am trying to understand how the control system components work. Can you go into more detail on what component is connected to what and how each is used? I'm still a bit fuzzy on how the ILT Link, the Tap, and motors are interconnected. Also, it would be helpful if you can post links to where you bought the components.

Thanks for sharing you project!
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post #54 of 111 Old 02-26-2011, 10:04 AM
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Moggie: Everything looks great. I know it has been a long journey for you. Congratulations....
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post #55 of 111 Old 02-26-2011, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy238 View Post

Can you comment on Mike's post? I too am trying to understand how the control system components work.

I forget to document this mainly because I kept changing the approach and I got *really* frustrated with Somfy's poor US support.

The motors with Sonesse LT50 ILT2. I believe the LT30 ILT (low voltage) would also work as would the much noiser non-Sonesse (but still ILT) motors.

In a nutshell, I returned my original control parts -- ILT taps, RS485/RS232 convertor, etc. Instead I managed to find the part Mike referenced (thanks Mike):
RS485 4ILT

Then added:
#9154205 - IR reciever
#1870132 - 8 channel IR transmitter

Caution: Somfy have two lines of IR sensor / transmitter, the old and the new. They cannot be mix'n'matched, but either set will work with the RS485 4ILT. Check the reference data sheet for more details.

With the above controls I no longer need to program via the RS485 link to my computer altought it's still available if I wanted to connect into a sophisticated automation system in the future.

The setup is actually quite simple with the IR and is basically:
1. Select one of the motors (left or right side), press and hold the IR "prog" button until motor jogs.
2. Select up or down limit set but pressing and holding the up or down buttom until motor jogs
3. Position motor/mask at desired limit and press and hold Prog again (until jogs).
4. Repeat 2 & 3 for other limit.
5. Repeat 1-4 for the next motor.

Now limits are set. Next program the intermediate positions (remote buttons 1-8):

6. Select one of the motors (the remote has buttons to 'find' the desired motor).
7. Move to intermediate position (between two limit stops) and press and hold numbered button until motor jogs. This programs this intermediate position to the required 'number' button for the selected motor.
8. Repeat #7 for all other intermediate positions. I did 4:3, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.37:1 & 2.4:1.
9. Repeat 6-8 for next motor

Once this is done you can select the screen ratio with all motors running at the same time simply by pressing the numbered buttons 1 to 6. In my case #1 for 4:3, #6 for 2.4:1.

I may have to tweak one more time when I'm actually projecting the image but in reality the set up only takes 10 minutes. Last bit of advice would be to set the closed limit slightly beyond the 4:3 postion so you have a bit of wiggle room since the motors will not go beyond the set limits.

The controller also has the ability to tweak mask position in steps of about 1/4". This can also be done on each side independantly on each side. The key sequence is a little awkward but I guess the assumption is that you don't have to adjust often.

Does this help?

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post #56 of 111 Old 02-26-2011, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie View Post


I forget to document this mainly because I kept changing the approach and I got *really* frustrated with Somfy's poor US support.

The motors with Sonesse LT50 ILT2. I believe the LT30 ILT (low voltage) would also work as would the much noiser non-Sonesse (but still ILT) motors.

In a nutshell, I returned my original control parts -- ILT taps, RS485/RS232 convertor, etc. Instead I managed to find the part Mike referenced (thanks Mike):
RS485 4ILT

Then added:
#9154205 - IR reciever
#1870132 - 8 channel IR transmitter

Caution: Somfy have two lines of IR sensor / transmitter, the old and the new. They cannot be mix'n'matched, but either set will work with the RS485 4ILT. Check the reference data sheet for more details.

With the above controls I no longer need to program via the RS485 link to my computer altought it's still available if I wanted to connect into a sophisticated automation system in the future.

The setup is actually quite simple with the IR and is basically:
1. Select one of the motors (left or right side), press and hold the IR "prog" button until motor jogs.
2. Select up or down limit set but pressing and holding the up or down buttom until motor jogs
3. Position motor/mask at desired limit and press and hold Prog again (until jogs).
4. Repeat 2 & 3 for other limit.
5. Repeat 1-4 for the next motor.

Now limits are set. Next program the intermediate positions (remote buttons 1-8):

6. Select one of the motors (the remote has buttons to 'find' the desired motor).
7. Move to intermediate position (between two limit stops) and press and hold numbered button until motor jogs. This programs this intermediate position to the required 'number' button for the selected motor.
8. Repeat #7 for all other intermediate positions. I did 4:3, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.37:1 & 2.4:1.
9. Repeat 6-8 for next motor

Once this is done you can select the screen ratio with all motors running at the same time simply by pressing the numbered buttons 1 to 6. In my case #1 for 4:3, #6 for 2.4:1.

I may have to tweak one more time when I'm actually projecting the image but in reality the set up only takes 10 minutes. Last bit of advice would be to set the closed limit slightly beyond the 4:3 postion so you have a bit of wiggle room since the motors will not go beyond the set limits.

The controller also has the ability to tweak mask position in steps of about 1/4". This can also be done on each side independantly on each side. The key sequence is a little awkward but I guess the assumption is that you don't have to adjust often.

Does this help?

Hi, where did you find the 4ILT?
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post #57 of 111 Old 02-26-2011, 08:51 PM
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Moggie: Thanks for your update on programming the motors. It appears that the ILT motors can be programed as "percent of travel time" or the more accurate "encoder pulse" method. From the Somfy documentation, it looks like the encoder method is based on the software you down loaded. Do you know the method your motors are using? Are you getting the position accuracy you expected?

Below is some information I pulled out of the Somfy documentation:

____________________________________________________________ ______________

Features of the ILT2 Motor:
Unique Address: Each motor is given a unique 3 byte address at the time of manufacture.
16 Intermediate positions: Each motor can store up to 16 preset positions.
16 groups: Each motor can be a member of up to 16 groups.
Standard positioning: Includes UP, DOWN and STOP.
Relative positioning: The motor can be positioned as a percentage of its travel range (e.g. 50%).
SDN INSTRUCTIONS 07/10, Ver 1.2
SSSooomfffyyy SSSyyysssttteeemsss IIInnnccc...
4
Precision positioning: The motor can be positioned using encoder pulses.
Jog movement: The motor can move in small increments for use in tilting horizontal blinds.
Digital text label: The motor supports a 32 character label that can be queried over the network.
Half Duplex bi-directional communication: The motor can be queried for stored parameters.
____________________________________________________________ ______________

18
• Lock Function: Motor(s) can be locked at Current Position, Up limit, Down limit (with optional partial roll
up after down limit is reached - enter number of 10 ms UP movements in text box. For example enter 100
for 100 X 10 ms = 1 sec) or at an IP Position. There is a priority associated with the LOCK command of 1 -
100. 100 is the highest priority. The LOCK command is also used to UNLOCK the motor if a higher priority
is used than was used to lock the motor. The GET command will return the priority level but not the lock
position.
____________________________________________________________ ______________
• Pulse Count: The ILT2 motor uses an encoder to determine position. By definition the upper limit is
defined as pulse count 0 and the lower limit as the maximum pulse count for full travel for a given shade.
Use the GET command to see where the motor is in relationship to either limit and what the pulse count is
for the lower limit. The CLEAR command erases the information from the screen but does not program the
motor. Knowing the pulse count is helpful when setting IP's and limits.

____________________________________________________________ ______________
Pre-Sets: The motor can store up to 16 programmed pre-sets (e.g. Intermediate Positions or IP's). The
configuration software can calculate the IP's based on the travel range or the user can set specific positions
by entering an encoder value. The values in the 16 text fields represent encoder pulses from top 0. Only
values within the travel range are allowed. Values outside the range will generate an error.
By clicking one of the five pre determined IP the IP text boxes will auto fill.
1) 25/50/75%
2) 20/40/60/80%
3) 10/20/30….90%
4) 16 IP’s equally spaced
To write

http://www.somfy.com/downloads/nam_p...ctions_low.pdf
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post #58 of 111 Old 02-27-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hihuq View Post

Hi, where did you find the 4ILT?

Any Somfy dealer should be able to order it for you directly from Somfy. I doubt you will find anyone who stocks it. Be prepared for the "I've no idea what that part is" response, even if you call Somfy tech support directly! (btw if they say they will call you back, they never do). I got mine from Florida Shade Automation so at least they know what it is now. Using this part rather than the individual components ends up being a little more expense too.

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Originally Posted by Mike_2008 View Post

Moggie: Thanks for your update on programming the motors. It appears that the ILT motors can be programed as "percent of travel time" or the more accurate "encoder pulse" method. From the Somfy documentation, it looks like the encoder method is based on the software you down loaded. Do you know the method your motors are using? Are you getting the position accuracy you expected?

I haven't checked although I'd assume that internally the positions end up being stored the same way -- as an offset from the '0' limit position. One day I'll hook up the RS485 connection and use the Somfy software to examine the stored settings. The IR setup approach with this integrated controller would seem to be a whole lot easier. If you were to set encoder position directly via the software it would still be a bit of trial and error because as the mask rolls on the roller the circumference gets larger and thus 1 pulse would start to equal more fabric. You couldn't therefore easily mathematically calculate all the intermediate positions and assume they are correct.

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post #59 of 111 Old 02-28-2011, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for that info, Moggie. It helps a lot!

So if I go with a one motor, IR controlled solution, do I still need the RS485 4ILT Interface? Or can I just connect the #9154205 IR receiver to the motor? Or do I just need the #1870127 ILT Tap? I can't seem to find a clear concise IR integration diagram. I did find the RS485 4ILT Interface at somfymotorstore.com but it was like over $450?! Is it really that expensive?

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post #60 of 111 Old 02-28-2011, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moggie View Post

The motors with Sonesse LT50 ILT2. I believe the LT30 ILT (low voltage) would also work as would the much noiser non-Sonesse (but still ILT) motors.

Is there an LT30 ILT motor? The closest thing I know of the is the Sonesse ST30 RS485. The LT30 is noisier than the Sonesse line, and it only comes in RF and IR varieties, as far as I'm aware. (But I'm just recently started learning about this stuff, so I could be wrong.)

The nice thing about the ST30 RS485 is you don't need buy an extra box (like the 4ILT) to connect it to and RS485 network. I'm not sure what you'd need to control it by IR, though. There are also RF and DCT versions of the ST30.
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