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4-Way Acoustically Transparent Masking - Page 20

post #571 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

My wife will kill me for even entertaining the thought, but what would a masking motor and controller be worth to the DIY community?

A kit the included everything you need cables, pulleys, motor, controller, electroniocs, mounts, bearings etc. Then the DIY would provide the tubing, fabric, and any other large bulky items.

Could it be done for around $500?
post #572 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPowers View Post

A kit the included everything you need cables, pulleys, motor, controller, electroniocs, mounts, bearings etc. Then the DIY would provide the tubing, fabric, and any other large bulky items.

Could it be done for around $500?

Make sure it's low voltage, low current so it can be powered by the PJ's trigger, and no need to have a wall-wart or separate supply.
post #573 of 835
Well, as I eluded earlier in this thread (I think) is if it's for sale, and has a microprocessor the FCC and CE certifications come into play. Lab costs (if you pass) are $15,000 from the cheap place. The only way around it is to sell components that aren't advertised as a kit per se. And even then it's a stretch and you have to be very careful. Presuming that part could be managed, the custom electronics in these smaller quantities (<1000) would run about:
motor controller ~200 for the ones I use with the right brains
motor controller interface electronics (IR, RS232, or trigger) ~100
motor ~100-150
power supply ~40-60

The misc hardware should not be an issue.

Hard coding something in the uP in assembler is pretty straightforward. Not simple mind you, but straightforward. Making something so it can be programmed by the end user is another 2 orders of magnitude more difficult. Specifically making the stops be programmable using an IR remote would be a PITA. On the other hand, making a PC interface that would be a little more difficult to use (i.e. send a command via RS232) would be easier to make. I mean one woudl program the thing with a PC, and once programmed, it would operate via IR. To change stops, etc, pull out the PC. Not elegant, but much easier to develop.

Scott's done the hard part of the mechanism. Haven't looked at it in a while but I remember it being a decent clever setup for off the shelf parts. Problem for me to put one together is that I don't have the masking to test anyhting with. Well, there are plenty of roadblocks, that's just warming up. I would use step motors becasue that's what I know best, although DC might be doable since we basically are not space constrained. Problem of not having a maksing system to test with is it's hard to determine the exact torque requirements to optimize motor and controller and power supply (thus saving costs).

I'll think about it. Don't get excited, I don't think I can fit it in. I had started on a system when the CineSldie was born and never got back to it. Not like Scotts but the automation parts of it are the same problem no matter the mechanicals.

Now if one of you clever cats finds and works out a solution using off the shelf parts like some suggested; and all you are missing is a microprocessor front end to go from IR to RS232, I might be more able to help with that.

We'll see.
post #574 of 835
Forgive me, I may have mentioned this before, but I had thought about this approach.

Buy a motorized curtain track (like from www.powercurtain.com ). It comes with an IR rmt ctl & a wired wall switch, but with no presets. Attach masking panels onto the master carriers and then place your curtains on a seperate non-motorized track in front of the first with an arm connecting between them (like AVS member Vern Dias did). As the motorized track moves the masks back & forth, the curtains will tag along.

What I have wondered, is there is a way to mount several snap action switches along an adjustable rail above the motorized track, now attach a pin/lever to one master carrier. This arm would trip each switch as it passes going either direction (each switch placed at AR points). The outputs from the switches would all connect to a buss & the signal would route to the wall switch's "Stop" button (a contact closure -- in a way duplicating the stop signal each time a snap switch is tripped). Of course that means the track would stop each time any AR position is reached & you have to start the track again each time from the IR rmt ctl or wall panel.

Not the best approach mind you, but simple. Not sure how this would work electrically or even work at all. If it did work, then no need for a microprocessor or programing (beyond what's built into the PowerCurtain setup). Does this make any sense ?

John
post #575 of 835
ScottJ0007-

The $100 is the cost just for the parts. Anybody that offered a kit would have to mark it up 3-4x. But you still need the mechanics to go along with it. So, now you would be in the $600 + range (estimate).

I don't know how much DIY'ers are willing to pay for such a kit. But, if you consider the time that goes into trying to fabricate something yourself, then it is probably well worth buying a kit and get the project finished.

I'm not even sure if there is a market really for it. How many people would buy it? Anybody considering making it would need to understand the ROI (return on investment), since there would be a considerable investment developing such a kit. Why do you think the Stewart Cinecurve is so expensive??

Do you think if you build it, people will show up??

DB
post #576 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDGTX View Post

What I have wondered, is there is a way to mount several snap action switches along an adjustable rail above the motorized track, now attach a pin/lever to one master carrier. This arm would trip each switch as it passes going either direction (each switch placed at AR points). The outputs from the switches would all connect to a buss & the signal would route to the wall switch's "Stop" button (a contact closure -- in a way duplicating the stop signal each time a snap switch is tripped).
John

John-
The controller would have to have discrete inputs for the switches, otherwise it will get confused about who's who. Also, it would be better to use magnetic proximity switches (no direct contact).

Personally, I don't see how you would be able to retro-fit an existing curtain controller.

DB
post #577 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifeliciano View Post

Make sure it's low voltage, low current so it can be powered by the PJ's trigger, and no need to have a wall-wart or separate supply.

Sorry, but there's NO WAY to power this stuff from the PJ's trigger output!

DB
post #578 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bond View Post

John-
The controller would have to have discrete inputs for the switches, otherwise it will get confused about who's who. Also, it would be better to use magnetic proximity switches (no direct contact).

Personally, I don't see how you would be able to retro-fit an existing curtain controller.

DB

Hi DB,
Thanks for your input. You may have missed my point that the curtain track would stop at each AR point because each snap switch would momentarily trigger the "stop" function. No need to know "who is who" in this approach.
A concern might be with my approach; is there a momentary type of snap action swt (so as to copy the function of pushing the "stop" button)?
Yes, to be able to push a seperate button on a rmt & have the motor drive the mask panels to any AR position from any other position would be ideal. The "PowerCurtain" track's rmt ctl & wall panel only offers; full open, full close & stop for an "A" & "B" track.

As for use of mag prox switch, someone mentioned they have a width of operation when a magnetic approached from either side (not sure how wide that is). If it's an inch or so, may not matter.

Had thought about using photo interrupter swts as AR point sensors. While no physical contact would occur between the master carrier's arm & the swt, that arm would have to travel with very little movement so it would stay within the swt's groove.

The ideal approach would be to use a DC motor with built in encoder coupled with a motor driver board & microprocessor board that can receive commands from a rmt ctl device. That was the beauty of Scott's approach with an off the shelf antenna rotator, just needed adapting to drive a masking setup. While that proved difficult, that story is not over yet, stay tuned...

Thanks for the input.

John
post #579 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bond View Post

Sorry, but there's NO WAY to power this stuff from the PJ's trigger output!

DB

It was just a suggestion.
post #580 of 835
Was away for a couple of days, came back and almost could not recognize the thread Felt like JUST ANOTHER one of the millions of threads on the net

Anyway, regarding Scott's question about other rotators, the Channel Master and the Philips rotators use the old potentiometer technology for positioning. The Eagle Aspen is the only one using the Hall Sensor.

The PJ's trigger can be used to turn anything ON or OFF.

I would agree, HOLD ON , this is not the end

Teecue
post #581 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeCue View Post

The PJ's trigger can be used to turn anything ON or OFF.

Teecue

Yes it can, but you're gonna need some sort of interface circuit. The output is low current (maybe 10-20 mA), so it can be used to turn on a transistor that can energize a relay.

DB
post #582 of 835
Don is right there. Note that some PJ's expect a "high impedance" trigger input. That means they are not even capable of 10mA. I use transistor based opto-isolators on the CineSlide triggers and we have had issues with some projectors. For those cases we make a special cable to limit the current sourced from the PJ. Otherwise the PJ circuit sees the trigger as a short, pulling much more current that it is capable of providing. On the other hand, a few components (e.g. Lumagen Radiance) have more robust trigger drivers. Most can do 10mA but not all.
post #583 of 835
Well of course you need an interface! One cannot use the trigger directly to power a 24 volt , 2 amp setup.

The easiest way to do that would be to use a relay board, which would use a small trigger impulse and turn on a relay.

I probably should have clarified this in the original post
post #584 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Harper View Post

Jonathan,

Can you supply the make/model of the actuator you used? Also, any luck with getting the IR control finished?

Thanks,

Ben

I haven't done anything with the IR control besides the current setup (hold a button for open, another for close). It takes so little time to move it that I haven't felt the need to pursue anything more complicated than that, and my EE friend is flakier than a bowl of breakfast cereal.

The actuator I used is from Firgelli Automation.

http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...roducts_id=164

There are a variety of stroke lengths available. I chose this one based on available space and need.
post #585 of 835
Scott & other bright people on this thread,

Take a look at these motor controllers: http://www.elec-solutions.com/produc...m/rq60dum.html

Highlights:

Up to 100 intermediate positions available with RQ commands.

· Up to 60 scenes can be programmed and each can be activated with a single RQ command.

· Supports RP (“Remotely Programmable”) functionality and input devices in addition to RQ functionality.

· Switches any standard 12V or 24V DC motor.

· Voltage range is 11.5-36VDC

· can be programmed and controlled with option IR remote

I can pick these up for around $70 each. Think this is worth pursuing?

Ben
post #586 of 835
Interesting. You do apparently need more than just the controller. I'm making dealer inquires with them now to see about pricing. Where did you get the $70 price? I am already a Somfy dealer and their tube motors combined with these controllers may be a very workable soultion. It will just depend on what they think of themselves . I'll let you know what I find.
post #587 of 835
Worthington's has them for $70. I don't know what the IR remote/programmer costs as its not listed in Worthingtons catalog. I agree that the Somfy motors are a great fit.

Ben
post #588 of 835
Well, looking at them a little closer, they do not use any type of motor feedback. Apparently, they use a method to determine the cycle count between known limits and essentially "guess" at intermediate points. If it's moving from an unknown (some defined stop position), it has several conditions that will make it "rehome" where it moves back to a known stop, then to the desired location. May be fine for window blind or a pool cover control, but probably won't be sufficient accuracy for all the anal personalities (self included) around here . It is possible that a reduction gear set may increase motor turns and thus improve accuracy, but not sure. I've spoken to the president and am to meet with their national sales manager soon. I'll get his input and let you know what I find...
post #589 of 835
My assumption is that they are counting the time between two limits. But, motors (and power supplies) have fairly wide tolerances, whereby the "repeatability" of such method of setting presets would not be very robust.

The only way of setting presets with any repeatablity is with an optical encoder in the feedback loop. Here, you can do velocity and position control quite accurately.

If you read the fine print, the company is owned by Hunter-Douglass. That should give you a clue.

DB
post #590 of 835
Yes, I beleive that is what they are doing from reading their docs. What is interesting to me is their list of "partners". It includes several HT screen companies and almost all of the automated drapery companies. Their list would lead one to believe all those companies are using these controllers in their products. If that's true and those companies are getting sufficient accuracy (e.g. Stewart), it is still interesting. However, their rehome routines still concern me as I would hate to have to wait on the thing to open all the way before it moves to a preset. I'm hooking up with them today or monday, I'll get their input and see what they say. I'd say best case the mechanicals would need to be very smooth and consistent. Some of them do use current detection to sense limits and any "drag spot" in the motion would be an issue in that case.
post #591 of 835
Just thought I'd jump in here. Haven't read this entire thread ... but the op's setup is absolutely fabulous. Mine is not nearly as cool ... but take a look at it if it helps anyone. I used the Makita twin track product for drapes and masks ... but added a custom 3rd track to skirt very close to the screen for the masks. I have JPGs available from the link 'neath my sig ... with closeups of how I joined the custom masks track to the mortorized inner track.
post #592 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

Apparently, they use a method to determine the cycle count between known limits and essentially "guess" at intermediate points.
May be fine for window blind or a pool cover control, but probably won't be sufficient accuracy for all the anal personalities (self included) around here .

Agreed. The controller uses travel time for positioning. Here is an excerpt from their "Calibration" procedure:

"In order to gain a higher level of control using “move to position” commands, it will be necessary to perform a calibration procedure which allows the controller to capture the specific travel time of the motor connected to it. Option 1 – Calibrate a specific controller. Send this command to calibrate the controller addressed as PS1: !PS1pTC; The controller will run the motor and record its travel time from fully open to fully closed and back to open. The controller stores the travel time for use in future movement commands and Intermediate Positioning. The travel time may be queried for matching animation timing to the travel time of the controller using !PS1pT?;"

Further review shows that these controllers are mostly going to be used for control and coordination of movements similar to those of window shades. They even have a sample program in their documentation for shade control.

Great find though!!
post #593 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeCue View Post

Agreed. The controller uses travel time for positioning. Here is an excerpt from their "Calibration" procedure:

"In order to gain a higher level of control using move to position commands, it will be necessary to perform a calibration procedure which allows the controller to capture the specific travel time of the motor connected to it. Option 1 - Calibrate a specific controller. Send this command to calibrate the controller addressed as PS1: !PS1pTC; The controller will run the motor and record its travel time from fully open to fully closed and back to open. The controller stores the travel time for use in future movement commands and Intermediate Positioning. The travel time may be queried for matching animation timing to the travel time of the controller using !PS1pT?;"

Further review shows that these controllers are mostly going to be used for control and coordination of movements similar to those of window shades. They even have a sample program in their documentation for shade control.

Yep. But they are cutting it at 1/40th of a second apparently. So depending on the inherit inertia of the system, it still may work. I mean for a $10k savings I can live with a 2.35 masking that misses the edge by 2 or 3 pixels. As long as it's consistent.
post #594 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

Yep. But they are cutting it at 1/40th of a second apparently. So depending on the inherit inertia of the system, it still may work. I mean for a $10k savings I can live with a 2.35 masking that misses the edge by 2 or 3 pixels. As long as it's consistent.

Most of us can live with that too, but can Scott? Wonder what he is up to?
post #595 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by GetGray View Post

Interesting. I am already a Somfy dealer and their tube motors combined with these controllers may be a very workable soultion. It will just depend on what they think of themselves . I'll let you know what I find.

They have an interface that controls Somfy motors.

http://www.elec-solutions.com/produc...m/rp60sdm.html
post #596 of 835
Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeCue View Post

They have an interface that controls Somfy motors.

http://www.elec-solutions.com/produc...m/rp60sdm.html

Yeah, its a protocol converter for a specific somfy. They also make their own motors. They just sent me a catalog this AM. Hope to speak to "the man" regarding accuracy and repeatability today.
post #597 of 835
It should be pixel perfect every time.

These are the same electronics used by Screen Research and Screen Excellence.
post #598 of 835
Very interesting. "The man" missed me today. Will be after the holiday weekend when I speak to him.
post #599 of 835
Did some more work on my PICAXE masking controller lately. Hopefully I`ll get time to etch and finish the PCB next week.

It will have capasity for some more functionality than my first controller, that was based on a PICAXE prototyping board:

-More IR-programmable presets.
-IR-programmable PWM speed control
-H-bridge (motor driver) that allow 2x2A motors
-Two dedicated counter MCUs that allow movement of hor. and ver. mask simultanously, and also do not miss counts during motor freewheeling.
-MCU readable limit switches. Can be used during calibration, or maybe automatic setup of presets.
-Reflection sensors as position feedback instead of hacked PC-mouse...

Gunnar
LL
post #600 of 835
I've been pursuing a similar course of action with a PIC prototyping board but have been concerned about adding the following features:

- Each mask edge is independently movable (i.e. 4 motors) for movies that were not mastered correctly.
- Some method for the masking system to send a host PC the exact mask positions for a given movie. When the movie is played back, the mask will move back to that position. RS232 or IP based protocol would be ideal.
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