Originally Posted by benwillcox
For those talking of motorizing the masking system, the system that I designed uses automation to move the masking to ANY aspect ratio desired - fortunately, this part of my project was the part that actually worked properly!
In a nutshell, you pass the desired aspect ratio to the system as an integer between 1 and 2350 (or whatever your max aspect ratio is), and using an optical encoder it will move the masking to the correct point.
I have documented it here: http://www.willcoxonline.com/masking/
which I think would also work using your mechanism, but with a few mechanical modifications of course.
Wow! I studied your web site and am very impressed with you electronic design abilities. I'm afraid though that most of it is beyond my level of knowledge. I'm having a hard time even understanding what all the symbols mean on your schematic, let alone understanding how to build it
. I've done a little bit of reading on motor controllers but I always get stumped on the encoders and the programming.
Do you have to re-program the controller if you lose power? Can you move your masking as part of a macro in a universal remote or do you alway have to be hooked up to a PC?
This is my wish-list of what I would like a motorization system to do:
1) It should be able to move both the horizontal and the vertical masking by remote IR and/or RF control. The IR should be learnable so that it can be controlled by a universal remote like the Harmony or Pronto series.
2) It should move both the horizontal masking and the vertical masking to a minimum of 5 pre-determined set points for various aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 1.85:1, 2.35:1, 2.40:1). It should be extremely accurate and repeatable in its positioning. In addition I would like to be able to move the masking manually with the remote to any other aspect ratio as needed.
3) The masking should move from its current position directly to the preset memory position with the touch of one button on the remote. In other words, it should not have to reset itself by returning to the full open or full closed position prior to going to the desired preset position. Also, it would be nice if the controller had a speed control process so that it would quickly move to the desired position and then slow down for the last couple of inches.
4) It should have stop limits for the fully closed and open limits of the masking system.
5) I would also like a wall switch that functions similarly to the remote so that I can move the masking even if I can't find the remote.
6) The preset stopping positions should be easy to set. For example, I would like to be able to manually move the masking to the desired position and then press a set key on the remote followed by the desired Preset Key on the remote to set that desired position.
7) The system should not lose its memory in the event of a power failure.
It seems that all of this should be very do-able for someone who has enough electronic design knowledge and knows where to buy all the parts.
One of my biggest requirement is that they system has to be easy to use. That is probably why I am not overly dissatisfied with my manual setup. Even my wife can set the masking now!
Thanks for posting about your system. It certainly lets me know it is all possible. I'm very impressed!