Monthly Archives: March 2013

Transition to WordPress

As of today, this site is running on WordPress. Everything went fairly smoothly, and modifying the theme was straight forward. I didn’t want to go through the hassle of updating my old custom content management system to meet new web standards in order to look pretty on new mobile devices – using WordPress made this simple, helps to simplify updates on the go even further, and means I have more time to spend on projects that I enjoy.

I am currently digging through notes and photos from the many projects I have neglected posting about – look for some updates here soon.

Curtain Clock

clock5I’ve never been a morning person.  But, I’ve found the best way to wake up is with natural light. These indoor solar simulators hold no candle to the bright sunlight on a clear morning.  My solution was an alarm clock to draw back the curtains.

This device mounts to the wall beside the window, neatly hidden behind the curtain edge when open or closed.  The alarm from a clock assembly (pulled from an old programmable coffee machine) triggers a 555 timer acting as a monostable oscillator which drivers a relay-controlled synchronous AC gear motor that draws the curtains closed via a cord.  The 555 pulse length must be set as to generate the correct fixed opening time.  It is also a good idea to have a torque-limiting clutch (ie, find a bobin that fits tight to the motor shaft that will slip if there is a jam).

I built this at the end of 2008, but never really documented it.  It works well, but I would like to redesign it to automatically find the full open position.


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