Just when I thought I’ve almost automate everything in my home, I came across a retrofit sliding door motor. I’ve found it quite dumb to have to close the sliding door for my kitchen whenever I turn the air-conditioning on. I’ve been mulling over the possibility of becoming even lazier until I came across this retrofit motor drive. The brand is RolloSystems from Germany.
This motor drive fits the kind of sliding door track as shown in the picture below. I believe this is a commonly used track for heavier sliding door. My glass door is quite heavy and this motor can pull up to 80kg of weight. I’m not sure if this is considered as a DIY motor drive, but the installation is rather simple.
Basically, you include a turn-wheel at the end of the track and the motor drive on the other end of the track. The belt will run through the motor and the turn-wheel. You will need to measure the length of the belt and clip the ends together. The clip is also the part that helps to pull the glass door. I’ve yet to find a proper glass clamp for the clip to secure on, but it also works by simply securing it with wires (yes, it’s rather ugly for now until I find a glass clamp).
Needless to say, the motor will require a powerpoint near the track and it is powered by a 24V DC power adaptor. Programming the motor is also rather straightforward. You will need to first let the motor learn the limits, after which you can configure the speed of opening and closing using the program buttons on the motor. For safety reasons, the closing is much slower than the opening. Additionally, the motor allows you to program the sensitivity of detecting obstacles during closing. Yes, when the door is closing and it hits something, it will open up. Great feature if you have kids or pets.
The motor drive also provides for additional inputs to attach sensor or relay to remotely control the operation. Since my home is Z-Wave enabled, I chose to use a Fibaro 2*1.5kw relay. With the Fibaro relay, you will need to turn on one switch to open the door and turn on the other switch to close the door. Fortunately, if you turn on both switches at the same time, the motor doesn’t respond. You may ask why didn’t I use a Fibaro Roller Shutter to interface with this motor. The reason is this is a DC motor and only the Fibaro 2*1.5kw can be used with a DC circuit. I’m sure if your home is automated with other technologies, as long as you have a dual switch relay or even a simple dual gang switch, you will be able to use this drive.
I found using 2 switches to control one door rather counter-intuitive. Thus, I created a scene so that I only need to only worry about 1 switch. For example, turning off the open switch will activate a scene that turn on the close switch or vice versa. With this, I don’t need to meddle with 2 switches. I understand it is a little mind boggling to read this paragraph, but trust me, you will get it easily when you are in the same situation (yes, I’m lazy to explain in detail 😛 ).
Here’s a video of the door in operation with a Z-Wave.ME Dual Paddle Wall Controller. I was tempted to do voice control but I think you get the idea from my previous videos.
Now, I just need another scene to close the door when the air-condition is turned on. Another level up on laziness 🙂