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What type of controller do I need?

Computer Help - AnandTech Forums -
Hi guys and gals.

I have been struggling with a problem for a couple of weeks and then I remembered I was a member here, hopefully someone can help.

Will try to include as much information as possible, sorry in advance for the wall of text.

Here goes nothing....

I have just finished a refurbishment on a seclusion room in a psychiatric ward of a hospital. This is a safe space for patients to be kept when there is a risk of them hurting themselves or others around them.

The room has an external window behind a poly-carbonate screen. The external double glazed unit has a horizontal slatted integral/interstitial blind. This type of blind is inside the double glazed window unit between the 2 panes of glass and has been in place for about 12 years. It has an electronic control unit, a HUNTER DOUGLAS AUTO-LUX 2 (pic attached below) which hasn't worked for about 3 years. We know the motor that controls the blind works as we have run the 12v feed for the controller through it and it opens and closes the blind although it moves too fast so I assume the board stepped the output down to a lower voltage.

This blind has often stopped working since the building was constructed about 15 years ago but after a maintenance chap would and fiddle with it, it would start working again. I suspect that the controller needs reprogramming whenever the power to that area of the ward is turned off as it doesn't seem to have an on board CMOS battery like a mobo. I presume the controller needs to be told where the fully open and fully closed position is on the blind so it doesn't try to open or close them past that point and damage the blind itself. I am also presuming that if it doesn't have this information it will simply refuse to send power to the motor.

The engineer on site who was the only one who could seem to fix these blinds has left and is no longer contactable. The hospital has a full O+M manual with what seems like every set of instructions for all mechanical and electrical items in the entire hospital apart from these blinds (I must have gone through 10,000 pages looking for it!). I assume the engineer either lost them or put them somewhere where nobody can find them. I have looked online for a copy of the setup instructions and can't find a thing, the manufacturer has been bought out at least twice since these units were in production and claims nobody can help other than selling me an entire new window and control unit.

So on to the question (pretty sure you can guess what it is by now)

Is there anything anyone can suggest I can use as a suitable controller for this blind, If required I can find out the exact voltage the motor runs on by trial and error.

The controller would need to be able to be activated from the existing simple 2 button hard wired remote in the next room (unless the remote also needs replacing to work with the new controller) and be able to be programmed to stop once it was fully open or closed. The original blind could be partially opened but I really don't care if the solution to the problem simply stops at fully open and closed if that makes the solution easier to achieve.

There is a budget for the repair however as this fix was not part of the contract I will not be invoicing for it and it will be coming out of my own pocket. To be honest I am looking to impress the Project manager by solving a problem that 3 different subcontractors have been asked to look at as I hope to be able to secure further site manager contracts from him in the future and I would rather leave it as an "Owed favour from him". The only answer he has had so far is fit a brand new window with a new controller which would cost a fortune.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Date: Oct 13, 2017   

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