How can I tell my curtains are closed?

A project log for Aquarium controller / home automation

I am building an automated aquarium controller to fit into my home automation system.

pjpj 09/19/2016 at 19:020 Comments

I was thinking.....

I would like to know that an actuator has actually done what it is to have supposed to have done, like switch on a light or closed the curtains or switched on a pump etc etc. It would be good to know that it has done what it should have and to that end I am wondering how I could do it.

It seems that the test is going to be different for each actuator.

To check to see if a light has been switched on a light sensitive sensor would be the thing to use.

To check a pump is working a flow-sensor is the thing to use.

But how can I (cheaply and simply) actually litteraly check to see if my curtains have been closed or opened? (I have actuator driven curtains in my Lounge which close and open by switch)

Idea 1 ) May be a light source and a light sensor and when the material has broken the beam (permanently) then they are closed, and if the beam is not broken then they are open.

Idea 2) Have a switch mounted at the top of the curtain rail so that when the clip (that attached to the start of the curtain run) touches the switch it switches on (sprung) and when the curtains draw away from the switch then it switches off. So Off means Curtains are open and On means Curtains are closed.

Idea 3) may be a light sensor close to the curtain rail so when it goes dark the curtains are closed. (mmm this could have problems in a dark room unless the light sensor is extremely sensitive)

Idea 4)..... over to you guys... have you any ideas? please write them below - thanks :¬)