I was inspired by ILTMS alexa-enabled project, and decided to do something similar for the window vent. So far, I only have the electronics working & the mechanical design has some room for improvement, but overall, things are progressing!
Few things going on here:
- I’m using a Wi-Fi enabled outlet plug, which is controlled by my Amazon Echo. This allows me to turn the glowforge on/off with a command (i.e. “Alexa, turn on the glowforge”). The glowforge’s physical switch is permanently left in the on position, so all on/off controls are handled by the Wi-Fi outlet.
- In addition to the glowforge being plugged into the Wi-Fi outlet, I also have a simple USB adapter (i.e. USB phone charger) plugged in with a USB cable connected. This USB cable is spliced & provides a simple 5V signal that is connected to the TI LaunchPad kit input pins. This is a simple way for my TI LaunchPad kit to know when the glowforge is on.
- The TI LaunchPad kit is a microcontroller board similar to the Arduino, which can be programmed for various tasks. In this case, actuate a servo motor open or closed depending on if a 5V signal is presented or not.
- Note that the TI LaunchPad kit is connected to another outlet that is independent of the WiFi outlet (basically this is always on waiting for the 5V signal).
- If the 5V signal is read, the TI LaunchPad kit actuates the servo opening the blast gate.
- When I say “Alexa, turn off the glowforge” the Wi-Fi outlet turns off, thus turning off the glowforge & the USB adapter.
- At this point, the TI LaunchPad kit no longer reads the 5V signal, and actuates the blast gate into the closed position.
- Improve the mechanical design/mount of the servo motor (using custom acrylic cut from the glowforge, of course!)
- Cut some wood to place into the window & figure out how to best weather seal it.