ROLLER SHADES - Manual Clutch & Chain Drive Roller Shades
Additional information - Coverage beyond the Chain/Clutch Drive Shade product pages.

 

 


DRIVE SIDE SELECTION

Most roller shade drive mechanisms including chain/clutch drive system do not have a required side of the the shade that they must be used on. Clutch and chain mechanism can be  mounted on the left or right side of the shade. There isn't  a default side of the shade for the drive mechanism. The only recommendation we have is that of convenience and aesthetics. The chain and clutch should be mounted on the side of the shade that is most convenient for pulling. If you have a window that is in a corner you generally want to put the clutch/chain on the side of the shade that is farthest from the corner so that either a right handed or left handed person can easily pull the shade.

BACK TO TOP


CHAIN STYLE SELECTION

Roller shade clutches typically use a beaded pull that drives the shade up or down when pulled on the front or back of the chain dropping down from the clutch mechanism. Selection of the chain style is most often based on personal preference to match decor and there are several options to pick from but there are other considerations.

Chain Stops: Roller shade clutch beaded chains (when supplied with a shade) typically have stops installed. Chain stops are typically larger diameter clear plastic balls (additional connectors can also be used instead of balls) that are snapped over the existing beads on the chain. These stops limit the amount of chain that can be pulled through the clutch. The stops placed on a chain are to protect the shade from damage as a result of the shade being rolled up or down to far. Chains with stop balls and connectors must be made to minimum lengths so that enough chain is available to pull on to fully move the shade to its limits.

Continuous Loops: Continuous loop metal beaded chains can be used in shorter lengths while still allowing for full travel of the shade. Continuous loop beaded chains do not typically use a stop ball, never use a chain connector and must be made from metal beaded chain. More caution will be necessary in raising and lowering the shade if a continuous beaded chain without a stop installed. Continuous loop metal beaded chain is formed by forcing open up one of the beads, inserting the connecting shaft and then clamping down on the opened bead over the connected shaft.

Rollease Beaded Chain Options

Plastic Beaded Chain:This type of chain is comprised of a continuous nylon cord with thermally fused plastic beads along its length. The spacing of the beads on a plastic beaded chain are typically twice that of a metal beaded chain and this is done for flexibility. If the beads were placed too closely the plastic beaded chain would be very stiff. Plastic beaded chains are similar in strength to Nickel plated steel beaded with with app. 50lb tensile strength. Stainless steel beaded chain does however have an approximate 90lb tensile strength. The benefits of plastic beaded chains are that they do not kink and has less parts to fail because it uses a continuous cord with one break at the beaded chain connector. The disadvantages of the plastic beaded chain are that they are less flexible than metal beaded chains and can't  be made into continuous loops..

Nickel Plated Steel Beaded Chain: This type of chain is comprised of a many beads closed onto tiny metal shafts that connect each bead. The spacing of each bead is very close. The primary benefit of the metal beaded chain is that is more flexible and that it can be made into a continuous loop without a beaded chain connector. We feel the only reason to actually select a metal beaded chain is when a shorter chain length is desired. The disadvantages of the metal beaded chain are that they can kink, the finish can be rubbed off over time and tarnish (except stainless steel) and are more subject to fatigue over the life of the shade. By default we supply continuous loop metal beaded chains with the shades and do not use beaded chain connectors.

Stainless Steel Beaded Chain: This type of chain is comprised of a many beads closed onto tiny metal shafts that connect each bead. The spacing of each bead is very close. The benefit of stainless steel beaded chains over plastic and nickel plated steel is that the stainless steel beaded chains have a tensile strength of approximately 90lbs compared to app. 50 lbs of plastic or nickel plated steel. Metal chains are also more flexible than plastic beaded chains and they can be made into a continuous loop without a beaded chain connector. The disadvantages of stainless steel beaded chains are that they can kink and are more subject to fatigue over the life of the shade. By default we supply continuous loop metal beaded chains with the shades and do not use beaded chain connectors.

Chain Drop Length: Chain drop lengths vary from app. 50% to 90% of shade height depending on the clutch used for the shade. Clutch size is determined by shade width and tube size. By default we use slightly more than the minimum required chain length. We can however accommodate custom chain length requests. Note: Plastic beaded chains use a connector that does not pass through the clutch so we do have less flexibility in custom chain length requests than we do for the continuous loop metal beaded chains. If you require a custom beaded chain length please make a note in the "Comments Option" when ordering a shade.

This Rollease Clutch Chain Length Chart can be used as a guide to indicate our standard chain lengths. Plastic beaded chains can not be made shorter than indicated on the chart.
              •  Shade widths up to 64.25" use Rollease R8 Clutches.
              •  Shade widths 64.25" to 121.25" use Rollease R16 Clutches.
              •  Shade widths 121.25" to 145.25" use Rollease R24 Clutches.

BACK TO TOP


CAN I RETROFIT MY CHAIN SHADE TO A MOTORIZED SHADE?

Yes, but with caution. We use common components like Rollease Clutches, Tubes, End Plugs and Brackets that Somfy has compatible crowns and drives to match so there is less concern with some shade manufacturers than others. Regardless of who made your clutch shade you must know some things and take some things into consideration.

If you are purchasing a manual clutch shade from us and plan on upgrading it at a later date to a Somfy motor simply tell us. We will let you know what its compatibility as well as make some changes to the Chain driven shade to ensure it will be compatible with the planned upgrade.

Things you must know: Tip to Tip Dimension Deduction, Tubes - Manufacturer, Size and Profile, Bracket Compatibility, Weight of the shade.

Tip to Tip Dimension Deduction: The first consideration is whether or not your shade was made for Tip to Tip dimensions. You need to know what deduction was made to your Tip to Tip dimension to allow the assembly to fit within your space. This is only a concern IF: your assembly is installed within a confirmed width space and this includes fascia or any other enclosure. The Tip to Tip Dimension Deduction is fairly easy to get. First, measure the tip to tip dimension of your shade assembly (measure from outside bracket to outside bracket. Then measure the actual TUBE length. Subtract the two measurements and you will get your Tip to tip "Deduction". Once, you know this you can compare the deduction used for what you have to the deduction for the motor assembly you want to put into your shade assembly.

Tubes - Manufacturer, Size and Profile: It is essential you know who made the shade tube and what the size of the tube is and what the internal profile of the tube is. The tube manufacturer is commonly but not always the same as the clutch mechanism manufacturer. Knowing whose components are used will help you determine what crown and drive is needed and whether or not a crown and drive is available. Manufacturers use different size tubes with varying internal profiles depending on the size of the clutch drive shade. The easiest way to determine the tube size and profile is to remove one of the end components from the current shade. It is typically easier to remove the end plug from the shade than the clutch but you can remove either. Once, you have one of the end components removed you can put a tape measure across the end of the tube to measure its diameter and you can also see inside the tube to inspect the profile of the tube. Since you have the components off might as well take a picture of the tube!!! Knowing the tube profile and diameter will provide you with the ability to check motor compatibility with your tube.

Bracket Compatibility: What specific brackets are used and will they be compatible with the motor? Rollease does stamp many of its brackets with their name and model so in some cases getting the necessary information will be easy. If the information is not available, take a picture, search the web to try and find out what you have.

Weight of the Shade: Every motor has a lifting capacity associated with it. So you need to know if your shade is capable of lifting your shade. When getting the weight of the shade you can simply measure the material weight on the scale while holding the tube off of the scale or you can calculate the weight. To calculate the weight you will need to know the weight of the material which can usually be found on the web and you will need to know the weight of the hem bar. Most hem bars typically weigh about 0.25lb per foot but some may be more.

Typical shade deductions for various shade configurations.
Drive Mechanism Tube Compatibility Bracket Compatibility End Plug Compatibly Typ. Tip to Tip Deduction
MFG Model MFG Size MFG Model MFG Model
Rollease R8 Clutch Rollease 1.25"
1.5"
Rollease RB360
RB380
RB390
Rollease REP03
REP53
1 1/8"
Both Tube Sizes
Rollease

R16 Clutch

Rollease 1.5"
2"*
2.5"
Rollease

RB560
RB580
RB590
RBGAL

Rollease REP03
REP53/RA2
1 1/4" - 1.5" Tube
1 3/8" - 2" Tube *
Rollease R24 Clutch Rollease 1.5"
2" *
2.5"
Rollease RB560
RB580
RB590
RBGAL
Rollease REP53
REP53/RA2
1 1/4" - 1.5" Tube
1 3/8" - 2" Tube *
Rollease Skyline Series Rollease 1.25"
1.5"
2" *
Rollease Skyline Rollease Skyline Unknown
Somfy LT30 Motor Rollease 1.25"
1.5"
2" *
Rollease RB360
RB380
RB390
Rollease REP03
REP53
REP53/RA2
1 3/16" - 1.25" Tube
1 3/16" - 1.5" Tube
1 5/16" - 2" Tube *
Somfy ST30 Motor Rollease 1.5"
2" *
Rollease RB360
RB380
RB390
Rollease REP53
REP53/RA2
1 1/8" - 1.5" Tube
1 1/4" - 2" Tube
Somfy ST40 Motor Rollease 2" * Rollease RB360
RB380
RB390
Rollease REP53/RA2 1 7/16" - 2" Tube *
Somfy ST50 Motor Many
Rollease
2" **
2.5"
Somfy

9410635
9410651

Somfy 9420800 2 3/8" - 2" Tube **
2 1/2" - 2.5" Tube
This table is a guide and not a specification. Listed Deductions are approximates and may change with MFG changes in product design or shade with changes in fabrication procedures.

LT30 Motors can not be used in steel tubes.

Somfy Motors are not compatible with Rollease RB560,RB580,RG590,RBGAL Brackets due to the clutch side bracket tab width. The tab is too wide to fit into the motors but can be filed down to the correct size.

LT30 & ST30 Motors are compatible with Rollease Skyline series components BUT require an adapter plate. Deductions for Skyline are not known because we do not fabricate with Rollease Skyline components.

*Indicates the use of a Rollease 2" Internally Ribbed Tube.

** Indicates the use of a 2" Smooth Wall Tube. Commonly referred to a motorization tube. There are many MFG for these tubes including Rollease, Somfy Etc.

 

Some Examples:

1) I've got a Clutch Drive shade that is Rollease components. I pulled the end plug off and measured the tube diameter to be 2" and have confirmed the inside of the tube is ribbed but I want to use the Somfy Sonesse 50 motor. Can I? No, the Sonesse 50 motor will not work in a 2" tube that is internally ribbed and you will have to consider the other motors.

2) I've got a shade with a Tip to Tip dimension of 44" and the tube width is measured to be 42 5/8". The calculated deduction is then 1 3/8" Let's not think about tube diameter on this one. What motors will fit? The LT30 and ST30 motors will fit but their deduction is a smaller than 1 3/8" but that is generally OK. It may just mean that you might have to move the brackets in a little closer. The ST40 and ST50 motors will not work because their deductions are too large. If you need to use the ST40 and ST50 motors in a confined space installation you will need to cut the material width and tube length to allow them to fit.

3) I want to buy a Clutch Drive shade on a 2.5" tube with the intention of upgrading to a Somfy Sonesse 50 motor later. This can be done. Most commonly people will want to keep the same bracket location to prevent excessive holes so we can build the shade initially for the total tip to tip dimension needed for the clutch shade but cut the fabric to to the tip to tip dimension deduction for the ST50 shade. In this case the tube will be longer than the fabric. When you are ready to upgrade to the motor all you will have to do is cut the excess tube length off, replace the end plug and the brackets.
 

BACK TO TOP


INDEX - ROLLER SHADES - Questions, Answers and Information
Go back to our index of questions and answers regarding rollers shades.

CUSTOM ROLLER SHADES - Index Page
Go here to purchase roller shades.

ROLLER SHADE COMPONENTS - Index Page
Go here to purchase components for roller shades.

Loading...