Retractable awning for porch

Shade products made by Craft-Bilt are sold under our Betterliving™ trademark. Most Betterliving™ shade products are sold with the electric motor option, and they are operated by a hand-held remote control.

With our retractable awnings you have the option of combining crank and motor operation. This is called an override motor. This option allows you to crank your awning manually in case of a power failure.

One Zone vs. Four Zone

A single shade installation will use a one zone remote control. With multiple shade products, you typically utilize our four zone remote control. This allows you to control your shades individually while only using one remote control. Here are some examples of situations using a four zone remote control:

  • If you purchase a retractable awning with Light Bar: the motor will be one zone, and the light will be zone two.
  • If you purchase seven solar shades: two shades would move together on zone one, another two shades on zone two, another two shades on zone three, and the last shade would be controlled on zone four.
  • Or, using the example above: five shades could move together on zone one, and each of the remaining two shades could move independently on zone two & three.
  • Hopefully you get the idea 🙂

Don’t Re-Program Your Motor by Mistake

Sometimes you may find your shade product is not stopping where you need it – the programming has been changed. This can happen accidentally when someone fiddles with the remote control. Make sure not to play with the programming button on the back of the remote, and do not press the up & down buttons simultaneously, or you could inadvertently alter your programming. Below are some helpful documents to help you program your shade product.

Where To Find Awning Motor Programming Help

Our awnings use genuine Somfy motors, they are your best source for troubleshooting and setup videos:
This Somfy video on YouTube is quite helpful:

Power Cut

For certain re-programming the instructions describe a power cut, where the plug is pulled from the receptacle for two seconds, reconnected for 10 seconds, disconnected for another two seconds and finally reconnected. If successful, the motor will jog a few inches. Make sure you are counting full seconds (1 one thousand, 2 one thousand…) This can take several tries. You can also try intervals of 5 & 15 seconds.

Thermal Overload

Awning & shade motors will operate continuously for five minutes, after that there is an automatic overload protection. You should have limited power in 10 minutes but may have to wait as long as 30 minutes for the thermal overload feature to reset.

Isolate Your Shade Before Programming

If you have other motorized shades or other remote control items in your home, for instance a motorized projection screen, make sure they are all disconnected before doing any programming. When installing several new shades, rather than just marrying all the wires in an electrical junction box, you are well advised to wire each shade to a separate switch. This will allow simple disconnection of all your shades except the one you are programming.

By Bart Bremmers