ShadeFX canopies are a simple yet innovative solution to privacy and protection from the sun and rain. Their patented 'single track' technology is fully customizable and there at the center of every ShadeFX project. The technology ensures smooth operation and a perfect fit for any new or existing overhead shade structure.
The first step to configuring a custom retractable shade solution is determining the ideal drive type for the project. There are three options available: manual, motor and rope.
Mechanically, all three drive types serve the same purpose, to draw the shade along the track. Ease of operation will always remain however there are many factors to consider to know which is the best option for a project. Variables such as structure design, obstacles, and budget, will dictate the optimal solution.
Single Track Technology
The track houses a series of carriers that attach to the wings, holding the fabric in place. Straddling the track, the wings run perpendicular along its length.
As the lead carrier travels the length of the track, the fabric panel extends engaging the next carrier to follow through. Depending on how far you wish to extend the canopy, each carrier will continue to deploy the next panel.
- Manual Drive
ShadeFX’s most cost-effective option uses a detachable hand crank. The lead carrier is unlocked by turning the handle counterclockwise and gliding it across the track to the desired position. To lock the canopy in place, turn the handle clockwise. The handle can be removed and stored.
The manual drive is most common for small residential applications such as traditional garden pergolas or an open box frame. In certain cases, extended hand cranks can be installed to reach higher, if this is still not sufficient, the motor drive may be a suitable alternative.
- Motor Drive
The motorized canopy is popular for large residential and commercial projects. The shade can be extended and retracted at the push of a button, flick of a switch, or via a smartphone app. Made up of a drive belt, bearings, pulleys, and a transmission, the motor canopy has an ultra-durable operation.
Ideal for taller structures, spaces with interference along the track path or large loads. Shades can exceed 150lbs, depending on size, fabric, and the number of wings. Larger and heavier canopies are operated effortlessly using the motor option.
Projects with multiple canopies can choose to have all shades open and close in unison with a wall switch, or independent of each other and can be put on an automatic timer.
- Rope Drive
An option between the manual and motorized, rope drive is comparable to a pulley system. The simple application moves the canopy by pulling on a rope loop, located on one of the structure’s post or wall. The canopy is locked at any point on the track by fitting the rope into the retaining cleat.The rope
drive is a great budget-friendly alternative to the motorized version where the manual drive can’t apply. It’s also a popular eco-friendly option for those looking to maintain their green lifestyle.