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First Post: Looking for an electric lever.

  1. Feb 25, 2010 #1
    Does anyone know of anything that flips a little lever when you send a current through it, then flips it back when you stop sending current?

    Something like this:

    _____
    No current: _/

    _
    Current: \_____

    _____
    No current: _/

    _
    Current: \_____

    Basically everytime you send a current to this little gadget it flips a lever, then when you stop sending current it flips back.
    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. This is for a school project and it really means a lot to my workgroup.

    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2010 #2
  4. Feb 26, 2010 #3

    FredGarvin

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    Science Advisor

    That's the first thing I thought of, but it doesn't have a physical "lever" per say. It is an electric actuated switch.
     
  5. Feb 26, 2010 #4

    RonL

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    Gold Member

  6. Feb 26, 2010 #5
  7. Feb 26, 2010 #6
    Thanks. Looks like these spin when you give them electricity, right?

    If I'm understanding correctly then a solenoid could be used in combination with a spring:

    Apply current: Solenoid tries to spin but is stopped partway by a spring which is in place, and this action is used to move a lever. When the solenoid stops trying to spin the spring pushes the lever back to its original position.

    How much power do these normally take?

    Do you know of any solenoid that already does what I want it to do?

    Amazing help, I'm truly grateful,
    John
     
  8. Feb 26, 2010 #7
    Could a solenoid be used to quickly cover and uncover a hole?

    Basically my group needs to 'partially' cover an air intake. I believe that we could use a solenoid's spinning motion to quickly cover and uncover the intake and slow an airflow. To do this we'll need to convert the solenoid's spinning motion into a linear up-and-down pumping motion. What should we use to do this conversion?

    I realize this is pretty involved everyone. I'm just really excited about this project.

    John

    EDIT: to clarify, we would you see the spinning motion to repeatedly lower and raise a small door which is blocking and unblocking an airway so that as the solenoid spins, the door, or 'blocker', will open and close the airway very quickly. So the trick is to convert the spinning motion into repeated lowering and raising of a small piece of metal.

    More ascii art:

    As the solenoid is spinning the 'door', or 'blocker', looks like this,

    -----[__blocker__] (airway)
    ------------------[__blocker__]
    -----[__blocker__] (airway)
    ------------------[__blocker__]
    -----[__blocker__] (airway)

    What can convert a solenoids spinning motion into a pumping motion as described above?

    Thanks again,
    John
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  9. Feb 26, 2010 #8

    RonL

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    Gold Member

    Servo's are units that turn rotary motion into linear motion.

    Solenoid's that have plungers, will produce a push or pull action, this is the results of a coil of wire wound around a core, the rod is a slip fit through the core and when the coil of wire is supplied a voltage and current it will develop a magnetic field. The center of the rod mass will always line up with the center of the magnetic field.
    A lever will generally have a spring or load of some kind that causes the rod to move to an out of center position when no energy is being supplied to the coil.

    When a coil is energized the amount of current is high for just a short time, then it draws very little current to maintain the magnetic field.

    A little searching might produce a better discription of what I just said.

    Ron
     
  10. Feb 26, 2010 #9

    turbo

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    Gold Member

    Got any old pinball games around that you can scavenge from? Their flippers had some very strong and fast-acting solenoids as actuators.
     
  11. Feb 28, 2010 #10

    Danger

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    Gold Member

    Those are quite good, but don't overlook automotive parts as well. The fast-idle and Bendix solenoids from a vehicle are 12VDC and have one nasty kick.
    The thing that's driving me nuts right now is OP's constant reference to the solenoid spinning. I have never in my life heard of a solenoid that spins.
    I can't help wondering if s/he might be better off with a stepper motor and rotary valve.
     
  12. Mar 7, 2010 #11
    Okay, now my team's just looking for old pinball machines...

    Thanks for all your help so far guys.
     
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