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What are my option to power a pneumatic solenoid? on a timer

  1. May 7, 2013 #1
    Hi guys.

    This is for an engr project that im involved in. I have everything else worked out but this got me stomped. Ive been searching for a while and cant find something that fits my application.

    basically the solenoid is controlling a dual acting air pneumatic cylinder. the solenoid is 5 port 2 position.

    the solenoid needs to activate for 2-3 seconds then deactivate and wait another 10-15 seconds and activate again(cycles over and over). it must be adjustable so it can be set every 10 seconds to every 15 seconds cycles.

    Its has to be standalone controller. meaning it can be programmed by a pc but once its running it must be able to do the cycle all by itself.

    price range has to be around $100.

    has to be power by house outlet. 110VAC?

    ived looked hard and just could not find anything that works.

    the two options I found are

    1. Microcontrollers. but I dont know anything about it and wanted to see first if this is something that can be set up for my price range.

    2. add an external push switch that the air cylinder activates when its pushed down. but how do I make sure that when that switch is push it powers on for 2-3 second and not just an on/off switch?

    please input on these would be great.

    thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Have you looked at Omega Engineering? They make some products that might be along the lines of what you are looking for:


  4. May 7, 2013 #3

    jim hardy

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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe you'll find some search terms here...



    EDIT late addition :

    Read the RedLion datasheet carefully , looks to me like it'll do what you asked.. The one on EBAY is 120VAC, $100, and there's some used ones as cheap as $39...

    I'd use a "Quencharc" suppressor across the coil of that solenoid valve to prolong relay life.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  5. May 7, 2013 #4
    You have the option to buy inexpensive ZENER diodes. These become invaluable when the field of induction losses energy. Your coil most likely isn't large enough to matter but it would add to detail. Omron makes a micro PLC. You can solve your problem using relay logic also.
  6. May 8, 2013 #5
    thank you guys for responding. Im looking through all that stuff for possible options.

    Just for clarification this youtube video shows what im looking for in my system.

    so please if your familiar with pneumatic please let me know if these will work together and do what we need it to do.

    My team member brought this controller up and was wondering if you guys can double check this and see if it would work?

    Ive also added the wiring schematics-this is pretty much how we plan to wire everything. please wiring expert look at these and see if this is correct.

    here are the components. this is what were planning on using.

    will this connector match that solenoid?

    and here is the timer that was suggested.

    and here is the wiring diagram


    Attached Files:

    • sc.jpg
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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  7. May 8, 2013 #6
    Yeah, nothing personal, but I'm going to pass on clicking all your hyperlinks. If you want to share media with the forum there are plenty of tools which allow easy insertion to your post.
  8. May 8, 2013 #7
    Since 2 and 7 on any typical base is the coil your solenoid would actuate (if it were wired correctly) whenever the timer told it to.

    Why are you taking the neutral of the coil back to the relay base?
  9. May 8, 2013 #8
    Post your video to youtube then add to this forum. LOL the way you show it now it's going to do nothing. As a side note, what type of solenoid are you using? Centering ? Non Centering? Ok, Ive got to go for now.
  10. May 8, 2013 #9
    sorry I was trying to keep the post neat. I removed the hyperlink now.

    not my wiring diagram. this is what my team mate gave me. but I wanted to double check since these will be purchased and need to be 100% accurate.

    not sure what you mean? did you mean explain what I need it to do in video?

    and did not encountered that(centering or non centering) when I was looking at the specs of the solenoid so I dont know.

    thanks for the reply
  11. May 8, 2013 #10
    Don't worry your circuit is simple. From the looks of your diagram you probably don't need to worry about centering and non centering. One returns to it's natural state once the voltage is removed from the coil. An internal spring forces the solenoid. The other requires the first voltage to drop out and then a second coil to return the solenoid to it's natural state. In application, this is a very important consideration.

    I'm assuming you have a spring returned solenoid.

    You have two coils in your circuit. One in the timer relay and one on your solenoid. Polarity (which side is neu what side is hot) will not matter in either case. You can put which ever to either side and your coil will become a magnet.

    Typical what you see in a 120 VAC schematic is wire 1 is hot and wire 2 is neu. The #1 hot typical becomes #3 as it runs in series through an infinate number of safteys (interlocks). Once we get through that series circuit it comes back as #5. Very long explination just know it's professional to keep neu #2. For this reason, you normally will put neu to the #2 point on your relay base.
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  12. May 8, 2013 #11
    The neutral from your solenoid has no reason to return to the relay base. Your neu from all three can just tie together in a terminal strip, wire nuts , what ever you have.

    The non neu from your coil on the solenoid needs to go to the relay timer. You need to look at your timer and you will see on the top, side (some where on that timer) will be a diagram. You have timed and non timed contacts. Make sure you use timed.

    On the timed contacts you will have three numbers. One is common to the other two. The common is either normally closed or normally open to the other two numbers. You want normally open. Put your solenoid coil wire there. Then, from point 7 on your relay base you need to put a jumper to the common point. Your done.
  13. May 11, 2013 #12
    Thank you very much
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