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Solenoid vs actuator Answered

I'm planning on adding network capabilityto my current remote car starter (like the viper systems)
At first i was thinking of hacking a remote and connecting it to my microcontroler. But since the spare remote cost 80$ I chose to go out with a mechanical pushing of the button instead, at least for the prototype.

Considering the following facts, what do you think i should use?

The solenoid/actuator must operate at -22 f (-30c)
I dont want the thing to smash the remote too hard and break it



Hmm. You have to be really careful with solenoids, they can deliver an almighty thump. If you go that route, think of isolating the whacker with a spring, to reduce the forces to sane levels.

I'd go with the solenoid, Simpler to wire (Doesn't require a command to retract right?) Even a servo could work. the servo will have a more precise force rating then either a solenoid or an actuator, so it would be more genital on your keys.

Either way, attach whatever you choose to a larger plastic or rubber pad. use the pad to push the actual button and it will help disperse the load across a larger surface.

oh my... "it would be more genital on your keys"

Methinks you meant gentle, no? ;)

If your actuator (a solenoid is a type of actuator btw) you could easily design a threaded push rod with rubber tip that can be adjusted to limit movement in the actuator. Then adjust it in the field.

In terms of the specific solenoid/etc. idk. that's too much work for a free advise column.