Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kit Usage Guide

Introduction: Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kit Usage Guide

About: Here at Progetto, we strive to help simplify your projects so you can spend more time working on the exciting stuff.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A USAGE GUIDE FOR A PRODUCT: THE SOL-EZ SOLENOID DRIVER KIT. THIS IS NOT A DIY PROJECT.

What is the Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kit?

In short, the Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kits are kits that greatly simplifies the usage of solenoids by combining the discrete components together into a module format. To serve the various types of solenoids on the market, and their varying power requirements, the Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kit has been made available in both high-power and low-power versions. The Sol-EZ should be compatible with any microcontroller or single-board computer with digital I/O and an operating voltage of at least 3.3V.

You can buy the Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver kit through Tindie here: https://www.tindie.com/products/Progetto/sol-ez-solenoid-driver-kits-for-microcontrollers/

This instructable will teach you how to get started with the Sol-EZ Solenoid Driver Kit. Let's go!

Supplies:

Depending on your kit version, you should receive:

Low-Power Sol-EZ Driver Kit:
1 x IRF520 MOSFET Module

1 x UF4007 Diode

OR

High-Power Sol-EZ Driver Kit:

1 x IRF5305S MOSFET Module

1 x UF4007 Diode

You'll also need a few items to get started:

  1. An Arduino or some other microcontroller (we used an Arduino Nano in this tutorial)
  2. A breadboard
  3. Jumper Wires
  4. A solenoid
  5. A suitable power supply for the solenoid

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Step 1: Lay Out the Components

Layout the components on your breadboard. You'll need your Sol-EZ driver, solenoid, and microcontroller to start.

Step 2: Prepare the Solenoid

If your solenoid can be directly connected to a screw terminal, skip this step. Otherwise, you will need to adapt your solenoid's connector to be able to use it with the Sol-EZ driver. In our case, we simply used jumper wires plugged in the ends of the JST connectors on our solenoids.

Step 3: Add the UF4007 Diode

IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT THE DIODE IS IN THE CORRECT ORIENTATION AND ACROSS THE OUTPUT SIDE OF THE DRIVER BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT STEP. THE SIDE OF THE DIODE WITH THE SILVER BAND SHOULD BE CONNECTED TO THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE SOL-EZ DRIVER'S OUTPUT!!!!!!!!!

Low-Power Version:

  1. Bend the legs of the UF4007 diode included in your kit such that it will connect the output screw terminals of your Sol-EZ driver together.
  2. The output screw terminals of the Sol-EZ driver are indicated with V+ and V-.
  3. Unscrew both screw terminals on the output side.
  4. Connect the diode in both screw terminals such that the side with the silver band is connected to the positive (V+) output of the Sol-EZ driver and the side of the diode without the silver band is connected to the negative (V-) output of the Sol-EZ driver.
  5. Connect your solenoid's positive to V+ and negative to V- then tighten the screws on the screw terminals.

High-Power Version:

  1. Bend the legs of the UF4007 diode included in your kit such that it will connect the output screw terminals of your Sol-EZ driver together.
  2. The white arrow on the Sol-EZ driver points toward its output screw terminals.
  3. Unscrew both screw terminals on the output side.
  4. Connect the diode in both screw terminals such that the side with the silver band is connected to the positive (+) output of the Sol-EZ driver and the side of the diode without the silver band is connected to the negative (-) output of the Sol-EZ driver.
  5. Connect your solenoid's positive to + and negative to - then tighten the screws on the screw terminals

Step 4: Double Check Your Diode Connections!

IMPORTANT:

  1. MAKE DOUBLY SURE THAT THE DIODE IS IN THE CORRECT ORIENTATION AND ACROSS THE OUTPUT SIDE OF THE DRIVER BEFORE MOVING ON TO THE NEXT STEP.
  2. THE SIDE OF THE DIODE WITH THE SILVER BAND SHOULD BE CONNECTED TO THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE SOL-EZ DRIVER'S OUTPUT

Step 5: Wire the Solenoid's Power Supply

IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT YOUR POWER SUPPLY IS CONNECTED CORRECTLY. POSITIVE ON THE POWER SUPPLY TO POSITIVE ON THE SOL-EZ DRIVER AND NEGATIVE ON THE POWER SUPPLY TO NEGATIVE ON THE SOL-EZ DRIVER!!!!!!!!!

Connect your solenoid's power supply to the Sol-EZ driver's input.

Low-Power Version:

  1. The input screw terminals of the Sol-EZ driver are indicated with VIN and GND.
  2. Unscrew both screw terminals on the input side.
  3. Connect your power supply's positive to VIN and negative to GND then tighten the screws on the screw terminals.

High-Power Version:

  1. The white arrow on the Sol-EZ driver points away from its input screw terminals.
  2. Unscrew both screw terminals on the input side.
  3. Connect your power supply's positive to + and negative to - on the input side, then tighten the screws on the screw terminals.

Step 6: Wire the Arduino (Low-Power Version)

The Low-Power Version of the Sol-EZ driver requires two connections to your microcontroller to use it (the third connection is completely unnecessary).

They are as follows:

SIG to a digital pin on your microcontroller (we used D3 on the Arduino Nano in this case)

VCC is completely unnecessary (it is not connected to anything on the board)

GND to the ground pin on your microcontroller.

Step 7: Wire the Arduino (High-Power Version)

The High-Power Version of the Sol-EZ driver also requires two connections to your microcontroller to use it.

They are as follows:

+ to a digital pin on your microcontroller (we used D3 on the Arduino Nano in this case)

- to the ground pin on your microcontroller.

Step 8: Upload the Code

Your code will vary depending on your microcontroller or single-board computer, but you can find the Arduino code below. Essentially, the solenoid will be activated with when your output is HIGH and turned off when your output is LOW.

The code can be found below:

https://github.com/Jonesywolf/Sol-EZ

Step 9: A Quick Demo!

Now that your Sol-EZ Solenoid Kit is up and running, it's time for a demo!

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