Introduction: Solenoid Controller
This setup allows for variable control of 24 volt solenoids. Solenoids can be used as linear actuators, as quick releases, or electromagnets. Because of the variable control, this setup can also be used as a force gauge (more current applied the more force the solenoid applies to the plunger.
What you need for this instructable is:
- LinkIt One
- Solderless Breadboard
- Jumper Wires
- 9volt battery and connector
A huge thank you to instructables, autodesk, MediaTek, and Penolopy Bulnick for sending me the Link It One used in this instructable.
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Step 1: Solenoids
Solenoids use purpose build electromagnets, to exert a force onto a magnetic rod placed inside of its core. By altering the strength of the electric current applied to the coil, the force applied to the magnetic rod is also altered. By changing the direction of the current the direction of the force applied to the rod will also be reversed.
Step 2: Wiring
First place the MOSFET onto the bread board, then connect the battery connector to the power rails. Place a jumper wire from the hot power rail to one side of the MOSFET gate, and a second jumper wire on the other gate to connect the motor. Place a data wire from the control pin to one of the PWM digital pins on the LinkIt One (i.e. Pin 9). Then connect the neutral and hot jumper wires to the solenoids.
NOTE: Solenoids can be used to both push or pull. If you want to do both without any rewiring you will need to add a pair of relays to swap the direction of current to the solenoids similarly to a DC motor multiplexor: https://www.instructables.com/id/DC-Motor-Multiplexer/
Step 3: Coding
To control the strength of the solenoid set pin 9 to be an output and send a value between 0-255 to the MOSFET.
0 is no force and 225 is full push or pull. If you have added relays the digital pins used to control the pairs of relays must be set as outputs. When nothing is being set to a pair of relays they will turn the motor in the native direction of the relay (marked by the solid line), and will reverse the motor when a HIGH signal is sent.
The main feature of the MediaTek LinkIt board is the wide degree of communication options, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3.5mm audio line, and Cellular all come standard without the need for additional boards or loss of digital pins. This allows for wireless control and advanced automation.
If you have any suggestions for improvement, questions, or photos of you own projects make sure to comment below.
Have a great day! :-)