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Controller for pneumatic cycle tester
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Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by Norseman on Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:59 pm

Hi everyone,

I need to come up with a simple way of controlling a very basic pneumatic cycle tester I'm in the process of building. Problem is, I'm a lot more experienced at things mechanical than I am with electronics, so I thought I'd come here for suggestions. I already have a double acting air cylinder (for the back and forth motion of this cycle tester), a 110 VAC 4-way single solenoid valve, and all the necessary fittings, speed control valves, etc. But not sure what to use turning on and activating everything. I was thinking of first getting one of those 4 outlet power relays that Adafruit has on their website here, but not sure what else I'll need... Any suggestions? And remember, I'm mostly just a mechanical guy...

Thanks in advance,

Norse
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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by kcl1s on Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:42 am

Posting a link to the 4 way control valve will make it easier to suggest possible solutions.

Fellow hobbyist
Keith

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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by Norseman on Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:41 am

kcl1s wrote:Posting a link to the 4 way control valve will make it easier to suggest possible solutions.

Fellow hobbyist
Keith


Sorry, I should've realized that. Here is the page for mine (4V210-1/4-3-D), item number 19, with 110V and DIN connector options.
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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by franklin97355 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:28 am

This might be a choice that does not require a lot of extra parts. Make sure you get a DC to AC unit and it can handle the current you need.

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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by kcl1s on Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:34 am

You say you want to control a cycle tester. Do you want this to be an automated (timed) process? Can you describe the cycle procedure you are going for?

Keith

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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:22 am

Whether you use a solid-state relay or a mechanical relay, make sure that it is rated for switching an inductive load such as your solenoid valve. Some relays are designed and rated specifically for such loads. Others will have 'derating' advice in the spec sheet for switching different types of loads.

A properly sized solid-state relay will typically have a longer life (measured in switching cycles) than a similarly rated mechanical relay. And if operating noise is a factor, the solid-state relays are silent.

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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by Norseman on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:03 am

kcl1s wrote:You say you want to control a cycle tester. Do you want this to be an automated (timed) process? Can you describe the cycle procedure you are going for?

Keith


Yes, a timed on/off may be all that is needed with this solenoid valve, but I would like to adjust the amount of time between each stroke of the cylinder... From just a second to perhaps 5 seconds. I'll want to run it for up to 6 or 7 hours continuously, and it might be nice to have a way of counting the cycles.
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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by Norseman on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:05 am

adafruit_support_bill wrote:Whether you use a solid-state relay or a mechanical relay, make sure that it is rated for switching an inductive load such as your solenoid valve. Some relays are designed and rated specifically for such loads. Others will have 'derating' advice in the spec sheet for switching different types of loads.

A properly sized solid-state relay will typically have a longer life (measured in switching cycles) than a similarly rated mechanical relay. And if operating noise is a factor, the solid-state relays are silent.


Feel free to let me know what Adafruit has to offer for this project, that you can recommend!
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Re: Controller for pneumatic cycle tester

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:21 am

Typical contact derating for inductve loads is about 30% of the resistive load rating.

At 4.8Watts, your valve will be pulling about 0.436A. That is well within the 40A resistive rating for the relay contacts in the 4-outlet switch linked in your original post: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2935
That can be driven by most any microcontroller.

We also have a Power Relay wing that mates well with our Feather microcontroller boards: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3191
That is rated for 10A resistive load. It should safely handle a 0.436A inductive load.

At this time, we do not stock any solid-state relays. Mouser, DigiKey and other electronics suppliers will stock a wide range of these.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.