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screamsofnight
12-31-2008, 01:11 AM
Heyy all,

Ok so I know the basics on what a solenoid is. But what is it's purpose for a prop? I am making a movable prop and I see them everywhere I just dotn know why they are used? Is it nessasary? Any info would help!:)

Learning one step @ a time

Kyle

Barry
12-31-2008, 05:01 AM
Solenoid in haunt applications usually means the valve for routing the air supply to a pnuematic prop. Applying a voltage to the valve opens or closes the valve in the most basic application.

Boni
12-31-2008, 08:27 AM
The nice thing about a three way solenoid valve is that it releases the air from the cylinder when no voltage is applied to the valve, so your prop will reset quickly.

However, we had some props that we wanted them to reset slowly, so we did not use a three way, they settled back down with the slow release of air from the cylinder.

gadget-evilusions
12-31-2008, 12:37 PM
The nice thing about a three way solenoid valve is that it releases the air from the cylinder when no voltage is applied to the valve, so your prop will reset quickly.

However, we had some props that we wanted them to reset slowly, so we did not use a three way, they settled back down with the slow release of air from the cylinder.

3 way solenoid valves are the correct valve when using single acting cylinders. There are flow control fittings that can be used on the cylinder to control the speed in both directions.

I only use double acting cylinders and 4 way valves with the appropriate flow control fittings to control the extension and retract speed. 4 way valves and double acting cylinders are cheaper 99% of the time and also give you the best control over the movement of your props.

screamsofnight
01-01-2009, 01:59 AM
Thanks for all yoru help.

I went today to Princess Auto to see what a solenoid looked like. And with all of yoru help it definitly put all the peaces together. Now I will be way better off when I build my prop.

Thanks again and happy new year!

Kyle

MindWerxKMG
01-01-2009, 10:24 AM
Some great info available here...

http://www.frightprops.com/FrightProps/Props/Pneumatics/Docs.asp

N2SPOOKINU
01-01-2009, 10:50 AM
Thats a great direction to send him in Kevin. I was thinking to send him to the grainger website to show his solenoids and relays but frightprops has a very understandable website and it is for our industry. I have purchased from them before and I love their boo boxes. Very simple to use.

gadget-evilusions
01-05-2009, 03:27 PM
These are helpful also when you get into figuring out what size valve and cylinders to use.

http://www.evilusions.com/calculator.php

Darkmaster
04-05-2009, 12:07 AM
Check out ebay. Type in air cylinders, air solenoid valves mac valves, etc. Many items can be found, just watch the pricing. Look good because the deals are there.

backstagemike
04-08-2009, 08:22 AM
I know several people have already answered this question. But a website that I found helpful when starting out is:

http://www.teamdavinci.com/understanding_pneumatics.htm

Hope this helps.

Tom
04-08-2009, 10:22 AM
If price is a factor, go to your local used appliance store and ask for a clothes washer solenoid. They are dirt cheap and work well.
I know some guys here probably don't think well of them (because they are low budget) but many years ago when I first started making my own props (before I turned pro), I built 2 props using these washer solenoids. Those 2 props are in my haunt today and after 15 years, I've NEVER had one problem with them. You don't have to worry about moisture from your compressor because these solenoids were made for water.
One more thing, the cylinders in those same props are the door closers from the hardware store. Again, not one problem with them either.
But most of my other props do have the MAC valves and bimba cylinders.
Just my thoughts/experience.

derekatronic
06-10-2010, 08:38 AM
Back to the original question, solenoids can be used to drive props directy. The amount of power required to actuate a solenoid goes up exponentially with the throw distance. That's why solenoids don't usually move very far. So since they're small, most people will use hobby servos to perform the same task with greater resolution. I think the only advantage of solenoids for directly driving movement is the simple control. power = actuate, no power = return.

Fun Fact: All of the facial movements in the legendary audio-animatronic Lincoln, at the 1964 World's Fair, were done with solenoids!