Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weakness, solenoid be thy name...

I was curious how the solenoids we're going to perform in a situation resembling our intended application.  So I spent an hour or so constructing a very poorly designed test harness for a pair of them, I used springs from click pens to provide resistance.  This hastily assembled test yielded some interesting results, both good and bad.  The bad part is the solenoids when in their extended off position (the armature slug mostly hanging out of the end of the coil body) do not generate a strong enough field to begin compressing the springs.  Note, there's a lot of friction in the system due to poor design and no bearings, but I don't think this is enough to explain the solenoids behavior.  The good part, when I helped the solenoids compress the springs they were actually able to hold the springs in the compressed position.  Clearly friction needs to be eliminated from the system and shorter, slightly weaker springs need to be used for resistance.  We'll see if +Jason Hoff can come up with a circuit that provides an additional kick to strengthen armature's initial motion.

(behold my ugly-ass test harness)

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