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Electro-Pilot

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Electro-Pilot

Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Wed Nov 21, 2007 11:22 pm

In the basis for this thread, I had three goals in mind:
1) to be able to place a trigger on a launcher in any location
2) to have the valve used utilize the most efficiency
3) to keep the launcher low profile

To satisfy the first goal, I figured an electronic trigger was in order. This would also satisfy the second goal, as the pilot would be as close to the valve as possible.

It was suggested in the earlier thread, however, that a sprinkler solenoid would not be sufficient enough to pilot a modded valve, then was suggested that I pilot a the modded valve with an electric one. While this would satisfy the first two goals, it would leave the launcher bulky. Another thought is to pilot a piston / diaphragm valve with an electric sprinkler, but, again, would leave for a bulky launcher.

After thinking, I believe I came up with a solution to satisfy all three: Make the pilot of a conventional valve electronic.

The solution is simple; have an electric solenoid (not like those found on sprinkler valves) operate a small valve to pilot the main valve. This way, no performance would be sacrificed, and the efficiency would be as good as it would be in other circumstances.

For those who have questions about solenoids, here is a link that will explain (and sell) them.
http://www.mcmaster.com/ (type solenoid in the search to the left)

I've also included a couple of diagrams that will better help explain this theory as well:

Image
This is the setup (using a check valve for an example) of the design in neutral (or off) position

Image
Here is the same setup activated.


Please post any thoughts on this design, or any thoughts on obtaining the three goals mentioned above with a different design.
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Unread postAuthor: psycix » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:24 am

Your solenoid should be powerful enough to push open the whole check valve, remember that.
But YES it should work.
On the other hand, I wouldnt do this myself and not use an electronic trigger since it would create alot of worries about battery packs etc.
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Unread postAuthor: VH_man » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:18 am

why not have a spring/sear system and pilot it with a hammer valve?

I like the idea, but for electronic actuation i think im still going to stick with micro-solenoid.

one of the unknown goodnesses of electronic actuation is consistent valve opening speed. this gives a more consistent FPS and therefore consistent accuracy at long ranges.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:20 am

If your pilot area is small enough to be piloted by a schrader valve i would say this is a practical proposition.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:12 pm

The check valve was just used as an example because it was easy to draw. I don't see why the arm of the solenoid couldn't be hooked to a small (1/4" or so) ball valve, a butterfly valve, or even used to actuate a burst disc.

@VH_man: I thought of that, too.
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