Hello, for a project I am trying to use a computer program I wrote to control 10 solenoids. A link to the type of solenoid is listed below. I figured the best way to do this would be to use the ATMEGA8U2 Arduino board and control it via the USB port. I have no experience with Arduino and very little hardware experience in general. The issue I am running to in this planning stage is powering the solenoids. Unfortunately the solenoids draw significantly more milliamps than the suggested maximum output of the pins on the Arduino. So, I am guessing that I will have to power them with an external 5v power supply. From what I gather this means that I need to use a transistor for each solenoid and set it up like this:
1. Hook the external power to the solenoid
2. Hook the ground of the solenoid to the collector of the transistor.
3. Hook an output pin from the Arduino to the base of the transistor.
4. Hook the emitter of the transistor to ground.
Am I super confused or is this the way to do it? I am guessing we I will also want a diode between the solenoid and the collector of the transistor, correct?
The Arduino: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10277
10 of these solenoids: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11015
10 of these transistors: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Diodes-Inc/DCP68-25-13/?qs=ptj1V1atRAps4ov8RyYB8w%3d%3d
, is this a good transistor to use or should I be looking for something else?
Does this list look okay?
On related note, how does a solenoid work? I understand it pushes or pulls, but do I have to reverse the motion or does it spring back after the current is turned off?
Any input would be really appreciated.
EDIT: I just noticed I posted this in the wrong forum (curse multiple tabs...). Could I mod please move this to the the "Project Guidance" forum? Thanks.