I've always loved electronics and recently I've started experimenting with pneumatics. Today I bought my first Arduino Uno and a relay shield. As I type this it is blinking an LED at me two times a second. I have ten actuators and three 12v solenoid valves. One 5/3 and two 5/2. All of the actuators are dual acting. Spring return, single acting would be simpler but who can argue with $350 worth of cylinders for $31. I will not need all of that but I have it.
The crusher will have three stages: feed, crush, eject. The feed and eject may be accomplished with the same cylinder, I'm not sure yet. The crushing force will be supplied by two cylinders with pistons facing each other horizontally. They will be actuated by a single valve. Using simple gravity to feed and eject would be simpler but not near as much fun.
Here is what I need to learn how to do: I need to use the Arduino to control the solenoid valves that supply the air to the pneumatic cylinders. I'm thinking of using photo sensors to detect the presence of a can and trigger the feed/crush/eject sequence.
Any and all comments, hints, tips, tricks, suggestions, and recommendations are welcomed.
Thank you for your time.