Controlling more solenoids using arduino

Hi, I am very new to this electronic field. Currently I am working on a project where I have to control 8 to 24 solenoids individually along with some sensors. The sensors will be used as input to control the entire working of the project. I am also planning to creat an pplication to control the solenoids based on some condition. I need help on the following points.

  1. Which arduino board should I use. (Arduino Uno will it be ok?)
  2. How to power all 24 solenoids?
  3. What additional circuit I may need?
  4. How do I use sensors through arduino to read the value?
  5. How do I interface aurduino through C#?

Please Please help me out...... I have searched all over the net.......and there lots of information which I could not understand....Sombody please post me the answer.......

  1. Which arduino board should I use. (Arduino Uno will it be ok?) For 24 outputs you can use an Arduino Mega or an Arduino UNO with some shift registers for output expansion. Google for Arduino shift register to lean more.

  2. How to power all 24 solenoids? A big power supply. A lot depends on the characteristics (voltage and current draw) of your solenoids.

  3. What additional circuit I may need? If the solenoids need more than 5V or more then 30 mA (and likely they do) you will need a transistor for each to control the higher voltage and/or current. Google for Arduino transistor to learn more.

  4. How do I use sensors through arduino to read the value? Depends on the sensor.

  5. How do I interface aurduino through C#? Your PC program typically sends and receives information over the USB-to-Serial connection.

johnwasser:

  1. Which arduino board should I use. (Arduino Uno will it be ok?) For 24 outputs you can use an Arduino Mega or an Arduino UNO with some shift registers for output expansion. Google for Arduino shift register to lean more. ...
  2. What additional circuit I may need? If the solenoids need more than 5V or more then 30 mA (and likely they do) you will need a transistor for each to control the higher voltage and/or current.

Depending on the solenoids, you may be able to use TPIC6B595 chips as both the shift registers and the solenoid drivers. How much voltage and current do the solenoids take, and how many of them might be energized at a time?

Thank you Jhon and dc42 for quick reply. I may be using a solenoid with 5v power and I would like to go with Arduino Uno with shift register. Can you recommend me some circuite schematic to connect the shift register with arduino? Also how do I programme through arduino with shift register to control 24 solenoids? As I have mentioned I am going to use C# for coding. I am absolutely new in this field and the project I am going to execute is very important for me. Please help me...................

Kumar, you need to tell us exactly what solenoids you will be using, the voltage and current ratings.

The simplest and possibly the cheapest approach is to use an Arduino MEGA copy (LOTS of I/o pins) and simple parallel ULN2003 boards like these: http://yourduino.com/sunshop2/index.php?l=product_detail&p=172

The software would be simpler and the wiring simpler. Just not elegant :)

Hi Jerry, I have a basic question..... the Arduino mega provides 15 pwm pins out of 54.....If i want to use 24 pins to control solenoids can I use remaining pins from analog?

you dont need pwm outputs just simple outputs for the solenoids. a solenoid will get too hot when using high frequencies

Hi Shooter, I would be using pwm out put only to control the power supply to solenoid and not to power the solenoid. So can I use analog and pwm pin for this puropose. Because i may need 24 pins to control 24 solenoid function..................?