Got one of those mini solenoids, and my attempt to get it clicking works weakly.

Hi all --

I got one of those very mini small solenoids from Adafruit. I wanted to get it going. Both the schematic that was on the solenoid's page (Mini Push-Pull Solenoid - 5V : ID 2776 : $4.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits) and elsewhere I googled had schematics that a fairly dumb beginner like me were hard to understand. I followed my basic sense of how the transistor would trigger the solenoid and set it up. I made an arduino sketch that was basically getting it to "blink" the solenoid on, off, on, off... I made a potentiometer control the delay. It worrrrrkeeed...... for a while... but WEAKLY. the solenoid did click on off on off... but it did so weakly and would eventually stop. Or it would be picky which angle the solenoid was standing at... so gravity needed to help it.

Can you look at mhy Fritzing project and tell me if something obvious is wrong with my setup?

I am sorry I can't right now give the exact specs of the diode and the transistor... but I can say that they DO look like the fritzing icons I placed. :slight_smile:

it is at:

Please let me know any opinions at all --


Nope your picture will not load, you will have to post it here, or attach a jpg of it.

Please read the first post in any forum entitled how to use this forum.,148850.0.html

Tom.... :slight_smile:

If you must use Fritzing, at least post the image of it here. I followed your link to their site but it doesn't help for me to get the fzz file since I don't have Fritzing installed.

Apart from that, what does your transistor say on it, or is it too difficult to make out? (Sometimes needs a microscope and get the light at juuuuust the right angle, I know.)

The solenoid needs 1.1A so cannot be switched well with a BJT from an Arduino pin as the Arduino pin cannot
source enough current to saturate a single BJT at that current level. A MOSFET would be suitable.

A darlington like a TIP120 would also work but you'd want 6 or 7V to make up for voltage lost across the darlington.

From your link:

I don't know what kind of transistor I am using (P or N) in my real life breadboard... I made a guess here. it is black like that one :slight_smile:

Guessing won't help. Check and double check is how you get electronic circuits working. Check
the voltage rating, the current rating, the power dissipation and the pinout.