Will this work?

Hello All,

I am new to Arduino. My project is to take an input signal from an on/off switch or spliced in from an existing signal from a fabric strip cutting machine; on every other signal the Arduino will need to output signal a pneumatic devise via a solenoid to start its stroke, and retract. The retract could be timed, or it may be from a location signal from the sliding pneumatic devise. I assume that the solenoid will be 12 or 24 volt. I hope I adequately described the project. I just need to know if it is possible to accomplish in the Arduino environment. I am pretty handy, and, not to give away my age, but I was very good at writing Fortran.

Thanks,
Tom

on every other signal the Arduino will need to output signal

Basic toggle test code:

//zoomkat LED button toggle test 11-08-2012

int button = 5; //button pin, connect to ground as button
int press = 0;
boolean toggle = true;

void setup()
{
  pinMode(13, OUTPUT); //LED on pin 13
  pinMode(button, INPUT); //arduino monitor pin state
  digitalWrite(5, HIGH); //enable pullups to make pin 5 high
}

void loop()
{
  press = digitalRead(button);
  if (press == LOW)
  {
    if(toggle)
    {
      digitalWrite(13, HIGH);   // set the LED on
      toggle = !toggle;
    }
    else
    {
      digitalWrite(13, LOW);    // set the LED off
      toggle = !toggle;
    }
  }
  delay(500);  //delay for debounce
}

tnostrant:
I hope I adequately described the project. I just need to know if it is possible to accomplish in the Arduino environment. I am pretty handy, and, not to give away my age, but I was very good at writing Fortran.

Yes, definitely possible, and actually quite simple. You will need a few external components if the solenoids are 12 or 24V, as the Arduino will cough up smoke if subjected to those voltages. But that's what 5V relays or MOSFETS, are for.

Yeah, Fortran was my third language. I still notice that most folks use i, j, and k as loop counters. It had quite an influence.
My first language was not written. It was plugged into a board with jumpers. See the IBM 6400 Electronic Accounting Machine.

tnostrant:
Hello All,

I am new to Arduino. My project is to take an input signal from an on/off switch or spliced in from an existing signal from a fabric strip cutting machine; on every other signal the Arduino will need to output signal a pneumatic devise via a solenoid to start its stroke, and retract. The retract could be timed, or it may be from a location signal from the sliding pneumatic devise. I assume that the solenoid will be 12 or 24 volt. I hope I adequately described the project. I just need to know if it is possible to accomplish in the Arduino environment. I am pretty handy, and, not to give away my age, but I was very good at writing Fortran.

Thanks,
Tom

It’s certainly possible, but the real challenge is in the proper electrical interfacing to the existing electrical signals to and from the arduino. For arduino outputs, lar3ry already hinted at using transistors or relays to electrical isolate your arduino circuit from the external circuitry and components you wish to control.

For inputs to the arduino from an existing system usually requires the same kind of isolation, as an existing on/off switch (or spliced into a circuit) already has voltage wired to it and it’s likely not compatible or safe to wire directly to a arduino input pin.

Without more detailed knowledge of the circuitry you wish to ‘splice into’ it’s hard to give you a specific solution but it might involve using an opto-ioslator chip, or relay, etc.

Lefty

I suggest you start by finding the electrical characteristics of the solenoids you're going to drive. That will enable you to choose a suitable driver circuit / board / shield for them. You also need to know whether the solenoid just needs to be switched on/off, or whether it needs to be driven in both directions.

The rest of the functionality seems straight forward - possibly simple enough to be implemented using simple analog electrics, but certainly possible using a microcontroller.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your help; it looks like my project will work. If it weren't for the every other instance need it would be easier to envision. I am going to start a new thread to help pick the correct solenoid. I promise to learn as much as I can on my own, but there are the shoulder's of giants to consider.

Thanks,
Tom