Medium Push-Pull Solenoid - 5V or 6V (ADA3992)

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“Medium Push-Pull Solenoid - 5V or 6V”

Solenoids are basically electromagnets: they are made of a big coil of copper wire with an armature (a slug of metal) in the middle. When the coil is energized, … read more

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We are trying to set up a circuit that uses a 6V medium push-pull solenoid (controlled by a light-activated switch) as a latch for a cat-flap in a door. We originally provided power for the circuit by putting together four 1.5V batteries in series, but that didn’t generate enough power for the 1A of current that the solenoid needs. Could you suggest a safe, practical and affordable way of resolving this problem? Would a LiPo battery be a suitable solution, for example? Or would there be some other, better way?

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Hi David,

Welcome to the forum!!

If you’re after the safest way to power your circuit I’d have a look at using a plug-pack, LiPo’s require a close eye when charging and when they fail it can be catastrophic!

I’d take a look at Tim’s excellent guide on controlling a solenoid if you are using a Raspberry Pi(via the light-activated switch): Controlling a Solenoid with Raspberry Pi and a Relay - Tutorial Australia

Otherwise let us know what components you have and we can draw up a circuit diagram!

Thanks! We’ll take a look and get back to you.

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Would this (5V DC 1A) do the job?

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Hi David,

That one should work but note that the polarity on the connector can change from center positive to center negative based on the orientation of the plug!

For future readers, since the voltage matches and there is more than enough current capacity this plug pack will work!

Thanks!! If we plug it in the wrong way, so that the polarity is reversed, will that do any damage to the solenoid or the other components in the circuit?

p.s. Sorry I accidentally linked to the 3A version rather than the 1A version. I assume either would be OK, right?

Hi David.
The 1A version gives you no headroom for anything else that might be (accidentally ???) hung off it.
I tend to be over conservative but personally I would go for the 3A device. The extra few dollars might pay off in the long term.

As far as the solenoid itself is concerned polarity will not matter if you are just operating it with a switch. But if operating by electronic means like microcontroller/mosfet, transistor etc polarity DOES matter.
Cheers Bob