Precision airflow control via Arduino & valves

Hi, all. I’m looking at using Arduino to control the flow of air from (for instance) a hobby airbrush compressor with a considerable degree of precision. This is for a musical instrument called the Pujol. I have been working on prototypes for years now. The airstream goes over the strings of guitar-like harps, creating semi-controllable harmonics. Previous prototypes used custom electronics to drive computer fans to create the airflow, but the motors on the fans creates interference in the guitar pickups, as the signal from the harmonics is usually very faint. So what I want to do is control the airstream from a 1/8" compressed air hose from a hobby compressor to a fan nozzle. I’ve been looking at solenoid valves, but most of them seem to be strictly off/on. The Solenoid Valve-DN20 (SKU: FIT0617) says that it controls airflow, but there aren’t any details on just how, or how one would do it with Arduino. I’d be very grateful for any help?


Hi Rowan,


Unfortunately all solenoid vales are strictly ON/OFF and it looks like FIT0617 is as well.
One idea that springs to mind - and greatly depends on how much pressure you are using.
Grab a valve/pressure regulator and throw a servo on it


Hi Rowan,
Welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve googled Pujol and not found much that relates to a musical instrument so I’m curious to see if you have any photos of your prototypes that you can share.

I’m afraid I can’t think of an obvious way to linearly control a flow of air that doesn’t get driven via PWM and is not susceptible to the electronic interference that your earlier prototype struggled with.

You could try using the fans from your previous prototype and adding some distance between the fans and guitar pickups to reduce the interference received via a long hose, it’s hard to visualise what might work without photos or a diagram of what you are trying to build.


Thanks for the thought. I should’ve put pictures up, you’re quite right.

Here’s a link to a short explanatory video I did (for a grant I didn’t get).


Now there’s a thought! Thanks!