Controlling a solenoid valve from a computer

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by brainy19, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. brainy19

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 9, 2013
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    I know there has been threads that describe how to control a solenoid valve from a computer, but my understanding of electronics is rather limited unfortunately. I know a solenoid valve is electronically operated and I heard I will need a relay of sorts to do that. However, I'm not even sure what a relay is and even then, how would I be able to connect it to my computer? What sort of code do I need to learn in order to control the valve? I do have MatLab, if that helps.

    Any help is appreciated and if you need more information, please let me know.
     
  2. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    If you don't mind spending a little money (~$120), you could use a data acquisition device such as the LabJack U3HV (the one I have, there are others such as DATAQ that can be cheaper). It can be controlled by just about any software you want and has a wealth of functionality. One function is outputs that you could use to control a relay or possible your solenoid directly.

    What power - voltage and current - does your solenoid require?
     
  3. JDT

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2009
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    Once again, what are you exactly trying to do here?

    If you don't know anything at all about electronics or computer programming it might be better to get someone else to do the job for you!

    If you want do do this as a project so that you can learn, well, I would start reading up on simple electricity, electronics and computers. Come back in a year or two and we can talk.
     
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    There are numerous IP/USB/RS232 relay boards out there and they typically include the software to control them.. But without more details..well thats all I can provide.
     
  5. brainy19

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 9, 2013
    2
    0
    Thanks for the help guys. It sounds like by doing this project, I am biting off more than I can chew. I'll look for some books where I can learn this stuff but if you guys know of any any books or websites where I can learn this stuff effectively, I would greatly appreciate it.
     
  6. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    The best book in the world is "Google"
    There is NOTHING you can't learn on google.
     
  7. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    Then please look up the next powerball lottery number and let me know. ;)
     
  8. Austin Clark

    Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    409
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    The simplest thing would be to use an old computer with a parallel port, and control a transistor from that to power your solenoid. There are many parallel port programs that can be used for free, and the pinout diagram can be easily found via a google search.
     
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