Golf ball return solenoid circuit help

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by bmurcr, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. bmurcr

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 19, 2011
    I am working on a project that requires a golf ball return mechanism (ejector) - something like the old practice putting cups that have been around for years with a solenoid plunger type action activated with a switch. I'm an electrical engineer but specialized in RF and not very familiar with the electro mechanical devices like solenoids and motors and springs, etc. I have searched online but have not come up with anything straightforward - just a million options on solenoid, choices, types, etc ... How would the plunger type solenoid circuit look/work for such an application - I envision something like the doorbell circuit (which I recall were prone to burning out if the switch is held down to long)? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    Use a low resistance plunger solenoid with a non magnetic extension on top so that with a ball in cup the plunger is pushed down enough to overcome return spring, forcing a small magnet on bottom of plunger down far enough to close a reed switch. Solenoid is aimed slightly off center so that the ball does not fall back into cup. The cup has a curved bottom plate with a center hole so that ball will seat over solanoid. reed switch controls a MOSFET which can deliver large charge from large capacitor- charged from a battery bank or power supply.
  3. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Yes, it would basically be like a doorbell button circuit.
    I think the original golf ball returns worked straight from 120vac; it's been many years since I've seen one now. A lever-type switch would work pretty well for something like that, as it would have a good mechanical advantage.

    There are a heck of a lot of different types of solenoids available out there. You might give this page a look:

    From your description, you want a push-type solenoid. The more ampere-turns the coil has, the more powerful the solenoid.
    bmurcr likes this.
  4. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    For an approximate size for solenoid put " I made a solenoid" in the find box upper right on title page.