Understanding solenoids

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jziths, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. jziths

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 27, 2012
    Hello all, first post..

    I am pretty new to working with electronics, though I have worked through many basics. but still unsure of solenoid specifics, which is what I am interested in.

    I understand that I need to use a transistor, but I am wondering how I would figure out the transistor to use based on the solenoid I am trying to use.
    The specific one I am using is linked below, but I am interested in knowing how to figure it out in general.

  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    You didn't link anything but in general you size the transistor or mosfet or relay based on the current requirements of the solenoid (and voltage too really)
    You want to find stuff like 12V @.5 Amps so your switching device must be capable of switching that 1/2 Amp current level
  3. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Generally you like to derate the transistor for good reliability. A 50% derate for both maximum voltage and maximum current is a good value.

    And remember to add a diode (or other transient device) across the solenoid coil so the inductive spike doesn't zap the transistor.