29VDC Linear actuator Automatic cycle testing

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jeffbHP, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. jeffbHP

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    I am trying to test the life of a linear actuator by having it automatically change up/down direction between two limit switches. The issue that is bothering me is that there are 4 wires, power, ground, up and down. I am not sure how to interlock these switches for the automatic 'oscillation' I am looking for. I emailed the company that sent us the actuator, and was told it operates at 29VDC and 5A.
    I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but the actuator has internal limit switches controlled by two momentary switches for up/down movement when held down.
    I've throught about using an arduino uno to control the input based on time, but I'm not sure how to deal with the high voltage of the actuator.
    Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. AlbertHall

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 4, 2014
    Do you have a link to the datasheet for the actuator?
    I wonder whether the 5A flows through power and ground with the up and down being low power control signals.
  3. kubeek


    Sep 20, 2005
    Well, first of all you should get whoever supplies you this actuator to tell you how exactly it should be connected, what happens when both inputs are active, what is the expected lifetime under certain load etc.

    Second, if you want to get any relevant data from your testing, you need to be loading the actuator either with some standard force applied or with whatever it will encounter during its useful life in your application. Having the actuator do a million moves without any load will most likely produce meaningless results.
    Another thing is that testing a single actuator until it dies tells you pretty much nothing, you would need to test many samples and preferably from different batches or years of manufacture.
    But of course this depends on your volume of production and price of the actuator, i.e.how many units you can test vs how many you can sell.
  4. paulktreg

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 2, 2008
    Can the manufacturer of the linear actuator not provide you with a MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) figure?
  5. jeffbHP

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 6, 2016
    The company provided me with this data sheet, which confused me a bit because even the 24V option doesn't match the 29V I was told by the representative. I've also attached the chart for the motor inside the actuator, but it is in German, and I already don't know enough about motors to know what plot should be what.
    The actuator is going inside of a computer monitor lift for which sits on top of a desk. We are trying to test this actuator compared to the one we have been using for years, so it will be set up to have the same load and use as the current models. We know how long our current actuators last before they fail, so I just planned on using that as a benchmark.

    Also, when one momentary button was held down, the actuator would go up/down to that limit and stop, so I'm assuming there are internal limit switches within the actuator. When both buttons were pressed at the same time, the actuator did nothing.

    Hopefully this helps. Thanks again!

  6. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    It is most likely a 24vdc motor as this is a common voltage value for these motors.
    Take note of the duty cycle = 2 min on 8 min off.
    1300 lbs force is quite powerfull.
    If the mechanics are well made, I would predict the brushed motor maybe the first cause of failure, brushes etc.
    jeffbHP likes this.