Golf ball return solenoid circuit help #2

Thread Starter

EP1

Joined Oct 5, 2021
13
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.
I know this is from a long time ago but I have a similar project. I am trying to shoot a Dollar Tree rubber ball along a hallway about 20 - 30 ft with carpeting resisting it. Different than a golf ball which has a hardened coat, the rubber ball absorbs some of the strike. What kinds of solenoids do I ask for and where can I find them? The big sellers just want you to order from what they have, which is great if I knew what I was buying. TY in advance

Moderator edit: New thread created from this.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,737
Welcome to AAC.

You should really start your own thread for this, even if you reference this one. Perhaps a moderator will help by doing that administratively.

In any case, in the absence of more information, I would say you may not want to use a solenoid, at least not directly. My guess is that some sort of mechanism, akin to the hammer/spring/sear on a gun which would be cocked with a solenoid and fired with a smaller one, although more complex, would be more reliable and provide an opportunity for mechanical adjustment.

The solenoid that does the cocking would not have to generate a strong impulse, just enough energy. The spring would great the impulse to fire the ball.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,737
Let me amend that a bit. I think a striker style mechanism might be better since it is inline and more resembles the solenoid, Same idea though: solenoid loads the spring, a sear is engaged, a second small solenoid acts as trigger to fire the striker. You get a high impulse that you can adjust pretty finely for whatever you want.
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
1,308
Get what was/is known as a "Super-Ball",
or at least a harder, solid-rubber-ball like the ones used in the game of Hand-Ball.
A hollow, light-weight Ball, or a Foam-Ball,
is going to be very disappointing no matter what You do.
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,792
I had designed a similar function into a lab tester machine, A gear motor rotated a cam that lifted a weight that when dropped delivered a very specific amount of energy. In the case of the ball, the cam would push a lever with a cam follower to compress a spring. Then the drive would stop just before release. When the release command is given it starts the mmotor and a very short time later the follower rolls down the drop in the cam with a snap, sending the ball rolling. Depending on how much time is available it may not need a powerful motor, nd so no huge current spike and no highly stressed switch. Best part is it is easiy adjust able how much energy gets delivered, no electronics, just vary spring compression.
 

Yaakov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
3,737
I had designed a similar function into a lab tester machine, A gear motor rotated a cam that lifted a weight that when dropped delivered a very specific amount of energy. In the case of the ball, the cam would push a lever with a cam follower to compress a spring. Then the drive would stop just before release. When the release command is given it starts the mmotor and a very short time later the follower rolls down the drop in the cam with a snap, sending the ball rolling. Depending on how much time is available it may not need a powerful motor, nd so no huge current spike and no highly stressed switch. Best part is it is easiy adjust able how much energy gets delivered, no electronics, just vary spring compression.
This is a good design, and simpler than the gun-style firing mechanism. Unless timing is very critical it's probably better. Also, a motor and cam can be used to load the spring in my version as well.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,204
Depending on a few things I might consider a pneumatic system using a pneumatic solenoid and a burst of compressed air. A matter of how deep you want to get into this I guess. :) I also like the Trigger firing mechanism approach. Overall you have a few options as to how to launch the ball(s).

Ron
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,792
I once assembled a pneumatic launching system and accidentally put a steel bolt through a block wall. It would also put a small hard green apple through a Popular Mechanics magazine. It was seriously NOT a toy. Probably returning golf balls could be hazardous.
 

Thread Starter

EP1

Joined Oct 5, 2021
13
Hi all,
First I want to thank everyone for their input to a new person. I am digesting it all.

The ball I am using can be bought at any Dollar Tree. It is similar to the "super" ball I had as a kid in the 60's but it is indestructible so just a little softer. Here is a link: https://www.dollartree.com/greenbrier-kennel-club-rubber-dog-balls-25-in/286492

The heading may be misleading bc it was the only way for me to describe the solenoid or idea I am starting from "the old golf ball returns".

I may be able to work with a delayed timing.

I will try to answer all questions as it goes along.

I have heard all of the ideas and was wondering where to purchase all of the items to create these ideas? If any of you are interested in working on the project let me know as well. I am in Vero Beach FL 17722260714/19544389932

Thank you in advance
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,952
TY I am going to order this. I really appreciate the link and I will report back.
If you have a wrecking yard close you can find them in 1990s era GM cars too, they are the door lock motors. But you will probably pay the same or more than in the link.
 

Thread Starter

EP1

Joined Oct 5, 2021
13

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,792
A power window motor with half a turn free-play on the part that stretches a spring, Then when it gets over center the spring can snap and launch the golf ball back. And the motor draws less current than the solenoid, ans so switching is simpler. (at least I can see what I am visualizing.)
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
6,204
A power window motor with half a turn free-play on the part that stretches a spring, Then when it gets over center the spring can snap and launch the golf ball back. And the motor draws less current than the solenoid, ans so switching is simpler. (at least I can see what I am visualizing.)
I can see it and it's a pretty good idea.

Ron
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
1,308
How far, and how fast, does this hard-Rubber-Ball have to be projected ?

Another way of doing this is to purchase a Spool of Wire, maybe ~18-Gauge ?,
and use the plastic spool as a Solenoid.
An Iron, or Steel, bar, ( or any other Ferrous-Metal You can find ),
will generate a tremendous amount of force when placed inside the Spool,
and a High-Voltage-Spike is applied to the entire Spool of Wire.

There are, of course, various sizes of Spools of Wire,
the size You pick, and the Gauge, and length of Wire on the Spool,
will determine the maximum Power potential,
and the Voltage-level required to achieve the desired Power.

You never have to remove the Wire from the Spool,
it's already in the form of an excellent, powerful, Solenoid-Coil.

If you should decide to go this route, virtually anyone in these Forums
can help You with designing a Capacitor-Discharge Circuit that will
blast that Rubber-Ball over ~50-feet through the Air.
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MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,792
Going back to post#1, this project might be for amusing a pet, given that the ball is not a golf ball. And the winding-up sound of a motor driven mechanism may not be as startling to such a pet as a solenoid banging the ball out of the device. And the launch will have less reaction force if a cocked spring scheme of some kind is used. Also consider the switch that will control the device. It will need to handle quite an inrush, and then break a very inductive load. Not a trivial set of requirements.
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,952
An Iron, or Steel, bar, ( or any other Ferrous-Metal You can find ),
will generate a tremendous amount of force when placed inside the Spool,
HUH? Most solenoids draw in the armature so if it starts in the center of the solenoid how will any force be created? There are some push type solenoids but they are made with a non-magnetic part through the core with a magnetic armature sticking out then getting drawn in, creating the move/force.
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