Solenoid Striker

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 11, 2011
Hello All,

Love what I have seen on the forum so far.

Couldn't find quite what I am looking for so hopefully I can get some help.

I am building a simple system that uses a pull type solenoid to strike a material (wood, plastic, metal, etc.) then I am recording those sounds. I would like to use a momentary switch to trigger the solenoid, so what I need is to know how to power the solenoid and what I need to wire them all together.

I have seen a few videos on how to make electronic instruments and such, but they all seem to want to use Mosfett's and since this is a one shot deal I think that is way too complicated.

As for parts the solenoid that looks to be right for the job is:

I think for the momentary switch:

If those are bad, let me know, but I also need to find a power supply, do I need resistors and capacitors? I am pretty new to this realm (a musician and a designer) and would take the time to study up if it were not for the fact that this is for a research project for my university and needs to be done quickly.

Thank you so much for your advice in advance!

Humbly yours,


Joined Apr 2, 2009
Parts looks good.
But are u sure the solenoid has enuf power to produce the sound you will need .

I guess you have to find out, HUH!

So now you will need an Adapter.
A wall wart as you guys might call it.

I believe a 24VDC one will give you enuf pulling power. The lower the voltage the lower the pulling power will be.
But at the rated spec I believe an Adapter will be expensive. The solenoid will draw around 5 to 7 amps of current, which is by the way quite big. Around 168W.

I think a 12V lead acid battery rated at 7AH will be best for u.

How about a 12V solenoid powered with the battery..This option is better and safer
Last edited:


Joined Jul 17, 2007
The switch that you are considering is not adequate.

From the specs on the page:
Comm. Instruments Inc.Powerful pull-type solenoid with spring return. Intermittent duty, max 10%. 3.3-4.2 ohm coil. Designed for 22-26 Vdc use, but it works fairly well on 12 Vdc. Pull force, 3.7 lbs @ 24 Vdc. Body is 0.77" diameter X 1.82" long. 3" long plunger. 3.4" mounting bracket attached to body.
So, if you are going to use 24v with it, 24 Volts/3.3 Ohms = 7.27 Amperes; and the switch is only rated for 3 Amperes. You would weld the contacts together.

You need a very quiet switch, or you will pick up the sound when you are sampling the noise made. The solenoid is going to be problematic as well. I imagine that the spring will also make a sound when the solenoid strikes something. There will also be the metal-against-metal clack when the core hits something.

I'm not sure how you're going to handle all of those problems. Have you considered them?

Have you sampled sounds before?

If you try to "stretch" a sample too much, it'll sound either very "thin" or muddled, depending on which way you've gone. I had an old Roland U-20; it stretched a sample over about 8 or 9 half-tones; around 12 or 13 samples for 8 octaves.


Joined Aug 7, 2008
With a pull type solenoid, the thump comes from the return spring. Could add a stiffer spring if needed. ' would use capacitor discharge- 24V or higher V wallwart @ 100mA, or 3ea 9V batteries +_, 470 +_ Ω charging resistor, 10,000 μF @ 35 to 50V. Amount of C depends on spring strength & battery. I think a push type might be better.

Thread Starter


Joined Nov 11, 2011
Thank you all for your replies so far. Yes I have sampled sound before. As far as spring noise and such, I have built a sound reduction chamber (no such thing as sound proof). The solenoid will be in a separate chamber and will move a acrylic rod used as a lever. The rod is what connects the two boxes. I think pull is best for this situation because I need it to return (not have multiple strikes).

As far as sampling goes, I am looking into the sound characteristics of materials, not really sound design so I wont need to stretch or anything.

I would like to be able to strike with multiple different forces, but for now, I just need a consistent way to hit stuff. I think the site says its only about 3 pounds @ 24 vdc, which isent a lot. I know a push type can probably do more, but I need it to return. I am completely open to suggestions. Main goal, not to kill myself in the process. Thanks for identifying the need for a stronger switch. This is why I have you guys :).

Not really sure what my budget is, but its on the universities dime so under 100 for sure....


Joined Aug 7, 2008
Put solenoid in find box, upper right top of page, scrool down to I made a solenoid- it's yours for postage.; or just wire.