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Discussion Starter #1
I think it's finally time for me to make the jump into pneumatics.
My son and I want to start with a trash can jumper or maybe have something jump up from behind the bushes next to our front door.
I have a few questions:

1. what stroke length is typical for a good trash can trauma? I'm having difficulty finding any cylinder with more than a 12" throw..

2. Is there an easy and inexpensive way to trigger and control the device without a timer?.. for now we're thinking of triggering it each time ourselves by watching out the window..

3. Anyone dealt with this company :The best way to buy industrial controls--low prices, fast shipping and superior service. They seem to have pretty resonably prices for cylinders and supplies (even black air hose).

Any advice on the effect would be appreciated.
Thanks for reading..
 

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Howdy...

Automation Direct is a leader in industrial controls....we use them for PLC supplies and software down to push buttons and NEMA enclosures...probably some best prices in the industry and reliable support.

ok, now, without getting to detailed or technical (or cheesy for that matter), here-a-goes some "splainin' Lucy"....

Now as for your questions about cylinder length....it sort of depends on how tall your can is, and what you're going to put on the top of the cylinder rod (i.e. a head, torso, etc)....typically, we can get maximum weight support and less wobble by building a 4-bar steel linkage, placing it in the trashcan and using a six inch throw cylinder to raise and lower the linkage ....but I'm sure since you're just getting started, we should stick to basics...so, I guess a 12" to 14" cylinder length should suffice if your garbage can is only about 3 or 4 feet tall...you could always mount your cylinder a bit higher on a vertical 2x4 to give it some height also...

As for manually controlling it (easily)....you will need a 3 way solenoid valve, typically 12vdc to 24v dc, and you can use any switch to control the voltage to it....you'll need a 12 or 24 volt dc power adapter to supply power to the valve..the valve will allow air to flow to your cylinder when activated, and release that air into the atmosphere when deactivated.

Check out a good friend of mine's website section Haunting with Compressed Air at www.phantasmechanics.com...he's got some good diagrams and a picture of the 4-bar linkage I was referring to, if interested....

Have fun, most importantly, and BE CAREFUL....don't forget a pressure guage and regulator too!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks

Thanks for your quick reply.."Craigsrobotics"
I think I understand the set-up with solenoid, regulator, etc..

I'm just hoping the 12" throw is enough height without an added linkage system. I'll give it a try. I could always alter it next year..

I was hoping there was an inexpensive way to control it without buying a "nerve center" or similar... My son and I will just take turns holding the switch..

(BTW..Craigsrobotics.com and phantasmechanics.com are awesome sites..)
 

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your welcome...

Glad to help....appreciate the praise too!

When you're ready to incorporate some automation into your props, let us know...we'd be glad to advise...

You know, you could use a manually controlled air valve and eliminate the need for an electric vavle, power supply and switch? For example :

HVU14 Products

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I guess I could I hadn't thought of that..
I bought some solenoids on ebay last year and have been wanting to experiment , this seems like a good start..

I also have the age-old question of where to find a cheep powerful, quiet FCG motor but I guess that's another post...
 

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There is an inexpensive way to control your solenoid valve.

I use a remote control outlet I bought from Wal Mart. It plugs into a power bar (or outlet) and the solenoid plugs into the receiver. You hold the remote in your hand and when you press teh button, the solenoid activates, raising the prop.

I think it cost about $15.
 

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There is an inexpensive way to control your solenoid valve.

I use a remote control outlet I bought from Wal Mart. It plugs into a power bar (or outlet) and the solenoid plugs into the receiver. You hold the remote in your hand and when you press teh button, the solenoid activates, raising the prop.

I think it cost about $15.

Yes, this is a great option for easy control. I have already seen the remote control (Christmas) outlets in stores. Make sure you get yourself a 110 volt solenoid valve if you are going this route. Will eliminate any need for additional power supplies or relays. ;)
 
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