Category Archives: Valve

Underwater Solenoid Valve Remake

I tried a solenoid I scavenged from underwater valves on my 3D printed valve system and it didn’t work (duh).  It was just too weak.  The original valve spreads the force from the high-pressure side across a larger area, so I guess the spring return can be comparatively weak.  My design didn’t do that.  I also didn’t cut my compression spring down very much, but I qualitatively determined that the solenoid wasn’t generating a useful amount of force by holding it on the magnetic core while turning the power on and off a bunch of times.  I am a terrible engineer.

So I went back to square 2 and decided to remake the original brass valve body in lighter ABS plastic using our Makerbot 3D printer.  The beta version looked like this: Continue reading

Cravenly resorting to commercial solutions in underwater solenoid valves

I’m having trouble with the upper valve that will allow air to be released from the hull (thus decreasing buoyancy and giving some downward thrust).  I mean, I’m having trouble with everything, but that’s why I’m doing this, right?  Anyway, I decided to order a couple underwater solenoid valves in the hope that I could stick one in the robot and have it work (hahahahaha).  I found several suppliers in China listed on this site, and settled on Nuoling Pneumatic.  Most of the other options either weren’t waterproof, were too big, didn’t support a 12 V power supply, or had a large minimum order size. The two I bought were $12.35 each, which is less than I was expecting (although the shipping was $55 for two units).

Underwater solenoid valve from Nuoling Pneumatic

Underwater solenoid valve from Nuoling Pneumatic

The valves were a lot bigger and heavier than I expected.  You can see it’s basically a big chunk of brass connected to the waterproof electrical components.  Fortunately it’s easy to take apart:

Continue reading