View Full Version : Solenoid-reset plunger-type switch

01-13-2012, 03:18 AM
Hi all,

I'm about to begin on my first hardware project - a model of the Smiths Electric Pilot 2 autopilot console. This was fitted to several aircraft of the 1950s, including the de Havilland Comet.

The best pictures of it are from screenshots of Guy Montagu-Pollock's upcoming Comet model. Some old images are here: http://www.dh-aircraft.co.uk/news/files/e940e09b4dec51f8310fd546a0f99a6e-68.html

It's a simple beastie, which is why I picked it. To simulate it completely, there are 13 digital inputs, one analogue input, and four digital outputs (one lamp and three switch-reset solenoids) - well within the capabilities of a Teensy USB controller.

The three switches at the forward end of the unit - labelled BEAM, POWER and GLIDE - are what I've been calling organ-stop type switches. They're active in the 'up' position, so to activate the power, you pull out the stops. Which with an organ makes the instrument louder.

These switches could be reset by a solenoid under certain conditions to disengage the functions. Does anyone have advice as to how this could be done?

My ambition is to build this unit roughly to scale, which I think is about the size of a DVD drive, and desk-standing, so there's not the depth for a shelf rail as shown in the MD-80 MCP guide in the tutorials section of this site.

Could a DIY solenoid made from a coil of wire work, driven through a capacitor discharge unit from a digital output on the Teensy?