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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, so I've been running pneumatic props for 3 years now, and most of which I've planned out myself, so I haven't really learnt much on controlling them, right now I usually go from a air tank/compressor, to a solenoid valve (which is attached to a simple on/off switch circuit I made, to the prop, and that's it. And I have multiple props running off the same compressor/tank on different circuits.

So too my question, am I missing something in the setup? Because the only way to stop the air flow is to exhaust the tank by releasing pressure, then regulating pressure everytime. Otherwise the prop will be in the down position, but having all the air going out of the exhaust in the solenoid... Wasting air! So how do I solve this? Let's say I have 3 props hooked up the same compressor, and they are spaced apart from each other. When one prop goes on and off, it still has air to the solenoid, since the solenoids are always open one way or another (or at least the one's I have) it will keep wasting air in the down position. How do I fix this, should by in-line stoppers? Are the valves that can complete stop air flow in anyway???
If this makes sense to anyone, please help :)
Thanks!!
 

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Sounds to me like you need different valves , instead of solinoids. Yon need a valve that lets air in when powered and lets air out when power is taken away. Right now your trapping air in the lines with no exhaust. There is a pneumatic tutorial on here somewhere I remember seeing it. Do a search on pneumatic valves .
 

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I use 4 way 5 port valves and double acting cylinders. The air only exausts when the cylinder moves. this combination is quite thrify on air. This set up also allows one to easily place speed reducing exust mufflers and adjust the speed in both directions of travel. The static air is used to hold the cylinder either extended or retracted so only the volume of air of the cylinder is lost each direction of travel.

There are some diagrams here at FrightProps.com (I have no affiliation) but that describe the flow of air.

http://www.frightprops.com/faq/index.php?action=artikel&cat=2&id=51&artlang=en
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The only air you should be loosing is the amount of air it takes to move the cylinder up or down.

Is your valve to cylinder connected like this?


Is this happening with all your 3 of your props?
Yes, i have it setup that way, and it does happen with all three props.
 

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If the valve was on (being supplied power) you would have something similar to the following.


The air coming in (RED) from compressor pushing the cylinder rod up and forcing BLUE air out exhaust. Once it reaches full extension their shouldn't be any more air passing through.

Once the valve is turned off the air would be forced in from the currently shown blue side and push the rod back down and forcing the RED air out to the closed position no longer allowing air to pass through.

So the only air loss should be the air that is in the cylinder from the previous movement and you shouldn't continue to loose air form the source tank or compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the valve was on (being supplied power) you would have something similar to the following.


The air coming in (RED) from compressor pushing the cylinder rod up and forcing BLUE air out exhaust. Once it reaches full extension their shouldn't be any more air passing through.

Once the valve is turned off the air would be forced in from the currently shown blue side and push the rod back down and forcing the RED air out to the closed position no longer allowing air to pass through.

So the only air loss should be the air that is in the cylinder from the previous movement and you shouldn't continue to loose air form the source tank or compressor.
Maybe it's my compressor.... I guess I'll have to take a look at my compressor and see if it's loosing air through the hose or regulator.
Thanks for helping me out though, and everyone else!!!
 

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Try making a soapy water solution and apply it to all the hoses and connections. With the air on, you will see bubbles forming where air is leaking out.
 

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Maybe it's my compressor.... I guess I'll have to take a look at my compressor and see if it's loosing air through the hose or regulator.
Thanks for helping me out though, and everyone else!!!
When all 3 props are connected, but not cycling on/off do you hear air at the props?

How many times are your props extending and retracting per trigger?

How big is your storage tank and is your compressor able to keep up with props?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
When all 3 props are connected, but not cycling on/off do you hear air at the props?

How many times are your props extending and retracting per trigger?

How big is your storage tank and is your compressor able to keep up with props?
So I got 2 props with one cylinder each. And they one is trash can trauma that goes up once per cycle and the 2nd one pops up a few time per cycle. Then the third prop is a 3 cylinder coffin, two cylinders for the doors to open and 1 cylinder for the skeleton to pop up. I have a 5 gallon storage tank attached to a 2 gallon air compressor. Do you think I need a big tank or compressor?
 

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On compressors, you need to look not only at the size of the reservoir/tank, but also at the size of the actual compressor itself and it's capacity in volume and pressure. When you combine all of your prop's needs in pressure and CFM, can your compressor output at least that much? If it can't then your reservoirs will be good for a single firing/activation of the props, then the compressor will try to refill them, but if your compressor is small it may take a while, letting guests or TOTs roam by with no action.
 

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Did you find any air leaks in any connections or hoses?

I'm thinking maybe you don't have enough compressor to keep up with your air needs.

Can you run one of your single cylinder props multiple times with no issue?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, so I have found the issue, I forgot to put Teflon tape on some of the connections :$. Lol, that's I kinda embarrassing. So now I can run my props maybe 3 times without a refill.... I think I'll be getting a bigger compressor.

Anyway, thanks to all that post and helped me out!
 

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If you see yourself having to do a lot of connecting and disconnecting of hoses and such, you'd be better off putting quick connect fittings on everything so that you can configure your setup or disassemble it without the use of tools.
The metal fittings on hoses and props stretch or distort every time you screw them together, and once stretched they don't shrink back to their original size.
 
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