Connecting your Solenoid engine to a RPI or Micro:Bit

The interface board has 4 connections that need to go to your micro-controller. These are

Solenoid PCB Pin1 :  3.3V
Solenoid PCB Pin2 :  Eye
Solenoid PCB Pin3 :  Pulse
Solenoid PCB Pin4 : 0V

Please note: On V1 boards Pin 2 and Pin3 are reversed.

On the other side of the board is the power and solenoid connections connect 12V (watch the -ve and +ve polarity) and your solenoid into these. Ensure that the 12V and solenoid wires don’t come into contact with your micro:bit or PI or wires  as this will permanently damage your computer.

BBC micro:bit

Connect the cable to the Interface board.

Connect the wires to the micro:bit  as shown either by twisting the cables or using croc clips.

The wires need to go to

Solenoid PCB Pin1 :   3.3V : 3V on the micro:bit
Solenoid PCB Pin2 :  Eye : 2 on the micro:bit
Solenoid PCB Pin3 :  Pulse: 1 on the micro:bit
Solenoid PCB Pin4 :  0V : GND on the micro:bit

Raspberry PI
Connect the wires as shown to your solenoid board.
and connect the other end to the pins on your PI

The wires need to go to

Solenoid PCB Pin1 : Orange : 3.3V : 3.3V PIN 1 on the RPI
Solenoid PCB Pin2 : Eye : GPIO17 : PIN 11 on the RPI
Solenoid PCB Pin3 : Pulse : GPIO4 : PIN 7  on the RPI
Solenoid PCB Pin4 : Black – 0V : GND PIN 6 on the RPI

Other Microprocessors and SBC’s

The RPI or Micro:Bit board will work with almost any computer that has a spare input and output that uses either 3V or 5V logic.

The Board will take any power from 3V to 6V on Pin 1
Pin3 is and output and therefore needs to go to an input on your microprocessors GPIO
Pin2 is an input and therefore needs to go to an output on your microprocessors GPIO
Pin4 is ground and need to go to the GPIO’s OV reference

The simplest software that will run the engine is to read the Eye line and send that directly to the Pulse line. Doing this will run the engine at full speed, but it is a quick way to establish that your connections are OK.

I want to know what you have done?

If you have a project that uses the Solenoid engine, please tell me how it works either by email or @extkits on Twitter.