I am currently working on a project and have hit a major roadblock, i’m using a VEX EDR cortex as my microcontroller. The goal was to move a van door motor(which I have already accomplished using a SPARK motor controller from REV robotics.) and triggering a Rain bird valve, which requires 24v VAC, for pressure release. I am unsure on how to fire and control the solenoid with my current platform, any input would be much appreciated.
You would need to connect the solenoid to a 24V relay that is connected to a 24V source of some sort. You could then drive the relay via a signal supplied by the Cortex.
Something similar to this product, maybe? The page lists it as “for an Arduino” but it looks like it just accepts a low voltage digital signal from whatever you plug into it, so it should work here.
Your looking for a Boost DC/DC convertor. For 24V and 1 amp from a normal 12V car battery there quite a few out there.
I believe most rain bird sprinklers like 24 Volts AC, but from my experience will work using 12 Volts DC. I have searched around in the past and have read that it could possibly shorten the life using them on a 12 Volt DC circuit, but I did not have any issues on the project that I worked on (probably only used it 100 cycles or so). I am not familiar with the VEX EDR, but if there is a simple relay you can pass 12 Volt DC I bet that would work for you.
You could get a cheap 12VDC to 120 VAC inverter, and a Hammond 241 series 120VAC to 24 VAC transformer if you need 24 VAC. I’ll add the usual warning about high voltage electronics, and getting help from someone experienced as need.
You did not state whether this is mobile application or a fixed install. 24 VAC is common for household control. The furnace and A/C units as well as most doorbells work on 24 VAC supplied by a simple transformer somewhere in the house. Some devices designed for 24 VAC may work on DC but not reliably and likely will heat up during the time voltage is applied. If this is fixed install, the 24 VAC transformers are available in any hardware or big box store like Home Depot. Look in the heating A/C aisles. They are designed to be mounted on the side of an electrical box.
A simple SPST relay controlled by your controller can then be wired to switch the 24 VAC to the valve. These valve devices are usually low current, i.e. under 1 amp but check the specs on your valve.