Small Linear Actuator

We are looking to flip a ratchet switch using a small motor. We decided to not go with pneumatics this year so we need some way to move the switch less than 1" without pneumatics. Any ideas?

Do you know how much force it will take to move it?

A spring scale, like used to weigh fish, or in the physics lab, might help you figure it out.

Sounds like a perfect application for an electrical servo!

Or you could use a electrical solenoid.

This might be a good application for an automotive door latch actuator, traditionally allowed as an “automotive door motor” in the rules. They are small and pretty cheap

You might be able to use one of these:

Those would be way overkill. But yes, they can be used.
Flipping a switch (not sure what a ratchet switch is though) with a servo could be easy.

The switch is on this product.

We want to change the direction of the ratchet. We want the ratchet for the end climb, but we want to be bring the winch in and out during the match.

Is there a better way to do this?

How about a beefy RC hobby servo with a bar acting as a linkage to the servo horn?

Or a second to the electrical servo recommendation of ‘Retired Starman’.

By my reading of the rules, these are

Like this one:

Two for $9!

I ordered 2. I will let you know how it works out. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Synchronizing the ratchet latch to your elevator cycles will be… interesting. Let us know how it goes. If you can find a ‘dead zone’ or ‘neutral position’ in the mechanism - might want to have the ratchet live there for most of the match…

This solenoid is just what my team is looking for. But what is the appropriate switch to control it? Is it a relay? Which one?


Does the motion to flip the switch really need to be linear? How much motion do you need?

What is the stroke of the power door lock actuators you purchased?

I suspect that you may want to pause and think about this more deeply. Also, consider some of the suggestions that other people have made on this thread.