Solenoids not activating when energized

We have all of our solenoids wired properly, we think… (we had a pneumatics instructor check our wiring and plumbing and he said it was correct so we’re assuming it’s good)

SO, we applied direct power to test the system. The solenoid LEDs power on (solid orange) however when we attempt to activate the solenoid nothing happens, no clicking sound, nothing…

When using the 2010 Festo the lights (solid orange with no blinking) switch from one side to the other indicating we are getting power and yes we have 24v powering it

When we use the 2009/2008 Festos (single) we still have a solid light but nothing happens (this has been tested using both 12v and 24v).

If we switch to a manual activation the system performs as expected.

Sounds like you have two things to investigate:[ol]
[li]Wiring - some of what you describe could be due to the solenoid wires being reversed.[ul][/li][li]On the 24v you can try reversing the connector at the Solenoid Bumper.[/li][li]The old 12v Festo solenoids had two conflicting wiring schemes-on the Festo connector did you try using pins 1&2, as well as, try using pins 1&3? They are only 12v by the way.[/ul] [/li][li]Code - regardless of what the solenoids may be doing, the code can be tested using the LED indicators on the cRIO module itself. They will light when code properly attempts to actuate a solenoid.[/ol]Are you testing the system under pressure? I assume you are since manual activation works.[/li]I only ask because the solenoids require a pilot pressure of at least 20-30 psi to work.

Will try your suggestions this evening. Hoping one of them works as just got a quote of $500 to replace needed parts…

Yes we are testing under pressure which is why we are confused. Also we used the 08 solenoids in the Overdrive compeition so this is just aggrivating. Will look at the wiring question this evening when pneumatics guys come in. REALLY hope we can get this fixed as I just got a quote of $500 to replace the needed solenoids if it comes to that…


Do you have the program set up to turn one side off, and immediatetly turn the other side on? If so, that might be the problem…try turning one side on momentarily then off, then turn the other side on momentarily then off. By “momentarily” I mean:

30 mS < momentarily < 1 second


Currently we are testing the system using direct power (wired to a battery and light switches) so no code is involved at this point. What we were expecting to see is that when the system is powered and pressurized that the piston should extend and then when the solenoids are switched the piston should retract. What we are actually seeing is that when we energize the solenoid we get a solid orange light but no reaction from the cylinder. However when we manually test the pressurized system the piston retracts and extends…any ideas?

We have researched other posts and seen references to ‘blinking orange lights’ on the solenoids…what do the blinking lights mean?


If you are activating it by manually switching the power that is connected to the solenoid wires, what exactly are you doing?

I suggest you momentarily connect the red and back wires from one end of the solenoid valve to the power source, then disconnect them. Next, momentarily connect the wires from the other end of the solenoid to the power source, then disconnect them. If you have the plumbing right, and you have sufficient pressure in the air supply (more than 30 psi) the solenoid valve should shift and the air will move the cylinder.

edit: and yeah, you need to use 24vdc to get this year’s solenoid valve to work!

Ok, so here is layout…

Compressor -> Accumulator -> Pressure Switch -> Regulator -> Solenoid -> Cylinder

(12v) Battery -> light switch -> compressor
(24v) Batter -> Three position light switch -> dual solenoid (KOP)

So, in answer (in a long round about way) to your question…when we say manually (I just went through a 20 minute explanation with my pneumatics guy) we mean that we are changing the position of the blue test valve with a screwdriver. When we do this the piston extends and retracts. When we use the three position light switch to alternate power between the two sides of the solenoid we get no response from the cylinder and the orange light changes to reflect the side recieving power and remains solid.

(Whew…I’m the designated Chief Delphi person so please forgive me for my shortcomings…)


Ok, so have you ever had one of those moments when you just want to V-8 slap yourself and everybody else in the room who has been panicing? Well I have…tonight to be exact…so shuffling feet and looking at the floor…evidently we had two problems…First we had our polarities wrong on our connectors…AND…the battery we were using was just powerful enough to give us lights but not quite powerful enough to actually fully energize the solenoids (who knew pneumatics could use so much power…oh yeah…probably someone on Delphi…) SO thanks everyone for all the advice and making sure we had quadruple checked the wiring…:yikes: