strong and quick solenoid


I am looking to build a potato canon (spud gun) as a summer project… Unfortunately, using combustion is illegal in my state, and my parents aren’t too happy about combustion anyway. I am probably going to end up building a pneumatic cannon. I am going to use copper for most of it (so the darn thing doesn’t explode), but I need a good solenoid between my reservoir and barrel.
I know I could just use a ball valve, but I like mixing in electricity with my projects :stuck_out_tongue:
What solenoid would you recommend? I would imaging a large diameter, fast action valve is best, but I don’t know of any good stores to buy those at. Power isn’t really an issue, as I could attach as many 9v as I want to this thing.


What we did was we used a sprinkler valve and ran a relay to the batteries. It was automatic and make sure your barrel is longer than 3 ft (longer barrel=more distance). Our t-shirt launcher shot about 100 yards. If you need any help, email me @

Thatz what we used.

That looks like WIN.

I heard about using sprinkler valves on some shady looking websites, but was afraid of their safety.

Much appreciated.

You might also look into the circuitry and solenoid from a trashed paintball gun - it essentially is doing the same thing, with HPA or CO2. You can pickup PB gun parts all over the place, and you’d already have some trigger circuitry to look at.