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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 04-04-2010
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Bench testing a solenoid

Is there any way to bench test a Parker model 851006 012VDC? I think this is the bad part on my SIMRAD AP24. See link below for more details.

Parker - LEGACY DS COILS, 1/2 INCH
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Old 04-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pub911 View Post
Is there any way to bench test a Parker model 851006 012VDC? I think this is the bad part on my SIMRAD AP24. See link below for more details.
Well I don't know about that specific one, but a solenoid in general is just a coil, usually around a piece of metal that moves inside the coil when you apply power to the coil. That leads to two obvious tests ...
  • Use a meter to see if the coil is shorted (coil wire insulation burned off, etc)
  • Apply power to the coil and see if the moving part moves

Smoke and/or heat are bad signs, as are parts that are supposed to move not moving.

Edit - careful if you apply power that you only touch it long enough to power the coil for a moment and see if it is working, don't just hook it up to power and leave it, that might let the smoke out.
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Last edited by wind_magic; 04-04-2010 at 08:40 PM. Reason: Edit
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Old 04-04-2010
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Thanks Wind Magic. The part that it's supposed to move is an internal valve in the drive unit of a Simrad Auto-pilot model AP24. That valve is not moving. As a result of your response, I checked the resistance between the two poles and it reads infinite. Next I supplied 12v DC and heard not click an saw no smoke.

Sounds like it's dead - which is actually very good news, as the alternative was the mechanical end of the valve inside the tank assembly. Thanks for your help. I feel better about just going out and buying a replacement part.

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Wait, I take one thing back... resistance is not infinite. But it's very low. When I set the Ohm meter to 2,000k, I get a reading of 1950 or so. But at 200k it reads "1 ." which on this device means infinite I think.

So...what does that tell you?
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Specs seem to suggest a reading of 10.4 ohms or 7.6 ohms, it drawing 1.4 or 1.9amps 100% duty cycle for parker super coil 1/2" i.d.

1,950 ohms says open circuit (high). If that is a direct reading of coil, replace.

But also ask why it failed. These units should be pretty tough. They can be on all the time provided there is a pin in the center. If it saw voltage when it was not assembled then that is why it failed. If it overheated in operation there may be other issues.

If you do not know why it failed you may want to be carefull when reinstalling, be sure to check for heating when first used. You may even want to buy two just in case.
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The greater the resistance...the lower the current draw. Sounds as the resistance that you might be seeing on the meter could be that of your own body if you are holding the probes to the connections.
Also it's a good idea to check the zero on your meter, and it goes without saying that if the meter is suspect...try another meter to double check your results.
Also make sure the battery in the meter is good.
Best of luck
Kary
S/V Mariah
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Old 04-04-2010
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Thanks all. Re: why'd it fail. I don't know, but have slight suspicion it may be h2o intrusion. it's located just under a deck fitting that may need to be rebedded. I noticed some evidence of water and salt in and around the area - not a crazy amount, but more than should be in an internal cavity below the gunwale.

Buy 2: great idea!

Re: bad gauge or operator error. I was careful to go firm metal to metal to get those readings. It's the only gauge I have but I suppose, although doubt it.

Thanks again everyone!
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Quote:
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Sounds like it's dead - which is actually very good news, as the alternative was the mechanical end of the valve inside the tank assembly. Thanks for your help. I feel better about just going out and buying a replacement part.

If you can get at the actual coil you could probably wind another one too, just take the old wire off and estimate (easy) or count (boring) the number of turns on the coil, then just go to an alternator shop and buy a spool of the same sized wire, they usually have a variety of sizes of magnet wire. If it is a tiny coil then radio shack sells small amounts of magnet wire that might be enough to wind another coil.

The easiest way to wind a coil is to mount your base on a drill and use the drill at slow speed to spin the wire on to the coil, kind of like putting thread on a bobbin on a sewing machine, but anything that spins, an old record player, or whatever, will work. Actually you might be able to spin it on to a plastic bobbin on a sewing machine if the coil is small enough. Another thing that works for small coils is to wind the coil around a drinking straw and use a nail as the core, the nail slides inside the straw when you apply power to the coil.

None of that works if the solenoid coil is sealed inside of a plastic enclosure that you will have to destroy to get at it, however, unless you feel like just building another one, or encasing it in resin or something.

If you get too many turns on the solenoid it'll make it have a stronger force, too few it won't be strong enough, so you want to try to get about as many turns of the same sized wire as you can.

If you bought the coil wire in a big spool you'll have some around for next time ...
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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
If you bought the coil wire in a big spool you'll have some around for next time ...
Or just have some fun. A mini rail gun for example!
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This coil is sealed. But by nature, I'm going to cut this one up to see what's inside - especially if i'm going to pash $ for another (or 2). I'll let you know what i find, and see, if I can get a pic uploaded. Thanks, everyone!
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