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P1 - Solenoid 3-way conversion

Simple conversion of a surplus coffee maker valve from 2-way to 3-way for pick and place.

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Drill a hole and relocate an o-ring and you can easily convert this $3.50 surplus coffee maker valve from 2-way to 3-way operation.
I had a couple of these on hand as Skycraft is local.

Before conversion..
Energized: Port 1 to 2 open.
Off: Port 1 to 2 closed.

After conversion..
Energized: Port 1 to 2 open, port 3 closed.
Off: Port 2 to 3 open, port 1 closed.

Port 2 is the one leaving the solenoid at a right angle, while port 1 exits on the axis.  You will be adding port 3 to the back end between the terminals.

For pick and place usage then, the nozzle would connect to port 2, your vacuum supply to port 1, and either leave port 3 open or connect it to low pressure air.  

You'll need at least one 3-way valve for each head on a pick and place machine.

Actual 3-way valves are not that expensive, but this was pretty simple and a part in the hand is worth two on Alibaba.

  • 1
    Remove retaining clip

    Lift the retaining C clip with an x-acto knife and pull it out.

  • 2
    Remove valve from solenoid

    The nylon part will pull out and reveal a metal end.  Remove the O-ring from it and save for later.

  • 3
    Remove the metal cap

    Firmly grab the metal striker for the solenoid, and twist/pull it out.  

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