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Re: Frustrated in search

>It is slightly off topic, but I am wondering if anyone on the list can 
>help me out.  A while back I wrote about automating the water supply to 
>one of my tanks.  I have now completed automating the water supply to all 

Not really all that off topic. There have got to be thousands of posts in
the archives asking various things about various valves. 

>I want to find a normally closed, 110 volt solenoid valve with 3/8 inch 
>female NPT ports to use to automate the draining of water from my aquarium. 
> I have already automated the input side using a float valve, and I want to 
>automate the drainage aspect using the Home Automation program in my 
>computer and an X-10 controller for the solenoid. 

Try http://www.allelectronics.com, http://www.mpja.com, and
http://www.meci.com. I'm pretty sure I saw a normally closed (NC) solenoid
valve in one of their catalots in the past few months. I think it was 24
volt though, which would be easy to drive with a 24 volt wall-wart type
power supply which you can get from any of them (18 volts will usually work
OK too if you can't find 24v).

What might be easier to find though would be a continous-duty normally open
(NO) solenoid valve. You could then wire up an SPDT relay so that when the
relay was off, the valve would be energized and closed. Then when you
energized the relay, it would turn off the valve causing it to open. The
relay would, in effect, convert the NO valve into an NC valve. You can get
suitable relays for a couple bucks at any of those surplus places I
mentioned or at radio shack for more $. Just make sure you use a continuous
duty valve since you'll be energizing it a lot using it like this.

BTW, if you use my suggestion and end up with something like a sprinkler
valve, keep in mind that almost all of those valves are going to be 12 or
24 volt valves so you'll still need a step-down power supply of some sort.


Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator