Hello everyone! I wanted to make this thread because it involves something that "Kinda" breaks the rule of the max voltage inside a bot. I've been looking into these Solenoid Kickers and thought to myself that they might be a good alternative to Pneumatic or Hydraulic Flippers. (I have no experience with them and I have tinkered with high voltage projects in my past in fact they were the thing that started getting me interested in the world of electronics!)
This is a video I quickly pulled out but is the exact thing I want to do. Charge a Capacitor bank (in the case of the video there's just a big capacitor) and dump all that power into a solenoid.
I have thought of a few safety precautions and features I'd put on my bot and I would like to list them and also ask if it is possible to actually allow this bot into the arena and compete Or even be allowed in fun fights due to it breaking the max voltage rule and even having the danger of electrocuting the user while fixing the internals.
Here are my safety precaution ideas :
Short link. This would be a link that's wired up to the output of the capacitor bank and will, as the name implies shorts the capacitor bank so there's no way it can charge up. So handling it outside the arena and repairing stuff on the bot is safe
Power link separate to the high voltage driver. Link ONLY for the high voltage driver so without that link nothing will be connected to any power without that being plugged in first.
Making it a subsystem unit with its own separate smaller battery and making it easy to tell what's high-voltage and what's the drive system.
Putting the entire high voltage system in a 3-4mm thick PLA with an aluminum Faraday cage around the entire PLA Enclosure and for it to be connected to battery GND so it can't destroy nearby receivers and general electronics and for the safety of the user so you can't accidentally grab a rogue HV wire lead as its all enclosed in that box.
For repairs, it can be a unit so it can be switched out to a new undamaged unit to prevent the risk of getting electrocuted.
Now onto the triggering and features I want/need to add
For the trigger circuit for the capacitor bank to be dumped into the solenoid, I was thinking of using a thyristor like in this video. (((
For a bit of control and adjustability, I was thinking of Tesla und Mehr's way of controlling his ZVS driver in a way to set a specific voltage. (((
The reason I want it to be adjustable is just for extra controllability and to be able to tune it if the power is too high for example or if the power is too low I can just increase the voltage. The way I would adjust it at the event for extra or lower power is to have a special attachment for my multimeter so it has a XT30 output that will plug into the short link so I can read the voltage of it safely and for me not to have to unscrew stuff and mess around the circuit.
For the potentiometer I would just incorporate that into the PLA enclosure it'll be in so I can adjust it how I want with a screw without having to, once again pull the unit apart and mess with the circuitry. I can see the problem of the potentiometer slightly rotating during big impacts so I will think of a way to somehow "lock" it in place after adjusting the voltage to my liking.
More specifics :
Capacitor bank: 220V 800uF (4 220V 200uF Capacitors in parallel) I might change it to 5.
Energy: 19.36J (would be 24.2J with 5 capacitors)
Charge: 176m Coulombs (220m Coulombs with 5 capacitors)
1.5kg x 10 x 1.3 = 19.5J (should launch a beetle 1 meter into the air)
I will update and add to this thread more and more during the design process and model so it more clearer what I'm talking about and what I'm doing specifically as I can't really explain stuff that well and I just rely on showing what I have in mind than talking from the top of my head. Looking forward to any replies and will do my best to answer any questions