Solenoid Tech - Theory

Preface: Information on this page was gathered from a number of sources. Of them include Have Blue and his tech Ratsnest, both of which provided pictures and info for many of the items listed on this page. If you are searching for an online source for solenoids, very likely carries what you need.

Solenoid Use in Paintball:
In essence, the purpose of the solenoid is to form a physical connection between the electronics inside the marker, and the physical movement of the marker's internals. That statement is paraphrased from the original pVI Shocker manual (the first electronic marker). According to this definition, the time the solenoid is being charged with battery power equates to the time the marker will be firing.

All electronic markers utilize a solenoid to fire or operate. The heart of all solenoids used in a paintball marker is an electromagnet (hence the general term solenoid) which is essentially a magnet that becomes polarized when charged by electricity. When the magnet energizes, the solenoid moves a magnetic component called the core or armature, which is used to move nearby marker internals in some direction. This action carries out the firing of the marker in some manner. The exact method by which the valve fires the marker, however, varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, brand to brand, and marker to marker.

Most markers use a pneumatic solenoid valve which is actually a small, integrated pressure valve controlled by an electromagnet. Markers that don't use a pneumatic valve will utilize a more simple solenoid, which is used to move the component itself, such as a sear. This is explained in greater detail in the solenoid design page. A listing of solenoids used in paintball markers can be found on the solenoid model chart page. Descriptions of how several brands of solenoids function is located in the design links.