Pneumatics- how?

I’ve recently become interested in pneumatics after watching how roller coasters work at my nearby amusement park. I understand the basic concept of compressed-air powered pistons, but how do these work?
What is confusing me is what all the parts do besides the piston itself.
Also, I am curious how in a program you would activate the pneumatics.

So, can anyone tell me what each parts job is, or redirect me somewhere? Staring at the vex products page hasn’t gotten me anywhere. Thank you for your help.

Well in Kit one you get the following:

**Reservoir: **This is what holds your compressed air, think of it as a battery for pneumatics.

Tire Pump Fitting: This is a special fitting that allows you to connect a tire pump or anything else that uses that fitting so that you can fill the Reservoir.

Pressure Regulator: By adjusting this you can control how high the pressure is. Generally the higher the pressure the faster the cylinders react however they will also respond with more force.

**T-Fitting: **This simply splits one line into two or two into one.

**Solenoid: **This is what will control whether or not your cylinder is extended or contracted, think of it as a switch.

**Cylinder: **In the case of Kit 1 you get two Single Acting Cylinders This means that you use air pressure to extend the cylinder but an internal spring contracts the cylinder.

Hope this helps.

for programming you simply send a high signal or a low signal (read inventors guide) to the I/O port it’s on, this will cause the piston to extend or retract

i find just going to wikipedia and google will give you tons of tops about pneumatics once you get started

i remembe setting up the FRC pneumatics, those were some great times

so its just an out to activate it, no special thing for it in easyC?
thank you both for your help, i understand it now

no special thing in easyC, just a digital output command

This website will give you a very good understanding of how they work.