Running two cylinders off one air tank?

My team is currently trying to use two different single acting cylinders to perform two different functions, and I am not sure how to properly build this system. Since they perform different functions, we want them to be able to operate independently of each other. i didnt think the t-fitting would work, as that doesn’t allow for independency of the cylinders. We have a second tank, but the schrader valve we have is a splitter, and requires two of the ports. Should we run one cylinder out each end, or is there a way to run both out of one end?

1 Like

you’re treating the air tanks as controllers rather than storage (which is what they are). you can easily control a 2 piston system with 1 air tank, you only need 2 solenoids to control each piston (cylinder) independently, along with tubing, a reservoir, and whatever tubing/jointing is necessary.

Also, what do you mean “run a cylinder out of each end”? Each tank needs an input and an output valve. Just use a T fitting before connecting the tubes to the solenoids


You can just plug one of the port on your Schrader valve. You can buy plugs, or make your own: take a 6" length of tubing, gently heat it in the center with a butane lighter (don’t catch it on fire). As it starts to soften and melt, stretch the tube out and give it a few twists to seal it off in the center. Cut it in half, you’ll have two plugs.

Nitrospam is right (other than calling pneumatic cylinders “pistons”), control of your air cylinders is independent by using a solenoid valve to control each air cylinder.

1 Like

This doc should help. Look at page 2


@Halcyon Welcome to The forums

1 Like

the way i initially set it up was with the tire pump piece shown between two reservoirs, and a hose going to a solenoid on the other two ends. Will that work, or am I misunderstanding they way that piece works?

That will work, except you have no pressure regulator on the system. Using a regulator could get you more actuations from your air cylinders.

1 Like

Hadn’t seriously considered that as i though both of our cylinders would need a decent amount of pressure to properly function. By estimate, how many expansions of a single acting cylinder without the pressure regulator?

Double acting on a single reservoir with a -2 PSI reg has about 40 extensions and retractions. I’m guessing with a single acting with a reservoir you will get around 45 extensions.