VEX Pneumatics - Problems with retracting/extending

My team and I are new to pneumatics; Our piston starts retracted when it has no air - which I suspect is normal - but when I fill the air tank, the piston extends on its own and does not retract unless we take the air back out. Maybe we’re missing a piece? I will have pictures tomorrow.

Do you have a solenoid? Here’s a good guide to pneumatics:


Yes, I believe this is it? I can get a more detailed look at it tomorrow, but I think that 's the solenoid.

Edit: I forgot to mention, but we are using a single action piston and I believe a single-action solenoid.

Yes, you have both a single acting air cylinder and solenoid.

I suspect you might have a bad solenoid (stuck open). The air cylinder should stay retracted until the solenoid is activated. If you disconnect the solenoid cable, does the air cylinder retract?

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I’ll have to check tomorrow. I’ll update this with my findings accordingly

Doesn’t the tubing from the air cylinder (NOT the reservoir) have to go into the silver insert that is nearest that orange test button?

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Sorry - where would the air cylinder be? Is it already in that photo?

The part you are calling a “piston” is properly called an “air cylinder” or “pneumatic cylinder”


Oh, sorry, I never knew it was called that. I’ll try rearranging the tubing then.

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Forgot to reply; This worked! Thanks.


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