I'm currently thinking about creating a small piano-like (but of course nowhere as big or complicated) music box which can be digitally controlled with a microcontroller. Therefore I need to know which kind of electronic component has the ability of creating a rapid movement throwing up a kind of "hammer" against a string.

It should be able to have a maximum speed of 0.2 m/s with a maximum force of ~45N. Minimal speed should be approximately 0.05 m/s with a force of only 5N.

Is there a component which fits these requirements? (Or do you have any other suggestions how I could solve this?)

[I initially wanted to post this on the electronics-forum, but I assume the one for engineering fits my question better, if I'm incorrect, I apologize]

  • $\begingroup$ A solenoid possibly... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 14, 2018 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ The kind of actuator that positions the heads in the mechanical hard drives. $\endgroup$ Jan 15, 2018 at 0:42

1 Answer 1


you can use a solenoid mechanism. these are commonly used to actuate door locks in cars with electric locks, meaning that 1) they run on 12VDC (convenient to work with) and 2) a junk yard would be a good place to search for an example you could test. bear in mind that there are two basic types of electric door lock actuators; one uses a solenoid assembly and the other uses a DC gearmotor. Ask the junkyard guys where to find a solenoid type. Bring your tools!


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