Linear Actuator Controller

Hello everyone,

I’m new, and joined because I need help with controlling a linear actuator. The actuator is actually going to be used on my truck to control the position of the vanes on a variable geometry turbo. This exact setup has been used, but it only is wired to a momentary switch, so it isn’t precise and is difficult to get in the same position everytime.

The actuator isn’t directly controlling to turbo, but is just acting as a stop, or travel limiter. I esentially want to be able to wire up a 3 position switch and have each position correspond to a set point in the actuators range of motion.


2" stroke linear actuator
Switch down (or position 1) = 2"
Switch middle (or position 2) = 1.5"
Switch up (or position 3) = 1"

I’m not stuck on those values obviously or the exact switch setup, but would ideally like 3 set positions I can switch to. I am currently using this actuator on a momentary switch:

New takeoffs VALEO model 24021541 linear actuator originally made for use in electric automotive seats. No clutch or limit switches. Permanent magnet type motor. Threaded output shaft has 13/16" x 1-3/16" x 13/16" steel block with 3/8"-18 tapped hole in side.

Amps 1.5 no load
Travel 15/16"
Extension time 3 seconds full travel
Rotation reversible
Enclosure Fully enclosed
Duty Intermittant
Mount 1/4" dia. pin hole at base end
Shaft 7/16" dia. 8 T.P.I threaded rod
Overall size 5-1/2" x 2-3/8" x 4-3/4"
Shpg. 4 lbs.

Thanks for all of your time, I would really love it if I can make this work. I’m interested in learning from all of you, as electronics are definatly my weak point.


Does that actuator have any kind of feedback mechanism that would allow the control electronics to measure its current position? I see no mention of feedback on the page you linked to. Without feedback it will be hard to get the actuator to a particular position.


No feedback.

I have another idea. There are 3 settings I need: closed, nearly closed, and about middle. Nearly closed will be the one that is normally used.

Can I wire in an led that will light up when the arm reaches the nearly closed position? Then another for the middle. The closed will be easy to figure out, just keep going after nearly closed till it stops.

If you can add a feedback sensor that tells when the actuator is in the nearly-closed position, there is nothing stopping you from making a little system to read the sensor and turn on an LED when appropriate. The hard part is making that feedback sensor.


What would you recommend for that?

I was thinking of mounting a magnet to the linear actuator arm then just using a reed switch for the nearly closed position.

But I’m very new to electronics so I’m a little list on exactly how to wire that.

Hello. I do not have any particular recommendations for a feedback sensor. Your idea could work. --David