Advice on using 3.3V I/O to drive 12V solenoid

Discussion created by Guest on Oct 8, 2006
Latest reply on Oct 9, 2006 by Guest
Can anyone advise me on a valid choice of transistor / FET to allow me to use a 3.3V digital IO line in order to operate a 12V, +-800mA solenoid?

At present I'm just thinking of using a NPN transistor with the IO line driving the collector, with the solenoid between the emitter and +12V supply rail (and back-EMF suppresion diode across the solenoid coil), but I'm not sure about which particular transistor to use..

Does anyone have some advice for me? I've already tried to use the IRF540 MOSFET, but that design required me to use a 5V IO line (at least that's what I experienced).