I'm aware about this meta question, but I'm not sure how to interpret the answers since they have downvotes. I also checked the on-topic page. Still I don't understand if I can ask a question about electro-mechanical device, like pumps, valves and other pneumatic components (of course electric-driven!).

My questions will be about the component selection - that is, how to properly read the datasheet and what features I need to focus on and their integration in the circuit (i.e. drivers, front-end circuits, etc...). I'm NOT talking about opinion based question, of course! I'm strictly speaking about technical characteristics of the components.

If they are off-topic here, would you please help me to understand where I should post them?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that as long as you stay in the "I'm designing a circuit/system" world and don't venture over into the "I'm just pugging device A into module B" world you'll probably be ok. But ... I feel that may be difficult to do if you're focused on the use of these electromechanical devices as opposed to designing the electronic circuitry which drives/controls them. \$\endgroup\$
    – brhans
    Nov 20, 2023 at 13:16

2 Answers 2


Please note that the link was about the identify category of questions specifically. And if there's mixed voting of an answer at meta, then it means there was no community consensus about that particular answer (and therefore it holds no weight).

I think the kind of devices you refer to are on-topic as long as the question is mostly about electronics. For example questions about solenoids and connectors are fine, questions about hydraulic pressure or mechanics are not. I work with these types of devices frequently, but only from the electric control system point of view. If you look at the datasheet of a hydraulic valve for example, there's typically 30+ pages about pressure and mechanics, and 1-2 pages about electronics. Those 1-2 pages ought to be on-topic here. Things like control currents/voltages, error handling, supply, connector pin-outs, driver circuitry, PID regulation etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the explanation. If I would need help also on the hydraluic/mechanics part which SE site would be on-topic? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark
    Nov 20, 2023 at 13:38
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Mark I guess engineering.stackexchange.com is the closest match. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Nov 20, 2023 at 14:51

Selection questions are not appropriate, if you want to identify a component that is fine, and design questions are fine.

It would be a great idea if you could frame the question as a design question and ask a specific question and ask for a clarification of your understanding.

If you're asking to do design work or pick a component it's very hard for us to answer those questions


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