This paper considers the dynamic behavior of a mechanism actuated by an oscillating hydraulic cylinder. The analysis is generalized by introducing nondimensional parameters. In this first portion of the paper, linearization is applied to explore the basic nature of the system transient response. A wide range of parameter values is considered to illustrate the effects of fluid capacitance, fluid inertance, load, leakage and friction on the system behavior and quantitative design guidelines are indicated. Part 2 of the paper deals with nonlinear aspects of the actuator-mechanism system.

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