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#341850 - 11/07/10 10:53 am A65 electronic ignition  
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Kev. Online sick
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Royal Berkshire.
I am thinking of fitting a Boyer ignition system to my thunderbolt, with a Accel super coil, have any of you guys used these coils on your Brit Bike, I was told that a few Triumph owners used them?


http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/

1950 Vincent Comet
1952 Norton Special
1963 BSA Super Rocket
1970 BSA A65 Lightning
1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado x2
2009 Triumph Bonneville (now sold)



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#341855 - 11/07/10 11:58 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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M Shearer Offline
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Perth. Wild West Downunder.
Kev check out Pazon before you decide on Boyer.


Mark F.
'52 ZB34 Gold Star.
'65 Lightning Rocket.
'74 Roadster Commando.



#341856 - 11/07/10 12:07 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Stuart Online content
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Hi Kev,

Hmmm ...

Presumably you've picked on the Boyer-Bransden e.i. 'cos it's cheap. I'd respectfully point out the old saying, "You Get What You Pay For", and ime there are fewer places it's more true than e.i. for old British motorcycles.

The Accel coil 'cos it promises some stratospheric HT voltage? Except no coil can deliver a decent spark if it doesn't charge properly, and it doesn't matter how big the spark is if it doesn't do the 'bang' in the right part of suck-squeeze-bang-blow. Moreover, combustion chamber conditions in the aforementioned old British motorcycle are unlikely, if ever, to require that number of volts ... unless you're running an equally stratospheric compression ratio at racing revs.?

So you're firing a quality coil with a cheap e.i. For a standard(-ish) engine that's more likely to fire up and run reliably when you want it to, wouldn't you be better off spending a bit more on a modern-tech. ignition that charges bog-standard coils (I hear them Lucas ones are pretty good wink ) properly and fires them reliably?

Hth.

Regards,

#341865 - 11/07/10 1:06 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Kev. Online sick
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Royal Berkshire.
So far I have bought nowt, I am just taking advice from owners of A series bikes. As for the coils, my bike is still wearing the OE ones it left the factory with, the full full system including the zenner diode.


http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/

1950 Vincent Comet
1952 Norton Special
1963 BSA Super Rocket
1970 BSA A65 Lightning
1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado x2
2009 Triumph Bonneville (now sold)



#341866 - 11/07/10 1:06 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
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Altoona, Florida
I run a Boyer and a harley coil on a lot of my bikes without any issues, There are also a few bikes with the tri spark and other brands running in and out of the shop. set up properly they all seem to work with less maintenance than the point setup and seem to give a more reliable experience with these old bikes..The Tri spark is a cool unit and very easy to set up and I like the fact of the low voltage drain something like 4 volts to start.

Cheers and good luck with your bike

Mike Carter

#341870 - 11/07/10 1:37 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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A lot of the problems with Boyers is that they are purchased because they are the cheapest units available and installed in the same manner, cheaply.

Once Boyer fixed the problem with the anchorage of the pick up coil leads, the only major problems seem to have been the rubbish blue insulated crimp terminals that they insist upon using.
After these are replaced , or soldered on properly then the units seem to work well enough.
What dose not work is generally the charging system on the owners bikes and that comes down to the first point. The owners are too cheap to maintain their charging system properly, the voltage drops. the Boyer overloads itself then blows up and the cheapskates then blame the Boyer for their own negligence .

Steve took this into account when he built the Tri-Spark which will shut down and save itself when falling battery charge and non functioning charging system has it drawing 20 Amps


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#341875 - 11/07/10 2:02 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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raf940 Offline
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i have pazon/harley coil/tympanium/AGM battery on my A65 and no electrical/spark problems at all


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando project
#341876 - 11/07/10 2:19 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Mark Z Online content
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According to my engine man/sometimes parts supplier, Pazon is better about standing behind their product than Boyer-Bransden. This issue may be more obvious to a supplier, as he is sometmes forced to take the defective product back, and he has had to "eat" a number of Boyer failures, whereas Pazon will replace defective units.

On the flip side, I've run a Boyer EI on my A65 for a number of years and it has performed satisfactorily.

I'm very much in favor of a dual-lead coil, but you don't have to get exotic. The HD Sportster knockoff coil provides plenty of output voltage and you can pick one up for $50-$60.

Whether or not your EI cooks or shuts down on low voltage, the charging system and battery must be up to snuff. I'd recommend changing out the OE rectifier for a modern generic rectifier or an aftermarket rectifier/regulator unit.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
#341879 - 11/07/10 2:53 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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triton thrasher Online content
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Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
The owners are too cheap to maintain their charging system properly, the voltage drops. the Boyer overloads itself then blows up and the cheapskates then blame the Boyer for their own negligence


But conversely, bikes that ran well with low output alternators and points ignition, start failing at the roadside when owners fit electronic ignitions.

Do Boyers really "blow up" if the battery gets low? Not very robust then are they? No wonder factories didn't and don't fit Boyer ignition.


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
#341881 - 11/07/10 3:03 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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John Bakker Online content
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Boyer Mark 3s are very sensitive to battery voltage and start acting up if your battery/charging system isn't up to snuff.
That situation has apparently been rectified with their new Mark 4 system which will still work properly even if your battery is a bit run down.
Instead of running a single twin lead 12V coil, two 6V units are recommended by Boyer, although i have run two 12V without problems.
So if buying a Boyer, insist on the Mark 4. BTW, Walridge Motors has them on sale right now if you want to save a few $

#341884 - 11/07/10 3:11 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Hi,

Fwiw, in the case of a 'Boyer' breakdown and any subsequent dispute over responsibility, Kev is only about two hours from Bransden's (the actual maker) office, should he need to pursue any complaint in person. That said, certainly in GB, they seem to pretty good about replacing defective units; it's just you can do without the agg. in the first place. frown

Kev: from your 'Registered' date and number of posts, I've assumed you're aware that e.i. isn't just a 'bolt-on' on these old bikes? wink

Regards,

#341889 - 11/07/10 3:27 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Mt two penny's worth. After reading up on the interwebby I went to my local dealer wanting a complete Pazon system as i had no ignition components at all. "Dont do Pazon, weve dealt with Boyer for years, no problems and there British blah, blah, blah" So I bought a micro digital system as it had the lot in one box right down to the plug leads and caps.

From day one I had a slight misfire on one cylinder, didnt realy notice it in riding too much (first Brit bike and all that) but when trying to set the timing the strobe gun wouldnt fire on the offending cylinder. Read through the instructions and did all the recomended checks and pinned it down to the coil. Phoned Boyer and they gave me some measurements to check out with a multi meter. Said measurments were out of spec so I posted the coil back to them....they tested it and said it was working fine....and wanted about 15 for testing and postage (which I didnt pay). I refitted the coil and the misfire was still there. I went through the whole wiring system for the second time with no luck. More phone calls only resulted in Boyer insisting it was a wiring fauly.

In the end I bought a new dual fire coil from Hawker Electrical and guess what???...no more misfire. Bike runs great with none of the hesitation coming off a closed throttle that I was putting down to carb ballance.

On internet forums theres always the possibility that folk with a bad experiance will shout louder than those with no problems to report....and this is the first time I have mentioned my Boyer (misfire) problems but i certainly wont touch one again. What realy got up my nose was there insistance that It was my (wiring) fault when all the evidance pointed to a faulty coil, and one that they wanted to charge me for incorectly testing!!!!


Last edited by trickytree; 11/07/10 3:29 pm.

65 A65 bobber
A10 bitza...not (re)born yet
#341953 - 11/07/10 7:45 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Ventura Offline
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I fitted a Tri-Spark ignition, two 6V coils and Podtronics Reg.

Worked well for me, straight forward installation and far easier starting/smoother running.

Gets my vote! smile




V.

Last edited by Ventura; 11/07/10 8:40 pm.
#341966 - 11/07/10 8:14 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Ventura]  
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Semper Gumby Offline
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Atlanta, GA USA
Love the Tri-Spark on the Firebird. Two Lucas 6 volt coils (in series) and no remote box, everything is on the timing plate including a LED for setting the initial timing and to see if the unit is firing! Install was simple and quick.

They stood behind the product when it broke answering my e-mails immediately and I have had no issues since.

I have a typanium voltage regulator and NGK Iridium resistor plugs on the original Lucas alternator.


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
#341999 - 11/07/10 11:00 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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BSA_WM20 Online content
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Note ,
I am not anti Boyer.
I have 4 of them and I have no problems with them after I replaced all of the poor connectors.
I ran the A65L with the original 12V coils with no problems up to around 5500 rpm when the charging system could not keep up. I lived with that.
They are a substantial improvement over the points set up, provided that the charging system is working properly.

OTOH my phone number is on the club's web site so I get all of the "agony aunt" phone calls.
One of the most common is "my bike cuts out , misses, runs badly etc,etc,etc whenever I idle " and almost every time I end up diagnosing a charging problem, not an ignition or fuel problem and most of the owners were well aware of it but just stuck their bike on a $ 100 battery tender in place of replacing the $ 5.00 four way bullet on the end of the alternator leads or even more unthinkable cleaning up the earth connection at the rectifier.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#342015 - 11/07/10 11:47 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Adam M. Online content
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Mississauga, Ontario.
The base neccesity to install EI is to install solid state rec/reg, have a good wiring loom so you have to start from this end.
I did this, bought AGM 7Ah battery and have been using antiquated analog Boyer for the last 4 years without any problem.

#342027 - 11/08/10 1:21 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Adam M.]  
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Stuart Online content
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Hi,

Originally Posted By: Adam M.
The base neccesity to install EI is to install solid state rec/reg,

Disagree. I've two T160's that've run Ritas for 32 years and at least 28 years respectively; both have plate rectifiers and Zener diodes and use the same lead/acid battery. The T100 also has a lead/acid battery, a 'square' rectifier, Zener diode and B-B Mk.3 (analogue) - mind you, the latter came at the right price for me (free wink ).

That said, the wiring, connections and switches are in tip-top condition. Also, any earths/grounds for the e.i. and coils are connected to battery +ve, not the frame, engine or harness earth/ground cables.

Over the thick end of the last thirty years, I've helped sort out a number of problem e.i. As Trevor says (and John Healy elsewhere), it's often simply crap connections and/or the owner problem-solving using the 'headless chicken' method; however, ime there've also been far too many duff B-B e.i. frown

Hth.

Regards,

#342031 - 11/08/10 1:39 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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Stuart Online content
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Hi Trevor,

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
Boyer.
I have 4 of them
I ran the A65L with the original 12V coils with no problems up to around 5500 rpm when the charging system could not keep up.

I'll apologise in advance for if I've mistaken the context, but B-B plus two 12V coils not working above around 5500 rpm isn't a charging system problem.

. If you wired the two 12V coils in series to the B-B, each coil only gets 6V (half of rated) so the HT voltage is reduced to a quarter of rated.

. If you wired the two 12V coils in parallel to the B-B, you're drawing around six to seven Amps through the B-B 'box', so you were lucky it didn't stop working altogether, rather than just above 5500 rpm.

Hth.

Regards,

#342059 - 11/08/10 5:24 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Stuart]  
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Stu,

Yes it was a power problem.
The 2 x 6V coils that I put in there when I originally set it up worked fine, right up to 7000 rpm.
Eventually they had to go back onto the donor bikes so I replaced the original 12 V coils and the results were misses above 5500 rpm which got worse as the revs rose.
And yes, 12 years of tertiary education may not have taught me how to spell properly but it did teach me how to read instructions and Boyer instructions are not what you would call difficult to understand.
Now electrickery is not my disipline but I do understand things like duty cycles and latiency and there is a lot more power running through the box per unit time at 5500 revs as there is at 1000 rpm being that the current draw only happens while the coils are in circuit and charging, save the small amount that is converted into heat


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#342073 - 11/08/10 9:58 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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Ohio
Kev,

I'm using a Pazon analog ignition with the Accel dual tower Super coil. Both work fine, no issues at all.
BSAJIP

#343027 - 11/13/10 12:20 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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Stuart Online content
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Hi Trevor,

A few days since the last post, so hopefully a hijack isn't too much of a problem ... wink

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
there is a lot more power running through the box per unit time at 5500 revs as there is at 1000 rpm

'Fraid this is entirely wrong - the power drawn by a coil actually falls as the revs. rise; that said, not by much.

The only "cycle" a coil undergoes is that of charge and discharge as it is, respectively, connected and disconnected from the supply by points or e.i.

A coil charges at a fixed rate, governed by its resistance and the voltage applied across it.

Strictly speaking, coils aren't rated by voltage but by resistance. However, because makers didn't expect most users to know Ohm's Law (E=IR aka Volts = Amps x Resistance), a voltage equivalent to a current draw between 3 and 4 Amps is indicated on a coil. So a coil having a resistance around 3.5 Ohms is a '12 Volt' coil, one around 1.8 Ohms is a '6 Volt', one around 1 Ohm is a '4 Volt', etc., etc. Those resistance values are in the middle of the ranges for Lucas 'M'-type coils but they're similar for any coil intended for switching by points from any maker - Bosch, Marelli, etc., etc. as well as Lucas.

Then, if you use an independent rotational trigger (e.g. crankshaft, camshaft, etc.) to connect or disconnect a coil charging at a fixed rate, particularly if disconnection is simply to induce the HT discharge (spark) from the coil, the coil will charge more when the trigger is moving at low revs. and less when it's moving at high revs. The extreme ends of this scale are:-

. if the coil is never disconnected from the supply (e.g. ignition on but engine not working) - when the coil will either overheat or drain the battery;

. the coil is disconnected from the supply before it has had time to charge sufficiently to provide a spark. Fwiw, ime, for a Lucas 'M'-type coil (e.g. 17M12, 17M6, etc.), connected to the correct voltage, sparking in the open air, this limit is reached somewhere between about 16,000 and 18,000 rpm.

Turning to powering more than one coil in series from an e.i.:-

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
2 x 6V coils
I replaced the original 12 V coils
Boyer instructions are not what you would call difficult to understand.

By this I assume you mean the instructions say that two 12V coils connected in series to the e.i. are ok?

1. It is an electrical principle that, when components are connected together in series, their resistances are added together. So two 12V coils in series have a total resistance of around 7 Ohms. Put that and 12V into Ohm's Law and you get a current draw of 1.7A. Bit crap compared to a necessary current draw of between 3A and 4A?

2. It is another electrical principle that, when two 12V coils are connected together in series and supplied with 12V, each coil will only actually get 6V. That is half each coil's 'rated Volts'; there's yet another electrical principle, that applies to coils, that whatever you cut the input by, the output is cut by the square - i.e. here the input is cut to a half so the output will be cut to a half squared = a quarter - the HT volts are a quarter of what they should be.

So:-

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
The 2 x 6V coils that I put in there when I originally set it up worked fine, right up to 7000 rpm.

They would, because two '6 Volt' coils connected in series have a total resistance of around 3.5 Ohms (the same as one '12 Volt' coil) and, supplied with the bike's nominal 12V, the combination is drawing current within the 3A-to-4A range and each coil is getting its rated 6 Volts.

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
I replaced the original 12 V coils and the results were misses above 5500 rpm which got worse as the revs rose.

The probable reasons why the engine worked below about 5500rpm:-

A. combustion chamber conditions vary, as does the actual HT voltage required to create a spark at any given time;

B. the coils were connected for a sufficient length of time that they could supply enough HT voltage for a spark in the combustion chamber conditions.

The reason for the "misses above 5500 rpm which got worse as the revs rose" was almost certainly that the coils weren't connected for a sufficient length of time for the 1.7A current draw to charge them sufficiently to give the necessary HT volts for a spark in the combustion chamber conditions.

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
Boyer instructions are not what you would call difficult to understand.

If two 12V coils in series on a twin (or three 6V coils in series on a triple) are such a great idea, how come no-one else (Lucas - Rita, Newtronic, Trispark, Pazon, etc., etc.) recommend it?

There's one simple reason Bransden Electronics (the actual maker and seller of the 'Boyer') originally recommended the coil arrangements they do - it allowed B-B to be cheaper than Rita in the British market, which is where they both started out around the same time. Mistral Engineering, who marketed it for Lucas, always supplied a Rita as a complete kit, with two 6V coils for a twin or three 4V coils for a triple.

That said, quite why Bransden continue with these recommendations is beyond me - Rita isn't available any more, and the price differential was never even an issue in most (all?) other markets; the internet (and owners' club magazines) have always been littered with threads about the same problems; there are a number of sources of 4V coils, only one of which also makes a 'competitor' (in the broadest sense of the word) e.i.

And, if you contact Bransden Electronics saying either the bike has a misfire or it won't start, and it's a twin with 12V coils or a triple with 6V coils, pretty much the first piece of advice you'll receive is to install 6V coils in the twin or 4V coils in the triple! cool

Originally Posted By: BSA_WM20
I ran the A65L with the original 12V coils with no problems up to around 5500 rpm when the charging system could not keep up.

So, like I said ... wink

Hth.

Regards,

#343037 - 11/13/10 2:08 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Stuart]  
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Adam M. Online content
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Originally Posted By: Stuart
Hi,

Originally Posted By: Adam M.
The base neccesity to install EI is to install solid state rec/reg,

Disagree. I've two T160's that've run Ritas for 32 years and at least 28 years respectively; both have plate rectifiers and Zener diodes and use the same lead/acid battery. The T100 also has a lead/acid battery, a 'square' rectifier, Zener diode and B-B Mk.3 (analogue) - mind you, the latter came at the right price for me (free wink ).

Regards,


Stuart, for me it is mostly because of longer life of solid reg rec compare to Zener. Not like you I have my loom connected to the frame and engine ( Japanese bikes style ), water tight connections and no problems with minimum maitenance.
I didn't mention that different solution will not work - just needs more maitenance.
For me installing the voltmeter in the place of ampmeter helped too letting me know what's going on in my system during riding.

regards smile

#343085 - 11/13/10 7:20 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
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DMadigan Online content
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A slight correction, the average current through the coil as RPM increase depends upon the design of the ignition. With fixed dwell angle the time that power is applied each cycle goes down as RPM increases. With fixed dwell time ignition it remains the same. With fixed dwell angle the coil will eventually loose spark when the RPM is high enough so that the coil does not reach full charge in the time allowed.
I am not sure how the Boyer digital system is set up but the original analog system basically had a tachometer circuit that advanced the timing exponentially (as you can see from the advance traces) and had a fixed delay after sparking to start recharging the coil.
The charge rate on a coil is dependent upon the coil's inductance and resistance. Coils made for Kettering ignition store the charge in the coil's magnetic field and generally have a higher resistance than capacitance discharge coils where the charge is stored in a capacitor and dumped across the coil to generate spark. These need a lower resistance so the voltage will rise fast enough. Some Kettering coils such as Ford's E-coils have a low resistance and have to be used with an ignition that controls the charge time. Otherwise the coil will overheat.

#343105 - 11/13/10 9:53 pm Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: Kev.]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,548
BSA_WM20 Online content
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BSA_WM20  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,548
Sydney Australia
Stuart,
Thanks for the detailed response.
Out with the old electrickery books to do some math and verify or reinforce your post.
As stated previously I am never happier than when proven to be wrong.
I had never considered that there would be insufficient time to fully saturate the coils and had not considered voltage drop failing to produce a sufficiently strong spark to ignite the mix at high revs although I did realise that the spark would be weaker when using 12V coils and observed this when doing trials.
I worked with furnaces mostly so came at things from a slightly different angle. Our problems were always finding enough power if the programing was off and we had too many on maximum duty at the same time.
When they opened their pockets and started to fit the VIF power units the problems were greatly reduced but we still had to fire up the generators at least once a week.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#343519 - 11/16/10 12:50 am Re: A65 electronic ignition [Re: DMadigan]  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,295
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,295
Scotland
Hi,

Originally Posted By: Adam M.
Not like you I have my loom connected to the frame and engine ( Japanese bikes style ), water tight connections and no problems with minimum maitenance.

confused On the contrary, all the looms I build link the earth/ground cables network to both engine and frame. I copied the principle of a network from the first standard loom I took to bits, the engine must have a good earth/ground and it isn't wise not to have a link from the frame into the network. All I don't follow is the Single Point Ground principle.

The bit in my previous post that you didn't quote was that I earth/ground the coils and e.i. box direct to battery +ve. Again, I can't claim this as an original idea, it's simply what's advised in Rita fitting instructions and, as Rita is a damn' sight more reliable than B-B, thus seemed like A Good Idea. wink

As for "water tight connections", if it works for you, great. I'm just more careful than Lucas where I site connections, and don't do stupid things like use bullet connectors six inches off the road. crazy Thus far, standard Lucas-type insulation has sufficed with barely any sort of 'maintenance'. smile

Originally Posted By: DMadigan
A slight correction,

Thanks, Dave. Problem with this subject is, where do you stop? smile I just thought the post was long enough, and Trevor's problem had been with a Boyer-Bransden e.i.

Originally Posted By: DMadigan
I am not sure how the Boyer digital system is set up but the original analog system

Not sure about the MicroPower but I'm pretty certain the MicroDigital is at least basically the same way as the B-B analogue. I'm not sure that, if the e.i. has just a single output and the designer wants to allow multiple coils - particularly Kettering-type - to be connected, there's much scope for fixed dwell time?

Hth.

Regards,

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