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#832046 12/03/20 8:23 am
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Hi

I've just changed my ignition system over from power-arc to SWF-ignitions. While the power arc ran fine, it was nearly impossible to kick start due to how it was programmed. Start easily on a roller or bump start on a hill with a willing hand.

I apologies for not being able post any photos due to the limitation of this site, but should anyone want any, then just email me on [email protected] The system is really simple to install, everything is on the plate, no control box to find a place for and instructions easy to follow. Should you wish you can even re-program it from your laptop.

I can now finally kick-up my 845, so big thanks to SWF, if you are looking for a programable digital ignition which is compact, competitively priced, then drop them an email "[email protected]" for more information and see what they can do for you.

regards

John

PS: I have no affiliation to the company.

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Hello John - long time, finally put your barrels on a bike !

I'm having similar difficulties with a Power Arc on my 854.
The kick back is scary and it's a nightmare to get started.
Once running it seems OK, bit difficult to get a nice stable idle but that might be a bit of fine tuning with the carbs is needed.
I've only done 10 miles on it to date because I'm reluctant to go anywhere on it until I can start the ba###rd without having a cardiac and/or busted ankle.

Does yours now start as "normal" with the SWF ignition ?

I couldn't get on their website for some reason but have sent an enquiry if they do one for a 90 degree set-up.

Regards

Kev

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Is your bike an offset one John?

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Hi John, if you want to email some photos to me I am happy to post them on this thread on your behalf.

Out of interest what was the cost of your system?


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Originally Posted by KevRasen
Hello John - long time, finally put your barrels on a bike !

I'm having similar difficulties with a Power Arc on my 854.
The kick back is scary and it's a nightmare to get started.
Once running it seems OK, bit difficult to get a nice stable idle but that might be a bit of fine tuning with the carbs is needed.
I've only done 10 miles on it to date because I'm reluctant to go anywhere on it until I can start the ba###rd without having a cardiac and/or busted ankle.

Does yours now start as "normal" with the SWF ignition ?

I couldn't get on their website for some reason but have sent an enquiry if they do one for a 90 degree set-up.

Regards

Kev


Just wondering if you had any discussions with Power Arc. Any idea of what the initial advance is set at?
And John, how about you?

Curious as I’m currently installing one.

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I've installed a PowerArc on a '68 A65. I think the multi-spark technology is interesting, if it works. I'm still shaking the bike out and things are falling off. So far have not had any issues with ignition that I am aware. I'm having difficult start issues, but at this point blame carb tuning. Did you verify TDC? I used a dial indicator. The forum had mentioned that I do need to strobe to verify it's advancing properly at rpm. That's on my list, but I've got fuel leak issues to sort out, lost parts to replace, and figure out how to fit parts so they don't freaking fall off. Then wait for warmer weather to resume tuning.

Good luck

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Initial advance is 10 degrees btdc.
It's set up on the nail as per the instructions which is actually very straightforward using a tdc mark. TDC mark was made using a centre position between 2 opposite measured swings of the crank.
It's an offset crank so crank phasing was checked, cam timing, valve clearances, all bang on but it kicks back like a demon and that's probably 50 % of the kicks so you start to get a bit apprehensive.
Plus it is also reluctant to fire up so there's a lot of kicking to be done which with an offset big bore is not light work.
It's a new build so maybe a bit of carb tuning needed but when it runs it runs pretty good so the carbs are close enough.

Advice from PowerArc vendor was to follow a logical starting procedure that involves turn on ignition, turn over 1 time so the optical sensor learns its position relative to tdc, then give it a good strong kick. If it fails to start after 4-5 attempts then turn off ignition and start procedure again.
Now this is an A65 and so there's none of this making sure you follow the kick through and hold it at the bottom until the danger of a kick back is over because the kicker is still engaged at the end of the stroke and if it kicks back then you're going with it.

When running the engine seems fine and from the few miles I've done the ignition side of it seems fine once running.
I'm not here to diss the system and I'm still open to an oversight or error on my part but I've had the head and barrels off twice now just as part of the re-checking everything possible and everything keeps pointing back to ignition.
Maybe this system just doesn't suit the characteristics of my off set motor.

The kick back and hard starting points to over advanced ignition for starting but I've tried repositioning the ignition module to retard it to maybe 6 degrees but still the same.
The carbs are not weak or sucking air so it's not them.
Carbs are 32 Minkuni VMs, brand new, but I've also tried a pair of 32mm Amals on it and no difference.

I'm at a loss at the minute trying to get this bike to some sort of reasonable starter so I can actually use it and if that means a different ignition system I'm game to try one so when I saw John's comment about the SWF system I thought I might have some light at the end of the tunnel.

But my experience is only one experience and the PowerArc systems seem to get good feedback elsewhere and the design logic sounds good so you shouldn't base your decision on my experience alone, it's just that at the minute it's not working well for me but like I said that could be because there's a different problem that I haven't figured out yet , not through lack of trying though !

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Hi

I'll answer the question top down as best I can.

Kevin: I never had any real kick back, just couldn't kick it up due to the system needing go round a few times before it sparks, although my system was a C2 and think its been superseded now. Played around with programming different curves, even changed it back to a one spark rather than the 3 spark to see if that would help, no. As I said earlier, use the roller and it started rev easy. Yes the SWF kick up and its a 90/270 crank. Think they are in the process of setting up a new web-site.

Nick: Yes offset 90/270 crank.

Allan: I've sent you a couple of photos that you can post onto the site. Cost was 150 Euros.

Kev: Think I've already answered your questions in answering Kevin. No I never got in contact with power-arc.

Tracy: I always do the static timing on my engines using a DTI and over the years checked it a few times. Carbs and timing were all good, just couldn't kick it up. So finally decided I needed to try something different, showed have done it before, but hate being beat.

Anyone else with question would probably be better talking to SWF.

Only down side is that I should have done this in the spring.

regards

John

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Originally Posted by Tracey Spear
The forum had mentioned that I do need to strobe to verify it's advancing properly at rpm. That's on my list, but I've got fuel leak issues to sort out, lost parts to replace, and figure out how to fit parts so they don't freaking fall off. Then wait for warmer weather to resume tuning.

Good luck

Are you sure that you can check it with a strobe? I had a discussion with Power Arc and this is the reply on that subject:

“I am not real sure that your timing light will read it as there are 3 sparks per compression stroke and the timing moves at least 8 times in 3500 degrees”.

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Hi John

Thankyou for the email. Photos as attached.

That sounds like a blooming good price for an ignition system especially if you have the ability to adjust the timing curve. You’d pay a lot more than that for the Pazon equivalent and even then I don’t think you can change the curve on the fly, it would have to be pre programmed.

I’m very interested. Out of all the “basic” ignitions I’ve always preferred the Pazon although I’m not over impressed with them.
I bought an Altair and the connections on the stator plate fell off on the way back from Belgium, Andy’s response was solder the wires on. (So why have a 7.5 year warranty) I think I still have a year and a half left on that wty...

One of the black box units was causing me grief. I chased the problem down to the box. The bike wouldn’t go over 90, not that I do that speed often but when you have tried different head/carbs/cams etc etc and find the problem still doesn’t shift. Changed the box and boom, back to normal power.

However it’s annoying as that box came off my spare unit which I was going to fit to my current project.


What coils work with this kit John? I have a dual 3ohm coil on my 68’ and 2x single coils on the OIF.

4DFE4AD3-B17D-421F-9031-FBAFB13E9524.jpeg CCC04BE1-7FC1-4A19-8F4B-EA844B431252.jpeg F4B1AF7C-B1C6-4929-BA6E-15143F8FCA2F.jpeg 375EC9EE-63C0-4546-A8B6-7F5DD3FD0CF5.jpeg

Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Hi Kevin

Yeah, I read all the feedback and thought the power arc fitted the bill, spent a lot of time on it, made new programmes etc. As I said my bike runs well once its started.

Oh, and you you will only be able to strobe the power-arc if you use the older strobe which goes between the cap and plug as they use spiral wound leads which are shielded.

Allan: I just bought the ignition and used my old power are coils, never asked about coils. The photo showing the programme lead is wrong, It should have the black wire to the right and green on the left.

regards

John

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Hi folks, I’m Anne Galama from SWF Ignition Systems and I do make these ignition units for BSA, Moto Guzzi and Morini’s.

I’ve developed this system for my BSA A65 which I own now for 42 years, bought at the age of 18. Although ridden frequently it also broke down frequently due to juvenile inexperience (and other reasons) and so the bike has spend many years in the attic or garage, dismantled. Rebuilt it in 1992 and it immediately reminded me of vibrations and ignitionpointsetting procedures, setting points on the left, checking on the right and when all was set, riding for 1 hour proved one set to be out of tune if not both sets. and bought a LMII.

In 2010 I build a digital ignition for the BSA as a hobby-project. This unit transformed the bike into a very usefull and rather fast A65. So the front end had to be modified also, dual disks. The bottom end had already been done (needle roller conversion by the Royal Navy Workshops) in 1982.

The system was easily adapted to my Moto Guzzi LMII and my sons SS50. And then friends started asking for a unit as the bikes proved reliable, easy to start and better to drive. Units have been sent to the USA, Canada and Australia.

I do not have a website at the moment but will have one in a couple of weeks from now. (a promise made to myself every year). My daytime job is as a (self-employed) maintenance manager/commissioning engineer at coalfired powerstations, waste incinerators, district heating etc, married, two children.

I’ve contributed to this forum with the nickname “Lemans”, threads are “new engine”, “electronic ignition”. Sadly all pictures are gone but I will reinstall these sometime.

The ignition-unit is deliverable as a standard unit with a preprogrammed ignition advance, max rev limiter, coil-on time or as a fully programmable unit where you can set your own ignition-advance, maxrevlimit and coil-on-time. It is single fire but a wasted spark is also possible. it uses standard 3,5 Ohm-coils but can be adapted to other coils. Use of R-plug is required.

SWF Ignition Systems is a limited company registered at the Dutch chamber of commerce. You can reach me at [email protected]
Regards Anne

for some movies see: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUOw7L1RxOFoTlyKKjccMQ?view_as=subscriber

Last edited by lemans; 12/03/20 8:46 pm.
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Thanks John and Anne,

Interesting system, I’d not heard of it before.

I haven’t been able to find any detailed info on the net.

I can see 2 triggers embedded and peened into the alloy rotor. There may be another out of view, possibly?
I guess these are ferrous screws, or perhaps magnets.
So does this system have multi-spark capability?

The 2 pickups (Hall sensors?) stand high on their tripod legs.
I wonder if this might introduce a vulnerability to vibration in the longer term.
I’d be tempted to embed the legs in resin.

I presume the program cable connects to USB PC port?
Is a program supplied for the programming?

Thanks.

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Hi Koan58,

the triggerhead has two magnets which pass by the hall-sensors, one magnet to turn the sensor on and the other one will turn it of. the signal is fed into the micro-processor, this will calculate the rpm and based on rpm the required ignition advance. the hall-sensors can be embedded in resin but this will render the unit irrepairable. on my bikes none has fallen off so far.

no multispark, the first one should do.

the program-cable connects to the standard USB-port, at the moment it is windows-only, sorry no MAC-support.

a seperate program and Manual is supplied for programminging. with teamview I can support you from my office.

there is no info on the net, a website will be launched in some time.

regards Anne

Last edited by lemans; 12/03/20 9:34 pm.
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Hi Anne,
Thanks for the open clarification!
How many timing points can be set in say a 7000rpm range?
Thanks

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PIC16F628?

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Hi Nick

Not quite with you there, what are you referring too! If it's electrical I'll let Anne answer your question.

regards

John

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Sorry John, it's the processor type (boring i know!)
Just that the one i used in the 90's was that family, an earlier one
an F84. Only had the one map and no user software, much cruder.
Went with the 750 motor i sold over here. 125 degC rated device.

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Hi Nick

Ah, That one is away over my head, that's all black magic to me. You and Anne can probably have a great conversation. I can just about get by on the basic electrics, but I'm a ludite as far as these micro electronics go.

Oh, I sold the RGM/BSA back in August, I was never going to take it out, just kidding myself really. But I liked working on it. A lad down in York bought it, him and his son are going to race it next year.

Hope everything is good down your end and always look forward to seeing your posts.

John

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@Koan58,
you can set 9 timing point in a range. the range can vary from 5000 to 10000 rpm.
11.000 rpm is almost the limit with a 3,5 Ohm coil as you still have to charge your coils. if you fit a faster coil with less resistance you can raise the max rpm-level.

@Nickl, it is a 16F648, milspec, so rated at 125 drg C. but I've standard-rated processors in the V of a MotoGuzzi in summer into town. no problems.

regards Anne

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Originally Posted by Cyborg
Originally Posted by Tracey Spear
The forum had mentioned that I do need to strobe to verify it's advancing properly at rpm. That's on my list, but I've got fuel leak issues to sort out, lost parts to replace, and figure out how to fit parts so they don't freaking fall off. Then wait for warmer weather to resume tuning.

Good luck

Are you sure that you can check it with a strobe? I had a discussion with Power Arc and this is the reply on that subject:

“I am not real sure that your timing light will read it as there are 3 sparks per compression stroke and the timing moves at least 8 times in 3500 degrees”.


Perhaps not. I never thought about the multi-spark effect on a strobe. Much less that the wires are shielded.
Unless I get the software I guess as long as it goes good I have to take on faith timing is advancing properly.

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I think what was suggested is that an old style strobe (in which the sensor goes between the cap and plug) will work, but the inductive type (which clamps around the lead) will not.
I've only ever owned the former type.

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Originally Posted by JER.Hill
Hi Nick

Ah, That one is away over my head, that's all black magic to me. You and Anne can probably have a great conversation. I can just about get by on the basic electrics, but I'm a ludite as far as these micro electronics go.

Oh, I sold the RGM/BSA back in August, I was never going to take it out, just kidding myself really. But I liked working on it. A lad down in York bought it, him and his son are going to race it next year.

Hope everything is good down your end and always look forward to seeing your posts.

John

Sorry to hear you sold it John, i have been checking the classic results and wondering where you were................................
Same as me, OK building them but too damn old to race 'em now

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Originally Posted by lemans
@Koan58,
you can set 9 timing point in a range. the range can vary from 5000 to 10000 rpm.
11.000 rpm is almost the limit with a 3,5 Ohm coil as you still have to charge your coils. if you fit a faster coil with less resistance you can raise the max rpm-level.

@Nickl, it is a 16F648, milspec, so rated at 125 drg C. but I've standard-rated processors in the V of a MotoGuzzi in summer into town. no problems.

regards Anne

I see.

I liked the PIC series, MPASM was free and worked very well.
Nick


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