What's your opinion? I'm no magneto expert, and would like to hear your comments about this design compared with the Model T magneto.
Ed "Spider" Huff developed this magneto (according to the patent application) and the patent application dated July 1, 1905, Henry Ford assignor. Holley Brothers produced the mag and Ford used it on the Model K.
The following interview with Ed Huff and George Holley discuss how the magneto is different from other magnetos on the market.
Another forum member sent me this Holley advertisement giving invention credit to Ed Huff. Some of this was included on another thread but was buried so I'm re posting the interview:
It seems to be an alternator that is used to power a coil, similar in theory to a Model T ignition system except one thing. The Model K version does not use anything other than the timer to select the event timing of the spark. The Model K alternator is simply a source of voltage to power the coil. It ought to be pretty reliable, but the car likely would run better on a 12 volt battery because cylinder to cylinder spark variation will be less on battery.
In modern terms it would be considered a variable frequency variable voltage permanent magnet AC Generator. Often referred to by the acronym PMG.
"The magneto itself has a lower commutator and an upper one."
I know there are two ways to operate the magneto in addition to the separate coil and battery system. I'm not sure I understand the principle though.
The hand drawn circuit on p282 works on the same principle as a modern capacitor discharge ignition system.
RE the upper commutator / lower commutator question - It appears to have the ability to be used as a stand alone high tension magneto as well as being able to be used simply as a source of AC power to run the coils through the timer.
Apparently this was a system that garnered a fair amount of attention in automotive journals. Below is an article that appeared in the July 1906 "Horseless Age". The article gives credit to Ed Huff as the designer, and mentions a couple of other cars Holley Brothers are marketing to:
The Ford Fiscal Year 1905 report also included the magneto in their "Assets: Items In Suspense" column, with a fairly significant value attached:
I think JohnH has got it quite well
Les (and John),
Do you see elements of the Model T mag design?
If so, appears to me that Ed Huff and Henry Ford had the concept that would appear several years later (patent applied for July 1, 1905) in the Model T.
The element that was most important in the T design was the flywheel mounted magnets and stationary coils, allowing the timing to be regulated by the magnetic field of the magnets moving in concert with the flywheel.
That concept is utterly absent from the Model K High tension magneto / alternator ignition.
Both are mechanically driven, timed with crankshaft revolutions. What difference does it make if the magnets revolve or vice versa? There's nothing magic about magnets rotating vs. being stationary to create electricity.
I don't really see much in common with the T system, concept wise. I wonder what the problem was with this system? I would guess that it produced too much voltage at high speed and the insulation would break down. Unlike most any other ignition system, this one increases the output in proportion to the speed.
You can sort of duplicate this on the bench, if you are curious. Hook a conventional coil in series with a condenser and a 12V transformer. When you short out the power supply a spark may be produced at the high tension terminal of the coil. You may have to short it out several times to get it to do it because it is a matter of luck to short it out when there is sufficient charge to fire the coil. That is, you must short it out near the peak of the voltage waveform, which happens 120 times a second.
I hope to have the Holley mag back in operation this summer. I'll try to check a few things with the Bosch DU 6 that's on now, then re check with the Holley when we put it on.
We have the original plug wires with the mag, and the insulation is the thickest I've ever seen.
"Both are mechanically driven, timed with crankshaft revolutions."
That's true of all internal combustion ignition systems.
The guys are right here, the K magneto has almost nothing in common with a Model T magneto. The salient part of Royce's last comment was not the fact that the magnets revolve and coils sits still but that each element is arranged such that spark timing is inherent in the design. The timer on the T does not really "time" anything, (when operating on mag.), but only decides what coil will fire and not when it will fire. Such timing is built directly into the AC waveform itself and not "decided" by cams with breaker points, such as other magnetos used.
Yes but?? Even running on mag you still have to advance/retard.Bud.Rob,Is there a impulse coupling on the Bosh mag?Bud.
Huff's magneto was retardable. Here is the url of the patent that explains it a little better.
patent no. 882003
http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=00882003&IDKey=40D299C874A7&HomeUrl =http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3D HITOFF%2526d%3DPALL%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsrchnum.ht m%2526r%3D1%2526f%3DG%2526l%3D50%2526s1%3D0882003.PN.%2526OS%3DPN%2F0882003%2526 RS%3DPN%2F0882003
This link has the entire patent information including another drawing and the description:
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