E-timer's and E-HCCT

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: E-timer's and E-HCCT
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 02:03 pm:

Haven't heard a word from Mike in a while. Wondering how the beta testing of the e-HCCT is coming? Still have one on my bucket list.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 07:17 pm:

I've heard Mike has improved his original E-HCCT even more with a direct link to a laptop or tablet.

Hopefully Mike can enlighten us as I'm sure others also are waiting to hear.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 09:44 pm:

Thanks for the interest. The ECCT is a radically new method to coil testing and point adjustment for many and is sure to be called into question. Considerable effort was spent on the design a complete Model T Data Acquisition System (TDAS) to monitor both engine RPM and vehicle speed versus time. I also spent a lot of time this past summer using the TDAS to collect quantitative A/B performance comparison data between professionally adjusted coils with ECCT adjusted coils to have a solid basis behind the test methodology. An article on the TDAS is in the queue of being published but is taking a lot longer than expected; hopefully the May-June issue.
There has been a lot going on with ECCT development behind the seen. I have received considerable feedback from a number of very dedicated beta testers. Hopefully some of them will chime in with their comments here too. Much of the feedback has been used to refine the ECCT or inspire additional development work. Here is some of the changes made or contemplated motivated in part based on Beta tester feedback:
1. 9V battery life was too short so the battery was changed to 4 AA batteries.
2. In car testing has limited appeal due to the inconvenience of under dash coil box location. It appealed to me because I have a 1927 Touring with easily accessible coil box under the hood. Most Beta testers preferred using the bench top coil test fixture as oppose to in car test.
3. Coil adjustment operating on 12VDC was found to more closely represent engine speeds. Coil adjustment on 6VDC represents slow speed engine operation (low magneto output) where coil timing variation is not as apparent.
4. Findings 1, 2 and 3 made a good case to abandon the concept of a battery operated hand held instrument for a line powered bench top coil test fixture.
5. A computer interface was always planned but has been well received by Beta Testers due to the wealth of information it provides in both numerical and graphical forms which are considerable advantages over the basic handheld instrument with its limits user interface. An option under consideration is to either combine the two functions into a single unit or drop the limited user interface completely and just have a Coil test fixture that hooks directly up to a PC or Laptop. That would help keep the cost down and would provide the greatest features – provided you have a computer or laptop. Comments welcome.

Here is an example of the Coil test data provided by the ECCT Advanced Features Software:
ECCT GUI

Test data provided by the software includes: Capacitor value in uF, Leakage resistance in Ohms, primary coil inductance in mH, Spark energy in mJ, Coil dwell time in ms and the really neat part is the ability to check coil firing consistency after the points are adjusted by firing up to 250 consecutive sparks at a user selectable rate of 500 to 4000 RPM and see the coil current and timing dwell time distribution. The above example show just how accurate you can get a set of new coil points to perform; 99% of spark fired was within 1 degree running with equivalent of 1000 RPM. It is amazing how easy it is to knock a set of points out from performing to this level of performance too.

The ECCT has been and still is a fascinating project. At some point though, I will have to resist the temptation of keep adding features and settle on a final form. I would be interested in what you folks think about ditching the limited user interface in favor of a Coil test fixture connected directly to a PC or Laptop.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Carter - South Jersey on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 11:06 pm:

I'm one of the people that have been doing beta testing for the ECCT - it started over a year ago. The ECCT is a very interesting coil tester and the PC interface provides a lot of helpful data for review. Mike has been very accepting of questions, suggestions and concerns and has a lot of time invested in this project. I'm sure that many people will find the ECCT to be a very useful tool once it is available.

I have an HCCT and a StroboSpark and it has been most interesting thinking about this new different way to adjust the coils and what differences between the two types of methods mean. I hope that the weather clears soon and I can get back to more behind the wheel tests.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 11:42 pm:

It would be nice to have a unit that you could carry with you to test your coils on the road. If it requires a laptop, then you need to carry your laptop with you. I thought the beauty was the portability of the unit as opposed to an HCCT(bulky and heavy) or a stroboscope(needs 120V).

However, I also have to look at how often do you test coils on the road? I would think most of us test coils in the garage and it would make more sense to carry a few spare coils that have tested good when you are out on a drive. You can always switch out a coil if you have a spare, just like a tire or inner tube.

What say the rest of you?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 02:01 am:

I would be happier with a bench based unit and laptop interface. This looks real promising.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 04:41 am:

Price is always a concern when building Model T parts and accessories, so if a laptop interface only device is cheaper, then go for it :-)
Maybe it could be connected to a smartphone with an app - but then the app has to be developed..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Philip Berg on Monday, March 03, 2014 - 12:12 pm:

I'd prefer a bench unit with laptop interface.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - 02:58 pm:

... what ... he's not throwing in a Model T with each purchase? I might have to rethink this.

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 02:41 am:

What's the best guess when these will be available?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 07:02 am:

Does it work on MAG? Does it cost less than a hand cranked coil tester? All the discussion appears to indicate testing coils operating on DC voltage. That's not something I need.

On the laptop interface, does it work from USB? Is there a way to use one with an Ipad?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 07:37 am:

Dave Hjortnaes wrote:

"...However, I also have to look at how often do you test coils on the road? I would think most of us test coils in the garage and it would make more sense to carry a few spare coils that have tested good when you are out on a drive. You can always switch out a coil if you have a spare, just like a tire or inner tube.

What say the rest of you?"

I say I agree. I've never felt the need to pull over and test my coils. As a matter of fact, I don't even carry a spare coil. My coils are rebuilt and should last for a LONG time before needing to be rebuilt again. I pull them out and check the adjustment every year or two and tweak if needed. Could one fail? Sure, but I could still get home. If I were going on a long trip, I might pack a spare, but most of my driving is within a 100 mile radius of home.

If I were in the market for another coil tester, price would probably trump portability for me. I just don't see portability as a deciding factor.

And before any of you (You know who you are) start accusing me of 'bashing', this post was in response to Dave's question, so DON'T!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Wednesday, March 05, 2014 - 10:49 pm:

The issue of testing and adjusting coil points under DC conditions is sure to raise concerns because it is not the AC waveform provided by the magneto during normal operation. The counter argument to that concern is neither is the recognized and accepted method using HCCT excitation because there is no timer involved. The coil under test is never allowed to rest as is the case in normal operation when the Timer disconnects the magneto from the coil when it moves off firing position.

I believe the ECCT method of coil point adjustment using a fixed 12VDC excitation more closely mimics normal operation than does the HCCT method of coil excitation. Here is a photo of the magneto voltage measured at the timer terminal. Note that the magneto voltage is not 0 volts when the timer makes contact with engine ground to start current flowing through the coil primary winding. The voltage is around 30V with the engine running at 1785 RPM. That is an instantaneous step excitation just like the ECCT uses (off to +30V in a single step) only a different instantaneous voltage value.

MagVoltageAtTimer

I say instantaneous voltage value because the magneto voltage does not stay fixed at 30V, it quickly drops in value as the coil current rises towards the firing point. The magneto voltage at the time of firing is approximately 8V in the example below. The key point is the effective voltage applied to the coil during the coil dwell time is about 15VDC when operating at 1800 RPM in this example. Another important deviation of HCCT test excitation is the magneto voltage is nowhere near the normal values generated during normal operation. For these reasons, testing and adjusting a coil under +12VDC step excitation is a far better approximation of actual operating conditions compared with the HCCT. The ability of the computer to catch double spark events and precisely measure the coil dwell time is what makes it a unique tool for the adjustment of coil points.

MagOutput

Theory is all well and good but it is how the car performs that really matters. The TDAS test data comparisons between HCCT adjusted coils and ECCT adjusted coils indicates performance is as good if not better.

HCCTvsECCT


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Thursday, March 06, 2014 - 11:11 pm:

I came across a very difficult to adjust set of brand new coil points during ECCT development that some may find very interesting. The coil points tuned up easily on the ECCT and passed the single spark test, however, the ECCT timing consistency test showed poor results as illustrated below in the red circle. Only 49% of the sparks fired when desired matching the other 3 coils I had just adjusted. The point gap and geometry all looked fine, no double sparking indicating proper cushion spring tension, correct firing dwell time and current indicating proper vibrator spring tension. I tested the coil on an HCCT and the current measured 1.3A with minimal variation; similar to professionally rebuilt and expertly adjusted reference coils. So what was going on?
PoorConsistancy

The coil current was measured on an oscilloscope in an effort to determine why the poor timing consistency. First, a brand new good set of points were installed on the problem coil and current waveform was measured. Then the bad set of brand new points were installed on the same coil and coil current waveform was measured again. The results measured are shown below:
CoilCurrentWaveforms

The good set of points had a linear ramp up to the firing current of 6A and consistently took 2.150ms to fire. The bad set of points installed on the exact same coil and shown on the right. The coil current would ramp up normally to the firing current of 6A, however, an arc developed as the coil points opened delaying firing until 2.630ms about 50% of the time. The ignition timing difference (0.48ms) is nearly 6 degrees operating at 2000 RPM. Arcing at the points would typically indicate a faulty or improper value capacitor but we know that is not the case because it tested good on the ECCT for both value and leakage and the same coil (and capacitor) was used to capture the left current trace with a good set of points and firing consistency better than 95% without any indication of arcing. Another serious issue caused by arcing is the fact that the spark energy is seriously reduced due to energy wasted on the arc heating the points. Note that the coil current drops from 6A to 4.64A before the arcing stops and spark occurs (noted by sharp drop in current). The lower coil current at the time of firing equates to a 40% reduction in spark energy which can result in poor combustion and misfire.

So what do you think was responsible for causing the poor ignition timing consistency and possible misfire not apparent on the HCCT but easily recognized with the ECCT timing consistency test? Can it be corrected?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 07:08 am:

Cushion spring not working properly. Should have travel from perhaps .006 - .0012". Most are wrong out of the box.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 07:49 am:

Sometimes the cushion spring can rub on the side of the rivet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 11:23 am:

When the ECCT becomes available I would like to buy one. Mike knows his stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Carter - South Jersey on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 04:42 pm:

From my experience, dirty points would be the likely cause.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 04:55 pm:

Cushion Spring ... One of the Keys to a good performing Model T ignition system ...

Something that has already been known by those who have understood the 'apparently simple' model T coil for a long time.

BTW, IMHO, I would rather have a HCCT on my bench in the corner of my shop than a laptop :-(.

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 06:39 pm:

Mike Kossor
Setting aside my fundamental disagreement with your technical approach to Model T coil testing, I want to comment on the hype being used to pitch your timer and coil tester.
Clearly your timer works albeit only on DC. In addition to technical information your Forum posts present unsubstantiated claims regarding existing timers and claiming the absolute superiority of your solution. In my opinion your timer is no better than any properly working original Ford mechanical timer. Additionally your timer appears to be $30 worth of electrical components commonly available on the internet. Your timer sold for $400 and is no longer available, but you continue to cleverly tantalize Forum readers about future availability.
Will you do the same with your coil tester? For now, it is dazzling oscilloscope traces and dashboards that 95% of the readers do not understand, more claims regarding existing methods of coil testing and the superiority of your solution. Now you have “discovered” a common coil point problem that anyone who has seriously dealt with coils has long understood. No doubt you will use an explanation provided by others and tell us how your product is the only method capable of correcting such a problem?
Several of us are weary of you using the Forum and Club publications for what can only be described as incessant “infomercials” which are nothing more than cleverly disguised advertising of your products. I don’t mind an objective technical article describing your investigations, but I do object to the specious claims that your products are superior solutions to all timer and coil repair problems.
I find your approach to be nothing more than an ongoing sales promotion for your products while using this Forum as a medium to obtain maximum exposure.
Ron Patterson


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 09:46 pm:

Hi Ron,

By using the Forum for what can only be described as incessant "infomercials" cleverly disguised as say technical assistance, does "Coilman" or "Ron the Coilman" also classify?
Because that is the association I always make when I see your Ad in the Model T publications for coil/generator rebuilding and in my opinion would classify Two Thousand Two Hundred and Four (2204) references to "Coilman" and 2069 references to "Ron the Coilman" on the Forum a premier example of incessant use of the Forum for cleverly disguised advertising of your products, services and self promotion. I find your approach to be nothing more than just a tad bit hypocritical Ron. What I object to is view that 95% of the Forum participants do not understand the technical data I shared in an instructive way because those who don’t understand can learn. Those who don’t care to learn can simply skip my post and continue to remain dependent on the “professional” services of offered by others.

Now regarding your mention of unsubstantiated claims about timers, you forgot to mention you formed your opinion of the E-Timer performance without ever personally testing it yourself. I know this for fact because you gave me your opinion of its performance after sending it back to me for check out and I noticed you never even applied DC power to it with the production timing curve programmed in it. Apparently, your superficial review of the E-Timer capability also glossed over the fact that it contains a flight recorder which stores useful operating data like the number of times it was powered; 0 . That really surprised me because until that experience, I had always respected your opinions as being objective and firmly grounded in science and fact. I cannot describe how disappointed I was when I learned that Ron given your place in the hobby.

Classifying the E-Timer as $30 worth of commonly available parts on the internet selling for $400 tells me you have absolutely no concept of or respect for the time and financial investment necessary to research and develop a sound product like the E-Timer. Fortunately, others do and it is extremely gratifying to me to have earned kind accolades from 99% of those who purchased one to actually use and really enjoy using it. That’s not hype Ron, that is the honest truth.
I had hoped you would join in the discussion Ron, to learn things that could actually make the ECCT a better; more effective tool rather than voice your displeasure with my unwelcome contributions to the hobby which do not suit your interests.

I apologize for the thread drift but considering the number PMs I have received already to Ron’s post thought it appropriate.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dave Hjortnaes, Men Falls, WI on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 09:48 pm:

Ron

I must respectfully disagree with your posting. Mike only posted because I asked the question and others followed up on my questioning.

Mike has frequently stated in the past that he will not make any more timers. He made one batch and due to the comments of someone well known on the forum he is not interested in making any more. It is others on the forum that keep asking him to make more available.

I don't have $1500 available for an HCCT, and there are not that many out there even if I did want to purchase one. If Mike can make an alternative available for a reasonable price, more power to him. Right now the stroboscope is the only alternative.

I do not see Mike's posting as pushing his product or it's superiority over other methods. He does state that he thinks the DC method works better, but that is just his opinion. He is not arguing with other posters that they are wrong and he is correct. He is just letting us know what he and his beta testers have found. Then he gives us an example of one coil that he found during all his testing and using it as a puzzle for the rest of us.

If this forum is truly for the open discussion and exchange of information between Model T owners, then I think Mike is just on here today offering us some of the knowledge that he has gained over the last year or so.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan B on Friday, March 07, 2014 - 10:42 pm:

Note that it wasn't Mike who started this thread, but rather a few of the people in the "5%". Thank goodness there's some other smart people around to protect the rest of us dummies from unknowingly putting one of these devices on our cars.

I'll never forget meeting Mike at Hershey a few years ago. I walked up to his booth and asked if he was the E-Timer guy. A worried look came over his face before I could stick out my hand to shake his. He said he thought I might throw red paint on him like they do to those people who wear fur coats. What a shame.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 01:09 am:

I have been setting up my coils for the Montana 500 for a number of years using a triggered DC voltage source and an oscilloscope (originally not a ECCT, then later with an ECCT. My oscilloscope tests did many of the same tests the ECCT does. Time to fire, current draw, repeatability e.g. After setting up my coils with this method and also the conventional HCCT method and running extensive comparative tests, I concluded (empirically and to my satisfaction) that the former method was better. It could be poor HCCT technique, or some other reason, but for me the DC method IS better.

I have no economic interest in the ECCT, although I am a beta tester.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 04:42 am:

Is it any different from your infomercials for Funprojects Ron?

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/321107.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/271768.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/260586.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/309327.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/289747.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/289048.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/277654.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/305114.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/325538.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/316646.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/263325.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/306713.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/328171.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/283002.html

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/260428.html

Those are just from 2012 ...

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 08:45 am:

Well,I aint sure you all are aware of the fact I have a 2 year degree in Electronic Engineering technology.Sadly I have forgot alot of what I learned but how often do we write programs for Apple 2E's any more?
I haven't turned on any of my o scopes in a while.
But I understand some of what is being displayed here.
As for new tech,go ahead and develop a manifold to install electronic fuel injectors into the intake ports and determine a good location for the oxygen sensor on the exhaust pipe.:>)

There is 1 thing that could be added in my opinion to this modern tester .A pulsed AC voltage source to trigger the coil,so it would receive a AC signal just as it would from the timer on a mag equipped car.If it is going to be a bench top unit hard wired to the wall and computer there could actually be a rheostat used in the AC supply to simulate varied rpms of the engine.

But all that aside, the simplicity of the model T is why it appeals to me.
Trust me,if I could put 8 coils and a timer on this 96 deville on the carport so I could do away with that huge computer behind the seat I would.


Btw,I am a satisfied customer of Ron's. And RV Anderson.And have alot of respect for John Regans work as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Voss on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 11:20 am:

I find all this electronic stuff. All you guys are putting out is very dis-hearting to me. Lets made the Model T into a modern car. I run coils a roller timer, a vaporizer. All the stuff we are not to use and have very little trouble. I find tinkering with it as much fun as driving it.

You can go buy a new Toyota and change bodes and have the most modern T on the rode.

Sorry if offend but just how I see it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Daron - Brownsburg IN on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 11:46 am:

My take ,is that it is very expensive to reinvent the wheel.Your mileage may vary.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 12:41 pm:

E timer, waterpump, kevlar, repo, distributor, zinc, True Fire, ….Is there any other words that I need to add to my "words, once uttered, that lead to fights" list?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Walt Berdan, Bellevue, WA on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 12:51 pm:

Oil and antifreeze? (separately I would hope)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 01:04 pm:

Ed
Add ___________ brakes to the list!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 03:06 pm:

Well Ron would care to enlighten the 95% of us ignorant folks about coil point function as to what the common coil point problem is that anyone who has seriously dealt with coils has long understood? I sincerely hope it is accurate and not more misinformation like you injected into this thread http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/331880/377590.html while wrongly accusing others of spreading misinformation when it was actually you propagating the misinformation about coil function of all things. I felt compelled to correct your rudimentary mistake and vindicate the individual wronged by the intimidating and belittling tone you so enjoy casting under the guise of coil authority. It really should be easy given the benefit of my article.

The real irony of your rant is that I am no longer a Model T vendor. No products for sale Ron. I have not sold a single ECCT or ever offered any for sale to anyone. Forget worrying about having red paint thrown on me, I am starting to think far worse is possible given such a hypocritical rant should I ever decide to become a vendor at Hershey or Chickasha. Of course, these are just my opinions and hopefully focus will return to the topic of discussion. To facilitate, the discussion was about coil point testing and adjusting to achieve optimal performance of the original stock Ford Model T ignition system with the aid of modern electronic test methods and apparatus. Not the E-Timer, Not replacing anything on the Model T with modern electronics of any sort.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ron Patterson-Nicholasville, Kentucky on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 05:13 pm:

Mike
I have had my say with a few pathetic responses and you have had your say.
Suppose we let the Model T crowd determine which of us is chasing fleas with a Howitzer?
Ron the Coilman (no Garnet this is not an advertisement for services):-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Utz on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 09:03 pm:

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.
Henry Ford


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gene Carrothers Huntington Beach on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 10:40 pm:

Ron, I am shocked by your response to a post from Mike and his work with tuning coils! Sure sounds like a little kids.
I have purchased a set of your coils and they were not the best coils I have used, I haven't posted or bad mouthed you over it. I have always held great respect for you maybe until your recent posts.

I will say that I have seen the continued persecution many people on the forum have posted toward Mike Kossor and his work, This has not been simple disagreements but lots of outright lies about his product.

I've read posts here about how important our vendors are to the hobby and we shouldn't bitch about a part that doesn't fit properly without some adjusting but then here someone that has spent thousands of hours and dollars to try and improve one of the core parts of the T and he gets crucified by someone many of us has had great respect for.

Certainly a sad day for forum postings, I feel.

Mike, Please keep up the great work!

YOMV


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 10:53 pm:

Well said, Gene.

from La Casa del Zorro in Borrego Springs


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Mullins on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 11:06 pm:

Ditto to Gene's post


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, March 08, 2014 - 11:35 pm:

Mike,

Thank you for your research. I respect your efforts, as I have Ron's work with original coils and the HCCT.

I have followed this thread from the beginning and would like to hear the answer to your original question:

"What was responsible for causing the poor ignition timing consistency and possible misfire not apparent on the HCCT but easily recognized with the ECCT timing consistency test? Can it be corrected?"

Maybe it was answered and I missed it in the ensuing fireworks.

Thank you,

Rob


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Art Wilson on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 12:41 am:

Ron,
Your post to Mike was rude, disrespectful, and uncalled for. He was not promoting products or services to any greater extent than you or many others have done numerous times on this forum. Many people who have made replacement parts or offered services have used this forum to show their accomplishments, which has been very informative.
Negative posts, such as yours, can easily discourage other posters from contributing to the forum, and possibly cause them to lose interest in Model T's. We don't need that.
You owe Mike and all the other participants of this forum a sincere apology.
Over time, I developed a great respect for you and your willingness to share your knowledge, but because of this, sadly, that respect has been diminished. I hope you take this to heart.
Sincerely,
Art Wilson.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 01:01 am:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 03:41 am:

I’ll provide my answer to the question but would first like to thank the folks who had the courage to speak out on my behalf and behavior that has driven folks to withdraw from the hobby.

I don’t profess to be a coil expert or authority on coils, just fascinated by their operation and anomalies which motivated me to do some research and development to further understand their operation. During the course of investigation discovered some things new to me that I had not previously found on the Forum and decided to share. I do not claim to have made any unique discoveries or suggest my interpretation of the data is the only possible correct explanation. With that disclaimer I offer the following answer to the question.

Arcing at the points would typically indicate a faulty or improper value capacitor but never thoroughly understood how exactly it did that. The purpose of the capacitor is to continue current flow in the coil primary winding when the points initially open for just a few microseconds of time. This short delay does two things; First, it functions to slow the collapse of the magnetic field which reduces the high voltage potential that develops across the coil points when the points open, decreasing the ability to arc. Second, the short delay permits the coil point contacts to physically move away from one another sufficiently to make it more difficult for electrons to jump the point gap and begin arcing. We know that capacitor is not the root cause of arcing though because the same coil (and capacitor) was used on the “good” set of points and fired consistency test better than 95% without any indication of arcing. However, this information about the capacitor function will be more evident shortly.

The root cause of coil point arcing is due to insufficient cushion spring tension not the length of its travel. Longer cushion spring travel does, however, make the impact of arcing worse. The coil current rises normally from 0A to 6A which causes the coil points to begin moving towards the coil’s iron core, however, the movement of the points is such that the vibrator spring contact slowly moves away from the cushion spring contact relative to a properly functioning set of points. The capacitor attempts to thwart the arc from occurring as described earlier when contact is lost but the delay in slowing the coil current collapse is too short compared with the speed the vibrator spring contact is pulling away from the cushion spring contact which are still very physically close to one another. This permits electrons to begin jumping the gap between point contacts forming an arc. The arcing electrons permit coil current to continue flowing although at a lower value. This in turn reduces the magnetic force pulling on the vibrator spring allowing the contacts to remain apart but within very close proximity with one another arcing until the cushion spring hits the limit rivet head abruptly stopping the cushion spring travel. This allows the vibrator spring contact to finally move far enough away from the cushion spring contact to break the arc and allow the coil primary current to collapse to 0A and produce a spark. The longer the cushion spring travel, the longer the points can continue arcing and the more delayed the spark and weaker the spark energy. The bad set of points had a longer travel measuring 0.022" optically. This abnormality can be corrected by increasing the cushion spring tension so that the vibrator spring contact remains in physical contact with the vibrator spring contact until the moment the cushion spring hits the limit rivet head regardless of cushion spring travel distance. Limiting the cushion spring travel to the specified 0.005” alone does not prevent point arcing from occurring but will limit the duration of the arc and hence reduce the amount of associated ignition timing variation and reduction in spark energy. Conversely, a further reduction in cushion spring tension will allow the vibrator spring contact to move away from the cushion spring contact fast enough to produce a premature, weak spark which then allows the contacts to close again and produce another weak spark; the dreaded double spark. This condition, however, is easily observed on the HCCT or ECCT alerting the need for corrective action by increasing the cushion spring tension.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Art Wilson on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 04:19 am:

Mike,
I have an idea on what may be happening with the bad set of contact points you tested.

However, first let me explain my simplistic understanding of how the coil works so we can all on the same page so to speak.

Very simply, with the points closed, current flows through the primary windings of the coil. The points open and the primary current stops. The secondary winding gets bothered and produces a high voltage that fires the spark plug. For the coil to produce enough secondary voltage to fire the spark plug however, the current flowing through the primary must drop off very quickly. Otherwise the secondary windings aren't bothered enough to do much.

The point assembly consists of an upper and lower set of contacts.
The upper set consists of a contact that is attached to a small cushion spring, which in turn is attached to the upper contact arm. Also attached to the upper arm is a stop that allows the contact on the cushion spring to move .006" to .012" travel distance away from the upper arm. The contact is normally biased to rest against this stop by the cushion spring.

The lower set has a contact attached to a long spring arm that is located over the iron core of the coil. When no current is flowing in the coil, the lower spring arm has enough force to push the upper contact off the stop and up the .006" to .012" travel distance against the upper arm.

When current starts flowing through the primary windings, the coil builds up magnetism in the core to the point where it is strong enough to start pulling the lower spring arm down.

If the upper contact point was solidly connected to the upper arm, the lower contact would separate from the upper point as soon as the lower point started to move. However the lower point would be moving relatively slowly to start with and the primary current would arc across the points as they opened allowing the primary current to slowly dissipate and no spark would occur.

Now this is where it gets interesting and the action of the upper point cushion spring comes into play. With the cushion spring in place the upper contact now follows the lower contact down for the .006" to .012" travel where it hits the stop. By this time the lower contact has gained enough speed to quickly separate from the upper contact when they hit the stop. The primary current is suddenly stopped and the spark plug fires.

During the .006" to .012" to the upper arm stop there needs to be sufficient contact force between the upper contact and the lower contact to insure good conductivity. Otherwise the contacts can arc or build up resistance over time which would affect the amount primary current and secondary voltage.

I think this is what is happening with the bad set of points. The cushion spring force is too low. The coil works at first but during operation the resistance increases and the contacts become intermittent during their .006" to .012" travel causing the problem.

I hope this was not too confusing or boring.
This was a very simplistic explanation of how the coil works. There is much more happening but this does cover the most basic part.
Let me know if this makes sense or if I'm as usual asleep out in left field.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 08:59 am:

Ditto in agreement with Gene Carothers response.

Maybe we should address the real elephant in the room ? What is Ron's perceived threat to his coil business.

I don't remember ANY forum discussion negativity towards the introduction of the Strobospark electronic coil tester..... why now with Mike's development of his ECCT ???

Maybe the old man has met his Waterloo defeat ?

He has acknowledged " a few pathetic responses" from his first post rant....AND has basically called 95% of us ignorant.... the King has spoken.

Mike, do not let this bump in the road change your path.... thank you for your diligence and honesty.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 09:12 am:

Jay:

Great clip

Bob J.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 09:17 am:

Art Wilson:

I re-read your post to Ron. I feel you have expressed the current feelings of many ( the 95 % ) towards his rant. Sad day for the Forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Carter - South Jersey on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 09:33 am:

Using the ECCT I've seen cases where a cushion spring tension adjustment alone makes the spark timing more consistent and fixes the problem above. But there were also other times when a cushion spring tension adjustment alone could not fix the problem because the points were dirty. Cleaning (filing) the points reduced the timing variation significantly. Regardless of whether the root cause is a bad condenser, coil spring tension or other cause, once the point surface has been compromised it will contribute to less consistent firing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:16 am:

Ron Patterson is not owner of Fun Projects nor am I. I've never seen or used a Strobo Spark. I have used and own several other items made by Fun Projects and find them of the highest quality.

Garnet I think you should not accuse Ron of making "infomercials" for Fun Projects. He has nothing to do with that company other than - like me and many others here - being a satisfied customer and friend of the owner.

Getting back on topic:

Mike please advise what the problem was that you detected with the points. I said it was improper cushion spring setting. What say you?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:33 am:

Royce,
Mike explained it in detail just a few posts earlier.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:42 am:

This has turned into a very educational discussion (aside from the uncalled for personal crap).
I am wondering if some of the issue Mike encountered with the "bad points" could be related to the angle of the contact faces. Maybe there is a sliding action that is occurring between the points as they start to move? In my mind this would explain the trace on the display.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:44 am:

I have a set of Ron's coils in my car, they have been in there close to 10 years, and the car still starts on 1/4 crank. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:49 am:

OK Rob,
just re read Mike's response and realized that he confirmed my guess was correct.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 11:30 am:

Ed, I have a set of Ron's coils in the car I drive the most and they have worked flawlessly for the past 8 years. The car starts on Mag easily.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 11:34 am:

I must admit I am sad to see 2 adults get into such a food fight.I hope they make amends at some point and move forward.


Now if you will excuse me I need to reload my Howitzer to shoot that pesky cloud that wont listen to me! :>)


I have laughed every since I saw that pic.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 11:35 am:

And I have a set of coils that I rebuilt myself in my car and it starts on mag just fine with one pull up on the crank. If I can do this, then anyone with a little effort can do it too.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 11:47 am:

Chickasha is just around the corner. Hopefully someone will remember to bring the marshmallows! :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CktNV97ga9Y


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 12:23 pm:

Art, I concur with your understanding of coil operation and root cause of the ignition timing variation. My focus was on a select subset of the coil point operation and completely omitted much of the operating details assuming this was common knowledge. This was a mistake on my part because as you alluded to, coil point operation is a rather complex process; involving scores of interacting electromechanical and magnetic variables. Your simplistic description adds clarity to the discussion by concisely explaining the overall process in sufficient detail to bring the casual reader to the focus of discussion and better understand how the elements under discussion contribute to the overall process. I offer some additional details to further clarify your simplified description of operation.

The coil points function precisely as you describe because the vibrator spring contact element is made of ferrous metal which gets pulled towards the coil’s iron core by the building magnetic field when current begins flowing in the coil primary winding. The cushion spring is made from non-ferrous metal so it is not influenced by the coil’s magnetic field, hence the reason why the vibrator spring contact gets pulled away from the cushion spring contact.

The purpose of the cushion spring is indeed to permit the point contacts to remain in electrical contact while they gain sufficient speed for the vibrator spring contact to separate from the cushion spring contact very quickly when the cushion spring hits the limit rivet head. The capacitor then functions as I described to delay the collapse of the magnetic field long enough for the vibrator spring contact to move sufficiently far away from the cushion spring contact to deter arcing and abruptly stop the flow of current in the primary winding. This is an essential part of spark generation. The abrupt changes in coil current flow cause a rapid collapse of the coil magnetic field which is shared with the secondary winding of the coil. The rapidly changing magnetic field induces a voltage in the secondary winding of the coil. How much voltage induced depends mainly on how fast the magnetic field collapses and the number of turns of wire the secondary winding has. The value is typically within the 10 to 20 thousand volt range (10-20KV) which is a sufficiently high potential to cause electrons to bridge the spark plug gap and arc even while under compression in the cylinder.

The remedy to the problem is increased cushion spring tension to ensure the point contacts remain in good electrical contact the entire time they travel towards the limit rivet. Grossly insufficient cushion spring tension is easily observable on the HCCT coil tester as a double spark alerting the user to take corrective action to increase cushion spring tension, however, point arcing which has been the focus of this discussion may still be occurring inflicting the performance degradations described and is not readily apparent by HCCT current reading. Limiting the cushion spring travel to 0.005” does not do anything to prevent the point arcing problem from occurring but rather a band aid sort of fix to minimize its impact.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 12:37 pm:

John Carter and Hal, I agree with you that there are other variables that can adversely impact coil point function and could contribute to or be responsible for similar malfunctions. My observations surely are the sole cause. Regardless, a tool that helps identify such irregularities are occurring has merits in my view.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 02:28 pm:

Oops, make that: surely NOT the sole cause.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 05:30 pm:

Yes Royce, I know John makes great products - I've bought many items over the years there.

Others have posted messages about their products on this very forum without getting chastised. Must be a clique thing.

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 06:04 pm:

On point adjustment from my observation and experience I think some of you are confused with what happens and why the limiting rivet is there. If you watch the sine wave build, ideally you don't want the points to open until it is at its peak. If it opens too soon it will provide a weak spark followed by another weak spark (double) on the back side of the wave.

If one were to think of the cushion spring as the "follower spring" its purpose is to follow the vibrator to delay the opening. This allows the points to open at the peak giving one single spark and doesn't provide the time for a second event to take place. In modern magnetos such as used in gen aviation this is called egap. The points are mechanically set to open a few degrees away from the full registrar position of the magnets.

One other thing I do when I set up coils is I mark a piece of tape with ink on my spark ring to ensure each coil will hit the same spot. Most are dead on but some are either early or late. At that point, I open or close the gap to advance / retard the event as needed to reach the target point.

Folks who have heard my car run will tell you it is very smooth and capable of keeping up with 55 mph traffic.

Unless your new tester can provide a marked improvement over what I can get out of an HCCT I don't see myself as ever needing one. This is also why I wouldn't pop the $ for an etimer. Having said all that I understand that not everyone can make the stock system perform to its peak. Bottom line is,"peak is peak".


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Seager on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 10:54 pm:

Hi Gary, (Having said all that I understand that not everyone can make the stock system perform to its peak.) end of quote Some very capable people may not want to use a stock system. They may be quite able to set up stock system but choose to use trufire or etimer or distributor. Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul wilcox on Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 11:16 pm:

hcct 1. not easily able to purchase
2. could buy kit to build 995.00 p/s&h
langs
3. can build from scratch aprox 300.00 +
for parts and help from machine shop
if you don't have the tools
4. no written instructions for new users
been looking for 2 yrs and haven't found one for sale {working or not}

ecct 1. will be easier to purchase
2. will have a set of instructions
3. more portable

as long as the ecct performs as well as a hcct i will be more incline to purchase, unless i find a working hcct at an inexpensive price prior to the ecct being released to purchase


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Monday, March 10, 2014 - 12:37 am:

Gary, I agree with you that a purpose of the cushion spring is to delay the opening. Otherwise a double spark of two weak sparks will occur. I believe it has other functions too as described in earlier posts. I do disagree that the delay is used to make the point opening coincide with a peak coil current value. The peak current in which the points open if primarily a function of the vibrator spring tension, point gap and cushion spring tension.

The best tool for testing and adjusting coil points is the tool you choose to use and are satisfied using.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warwick Landy on Monday, March 10, 2014 - 05:54 am:

Been away on a 3 day T Tour and just got back to read this thread! Sorry Ron, but I cant see where Mike claims to have identified some new found "coil point issue"??? He does however have a very sound understanding of coils and has built a different test device. Why is this such a bad thing?
I have had the pleasure of having the use of one of Mikes ECCT's and have had wonderful results with it. An electrician by trade, I can understand what I am actually trying to achieve adjusting the coils on the ECCT. The beauty of the ECCT is its ease of use and its instruction manual, so that any model T owner with little or no coil knowledge can effectively diagnose and adjust coils by following the LED indicators. Forum readers can read my experiences of the ECCT on Mikes website. I still believe it will become the testing unit of choice for model T owners if of course the unit actually makes it to full production. HCCT's are virtually non existant in Australia but my HCCT is light, portable and user friendly. Thanks Mike for the opportunity to use it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Monday, March 10, 2014 - 02:35 pm:

"Suppose we let the Model T crowd determine which of us is chasing fleas with a Howitzer? " end quote from Ron P.

Anyone keeping track ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 11:32 pm:

The thing that makes coil points difficult to adjust for optimal performance is the number of interacting variables. The ones typically adjusted are:
1. Point gap
2. Vibrator spring tension
3. Cushion spring tension
4. Limit rivet height

A common attempt to minimize the number of possible combinations is to specify fixed values for some of them like Point gap = 1/32” and Limit rivet height = 0.005”. I’ve seen other favored values cited by folks that feel work best for them but do not cite the basis for their reasoning; perhaps an elevated wet finger. I searched the forum but found little technical basis so decided to take some data of my own to characterize the effect of the limit rivet height without changing any other variables. This would be difficult to do if not for an ingenious arrangement that Garrett Green introduced me to shown below:
AdjRivetHeight

The limit rivet on a brand new set of points was drilled out and tapped for a 2-56 screw then a brass machine screw was installed with brass shim washer and lock nut. The cushion spring travel can be adjusted from anywhere between 0 and 0.030” with this arrangement. I used an optical microscope with graduated eyepiece calibrated in thousands of an inch to accurately measure and set the cushion spring travel to specified values. I set the limit rivet for 0.010” and adjusted the point gap to 0.031” then adjusted the vibrator spring tension and cushion spring tension coil for consistent firing. The coil was fired by applying a 12V DC for a brief duration sufficient to fire a single spark (about 4ms) using precisely timed electronic switch. The current ramp up dwell time and peak firing current was measured for a range of limit rivet heights. Here is the data I took in graphical form:
LimitRivetData

It is interesting to note that for the point gap, vibrator spring tension and cushion spring tension of this coil; the effective range of the limit rivet is about 0.006”. This is because adjusting the limit rivet height for less travel effects the dwell time and peak firing current. Beyond 0.006” it does not. That is because the vibrator spring contact pulls away from the cushion spring contact after traveling about 0.006” regardless if the cushion spring hits the limit rivet or not. So for the combination of variables for this coil, a rivet height of 0.010” – 0.012” is too much since the contacts have already pulled away from one another without the benefit of the limit rivet function to effect an abrupt separation and minimize the chance of point arcing. What I learned is that relying on pre-set values of point gap and limit rivet height are not sufficient to achieve optimal coil firing performance. There needs to be some way to actually measure the firing consistency given the specific combinations of these interacting variables for each coil if you really want to achieve best performance in my opinion, based on measured data, not wet finger in the air or hype.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Carnegie on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 01:41 am:

I would be interested to see the exact same coil with increased cushion spring tension. At what point would the vibrator outrun the cushion spring then? I wonder how many mph or fps the vibrator spring is moving when it travels its .035" or so?

Thanks Mike, I love this kind of stuff.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Robison on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 02:28 am:

Thanks Mike, Glad to see Garrett is dishing out Montana 500 speed secrets!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 04:00 am:

Thanks Mike. Interesting work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 07:43 am:

Tom, I attempted to do gather that exact data to produce a family of curves which represent how the variables interact. Unfortunately, its not that simple. I did try increasing the cushion spring tension to take another set of data but that significantly lowered the peak firing current (and significantly lowered the spark energy since that is related to the square of current). So then I compensated for that by slightly increasing the vibrator spring tension to compensate. Then the coil was firing poorly even with a 0.005” limit rivet height. I could get consistent firing by opening up the point gap and re-tweaking the spring tensions but then realized I had completely changed the entire configuration and that would not produce the data desired.

Another thing to consider is that there are limits on the range of each adjustment. You cannot keep adding cushion spring tension to help the cushion spring contact maintain contact with the vibrator spring contact throughout its range of travel prior to the cushion spring hitting the limit rivet head however long the distance is. That is because it interacts with the increasing vibrator spring tension necessary to maintain sufficient peak coil current (and spark energy) as I have just described. Upset the ratio too much however and the cushion spring tension will not permit the vibrator spring to return the pair to the resting position against the upper point bridge. This introduces more interacting variables to the problem.
My conclusion was that you really cannot rely on rules of thumb when setting up coil points for optimal performance. Each coil and set of points presents a unique set of interacting variables. Using a pre-defined, one size fits all, preset point gap and limit rivet travel will help establish a starting point but does not guarantee optimal point operation unless you have some way of observing what exactly your adjustments to the interacting variables are doing to the coil firing performance. An HCCT type of test is not very effective for that purpose based on my observations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 07:55 am:

Mike, another Montana 500 secret Garret agreed to share is the fact he used an ECCT to fine tune his coils for the race. No hard data to indicate what if any advantage that provided but considering past and present Montana 500 winners tuned their coils based on coil dwell time to fire are positive data points suggesting the ECCT method has merits. Thanks to Tom Carnegie and Garrett Green for sharing some of their Montana 500 secrets.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:06 am:

You know the amazing thing about a Model T coil is it was designed without computers and hi tech.
Of course the entire Model T was designed without a computer.Shucks,Oscilloscopes weren't around then either.
But today we have all this tech and the gas mileage on modern cars aint much better.Hum.

Is Anyone doing similar research on carburetors and suspensions for Model T's?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 11:41 am:

Mike,
I think your conclusion of, "My conclusion was that you really cannot rely on rules of thumb when setting up coil points for optimal performance." is exactly what has been reported on this forum many times by the worlds foremost experts on adjusting coils. Ron P. has stated many times that the point gap should be whatever it takes to make the coil preform well. John R. has reported that sometimes for no apparent reason he simply replaces a new set of points with another new set to get a coil to preform well.

I've often wondered, just like you if there was a way to specify the exact setting of variables to get a coil to preform well. Apparently not but I find it interesting that that idea has been around for ages. In this article they are trying to set the spring tension:
http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/411944/429768.html?1394586726



They also say to set the point gap at a specific amount.

I do appreciate your efforts to use modern equipment to see what was not seen when the coils were designed.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 12:35 pm:

Jim
What I am curious about is the WHY "John R. has reported that sometimes for no apparent reason he simply replaces a new set of points with another new set to get a coil to preform well" this might be. I can understand that it is not a economical use of his time to try to figure it out. But just maybe that knowledge could help someone by the side of the road get his car running good again!!!
As I stated earlier, I wonder whether it could be a point angularity issue.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 01:19 pm:

Les, the point contacts do slide as they move in unison towards the core. Any dirt, pitting, oxidization or shift in relative angle with one another could result in a momentary loss of electrical contact. However, I believe this break in contact would be of relatively short duration unless the surface or alignment defect was severe. The capacitor connected across the points will function to continue coil current flow for very short durations during the rising current ramp up. I have seen on occasion a slight perturbation in the ramp up but does not last long enough to distort the ramp significantly. I attribute this to the contact variation as the point contact surfaces are sliding during opening. I will try to capture a photo the next time I notice it during testing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 01:26 pm:

Mike
It was just a thought of mine relative to your posting of March 6 at 11:11. The concept of "unexplained defective point sets" bothers me. Probably just one of my less desirable traits!!
Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 01:54 pm:

Jim, the example you reference about giving up and disposing brand new sets of points due to the inability to get them to perform well is one of the things that got me thinking there has got to be a better way of doing things to avoid that result using modern electronics rather than 100 year old technology. The ability to see exactly how your adjustments effect coil dwell time and firing consistency is a huge advantage to help converge on optimal performance.

Thanks for providing the vintage coil adjustment article, it was informative and entertaining.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 07:30 am:

For a period of time, point quality had really deteriorated. I'm gonna say maybe a couple of years ago, but I don't remember exactly. Fortunately for all of us, the manufacturer listened to some of the more experienced coil people and made the needed changes. Coil points, now, are of a better quality than in MANY years. Perhaps the points John was referring to were from the period of bad quality?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 07:47 am:

Hal:

Good Morning ! ....and good observation on coil point set manufacturing quality.

The bridge is now made from thicker metal and the limiting rivit is set more in the "ballpark". There is some built=in cushion spring tension, but rivit setting and cushion spring tension still has to be checked for proper values.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 08:00 am:

The reason Model T "KW" coil points are now being made properly can be directly attributed to the efforts of Ron Patterson. The entire hobby owes him a debt of gratitude for this and many of his other behind the scenes efforts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 08:47 am:

Perhaps I received a bad batch about 6 months ago, the ones with 4 lightning bolts on them. None of them had the specified 0.005" cushion spring travel measured right out of the envelope. They measured: 0.010", 0.015", 0.015" 0.022" and 0.031". So far, I have not taken any test data which supports the claim that it is acceptable to increase the cushion spring travel set by the limit rivet to more than 0.005”. The claim that extending the cushion spring travel will work correctly was based on experience but no supporting data was offered to substantiate this specious claim. Yes the coil will spark correctly some of the time (49% in my case) but unless you have the ability to actually measure the dwell time and firing consistency you don’t really know if the points are actually working correctly. It would not be the first time folks got duped by the "experts"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 10:43 am:

Mike:

If the vendor followed practice of rotating stock, you probably received part of his old stock, keeping his new stock in the back of the shelf.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Dallas TX on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 11:44 am:

I should correct myself and say that John Regan also has contributed a lot of time and research to the coil point issue. Mike keep up the research but don't lose sight of the fact that the cylinder - to - cylinder timing accuracy is more important than increased energy of coil output. I think your machine can tell us a lot - it's very interesting.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 03:55 pm:

Without addressing anything else said here, I'll state that, to my best memory, I can't recall Ron Patterson doing any self promotion for his coil or starter business. I CAN however recall many times when Ron has offered free parts to folks, asking them only to cover postage, or has posted his phone number to personally talk a beginner through some particular problem. Ron has been, and I'm guessing will continue to be, a true asset to our hobby. How quick some of us are to demonize him based on a couple of strongly worded posts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 04:36 pm:

My method of testing seems to work very well and does'nt take very many expensive parts. I use a Model T engine which is running on all 4. I made a box in which I install a coil with a contact to each of the coil contacts. I have a spark gap of 25 thousandths in the secondary circuit and an ammeter in the primary circuit. I fist install the points and set the gap at .030. Then install the coil in my box. I hook up the bottom contact to 6 volt battery and the the bottom contact to ground. Then I adjust the tension of the bridge to obtain 1.3 amps. Next with the engine running, I move the wire from the battery to the magneto post and check for 1.3 amps with a constant spark.

My final test is to substitute my "tuned" coil for one of the coils in the coil box and take the car for a drive. If it runs smoothly, and will pull a certain hill in high, I know the coil is good. A hand cranked coil tester is very good, but the closest one to here is 50 miles away, and I have been very successful with my method. I use an older New day timer in one of my cars, and Andersons in the other two.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 04:44 pm:

Norm,

How do you adjust cushion spring tension? Well, I guess what I mean is how do you know when the cushion spring tension is right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Daron - Brownsburg IN on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 06:04 pm:

All this begs a question. Are you correcting a manufacturing flaw or a real problem?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 09:44 pm:

On the cushion tension spring, the new points seem to be OK. The ones made about 15 years ago needed some work. I just check to see if it moves about a 16th of an inch. If it doesn't move it either needs adjustment or replacement.
Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 07:35 am:

I just rebuilt a set for guy. One set of points tried to be a little difficult in that the double sparking was harder to get rid of than normal. I finally got it, but I probably spent more time adjusting that coil than the other three combined. I just wonder if this would have shown up on your test?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Jablonski on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 09:34 am:

Hal:

What tester/test procedure did you use to set your coils ? PM ok.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Kossor on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 10:09 am:

Hal, yes it would be clearly indicated in the multi-spark consistency test. You would also see it as dwell time variation each time you hit the single spark test.

Your description sounds like you may have experienced excessive cushion spring travel or in combination dirty contacts or contaminated points. The latter two defects will prevent proper proper adjustment regardless of tools used to test coils.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hal Davis-SE Georgia on Friday, March 14, 2014 - 01:02 pm:

Bob: HCCT

Mike: Sorry for the confusion. I was responding to Norm. I should have clarified.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Anthony Bennett on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 01:21 am:

Hi Mike,

Firstly I'd like to say thanks for your efforts, I'm proud to have a common interest with guys like you working on things like this. I appreciate those who like to use the original technology, but so to the osciliscope examination of the design is equally fascinating. It's like the invention of the microscope.

Same to goes for Ron the Coilman & the exceptional products made by Fun Projects. You're all doing the whole hobby a massive favour.

For my five cents, I think using a laptop, cheap android tablet or larger smartphone would be a preferable user interface... the information available just cant be conveyed with a row of LEDs so why not take advantage of that, especially if it's cheaper to produce.

Portability is never a bad thing either.

I look forward to seeing the developments.

Thanks

Anthony


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