I just got a ECCT and it works great. It is so easy to use. It took 5 minutes to adjust the points on my very first coil. No learning curve. I'm happy!
Hey, that's good news. I still have mine in the box and haven't had a chance to try it out yet.
Ok, what wants to volunteer to adjust all my coils!!??
Ship them my way, pay the freight both ways and I'll do it.
I purchased an ECCT from Mike Koster a couple of weeKS ago. I found the unit to be very well constructed and the software easy to use. I highly recommend to those wanting to adjust the later style coils.
How much did it cost? Looks like $500 plus shipping?
Introductory Package (ECCT + Magneto Test Option + PC Software) Magneto Test Option for the ECCT Rechargable Battery For Portable ECCT Operation
The old HCCT is fine for testing coils, but I don't think it will check your magneto. The ECCT is about half the price of some HCCT units I've seen for sale.
$500.? I'll tune mine by ear thanks
And check tire pressure by eye?
Hi Royce. Yes, it cost $500 plus shipping; however, for someone that does not have the shelf space for a functioning HCCT, it is a good product. A partial HCCT kit from Langs runs $900+, so the cost is competitive.
Mike Kosser has posted some videos on YouTube that shows how it works. With this device, I can at least work on my later style coils. The software is user friendly and easy to install. Hope this helps.
Thank you Andy!!
I'm told the HCCT does have a magneto test function, so I sit corrected.
This will sound negative to some. The price for the ecct is high for a device that may be used twice a year to test/set four coils. And yes the HCCT is expensive too, but the HCCT as a device of past technology has a presence on the work bench. For a commercial shop or restoration service doing volume the ecct may be a good investment. As a society we are very obsessed with pinpoint accuracy, yet the mechanical tolerances of the day were a bit broader than those of modern technology. I will keep my volt and amp meters, buzz box tester, HCCT, and test light. The $500.00 can be spent else where.
Magneto Test Function
Well, Yes and No. Those with two meters, Amps and Volts will test magneto voltage. Those HCCTs with only the Amp meter can't check magneto voltage.
The Fun Projects Strobo Spark will test Amperage draw just as the HCCT will AND also test the capacitor for correct value and leakage. The HCCT can't. The Strobo Spark can't test Magneto voltage.
The HCCT and the Strobo Spark are both fine units. I am not demeaning them in any way. The Fun Projects SS is a clever and well though out device for mimicking the HCCT as well as providing the additional tests which I mentioned above. To compare the HCCT and SS to the ECCT is a bit like comparing the felt camshaft seal to the modern neoprene seal. The felt seal was how they did things back then and was the best that they had. Now we have seals that do a better job of keeping the oil in.
The HCCT and SS allow you to adjust coils for uniform current draw as that was all that could be measured in coil operation back then. The ECCT looks for uniform firing time, something that could not be gauged back then. The Ford engineers realized that some way of adjusting the coils for uniform performance was vital to assure a smooth running engine. They knew that no one could adjust the coils by ear and get all of the coils to be adjusted the same. Perhaps they may SOUND the same, but the performance from one coil to the next would not be identical. They devised the HCCT.
I have used a Strobo Spark and an HCCT to test coils. Both units allowed me to have coils that performed really well and I have driven many thousands of happy miles with those coils.
I have purchased an ECCT with the Mag test software and all. It is the bee's knees and the ant's pants, right up there with indoor plumbing and a fire in the wood stove on a twenty below night in February.
Now, the ECCT won't butter your bread for you; you still have to replace the cap and adjust the points yourself. George makes a good point regarding how often coils may need to be checked And that the ECCT purchase price is "noticeable". Not everyone likes to adjust coils. Not every one wants to pour babbitt and line bore blocks. Some do.
If you are "hard core" about working on these little black cars, you may want to start saving up for an ECCT. My two cents worth, perhaps overvalued. Bill
I know of three types of accurate coil testers, ranging in cost from $350 to over $1000. I agree, that's an awful lot of dough for those of us who rarely have a need for such a thing. Maybe a solution for that would be for a local Model T club to make a purchase as a group. Members could bring their coils to a meeting for a testing and adjusting party.
I was wrong. I have been corrected.
ALL HCCTs will test magneto voltage.
I apologise for making a mistake. Bill
Cheeze guys, cryin' about the price? Reeeeaaally? You want to do coils. Perhaps for your self or a club member on occasion. You're starting from scratch. Maybe space is limited maybe it's not. Out of the 3 units available what do you buy?
"And check tire pressure by eye?"
You could use these:
But that requires the expenditure of funds.....
I just want to add during this discussion a word of THANKS to all the guys that provide us with parts or equipment for our cars!
You can bitch about price of eggs or how much it cost for license plates. The fact of the matter is that without guys like Mike, Scat and Brassworks and a ton of other guys and vendors we surely wouldn't be having so much fun with our cars and enjoying the dependability we can now have.
Yes, a new Scat crankshaft costs plenty just like a new Warford or a rebuilt carb by Stan but is it worth it and can you afford to spend the money for these things? Well that's up to each of us as some here have more money than they need and others could use a little more just to get by.
Be thankful these guys invest their time and money to provide these things for us. If it costs too much for you then OK but I hate to read about guys bad mouthing a product just because of costs. It's another thing to offer ways to save money something most all of us strive to do.
I'm getting ready to need a new set if tires and sure hate to spend the big bucks for them but I'm really am happy that I can still buy news ones. Guess that's why we learned to save up for things we want.
Hey, Most of us, I think, worked for it and as Ralph Ricks RIP always told me if we don't spend some of it our kids surely will.
Ken, I doubt they come in a 65 lb. version!!
Well said Gene.
I think there are a few people that would make a good used car salesman on here! I'm not knocking the product that you people push for Mike. I'm glad that people are making modern computer products for the T but it's not for me. I'm entitled to an an opinion just like you are. Enjoy!
No one is forcing you to buy anything. Enjoy tuning your coils by ear!
Thanks Garnet Enjoy!
I just got one of John Reagan's Strobo-Spark units. I look forward to learning how to properly use it.
I don't understand the animosity towards Mike's ECCT though. If it doesn't fit your budget, don't buy it. There are other alternatives, pick the one that best suits your needs or budget. Some guys are cheap, some guys will pay anything for "better". Some guys like old tech, some guys like new tech to help them enjoy and understand their old tech. None of them are "wrong"
Competition improves the breed. I'm happy that there are more options. More options may just help bring down the demand (and cost) of the HCCT so that I can afford to have one of my own to play with.
I no longer own T's so the point for me is mute. However, when other vendors products are touted here it's all hip-hip-hoora. It's tiresome always hearing the *same* people bashing the e-timer and ECCT. Best one so far is calling the folks who enjoy the above products "used car salesmen".
What Derek said. I would add that some guys have plenty of dough and others are on a limited budget.
I know for a fact that both the HCCT and the ECCT will do the job. I think it all boils down to 3 things. How much you want to spend, how much room you have to store tools and personal preference.
Foe some with large shops and barns its difficult to understand how little storage room others have.
As with all things in life, do what makes YOU happy ;o)
I guess I'm kind of a used car salesman now that I think about it. I've sold every "collector" car I've ever bought, T Birds, VW's and T's and the funny thing is I was going to be buried in every single one of them right up to the point where someone showed up with a pocket full of loot. Back to the post subject: All 3 work. The ECCT and (possibly) the Strobo seem to give extra info that's handy but not entirely necessary. At least not back in the day. I'm totally sure that if either of those 2 units were available back then (& priced for the times) you wouldn't be hearing about the HCCT at all.
Gary Schreiber..... your post sums-up what many have surmised, " It's tiresome always hearing the *same* people bashing the e-timer and ECCT. Best one so far is calling the folks who enjoy the above products "used car salesmen". "
I've seen the ECCT in action, observing the ease of properly adjusting coil electrical values at Mike Kossor's space at this year's Hershey AACA meet.
Myself, I am always glad to see any improvements of anything related to our T's. Some do not fit what I would do, and some do. Some boil down to what I can afford, want, think will help, or is era correct. That includes modern technology. There is a lot of "modern" technology that is well accepted, some is not. I feel the same way, I may use some things, not others. My choice. I just feel that we are so lucky to have so many choices. It really amazes me that some think that if it isn't "their" way, it is wrong. Kudos to those that step up and provide us with these options. I hope all of the negative feedback doesn't scare them off! JMHO. Dave
Any other ECCT owners want to share their coil adjusting experiences ???
I have one, and I have adjusted 8 coils and check a magneto, it is a very good tool, with the software it is clear and easy to work with. Thanks to Mr Kossor,
I bet that when the Model T first came out, the old timers were saying, there is nothing that machine could do better than a good team of horses couldn't do....... OR, it will never catch on.....
I was loaned an ECCT some months ago and was so impressed with it that I bought my own. I've even added an interface to see the coil current waveform on an oscilloscope.
Knowing that the firing time of my coils is exactly the same as each other is one of the most important aspects of coil adjustment, which non electronic methods cannot display.
The car runs smoothly at all speeds, with good low end torque, when the coils are so adjusted. There is no problem obtaining speeds of at least 70-75km/h with the coils running on 6V.
Setting coils with the ECCT also allows me to use my coils in unbypassed mode when I'm using the E-Timer.
I hope no one seriously believes coils can be set correctly by ear - I'd be curious to know exactly what one listens for to get the correct dwell, and then absence of multiple sparking, allowing for the fact that individual coils do not have identical characteristics.
I bought one at Hershey this year....and love it. I did get all the bells and whistles, everything but the carry case (got that at H/F) but haven't set up my computer yet. I'm looking forward to installing the software and trying out the complete setup.
My car is currently disassembled and undergoing a rebuild.
The bonus is I now have an extra flywheel assembly, an extra coil ring (rebuilt) and a transmission input shaft from my home built HCCT. not to mention an extra 3 square feet of bench top.
If any one is near the Algonac MI. area I would be glad to share and help them set their coils.
I'm not an owner, but the one I borrowed proved easy to use, both for testing the coils and the magneto. At Hershey last month I bought some coils and took them to Mike Kossor, who used the ECCT to test and adjust them, so I'm a happy camper in ECCT Land. Here's a previous post with the details, including a video on the MAG test: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/506218/583608.html?1446423582
""I hope no one seriously believes coils can be set correctly by ear - I'd be curious to know exactly what one listens for to get the correct dwell, and then absence of multiple sparking, allowing for the fact that individual coils do not have identical characteristics.""
I have to ask, how did these cars ever operate and survive and sell all these years before the 21st century when the ignition was was set by ear?
Just goes to show how forgiving these cars are. And besides, what did the average guy have back in the 20's, 30's, etc., to set a coil with besides his ears? I'm pretty sure they didn't all have a HCCT, or even access to one. When I ran coils, neither John nor Mike were making these neat units, and I really didn't know that a HCCT even existed. I set them the way my dad, who drove T's beginning in the 30's did; by ear and a few other little methods. Guess what, the car ran great. Still, nice that we have these tools available to us today.
I'll add that I check compression with my thumb.
"And besides, what did the average guy have back in the 20's, 30's, etc., to set a coil with besides his ears? I'm pretty sure they didn't all have a HCCT, or even access to one. "
Everybody had access to an HCCT at their friendly local Ford Dealer or Authorized Ford Service Station.
This is what the former head of Ford service school wrote in 1922:
The entire book, "Ford Car, Truck and Tractor Repair", by Alfred A. Good, former director of FMC Service School, 1922:
I'm sure that in rural areas that wasn't so feasible, especially when the car wasn't running right. Or, during the Depression years when the cost of gas and a dealership charge were to be avoided.
The cost of gas & dealership charge theory seems valid to me. I'm not so sure I buy the lack of dealerships as a significant factor. I recall as recently as twenty years ago there were still Big Three dealerships hanging on in little towns that today haven't shrunk in population but just don't have the economies that would support them. Take that back to the Model T era, and population distribution of the day was more rural than today or even twenty years ago. Little towns that now have just a few houses and not even a gas station were not only a bit bigger then, but their economies drew from the surrounding larger rural population of the time. Because of that they had banks, hotels, general stores, and even car dealerships that now are long gone. Today when you see a rural school house used to store bales of hay or a former church used as a grain bin, that's a symptom of the great migration from the farm to larger towns and cities.
The from reading the section on coil adjustment in "Ford Car, Truck and Tractor Repair", by Alfred A. Good, the buzz coil tester may have some validity?
My opinion? A buzz box will get you a coil that will run fine on battery, but probably not on mag, unless you just luck out.
I used a buzz box for quite a while - and got away with it, but that's because I don't have a magneto so run on battery only.
For battery operation, any multiple sparking is consistent and merely reduces sparking power.
However, setting on a buzz box gave no indication of coil dwell time, so it was a matter of luck whether or not each coil fired at the same time after the timer made contact.
Now using electronic testing, whether it's with the ECCT or my own design, I get consistent dwell time with no multiple sparking. No guessing, and I know the ignition is always optimum.
These waveforms of the coil current show one limitation with buzz box testers. In both cases the coil was set to 1.3A at 6V.
This waveform shows correct coil adjustment.
This coil has multiple sparking, yet the current reading on the buzz box meter does not change.
No, buzz boxes have no validity. They only indicate that a coil will buzz or not buzz and nothing more.
The link to the book "Ford Car, Truck and Tractor Repair", by Alfred A. Good and information posted by Rob Heyen is old, but nonetheless it is spurious and false information.
There were clueless people back then too!
Yes, it is old. 1922
Even if there was a Ford dealership or garage in the area that had a hcct, I'm sure there were many "shade tree" mechanics that thought they could adjust coils by ear, probably many farmers too. As long as it would start and run, I doubt that they much cared about anything else. As a kid in the mid fifties when I started to get hooked on these T's, I remember the "old timers" talking about adjusting the coils by ear/sound and using bacon rind or a piece of leather for a rod bearing, or, etc., etc. As Royce said, "there were clueless people back then too". Yup, but they didn't know they were clueless, so it worked! Sometimes it's amazing that when something works, and, it doesn't know it's not supposed to, it still does! Sometimes I wonder how these T's ran at all without all of the modern technology that we now have. Don't get me wrong, I am VERY glad that we do have this technology available, I just think that sometimes we do get a bit carried away. JMHO. Dave
Here's your buzz box cooked down to the bare minimum. AC terminals on a train X-former, a vice and a bit of wire. Clearly demonstrating one of the 2 things it's good for which is showing if the coil will spark. The other thing is knocking you on your a**.
You gotta love loyalty to period correct tooling, no matter what it costs!!
Royce just bought a, Allen motorized coil tester, for $900.00!!
It sounds as if all these units will adequately adjust the coils. However, one of the possible advantages of the HCCT is that it will probably continue to increase in value over the years, newer technology most likely will not, at least not for many years after they are out of production.
Increase in value to the point of being unaffordable is exactly what's already happened. I wouldn't call that an advantage if you were looking to purchase one.
Buying antiques on speculation of increasing value with the passage of time for investment purposes?
My, my, what a novel idea!
Please contact me if you'd like to buy some antiques for what I paid for them many years ago.
I got a chuckle when I saw that Royce spent the nearly 1000 dollars and he always complained the most about what he said was extreme cost of the electronics developed by Mike.
Glad to hear so many satisfied customers for both.
I think Royce bought that ester for about sixty cents on the dollar for what he could get out of it on eBay. Best of all, it actually is an electrically cranked coil tester.
I don't complain about the price of good tools. I am a guy who saves my money to spend on real, genuine, hard to replace things. I find that if I own this sort of thing I can enjoy it for as long as I want and always get my money back if I decide I want something else. I have wanted one of those motorized coil testers for a long time.
This is not the case with modern computerized plastic electronic crap. Buy something like that and it is instantly worth less than you paid for it, and like all things made of plastic, it will eventually crumble and be of no use to anyone at any price. Or the computer it plugs into will go tango uniform making all associated gadgets useless garbage.
Perhaps in Royce's vein of thinking, when iPods came out I thought they were neat but never wanted to spend the money to buy one. I have however spent way too much money on wind-up phonographs.
Ok Royce ,
I will liberate the tester from you when you get bored of it.
The limitation of a tech item for such a small group (face it, there aren't that many T'rs out there) is the life of the product is tied directly to the life of the builder. If such a product goes tango uniform after the designer is gone, what will you do?
If you think nothing will happen to it, good for you. Over the years I have had two cordless phones go TU after walking across a carpeted room and the static arc took them out.
The original designer of the HCCT is gone yet it is easily serviced. Might not be an issue for you guys, but your grandson might be left holding something that can't be fixed.
One can only hope those with no respect for or appreciation of modern computerized electronic devices will never require the aid of a pacemaker, defibrillator, glucose monitor, smoke or CO alarm for their well being. Those who do or have tend to share a very different opinion of such devices and respect the dedication it takes to master the art of electronic design which makes such devices possible.
Fortunately, well designed and documented electronic devices can easily be replicated without special skills or knowledge so many can enjoy the benefit from them long after the design work is done.
I bought a Strobo Spark and think the world of it. I like the theory of the ECCT and would buy one if I did not already have the Strobo Spark. I would love to have a HHCT but the cost to need ratio does not work for me. I like the information available on this forum and for the most part enjoy the varied view points expressed. I take them in and digest them in order to learn more about our cars and the hobby. My mentors have passed and I have to sort through the forum and learn from the great people that post here.
That being said if you sit back and sniff the air you can just smell the condescension and intolerance that we experienced about a year ago. YMMV!
I appreciate the fact that you designed the ECCT for those of us that don't have the space for the HCCT. I adjusted several coils this week quickly using the software. The system is very easy to use and, if I may say, durable.
I appreciate the fact that you designed the ECCT for those of us that don't have the space for the HCCT. I adjusted several coils this week quickly using the software. The system is very easy to use and, if I may say, durable.
I too appreciate your contributions. While I am not technically equipped (not smart enough) to be allowed to adjust my coils, regardless of device, Dean Yoder adjusted my coils using the ECCT, and the improvement was remarkable. Thank you for your contribution. I need to add, Ron Patterson adjusted the coils in our 13 T years ago, and they are also performing flawlessly. We are fortunate to have many choices and many dedicated people helping keep our cars on the road.
Mike, I have an electronics background and can appreciate the amount of hours you must have put in to designing and producing the ECCT. What an excellent design it is too. I have made something similar to JohnH whereby using an oscilloscope I can adjust each coil to exact same timing, works great, I also have a strobospark. Keep up the good work.
I just got my software installed (Thank You Mike K for walking me thru it). This is a screen shot of the first single fire test with a new Cap installed and a new set of points set to .030.
I then increased the cushion spring gap to .015 and after 3 more adjustments (tapping the contact bridge down at the rear I ended up with this result.
1 down 4 more to go.
I found the ECCT very easy to use, all you have to do is follow Mike's provided instructions. I will refill the coils with tar after I have completed and tested the rest of my coils.
This was the last test at 3000 RPM
A question for all you folks who bash plastic electronic devices...What are you reading and typing your complaints on?
I doubt it is an old manual royal typewriter and your sitting there stuffing your paper messages in the phone receiver. Oh wait the phone receiver is also an electronic plastic device and the photos you post...I bet it's not a glass plate box camera but a small hand held plastic electronic device.
Enjoy your hobby how ever you want.
There was an earlier comment about the same people bashing the E Timer and the ECCT. The ECCT is not something modern that is bolted to the car. Instead, it encourages people to use the original Ford coil system and allows us purists to showcase how perfectly our cars can run with the original setup. I think we should embrace this product.
Well said both Dennis and Dave!!
I usually read and post on the forum using my Apple IPhone 5C. It is the third Apple IPhone 5C that I have had since June 2014. The other two had some kind of software glitch that killed them and both were replaced under warranty.
I started using computers in the mid 1980's with a Commodore 64. Later I had IBM PS2, and then a series of Microsoft computers. Average lifespan has been perhaps 5 years for a computer. Cell phones maybe 18 - 24 months. I have spent many thousands of dollars on printers, computers, cables, chargers, batteries, and phone accessories that are utterly worthless and unusable today. Anyone need a full set of Palm Pilot gear?
Compare that to the life of my electrically cranked coil tester. It is probably 90 years old and will last another 90 years easily. No computer required.
I do hope the ECCT is working well for those who bought it. I plan to do a comparison between all the available coil testers in the near future. Should be interesting.
Royce ; what is the RPM of the electric driven HCCT.
Two years ago I found an original motor driven KRW HCCT. I like the history, and it's a good tool. Some of my other favorites are my KRW engine stand and many of my Stevens hand tools. I think most of the old tools are better then most of the new tools for model T's. That being said, I just bought an ecct from mike. Garret Green came by my shop a few months ago with a proto type of the Ecct and it was quite impressive! So far, I'm not an e timer fan, but one step at a time!
I just had a long discussion with a Montana 500 competitor who owns an HCCT, ECCT, and a Strobo-Spark.
The ECCT is what produces the best results for his use.
From reads on the forum, the Montana 500 is the real world measure of best performance that can be gotten from the Model T engine. Understanding that the best (high) performance is from modified non-stock motors tuned to best performance... With that being said, those that do well in the Montana 500, how many are winners with the microchip digital equipment? And how many do well with the more traditional old school methods?
This from the Montana 500 rules:
B2j. Only stock Ford roller type, New Day, Anderson flapper type timers, Crystal or TW timers allowed. Quick couplers NOT ALLOWED in timer wires.
ALL of those racers use coils and timers. They pay much attention to coil performance, along with everything else.
I don't have any of the coil testers....yet. Nobody around here to tunes coils so I have had them checked when on tour. I hope to get one in the near future for my use as well as for the few other T's in the area that could benefit from them. That being said, I somewhat agree with Royce regarding newer electronics. I'm also use the computer every day with electronic medical records, viewing films, ordering tests, and communicating with staff or colleagues. I have a black cloud over my head regarding the electronics in my 2011 F150, office and home computers, and I-Pads. They tend to shut down unexpectedly requiring an expensive dealer repair, or become unusable after a recommended or required "update". Also, I have lots of mini 8 mm films of family and the kids growing up that are analog and expensive to have converted to digital. Some were converted to VHS, which is also obsolete. Because of the rapidly changing technology, they are not viewable. I cannot find a reasonably priced player for them and the camcorder gave up the ghost over 10 years ago. So have the players of my friends. If I convert the films to the newest media, at considerable expense, what will I watch them on in 20 years? Current media will go the way of 4 tracks, 8 tracks, floppy disks, cassettes, and analog storage. I doubt the USB cords and plugs for computers in even 10 years will fit the ECCT without modification. I believe the strobo-spark is free standing so may be a consideration if it will hold up for 10-20 years. A higher priced HCCT will work for the rest of my life. I hate buying a tool (computer, I-Pad, or table saw) for $$$ and having it not be usable in another 5-10 years.
As we all enjoy the old photos of our T's from the early 1900's, I wonder how easily our grandchildren will be able to see photos taken today that aren't printed out but are stored on hard drives until the computer dies or a new one is purchased. Only a small percentage of those pictures are printed out, and the current inks used by home printers don't seem to last for long term storage. I'm not afraid of newer technology, but I'm not enamored of it.
I guess all of this means the sky is falling and we should just go back to throwing rocks at the rats for supper.
Using a present day ECCT in 20 years time? Why not?
I'm still using on a daily basis Beta and VHS VCR's which go back to 1980, and most of the television sets I watch them on are a good deal older than that. My mobile phone is a 1993 Motorola brick. I'm still happily using 10-30yr old computers. All these things work just as well as when they were made.
Just because it's the fashionable thing to "upgrade" technology, it doesn't mean I have to follow the sheep. Personally, I prefer not to.
I still have all my computer files and software from when I got into PC's back in the mid 90's. All still useable today. The thing is, it's all reverse compatible. I have the choice of running my old DOS software on my 1985 IBM XT, or I can run it just as well on XP or Windows 7.
While there might not be USB sockets on computers in 20 years (I'd be surprised, but anyway for the purpose of the argument), there will be adaptors to take their place. For example with the slow disappearance of serial ports on PC's, USB to serial adaptors have become available.
Operating system emulators will take care of the ECCT software itself - run virtual XP in whatever OS you're using in 20yrs.
You only have to be a slave to "technology changes" if you want to be.
People above have said it costs $500. I just checked the website, the cost is $300 without the Magneto test function and Advanced Features Software. Are these extras really needed?
At $300 it undercuts the Strobo-Spark which costs $350.
The website also mentions Black Friday Special Deals. Hopefully they'll be 50% off or more so I can buy a few and flip on eBay.
"Are these extras really needed?"
The (very) old Sears and Roebuck catalogues had (for many items) the classifications of: Good, Better, and Best. You made your choice and paid your money. Buyer's remorse could set in later.