An Ideal Timer would make reliable electrical contact, precisely synchronized with cylinder positions regardless of timing cover misalignment yet provides precise and uniform ignition coil activation without contact bounce, wiper skip, contact wear or destructive contact arcing that necessitates constant maintenance and periodic replacement. Scores of timers have been developed over the years with varied levels of improvement and performance but to date, none have achieved the qualities of an ideal timer.
That all changes this year at Hershey! See The Ideal Timer at Hershey Chocolate Field space C2A 61
... and it would fit without any wiring change, function with the magneto, and spark each coil only every two revs .
(If absolutely necessary, one extra 'power' wire - 6v or 12v would be very nearly ideal, but wouldn't it be great if the existing connections somehow kept any internal circuitry live with a rechargeable battery?).
Chris, the Timer designed by Mike does not need ANY extra wires and is indistinguishable from a Tiger (or any similar) timer. In addition it works great and the resulting engine is sooo smooth. My coupe just loves it :-)
Is this timer the same as an E timer? Or is it the modern brush timer? Could we have some pictures of it and a description of it?
Ah! A "teaser".
Good with me!
What really amazes me, is man's need to "improve" on some things. A model T and its timer has been around in large numbers for more than a hundred years now. And we are still trying to "improve" it. An archaic technology, used by only a small percentage of people in the world. Still, we try to improve it.
I LOVE IT !! Keep working.
Well - basically all automotive base solutions was known at the end of WWII. Except for the Wankel motor, that failed and the McPherson strut that became a success. Everything since have been improvements of known automotive technology. For the last 3 decades by digitizing analogue functions.
Why not the T as well?
I constantly dream of new innovations for the automobile, only problem is, I can never remember them when I wake up!
Mike Kossor's dream is definitely a reality.......works with the magneto giving excellent precise results.
You can take that to the BANK my friend.
Ohhh K, I am intrigued. But what if we/I are not attending Hershey?
Will you be able to tell / show us here before Hershey or will we have to wait. I am interested, but God, I sure hope the circus that went on with the other timer doesn't start again.
(Message edited by Chad_Marchees on September 24, 2017)
Chad M, Just like the commercials with the Super Bowl. Teasers first, then the SHOW ! Then the rest of us get to see it.
I am curious.
Chag & Wayne:
No circus, no Super Bowl Commercial....
My bad,,,, Chad
Mike Kossor has done It Again!!
Bob J., I was only kidding about my dreams, I'm planning on visiting with Mike and pick up one of his timers. All I hear are great things about it! I'll give it a try and see if it lives up to all the hype. I really like not having to worry about the maintenance of the timer and coils.
Bob R. : Be it old age, forgetfulness, or CRS..... all is well .... LOL My better half and I will be at Hershey... as long as it doesn't rain ????.... just kiddin' .
The Ideal Timer, it is just that; a direct, wire for wire, replacement for the stock Model T timer. However, provides ideal timer function; reliable and consistent timer contact to ground, precisely synchronized with cylinder position without the imperfections associated with stock timer contacts, constant maintenance and periodic replacement. Start on battery and run on magneto (OR battery) just like any stock timer.
The best feature of the Ideal Timer is that it preserves and promotes the use of stock Model T ignition system; including the knowledge and skills necessary to properly adjust Model T coils now that the tools necessary to do so are readily available and affordable.
Is the E-timer still in production? Or has this replaced it? "Ideal Timer" is a catchy name. Thank God you didn't name it the "K Timer" or "Kossor Timer".
C2A-61 where is that? Which light pole is close? Thanks, Dan.
Very perceptive Constantine; and regarding the Ideal Timer name, here's a hint: E-Timer is an abbreviation for Electronic Timer.
Dan, C2A-61 is located in Chocolate field South near the food court, at the center of light polls 10, 11, 14 and 15.
Sounds good. The only negative I have with my E Timer is the inability to run on mag. Will this new timer running on mag be a noticeable improvement over the E running on bat, assuming the car has a good magneto? Will the pricing be comparable to the E?
The E-Timer running on battery provides the best engine ignition function because it eliminates all magneto, coil point and timer contact variables; BUT that completely alters stock Model T ignition system operation that many feel IS a large part of the Model T experience.
The goal of the Ideal Timer is to provide comparable performance, operating on magneto, to the E-Timer operating on battery. The caveat is: the Ideal Timer requires properly functioning magneto and properly adjusted coils in addition to properly maintained ignition components common to both; spark plugs, wires, connections, coil box wood and coil box contacts. Performance reports to date affirm the performance goal has been achieved.
The I-Timer sounds like a great idea!
If I had to make a guess, it would be a point-based timer, similar to a Duntley or Tungsten timer. By design, they have very little point bounce, and the rotor only actuates the points, rather than the rotor itself being the method of making contact.
I bet that such timers are more resistant to timer cover misalignment.
I would also imagine that an electronic timer that utilizes the stock magneto is also possible, using thyristors as the switches, and the rotor simply running a magnet past reed switches to turn the Thyristors on and off. I've thought about the feasibility of making such a timer before, but never took the idea any further.
We shall see!
Mike, great that you took customer feedback on board and came up with a new timer that, by the sounds of it, goes a long way in meeting the needs of people who don't feel comfortable with the E-timer, which includes me. I was worried at one stage you'd throw your hands up and walk away because of the hits you were taking over the E-timer.
"Ideal Timer" is a great name; "I-timer" is lame plus you may get a lawsuit from Apple. Yes, I did realise what E-timer stands for
So, is it electronic or mechanical?
Seems interesting Mike.
Perhaps the "I" is for some type of non-contact induction, that would make for no wear of the contacts.....perhaps magnetic induction?
See you at Hershey for sure at your space!
I' was going to order a TW timer today. Now I'll have to wait to hear about this idea timer. I'm not going to be able to make Hershey. How long will we have to wait?
Question: what will be the effect if a little oil seeps past the modern seal and gets in the timer? Just wondering.
You said start on battery and drive on mag. Can you start on mag?
What Corey said supports my theory of an electronic timer. If it has to use a battery to start, then an electronic timer is more probable.
Electronic switches (such as Thyristors or transistors) cannot provide nearly as direct or as low a resistance as a mechanical switch can. They can get close, but there will always be more losses. Solid state devices will not turn on below a certain voltage, and require at least a certain voltage to operate. Mechanical contacts don't care.
I can't wait to see what Mike has up his sleeve
Mike : Why all the secrecy?? I'm really interested in your new timer for several reasons but to have a look at one and probably purchase one, I'd have to shut down my four spots in the far corner of the green field for a couple of hours as my wife is not able to handle watching 60 ft of tables. If I had advance info, I could have a friend pick one up. I'm sure that there are lots of other vendors in the same situation as well. Buying one directly from you would save shipping, duties, brokerage fees and taxes as I'm in Canada. Cheers : Bruce
Bruce, the goal was to inspire thought and promote interest which seems to be working well and on target. Given the efforts folks make to attend Hershey each year, I thought adding some additional intrigue, incentive and benefit would be appreciated by those who attend.
Mike : I totally understand your intent, and it's obviously working but there must be dozens of T vendors in the same boat as I am that would find it a major problem to shut down their business to visit yours. I'd really like to see your new timer in person, but guess I'll have to wait for reports on this forum to make a decision. Cheers and good luck with your new innovation: Bruce
I've found the E-Timer and ECCT to be both excellent products, so I'm sure the I-Timer will be too. What I like is Mike's extensive testing before releasing anything - one can be sure his products will work as claimed.
The I-Timer should finally put to rest the critics of the E-Timer. Having said that, I think there's still a market for the E-Timer for those who for whatever reason can't rebuild or adjust their coils.
Or those who have lost their magneto functionality on an otherwise sound drivetrain.
My guess is a magnet type "brush" whose position is sensed by a hall device which then drives an IGBT ignition coil driver using a bridge to accomplish the ability to drive on both phases of the AC from the magneto. An alternative scheme could use a dual drive circuit so that one driver drives on the + magneto pulse and the other one drives on the - pulse. Picking up power from the "other" 3 coils has been used for other electronic based "gizmos" but the level of integration required to get it all inside a stock timer was not easy before the advent of analog processors and surface mount technology. Interesting stuff but the main challenge is still zero voltage drop as with a metallic contact which must also be included in an "ideal" timer simulator and I am interested in seeing how Mike accomplishes that. I remember when electronics was fun ha ha. Mike is having fun and that is what is important in life - I think
Great thoughts with some well educated guesses; Thyristors and magnetic Hall sensors are indeed used to achieve the performance described. It's not solely an analog design but there is NO computer in the Ideal Timer! It was a challenge getting everything to fit even using surface mount (SMD) components, many of which only measure 0.060" x 0.030" x 0.025"
Unlike the Perfect Timer, however, there are some distinctions. The Ideal Timer does need power to operate which makes starting on magneto difficult. The cost is also higher than a stock timer. My guess is that these distinctions will not be a significant issue given the desirable advantages it does provide compared to a stock timer.
Wow Mike! You are still at innovation with the Model-T ignition system. Hope you have a patent on this as there will be nothing the naysayers can complain about. As innocuous as aluminum pistons. Will see you in Hershey next week.
Asking again- there was no answer to my question.
Question: what will be the effect if a little oil seeps past the modern seal and gets in the timer? Just wondering.
"which makes starting on magneto difficult."
Is that something you can improve upon in the future? I gotta say, starting on mag is a point of pride for me.
John, The internal workings are conformal coated to prevent oil contamination malfunctions. Its the same approach used effectively on the E-Timer.
Hal, thanks for that perspective. Unfortunately, that is a difficult challenge to solve and thought the effort and added cost would not warrant the capability; perhaps I will need to revisit that.
That strategy didn't work out very well for George Selden and the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers.
I will be surprised if the I timer works better than the E timer which i received from Mike last year. Our E timer runs sooo smooth, easier to start, runs sweet, and no coils to adjust. We run it through a 12v wet cell charged by the mag thru a diode and light bulb. 1914 Roadster.
How much is this "Ideal" Timer? Is it only available at Hershey?
Mike, Is it possible that the Ideal timer might start the Model T on mag if it is equipped with a good electric starter and a good magneto?
I am happy to hear that you are continuing your quest for improvements in the Model T hobby and are succeeding. We are all lucky to have someone with your ability and drive to be part of this hobby.
See you at Hershey!
I use an NOS New Day, which is hard to beat for a mechanically switched timer. Trailing edge arcing is still an issue though. The nice thing about triacs is that once they're triggered, they're on until the next zero crossing. The T ignition system is a perfect application for this characteristic. One of the nice things is that it preserves the automatic spark advance built into the T magneto/coil system. (Read Ron Patterson's paper on this.)
I hope the price is reasonable. You should sell a ton of them.
One thing to consider about the I-Timer is that providing power to the electronics of the device is much more challenging than for the E-Timer, which pulls its positive feed through coils that aren't being fired. That won't work for the I-Timer, since the coil box has no continuous source of power. It's AC, not DC, after all.
To circumvent this issue, the I-Timer could have its own magneto built in to power itself. It doesn't take much power for the electronics, so a small generator/magneto is sufficient. But since the timer only goes through 1/8th of a turn during hand starting (if you're doing it right ) it would be very difficult for it to generate enough voltage to get the electronics going.
Iv always wanted to try the E timer but it has always been priced out of reach for most of us common folks. I have a feeling the I timer will be the same.
Wilf, the I-Timer can make a Model T engine perform just as smoothly as the E-Timer provided the coils are set up and maintained properly. Doing so used to be an issue due to the lack of affordable and available coil test tools and required expertise to use effectively but not any more. The net result is a more authentic Model T experience while sustaining the knowledge and skills needed to enjoy it. I am also planning incentives to facilitate use of both together as further motivation to stick with the Model T ignition system.
I understand your reason for the I timer, but for us unlucky guys in Canada, the cost of anything from the US is very high. With our dollar at 75% of the US dollar plus shipping/mail costs, brokerage fees
and 13% Canadian tax on top of everything, A simple ignition coil doubles in price. Since I don't have a HCCT or ECCT your E timer has proved to be the best way to go.
I am very pleased with it.
Alright, it's driving me crazy: how do you get an outwardly original looking and functioning timer to fire all plugs at the same piston position regardless of whether or not the timing cover is properly centred?
Use of a single firing sensor instead of 4.
If that were the case wouldn't the engine have to go through up to two revolutions for the I-Timer to get its bearings?
Tim, No. The I-Timer monitors CAM shaft position continuously. Cylinder position accuracy is immune to timing cover centering, however, it is still recommended the timing cover be centered to make sure there is no risk of physical contact with the internal workings.
Mike what is the price for your I timer because I would like to try one on one of our cars thanks
Thanks Mike, now I won't be kept up all night wondering.
Well, I swollowed my pride, closed my spot in the farthest corner of the green field and walked all the way over to Mike's spot around 2;00 pm Tuesday afternoon and... NO Mike, just an A class morothome parked on his spot. Guess I'll have to wait till next year to witness the new I-Timer. Cheers : Bruce
Bruce, really? You could have knocked! I just arrived and was having a late lunch inside. Was all setup by 3:00 then enjoyed a couple really nice visits with fellow forum members Wayne and Scott. I specifically, abstained from perusing the show myself, remaining set up until 6PM for the benefit of vendors such as yourself who have difficulty taking in the show starting tomorrow. I Really would have liked to walk around too!
No close up of the I-timer?
Mike, now that you or on site and, I would think, actively trying to sell this thing, how about giving us a price?
Hey mike if I bring my coils to Hershey will you test them for me?
Mike - Let me first say that I'm not trying to be a "smart-a$$", or "spelling police", or anything like that. As carefully as I always read threads such as this one, and every other thread that concerns Model T ignition systems of all kinds, things electric and electronic are a real "challenge" for me. One thing kinda' bothers me tho' in that you have repeatedly used the term, "cylinder position". I think I know what you mean, but wouldn't "piston position",....in other words, "piston position" within the cylinder,....wouldn't "piston position" be a better term? Just wondering, and by the way, I think the work you do and innovations you are providing to the hobby are fantastic! Thanks,.....harold
I stopped by Mike's tent this afternoon and had a good discussion with him.
One thing he mentioned to me is that you need to have a well-tuned set of coils with the electronic I-timer, just like any Model T period mechanical timer.
With the E-timer, all the coils need to have are good primary and secondary coil windings, as the E-timer takes over all of the other timer and coil functions.
Harold, You are absolutely correct! Thank you for your post pointing out that mix up. Yes, I did mean piston position not "cylinder" position, duha. If you are having issues with cylinder position you have bigger problems Thanks for the kind words, feedback like that is really what keeps me going.
John, regarding price; its the same as the present cost of the E-Timer; BUT, there are incentives to get and use tools necessary to properly adjust coils because properly adjusted coils are necessary to get good engine performance using the I-Timer. The discounts on ECCT equipment packages will be posted to the I-Timer website soon. Folks who already have ECCT test equipment will receive the same discounts on the I-Timer. The goal is to promote use of the original Model T low tension magneto ignition system.
Mark, Great meeting with you today. That's the great part about Hershey; getting to meet many Forum friends.
Mike there a good chance I will buy one of your timers on Saturday, if I bring my coils with me will you test them for me? Im the guy that lives in Fredon, a while back you told me you would come by and check them when your in the area. Thanks, Doug
Doug, unfortunately I won't be here tomorrow due to a prior family commitment check your email I sent you a PM.
Ok Thanks Mike
Here is a close up photo of the Ideal Timer and Vane actuator.
It may look familiar because the same time proven CAM shaft position sensing Hall sensors and circuitry was leveraged from the E-Timer to provide Model T coil activation precisely synchronized with piston position. The appropriate coil is only activated (grounded),not fired, when proper CAM position is sensed. Properly maintained and adjusted coils are still required for optimal engine ignition performance using the I-Timer.
Please visit the www.modeltitimer.com website for more information about the Ideal Timer
I-Timer will work with 1911 coils?
If 1911 coils work with a stock timer, they will work with an I-Timer but remember, Engine performance will depend mainly on how well your 1911 coils are adjusted for equal firing time.
Mike, That looks amazing and if it is as dependable as your E timer it should run for ever!
All individual parts of the ignition system have to be in top shape..... quality spark plugs gapped properly, correct guage and intact wiring installed correctly, correct initial ignition timing, 4 equally calibrated coils, correctly bent and installed timing pull rod giving full range of motion.......and a timer that insures the same plug firing at the same piston position.
The main variable ... is the driver's ability to have the spark advance in the proper position at a given engine speed for optimum performance.
Minus the human factor, the I-Timer will give the best for the original Ford ignition provided all other parts of the system are correct.
How does the spark advance work with the I-timer?
The exact way as a stock timer; there is NO spark advance! Its just an Ideal Timer that never wares out.
Mike you might have meant to say there is No "Automatic" spark advance? Certainly looks nice!
Gene, you're correct, that's what I meant. No automatic spark advance. The driver is responsible for proper spark lever operation with the I-Timer, just like a stock timer.
Ideal Timer update: Driving award winner Dean Yoder volunteered to test I-Timer reliability by installing it on his T and driving it to Hershey from Iowa; 1200 miles Thanks Dean! It performed well overall on the way out. A random miss was reported to have occurred during the journey but its origin could not be identified due to its infrequent occurrence. Approximately 4 hours from arriving at Hershey, the car started running poorly. The problem was found to be a failed coil. Digging a new one out and installing it restored normal operation and completion of the journey to Hershey. Dean continued the reliability run on the way home from Hershey back to Iowa. All was running well into the second day on the trip home (~1500 miles total) when the car would not start following lunch. No coils were buzzing as the car was cranked. The I-Timer failed! Dean changed the timer and the car started up then resumed his journey home.
Dean returned the failed I-Timer for failure analysis. Visual inspection revealed the internal safety fuse had blown. There was no other internal failure found. The fuse was replaced and all electrical performance tests passed. So the indication is improper fuse specification. Designing fail safe circuit protection is not a trivial task, especially for this application. There is instantaneous current inrush when battery power is first applied, a very wide operating voltage range of the magneto and of course, huge voltage transients from firing coils to contend with. There was also the matter of the failed coil during Deanís journey which may have contributed to the fuse failure. The fuse rating was adjusted to add additional margin and reliability testing continues. Performance reports from other Beta testers has been excellent. The touring season is wrapping up for much of the US so packed up and shipped the last beta unit this morning to a kind volunteer from down under were the Summer touring season is just getting into full swing. The plan is to put a few thousand miles on it over the next few months in what now has become an international effort. Assuming all continues well, they will be available early next year. Thanks for all the interest, support and patience during development.
Thanks for the update, Mike!
Mike, Thanks for the update.
I assume the fuse is/will be replaceable by the end user if it fails?
No, the fuse is not user replaceable. The reason for this is because the fuse provides fail safe protection in the event of an internal failure. There are no user serviceable parts within so if something really does fail it has to go back to the factory for repair anyway. Once sized correctly, the fuse will only blow if something actually fails internally.
Am one of those lucky Beta guys
With over 500 miles with the I-Timer on my '27 since Oct 22nd haven't blow that fuse yet.
Can post for now that timer is exceeding my expectation.
I will have a few production I-Timers available in about a week if anyone in the Sun belt is interested in getting in on the Beta test fun being among the first to try it out and report back results while the rest of us wait for spring to return. Please send me a PM for the details if interested.
I too was lucky to Beta test the I-Timer.
I took my 14 touring to Mike's house, where he adjusted my coils, and installed the timer.
I drove around his neighborhood after the coils were adjusted, and noticed a difference right away. Went back and installed the I-Timer, and there was a definite difference. Mike had me drive the same route that he used for his testing, and he remarked that the car ran great.
Last week end we took the car for a drive in Mass, and RI. The results on a long drive were quite noticeable. Most of the tour was done in high gear, even up the hills.
looking forward to more winter driving.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to rest run an I timer down under during our Summer touring season. I fitted up the I Timer on Saturday and also adjusted the coils on one of Mikes ECCT's. I have previously run an E timer but abandoned it in favour of a brush timer so my coils could run on the Magneto. The new I timer with the function of both battery and Magneto operation is more pleasing to me. Love to hear those coils buzz! My first tour of just on 100 miles was a nice first trial and I was very impressed. Most pleasing has been the smooth delivery of accelleration and also a very smooth low revolution idle. I look froward to so great Summer driving and zero timer mnaintenance! I will continue to add updates and comments as the miles add up.