I am currently trialing a re-creation of a gearless distributor, having seen an early advertisement of one in a Model T accessory book.
I have it running on a spare motor but have yet to trial it out on the road.
I must say I am very pleased with the smooth running of motor with this fitted. I have had it running on a single KW trembler coil and also on a conventional coil, wired through a relay which allows the distributor to run on the flywheel magneto.
Please note I am NOT an auto electrician/ technician so there would be no point in asking me to elaborate on the finer points of how it works. I just know it does and leave it to others to nut out.
It is my intention to run this system on my Frontenac equipped motor within 6 months and can report back then.
Forgot to add the image of the cap in-situ so here it is.
That's a VERY interesting gizmo! After your trials are done, how about posting any drawings/dimensions or theory you have? That is, unless you're going to market it of course!
Looks like to me that the single carbon post sparks to one of each of the 4 paddles then transfers that spark to the right cylinder via the single paddle. I don't know what the post at the top of the distributor is for or how timing is done except Dick mentions that the flywheel magneto is involved.
The carbon post is the spark from the coil. It rides on the front side of the rotor where his thumb is, and spark is sent through the single paddle to each of the four posts. It is insulated from ground and the four paddle side of the rotor. Each of the four paddles contacts the odd top post to make / break the circuit to the coil. Timing retard / advance is still by rotating the cap with the rod from the steering column. It would seem it may be harder to rotate with the larger and stiffer spark plug wires on the cap, and spark may be apt to jump to the front oil pan bolts if the terminals are close like they are on some timers.
As shown in this image, the carbon brush transfers the spark to the plug leads in sequence via the single paddle.
The 4 paddle rotor replaces the normal contact breakers.
The top (blue wire) makes contact with the 4 paddle rotor which is earthed/grounded. The blue wire goes to the negative side of the coil via the relay shown in earlier images.
The bottom terminal on the cap is the carbon brush HT wire from the coil.
Timing is achieved by rotating the cap clockwise and anticlockwise as per normal. The lug is shown at the bottom because Aussie T's are RHD and besides that we like to be different.
Hope this explains its operation.
George, I will certainly report back on the success or otherwise of this device once it has been thoroughly tested, and a decision will be made then about possible manufacture. It is in the early R & D stage at this time.
This deserves a bump!
I've a bit of studying to do to fully understand this timer. Very interesting!
I worry about the 4 paddle rotor wearing on the terminal with the blue wire, although probably would last as long as a set of points (contact breakers). Consider a hall effect switch and 4 magnets. You could just adapt an electronic ignition module and four magnets.
Thank you Neil for your observations and suggestions.
Yes parts will not doubt wear, so this would be one of the things I will monitor during the trial period and when I eventually install it.
Sorry magnets and Hall switches are beyond my expertise!
Nice job Dick, I love it when people like you do things like this!! looking forward to hearing more about how it does. I often wondered if grounding the timer rotor would help ignition instead of having to ground through the cam bearings. It could be a simple brush similar to a regular distributor cap. Thanks