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Old 10-03-2008, 02:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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A H bridge is overkill for this application. Use push-pull for direct off 12v or half bridge for operation from a boosted rail (100v and above).
I'm not aware of any radio that operates at 455kHz.
Maybe use copper core ignition wire in a plastic tube for additional insulation?

I think the whole idea would be most effective at high compression ratios (like in an engine designed for ethanol) and lean mixtures.

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Old 10-03-2008, 04:26 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don't think they heard you some_other_dave
I heard him. That's what I was talking about in the quote below from my earlier post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim frank
The Pulstar plugs evidently cause a faster growth of the flame kernel due to the intensity and speed (risetime?) of the spark. That's what the pictures at the manufacturer's website seem to show.

Supposedly the faster flame front means more complete combustion. If your engine is already burning the mix thoroughly due to good turbulence, homogenous mixture, and so on, this plug might not make a noticeable difference.
I'd use an H bridge for reliability's sake. The load on each mosfet is half what it is in a half bridge. There are dozens of circuits that would work, but reliability on a timescale of thousands of hours operation is something else.

455 kHz is the intermediate frequency (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate_frequency) of nearly all AM radios. A signal near that frequency will bleed through and hash up reception over the entire AM band.

Ordinary RG-8 will stand off pretty high voltages, if you use the solid polyethylene dielectric stuff. You need the outer conductive braid of coax cable to provide a return path for the RF, to prevent your wires from becoming antennas broadcasting RF noise. The RF thing is why resistor wire is used for most spark plugs, if I understand correctly.

You could take plain copper braid (recycled from coax) and insert spark plug wires inside to get a fairly good system. I've considered doing this to improve my AM radio's DX capability, but I think the injectors and fuel pump contribute as much if not more hash to the band.

RFI (radio frequency interference) is a very big deal.
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Old 10-03-2008, 06:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
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A H bridge ("full bridge") has more parts than a half bridge and is actually more likely to fail. We're dealing with peak powers of a few hundred watts at most at a low duty cycle. The average power will be quite low, probably 80w or so at most for all the cylinders.

I don't think there'll be too many issues with EMI. The metal of the car would make a Faraday cage. Remember that arc welding equipment is orders of magnitude more powerful than what we're dealing with, is (for the most part) unshielded, and yet it still isn't as much of an EMI problem as you would think. At one site (a metal shop classroom), the simultaneous operation of several arc welders in nearby welding booths (which are contained only with fireproof fabric, no EMI reduction at all) had no effects on the wireless network connection for a laser CNC machine just 15 feet or so away.
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Old 10-03-2008, 07:02 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Sorry, but I think we are kicking a dead horse. I have already done this. I will reinterate. One of my prior posts shows the ignition system, less the 300V DC and the 12V used in conjunction with the point signal. It ran a lawn mower engine. It used the flyback principle desired in the first post. It made a very compact Coil On Plug ignition. No coax required!

I then used a conventional ignition to trigger ignition with a local capacitor follow-on for a VW engine. The follow-on supply could be switched on and off for test purposes. There was not a noticeable improvement in engine performance, unless the engine was running richer than desired. There was no delay in spark due to the means of injecting the follow-on current in either case. The current delivered was at least 10 times that predicted by the Pulstar plugs. This was an attempt to push the limit looking for performance improvement. The negative part was the advanced plug wear. It may be possible to ignite leaner mixtures, however an air cooled engine is not a good test bed for that. There are also numerous dangers in running lean with water cooled engines, without modification.

Modern conventional waste-fire or Coil-On-Plug ignitions are acceptable and reliable means of ignition. Proper dwell control, minimizes energy in, and maximizes energy out. The energy in, to run the ignition comes from the battery, supplied by the alternator via the engine. Optimal spark energy with minimal energy in, yields FE. Both systems are also relatively simple, light weight and reliable.

Last edited by KitCarlsonEMS; 10-03-2008 at 07:40 PM..
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Old 10-04-2008, 10:37 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I highly doubt current ignition systems are "optimal". First off, the high resistance wiring would waste power. Just replacing that wiring with low resistance wiring would reduce those losses, although I'm not sure if it would overload the transformer or other circuits. The ricers have no problem when they do it for horsepower, however.

Have you tried to see what happens if the gap is widened and the voltage increased?
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Old 10-04-2008, 12:05 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Not sure about the high resistance wiring. I see the grounding kits for ricers. I do not think they do much. The spark plugs ground at the block, the battery cable ground is at the block, not much lower resistance than that. My measurements suggest spark current is under 0.5A. On the coil primary side dwell time sufficient enough to fully charge the coil prior to fire is all that is necessary. Some ODBII systems have miss fire detection, and most monitor coil charge and adapt dwell for battery voltage and other factors. Some resistance is good for helping reduce EMI.

Increasing spark gap increases voltage requirement and energy. Too high a gap leads to failure of the ignition system components. Failures due to carbon tracking of high voltage components, and of semiconductor used to drive coil(s).

Last edited by KitCarlsonEMS; 10-04-2008 at 07:57 PM..
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Kit- it sounded to me like your system was using a capacitor to peak a pulse, not to create a sustained AC arc over 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation.

It isn't necessary to send a huge amount of energy or power through the sparkplug; as you've mentioned, that causes extreme wear. The idea of using a flyback transformer (at least in my idea) is to create a sustained spark to make sure that the fuel mixture has been exposed to conditions that can burn any burnable mixture that is in the cylinder.

As far as H-bridge vs fewer components, it's a wash in my opinion. The minimum component solution isn't always the most reliable one.

RF interference is very relevant to me, as I'm both a ham radio operator and a broadcast engineer. Your example of arc welders not interfering with the wireless connection in a shop is valid, but wireless networks are pretty robust with respect to random RF, particularly as arc welders deposit most of their RF energy quite a bit lower in the spectrum.

Really, though, RFI isn't an issue unless someone was to attempt to commercialize the technology.

Last edited by jim-frank; 10-06-2008 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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jim-frank,
The capacitor supplied enough energy to sustain arc over the combustion cycle. By viewing the current signature with a current transformer, I verified this. I also later found information that Saab ignition, does something similar. The sparkplug is used as a sensor.

I do not mean to insult you, however reading your posts suggest there is more for you to learn about sparks. I fail to completely understand your means and theories. I do not consider myself an expert, I am always learning and experimenting. I do have a BSEE degree, to do so I passed courses in electromagnetic field theory (courses that kept about 50% of students from becoming EE's). I also have 40+ years of design and R&D experience.

Go ahead and experiment! Perhaps you are on to something. Perhaps you are the one to make a great invention.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #29 (permalink)
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How is this different from msd products w/larger coil that have spark retard, to adjust timing on the fly? A coil that has been underhood for 100k miles definately doesnt have the intensity of a new oem one. i replaced a working coil and it felt like I did a tuneup.
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:33 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The MSD is capacitive discharge into coil. The follow-on is direct discharge into plug. The follow-on yields a greater spark current for a longer time. The MSD is short duration multiple events.


Last edited by KitCarlsonEMS; 10-06-2008 at 05:41 PM..
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