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Alternative Fuels An energy source alternative to using fossil fuels. Materials or substances that can be used as a fuel, other than conventional fuels. Waste oils, vegetable oils or animal fats, which can be used alone, or blended with fossil fuels.

Alternative Fuels

Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels


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  #1  
Old 03-28-2015, 11:37:53 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

From time to time I see people over on the Onan Generator forum trying to upgrade the ignition system on the older Onans.

I have been working on an Arduino microcontroller based Coil On Plug ignition system on and off and, although I am not done yet, here's a short progress report:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUpwmo8bFrc

"Stock" timing is probably okay for most folks, but when running spark ignition engines on alternative fuels like woodgas or producer gas, some useful power gains can be made with timing adjustments. So this system can easily allow for quick or even automatic timing changes over a wide range of conditions.

Also, you eliminate high tension wiring completely, or at least, to a large degree if you take the "Coil Near Plug" route. And most COP packs these days need only a tiny trigger current from the Arduino to fire, so you don't even need to be switching primary coil current externally to the COP pack.

And, the Arduino Uno microcontroller now sells for as low as $3.98 on Ebay. Used COP packs can be found in many places. It appears that many mechanics replace the whole set of them if one goes bad.

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:33:39 AM
Lead Head Lead Head is offline
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

Excellent work! Now to combine that with my Arduino EFI project
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:27:31 PM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

Visit:
http://speeduino.com/wiki/index.php/Speeduino

Pete Stanaitis
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Old 12-14-2016, 10:04:11 AM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

Bit of a revival, but did you run into trouble with the arduino not liking the EMF kicked up by the coil when it fires?

I made an electronic breaker point of sorts that lets me use a common 12v ignition coil for an experimental engine. When trying to test it using an arduino as a pulse generator to simulate the hall sensor input, the arduino kept freezing and rebooting on me.

My circuit uses an attiny85 instead of an arduino since the features of the larger chip aren't really needed.
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:02:23 PM
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

I had a similar issue when I had an experimental arduino EFI system going on a motorcycle engine. With both ignition coils hooked up, the arduino just continually reset, with only one of them hooked up, it was fine. It was driving me crazy until I realized one of the ignition coils had a resistor-type spark plug boot on it, while the other one didn't. Put a resistor boot on it, and the problem went away instantly.

You absolutely must use resistor-type spark plug wires or a resistor spark plug boot. It might also be a good idea to put a noise suppression capacitor across the coil primary.

How are you triggering your coil? Are you doing it through an opto-isolator?
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Old 12-14-2016, 04:17:57 PM
Odin Odin is offline
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

Its got an entire MCU between the arduino and the coil. The plug wire being used has a metallic core and is meant for a 1980s continential 4 cylinder. Usually I test it with a Champion J8C plug, though I'll sometimes hook it to other plugs to test them and the prototype engine has a really long plug in it.

Schematics
Assembled coil + controller

The program in the attiny85 microcontroller is programmed to turn the mosfet on when triggered. It then measures the voltage across the mosfet, and when it senses the voltage there has stopped rising it turns the mosfet off again to fire the spark.

Like so it self-tunes to deal with variations in the coil properties, with the 1kv rectifier protecting the mosfet from the coil ring-down and the different attiny pins having their own overvoltage protections.

I was trying to use an arduino on the input of the attiny to simulate a hall sensor being triggered at ~1khz, in the hopes of getting a buzzcoil effect. Instead the coil made so much EMF that just having the arduino anywhere near it made the arduino hang and restart.
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:52:14 PM
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

Before I found a resistor plug boot, just using a piece of automotive carbon resistor wire solved the issue. You also obviously might try distancing the spark plug itself from the arduino.

If possible isolate the arduino from the attiny using opto-isolators and put it on a separate power supply. My setup used an opto-isolator between the arduino and the injector driver, just to eliminate any possible connection to the ignition system.
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Old 12-16-2016, 12:17:55 AM
Pete Spaco Pete Spaco is offline
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Default Re: Arduino COP Ignition to adjust engine timing for alternate fuels

It has been a while since I looked in on this thread.
But you guys have been discussing noise getting into the arduino.

Here are a couple of my thoughts/observations:

I am using a 4-wire coil on plug pak to drive my test spark plug. So, there's NO spark plug wire at all and the whole upper part of the plug is covered by the metallic sheath of the COP pak. During most of my testing to date, I had no resetting or noise issues with the arduino.
But, one day I decided to try a simple inductiively coupled tachometer that my son had given me, just to confirm that my own code was really working accurately. To accomplish this, I had put a 6" piece of spark plug wire up into the COP pak and thence to the (well grounded) plug.
Well, then I had all sorts of noise problems. On my test setup, I had to construct a sizable grounded metal shield to get things back into control.

Pete Stanaitis
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