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Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs Discussion about magnetos, buzz coils, spark plugs, ignitors and low tension coils.

Magnetos, Ignition Coils and Spark Plugs

Condensors


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  #1  
Old 06-22-2018, 01:56:21 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Condensors

Ever wondered what is inside the old condensors in the flywheel magneto of our mowers? I have, of course. Know I've stripped one down I want to know how it actually worked. It is made from 2 thin sheets of aluminium alfoil that is insulated by some very thin paper. Overall length is about 30" in old speak and the connections are just laid against the alfoil to make contact. this is obviously the most obvious point for a failure as it relies on a firm contact and in this case there was a type of corrosion between the contact and the alfoil. The braided wire is what went through the bottom of the brass outer casing and then soldered in place. The other end was soldered to the bottom of the threaded section that the points wire is connected to. The threaded section runs through an insulated washer.
With the alfoil I am not sure if it was all one length and I think it should be but when I got this apart it crumbled a bit and is no longer joined if it was originally. The wonders of electricity still astound me as to how this would hold a current until it was required to let it all go at once as designed.

Any takers on how this worked?
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:08:07 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Condensors

A capacitor is simply two foil conductors (plates) held apart with an insulator (dielectric).

The area of the plates and the distance of separation of the two plates determine the "capacity" of the capacitor. The voltage the capacitor is capable of operating at is determined by the type and thickness of the dielectric.

The only reason some capacitors are rolled up is to make them fit into a smaller space.

Simply stated, capacitors work by storing a charge, sort of like a small battery but not having to use a chemical reaction to do it.

Capacitors resist a change of voltage between the plates sort of like a battery draws current from the charger until it's voltage matches that of the charger.

Now that you are totally confused, what else may I help you with?
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:52:17 AM
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Default Re: Condensors

I've torn apart Model T coil condensers and seen waxed newspaper used as the dielectric...
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:07:12 AM
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Default Re: Condensors

All just extensions of the technological principles of the original Leyden jars, which were just glass or ceramic jars coated with a metalic film on both the inside and outside, but inside and outside issolated from each other. The walls of the jars serving as insulating dielectric. You can create your own by lining both the inside and outside of a Mason caning jar with aluminum foil... but if you do treat them with respect, for even such a simple capacitor can (and will) bite HARD!
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:17:18 AM
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Default Re: Condensors

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulGray View Post
I've torn apart Model T coil condensers and seen waxed newspaper used as the dielectric...
I guess Henry Ford was serious when he let nothing go to waste!
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:50:55 AM
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Default Re: Condensors

Be careful with old capacitors

Due to the electrical insulating properties, lack of flammability,
chemical and thermal stability of polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) were often used as dielectrics in paper capacitors.

Because of their hazardous impacts on human health (BAG 2006) and their extraordinary stability, the production and application of PCBs was internationally
banned, first in open systems in 1978 and then prohibited in 1986 (UNEP 1999).
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:56:24 PM
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Default Re: Condensors


Condensor Construction

A capacitor or condensor is used across the contacts to aid in the rapid field collapse and to reduce contact arcing thus extending the life of the points. (The condensor absorbs the self-induced current of the primary winding, preventing it from opposing the rapid fall of the primary current.) Early condensors were made up by alternating layers of tin foil and paraffined paper, cut to the same size, like the pages of a book. Even numbered foil sheets were connected together for one polarity and odd numbered sheets were connected together for the opposite polarity. These connections were then routed to each side of the breaker points.

Old-Engine Magneto Page: https://www.old-engine.com/magbuz.htm

Changing the condensor (capacitor) on a Bosch AB-33 https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...746#post152746



AB-33 magnet charging setup: https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showt...962#post146962
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Old 06-23-2018, 12:58:48 AM
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Default Re: Condensors

You can understand how they can fail after a few decades, especially in damp storage, when you see how they are made.

For that matter, you can see why modern Chinese ones often are BOOB (bad out of box).
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Old 06-23-2018, 01:57:45 AM
cobbadog cobbadog is offline
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Default Re: Condensors

Thank you so much to ALL who have replied and in a way that my simple mind has understood. Now for the big challenge, remembering it all.

It is help like this that makes these Forums so very helpful.
Thank you once again.

On another topic that was touched on, Henry ford. his use of waxed newspaper was just one of many items he recycled. He used the wooden engine crates to make the floors in the old "T" model. One very clever man way ahead of his time.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:06:17 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Condensors

Actually deeper than just using the crates to build his floors: He SPECIFIED the shape of the crates, the type of wood, and the FILLER MATERIAL. One of my dad's Model As was in original, unrestored condition, and the seat filler material was spanish moss, apparently from Florida. Some part, component, or supply was ordered, and the packaging material was specifically identified.

There's nothing spectacular about this- it's simple conservation, at least on Henry's end. On many cases of his suppliers' end, it cost substantially more to contract those supply sales.

As for making condensers, he may have started out making his own, history proved that specializing had it's advantages, specifically in the quality control aspect of more sensitive parts. It's one thing to make a condenser, it's yet another to make one that is consistent, accurate to its desired value, durable, AND inexpensive. From what I see, Henry seemed to always be most concerned about inexpensive, and he was very protective about keeping all manufacturing in-house so as to never be under the 'leverage' of others, but often faced music of reality when stuck with poor parts. He may have made his own condensers for prototypes, but didn't make condensers in production quantities for the Model T... the condenser was an integral component to the buzzer coil, which he had produced by others. K-W was the most common, IIRC.
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