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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

Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

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Old 08-30-2009, 05:52:29 PM
Jeremy Hartle Jeremy Hartle is offline
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Default Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

I have a couple engines that have plug ignition with a timer. Which is better, a buzz coil or a auto coil.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:17:57 PM
J.B. Castagnos J.B. Castagnos is offline
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Default Re: Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

Either will work fine but your timing will vary greatly. A buzz coil fires when the points close, a breaker point ignition fires when the points open.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:27:55 PM
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Default Re: Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

Technically there both the same and perform the same. I've seen both used. However an automotive coil requires an external condencer and is more ment for a POINTS system. Using a buzz coil may be better becouse not only is it ment for a trigger and fire system, all the working compenents necisary to create a spark are all self contained as one unit. All you need is your timed trigger which is already provided on the engine, a wire to the plug and a power source. (Battery)
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:05:12 AM
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Elden DuRand Elden DuRand is offline
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Default Re: Buzz coil vs. auto coil.


As far as the "number of sparks" needed for good combustion is concerned, I did an experiment a few years ago with my ZC-52 Fairbanks-Morse engine.

The tests were done using a self-designed ignition system that I arranged so it would either spark once or any number of times in succession.

The result of the test was that, when the engine was running as well as it could, it made no difference how many sparks it was fed at each ignition time. All it took was that first spark.

Note: What is called a "single spark" is actually a series of two or three sparks occuring within less than a thousandth of a second. This is because the way a high-tension induction coil works is through a "damped oscillation". Every time the points open (on a regular points system or on a buzz coil), the coil and condenser are essentially a series resonant circuit that electrically "rings", producing several oscillations in the output. It's the resonance that makes an ignition coil put out such a high voltage.

If you want a little more information on that, go to my website, then go to "Otherstuff" and then to "High Tension Ignition". I've got oscilloscope pictures and everything.

Take care - Elden

Last edited by Elden DuRand; 08-31-2009 at 11:05:49 AM. Reason: left a out
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:31:00 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

A lot of people think an auto coil gives only one spark each time it is triggered. I have a 1974 Honda 750 4 cylinder (one of the early ones with the single overhead cam), that consistantly gives 3 or 4 visible sparks each time a points set opens! By the way, these coils are ones even I don't hang on to to test for spark! These buggers HURT YOU if you get 'bit! They will consistantly throw a 3/4" spark to ground
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:50:21 AM
JNPretired JNPretired is offline
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Default Re: Buzz coil vs. auto coil.

I have a question can you take a coil from a briggs and make it work on a wisconsi robins motor
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