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New question - Ignition and battery

Chris Kirk

A few posts down I was asking about the suitability of a cordless drill battery for my Caron engine. It wasn't working, so I went out and bought a battery pack, and the engine now starts easily and runs well. The ignition system on this engine is just like that of a car - points, condenser, coil, battery. Questions: 1) I'm getting a small blue spark between the points when they separate, but the condensor is brand new. The condensor was a spare, so I don't know if it's properly matched to the coil...could a mis-matched condensor be causing the sparking between the points, and how can I tell which condensor to use? 2) The points remain closed except for when they separate for spark...won't this cause the battery to run down very quickly, and put a strain on the coil? The points setup appears original 3) The condenser is attached to the negative terminal on the coil - is this the correct connection for the condenser, or will it at least work this way? 4) The ground for the engine was connected to the condenser bracket on the side of the coil, with a separate line from that for connecting to the negative battery terminal. Is there any reason for the ground connection to the condenser?



Dick Welty


On most regular distributor ignition systems the points just close momentarily to energize the coil then the spark is induced when the points open.

A transformer doesn't work for constant DC and is usually used on Alternating current or pulsating Direct current.

The condensor absorbes the energy at the points as they open minimizing the arching of the points and prolonging point life.

A very small spark at the points is often seen and could be considered normal.

It is better if the condensor is somewhat mached to the coil but if it is a good automotive condensor and the engine is only ocassionally run you shouldn't have a problem.

It does sound like if the points are closed most of the time that you will have an almost steady drain on the battery.

I am not familliar with this system and don't know how to advise you to solve it.

I hesatate to suggest grinding the timer lobe to shorten the coil on condition but that is a possible solution.

I don't understand why that was the way that it was engineered but maybe someone else knows the answer to that question.

Last edited:

Mark Birdeau

Last Subscription Date
Chris,in my opinion the only time it would be a problem for the points to be normaly closed would be if the ignition was left on when the engine is not running.I am not familiar with your engine but most of our engines run 300 + r.p.m.'s so the points don't remain closed very long while runnig.It may be a little worse if the engine ran real slow like some of the folks do. Mark:


Something doesnt sound right? :confused: Is this a hit&miss? Can you post a pict?What opens the points? Is it riding on a cam lobe or is there a pin that opens them? Engines that were made to run on a battery use a system that tries to prolong battery life.Ignitor fired battery powered engines keep the points open till time to fire. Buzz coil engines only close the contact at the time to fire and if a hit&miss alot of them even have a spark saver to help prolong battery life.Your engine ether has been changed or were not undestanding the system they used? That is why your cordless battery didnt hold up? I have used cordless batterys and they have lasted all weekend.BobRR