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HomebuiltSolidStateIgnitionModule|Dan'sWorkshopBlog

HomebuiltSolidStateIgnitionModule
March19,2008
dynamodan
ElectricityandElectronics
4Comments
7863views

01|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

HomebuiltSolidStateIgnitionModule,housedinelectricalbox
Mostofusthinkofcomplicatedelectronics,computermodulesandsuch,
whenthesubjectofignitionsystemsarises.EvenIlladmitthatthe
electronicenginecontrolsystemsontodayscarsareabitbeyondmy
patiencetounderstand.Butnow,couldthefixedadvancesparktiming
onasinglecylindersmallenginebereallythatbad?Well,Ivehadachancetofindout.Theofficialresults
arein.Small
engineignitionissimple.Belowisacasestudyofaconversionofa
12horsepowerlawntractorenginetosolidstate,halleffectsensor
based,transistorizedbatteryignition.Thepictureshowsthehomebuilt
moduleinplace,housedinanelectricalboxwithaluminumcoverplate.
Theblackstripissimplyapieceofelectricaltapetocoversome
mountingholes.

Thisdeviceisabout5/16square,measuringthewhitesubstrate(not
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HomebuiltSolidStateIgnitionModule|Dan'sWorkshopBlog

countingtheleads).Forthoseofyouasking,Whatincreationisa
halleffectsensor?,itisadevicethatdetectsastrongmagnetic
fieldincloseproximitytoit.Itisbasedottheprinciplethata

magneticfieldcandiverttheflowofelectricityflowingthrougha
conductor(thehall),causingittoflowtowardthefieldandoutof
theconductoratadifferentplace.Thisissortoflikewhenyouwere

akid,runningdownthehall,andsuddenlyyougotdivertedandmarched
offtotheprincipalsoffice,notexactlythepathofleast

resistance.(Someofyoumaynotbeabletoidentifythisexperience
likeIcan.<grin>)Allhumoraside,thehalleffectsensorfunctions(inthisapplication)

asasignaltoturntheignitionsystemstransistorONatthe

beginningofthedwell,andOFFatthepreciseinstantattheendof
thedwell,whenthechargethathasbuiltupinthecoilshouldthen
dischargewithaburstofpurplishbluefireatthesparkplug.
Butwheredoesthestrongmagneticfieldcomefrom?Theoriginal
magnetsintheflywheel,ofcourse.Thespacingofthemagnetsthat
chargedtheoriginalmagnetocoilignitionisjustright.Isayit
verysuspiciouslyresembleswhatthedwellshouldbe,toproperly
chargetheignitioncoil.

02|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

Halleffectsensor
Ihaventgottenaschematicdrawnupyet.Myusualmethodincomingup
withdesignssuchastheseinvolvesabitoftrialanderrorwitha
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HomebuiltSolidStateIgnitionModule|Dan'sWorkshopBlog

varietyofcomponents,some18guagewire,andabreadboardingsocket.Asyoucansee,myworkbenchis
abitmessy.Startingontheleft,wehavethe12vbatteryoutofmyMonsterQuartzHalogenBikeLight.

Thenwehaveacirculargreenobject,withsomewirescomingoutofit.
Thispartwasactuallynotused,butisworthyofmention.Itisa
timingmoduleoutofacomputerharddrive.Therearefourhalleffect

sensorsonit,andIconsideredusingthem,butIendedupusingsome
outofanoldcomputerkeyboardinstead.
ThentherearethreelargeTO208Xstyletransistorsfromaswitching
powersupply.Iwasnotabletousethesebecauseoftheirdrive
requirements.IsuspecttheymayhavebeenIGBTs,needinga
considerablespikeontheirgateleadstoturnthemon.
Onthebreadboard,thesquareoutlinedingreenisthecircuitunder
test.Thetransistorisanaudioamptransistor,oftype2N6578.Itis
adarlingtontransistor,withveryhighgain.Thismeansthetinyhall
effectsensoraloneiscapableofturningitonandoffverywell.Next
pictureshowsacloseup.
Ontherighthandsideofthephoto,youcanseetheoriginalcoilfrom
themagnetosystemthattheenginehadoriginally.(Note,thecoilis
notconnectedatthisparticularinstant.)Andpracticallybottom
centeraretwomagnetsstucktogether,whichIusedtotesttheworking
ofthehalleffectsensor.
Bysimplypassingthemagnetsbythehalleffectsensor,thetransistor
wasturnedon,chargebuiltupintheignitioncoil,anda20kvplus
sparkwasproduced.Iwasabletodrawsparksabout3/8longwiththis
testcircuit.Sorry,Idonothaveaschematicdrawnupyet.

03|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

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Circuitundertest
Outlinedingreenisthehalleffectsensor.Thecameraanglewasnottoogood,soitsabithardtosee.

04|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

2N6578TransistorandHallEffectSensor
Halfoftheeffortinthisprojectwastoachievetheoriginaltiming.
WhenIremovedtheoldcoilsfromthestatorpoles,Iconcludedthat
thetimingsignalwascomingfromthispole.Thecoilthatwasonthis
polehadmanyturnsofveryfinewire,hardlyenoughtodrivethe0.2
ohmresistanceofthespecialfactoryignitioncoil.SoIconcluded
thatitssignalwaswhatsignalledtheoriginalignitionmoduleto
triggerspark.SoIshavedabouta1/16offofthepolewithmydremel,anduseda
dabofJBQuickepoxytofastenthehalleffectsensortotheendof
thepole,takingcaretomaintainthatclosedollarbillclearanceto
theflywheelmagnets.
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05|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

Halleffectsensorepoxiedtostatorpole
Fortherecord,picturedherewiththestatorplateisoneofthe
originalcoils.Therewerethreeofthese,oneoneachpole.Onehad
heavywindings(probably18guage),andonehadastrange
multistrandedwindingwithveryfinewire,andthethirdhadasingle
windingwithveryfinewire,likehair.

06|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

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Originalmagnetocoil
Whatmoreappropriateenclosureforahomemadeignitionsystemthanan
electricalbox!!Thisisashallowgrayboxwithablankaluminum
outdoorcoverwithfoamgasket.Imadegeneroususeofeuropeanstyle
terminalblockstomaketheconnections.Theonlythingsolderedisthe
halleffectsignalwiretoa2.2kresistorforbasedriveofthe2N6578
transistor.(Notsomuchtoprotectthetransistorasthehalleffect
sensor.)

07|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

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Newsolidstateignitionmoduleassembly
Theloadonthe2N6578isnotenoughtowarrantarealheatsink,butI
mounteditwithitsbackagainstthealuminumcoverplate.An
insulatingwasherwasusedtokeepthecase(whichisthecollector)
insulatedfromthecoverplate.Baseandemitterareconnectedwith
terminalblocksegments.Doublesidedfoamtapewasusedtosecurethewiringterminalblocksto
thecoverplate.The2N6578issecuredwithaziptiethroughtwoholes
inthecoverplate.

08|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

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2N6578mountingdetail
Asmentionedearlier,establishingpropertimingwashalfofthe
effort.Myassumptionsaboutwhichstatorpolesignaledthesparkwere
notcorrect.Oreventhatthetimingwassetbyanystatorpolein
particular.SoIendeduptimingthesparkwithatimingmarkonthe
flywheel.Thestatorplatefortunatelystuckinplacewellenoughthat
IcouldjustnudgeitafewdegreesandtryagaintillIgotitright.
Anditwasrightindeed,soIwentaheadanddrillednewholesinthe
statorplatetomountitinitsnewposition.

09|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

Mountedstatorplate
Sothereyouhaveit.Acompletehomebuiltsolidstateignitionsystem.Whowouldhavethought?Igive
somecredittothiswebpage
forinspiringandemboldeningmetotackletheproject.Thereisnot
evenaschematicontheirsite,butIquicklyjudgedbytheverysmall
numberofcomponentsintheirsolidstateignitionsystemthatitwas
notgoingtobeverydifficulttoengineermyself.Iwasright.Nowyou
cantryittoo!

10|Mouseovertoloadnotes|link

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Completedhomebuiltsolidstateignitionmodule

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