Powered by Invision Power Board


Forum Rules Forum Rules (Please read before posting)
Pages:12 ( Go to first unread post ) Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Help Needed: Building Engine Timing Light
scrubs
Posted: July 03, 2008 01:01 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




Hi,

I'm trying to build a small engine timing light I'm hoping for a keyfob size -
or something small enough to carry with me for road side repairs instead
of carrying a big gun shaped platic thing around with me.

I'm intending to use the brightest LED I can get my hands on (cheaply)
for the project - or at least one that will be effective.

I am an electronics novice - and am hoping this may be a relativley
simple first project that even a dummy like myself could spend some time on
and hopefully make it work.

There are two types of timing lights (that I am considering to build) -

One with an inductive pick up that allows you to clip it around the
spark plug lead -- and a 'normal' one that requires you to make a direct
connection with the plug cap.

My questions are.
If I was to use the inductive pickup design - would it make it much bigger?
here is a schematic I have found, (this uses a xenon lamp though)
would this be a good schematic to use or will it be too big?
and how much would it alter using the LED instead of Xenon?
I imagine I wouldent need the big transormers?
I should mention that I am hoping to power this internally by battery.

user posted image

This post has been edited by scrubs on July 03, 2008 01:11 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
kellys_eye
Posted: July 03, 2008 04:06 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 10,367
Member No.: 2,735
Joined: June 21, 2005




'Gun-shaped plastic things' aren't that large, are readily available, do the job perfectly well.

If you're doing road-side servicing you'll be carrying a tool kit (presumably) so what's wrong with carrying the usual timing light with you?



--------------------
May contain nuts
PMEmail PosterYahoo
Top
tekwiz
Posted: July 03, 2008 06:32 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




Xenon timing lights are the easiest to make & use. Most of the required parts can be found in an junk camera flash. cool.gif


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 03, 2008 07:26 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




QUOTE (kellys_eye @ July 03, 2008 04:06 pm)
'Gun-shaped plastic things' aren't that large, are readily available, do the job perfectly well.

If you're doing road-side servicing you'll be carrying a tool kit (presumably) so what's wrong with carrying the usual timing light with you?

My timing light measures approx 9" iv'e seen some for sale that around 6" but IMO is far too big for roadside repair, I should have mentioned I ride a motorcycle, not a car, so the usual method most motorcyclists use is to static time using the indicator light or a spare bulb to get 'something like' and use a timing gun later when you get home, I do alot of travelling via motorcycle and plan to do a trip again in a couple of months that will take me through a few countrys with considerable milage. Having something like this would be very handy for me, as I just do not have room to pack a full size light, hence the reason I was exploring the option of something smaller - possibly utilising LED as appose to Xenon.

This post has been edited by scrubs on July 03, 2008 07:27 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
tekwiz
Posted: July 03, 2008 08:10 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




A xenon timing light need be no bigger than a camera flash...fist size. LEDs won't give anywhere near as much light. cool.gif


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 03, 2008 09:43 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




Cheers Tekwiz,

I was hoping to get something close to the size of a film canister. I need to experiment whether the LED route will indeed be bright enough with it being used for a bike - one good thing is you can hold the light with in an inch from the timing plate/inspection hole if need be, and was wondering whether a luxeon LED might work, the cyan colored ones would probably be easier to see.

This post has been edited by scrubs on July 03, 2008 09:45 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: July 03, 2008 10:01 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 13,645
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




Your problem with most any timing light outdoors will be sunny days with no available shade. If you can get under a coat/blanket/etc. with it then an LED might work. And of course after dark most anything will.

You can make an inductive pickup with 5-6 turns of wire around a plug wire (you could even install this and leave it on your own bike if desired, the voltage output is very low). If you use a direct connection then you'll obviously have to reduce the high voltage to a safe level.


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 03, 2008 10:36 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




QUOTE (MacFromOK @ July 03, 2008 10:01 pm)


You can make an inductive pickup with 5-6 turns of wire around a plug wire (you could even install this and leave it on your own bike if desired, the voltage output is very low). If you use a direct connection then you'll obviously have to reduce the high voltage to a safe level.

Fantastic. That's great to know! Thanks Mac.

I think I am going to put a post in the trade section of the forum
to see if anyone would be willing to design me a simple (idiots guide) schematic
and component list, utilising an led and internal battery for a fee.
PMEmail Poster
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: July 03, 2008 10:43 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 13,645
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




There's a thread or two on this board (somewhere?) with a circuit to do pretty much that same thing. Try a search with words like sparkplug etc.


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: July 03, 2008 10:52 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 13,645
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




Here ya go, from this thread:
http://www.dutchforce.com/~eforum/index.php?showtopic=8324

user posted image

Just use the proper resistor for your LED and voltage. And read that thread, there's some pointers for making a longer pulse (for a more visible light). wink.gif

And here's more search results if ya want (our search engine can be kinda wonky at times):
http://www.dutchforce.com/~eforum/index.ph...hlite=sparkplug


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 03, 2008 11:24 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




Your a legend Mac, Thanks so much for that.

It looks really simple too in terms of number of components.
I'll go have a read of the thread. Cheers again!
PMEmail Poster
Top
Jimthecopierwrench
Posted: July 03, 2008 11:54 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,913
Member No.: 561
Joined: January 10, 2004




If it's for a bike the timing marks (reluctor or points plate) are usually close to the number one plug and you don't need to eyeball down past a bunch of shite to see a balancer mark like you do under a car hood... How bout just building a small pigtail then to temporarily plug in series with the plug cap, a foot or so of HV wire, and a small neon/phosphor panel indicator lamp bulb (the greens are pretty bright) heat shrinked to the end - perhaps slightly recessed in (say) a ball point cap to direct the flash.

Oh, no need to ground the other bulb lead. Connect them together.

This post has been edited by Jimthecopierwrench on July 03, 2008 11:57 pm


--------------------
Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. Amy Earhart.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 04, 2008 01:15 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




QUOTE (Jimthecopierwrench @ July 03, 2008 11:54 pm)
If it's for a bike the timing marks (reluctor or points plate) are usually close to the number one plug and you don't need to eyeball down past a bunch of shite to see a balancer mark like you do under a car hood... How bout just building a small pigtail then to temporarily plug in series with the plug cap, a foot or so of HV wire, and a small neon/phosphor panel indicator lamp bulb (the greens are pretty bright) heat shrinked to the end - perhaps slightly recessed in (say) a ball point cap to direct the flash.

Oh, no need to ground the other bulb lead. Connect them together.

Thanks Jim!, I like the sound of that jim, great idea, very simple
so with that method I would need no battery and it would draw its current from the spark plug lead? Would I need to add any other components such as a resistor?

Just so I understand you right.. do I take some wire wrap it around the spark plug lead or ignition coil - then attatch another length of HV wire to that which is directly connected to both terminals of the neon bulb?

sorry I'm not very bright biggrin.gif

Thank you.
PMEmail Poster
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: July 04, 2008 06:43 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 13,645
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




He means feed it directly from the sparkplug wire (#1 if it's multi-cylinder). The high voltage will excite/charge the neon gas.

Sweet idea Jim. thumbsup.gif

Hmmm... I had a cheap neon timing light at one time but it also required connections to the vehicle battery IIRC. Was that because the bulb was a good bit larger perhaps? huh.gif


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
tekwiz
Posted: July 04, 2008 08:35 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 28,711
Member No.: 5,746
Joined: July 24, 2006




No, it was because the ignition was only used to trigger the bulb, same as xenon. The unit had an inverter to supply the bulb's operating current, thus the battery connections. Again, same as xenon. cool.gif

BTW: Making a xenon timing light to fit inside a 35mm film canister is certainly possible, depending on your construction skills.

O yeah: Jim's idea is the simplest. You must be careful to well insulate the entire thing, including the bulb. Otherwise, it will arc & short out the cylinder it is connected to, when you try to get it close enough to the timing mark to be able to see it.


--------------------
Trouble rather the tiger in his lair, than the sage among his books.
For to you, kings & armies are things mighty & enduring.
To him, mere toys of the moment, to be overturned at the flick of a finger.

Fortuna favet fortibus.
PMEmail Poster
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 04, 2008 10:23 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




Cheers lads,

I picked up one of these today along with some HV wire.

user posted image
they apparently have a built in resistor 20-240V

I think I did something wrong though , because I dident manage to get it to work.

rather than solder two individual wires on each of the bulbs terminals - I thought
that since these wires would be joined together anyway? That I would use one length
of wire but twisted at the end into two seperate peices to solder to the bulb terminals.
(since the wire was thick enough to twist two seperate strands)

this left me with one bare ended wire at the other side to attatch to the spark plug.
I pulled the spark plug cap and made the contact with the terminal inside that
too see if it would work but the bulb dident light. I did however manage to
shock myself a few times though when my hand accidentilly hit the frame.
Have I blown the bulb or wired it wrong? or both?

I know it must be painful hearing someone cock up the simplest
electronic project ever. apologies biggrin.gif
PMEmail Poster
Top
Jimthecopierwrench
Posted: July 04, 2008 11:32 pm
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,913
Member No.: 561
Joined: January 10, 2004




You don't need the resistor, and you'll want to remove the lamp from the enclosure. As mentioned earlier I would have chosen a green phosphor lamp (the bulb appears opaque white when off) as they're quite bright.

I'm guessing that the enclosure is acting like too much of an insulator though - or you (and not the lamp) are getting the brunt of the HV laugh.gif .


--------------------
Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. Amy Earhart.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 05, 2008 12:33 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




QUOTE (Jimthecopierwrench @ July 04, 2008 11:32 pm)
You don't need the resistor, and you'll want to remove the lamp from the enclosure. As mentioned earlier I would have chosen a green phosphor lamp (the bulb appears opaque while when off) as they're quite bright.

I'm guessing that the enclosure is acting like too much of an insulator though - or you (and not the lamp) are getting the brunt of the HV laugh.gif .

Cheers Jim biggrin.gif

I'll try again tommorrow morning with the case removed at least if I get it wrong it will bring me round faster than a cup of coffee biggrin.gif . I did get the green ones
by the way - that's just the only photo I could find.

I forgot to ask - is there any chance I could take the feed from somewhere on the points plates somehow? instead of the plug lead. I have 2 sets of points - one firing cylinders #1 and #4 and the other 2# 3#

This post has been edited by scrubs on July 05, 2008 12:41 am
PMEmail Poster
Top
MyCattMaxx
Posted: July 05, 2008 12:43 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 2,050
Member No.: 2,662
Joined: June 04, 2005




I have to laugh at this one.

I have cross country traveled for 3-4 years on motorcycles and never had TIMING issues.

On an older point ignition bike I occasionally had dwell issues that doesn't need a timing light.

I suspect you are fishing for details for a product you want to sell.

Edit: If you need a timing light on the road your bike has issues that should have been fixed before you left.


--------------------
Hey Buddy, Can you spare a mouse?

PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 05, 2008 12:52 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




will people pay money for a neon bulb attatched to a wire?

my bike actually needs the ignition timing checked/adjusted every 3000 miles
that works out roughly once every three weeks for me.

Thanks for the constructive input all the same thumbsup.gif
PMEmail Poster
Top
MyCattMaxx
Posted: July 05, 2008 01:02 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 2,050
Member No.: 2,662
Joined: June 04, 2005




What kind of bike do you have that the timing changes that quickly?

My old 77 KZ650 had points but in the 35k I put on it before I sold it I think I only had to retime it once. Maybe twice. They only issue I had was the wear on the rubbing block that would change the dwell. Of course that changed the timing barely but once the dwell (point gap) was set back to spec the timing was fine. I did convert it to electronic ignition before I sold it.

BTW, When it comes to someone buying a neon bulb with a wire....There is a sucker born every minute... HeHe


--------------------
Hey Buddy, Can you spare a mouse?

PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
scrubs
Posted: July 05, 2008 01:27 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Jr. Member
***

Group: Trusted Members
Posts: 57
Member No.: 16,225
Joined: July 03, 2008




It's not that it changes so quickly (74 cb750) but I like to perform the full tune-up on these regularly as per service manual as a $5 problem can quickly turn into a $500 with these bikes, she's getting on so I take care of her and to be fair - when I'm on a long bike journey for a few months I actually enjoy tinkering with the bike at the end of the day after setting up the tent making sure she's all set for the morning.
I also like like the ongoing challenge of constantly trying to lighten and diminish the size of my toolkit and luggage. and besides all of that I think the Idea of having a small timing light as appose to a big one - pretty cool. biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by scrubs on July 05, 2008 01:28 am
PMEmail Poster
Top
MyCattMaxx
Posted: July 05, 2008 02:08 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 2,050
Member No.: 2,662
Joined: June 04, 2005




That's cool... thumbsup.gif


--------------------
Hey Buddy, Can you spare a mouse?

PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Jimthecopierwrench
Posted: July 05, 2008 02:26 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Moderator
Group Icon

Group: Moderators
Posts: 9,913
Member No.: 561
Joined: January 10, 2004




Hmm both excellent bikes. I learned on an earrly KZ750 twin Maxx.

QUOTE
will people pay money for a neon bulb attatched to a wire?
You betcha. Worse yet, they'll just take yours laugh.gif .

QUOTE
That's cool...
Yeah, fair enough. Of the three I've owned ('80 Police spec KZ-1000, '81 KZ-1100, '78 GL-1000) I've only ever timed them once each but nothing wrong with tinkering. I believe you have a slot in the point plate right at the top? I can almost picture it...



--------------------
Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. Amy Earhart.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
MacFromOK
Posted: July 05, 2008 07:15 am
Reply to this postQuote Post


Forum Addict ++
*******

Group: Spamminator Taskforce
Posts: 13,645
Member No.: 5,314
Joined: June 04, 2006




QUOTE (tekwiz @ July 04, 2008 02:35 pm)
No, it was because the ignition was only used to trigger the bulb, same as xenon. The unit had an inverter to supply the bulb's operating current, thus the battery connections.

I assumed that was the method... but my question was the "why". biggrin.gif

It wasn't an inductive pickup, so why not run the neon bulb directly from the plug voltage? Would that larger bulb divert too much power from the sparkplug? dunno.gif


--------------------
Mac *

"Basic research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." [Wernher Von Braun]

* is not responsible for errors, consequential damage, or... anything.
PMEmail Poster
Top
0 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic OptionsPages:12 Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 


:: support us ::




ElectronicsSkin by DutchDork & The-Force