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  1. #1

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    Converting Glow to Ignition???

    I aquired a kit to convert a glow engine to an iginition engine. Coil, Spark plug, electronics, Prop thrust washer with a magnet and a pickup. Has anyone gone this route?

    I thought it might be interesting to convert a four stroke to Gas. I realize I would have to come up with a two to one reduction for the magnet, but it does sound kind of neat.

    Any thoughts???

  2. #2
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    To what end?
    You want just to run gasoline? Try the GGL GasGlow mix in the Gas Engine no Ignition thread, no hardware change required.... but ask them for a good mix for the smaller engines.

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    I do not think you need the 2-1 reduction. It would spark every time arround...but that will not hurt anything. You may need extra oil in fuel to lube rod bearing. Good luck. Capt,n P.S. You could also convert a Sindawa 4 stroke from mag to light weight electronic ignition.
    Imagination is far more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein.

    http://www.lambertsrc.com/

  4. #4
    Antique's Avatar
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    I converted an OS.91 to gas, it was just barely OK. You lose a bunch of RPM's and torque. The glow carb. is VERY touchy to adjust. Wasn't worth the effort, a fun experiment but limited applications.
    RC Ignition

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Antique, that is what I needed to know. May just save it for the application Capginjohn recommended though.

    Thank again guys.

    Don

  6. #6
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    We ran both two-stroke and four-stroke glow engines on gasoline in the early '90s, for an R/C duration event called The California R/C Marathon. It was held in the Spring for several years, but I don't think it's being done any more. It was an interesting competition. The only rules were you get 1/2-gallon of fuel (of your choice, so naturally the best choice was gasoline). For better mileage, not more power. Remember, this was a duration event. You got one takeoff, and you follow the airplane down a two-lane blacktop for 50 miles, out in the middle of nowhere, and then you turn around and come back, as many times as that 1/2 gallon of fuel will go. One other rule; you must not average over 55 mph. For safety reasons (and to keep everybody honest) there was a spotter posted every 10 miles who called in your number when you went past. We rented a convertible, with two pilots in the back. Some of the teams used pickups especially prepared for the event, with boat windshields atop the cab and a bench seat across the bed.

    The team I was on, as co-pilot (Team LA LA) won the inaugural event in 1990, and again in 1992, using a Saito 52 four stroke on gasoline and Red Line Oil. In 1991 we tried a 2-stroke, an OS 60, running on gasoline, but the engine quit on the second lap due to the critical nature of tuning a two stroke on gasoline. Since less gasoline is required, compared to alcohol, a single click of the needle valve may be too rich, or too lean! We found the solution later on for running a two stroke on gasoline; you need a smaller carburetor. We ran one on the bench using the smallest Walbro carb available, and another using a carburetor from a four-stroke, which are usually smaller than those on two strokes.

    For all of these applications we used Al Diem's 'Silent Spark' electronic ignitions. I don't know if Al still makes these units. I think he was located in Utah.

    Here's some tips: Use 10 - 12% good synthetic oil made especially for two-strokes, such as Red Line Racing oil. Glow engines have plain rod bearings, and they need the extra oil. !QUOT!Weed wacker!QUOT! and other types of industrial-strength engines have roller-bearings on the rod ends, and they will live on less oil, as little as 5% or less.

    Don't close cowl, since gasoline creates more heat than alcohol.

    Ignition for two-cylinder engines use a single-coil/pickup system, with two spark-plug leads. They both fire on each revolution, when one cylinder is near the top on compression stroke and the other near the top on exhaust stroke, which doesn't matter.

    Mixture is critical, but the big plus? Reliability, and a really nice idle. A four stroke with ignition (on gasoline or alcohol) will idle down to 1,000 rpm or less. Tick-a, tick-a, tick-a.

    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Ralph, do you have any info on the engine on the plane a couple years ago that crossed the Atlantic? If I remember correctly, he used Coleman stove gas (white gas) because it had more BTU per than gassoline. I always wondered about his setup. Not that I'm thinking of a long distance run, but the setup may have other applications.

    Boy, what a great group.

    Don

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Another question, the package I have was from Fabtronics. Any comments on this one?

    Don

  9. #9
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Get a Rimfire spark plug from C&H, costs about half what the NGK does and will last at least twice as long....
    RC Ignition

  10. #10
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Hi Don; Actually, we used Coleman Stove/Lantern fuel, mixed with Red Line Oil. That was one of the "secrets" that I wasn't supposed to tell you. [8D]

    The idea was to avoid the additives found in automotive (pump) gas. I doubt that Coleman fuel has more BTU/unit volume than "regular" pump gas. other than the volume of the additives. Some pump gas has up to 10% alcohol in the winter, and that portion would not deliver as many BTU/unit volume as the rest.

    RCIGN1; Do you know if Al Diem still produces the "Silent Spark" units?

    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

  11. #11
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    He is still around, kinda slowed down...He's working on maybe finding out why some of my circuits failed...He could still make some if needed, you could give him a call....[8D]
    RC Ignition

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Ralph Morris,

    Were there any diesel's running the event? I would think they would have won that hands down. I get 30 min on a ten ounce tank on my LA 40 diesel conversion swinging a 12x6 MAS K series prop on my Big Stik flying aerobatics.

    On second thought there probably weren't any 4 stroke diesels out at that time - there's not many now. Prabably would need 4 stroke to win even with the advantage of the diesel.

  13. #13
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Yes, there were diesels. Two teams from my club ran diesels, but they quit when the engine cooled down. The course was an "L" shape, so you had some upwind legs where the engine had to work harder, and downwind legs where the engine would loaf along in order to maintain the same ground speed, which we could monitor with the vehicle's speedometer. The first year (1990) it was cloudy with a little rain, and rather cool. In '92 it was sunny and hot all day. For these changing conditions you should really have a servo to adjust the mixture in flight and a data link to keep track of the cylinder-head temperature, rpm, etc. Anything was allowed, except averaging over 55 mph.

    There were a few other diesels, but I believe they all suffered dead stick landings. Keep in mind that to win this event your engine had to run for five or six hours. That's longer than most of us run an engine in its whole life! Reliability was the primary requirement. You got only one takeoff. Dead stick and you're out!

    You also needed a reciever battery and ignition battery that would keep on going that long, and replacement packs (or lantern batteries) for the transmitters. We used lithium-ion batteries onboard, and in those days they were only made for computers.

    Diesels seem to suffer the same critical mixture requirement as two-strokes on ignition, burning gasoline. Four strokes are less demanding in this respect. Jim Kelley, our team leader, airplane designer and sometimes pilot had a theory that a two stroke would get better milage than a four stroke, on the same volume of gasoline. I didn't agree with that theory, but we never got to prove it either way because the two stroke wouldn't keep running long enough.
    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

  14. #14

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Hi all,

    ORIGINAL: Campgems

    I thought it might be interesting to convert a four stroke to Gas. I realize I would have to come up with a two to one reduction for the magnet, but it does sound kind of neat.

    Any thoughts???
    My recollection of the make is vague but I think it was the Citroen 2CV that had one coil feeding both cylinders (no distributor) I am however certain that the non compression stroke had a live spark.

    I have been thinking on those lines myself. I just missed an OS FS-60 magneto conversion on eBay. I do have OS Max 15, 20 and 25 conversions but I haven't run them yet. As to the difficulty of adjusting the mixture I wonder if using too much oil in the mix deliberately might alleviate the problem. The thicker mix should be easier to meter through the needle valve.

    While I am writing, I have a question about an Arden I was just given. The motor came with some others including an O&R 60 with a welded c/case. It came from my deceased uncles collection. The Arden is about the size of a Mills 1.3cc and has the tank mounted beneath the c/case. I mention this because the points are closed by the cam lobe unlike most motors where the lobe opens the points. The second method is far better because the points energise the coil while closed and spark occurs on opening. The reason point gap is critical is that the smaller the gap the longer the dwell and greater the energy stored in the coil (normally) Were Ardens built this way or did someone make a modification of the points.



    old git - - - - - -aka John L.


  15. #15
    Ralph Morris's Avatar
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Hi Old Git; Perhaps you're not old enough to know about EBG (Engines Before Glow)

    My first model airplane engine came with points installed, but the coil, capacitor, spark plug and batteries cost extra. Most single-cylinder engines with points have a flat area on an otherwise round boss on the crankshaft (camshaft on four-strokes), which causes the points to close when the flat spot comes around, and open again when the flat spot goes past the points. You're correct in identifying the time that the points are closed as !QUOT!dwell,!QUOT! but since the engine operates at various speeds the dwell time is measured in degrees of rotation instead of seconds.

    To make it easier for those without a dwell meter to adjust the points, most manufacturers specify the distance between the open points, called !QUOT!gap,!QUOT! in 0.001 inch or millimeters. This provides the correct dwell using only a thickness gage. I believe a small, single thickness !QUOT!feeler!QUOT! gage came with the engine.

    I can't imagine why your Ardun would have points that remain closed until a cam lobe opened them. I hope someone with knowledge of that type will reply and enlighten us all.

    Glow plugs became available about one year after my first and only ignition engine, so that was the extent of my experience with that type, until I competed in the California R/C Marathon in the early '90s. And then we had electronic ignition. Look, ma... no points!

    Here's a link to some marvelous animated gif's showing how two-stroke, four-stroke, and other types of engines operate. Some are rather odd. Note the flat on the cam for the points.

    http://www.keveney.com/Engines.html




    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    old git, is right. Opening the points makes way more sence and that is the way it is done on any point ignition engine I have ever seen. The truth is I have not worked on ignition model airplane engiens. But all others work this way. Opening the points is what generates the spark. Dwell is what charges the coil. If you don't have enough dwell time the spark gets week or disapears.

    Closing the points for the length of the flat produces very little dwell time. Maybe it was done this way to make the battery last longer? Obviously that isn't a problem on non flying equipment.

  17. #17
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    On your '43 Chevy you have a cam with six points, which opens the breaker points six times during two revolutions of the crankshaft. (The camshaft, which drives the distributor, rotates at 1/2 speed of the crank). However, it is the flats between the six points that allow the points to close, and the dwell is based on the flat, not the point. It's less confusing if you consider a single-cylinder engine, which has only one flat, and what you would call the point is all of the surface of the cam that's not flat.

    Did you look at the animated engine link from my previous post? The four stroke (Otto cycle) illustration shows the points in motion.
    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

  18. #18

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Hi Ralph,

    Thanks for the reply as below but see my comments.


    ORIGINAL: Ralph Morris

    Hi Old Git; Perhaps you're not old enough to know about EBG (Engines Before Glow)

    I can't imagine why your Ardun would have points that remain closed until a cam lobe opened them. I hope someone with knowledge of that type will reply and enlighten us all.

    http://www.keveney.com/Engines.html
    I'm afraid you misread my post, I said the points on the ARDEN were only CLOSED by the hump of the cam. So the dwell was a small part of the rotation of the crank. That was what/why I found it interesting. I am aware that a number of spark ignition engines were sold as glowplug engines by the simple expedient of removing the timer (points) I too liked the glowplug motors because they were much easier to start (if I remembered to buy a dry battery)

    My first motor was a Frog 100 DIESEL in 1948, I didn't have a lot of success with it but it served as a useful noseweight but I do know about engines before glow. I believe the Frog 175 spark ignition went on the market about a year before that in UK. I also got a 175 from my deceased uncle's collection.

    I cannot post pics from my Mac for some unknown reason but I will take some pics and send them using my wife's Dell, that works well.




    old git - - - - - - - aka John L.


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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Ahhhh.... Ralph you are correct. It is just a little hard to think about it with only one flat on the cam......

    I didn't look at the link. Maybe I should have but I figured I have seen so many old time engines run over the years why watch one on the computer. There is always more to learn eh? I'm 40 so I never saw any of the old time spark ignition model aiplanes but have been lucky that my dad collected old time engines and I grew up going to "Gas ups" and other engine shows etc. Kids now don't even know what points are......

  20. #20
    Ralph Morris's Avatar
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Chevy43; I was trying to visualize it when I found that Website with the nice animation. I worked on a few Ford Model A fours, and I believe the four flats on the distributor cam would leave some round on the four humps in between. My later experience was with small-block Chevys, which have eight flats. There were some after-market distributors with dual points, and I think they were arranged to close and open alternately, 180 degrees apart. They were wired so that either would cause a spark if they were closed and then opened. The idea was to reduce the close/open cycle by one-half, which allowed higher rpm without point float.

    Old Git; I had my first model engine, with ignition, in 1946, so you and I are about the same age. I had been building and flying rubber-power before that, having been taught from age 5 to use a single-edge razor blade for carving balsa printwood common to kits in those days. Glow became available in '47 or '48.

    The arrangement you described would certainly require a precise adjustment so that the points would close enough to make contact but not more, or the phenolic bearing on the moving point would wear away too quickly. They wear anyway, being only self-lubricated, which is why they have to be adjusted occasionally. They must be replaced periodically, because of wear and pitting of the contacts. People used to file the contacts with a small thin file or emory paper, but they're not very expensive so better to replace them after, say 20,000 miles. (10,000 if you're a performance nut).

    It seems to me (some 60 years later!) that we used only two dry cells for the ignition, which would provide only 3 V dc. As soon as those points wear so that they aren't quite closing, the engine will stop. Does the closing lobe have much duration? (flat on top).

    All of the points I've ever seen have the spring arranged so that it causes the points to close, so it would have to be the opposite in order for the spring to force them open until the cam causes them to close, against the spring. I hope you can post a photo because my curiosity is aroused.
    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

  21. #21

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???


    Hi Ralph,
    It sounds as if you were reading my diary (If I kept one) The difference between us was the lack of Balsa. We had only obeche available to us in the late 40s here in UK.

    ORIGINAL: Ralph Morris

    Old Git; I had my first model engine, with ignition, in 1946, so you and I are about the same age. I had been building and flying rubber-power before that, having been taught from age 5 to use a single-edge razor blade for carving balsa printwood common to kits in those days. Glow became available in '47 or '48.

    The arrangement you described would certainly require a precise adjustment so that the points would close enough to make contact but not more, or the phenolic bearing on the moving point would wear away too quickly. They wear anyway, being only self-lubricated, which is why they have to be adjusted occasionally. They must be replaced periodically, because of wear and pitting of the contacts. People used to file the contacts with a small thin file or emory paper, but they're not very expensive so better to replace them after, say 20,000 miles. (10,000 if you're a performance nut).

    It seems to me (some 60 years later!) that we used only two dry cells for the ignition, which would provide only 3 V dc. As soon as those points wear so that they aren't quite closing, the engine will stop. Does the closing lobe have much duration? (flat on top).

    All of the points I've ever seen have the spring arranged so that it causes the points to close, so it would have to be the opposite in order for the spring to force them open until the cam causes them to close, against the spring. I hope you can post a photo because my curiosity is aroused.
    Further on the subject of Glow to spark conversions. I recall timing my Vincent V twin four stroke motorcycle on the wrong cylinder. The kick-back was so strong my head touched the steel purlins in the garage. When my bigger, stronger and heavier friend tried even harder to kick start the motor. The kick-back was so strong that the kickstart shaft sheared. I mention this because I know there are four stroke Vee twin model engines. They would need a half time geared timer (points). In line (parallell) four stroke twins could have a similar problem. British parallel twin m/cycles have the pistons reach TDC (top dead centre) at the same time but Japanese parallell twins are 180 degrees out of phase, as one piston reached TDC the other reaches BDC.

    I have taken photos of the Arden and the two stroke spark OSs but need to re-size them on my wife's computer and then post them. Watch this space.

    PS please excuse my British - English spelling (and any typos)

    old git - - - - - - aka John L.




  22. #22
    Ralph Morris's Avatar
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    Typically, the ignition system for four-stroke engines is driven by a cam or gear on the camshaft, since that turns at 1/2 crankshaft speed. In this way, the valves and spark are timed to occur every-other time the piston approaches TDC (top dead center).

    Are we following the thread? I fear we've strayed from converting model engines to run on gasolline to theory of ignition systems.

    My suggestion for Don is to enjoy the benefits of modern electronic ignition (easier starting, reliable idle, reliable transition, reliable full throttle) on glow engines, but continue burning alcohol-based fuel with at least 10 to 12% synthetic oil. Leave gasoline to the industrial engines. Anything else is pointless! (pun intended).

    My next airplane is a Joss Stick, which has a six-foot wing span. It should weigh less than 10 lb and I'm looking for a second-hand OS 1.60 cu in two-cylinder glow engine, which I plan to equip with electronic ignition. Anyone have such an engine for sale?

    I'm looking forward to John's photos of the Ardun.


    Keep \'em flying!

    Ralph N6UFB

  23. #23

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    H Ralph,
    Sorry for the delay, my wife spend interminable time on her keyboard AND KEEPS ME WAITING!

    ORIGINAL: Ralph Morris

    I'm looking forward to John's photos of the Ardun.
    So here are the pics of the Arden and the OS Max 15 & 20, my 25 has an enclosed timer - boring.

    The cam follower on the Arden is a right angled piece of steel that bears directly on the cam portion of the prop driver.
    When it is lifted it pushes against a spring that closes the points. It would wear easily but for free flight you could have a models lifetime of flying from a half hour total engine run.





    old git - - - - aka John L.

  24. #24

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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    That didn't work for some reason so I will try again.


    I think this time it worked.


    old git - - - - aka John L.
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    RE: Converting Glow to Ignition???

    All of your briggs & stratton four stroke push mowers have the breaker cam on the crank so the points open and fire every revolution The plug fires on the exhaust stroke but there is no compression so no ignition.
    Gord
    Dreamed I was a muffler. Woke up exhausted.


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