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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been looking into this & posting on the 'Ignition Timing' thread, but think what I've discovered merits a new thread...

Things are looking very good - whereas I thought I might have to do some mods to a unit & source & test it with a replacement custom ignition rotor (& perhaps offer a kit), I've discovered a unit which has pretty much everything we need & will work with our stock rotors.

The unit, Sparker TCIP-4 is made by a small Czech company called Ignitech

http://www.ignitech.cz/english/aindex.htm

Cost is about 130 euro plus an adapter cable, maybe $190 or so for a straight plug in replacement kit. RPM/Advance curve adjustable, if you want, via their supplied software, PC & (standard RS232) Serial Port

But, for those who want to do some mapping, the unit can take an input from a throttle position sensor (TPS) as-is, or manifold (vacuum) air pressure sensor with a little bit of circuitry to give the required signal. Thus a 10 by 10 point 'map' RPM vs TPS (or intake vacuum) of ignition advance can be set with linear interpolation between points.

Neat eh ?

I read through a long thread on a Ducati Monster forum of people who have fitted this unit on their bikes. A technician called Brad Black has also played quite a bit (with it on a Duc) & posted up his conclusions on the web. The unit seemed universally praised, reliable & plugged&played happily even for folks not of a very tech/electrical bent. One minor issue arose with a small, but consistent - so workable with - error reducing advance below (so safe) that set as rpm increases. I have an idea why this is the case & plan to ask them if this is still the case & can they fix it in their software. In any event, I plan to confirm settings with a timing light when I've got set up.

I downloaded the software & they have a bike type listing for a Triumph Tigra (Czech for 'Tiger' I think :)). I'm sure that all the T3s have the same ignition rotor & they have confirmed the unit's suitability for Tbird/Legend in an email to me. I need to send a photo of the ignitor connector block for him to confirm he can supply an adapter cable. (Looking at the those he has on the website I think he will be able to supply this.)

So...what remains is to figure out supply & fitment of a throttle position sensor OR inlet vacuum (MAP) sensor....

...if the latter, I gather what's needed is to take a pipe from each of the carb balance vacuum ports & collect at a plenum(box) very roughly 15cu inches in volume ~ say 2"x2"x4" in order to damp out oscillations & combine all 3 cylinders then connect to a sensor unit for conversion to electrical signal.

A TPS sensor might be a lot easier if some means can be found to connect it to the carb throttle shaft.

Any ideas here very welcome....

I understand that Bonnie's have a TPS/RPM mapped ignitor & have a TPS mounted on the side of one carb. Tho' ours don't have fitting point or access to the butterfly spindle on the outer carbs.

The attached pdf file shows Ignitech's 'default' map for the Tiger to show where this might be going. Stock RPM/advance for a Tiger runs from 5deg BTDC @ 1000rpm to 29degBTDC @ 6500 & above. It seems likely then that much higher advance could be applied to Tbirds at lower throttle/rpm points than stock igniter will give & improve power/efficiency/economy for beginning of acceleration & when cruising.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
No, older monsters carbed, but guys there also fitting to older Ducs. T3 tigers up to '99 (I think) were carbed, for one year had 885 with EFI then moved to 955i motor. Tiger refered to above was 885 carb model, slightly different cams to 'classics' ~ 85bhp.

The idea is that without TPS or vacuum input Triumph had to use a conservative straight rpm/advance curve to ensure no 'knock' in worst case, full 'load' conditions, losing optimal timing advance under part throttle conditions - where most of our bikes are run most of the time.

They obviously later saw value in doing this (& microprocessors of sufficient power became cheaper) when they developed the Bonneville. Yamaha also fitted TPS & mapped ignition to their XJ900S & likely many other bikes so fitted before manfucturers moved to full EFI systems.

Plus, this unit can simply be fitted as a direct replacement (without TPS input) with a stock 'default' map, should an igniter fail. Around $190 versus Triumph unit at $700 !

BTW, I have no financial or other connection with Ignitech :rolleyes:
 

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I'm tempted with idea. 1st of possibility to "control" timing. 2nd if in future i go change camshafts...
Seems there might be TPS option on FCR!?
 

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I noticed that in Triumph 3 FCR Kit doesn't include TPS. Maybe nobody asked :)
But if T-Bird with Sprint camshafts, isn't there any space to play with igniter? Slightly different advance? Rev. limiter?
 

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I've read over everything on Ignitech the website and looked at the Tiger ignition map (definately fuel a injected model) and it looks like they'd have no problem setting up one of their programmable systems for our carbureted bikes.

The snag might be in the ignition rotor so they'd probably need a sample rotor and maybe a pickup to do the programming and setup.

As to throttle position and/or vacuum sensors, they're not needed on bikes with the stock carburetors because there's no direct throttle control over the slide position.

The lack of direct throttle control means that you can't open the carb excessively so there's no need to alter the ignition advance as on an FCR equipped or fuel injected engine.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I've read over everything on Ignitech the website and looked at the Tiger ignition map (definately fuel a injected model) and it looks like they'd have no problem setting up one of their programmable systems for our carbureted bikes.

The snag might be in the ignition rotor so they'd probably need a sample rotor and maybe a pickup to do the programming and setup.

As to throttle position and/or vacuum sensors, they're not needed on bikes with the stock carburetors because there's no direct throttle control over the slide position.

The lack of direct throttle control means that you can't open the carb excessively so there's no need to alter the ignition advance as on an FCR equipped or fuel injected engine.

Jim
The Ignitech software clearly shows a 7 lobe ignition rotor for the 'Tigra' (Tiger) and they've confirmed by email that this setting is also for the 'classic' 885cc triples. (Which have a 7 lobe rotor.) The rotor for the fuel injected Tiger is clearly shown to have 20+ lobes on bikebandit - completely different - and there is no option for this in the Ignitech unit.

Mapping for a Throttle Position Sensor (TPS) is optional in the unit - you can deselct this & just enter RPM advance points. My understanding of their Tiger default TPS and RPM map is that it's a suggested starting point if a TPS is added to a carburetted bike. The full-load (max TPS) points represent about +3 degrees of advance versus a stock igniter.

Not sure I understand what Jim is saying about slide (FCR) vs CV (CVK Keihin etc.). TPS offers a good representation of engine load, ie how much fuel/air mixture is being drawn in at any given rpm. It is common knowledge that the speed of mixture burn varies according to quantity of fuel/air mixture in the cylinder. Thus the ignition point should change to achieve the optimum 'peak pressure' point of 14 to 16 degrees (for most all engines) after top dead centre (ATDC). At light throttle openings, where our bikes live most of the time, typical optimum advance at the same rpm versus 'full throttle' is around +5 to +10 degrees. Quite a big difference (imagine setting your timing that far out!) & a noticeable engine performance/ efficiency gain to be had. Fine tuning can also improve idle stability & low rpm driveability.
The disadvantage with igniters that just relate advance to rpm is that they must be conservative & not allow more advance than 'worst case' full load WOT conditions can cope with before 'knock' occurs.

Many bike manufacturers, including Triumph with the Hinckley bonnevilles, adopted TPS sensors for ignition mapping on carburetted bikes before they moved later to fuel injection systems with a combined controller doing the TPS/RPM ignition mapping as well. Pretty much all these bikes have CV type carbs similar to the 'classic' triples. Doubtless, it was the improving power/cost/ubiquity of microproccessors during the 1990s and mass production of sensors for cars that helped move things in that direction.

Engine makers have long aimed at improving their ignition timing in these common driving conditions. This was done in many older engines (mainly in cars) by modifying ignition advance according to manifold vacuum. The vacuum system tho' was a less than perfect representation of engine 'load' under all conditions. Some systems used 2 different intake vacuum positions, interacting together to improve the advance curve. This was usually done in the base of the car's Distributor alongside the centrifugal bob weights mechanism increasing advance for increasing rpm.
So, IMO, there's very much a point to using a TPS mapped ignition (as CV carbed Ducati owners have discovered), the more so if your bike is modded.

But if ya don't want to play TPS mapping you can just use stock rpm settings & you now know where there's a low cost replacement if you need one ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Forgot to say I think I've figured out a way to fit a TPS (just weatherproofed potentiometer really) to the butterfly spindle of the right side carb. The end of the spindle is covered by an easily removeable alloy 'cap'. The carb body handily protrudes here so I plan to drill a slot in the end of the spindle & make a simple bracket & shaft for the TPS. Not too hard. I'll post up some pics of what I do - probably new year now as getting parts will be delayed by the Christmas break.

Ignitech don't have connectors for our bike loom at present, but say they will be getting some soon so should be offered 'plug n play' in due course. (I've sent them photos, a datasheet & details of possible suppliers. Better they supply as there's trade minimum orders involved for these connectors.)
 

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Excellent find IrlMike. I've wondered for a while why 'someone' hasn't come up with an aftermarket replacement Igniter unit for the Triumphs. I have no wish to mess around with the stock settings, as I don't understand this area well enough, but I'm glad there is now a cheaper alternative to the factory replacement. Will be watching with interest to see if a 'plug and play' replacement appears.

Nice one Sir!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update...

Just to let you know I'm still working on this...

The situation is that I'm still waiting for them to buy in the connectors to plug their unit straight into our Triumph loom (10-pin pre ~ 2001(ish) types that is).

As of about a week ago they are '..working on it...'

I've sent them wiring diagrams & photos etc.

If anyone's potentially interested in this, or having a Co. offer a straight (& much cheaper) plug-in replacement igniter, please consider making an enquiry with them - it might just speed them up a bit :).

Contact details are on their site:

http://www.ignitech.cz/english/aindex.htm

Cheers
Mike
 

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I just recieved this from Ignitech:

Hello

Connectors came yesterday. If you want ignition send us your address for invoice.

Regards

Jan Matous

has anyone else heard this from them?
 

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Way to go Irlmike ! This is a great find for alternative ignition.

Have been looking for something better than the Boyer-Bransden ignitions for quite some time.

I have a few questions though.

Does this Ignitech system still fire the extra spark (lost spark/wasted spark) for our bikes?

I thought the Triumph 885 ignition rotor has 6 tabs/lobes which makes sense to me. Going thru my Haynes manual it looks like 6 to me. (have not had my side cover off yet) Which is correct? 6 or 7

I considered simply enlarging the mounting screw holes for the ignition pick-up to get a few degrees advance, but I'm not sure how this would effect the factory ignition advance overall.

Along these lines... How would the Factory Pro 4 degree advance rotor effect the timing of the "lost spark" or "wasted spark" ?

As far as filing the pick-up mounting screw holes or using an advanced rotor, I'm concerned that an across the board advance would have the "lost spark" occurring to soon. ?? Or that this type of advance would not be good at low RPM's where you don't really want too much advance?

Can the Ignitech be used to time the "lost spark" as well as the main spark?

Did download several of the programs from Ignitech and this system looks very promising.

I'm just a shade tree mechanic. Trusting that guys like Irlmike, jimmyj900 and other mechanical wizards can help get this new system ironed out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Way to go Irlmike ! This is a great find for alternative ignition.

Have been looking for something better than the Boyer-Bransden ignitions for quite some time.

I have a few questions though.

Does this Ignitech system still fire the extra spark (lost spark/wasted spark) for our bikes?

I thought the Triumph 885 ignition rotor has 6 tabs/lobes which makes sense to me. Going thru my Haynes manual it looks like 6 to me. (have not had my side cover off yet) Which is correct? 6 or 7

I considered simply enlarging the mounting screw holes for the ignition pick-up to get a few degrees advance, but I'm not sure how this would effect the factory ignition advance overall.

Along these lines... How would the Factory Pro 4 degree advance rotor effect the timing of the "lost spark" or "wasted spark" ?

As far as filing the pick-up mounting screw holes or using an advanced rotor, I'm concerned that an across the board advance would have the "lost spark" occurring to soon. ?? Or that this type of advance would not be good at low RPM's where you don't really want too much advance?

Can the Ignitech be used to time the "lost spark" as well as the main spark?

Did download several of the programs from Ignitech and this system looks very promising.

I'm just a shade tree mechanic. Trusting that guys like Irlmike, jimmyj900 and other mechanical wizards can help get this new system ironed out.
Thanks! Looks real interesting eh?

One of our members was advised by email that Ignitech has just recieved a batch of Triumph style connector plugs, so I'll be contacting them again this week.

My throttle position sensor bracket is still being machined for the Keihin carb, but I'll post up some photo's when it comes back.

The 885cc ignition rotors definitely have 7 lobes - there's an extra lobe for cylinder no.1 which is used to identify where to start the firing sequence. I sent a photo of this to Ignitech & he confirmed that it's the same option programmed for the early (885cc) Tiger.

Yes, the Ignitech retains the wasted spark system. I believe any system that triggers off the crank must do this as it cannot know which of the two crank revolutions is the compression, not exhaust stroke.

The units processor has sufficient speed for this but I plan to do some testing with a timing light to check that the processor calculation period doesn't affect the output accuracy at higher rpm.

Whilst different advance/rpm curves can be played with, the real advantage of the system is to be able to 'map' for engine load as well as rpm. Intake vacuum or a throttle position sensor (TPS) can be used to provide a load signal. Throttle response & cruising efficiency should be the main gains.

Most of the jap makers & (Triumph as well) have used this approach to good effect on many models. Nearly all use a TPS for engine load signal. Just advancing across the board, like the Factory Pro unit, will benifit some situations but detract from others - especially increasing the risk of 'knock' under high load situations. (Like full throttle up a hill for example..)

More soon..

Mike
 
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