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Discussion Starter #1
Here's what happens when ignition coil testing and Mad Science collide. :D

I've had a half-dozen Gill ignition coils sitting around for years and the need to build a Jacob's Ladder provided an excellent means of load testing.

Four of six of these coils appeared OK in bench testing with normal bench instruments (VOM, L/C tester) but there was no way to verify their behavior under load except on the bike. That was impossible since I had previously modified the coil wires for the early version of the Nology coil.

With this setup I quickly found that one of my 'good' coils had low output and another shut down after about 30 seconds of operation!

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The construction of a Jacob's Ladder from stray bits and pieces (although only a prototype) completes my qualification in Mad Science so I now feel both confident and vindicated in adding the 'M.S' qualifier to my name.

Also, be sure to read my upcoming e-book Party Fun With Lethal Voltages by Prof. J.J. Folderol, M.S.

 

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Only you Jimmy, only you!!!
I truly believe that if they cut back your overtime any more, the entire free world is in a lot of trouble!!!!
 

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Here's what happens when ignition coil testing and Mad Science collide. :D

The construction of a Jacob's Ladder from stray bits and pieces (although only a prototype) completes my qualification in Mad Science so I now feel both confident and vindicated in adding the 'M.S' qualifier to my name.
Looks good Jimmyj900, M.S.

This sounds like a good winter test to do so we don't get caught in good riding weather with bad coils. Are you willing to share construction plans?

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Be aware that this is a prototype hookup and there are lethal voltages present -- 120V ac line and 20,000+ volts on the HV side -- that can cause painful electrical burns, permanent nerve damage or death if you get across the wrong parts of the circuit.

Personally, I'd rather see you get a set of Nology coils than mess with this stuff.

If you're serious and understand the risks involved, I'll be happy to put up a drawing.

Jim
 

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Go for it, I'm a fellow tinkerer with some coils layin' around.
My line of work also commands a respect of that sort of voltages etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll put up a drawing with sufficient info to get it working. Just be real damn careful if you build one.

It's kind of neat finding a use for those leftover Gill coils though...

Anyhow, you should see the arcs I'm getting with a car ignition coil -- about 1-1/2 inches long at the coil terminals! -- plus some corona discharge here and there when the start gap is too wide.

I'm going to need a starter circuit for the BIG one. It's just a touch too unstable to run reliably. :D

I'm also thinking of a small table-top model for use as a cigarette lighter. Light up, put a permanent wave in your hair and trim your eyebrows at the same time... :D

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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You can protect us all from our incompetence by allowing us to ship our coils to you!

Truth be told, I don't have any coils needing testing. When I have, I've taken them to Donelson Cycles, given them to the service manager, Denny. He walks out of my sight, then comes back saying yea or nae. I don't know the magic tool they use, but assuming you do, how is your test different from theirs?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Truth be told, I don't have any coils needing testing. When I have, I've taken them to Donelson Cycles, given them to the service manager, Denny. He walks out of my sight, then comes back saying yea or nae. I don't know the magic tool they use, but assuming you do, how is your test different from theirs?
Well, my test is FUN! :D

Seriously, most coil testers are just a boring old spark gap. Zap the coil and see what the spark looks like.

Now if it was something interesting like hooking up a trainee to the coil and seeing how loud he screamed.... Hmmmm.....

Jim
 

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Parts please

After seeing this I had to try it and dismantled my fathers 1933 Brough Superior ss100 for parts. I couldn't get it to work and tried to put back the Brough in one piece but now I'm short of parts and need to know where to get spares before he comes back from vacation. The problem is, is that this Brough was a special edition and one of the 7 that was rode by T.S. Laurence (Of Arabia). I would not have minded so much if I could replecate your experiment but I was unuccessful. Any help would be much appreciated. :D
 
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