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Thread: Condenser keeps burning up

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post
    ... word still hasn't leaked out to everyone in the general public.
    As long as the smoke don't leak out,...

    I'm good.

    ....Cotten
    AMCA #776
    Dumpster Diver's Motto: Seek,... and Ye Shall Find!

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post
    You're not alone among motorcyclists in having this sentiment. The opening sentence in the chapter on "Elementary Principles of Electricity" in the 1935 edition of Dyke's Autombole and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia is:

    Electricity: No one can tell you what electricity is.

    Although thanks to James Clerk Maxwell that statement hasn't been true since 1865, word still hasn't leaked out to everyone in the general public.
    Can you post the proper Condenser's ratings in Micro farads and DC voltage ?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shermanpup View Post
    Can you post the proper Condenser's ratings in Micro farads and DC voltage ?
    That's not possible because it depends on the inductance of the coil and, especially in early years, manufacturers used a wide range. Even in later years the range is large. Tables in a Merc-O-Tronic tester manual for "modern" (post-1960) magnetos show condensers ranging from 0.1 microFarad all the way to 0.85 microFarad, although most are in the range 0.18-0.22 microFarad.

    As for voltage, ones rated 400 V or higher should be fine. Although, other parameters matter as well.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Luland View Post
    Rob, I think the word your looking for is rectifier. Come on Bosch. Ya got my interest spiked.
    In electronics power supplies,after a transformer reduces the AC voltage,a rectifier changes an AC sine wave to DC halves of the sine wave, converting AC to DC according to what I have learned . A full wave rectifier has 4 diodes and a single diode is a half wave rectifier. In electronics applications , the converted sine wave is filtered through polarized capacitors to smooth out the "humps" and make it a smooth DC voltage. This is how line voltage is converted to DC to power most electronics.I know this is little off the topic , but that is what a rectifier does.Not trying to start a battle.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post
    That's not possible because it depends on the inductance of the coil and, especially in early years, manufacturers used a wide range. Even in later years the range is large. Tables in a Merc-O-Tronic tester manual for "modern" (post-1960) magnetos show condensers ranging from 0.1 microFarad all the way to 0.85 microFarad, although most are in the range 0.18-0.22 microFarad.

    As for voltage, ones rated 400 V or higher should be fine. Although, other parameters matter as well.
    Thanks for the info. It gives a capacitance range and a DC voltage rating . Can you recommend a replacement condenser /capacitor? I have a 1934 RL if that matters. Is there a range for the coil inductance?
    Mili-henrys I would guess? Thanks Bosch
    Jim

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shermanpup View Post
    It gives a capacitance range and a DC voltage rating . Can you recommend a replacement condenser /capacitor?
    I'm not sure what you're asking. What is the 'it' that you are referring to?

    No matter what, the number of different coils produced over the years makes it impossible to know what to recommend unless a specific coil/condenser combination happens to be listed in a table.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoschZEV View Post
    I'm not sure what you're asking. What is the 'it' that you are referring to?

    No matter what, the number of different coils produced over the years makes it impossible to know what to recommend unless a specific coil/condenser combination happens to be listed in a table.
    The "it " is the capacitance ranges and DC voltage you gave me, sorry for the confusion . The other info I asked for was the inductance range of the coils, if you had that too. Not super necessary, Thanks for the answers

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shermanpup View Post
    The other info I asked for was the inductance range of the coils
    I measure the inductance of coils I work on but, unlike condenser values, I can't remember ever seeing that information tabulated. I think the reason is it's relatively easy to measure capacitance and as a result many general coil testers have a function on them to determine the value, but inductance isn't as easy to measure and requires equipment the average automotive shop doesn't have.

  9. #29

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    Hello Mr. Bosch"
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us who are trying to increase our antique motorcycle electrical knowledge. "Ignition coil" in Wikipedia has a good explanation.
    Last edited by shermanpup; 10-12-2018 at 09:21 AM.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by shermanpup View Post
    the rest of us who are trying to increase our antique motorcycle electrical knowledge.
    There's no doubt that electronics is a subject most motorcyclists shy away from. Although automotive electronics isn't trivial, it certainly doesn't require an electrical engineer to understand it. Actually, most EEs don't understand it. Before someone attacks me for that statement, let me explain.

    If you look at the courses offered for an electrical engineering degree you'll find 'digital systems design', 'signal processing', 'computer architecture', 'antenna theory', 'microwave engineering', etc., but none on 'obsolete automotive electronics'. Although all EE specialties are built on the same foundation, the practical applications of the fundamentals are considerably different in each of them.

    As an example, all EEs learn about transformers, which are AC components where the output of the secondary varies linearly with the input to the primary. However, although an automotive coil might appear at first glance to be a transformer, it is used in the "unusual" (for an EE) way of having a DC, not AC, current in the primary, and aside from the turns ratio (and resistances of the coils, and inductances) what is important for its function is the non-linear behavior in the few milliseconds after having that DC primary current abruptly removed.

    An EE certainly can learn about automotive electronics, but he (like I did) will have to learn it on his own because it's not taught in engineering curricula and it's different enough from what is taught that the practical aspects are not obvious (e.g. how many mJ of energy need to be transferred from the coil to the spark plug for an engine to run?). Maybe it's just the crowds I run with, but none of the EEs I've discussed this subject with over the past 30+ years have understood it beyond a superficial level, although at the start of our conversations most assumed that because of their training they would understand. EEs who understand obsolete automotive electronics at a practical level certainly exist, but they are self-taught as well as the exception.

    Anyway, most aspects of automotive electronics don't require anything like a B.S. degree in EE to understand so the necessary knowledge can be obtained by anyone who isn't intimidated by the subject and puts in the effort to learn.

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