Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

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Matt in California
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Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:11 pm

Okay I have concluded that I need a good set of coils. I know that I can get rebuilt coils, but I am asking myself, should I spend that money toward getting a tester?

The advantage of having someone rebuild my coils is that it would be done. I wouldn't have to worry about the labor (time) or parts. The disadvantage is that I wouldn't have a good way to test those or coils or other coils...

So then I look at the tester options:

Simple Ford Coil Buzz tester $143.99
https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_mode ... ester.html
I have one of these and it helps with setting current, but is not dynamic and does not account for double/miss sparks.

Hand Crank Coil Tester (HCCT) $$$? Availability?
Mechanically detects double spark. Great Model T era technology! Heavy, not very portable.

"Strobo-Spark" $349.95
http://www.funprojects.com/products/ct-1.aspx
Improvement on the HCCT. Light and portable.

Electrically Cranked Coil Tester (ECCT) $299.95 ($399.95 with software)
http://shop.modeltetimer.com/main.sc
Lot's of bells and whistles. Here is a technical write-up I found related to it:
http://www.modeltecct.com/uploads/ECCT_Intro.pdf
[Another none-commercial electronic coil tester: http://members.iinet.net.au/~cool386/tester/tester.html]

So it looks like I have three good options of coil testers:
1. ECCT w/o software $300
2. Strobo-Spark $350
3. ECCT w/software $400

Please let me know what you recommend and why. (I saw a number of post recommending these, but not comparing them.)

Thanks,

Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by donald4ham » Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:31 pm

I purchased a ecct tester last winter and it works very well, the dvd that comes with it is very informative as to testing and setting the points. it is very compact and easy to use. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Jeff5015 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:19 pm

I have the ECCT hooked up to my laptop. You can run all the tests from there. I can simulate 1-250 sparks at any RPM (within reason.) I usually test my coils using 200 sparks at 400, 800, 1200, 1600 and 2000 RPM. This gives me very reliable information on how the coil will perform in use. After charting the results I can rerun the tests at a later time for comparison.

This has been the single best investment I have made in the tuning of my engine.

Just my opinion,

Jeff
1916 Touring


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:51 pm

I own a Strobo-spark. The ECCT was not available when I purchased it... It works very well (has for years) and resultant coils perform nicely. I do not own a ECCT so cannot personally comment on it, but it has a good reputation among it's users.

Note: Once a set of coils are set on either device, you will want to check/maintain them on the same type of device. The strobo-spark has you set the coil to amperage draw similar to a HCCT. The ECCT (as I understand it) has you set them to ramp-to-fire time. Either device will give you a set of coils matched to each other and operate nicely as a set. Arguments can and do arise from proponents of one device or another as to which is the better method/device. That doesn't concern me and don't have a dog in that fight.
Scott Conger

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by JohnH » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:09 pm

I use the dwell time to fire method of coil adjustment; intially I built my own tester using this principle and then bought an ECCT.
The ECCT is user friendly for non technical Model T owners, and if the computer interface is used, it will tell you everything there is to know about the coils. What I like is that with dwell time to fire is you end up with a set of coils all matched. Any timing inaccuracies are eliminated from the coils and only depend on the condition of the timer.
So called "Buzz Box" testers are only good for a rough adjustment. They work on the principle that average coil current as indicated by the meter depends on coil firing time. However, the meter is not sufficiently accurate for this purpose, and certain variations with individual coils means that some require a greater or lesser current for the same firing time. Also, this type of tester cannot show if a coil suffers from multiple sparking. You can only make sure the points are in good condition, are adjusted to the right clearances, and hope for the best.

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Matt in California
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:32 pm

Gentlemen,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience! I have to say I find it funny that I got exactly one vote for each option :-)

Now all I need to do is get someone offering a hand cranked coil tester. And someone else suggesting just buying rebuilt coils. I have a hard time ordering from In-N-Out, because there’s too many options. (For those who don’t understand all they serve is French fries, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. )

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by david_dewey » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:22 pm

Matt; you do NOTkKnow In-N-Out; they have a not so secret "secret menu" that is available online. For instance when we go, I order two hamburgers, extra toast, grill the onions, and pickles on ONE (my wife's) and that's just a hamburger! You can also vary the number of patties. and you can order your fries "animal style" (lots of other stuff gooped on them.). that's just a few of them, T coils are pretty bland in comparison, but they have more "bite" to them! :D
T'ake care,
David Dewey

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Steve Jelf » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:05 pm

I found a borrowed ECCT easy to use, but the software is for Windows computers only. I will never have another of those.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by havnfun » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:28 pm

I have the ECCT and love it, easy to learn and use, it's a lot of fun to rebuild your own coils and have your car run fantastic and all accomplished by you. You can at your leisure, test and adjust your coils for maximum performance

Here is a link to my Facebook page, showing some coils I'm setting up with the ECCT and advanced software, the last is a video
https://www.facebook.com/10000839598335 ... ater&ifg=1
Regards,
Joe Kowalczyk - 1923 Touring, 1913 Speedster, 1913 Runabout
Email: havnfun@cableone.net

(208) 870-3099

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Rob Patterson » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:33 pm

EVERYTHING that John Regan produces is top quality stuff.
Because of that, and if I was in your position, I'd be buying his Strobo-Spark device.
I have no knowledge of the ECCT except for what I've read.
But I know I could trust the Fun Projects product.
Cheers,
Rob
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by AndyClary » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:34 am

I've had a strobopark for several years now and am completely satisfied. I rebuilt a few coils but mostly it is used for tune-up work. HCCT's are pretty much collected, driving the price up. The ECCT was not available when I was shopping. You just need to remember that they are just tools and some homework is required.

Andy


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott C. » Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:03 am

I have a Strobospark and it works great. I have never used, or even seen the ECCT used. I do think the dwell time to fire adjustment theory does makes sense.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Fire_chief » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:44 am

I met Mike Kosser at Hershey years ago, He was in the process of testing his I-Timer. After talking to him for 30 minutes I was impressed with his products. Mike allowed me to beta test the I-Timer. I trailered my ,14 to his house, where he used the ECCT to set up my coils (which had previously been set up on a HCCT). The difference was immediately noticeable, We did a test drive before, and after the adjustment. Both of us noticed the better running of the engine, We then took off the roller timer, and installed the I-Timer. We again did the test drive, and the car was running better than any T that I have ever driven. For what it's worth, I would definitely go with the ECCT. My daughters got together, and bought me the ECCT for Christmas (with the software).

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by fbergski » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:36 am

I bought the ECCT with all the bells and whistles, with two cars I thought it would be good investment. Both of my cars run great, one with a roller timer and the other with an itimer. I also verify my coils at different rpm ranges.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:42 pm

Thanks for sharing your additional experiences! This is very helpful as I consider what I will do.

As I was pulling out the coils I had I found my old coil tester:
CDBA964C-5D9E-4740-A6F8-2648D3506751.jpeg
But the batteries seem to be older than me!
264346AF-0952-4FCE-8A31-208F730482F4.jpeg
Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by SurfCityGene » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:51 am

Mike Kossor makes the ETimer, ITimer and also the ECCT. All of his products are of the highest quality and he has the highest customer satisfaction rating because of the quality of his products and his helpfulness.

I have purchased John Regans products which are very good but the ECCT can be much more accurate.

I might advise you to purchase the ETimer and use the coils that you have now and eliminate the need for any ECCT or others!

On top of that you won't need any future coil adjustments or any maintenance or replacement of the timer in the future! It appears you have little knowledge about adjusting the coils and it was stated earlier that it does take a bit of learning to be able to do a proper adjustment job. The ETimer will most likely out perform your adjusted coils and what ever timer you are currently using by far.

IMHO
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by dykker5502 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:44 am

I rebuild coils and I have all three :-)
Strobospark is a modern and portable redesign of the original HCCT and a good one (as all that John Regan have given this hobby).
However, I was catched by the talk about dwell time on each coil, and the importance of this to be alike in a set of coils. So I ended buying an ECCT and have tried it out on the last set of 10 coils I rebuild.
I have still to master how to adjust so the dwell become the same, but practice makes master I hope. I now tests all coils on all three devices as they should be perfect on all three.

I intend to adjust the coils in my two Model T's and see the results.
Ford Model T 1914 Touring
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:43 pm

dykkeer552 said " I now tests all coils on all three devices as they should be perfect on all three." Please note this is NOT true!

The ECCT tests coil point adjustment by actually measuring the Time it takes the coil to fire the first spark on the power stroke whereas the other coil testers measure the average coil current over many sparks as a indirect approximation of coil firing time. Comparing how coils test on the various testers is like comparing apples and oranges! A coil adjusted for equal and consistent firing Time on the ECCT will typically test poorly on the other testers. The only thing that really matters is how well your engine performs using the adjusted coils. Put the adjusted coils in your car and see how your engine performs on the road in order to properly judge coil adjustment method.

Another comparison of coil adjustment methods can be found in the Tuning section of the www.modeltcoils.com website. Professional coil tuning services are also available using the tool of your choice should that be what is desired.
I-Timer + ECCT Adjusted Coils = Best Model T Engine Performance Possible!
www.modeltitimer.com www.modeltecct.com

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by thom » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:24 pm

I have not taken the time to read each reply to this topic but I have found, in the past that it often, not always, depends on who you ask which tester is best, what answer you get. Someone who owns one will tell you you need one like mine and the others are not good, but the guy who owns one of the other, not good ones will tell you the same thing. I ask the same question some time ago and that was the results I got. :roll:
I have since bought a spare magneto and flywheel and plan to build my own hand-cranked tester just for old times sake. :)

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:33 pm

I'd go with the ECCT also except for one thing: If you're doing one set of coils I'd put my $ in a professionally done set. They last for years and your total outlay would be a wash as in get them done by a pro or buy all the stuff + the tester & do it yourself. Of course that's my 2 cents only.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Tom Hicks » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:24 pm

Charlie B in N.J. wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:33 pm
I'd go with the ECCT also except for one thing: If you're doing one set of coils I'd put my $ in a professionally done set. They last for years and your total outlay would be a wash as in get them done by a pro or buy all the stuff + the tester & do it yourself. Of course that's my 2 cents only.
I came to the same conclusion after buying an ECCT. The ECCT is treat for adjusting coils, but for the money it is best just to get Brent Mize or one of the other guys to rebuild your coils. Ask them to set them up with an ECCT and you are good to go!
Technology, the solution to all of our problems... and the cause of most of them.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Victor Borg » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:07 pm

I had my coils done on an ecct rig by Erik Larson and the improvement in the performance of our 1927 touring is nothing short of amazing.he is at erik@modeltcoils.com...phone (661)609-7693.I don't have any special interest in giving him a thumbs-up other than sharing a good experience with my fellow t-ers.The T idles so very slowly now without the shimmy-shake of before,and i can't help but believe that my crank is the unexpected recipient of a kinder gentler existance now with all cylinders firing evenly and at the right times as against getting pushed a little harder or a little sooner by some pistons than others.he advertises in the club mag. and is a straight arrow in this age of less-than-promised people.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Burger in Spokane » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:13 am

There is more to coil tuners than just tuning coils. What T garage has the right look
and ambiance without a HCCT ?

DSC06796.jpg

I am blessed to have one, but also blessed to live about 10 miles from the Antique
Auto Ranch, where every Tuesday evening an informal open house is held and owner
Tom Carnegie let's the lunatics run the asylum. It is a beehive of local T guys working
on rear ends, engines, any sort of fix and rebuild, and much of it involves teaching the
greener T guys how to do it. One such task that is regularly plugging the walkway between
the front building and the rear shop is "Coil Science 101" there at the HCCT in the hall.
I got all schooled up by some coil savvy T guys when I was green, and I see a group gathered
around the machine all the time. If I ever need a refresher course, all one ever needs to
do is ask. These guys tweak their coils to tight tolerances on that machine for the Montana
500 every year.
More people are doing it today than ever before !


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:02 am

Burger, BTW I've seen Tom using an ECCT also getting ready for the M500 race. Those HCCT do really look nice and add a certain amount of character to a shop though.

Wow you guys are so very lucky to have such a group of seasoned experts right there in case you run into something you forgot how to do!
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by John E. Guitar » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:51 am

I’ve got an ECCT with the optional software. It worked very well on my coils. I have also lent it out to a few people with varying skill levels and they have all managed to get good results.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:58 am

If you're doing one set of coils I'd put my $ in a professionally done set.

I agree with Charlie. The testers are wonderful, but they're also expensive. If your local club has a tester for all members to use, that's great. If you have no local club or other handy testing source and you don't plan to take up rebuilding on a regular basis yourself, it's a better use of your dough to send them to Ron, Brent, or one of the other full time coil restorers. If you want to pursue that aspect of the hobby for fun and/or profit that's great, but I'd rather spend the money elsewhere.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Dennis_Brown » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:01 pm

Have you thought about building your own HCCT. I have to assemble mine yet but have the frame welded together and purchased th e bearings and shaft collars from Grainger. You possibly have a mag coil ring and flywheel and magnets laying around or have friends with parts to help you and you all could use it. You would have to find an amp meter to read low amps. I found one through the forum.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by D Stroud » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:39 am

While not saying whether an HCCT, ECCT, or Strobospark coil tester is better than the other, they are all better than a buzz box tester, hands down. Anyone that says one is just as good or that they can adjust a coil by ear are just fooling themselves. JMHO Dave
1925 mostly original coupe.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:43 am

Stroud: I was a buzz box guy for years. Even made & sold a few on e-bay. Then a local friend I met on the Forum set up some coils I re-built on his HCCT. After installing them the car started dead cold & hand cranked on mag and ran like a top. I may be slow but I do learn.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Ed Baudoux » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:39 am

Any of you people who are attending the Gilmore Classic next month, the Standish Depot T and A meet in July, the OCF at Greenfield Village in September, or the Michigan Jamboree in August this year, look me up. You can use my ECCT to tune your coils to equal dwell-time-to-fire. You will be amazed with the results.
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Matt in California
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Wed May 08, 2019 12:51 am

I decided to move forward. I made a MCCT!
E58530C2-47D6-4A75-9AC3-3F5BD7F48976.jpeg
Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by BE_ZERO_BE » Wed May 08, 2019 2:37 am

Gresat job. !!!
What did you use for an ammeter?
Respectfully Submitted,
Be_Zero_Be

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You never used to be older :shock:


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Chris Barker » Wed May 08, 2019 5:04 am

My reply is the same as Scott Conger's on the 19th.

I understand the points made in favour of setting by time-to-spark, but surely the power in the spark matters too? And that must relate to current. I would want to have both the same for all coils.

One other point.
I usually agree with Steve Jelf, but he seems to dislike Windows. Bill gates is my hero. Every time I have to have something to do with an Apple product, it's always DIFFICULT. In my work, I could visit any other country or company and be certain that my USB with Powerpoint or Word etc would work with any Windows PC - but not with an Apple.
I inherited an early ipad but have yet to find a way of loading files/pictures onto it. I have a connecting cable but it doesn't transfer. Why?
It seems it has early software, but although it connects to the internet, there's no update service.
Rant from the UK over. Sorry about that!

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Steve Jelf » Wed May 08, 2019 10:08 am

...he seems to dislike Windows.

You got that right. Possibly the greatest waste of money in my life was the HP laptop I bought to take traveling. Trying to download photos from my camera went beyond frustrating and deep into the realm of infuriating. It might download no photos at all, or it might take one or two and then quit, always with the helpful error message "The parameter was not correct."

What?!?!!! What the heck does that mean?

The final straw came a few years ago when I went to Chickasha. The day before I went I started up the HP and got a blank screen. The computer was on, but the screen was black. Restarting was not a cure. So I took the thing to a local computer repair shop and went on my trip without it. The next day the computer guy phoned me at Chickasha and told me there was nothing wrong with the HP. It worked normally for him. So I was happy to sell it to him for $100.

I went online and bought a refurbished Macbook Pro for less than half of what I had paid for the HP. Since then it has been on many trips with me and has never failed to download photos. When the forum required resizing pictures, I found the Apple system easier to use as well.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Wed May 08, 2019 10:11 am

Matt

since I don't see a magneto behind the ring, I'm not sure what I'm seeing here, but with a 1725RPM motor, that pully is WAY too small and your rotor is going WAY too fast to replicate operating conditions of a T (I sincerely hope there is not a magneto/magnets turning that fast in your shop)

In any event, elaborate, please, on what we are seeing!
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Wed May 08, 2019 11:40 am

Bob,
This is a work in progress. I am testing the theory of the dynamic part of the MCCT. I still need to add the amp meter.

Scott,
That you see is a peanut butter lid, wires, microswitch, pulley with excentric. Uhmm that is about it.

I plan to discuss theory later, but I need to go about my day job at the moment...

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Thu May 09, 2019 2:00 am

A bit more of the back story.

When I was a youngster, I would go way back in the under stairs closet and work on electronic projects. It was the only space that I could be alone from everyone including my two older brothers. One time I decided to prank my brother. I connected one side of a Model T coil to the door knob and the other side to a bare wire on the floor. I turned on the coil and called my brother. He came, opened the door, but nothing happened because he grabbed the porcelain on the knob. A few moments later after checking everything I called him back and... nothing. I mean he said nothing, but later told me that the shock was so strong his body convulsed and forced him to fly back on the bed. I share this story because this was my first exposure to a Model T and I would have never dreamed that I would be able to put that coil in my first Model T.

Okay, before I say anything more, I want to say that after researching the other options, and getting feedback, I can tell there are other great testers and worth the price. I understand if someone wants to do it "right" HCCT, Strobo-Spark, or ECCT with the proper understanding are all great options. But frankly, I have never personally used any of these to test coils. But as I researched things it just got my ticker moving.

I thought to my self, many Model T enthusiast like my self don't like to spend more than $20 on anything. What could I build that is so simple that anyone could build? Also, I have build/tested a lot of electronics and wanted to build something that was a lot more mechanical. Finally what could have been built 100 years ago based on the same concept. I also thought, a HCCT is nice, but too heavy. A ECCT is pure electronics to measure dwell time. (I don't know how a Strob-Spark works, perhaps my design is similar.) I concluded that I don't need magnetos to test dwell time, but I could use the concept on the HCCT to display the spark and give a understanding of dwell...

So here is how the Motor Controlled Coil Tester 0.0 works:
-A small DC motor turns a spark needle and excentric.
-The excentric turns on and off the low voltage primary wires.
-The needle is set so strait up is 0 dwell.
-For initial testing the unit is running approximately 400 RPM that would be equivalent to about 800 RPM. (It is slow, but that is how things came out with the 9 VDC power supply I am using. It could be speed up with a higher voltage.)
-400 RPM yields .15 seconds per revolution. That would mean if the first spark is at 40 degrees then it would have a 17 msec dwell time. (These are estimates based on the image that I posted and estimated 400 RPM.)

I have ideas to improve upon the MCCT 0.0. Obviously I want to add an ammeter. But my biggest issue is that I need to improve on my primitive excentric so that the 0 dweel time is more stable.

I welcome your thoughts and input.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Sat May 11, 2019 12:15 am

Matt, good to see you taking the initiative to experiment and learn by building your own MCCT. Here is what I learned when studying Model T coil point operation and the challenges they present that make adjusting them for equal and consistent firing time a challange.

In Theory, the basic concept is straight forward. A coil firing a periodic series of sparks with series of magneto pulses will draw an average current that is proportional to dwell time to fire spark. Subject all 4 coils to the same periodic series of magneto pulses and set the average coil current drawn equal and all 4 coil will have equal dwell time to fire spark or in other words, the same ignition timing with respect to piston position since the magneto pulses are synchronized with the crank shaft.

In Practice, physical variations between coils can guarantee coils set for equal average current will result in coils that require different times to fire spark. This causes ignition timing variation which causes engine vibration and loss of engine power.

The equal coil current method of tuning coils is also vulnerable to coil point arcing which can be present without indication by Ammeter reading as the variation in coil current happens too quickly for the meter to respond and is averaged over many sparks consisting of normal and arcing point contact openings. The illustrations Below helps visualize this. On the left is the coil current of a properly adjusted coil measured on an oscilloscope which displays how the coil current changes with time. Coil current is measured on the vertical axis and time is measured on the Horizontal axis. Note that the coil current starts at 0A at time 0 and ramps up steadily until it reaches 6A in 2.150ms. At this time, the resulting magnetic field is sufficiently strong to pull open the point contacts causing the coil current to drop abruptly to 0A This abrupt change in coil current produces a sharp change in magnetic field which induces the high voltage in the secondary winding responsible for firing spark across the spark plug gap. The average current method of adjusting coil points works very well with 4 similar coils adjusted for the same average coil current (1.3A) IF the points consistently open abruptly as illustrated in the left photo.

Conversely, misadjusted coil points may still open when the coil current reaches 6A but open slowly which frequently causes an arc to form as illustrated in the Right photo Below. Note that the coil contacts still open at 6A after the same dwell time (2.150ms) However, the current slowly decreases to 4.64A as the arc length increases until the contacts are too far apart to sustain the arc and the coil current abruptly drops to 0A at time 2.630ms; causing the coil to generate spark at the spark plug. Note that this same coil fires 0.48ms LATE. Thus the spark fires retarded by 0.48ms which translates to nearly 6 degrees at 2000 RPM. Another serious issue caused by point arcing is spark energy lost by the arc heating the air and point contacts. That is because the coil current drops from 6A to 4.64A before the arcing stops and spark occurs (abrupt drop in current). The lower coil current at the time of firing equates to a 40% reduction in spark energy which can result in poor combustion and misfire. The average current method of adjusting coil points works Poorly with 4 similar coils adjusted for the same average coil current if the coil points are randomly arcing when the coil points open as illustrated in the Right photo. That is because the random point arcing is not readily apparent from the average coil current reading (1.3A).

This is why coil points adjusted by actually measuring the dwell time to fire spark nearly always result in a smoother running engine with more power.

Point Arcing Comparison.jpg
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sun May 12, 2019 9:08 pm

Mike,
Thanks for all the great information! This is very helpful as I attempt to make a very simple MCCT. I agree that the time to fire and consistency of all coils is very important for an optimal system. I also agree that your concerns about only adjusting for current has serious limitations. This is why a dynamic test is so important!

In your experience, can you adjust a set of coils to have equal dwell time at one speed, but then when you change the speed things drift? Or do things remain consistent regardless of speed? I am wondering if adjustments can minimize effects of different parameters (i.e. inductance, capacitance, spring constants and other electromagnetical differences) at a particular speed, but in reality things will drift as speed changes. Or is it possible to get a completely mismatched set of coils and tune them to be exactly the same regardless of speed?

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Sun May 12, 2019 11:29 pm

Matt, regarding your question: "can you adjust a set of coils to have equal dwell time at one speed, but then when you change the speed things drift?" Absolutely! A coil adjusted to fire consistently at 2000 RPM can definitely start firing erratically as firing rate increases if not adjusted correctly. The firing consistency can and will drift with use; more than many realize. Unfortunately, New MTFCA forum rules were established to prohibit me from discussing technical details of the ECCT or its operational principals because I developed and market that tool, and is now considered "Free Advertising". If you are interested to know more, I must now ask you to contact me individually via PM or Email. My apologies in advance if I am unable to respond to all inquiries. It is time consuming and very inefficient way to share information of common interest but those are the rules imposed.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue May 14, 2019 2:33 am

Mike,
Thanks for your response!

I appreciate those taking on the thankless task of running this forum and helping it focus in a healthy way on the hobby. A while back, I was tired of needless discussions and I rarely visited the forum. Now I feel the forum is at a much healthier place.

Mike, I really respect all the work that you have done to make what seems like the best product to adjust coils that money can buy. I find it ironic that your offering advice/insight to a possible alternative to the ECCT prohibited. As you suggested I will contact you off the forum.

By the way, I have no desire of making a tester that would replace the ECCT. My hope is to can come up with a very cheap tester that other shows some of the dynamic effects of a coil. I believe that for many years I have scraped along with sub-par coils thinking getting a spark was enough. If ten years ago I had a way to test my coils, I would have likely been on the road enjoying my T a lot more. My hope is that other hobbyist will benefit from what I make and learn as I am.

Please check your inbox for my response:)
Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by SurfCityGene » Tue May 14, 2019 2:54 am

So Now all of us guys that have been viewing this thread will not be able to read what Mike is revealing to you Matt.

Matt, Please be so kind as to post what Mike is Prohibited from posting! I don't want to hijack this thread to another subject...
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue May 14, 2019 4:15 am

Gene,
Rest assured I have no intention of keeping secrets about what I learn about coil adjustments and testing. And yes, let's keep this thread on that subject.

Matthew

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Erik Larson - Idaho » Fri May 17, 2019 10:47 pm

Matt,

Looking back at your original post ... go with option 3 (The ECCT w/ the software). Mike has already made that mouse trap! :) And, it's a damned good one.

Regarding adjusting coils to current draw (HCCT) ... why have we always tried to set all four coils to the same current draw? So they all fire at about the same time - relative to each cylinder, right? That's the key! That's what the ECCT does. It simply focuses on firing time first. And, it does it exponentially more accurately than watching a needle on an amp gauge.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about the ECCT. I have tuned a lot of coils with it.

Erik

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Mon May 20, 2019 12:47 am

Thanks Erik, I agree that Mike has a great product and the $400 is well worth having a good tuned set of coils.

I will PM you.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Tue May 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Matt, did you receive my email with example of improperly adjusted coil that fires relatively consistent at low to mid RPM but steadily degrades as firing rate increases?

In actuality, the higher engine speed will not likely be achieved due to the degrading coil firing consistency. Enginge smoothness would also be poor.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by keen25 » Tue May 21, 2019 12:38 pm

I just got the ECCT and with about 2 hours using it I found I like it. I like the Capacitor test. The test process flows logically with the panel layout, found it to be well thought out. I also have a HCCT that I rebuilt and will be comparing the two testing/adjustment devices as I get more into rebuilding coils. I was going to order the Strobo-spark but it was out of stock; I will still look for one if I can find a used one just to have.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Tue May 21, 2019 10:19 pm

Keen, please see my post of April 22 above regarding comparing coil test results of the ECCT with other coil testers. Don't waste your time with that.

Judge coil adjustment method by comparing engine performance. That is the only thing that really matters. Please share your findings when you do.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Victor Borg » Fri May 24, 2019 9:41 pm

amen,Mike.as i said in my post on this subject,obvious improvement in performance tells all you need to know when it comes to coil adjustment...vic borg

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue May 28, 2019 12:46 am

Okay worked on the cam/microswitch. I got consistence sparking from good coils and I put in. Here’s an example:
94E96493-9135-4D99-83D3-CA7FEFC89C1B.jpeg
B489E20B-F5D0-4973-BC53-25E15A1B4BD3.jpeg
The red arrow indicates zero dwell, the green indicates the first spark and yellow are the sparks after that. The little blue arrows are pointing to each millisecond of time starting with zero.

You can see that the first spark happens at about 5 ms followed by sparks every 3.5 ms. The picture is actually show two different scans verifying this coil is fairly consistent.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue May 28, 2019 1:35 am

Here is another cool. A good coil, just the two need to be tuned the same:
9414E0D0-9C93-46B8-BA30-58C73939159D.jpeg
Here the first spark is at 4.25 ms
And each spark after that comes about 2.75 ms

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue May 28, 2019 1:48 am

Here is one that the cushion spring is not working causing the dreaded double spark:
51A6FA76-D49E-4C31-9E93-8CA3CCE8C387.jpeg
It either makes those “V” shapes or causes the sparks to be too close together. In this case the first spark is at around 4 ms followed by sparks every about 1.75 ms.

Of course the issue with no cushion spring is that it will not allow it to charge up for very long before the contacts break.

BTW if you look closely you will see little black tick marks on the side of the lid. Those are approximately 1 ms.

Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by troutjohn » Thu May 30, 2019 3:38 pm

Matt, very cool and nice work. I would be very interested in building one and trying it out. Would you be willing to share a description of parts, design etc either on the forum, or privately via email or PM?

Best Regards, John

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Thu May 30, 2019 10:06 pm

John,
I sent you a PM. Call me. No secrets here!

The MCCT v0.0 just has the following parts:
-A small DC motor turns a spark needle and cam/eccentric.
-The eccentric turns on and off microswitch to the low voltage primary wires.
-Peanut butter jar lid
-power supply
-a few basic parts to hold the coil
-Ammeter

Essentially the idea is to mimic the Model T timer (switch) and the HCCT (display spark).

Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Victor Borg » Fri May 31, 2019 7:50 am

LOVE the story by Matt in califunny about shocking his bro with a T coil on the doorknob...in the early 1950s when i was in high school here in Tucson,i wired a T coil to the frame of my car and installed a switch to apply power to it so at the drive-in (or wherever the opportunity presented itself) i could give anyone leaning on my ride a real wakeup.it was only real effective when the ground was wet,but it would produce a noticable tingle at all times. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:39 am

Victor,
My joy of electronics was literally sparked by a Model T coil. I am glad that you enjoyed that!

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:45 am

I am a little perplexed and wonder if someone can help me.

I found the following on the fun projects web page: http://www.funprojects.com/pdf/More%20o ... Timing.pdf

I saw the following figure:
Capture.PNG
It seemed logical that doubling the voltage would cut the dwell time in two. But I am not getting the same results...

I had my setup as photographed above on 12 volts. I keep the MCCT motor at 12 VDC, but lowered the coil voltage to 6 VDC and I am still seeing 4-5 ms dwell time.

Any ideas?

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by JohnH » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:11 am

Coil dwell time to fire certainly does increase as the input voltage is lowered; and conversely decreases as input voltage increases.
If a coil is set for a dwell time to fire of 3.5ms (the point at which core saturation begins) when fed with 6V, this decreases to about 2ms when the coil is fed with 12V. It's for this reason a greater range of timing advance is required to run coils successfully on 6V as compared to 12V.
Coil on 12V
Coil on 12V
Coil on 6V
Coil on 6V

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:11 pm

John!
Thanks for confirming things! Wow! It looks like you live in a beautiful part of the world.

Upon doing more testing I figured out that micro-switch setup somehow must be causing a delay. Somehow when I move it slowly it must have a different on location then when it is moving fast. Increasing the voltage does move the first spark a bit back, the following sparks is where it is more obviously changing with voltage.

John, could you help me to confirm the distance from powering the first spark and between the first and the second, etc. ? I am just wanting to make sure that the dwell time between each spark should be the same if you leave the power on for a handful of sparks. Or is there a difference because there is more movement with the cushion spring on the first spark?

Also, does anyone have a recommendation on the gap that I should use?

Thanks!

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:21 am

Matt, did you receive my email with data illustrating how coil firing consistency can deteriorate with firing rate associated with higher engine RPM?

Regarding your present inquiry, mechanical switches suffer from non-ideal switching characteristics. Switch bounce is a primary characteristic in which contact is made, broken, made, broken, until contact becomes permanent. This occurs within milliseconds but that is the order of the time scale in which the model T coil operates. These brief interruptions in primary coil current offer one explanation why the first coil firing is observed to take longer than the others. Another consideration is the fact the first coil firing occurs starting with the coil at rest. There is no residual energy stored in the coil on its first spark. That is Not the case in subsequent coil firings. The periodicity of subsequent coil firings will depend heavily upon the 3 fundamental coil point variables (Vibrator spring tension, cushion spring tension and point gap) and the residual energy stored in the coil from the previous firing when the points eventually close after firing. Focus should be on the characteristics of the dwell time to fire the first spark. This dwell time to fire should be equal and consistent for all 4 coils regardless of engine RPM firing rate. Subsequent coil firings is irrelevant with respect to engine performance since it is the first spark that is responsible for ignition on the power stroke. Also assuming the spark needle rotational velocity is uniform and does not vary with time. Ideally, the motor power supply is properly regulated and independent from the coil primary power. Having the ability to measure coil dwell time to fire is necessary but not sufficient to achieve proper coil point adjustment.


The Art of Coil Point Adjustment
Regarding point gap, 0.031" is the recommended starting point gap. Equal and consistent coil firing time can be achieved with this gap by setting the vibrator spring for nominal firing time of 2ms when stimulated from rest by an ideal 12VDC step function (i.e. No switch bounce). Firing consistency is attained by proper adjustment of the cushion spring tension. The two adjustments do interact so it is an iterative process that typically takes only a few minutes if the cushion spring travel has the specified distance of 0.005" If the cushion spring travel is not properly set by the manufacturer however, proper coil point adjustment can be much more elusive. This is because the onus all on the operator to find a balance between vibrator spring tension, cushion spring tension and point gap that insures the coil point contacts consistently break abruptly in 2ms without the benefit of the limit rivet stopping the cushion spring movement.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by JohnH » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:05 pm

Matt, adding to what Mike has said, I am surprised the micro switch has lasted this long. Not just because it isn't designed for this kind of service - switching so rapidly, but also I wonder about arcing at its contacts because of switching an inductive load. The life for a typical micro switch is 500,000 cycles. Also, the way micro switches work means there is some inherent delay between pressing the actuator and the contacts actually making, and I wonder if this has something to do with the change in dwell time not being so obvious.
Something that might be worthwhile experimenting with is to eliminate the micro switch and run the coil off AC. If a synchronous motor is used to drive the pointer, the sparks would remain in a fixed position. In this regard, I suspect the tester might resemble the Strobospark.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:20 am

Mike,
Thanks for your response. Yes, I did receive the document where you illustrate the inconsistencies can deteriorate with higher engine RPM. I believe that I did send a response, perhaps it went to spam. Is it okay to share the document here on the forum?

I agree with your thoughts on a larger initial delay, both because of the delay in the switch and a coil depleted of residual charge. I also concur that most of the concern should be with the initial spark dwell the same over all four coils. Though subsequent coil firings is irrelevant, I think the follow up sparks are helpful to expose other issues including the dreaded double spark.

Thanks for your response on "The Art of Coil Point Adjustment." I am starting with the recommended 0.031" point gap. But I was actually confirming if the test spark plug gap should be 1/4". I wondered if that was a bit to much. From what I understand you recommend setting the coils to 2ms @ 12 VDC. I am working out some kinks on the system, but it looks like I will be able to get results in that order. Then I will be able to play with the cushion spring and vibrator spring tension (Vibrator spring tension, cushion spring tension and point gap).

Wow! Materials wise, I haven't spent much on my tester (just spare parts I had), but time wise the ECCT is looking cheaper and cheaper than my MCCT tester! But I am enjoying understanding the magic behind the curtain. And as I heard a long time ago you measure hobbies by how little you spend per hour;)

John, I agree that a different system to trigger the spark should be considered. Perhaps just using a set of points would be helpful.

Matthew

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:59 pm

Yes, YOU can share the information I sent you here. Will likely be of interest to others here.

R&D can be a real time sink for sure. It took me 3 years to develop the ECCT and learned a lot long the way. Best of all, got to meet and get to know a lot of knowledgable and wonderful folks along the way.
I-Timer + ECCT Adjusted Coils = Best Model T Engine Performance Possible!
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:00 am

Thanks Mike for your permission to share this interesting document!
Firing Consistency Degradation.pdf
(1.58 MiB) Downloaded 107 times
What the ECCT shows as a bar graph I could see on my visualizer as sparks moved back and forth. Perhaps I have other reasons that add to my issues on the MCCT V0.0, but some of the issue is the coils.

Enjoy,
Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by SurfCityGene » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:07 pm

Matt, I am totally shocked when thinking about some of the info on that Crankshaft Travel chart. Some really great info you guys have been posting.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:21 am

Gene,
I am happy to hear that this thread has been insightful for you and may others! It has been for me to!

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:32 am

I am pleased to announce the development of MCCT v1.0. For those new to the discussion my goal is to build a cheap (<$20), simple, mechanical electric motor driven coil tester that could have been build during the production of the model T. The hope is to provide dynamic testing of coils especially to measure dwell. The MCCT v0.0 was a proof of concept. In the second tester I want to eliminate the belt and improve the visualizer.

I’m moving away from the peanut butter jar lid to a tuna can!
C9511848-BF29-467B-97D6-F51164078FB7.jpeg
Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:54 am

I had this DC motor with a rubber bushing to drive something.
D3B49994-2CE2-4D40-BEB1-A8E963024A8C.jpeg
I marked the tuna can using permanent red. (I didn’t have any Persian blue.)
325ED545-5AE1-4F1E-BAD8-714AA798A59F.jpeg
Again I am using a micro switch. I used brass tubing to make the cam to activate the switch.
C335A7AB-DF72-4E59-9EA8-652E61D64D77.jpeg
Tubing fitted together:
0EDF6181-94F1-470B-B864-61DDF8031451.jpeg
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:07 am

One more progress photo with the cam assembly.
33BA65DE-7035-402C-8D3C-06C45A30B7E1.jpeg

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Mark Nunn » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:11 am

Not that this adds to the conversation, but when I don't have blue die available for marking I have successfully used a Sharpie. It cleans up easily with a solvent such as lacquer thinner of kerosene.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:41 pm

Mark, yes that was permanent marker red :-). I didn’t go to the trouble to clean it off.

I started some testing. Here is the motor running at 750 RPM (or 1500 engine RPM).
D7EB1684-5A8E-4773-823E-35D2EC4C376B.jpeg
I did have the sparks plus or minus a few degrees each cycle, but this case is 24 degree dwell followed by 11 degree cycle for second and third spark.

Here is a tabulated record of averages all taken at 12 volts using engine RPM:
RPM, Dwell, 2nd+
1000, 16 , 11
1500, 25 , 16
2000, 35 , 21
2500, 44 , *
*@2500 RPM no second spark was recorded because coil activation is approximately 60 degrees.

I see some similarities with the Crankshaft Travel Versus Ignition Coil Operation Chart. Within 1° the delay to second spark exactly matches column six. I was expecting the dwell time to match, but I will count this as progress!

I think the biggest improvement on this second version is the visualizer. I was able to find a protractor on line and scale it to give degrees.

I am enjoying the feedback both on and offline that I am getting!

Thanks,

Matt


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by jab35 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:01 pm

Matt: I enjoyed your posts, thanks for sharing.

Your setup shows the coil firing at roughly 545 Hz for 2nd and 3rd sparks for all speeds indicated. The first spark may be 'late' b/c the coil is at rest during the dwell period and that may affect time to first spark, but time to first spark is also consistent at all speeds. And remember the camshaft rotates at half crank speed so at 2500 your crank would be turning 5000 rpm. Nice work! jb

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:59 am

James,
Thanks for your thoughts. I wrote the summary in terms of engine RPM (2*camshaft or 2*my readings).

I was concerned that the MCCT v1 was effecting the dwell time, so I carefully cleaned up the cam for the microswitch and balanced the roaring visualizer. I was shocked with the results. Not only did I get much more stable waveforms, the dwell time decreased dramatically!
CD86DE8B-4B29-4A89-8040-58E111F08262.jpeg
The above image was taken at 1250 RPM (equivalent to 2500 RPM on the engine). Note that the dwell time is the same time to the second spark!

I made this chart using the recommended 2ms dwell:
A96BF475-DB78-4180-AC2F-003054211ECA.jpeg
You will see that this coil looks like it perfectly fits for 2500 engine RPM!

The only concern that I have is that this is in terms of crankshaft dwell... would that mean that the dwell is off by a factor of two? And thoughts?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and insights.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:19 pm

I decided that I needed to put my New MCCT to the test and see what other coils look like. Here is an example of the results.
MCCT Good and Bad Compare.jpg
Speeds are actual speed of MCCT or comparable to the camshaft speed.

The coil on the left was one that has relatively new points and a new capacitor. Notice how the frequency of the follow-up sparks are very consistent. By the way the last spark may be cut short because the micro-switch closes around 68-70 degrees.

The coil on the right looks to be an original Ford coil with an old set of points. I would have considered it a good user coil in the past. The difference is that the follow-up sparks are erratic. The dwell time is similar, but I image the current delivered and possibly missing first sparks are more common for the coil on the right. In the end the coil on the right is indeed serviceable, but less than desirable.

Enjoy,

Matt
Last edited by Matt in California on Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:31 pm

Here is the old Ford coil that was tested and declared “Needs Refinement” above.
9A8E5DC0-9A84-4EE0-9F0B-692240ED5644.jpeg
A closer look shows that the aluminum standoffs have sunk into the wood.
D86DC04F-AAD3-4200-9A33-E897AC8371F9.jpeg
There is evidence that in the past someone really hammered on the main vibrator spring.
6A9E6C34-2B60-401F-983B-13122C9A9A56.jpeg
But I think this last photo shows a bit more. The cushion screen travel looks way too large (hard to see in picture). Also the points are not lined up.
12993850-86E6-45FB-9162-032049103C2C.jpeg
I need to get to work on this one.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:46 am

First thing to tackle was a cushion spring river. The original gave about 20 thousands play.
135C3B3F-25B4-4BD1-8492-EE97997E2732.jpeg
So I drilled it out.
6420026A-1966-4206-BE16-931D5C940DE8.jpeg
Then taped it with a 4-40 thread.
66C5FA7F-4A1D-4D39-84BF-698413E728CA.jpeg
Put the brass screw in using my home made shim/filler gauge.
5762D6DA-4025-45C0-9636-06011F107CEB.jpeg
Then finished it off with a lock nut.
2C4B3272-0AC9-4BFA-B3DC-11B06800BAA6.jpeg

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:00 am

I then polished the points.
65299F1E-B689-41F4-8E65-9C30E141A257.jpeg
44F2D722-4F0A-4B97-836F-0DE31A73BE22.jpeg
And shimmed the depressions in the wood:
D2605D40-ED3C-4A6F-8CCB-51C43522C559.jpeg
I used 5mm zinc plated washers that work perfectly!
DD3A0146-B4A4-4FAE-80AE-58C9766C2C84.jpeg


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Original Smith » Mon Jun 17, 2019 11:39 am

I'm impressed with all the electrical knowledge some of you guys have. I just don't understand any of it! Ron Patterson rebuilds my coils, and does a fantastic job. I have a good friend who understands electronics a lot, and he purchased a ECCT, and gave me a demonstration on one of the coils that Ron Rebuilt. It was fascinating watching all of this, but I still don't understand it. I have an old HCCT that has and electric motor, and that works for me.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:42 pm

Larry, Nice set up. I guess that you could consider that a MCCT;)

Here is the coil that I mentioned above cleaned up:
71137240-ABD7-4682-A970-3D24165575BE.jpeg
We can see improvement on the visualizer. I was getting a double spark on the second spark. For now I will live with that.
861B141C-FF6E-45FF-B15B-E3D57D902D48.jpeg
I had worked on three other coils that I tuned as I was building a tester. Putting the four coils in the car at a drastic improvement. Before I had it missing quite a bit. Now it runs/drives so much better!

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Fri Dec 27, 2019 8:15 pm

I havn't posted on the MCCT since June. In reality I didn't do much more on the hardware. It does the job, but has room for improvement.

I developed the following manual as a draft, but stalled on the final version since June. You will see that this document is based on the works of others whom I appreciate dearly. In that spirit, consider this open source and use it as you desire. My goal here was to describe how to test coils with the Motor Controlled Coil Tester (MCCT), but the record sheets could be handy for other tester. This includes the following info for adjusting the coils:
  • Ordering Coil Hardware
  • Basic Electrical Tests
  • Basic Mechanical Adjustments
  • Dynamic Coil Adjustments
In reality only the dynamic testing is specific for the MCCT.

Here is the file: File removed. See newer post with updated document.

Please feel to respond with suggestions and I can make changes/improvements.


Matt
Last edited by Matt in California on Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:04 am

Has anyone tried to buy a StroboSpark lately?

A friend that wanted one a month or so ago could never find one.

I have 3 HCCTs, 2 restored originals and a modern repro, a StroboSpark, an ECCT, and some Buzz Boxes.

The StroboSpark and the ECCT both will tell you the capacitor is bad, which it always is, unless it was already replaced.

There is also the benefit of setting all coils with a constant voltage.

That feature is important and is only available with the HCCT, if it is motor driven, at a constant speed.

The DC Buzz Box will tell you the coil is bad, if you get no sparks at all, but it will not tell you if it will run on the extra Magneto AC voltage or if it is double sparking.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:31 am

Jim

does the StroboSpark not test all coils at a constant voltage?
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:22 pm

Scott, the StroboSpark allows the coil to be tested at 3 different voltage levels, LOW, MED, and High.

I measured each AC voltage with a coil buzzing for a load.

That was several years ago and it was about 2.8 for LOW, 3.6 for MED, and 4.4 for HIGH.

The voltage might vary some if you tested and averaged a bunch of coils.

I do know, if you get good sparks on LOW, the engine will very easily start by hand cranking.

I have never measured the ECCT coil voltage.


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Luke » Sat Dec 28, 2019 8:24 pm

Jim,

I don't know anything much about the strobo-spark but I was intrigued to read it utilises AC. As such those voltages are interesting - did you measure them with a standard moving-coil meter? If so, as I recall, those meters measure and display average voltage.

Therefore that gives a range of peak voltages of ~4.4V, 5.6 and 6.9V for the 2.8, 3.6 and 4.4 you recorded. I guess at 4.4V (peak) that'd be similar to what you'd get from a 'average' 6V battery that's also having to crank the motor (or hand crank speed from the magneto?) at the same time.

This would tend to explain and confirm your comment about good starting from a coil that measured well on the low setting (ignoring other possible issues around time-to-fire etc!).


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:44 pm

Jim

I guess I misunderstood your first post. It sounded as though you felt the Strobospark did NOT test at a constant voltage and only a motorized HCCT would do that. This is what inspired my response.

Reading your second post, you stated that you could test at 3 different voltages with a Strobospark (which are a constant voltage), and I agree with that. Anyone using that particular device will want to be sure that their coil fires as expected, on each setting. Simply setting the coil to fire correctly on one setting/voltage will not always guarantee it will fire correctly on another setting, and there's the rub. Having 3 fixed voltages to test to allows one to adjust the coil (or better, a set of 4 coils) to operate consistently across several engine RPM ranges.

I know you knew this but thought I'd make clear for anyone who did not own this device and wanted to know what the settings were for.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Randall strickland » Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:17 am

Enjoying this thread !! :D


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:19 pm

Scott, you have some good points!

I have also noticed with the HCCT that has a voltmeter that when I start cranking and slowly increase the cranking speed there are no immediate sparks and watching the voltmeter will show the sparks start at a different voltage level for each coil tested.

This situation would cause each piston to be at a slightly different level for each explosion.

With the StroboSpark and ECCT testing with constant voltage levels, the current is adjusted to make all the coils fire at the same level or same time.

A coil set up on the ECCT measures that spark start time and lets it be set equal for all coils to provide a much smoother running engine with more power.

Coils adjusted that way will not all measure the 1.3 amps of current, if tested again in the HCCT, but as that current is only flowing about 1/8th of the time for each coil, a little extra current is not a problem.

My conclusion: Comparing the ECCT and HCCT coil setup is like comparing apples and oranges!


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:36 pm

Jim
My conclusion: Comparing the ECCT and HCCT coil setup is like comparing apples and oranges!
I agree wholeheartedly. With the goal of best performance, the two devices take an entirely different path to get there. As technology advances, methods change.

I liken this a bit to mechanical pocket watch versus digital wrist watches. The average mechanical watch will give slightly differing timekeeping rates depending on the position is is in throughout the day, while the digital watch will vary not at all. And yet, if I want to meet someone at noon, do I really care if it is 12:01 or if it is 12:00:00? I don't care either way, since either way, I feel I have reached my goal.

Now, if I was Boris Baddinof and had something ticking under my overcoat, perhaps I'd be more worried about punctuality. :lol:
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:03 am

A much better analogy for the HCCT to ECCT comparison is using a sun dial to tell time rather than a digital watch. Yes, that much of a difference. The sun's position to tell time is akin to using coil current to tell time. Granted they are on different scales but there are more variables involved with the coil current that can skew the indirect approximation of coil firing time (coil to coil primary inductance, point arcing, abnormally slow magneto voltage rise time, coil not starting from rest (no timer) to name a few).

To put the required accuracy in perspective. +/- 0.00008333 seconds equates to +/- 1 degree of ignition timing error at 2000 RPM That is the time of the 1st spark firing from rest with a fast magneto rise time. Try measuring that with a mechanical watch. Similarly, the HCCT measures the average RMS current of a steady stream of coil firings none of which are from rest. Occasional coil point arcing may very well be present and averaged into the reading.

I am NOT bashing the HCCT or the folks who use it to adjust their coils. It was a wonderful innovation that permitted much better results compared with other methods of coil point adjustment of the day. Just pointing out that there is a much more accurate way to measure coil dwell time to fire and firing consistency today of the first spark that initiates combustion using modern electronics. The net result are reports of a smoother running engine with more power in the vast majority of seat of the pants, on the road comparisons using the same coils in the same car by the same driver. Don't waste time comparing how ECCT adjusted coils perform in an HCCT or vise versa, meaningless apples to oranges comparison.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:06 am

Mike

not only is your ECCT the very best coil device made, now I discover that your analogies are the best ever, too!

How's your cooking? :lol:

Seriously though, atomic clocks are even more accurate than digital watches, so while the atomic clock IS more accurate, will it make a difference to me if I keep my noon appointment with a pocket watch or an atomic clock?

Would the Romans have built better and more durable aquaducts if they'd had micrometers?

I do not doubt the superiority of electronics or your methodology; I simply believe in the law of diminishing returns. Timing errors of course get worse with RPM, and you always bring up 2000RPM as the value that you show greatest error, why not tell folks that that RPM equates to 50MPH as well? Myself, two chokes and a third pull and it's running... I drive around 35MPH which is 10 MPH more than is frankly safe with stock brakes. I get 20MPG and the car runs effortlessly. Is my inter-cylinder timing off some? :o Probably. Who cares? If I didn't already have multiple other valid methods of setting coils already in my stable, I'd probably buy yours. It sounds like a good product and I believe you will be around to support it. Now THAT is a feature that requires consideration these days.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:18 pm

Acknowledging the transfer of knowledge is sometimes a futile pursuit, I will not dwell further other than attempt to clarify one point. Some folks like myself live in congested areas where the ability to pull out in traffic quickly when the opportunity presents is essential. The ability to accelerate in LOW PEDAL to 2000 RPM (20MPH in 7 seconds) is NOT an uncommon occurrence in my driving environment. It is difficult for those without the need or ability to achieve that level of performance to believe or appreciate it is even possible. The added benefit of accurate and consistent ignition timing is smoother operation and less stress on the drive train which most, but admittedly not everyone, can comprehend.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Scott_Conger » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:30 pm

Mike

I comprehend just fine, and congratulations on one of the most politely couched insults I've ever recieved.

I have never been anything but complimentary of your product, never doubted it's accuracy, stated as fact that you have many proponents (some of whom I know and respect), mentioned that your product support is important as a selling feature, (where other methods may be sketchy at the moment), and have stated that but for the fact that I already own devices which will set up coils, would likely buy yours.

You simply cannot take a compliment, and continually seek out to personalize mud slinging toward anyone in the hobby who is not slavishly lusting after your product and has the audacity to opine that they may (gasp! :o ) not need to throw out their other tools in lieu of it. Maybe we'd understand each other better over a beer, but I'd likely bring the wrong kind.
Scott Conger

Full Flow Float Valves - deliver fuel like Henry intended!

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Matt in California
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:28 pm

I had someone recently ask about how to make a Motor Controlled Coil Tester. I though this thread outlined how to make MCCT, but realized I that I could better illustrate it. Here is the simple design used for the Motor Crank Coil Tester (MCCT):
MCCT Design.PNG
Simply put the MCCT is a Ford coil triggered by a switch. This switch is controlled by a cam on a motor. The motor speed controller adjusts motor speed that controls the switching time to the coil very much like a commutator does on the Model T. The indicator turns and can display the spark on a scale similar to a Hand Crank Coil Tester (HCCT). Additionally an amp meter is used to display the amount of current flowing to coil.

Here is the most practical part of the document. I use it to catalog the pile of coils that I have.
42A15BD2-1115-49ED-A13E-F0D9BACE6154.jpeg

Updated manual for adjusting coils specifically with the MCCT:
Deleted... See updated version later in this thread.

Please give me any feedback you may have on this. I am trying to make it a helpful resource for others. As you will see it is not just for the MCCT.

Enjoy,
Matt
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Model T MCCT Adjustment.pdf
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Last edited by Matt in California on Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:30 am, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:03 pm

I started this topic back in April. Here is my personal ranking after researching and hearing feedback from others.
Model T Coil Testers Rankings.PNG
I personally feel the ECCT seems to be a great device and the best on the market. Early on a gentleman using one told me his story. He said most people who own model Ts just want to go make a trip to get ice cream. For that a simple buzz box maybe okay. But when he met someone who could start the car from magneto and had a great running car researched coil adjustments. He now has a car that runs beautifully and won the Montana 500 in the past. His claim is that a set of matched coils is key for that. But I want to underscore that it is good to have a set that is tuned for 2000 RPM not only so the car can run well at 50 mph. The slower the car idles the lower the magneto voltage/current. Low voltage will make the dwell time longer.

The Strobo-Spark seems like a great modern option, but it seems like it is not available now. The HCCT also works, but it can be expensive and is not portable. There are some attractive DIY options, but it requires some time and know how.

Anyway this has been a great learning experience for me and I hope the data posted is helpful for others. Feel free to give your own feedback and opinions.

Matt

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Wed Jan 01, 2020 10:56 pm

Scott, Your likening time keeping between the ECCT and HCCT stated on 12/20 10:36PM between mechanical and digital watches for an event (meeting with another person) that has a error consequence (minutes) is many magnitudes distinct from ignition timing consequence (millionths of a seconds). I attempted to point out the fundamental oversight and trivialization of the importance of accurately measuring ignition timing so others are Not mislead by your statements. I even included a statement affirming I was NOT bashing the HCCT (method of using coil to adjust coils) OR the folks who use it; perhaps you missed that.

Rather than acknowledging your misleading mischaracterization of the importance of ignition timing, you added more erroneous statements about 2000 RPM equating to 50MPH, wrongly assuming my frequent reference to that engine speed was in high pedal. Again, I attempted to clarify and correct misunderstanding so others are not mislead. You, Scott, then felt it necessary to respond with sarcasm, inject personal jabs under the guise of not being able to take a complement then say I "continually seek out to personalize mud slinging toward anyone in the hobby who is not slavishly lusting after your product"; Baseless, without merit and the reason why I made the General statement I made about knowledge transfer sometimes being futile. I would contend this thread should not even be reverent to you if the other coil adjusting tools you have provide satisfactory performance; the tools and methods being discussed are a non-issue to you!
I-Timer + ECCT Adjusted Coils = Best Model T Engine Performance Possible!
www.modeltitimer.com www.modeltecct.com


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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by jab35 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 10:04 am

Wow! Here we go again and in a large type font no less. For a short time I thought 2020 would be a better year for our Forum.

FWIW, my Gilbert pendulum wall clock with 7 Day movement is accurate to within +/- one minute per week (compared to my Ironman wristwatch). I know that I should be checking it against the US Government Atomic clock standard time, but the Gilbert has kept our household on time for 40 years.

Happy nay year, everyone, jb

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by MKossor » Thu Jan 02, 2020 12:40 pm

Wow Indeed James, classic example of the pot calling the kettle black. More Sarcastic orthogonal comments certinally do not further your purported thoughts for a better forum in 2020. Perhaps we can All Try a little harder to that end.

By the way, I adapted the standard use of larger font from Steve Jelf's example, it facilitates readability. I don't ever recall that practice being objectionable in any way.
I-Timer + ECCT Adjusted Coils = Best Model T Engine Performance Possible!
www.modeltitimer.com www.modeltecct.com

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:19 pm

Several of us use large type for the reason Mike mentioned.
You can also make it HUGE, and BOLD and UNDERLINE IT, even in different COLORS.
The inevitable often happens.
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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by Matt in California » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:36 pm

Could I make a small request?
I always appreciate spirited discussions with various opinions and points of view. I believe that our differences on this forum make all of us better informed. I don't want that to stop!

But I would like to request that we avoid personal attacks (i.e. comments and put downs of others). Could we please kindly look at our recent posts and edit negative posts directed at other forum members?

(I will say that I am a bit disappointed that I have yet to get a response to the document that I posted. Is it helpful? Is there anything that I could add or change?)

Please & Thanks You!

Matt
Last edited by Matt in California on Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Model T coil tester advice: HCCT, Strobo-Spark, ECCT

Post by namdc3 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:42 pm

Matt, I found your document interesting. A couple things I've wondered are 1) what the acceptable range of secondary C-D resistances is (I've seen some %s listed, but I've seen contradicting information) and 2) whether or not it would be better to have a tight grouping of this resistance across a set of four coils. In other words, is there a benefit to having four coils with secondary resistances close to each other as opposed to several hundred Ohms apart? This excludes the extreme cases of some K-W coils your document mentions. Also, does the answer to that change with what method/machine you're using to set the coils up? For example, when using X device it doesn't matter because of Y, but when using Z device it can't see/compensate for that so it's best to start with coils matching each other.

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