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Astro-Jet Pulse Amplifier Scam?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Bill Bowden, Jun 11, 2006.

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  1. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    At a swap meet today, I saw a vendor selling a device called the
    "Astro-Jet Pulse Amplifier" that connects in series with an automotive
    HV coil lead to the distributor to increase spark plug power, get more
    milage, save gas, start engine easier, etc.

    It was an impressive demonstration. There was a demo box hooked up
    under the hood of his car with a exposed spark plug so you coud see the
    change in spark intensity with the device installed as compared to
    normal wiring. He also had a speedometer hooked up to read simulated
    vehicle speed as he changed RPM. He would adjust the throttle to set
    the speed to 55 MPH and then install the device in series with the coil
    which increased the speed to 65MPH indicating the car was moving 10 MPH
    faster with the same fuel consumption. .

    People were standing in line to buy this Astro-Jet Pulse Amplifier for
    $15. The guy said the device would be available at WalMart in 90 days,
    but they could get a better deal today if they paid cash.

    I'm pretty sure this thing is a scam, but I didn't see the operator
    doing anything suspicous when he installed and removed the device to
    illustrate enhanced performance. It was an impressive demo. He pulled 4
    plug wires and had the car running on 2 cylinders with the device
    installed, as compared to 4 cylinders or more without the device.

  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    You can only get a bigger spark by using more energy. That energy still has to
    come from the same coil you already have. I see a likelihood that this device
    may simply burn out your exisitng coil in long term use.

  3. Guest

    Perhaps it's just best to buy new (dealership) spark plug wires and a
    new ignition coil if your car is over 100,000 miles... that reminds
    me... I should do the same... ;)

    And, of course, changing your spark plugs regularly. You do that,
  4. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    was the exposed plug operating under compression?
    he did this on a dynomometer, or with the transmission in neutral?
    they really seem like ambiguous results to me.

    if the device is an inductor as I suspect it is installing it will slightly
    retard the spark timing, so If he tweaked the timing for fastest running
    with the device attached removing it would slow the engine....

    smoke and mirrors all the way.

  5. Si Ballenger

    Si Ballenger Guest

    When I was a kid I saw this very same gizmo being demoed and sold
    at the world's fair in NYC (1962?) using the same type of car
    setup. I was amazed, but my dad (a physics teacher and pretty
    good car mechanic) explained the deal pretty much as you have. It
    appeared to be an extra coil installed on top of the regular
    coil. It was also "transistorized" (high tech back then) because
    it had transistor glued inside, but apparently not electrically
    connected to anything.
  6. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    His magical "Astro-Jet Pulse Amplifier" is a spark gap. What happens is,
    it's in series with the spark gap in the plug, so the inductive kickback
    voltage on the coil has to go higher to start the spark, consequently
    there's more stored energy. They've been doing this since the 1940's,
    but I seriously doubt if it really improves mileage or they'd be standard
    by now. They probably eat into the lifetime of your plugs, coil,
    distributor, etc; and as someone else said, was the demo plug under
    compression, and was the engine on a dyno, or in neutral?

  7. Bill Bowden

    Bill Bowden Guest

    Stored energy is 1/2 LI^2, and I = ET/L, so if the breaker points stay
    closed for T time, the stored energy will J joules. This will be the
    same regardless of spark gap. You can't get more energy out then you
    put in. I asked the guy how he was getting more energy out for the same
    energy going in, and he stated that the voltage was higher at reduced
    current. Problem with that analogy, is the spark voltage is determined
    by the gap and compression. To get a higher voltage, all you have to do
    is widen the gap. But if you add a second gap in series to increase the
    total from the coil, you lose energy in the unused gap.

    So, it remains a mystery what it does if anything. The demo plug was
    exposed with no compression, and the car was just running in idle mode,
    no load.

  8. Gareth

    Gareth Guest

    The main reason for the increase in fuel consumption at increased speed
    is air resistance. From your description, it doesn't sound like the
    demo would take this into account.

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