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inductive pickup for timing light

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by budgie, Feb 2, 2006.

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  1. budgie

    budgie Guest

    I have a 12V-powered ignition timing light of the "old" type, where the pickup
    fits in line with the spark plug. While it still works great in its original
    environment, deep plug wells and long lead shrouds make it well-nigh impossible
    to use on contemporary engines.

    I usually work on the philosophy of buying high-quality tools with the
    expectation that they will outlast me. In this case, progress (sic) has
    outsmarted me, but I would rather modify this unit than outlay for another one.

    The current unit has no trigger cicuitry whatsoever, just running the HT line
    direct to thre trigger electrode. Has anyone any details of how to set up an
    inductive pickup to trigger the flash tube? Will I need to wind/purchase a
    trigger coil? Ideas on how to make a suitable snap-on pickup assembly would
    also be welcome.
  2. Mr.T

    Mr.T Guest


    Funny comment as those timing lights were always considered inferior to the
    inductive pick-up types. They usually consisted of a neon tube which was
    almost impossible to see in daylight.
    But you have probably got your moneys worth from it, time to buy a new one.
    Yep, it is cheaper to do that.
    Usually not worth the bother, sorry I can't help you with a circuit.

  3. budgie

    budgie Guest

    Nope, either xenon or krypton. Have used the neon ones, horrible coulred effect
    and weak as piss. This one is real bright, daylight usable. Top drawer stuff.
    Doubt it. Hasn't seena lot of use, and cost a bundle :-(
    You can with a direct HT feed. Inductive obviously requires some gain to
    trigger the tube.
    I'm keen to bother. More time than money ....
  4. Andy

    Andy Guest


    I have a box full of brand new Hella inductive pickups here. You are
    welcome to one if you wish. I will have a dig around for some circuits
    - should have some here somewhere. Email me and we'll take it from
    there (change "agw" to "andy").

  5. budgie

    budgie Guest

    Not as it stands. The pickup end is like a spiral spring. One end fits over a
    plug terminal "nut" while the other end is intended to fit inside the lead
    terminal like the plug nut. The dizzy terminals/caps that I'v looked at were a
    different diameter (for some reason).
  6. Wow, i had forgoten what a timing light was. A friend of mine has one
    and asked how to use on a VT commodore the other day. No go, it has
    its own timing light built in to the flywheel (or somewhere). No dizzy
    these days.

    To buy a shit inductive timing light from the local discount
    autostore, prolly 10-20$, to make/modify one, prolly lots more. If you
    want to keep the old one, fit the cheap electronics from the new one
    to the old one.
  7. budgie

    budgie Guest

    I appreciate your sentiments, but being time-rich-and-$$-poor (relatively) I
    want to work with the you-beaut one I have, which cost a lot more than the
    chinese shit from SuperCrap, and is undoubtedly better built..
  8. Andrew M

    Andrew M Guest

    want to keep the old one, fit the cheap electronics from the new one
    To do anything but change the connectors to suit the 'other' plug end would certainly
    cost more than a new timing light. You'd need a HV inverter, battery clips, an IGBT or
    SCR for firing etc etc etc.

    On the other hand if you want to learn something by building the thing etc then first,
    I suggest you identify exactly what kind of flashbulb you have, before embarking on
    any designs or even asking for assistance.

    There are no magic fairies that can just email a schematic without knowing your exact

    -Andrew M
  9. budgie

    budgie Guest

    ??????????? dunno where that sprang from. It already has the inverter etc in
    there. What is would need is the firing circuitry added.
    It's either xenon or krypton, no markings.
    duh, really. what a let-down.
  10. Well, if you are really keen to DIY. Then google for any LV strobe
    circuit. The inductive pickup should only need a few turns on a peice
    of powdered iron, as I would imagine the HT from the coil will give
    you tons of signal. Got a cro? try wrapping a few turns around an
    igntion lead to see what comes out. No cro, then try the same with a
    small signal transistor and an LED.
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