starts first kick with Boyer

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starts first kick with Boyer

Post by berkshirecolin »

I have owned my B50 for many years but recently it got harder to start - standard points ignition. I tried replacing the coil, points and retiming etc but there was no improvement so something else must have worn/failed. I therefore fitted a Mk 4 Boyer and it now starts first kick every time.
It makes going out on the bike a pleasure again and starting it at a bike meet much less embarassing.
The Boyer kit I fitted apparently has a modification for the B50 but I have no idea what this is - anybody know?
Also I still have to master hot starts which are sometimes tricky especially when I stall it and it is very hot - various posts suggest no tickling, no throttle and switch off the fuel when stopping. Any more tips?
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by b50whisperer »

Well I also fitted the Boyer Electronic Igniting system (for a norton oddly) And I have had exactly the same experience as you shared. I can't add much more to your experiences as mine are virtually the same. Even hot it starts well if caareful about it, no throttle or tickle, and yes the swinging it over several times with the valve lifter engaged to clear out any excess fuel is a dim memory. And it runs OKish on the capacitor, which in my bike is 30 years old, but does play up if used for more than getting one home when necessary. Word of warning, whilst recommisioning the B50 for the road after a 20 year hiatus and tweaking the fit etc, I managed to blow the black box to smithereens. Seems that The side cover had shorted on the battery terminals and caused catastorphic damage. Fortunately a local whizz opened it up and replaced various electronic items for me, so i didnt have to replace the box. I have heavily insulated the inside of the side cover with soft conforming rubber now to prevent this happening. Reversing the battery was a factory advisement.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by baz »

I wonder why the bike would start better with electronic ignition than a well set up points system?
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by b50whisperer »

the size of the spark seemed much bigger.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by baz »

b50whisperer wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:09 am the size of the spark seemed much bigger.
If the spark is bigger with electronic than points I'm guessing there is something wrong with the points/condenser or wiring
I'm assuming you are using the same coil?
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by b50whisperer »

baz wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 10:09 am
b50whisperer wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:09 am the size of the spark seemed much bigger.
If the spark is bigger with electronic than points I'm guessing there is something wrong with the points/condenser or wiring
I'm assuming you are using the same coil?

this is why the electronic system is such a godsend to the electro mechanically challenged owners, well me, it takes away a lot of the guess working and diagnosing faults. Same coil.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by minetymenace »

.....yes, but a strong spark can mask carb problems....so while it may run better with electronic ignition, you may not have bottomed the real cause of the fault.....
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by Jeff K »

b50whisperer wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:02 am Well I also fitted the Boyer Electronic Igniting system (for a norton oddly) And I have had exactly the same experience as you shared. I can't add much more to your experiences as mine are virtually the same. Even hot it starts well if caareful about it, no throttle or tickle, and yes the swinging it over several times with the valve lifter engaged to clear out any excess fuel is a dim memory. And it runs OKish on the capacitor, which in my bike is 30 years old, but does play up if used for more than getting one home when necessary. Word of warning, whilst recommisioning the B50 for the road after a 20 year hiatus and tweaking the fit etc, I managed to blow the black box to smithereens. Seems that The side cover had shorted on the battery terminals and caused catastorphic damage. Fortunately a local whizz opened it up and replaced various electronic items for me, so i didnt have to replace the box. I have heavily insulated the inside of the side cover with soft conforming rubber now to prevent this happening. Reversing the battery was a factory advisement.
Be very careful on starting or running electronic ignitions with low voltage . Most will go to full advance with low voltage. This is why years ago the now retired norton specialist Fred from Old Brits would only recommend Power Arc units. They are the only one that I know of that will still function down to 6 volts. The Norton 850 MKIII Electric Start can pull the voltage down that low when starting with the electric starter. This will cause most EI units to stay in full advance and will cause a nasty/expensive kick back the can damage the one way starter sprague. EI units are at full advance and they use a program/electronic to delay the advance at low rpm and then reduce the delay to mimic advancing.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by minetymenace »

On a B50 there has to be something very wrong if the battery is down at 6v....not an issue with anything kicked with good electrics...
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by Jeff K »

I recently worked on a 850 MKII that would have a dead battery after it sat for a couple of days, Not fun to try and start with the ignition going to full advance. Traced the problem back to a bad big blue capacitor that was slowly draining the battery. Last year It was a worn wire on a G12 Matchless, A bad older Podtronics unit (rare) on a BSA B40 and one where the owner put in a very expensive sealed LI-ON battery in a Norton that after a while would not stay charged. So the secret as you noted is "Good Electrics" :thumb :thumb
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

Jeff K wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am
b50whisperer wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 4:02 am Well I also fitted the Boyer Electronic Igniting system (for a norton oddly) And I have had exactly the same experience as you shared. I can't add much more to your experiences as mine are virtually the same. Even hot it starts well if caareful about it, no throttle or tickle, and yes the swinging it over several times with the valve lifter engaged to clear out any excess fuel is a dim memory. And it runs OKish on the capacitor, which in my bike is 30 years old, but does play up if used for more than getting one home when necessary. Word of warning, whilst recommisioning the B50 for the road after a 20 year hiatus and tweaking the fit etc, I managed to blow the black box to smithereens. Seems that The side cover had shorted on the battery terminals and caused catastorphic damage. Fortunately a local whizz opened it up and replaced various electronic items for me, so i didnt have to replace the box. I have heavily insulated the inside of the side cover with soft conforming rubber now to prevent this happening. Reversing the battery was a factory advisement.
Be very careful on starting or running electronic ignitions with low voltage . Most will go to full advance with low voltage. This is why years ago the now retired norton specialist Fred from Old Brits would only recommend Power Arc units. They are the only one that I know of that will still function down to 6 volts. The Norton 850 MKIII Electric Start can pull the voltage down that low when starting with the electric starter. This will cause most EI units to stay in full advance and will cause a nasty/expensive kick back the can damage the one way starter sprague. EI units are at full advance and they use a program/electronic to delay the advance at low rpm and then reduce the delay to mimic advancing.
Jeff
My B44 is on points, but I have a new boyer, used boyer and used pazon ignition I could fit, obviously I don’t need 2 boyers but I could carry the spare if I fitted one of those.
Before fitting electronic ignition I would like to understand how they work out the required retard for starting, particularly as until I fixed my A/R unit my bike kick backed really badly. The A/R springs had lost tension. It now starts well with no kickback, but it does pink a bit when riding it, so I think it advances a bit early in the 2000 to 3000 rpm range.
I have read elsewhere the electronic units need a revolution of the engine/trigger (s) to establish the correct retard, before they provide a spark, thus (negatively affecting “first starting), anyone know how they work? And differences in design between Boyer and Pazon?

I guess (at it is only a guess) is that the spark is provided a certain time (eg milliseconds) after the trigger signal is received, and the time is lengthened at low revs to retard the spark, but to do that the ign unit has to know what revs the engine is doing, and it could only know that by measuring the time between at least two trigger signals. Maybe they “default” to full retard (time delay) each time they are switched on? Or the engine is stopped? (eg stalled)
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

Jeff K wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:41 am

Be very careful on starting or running electronic ignitions with low voltage . Most will go to full advance with low voltage. This is why years ago the now retired norton specialist Fred from Old Brits would only recommend Power Arc units. They are the only one that I know of that will still function down to 6 volts. The Norton 850 MKIII Electric Start can pull the voltage down that low when starting with the electric starter. This will cause most EI units to stay in full advance and will cause a nasty/expensive kick back the can damage the one way starter sprague. EI units are at full advance and they use a program/electronic to delay the advance at low rpm and then reduce the delay to mimic advancing.
Jeff
My B44 is on points, but I have a new boyer, used boyer and used pazon ignition I could fit, obviously I don’t need 2 boyers but I could carry the spare if I fitted one of those.

Before fitting electronic ignition I would ideally like to understand better how they work out the required retard for starting, particularly as until I fixed my A/R unit my bike kick backed really badly. The A/R springs had lost tension. It now starts well with no kickback, but it does pink a bit when riding it, so I think it advances a bit early in the 2000 to 3000 rpm range.

I have read elsewhere the electronic units need a revolution of the engine/trigger (s) to establish the correct retard, before they provide a spark, thus (negatively affecting “first kick starting), anyone know how they work? And differences in design between Boyer and Pazon?

I guess (at it is only a guess) is that the spark is provided a certain time (eg milliseconds) after the trigger signal is received, and the time is lengthened at low revs to retard the spark, but to do that the ign unit has to know what revs the engine is doing, and it could only know that by measuring the time between at least two trigger signals. Maybe they “default” to full retard (time delay) each time they are switched on? Or the engine is stopped? (eg stalled). I think this also implies the trigger happens well before TDC.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by skippy »

The pazon is set at full advance and retards fully at no revs and it does take 2 triggers to wakeup. Your guess has to be correct to count the revs.
some will tell you the cheap pazon won't work on a B50 but I have been running one for years with no problem you have to use the full decompression technique when starting but that is the easiest way to start a B50 anyway.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by Jeff K »

I was told by a manufacturer a long time ago, that they start with the full advance setting, that is how all of them have the timing set. Then they program a advance curve based on pluses(RPM). When you turn the key on it wakes the system up and the first thing it does is look for either TDC or Full advance depending on the system. When you kick the bike over, it identifies that location, calculates the starting point (amount of delay from full advance) and fires. Once the bike is running it starts counting the pulses to determine the RPM and then calculates the "Advance". Now here is were it gets interesting. They do not actually "advance" the timing, remember the timing is set at full advance. What they do is delay the spark at start, idle and low RPM. And that is where you can have problems with low voltage. You have enough to make a spark, but not enough for the system to work. And that means they default to the initial full advance setting. On a kick start bike that can hurt, on a E start bike, that can get expensive.
The three types of trigger systems used to generate that pulse that I am aware of are magnet/coil, Hall Effect and Photo Eye/slotted disc. These just generate the Pulses for the system to use to determine the RPM and they also determine the Full advance point. So if you set the point where the magnet, hall or photo eye is at full advance. Then ever time it passes that point the system knows to fire there. Now add the function to the system to count each time it passes this point per minute and you now have determined the RPM. Next add a program with a start, and advance curve. Simple as the piston moves up and fires at the set position for "full advance". Now if you delay that by a calculated time based on the RPM, you will have less of a advance. That is all the program does. It sounds backwards, but it does not advance the timing, it simple delays the point of spark until a determined point after the full advance setting.
A auto advance unit does the opposite, It mechanically using centrifugal force moves the cam to open the points sooner.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by minetymenace »

There are many ways to work out the correct advance using electronic circuits. Time between pulses would be very crude as you would have to turn the engine over twice before it registered. A common way to do is to detect the rate of change of voltage (say in an inductive pick-up) and use that, but the chances of it being done the same way it was ten (or even five) years ago is pretty slim as advances in circuit techniques are relentless.

Weather they "advance" when running fast or "retard" when slow is waffle, the starting point is immaterial to the user, if the setup instructions tell you to set it on the fully advanced or retarded marks makes no difference to the concept. However, if it makes you understand the concept, you can picture it either way...who cares? If you were bothered about how they worked you would make your own, because it is not rocket science. They all work, pick one designed for kick start and you will have no worries, the basic problems of slow kick, advance at low supply etc have been ironed out now. If you fit an old one, it defeats the whole idea of electronic ignition (i.e. reliability and fit and forget).

If you are worried about the advance curve, one way round it might be to go for one with an number of curves (e.g. Sachse), but as these engines are at full advance when turning at any useful speed the actual curve is not that important. As long as it is retarded enough to start, and advanced as much as possible when flat out (with no pre-ignition) the transition between the two is somewhat irrelevant (moot point may be).

There is nothing wrong with points.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by Jeff K »

Power Arc Electronic ignition have four user selectable "advance curves" and a provision to use a Vacuum switch to control advance during heavy load. I have installed and used several of their units and I still have yet to need other then the basic curve setting. All were very easy to install and are running great! And if you like they sell a cable to hook up the EI to laptop so you can do your own custom advance programing.

https://www.powerarc.com

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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

All good comments thanks, plenty to think about. The boyers I have are “mk3” so do not include the latest improvements related to low voltage “stability” (which is probably a reference to defaulting to full advance and wrecking electric starts) and the pazon is a “surefire” (basic model) and a few years old and I don’t know if its the current model.

From what I can see the issue of not giving a spark on the first engine turn seems to be “hypothetical” and not really noticeable in practice.

Out of interest the pazon website says this “important note for owners of big single/high compression models (e.g. B44/B441/B50):
The Sure Fire system requires a minimum cranking speed before sparks are produced (typically 100-150rpm). This kit can be fitted to these models, but due to the potential of difficulty in kick-starting, we recommend fitting a digital ignition system, e.g. Smart Fire PD1 system. Due to the triggering method, our digital systems fire from zero rpm upwards, so more suited to bikes that are more difficult to kick-start.”

The pazon website also has a piece on how GOOD the surefire system works on a customers B50....go figure.
6958560E-A370-48CE-932E-26BBC3EB9733.png
The pazin website also has an advance curve which shows full advance kicking in above 4000 rom, which I think will cure the pinking on my bike (as would stronger ATR springs I guess)

Edit: both boyer and pazon have 2 triggers, I guess this is to help with getting a couple of triggers without excessive kicking....I can’t think of another reason, except maybe to make installation easier (eg set the spark on compression stroke not exhaust)
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by hhh »

There's no way that Pazon Surefire graph is accurate at low RPM. It cannot give an advance range of 38 degrees. It's closer to 24 degrees from least to most. To be accurate, they should have chopped it off well to the right of the leftmost endpoints.

The pickups are designed with two magnets and two coils wired in series so that eccentricity and manufacturing tolerances are irrelevant in maintaining phase from one spark to the next. It's not redundancy but rather a clever design that accomplishes what it set out to do.

I find that the old Boyer Mk.III does not give enough advance range to accommodate full power and lack of kick back at any given setting on my B44. It doesn't matter where I set the throttle, where I start kicking from, or whether I tickle or not.

All the analog electronic ignitions rely to a great degree on the physics of rotating magnets to achieve their advance curve with a lesser amount from RC circuits. If you spin magnets at a higher velocity, they will produce a stronger field at a given distance. This causes earlier triggering at higher RPM. The analog units all suffer from sub-optimum advance from about 1500 RPM where they should typically be fully advanced but are not, all the way up to whatever you pick as your redline and full advance point. The points setup got it almost perfectly right with a linear curve up to about 1500-2000 RPM and then steady full advance until redline.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

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hhh wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 7:43 pm There's no way that Pazon Surefire graph is accurate at low RPM. It cannot give an advance range of 38 degrees. It's closer to 24 degrees from least to most. To be accurate, they should have chopped it off well to the right of the leftmost endpoints.

The pickups are designed with two magnets and two coils wired in series so that eccentricity and manufacturing tolerances are irrelevant in maintaining phase from one spark to the next. It's not redundancy but rather a clever design that accomplishes what it set out to do.

I find that the old Boyer Mk.III does not give enough advance range to accommodate full power and lack of kick back at any given setting on my B44. It doesn't matter where I set the throttle, where I start kicking from, or whether I tickle or not.

All the analog electronic ignitions rely to a great degree on the physics of rotating magnets to achieve their advance curve with a lesser amount from RC circuits. If you spin magnets at a higher velocity, they will produce a stronger field at a given distance. This causes earlier triggering at higher RPM. The analog units all suffer from sub-optimum advance from about 1500 RPM where they should typically be fully advanced but are not, all the way up to whatever you pick as your redline and full advance point. The points setup got it almost perfectly right with a linear curve up to about 1500-2000 RPM and then steady full advance until redline.
So, you are advising against fitting the mk3 boyer as it results in kickbacks?
In your opinion is the pazon going to be worth a go? The surefire curve for the B44 (what I have) shows 29 degrees advance, which would be the same or better than points?

I’m in no rush to fit the electronic ign, I have a lathe and a strobe so I could make a disc and set up a test rig, I wasn’t planning too but might be worth it to establish how the two systems work, and compare, and avoid taking the covers off a few times.....tho I’m pretty sure someone has already done that....

It sounds like a good digital system resolves issues of kickback and wrong advance, but they aren’t cheap.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by skippy »

The only problem with the pazon is it doesn't have idle stabilization so if the idle drops really low the ignition retards which drops the revs again and it cycles into stalling. So I think their graph is correct in how far it retards.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by hhh »

If you look carefully at the Pazon graphs, they indicate the advance range changes depending on what platform you install the ignition on. That's obviously impossible. If you extrapolate the B44 curve down to 200 RPM based on the (ludicrously optimistic) displayed 39 degree range for the B25, you'd be at roughly 9 degrees AFTER TDC. I can guarantee that's not what you'll get. Pazon's own installation notes, see page 6: http://www.pazon.com/files/PDF/PA1.pdf claim a 20 degree advance range, so every one of those displayed curves is bollocks. I told them this many years ago but they won't correct it.

I have never used a Pazon but lots of people like them. I have only used the the old Boyer analog and Boyer Digital. The Boyer Digital doesn't solve the kickback problem on my B44 either. These bikes like to start with about 8-10 degrees advance but idle best at near TDC. Only a computer programmed curve (sometimes advertised as "idle stabilization") can achieve that.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

The mechanical side of making a test rig is done, wiring it up is next. Maybe tomorrow.

One thing that had not occured to me is that the lathe chuck will only go to around 900 rpm, so only simulating 1800 rpm crank speed, to see the full advance I will have to find another way of turning the rotor.

The lathe can go very slow though, well below 100 rpm.

Edit: I have a graph published by Pazon comparing the boyer mk3 vs pazon advance curves, the pazon has about 19 deg of advance from circa 200 rpm to 1000 rpm, as does the boyer. The pazon max advance is at 5000 rpm at about 38 deg after which (oddly) it starts to reduce the amount of advance.

So, I am wondering about the “20 degrees” advance claim by pazon, which appears to conflict with published graphs, the 20 degrees is stated to occur within a “working range” (engine speed), maybe they don’t count below 1000 rpm as being within “working range”?
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

First finding.....is that the pazon gives regular sparks at 53rpm trigger speed (106rpm crank speed). Lathe won’t go slower than that.....
Second finding is that a strobe is no good at that sort of rpm, but I will try darkening the area etc. Videoing might also work but the flash may be too short in time to show.

After a bit more investigation, the lathe will go a bit faster than I first thought, maybe enough to simulate over 2500 rpm crank speed.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by Jeff K »

I have been using the Power Arc Electronic ignition units for a while now. They use a disc with many slots and a photo eye. I have found that that when I used a strobe light to see what they are doing that the light is very steady compared to when I have done the same with magnetic type ignitions. The power arc also fires three times and I have noticed that on top of running smoother that on every bike that I have installed them on. That the idle speed increased to the point that I had to slow it down a bit. It also is the easiest unit that I have ever installed. They have a built in timing LED, just bring the piston to TDC, rotate unit until the LED lights up and tighten down. They come with four advance curves built in and you can get a cable and program to reprogram to your own advance curve and high RPM shut off point if to want. They also have a wire for a electric tachometer. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The are a complete set up and come with the ignition coil.
https://www.powerarc.com/paproducts.html#cycle
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

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Jeff K wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 3:39 pm I have been using the Power Arc Electronic ignition units for a while now. They use a disc with many slots and a photo eye. I have found that that when I used a strobe light to see what they are doing that the light is very steady compared to when I have done the same with magnetic type ignitions. The power arc also fires three times and I have noticed that on top of running smoother that on every bike that I have installed them on. That the idle speed increased to the point that I had to slow it down a bit. It also is the easiest unit that I have ever installed. They have a built in timing LED, just bring the piston to TDC, rotate unit until the LED lights up and tighten down. They come with four advance curves built in and you can get a cable and program to reprogram to your own advance curve and high RPM shut off point if to want. They also have a wire for a electric tachometer. They are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. The are a complete set up and come with the ignition coil.
https://www.powerarc.com/paproducts.html#cycle
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Thanks Jeff, I will look into it, I am not impressed with the test results of the pazon so far, it’s so bad I am wondering if it is faulty, but I will test the boyers next to see if my test rig is an issue. The pazon does retard a lot at 100rpm (kickstart speed), more than the 20 degrees they state, but from that maximum retard state it then advances steeply to a PEAK advance at 500 rpm, and then starts retarding from that peak, and is still getting more retarded at 2600 rpm. I need to somehow get the rig up to simulate over 4000 rpm to see if it does reach another (second) peak advance, if it doesn’t it is junk.

Edit: see below on the pazon performance at very low rpm, because the units have a period of increasing the retard at very low rpm, whereas my assumption was that they would (only) advance, my first conclusions were wrong as I got my advance/retard directions “reversed” in my mind (see the “dip” in the graphs that shows this)
Last edited by KiwiB44 on Mon Oct 18, 2021 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: starts first kick with Boyer

Post by KiwiB44 »

This exercise was much harder than I thought, mainly because I could not get the lathe to provide a “full advance” figure, in the end I bodged a 2900rpm electric drill into the test rig and came up with a way of estimating how much more the units advanced compared to the lathe maximum.

There is not a lot to choose between the two units, it’s odd the pazon advances a huge amount at very low revs (below 200, so only at kickover speed) ) but I guess this does not do any harm. Maybe this low rpm advance is some sort of stall prevention?

The pazon seems to only need one none firing trigger before giving a spark, the boyer mostly needed 2 triggers, the boyer gives out a few “random” sparks with the rotor stationary for some reason.

The pazon advances something like 2 deg every 1000rpm above 4000. The Boyer stayed pretty much stopped advancing at 2500rpm and maybe before that.

The graphs do not at all resemble those published by Pazon, as a per a prior post on that.

Edit: Note the Boyer unit tested was a “Micro Digital” not a “Mk3” as indicated on the pic.
1698FCE8-14B2-47AC-AFB4-3457FD722D62.jpeg
1968 BSA B44 Victor Special
1949 BSA B31 Rigid
1956 BSA A10 S/A
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