Author Topic: Power Box  (Read 6127 times)

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Power Box
« on: January 26, 2014, 01:43:09 PM »
Yes, I know, its a rather strange thread title. While I wait for CNC parts to arrive for my Opposed Piston engine, I am thinking of my collection of i.c. engines. I now have the Webster, the Kerzel hit and miss, the Atkinson engine, the Odds and Ends engine by Philip Duclos, the "Rupnow engine" and the newest, my opposed piston engine. On all except for the Rupnow engine, which I used a CDI ignition, the rest of the engines use conventional 12 volt coil and ignition points. The Kerzel engine is in a category of its own because the 12 volt coil is built into the engine base. This still leaves me with four engines which require that every time I want to run them require a complete wiring up before they are runnable. They all have their own point set and condenser, but the coil has to be changed from engine to engine. Coils are not cheap. I pay $50 each for 12 volt coils at my local auto parts store. Fortunately I have a deep cycle 12 volt battery for my fishing boat, which is a ready (if heavy) power supply. I think I may embark on a small woodworking project.-Basically a small wooden box which will hold a 12 volt coil, an on/off switch, an indicator light to show when the power is on, and a permanently installed high tension lead from the coil. I may make the "power in" lead and the ground lead "plug in" style connectors with alligator clips on the ends which attach to the battery and the ignition points. I may even make it a dual compartment box so that all of the electrical leads can be coiled and stored in the second compartment, so that my "power box" doesn't have a gaggle of wires hanging from it. Has anybody else done something similar?---Brian
« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:16:26 PM by Brian Rupnow »

Offline gbritnell

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1924
Re: Power Box
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2014, 02:34:21 PM »
Hi Brian,
When I started out I made a wood box with my 12 volt coil and ballast resistor inside. On the outside I have 5 screw posts, 2 for 12 volts in, 2 for the points and ground and another for the HT lead.
When I started using electronic ignitions I did something similar only the boxes were a little smaller. Inside I have the ignition module with a small 4 amp sealed battery. For terminals I made my own mini banana type plugs (1/8 dia.). I have 5 of them, 3 for the Hall sensor or use 2 of them when I'm using points, a separate ground and one for the HT (spark) lead. To keep the battery from banging around inside the box I cut a piece of dense rubber foam and wedged it between the battery and the end of the box. The top cover is hinged and has a mini toggle switch for turning the ignition on and off. I also have pilot light (LED) that tells me when the ignition is on.
gbritnell
Talent unshared is talent wasted.

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 05:31:32 PM »
Aha!!!---Recycling is good!!! I've had this "partial" box setting around for ages. It was originally going to be a base for my Webster, and was built to hold a 12 volt coil. This entire project just got a boost.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:17:25 PM by Brian Rupnow »

Online Doc

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 875
  • USA ND
Re: Power Box
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 05:47:27 PM »

When I started using electronic ignitions I did something similar only the boxes were a little smaller. Inside I have the ignition module with a small 4 amp sealed battery. For terminals I made my own mini banana type plugs (1/8 dia.). I have 5 of them, 3 for the Hall sensor or use 2 of them when I'm using points, a separate ground and one for the HT (spark) lead. To keep the battery from banging around inside the box I cut a piece of dense rubber foam and wedged it between the battery and the end of the box. The top cover is hinged and has a mini toggle switch for turning the ignition on and off. I also have pilot light (LED) that tells me when the ignition is on.
gbritnell

That sound similar to what I did it's a nice small package what I used was 3 AAA rechargeable batteries the current was sufficient to run the setup for quite some time never have timed how long between recharges. I thought I had some pics but not sure where you can see the box in this video. The nice thing is you can move from engine to engine easily and recharge just plug it in.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUsfIq6Iy_0" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUsfIq6Iy_0</a>

Offline metalmudler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 57
Re: Power Box
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 05:49:32 PM »
Hi Brian,

That is cool, and looks cool to boot!
I have been interested in IC engines and thought,coils, box... Asthetical containment .. Keep it comming m8 :)  I think my first will be a hit n miss..  I thing there are too few younger people being introduced to this hobby, let alone even have a hobby, beside sitting infront of a screen playing video games ( my 18yo son inclusive)    Shame :( Keep it all commin Brian :)

Paul
It's not done, until it's DONE... Even then there is something else to do to it !..

Offline Jasonb

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6355
  • Surrey, UK
Re: Power Box
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 06:29:59 PM »
I also tend to go for the small sealed lead/acid batteries or four 1.2V nicads and a smaller coil or ignition. A lot less cumbersom than a full size auto coil and 12V battery.

Just knocked up this box today for my Galloway that will easily take the 4" long sealed battery and LT coil with room to spare.

J

Offline metalmudler

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 57
Re: Power Box
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 07:58:01 PM »
Yeah J, i was thinkin about tabbin up some rechargable cells i have laying around here. I am learning the small IC engines dont need a huge auto type coil. What do you think is a cool scale sized coil, that we can scab outta the rubbish?

Paul
It's not done, until it's DONE... Even then there is something else to do to it !..

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 08:12:56 PM »
Oh Yeah!! Now we're rockin'!!! I found a piece of .085" aluminum plate to make a bottom for the box. I also dug  out a piece of 1"plate that is destined to be a coil mounting bracket. That piece (with the purple layout dye on it) used to be part of the Doodlebug.--How many of you remember the Doodlebug???


« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:17:55 PM by Brian Rupnow »

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 08:13:54 PM »
Yeah J, i was thinkin about tabbin up some rechargable cells i have laying around here. I am learning the small IC engines dont need a huge auto type coil. What do you think is a cool scale sized coil, that we can scab outta the rubbish?

Paul

Motorcycle coil---or some of the newer cars have a mini-coil for each sparkplug.---Brian

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 10:12:10 PM »
So---Nobody remembers the Doodlebug?? Well, it was almost 5 years ago. Anyways---I now have a coil mounting bracket. about half way thru this I was wishing I had set it up in the 4 jaw chuck in my lathe, because I can bore much faster with deeper cuts in my lathe. I opened out the existing hole with a one inch endmill, but then had to take about a thousand passes because the maximum depth of cut I can take on my small mill is about .025". I was originally going to split the one inch thick block into two 1/2" blocks and position one at each end of the coil, but it seems very stable just as it is, so I will find a balance point and epoxy the mount to the coil.






« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:18:36 PM by Brian Rupnow »

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2014, 10:15:56 PM »
JasonB--Please tell me more about the LT coil. Where can I buy one, what does it cost, and how big is it--I can do inches or millimeters--whatever is easiest for you.---Brian

Offline Barry L

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 6
Re: Power Box
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2014, 02:30:33 AM »
Brian you can get a coil for a snowmobile from Canadian Tire for about $30.00. It's 2.5" x 2.5" x2".

Barry

Offline Pete49

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
  • top of the gulf SA, Gateway to the Flinders Ranges
Re: Power Box
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2014, 03:00:53 AM »
So---Nobody remembers the Doodlebug?? Well, it was almost 5 years ago.?
bit cheeky Brian I'm battling to remember yesterday.....don't forget I had a sleep or 2 since than :lolb:
Have you tried the old go to the junkyard? Should be able to get them way cheaper.
Pete
I used to have a friend.....but the rope broke and he ran away :(

Offline Jasonb

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6355
  • Surrey, UK
Re: Power Box
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2014, 07:39:16 AM »
I got Minimag to make me the LT coil, they have done a few different windings for testing and then hope to sell one as a regular item once we find what works best. It will be a couple of weeks until I test them but keep a look out in my galloway thread.

The low tension coil is the same size as their "Novus" HT coils 1.375"dia x 2.0" Nice and small and a lot neater than using the chock out of a strip light. These are also designed for 6V opperation so the small sealed batteries are ideal

J

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2014, 04:30:24 PM »
Ongoing scrounging thru my cupboards and cabinets has yielded a treasure trove of switches, alligator clips, and one real prize--A red light. (I don't know if it works or not yet). The box now has the bottom bolted on and the coil mounting bracket bolted into place. There is a blizzard here today. Highways are shut down, school-busses are all cancelled. I have two public school age grand daughters here for the day--their mom and dad both had to go to work. We have 23" of snow on the ground and another 4 to 6" forecast before the end of today.



Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2014, 04:47:21 PM »
Bummer!!! The red light doesn't work!! oh well, I have enough other stuff to keep me busy for the rest of the day---

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2014, 07:35:10 PM »
I just took my team of Huskies and mushed down to my nearest auto parts store, and found a red indicator light with two terminals, and an illuminated switch with 3 terminals. I haven't wired anything much since I built my hot-rod ten years ago, but this has got me thinking. If I put the two terminal light in series with the hot wire that goes thru the switch to the coil, the light will only be on when the points are closed and the current is flowing. The light will be constantly blinking on and off as the points open and close.--I don't want that. Plus if its wired in series, the light itself is going to act as a flow restraint to current running to the coil. If I hook the light up in parallel with the coil, it will be almost the same--no current can flow--period--until the points are closed and let the current flow to ground--and when the points are open, it will still be an open circuit, causing the light to blink on and off as the points open and close, but since it is in parallel with the coil it won't act as a current gate. My original thinking was hot wire from battery to switch, to light, to coil, thru wire which leads back to points, thru the points to "ground" and a jumper wire from the engine base back to the negative side of the battery. If I don't want my light flashing on and off as the points open and close, maybe I have to run a relay. This will (I think) make it necessary for a third wire (not counting high tension coil wire) to run from the relay to ground. So--current travels from battery to switch, to light, to pull down relay, then back out this extra wire back to negative side of battery. Hot wire from battery is split before switch and runs to relay--one side of relay is always "hot". So--when switch is turned on, light is lit, relay is "pulled in" and wire runs from other side of relay back to negative side of battery. Then there is a second circuit which basically is a hot wire from relay to coil that is only hot when switch is on and relay is "pulled in". Current travels thru coil, then to points, then to ground, then thru jumper wire from engine back to negative side of battery. Light will be lit constantly as long as switch is on and current is flowing thru relay to keep it "pulled in". Current will flow to coil and engine will run as long as the relay is pulled in. When switch is turned off, current no longer flows so light goes off, relay is no longer "pulled in" so reverts to open circuit---No power gets to coil so engine stops. Have I got this right or am I overthinking it

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2014, 10:24:37 PM »
Guys--I was overthinking this one. I can do it without a relay. All I will need is the extra wire to return the hot feed from the light back to the frame of my engine which will be grounded to the negative side of the battery. Crap-o-cad sketch attached----


Offline ColH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 55
  • Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Re: Power Box
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2014, 05:20:38 AM »
Hi Brian

If you connect the non switch side of the lamp to the battery negative you won't need an extra wire to the engine frame.

You will then have the following wires:
-ve coil to the points
engine frame to Battery negative
high tension lead to the plug.

Col
ColH

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2014, 11:29:09 AM »
ColH--It makes no difference if the wire from the non switch side of the light runs out to the engine frame or to the negative post on the battery. It's still a third wire running out from my "power box".---Brian

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2014, 01:35:51 PM »
After gathering up all my parts for the power box, I couldn't decide just how to arrange things. I need room for a coil, a red indicator "power on" light, a switch, and storage for my wires. This morning I woke up at some heathenish hour and couldn't get back to sleep, so I got up and laid it all out on CAD. Haven't decided just what I'm going to do for a latch or a handle, but they shouldn't be a big deal. I think this looks pretty good considering I am working with a recycled "box". I might have to put some insulating rubber between the end of the coil and my light and switch, but then again, I might not.



Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2014, 09:23:36 PM »
The power box is finished. I have reached a point where I didn't want to cobble some wiring together to try and start the opposed piston engine, so I took today and completely finished the power box. There are two pics of it with all its wires hanging out. I have not shown the one wire with an alligator clip on each end that connects the engine frame to the negative side of the battery.--Mainly because I had one red alligator clip and one black one, and that particular "jumper" should never be hooked to the positive side of the battery---so I painted the red alligator clip black and now its hanging in the furnace room drying. I have also shown a picture of the box closed up with all of the wires tucked away inside of it. The last 2 1/2" of coil wire is glued inside a 0.335" diameter wooden dowel, with bare wires showing at the end which inserts into the coil. That way I can insert it from outside the box and not have to be terribly concerned about it going into the hole in the end of the coil. I tried to find a hardware store handle, but they didn't have anything that would fit, so I made my own handle. I bought a "draw down" latch, and for once I actually got the holes drilled in the right place. If you have ever installed one of those miserable things, its almost a magic trick to get the two halves so that they actually do "cam over" and draw the lid down tight and stay latched. I just picked up 2 or 3 days of engineering work this morning, so the start up of the opposed piston engine might get delayed a day or two.---I hate to turn away work---that's what buys all my machine shop stuff!!!







Offline cfellows

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1700
Re: Power Box
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2014, 06:21:10 AM »
So, Brian, in view of the (lack of) success I seem to be having with hall sensors, I think  am going to go back to points & coil.  Here is my version of your power box, which I think I will rename Ignition Box if you don't mind...  :)



I will have an RC type rechargeable battery inside the box as well as the condenser.  I think that will leave me with just 3 wires from the box to the engine.  Does that look about right?

Chuck
So many projects, so little time...

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2014, 12:52:17 PM »
Looks very good to me chuck. I can't tell from your schematic, but I always mount my condenser right beside the points on the engine.---Brian

Offline rick41

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 14
Re: Power Box
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2014, 04:40:22 PM »
Brian,  I made a similar "power box" for my hit and miss engine.  One thing I added was a three way switch to allow terminals for charging the battery without opening the box.  Center position was off.  Left position allowed charging while the right position was for powering the engine.  Otherwise, the only way to get to the battery was to remove the bottom which was held by four screws.  The engine was mounted on the top of the box.

Rick

Offline Brian Rupnow

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4881
  • Barrie, Ontario Canada
Re: Power Box
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 06:08:51 PM »
Rick--I'd have a heck of a time getting that 12 volt boat battery into the box----

Offline rick41

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 14
Re: Power Box
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2014, 07:53:48 PM »
Brian, I guess I didn't look close enough to see the 12 volt battery.  I was assuming that the "power box"  would be a self contained unit.  Mine uses a 6 volt automotive coil and a rechargeable 6 volt sealed gel battery of the type used in emergency lighting systems.  The reason I chose 6 volt is because the 6 volt gel battery is cheaper than the 12 volt gel battery and 6 volt automotive coils are readily available at the auto parts stores. The 6 volt system delivers plenty of punch for my little engine.  My unit is 7"W x 12"L x 5"H with the engine on the top.  I enjoy following your build threads.

Rick