That looks very interesting, but I'd be very concerned about the life expectancy of the device with it being mounted to the crankcase right next to the cylinder like that. That thing is gonna get hot and with it being sealed up inside that can/cover thing, it's not going to see much, if any airflow through there. A lot of those components on the circuit board probably aren't going to like getting that hot for long.
I have a stock '57 Panhead and I am interested in your devise. Being totally incapable of assembling your ignition control unit; how much could be for a complete set up provided by you? My old trick right knee has this retiree seeking your help. firstname.lastname@example.org
I already know it is probably a stupid question, but no one answered it. Why can't you have an electric start dirt bike? They have electric start mowers. I must be missing something. It sure would be nice to hit a button when you are stuck in a mud hole rather than trying to kick it. Been there done that...not fun!
I continue to be amazed at the innovation and creativity that gets released when engineers retire from large corporations. The fact you designed this as your own educational exercise is impressive. Some companies are bringing back "engineering freetime". A concept that most abandoned decades ago when MBAs could not measure its Earned Value each week. Imagine what you could have done if you had your own creative time to develop your own ideas before you retired! My hat is off to you, Ed, never stop creating.
To answer the question about the original advance mechanisim in the Panhead, it was a twist grip on the left hand side of the handlebar which the rider could vary as desired. The epitomy of "tune by ear"... :)
Thanks for the comment. This ICU is not an ECU as it does not close the control loop with engine parameters other than RPM. It is strictly a mapped advance curve based on RPM. I wrote a white paper on it and sent it to Design News but I'm not sure if they made it available. If anyone wants a copy of it or any other documentation, email me and I will send it to you. If you are really considering building one for yourself, I will be happy to help if I can.
One of my main goals in doing this project was to educate myself a little further in the engineering aspects of the combustion engine. It is a stepping stone for me to my next endeavor which is to build an ECU. I plan on starting with a single cylinder 4 cycle engine that has an electric starter and an accessable ignition system that can be readily replaced. I have laid out the data acquisition system with 23 parameters. Next is building a small engine dyno for testing. Once that is through I can start ressearching engines. I plan on trying Microchips MCU's first, but I have a feeling it will require more processing horsepower especially when I move to more cylinders. I will probably step up to Freescale's stuff.
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