Saturday, April 9, 2022

TIM6 Ignition Module / ATV Coil Bench Test Procedures

Before you install your new TIM6 ignition system on your engine, I highly recommend you do a simple bench test with it and all the components. This way you will be more familiar with it and see how it actually works. Otherwise, once installed on the engine, issues sometimes show up such as bad connections and open grounds - making it much more difficult to diagnose the system as a whole.

Once you get it working on the bench, proceed by installing just ONE component at a time on the engine, and re-test. If it still works, install the next component and re-test. Repeat until the entire system is installed. If it quits working after you installed a particular component, then you know you have a connection problem with that component.

See the photos below for how I bench test the TIM6 with the ATV coil.
  1. The tab on the coil connects to "Coil +" and the coil frame is connected to "Coil -" on the TIM6 module.
  2. Cut the end of the coil's spark plug cable so that about 1/8" of the copper wire is exposed.  Secure the spark plug wire to the coil frame so that the exposed wire is 1/16" to 1/8" from the coil frame.  No more, no less or you can damage the coil.  The spark will jump here.
  3. Connect your 6v battery to "6 volt+" and "6 volt -" on the module.  
  4. Using a bent paper clip, quickly touch and release the "points" terminals on the connection block several times.  This simulates a "points" system.  Each time you make a connection you should see the LED light up, and when you release a spark will jump across the gap of the spark plug wire and the coil frame.
(Click photo to enlarge)

If this is successful, and if your setup will be using the Hall/Magnet switch, then resume testing:
  1. Switch off power, or disconnect  "6 volt +" on the module
  2. Hook up the Hall sensor to the switch block following the TIM6 Instructions, or as shown in the photo below using our Hall wire.
  3. Reconnect power.

Wave your magnet's south pole across the face of the Hall sensor.  At each pass, the LED should light and sparks should jump between the coil spark plug wire and frame.

(click photo to enlarge)

Final Test:

As a final test before you install anything on your engine, connect the spark plug to the coil.  In the case of the ATV coil, connect the spark plug wire to the top of the spark plug, and position the plug threads so they touch the coil frame.  A rubber band may be helpful to hold it in place.

When you test now, you should see the spark in the spark plug gap.  If not, check connections, or you may have a faulty spark plug.

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If these test pass, you are ready to install the system on your engine.  I would install the components in the following order, testing that everything still works IN BETWEEN each component install:
  1. Spark Plug
  2. Points or Hall/Magnet 
    1. Make sure the Hall sensor install, and it's wires, are well insulated from the engine frame.  Some of our instructions recommend you also ground the module (from the "Gnd" on the board terminal block) to the engine frame.  This is to provide a path for the coil's high voltage to ground in case the Hall sensor or wiring is too close to the engine. If you're getting good spark after installing the spark plug, hold off on this step.  However, if your have a problem with Hall sensors blowing out, try this ground.
  3. TIM6 module
  4. Battery
If these steps are followed, you are much more likely to have a trouble-free install.  If you have any trouble along the way and just can't figure it out, feel free to e-mail allen@outpostenterprises.com with photos and a detailed description of the problem, and I will do my best to assist.

Good luck!

Friday, April 8, 2022

BuzzCoil Ignition Module and ATV Coil Bench Testing

Before you install your new BuzzCoil ignition system on your engine, I highly recommend you do a simple bench test with it and all the components. This way you will be more familiar with it and see how it actually works. Otherwise, once installed on the engine, issues sometimes show up such as bad connections and open grounds - making it much more difficult to diagnose the system as a whole.

Once you get it working on the bench, proceed by installing just ONE component at a time on the engine, and re-test. If it still works, install the next component and re-test. Repeat until the entire system is installed. If it quits working after you installed a particular component, then you know you have a connection problem with that component.


See the photos below for how I bench test the BuzzCoil with the ATV coil.
  1. The tab on the coil connects to "Coil +" and the coil frame is connected to "Coil -" on the BuzzCoil module.
  2. Cut the end of the coil's spark plug cable so that about 1/8" of the copper wire is exposed.  Secure the spark plug wire to the coil frame so that the exposed wire is 1/16" to 1/8" from the coil frame.  No more, no less or you can damage the coil.  The spark will jump here.
  3. Connect your battery (I use a 9v smoke alarm battery) to "Batt +" and "Batt-" on the module.  
  4. Using a bent paper clip, quickly touch and release positions 2 and 3 on the switch connection block.  This simulates a "points" system.  Each time you make a connection you should see the LED light up and a "shower of sparks" will jump across the gap of the spark plug wire and the coil frame.

(Click photo to enlarge)

If this is successful, and if your setup will be using the Hall/Magnet switch, then resume testing:
  1. Disconnect Batt +.
  2. Hook up the Hall sensor directly to the switch block following the BuzzCoil wiring diagram PDF, or alternatively use steps 3-4:
  3. With the Hall's beveled edge facing down, insert the Hall Sensor into the switch terminal block positions 1,2 and 3.
  4. With your needle nose pliers, grasp the Hall legs in the middle and bend the head up.
  5. Reconnect Batt +.

Wave your magnet's south pole across the face of the Hall sensor.  At each pass, the LED should light and sparks should jump between the coil spark plug wire and frame.


(click photo to enlarge)

Final Test:

As a final test before you install anything on your engine, connect the spark plug to the coil.  In the case of the ATV coil, connect the spark plug wire to the top of the spark plug, and position the plug threads so they touch the coil frame.  A rubber band may be helpful to hold it in place.

When you test now, you should see the spark in the spark plug gap.  If not, check connections, or you may have a faulty spark plug.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If these test pass, you are ready to install the system on your engine.  I would install the components in the following order, testing that everything still works IN BETWEEN each component install:
  1. Spark Plug
  2. Points or Hall/Magnet 
    1. Make sure the Hall sensor install, and it's wires, are well insulated from the engine frame.  Some of our instructions recommend you also ground the module (from the "Gnd" on the board terminal block) to the engine frame.  This is to provide a path for the coil's high voltage to ground in case the Hall sensor or wiring is too close to the engine. If you're getting good spark after installing the spark plug, hold off on this step.  However, if your have a problem with Hall sensors blowing out, try this ground.
  3. BuzzCoil module
  4. Battery
If these steps are followed, you are much more likely to have a trouble-free install.  If you have any trouble along the way and just can't figure it out, feel free to e-mail allen@outpostenterprises.com with photos and a detailed description of the problem, and I will do my best to assist.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Francisco Herranz's Powerhouse

 From an email I received on Feb 14th:




"...I have really enjoyed making the PowerHouse. This is my First Build off a set of
Plans."  Francisco Herranz, Brisbane, Australia


Friday, July 2, 2021

Steven Green's Super Fan

Got this email from Steven on July 1, 2021:

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Allen,

Several years ago I built a Stirling engine from (cheap) plans bought at a show.  The engine didn’t run very well so I began to search the internet to diagnose the problem.  That’s when I came across an article Jerry Howell Models had on-line explaining some of the reasons some engines don’t run very well.  A very good article.

I ordered the plans and materials kit for the Super Stirling Fan and it set on the shelf for more years than I care to admit.  Last Fall, after retiring, I decided to build the fan, but not just one fan, I built one for each of our children and one for us, 5 total.  All the fans run great and the kids love them.  I have ran mine at engine shows for as long as 6 hours at a time and it gets a lot of attention.  One gentleman, while watching the fan run was explaining to his friend that the engines will run for a short time then get too hot to continue running.  This gave me the opportunity to tell him my story of the first engine that I had built and that this fan had been running continuous for about 4 hours.  I gave him your website information.

Thanks for keeping the business going to provide us gearheads with very well designed “stuff” to build.

Steven Green  

My Wife let me decorate the mantle last Christmas.


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Steven,  I love hearing stories like this.  Thanks for the email!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Sante Schilderman's Farmboy Class Project

 Sante Schildermans from Belgium and his Hit & Miss Engine school (Wico-Campus TIO) graduation project.  Ready for an ignition system.







Update June 25, 2021:

Hallo, 

We didn't finish the engine due to the corona measures at school.  But here's a picture of what we did get.  We will continue to work on it next school year.  Hopefully the engine will run.  If so, I'll be sure to let you know.

Bye, greetings Sante Schildermans