August 2019 Issue

Electronic Ignition: Coming of Age

A second electronic ignition system has received certification. We like the choices now available for those who want to get rid of one magneto.

Magnetos always fire the spark plugs at the same point-on the order of 25 degrees before top dead center (TDC)-and rely on the combustion event to carry on by itself to reach maximum pressure by the time the piston reaches 11 to 17 degrees past TDC. Mags put out a spark of on the order of 12,000 volts. The downside: At 500 hours it's time to pull mags for inspection and repair or replacement. That's not cheap.

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