The spark plug was a key invention in the history of the internal combustion engine, allowing combustion to be easily controlled and engines to rev faster than messy earlier designs. Mid-century cars tended to rely on points ignition with a distributor and coil, however more modern designs place a coil on top of each individual spark plug. [Roger Moore] decided to build a similar setup for a small model engine on his workbench.
The rig is built with an Arduino, a flyback transformer, a smattering of MOSFETs and passives, an IGBT and a capacitor. The Arduino outputs PWM through a MOSFET which is stepped up through the transformer, and then charges the capacitor. The capacitor is then discharged into a coil mounted on top of the sparkplug of the single-cylinder engine, which fires the spark. The timing of the spark is determined by a Hall effect sensor reading a magnet placed on the flywheel.
Later development aims to shrink the system further to fit on a V10 design [Roger] is planning to make. It’s been done on a small scale before, and we’d love to see another tiny engine with way too many cylinders. Video after the break.
[Thanks to Andy Pugh for the tip!]