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Thread: Looking for Options for Electronic Ignition

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    I had been involved with that failure via the CC forum and, based on the information available, I diagnosed which sensor channel had failed. Did you ever get any feedback on the failure mode or did Klaus hold fast to the strange idea that his stuff can't fail.
    He just said he had not had a crank sensor failure before. I trashed the replacement because I didn't think hard enough about how to set the gap. After doing it with a feeler gauge with the flywheel installed and futzing with it forever. I failed when it got into the timing ring. I called Klaus and he told me about using a depth gauge and measuring the flywheel between the surface where the crank flange sits and the timing ring. The light bulb went off and I started using my machinist square and a feeler gauge to measure the flywheel to timing ring and then from the crankshaft to crank sensor. Sometimes I'm not the sharpest pencil in the drawer and it takes someone else explaining it to me. Usually cost me time and in this case a crank sensor as well. It is proudly displayed on the "Wall of Shame" in my hangar.
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  2. #42

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    I’ve had experience with both P-mags and EFII System 32. I currently run the EFII System 32 in my RV-8, and I absolutely love it. I’ll be running it in my current RV-14 project and I’m also planning on running it in my future Javron build. I’d personally never go back to standard old technology mags, carburetor, or mechanical fuel injection. However, I guess like everything else in life, they both have their good and bad points.

    P-mags:
    The good. They’re simple, easy to time, generate their own power above a certain RPM, advance/retard is based on manifold pressure, can easily be managed with an external EI-Commander, and utilize automotive spark plugs. Bottom line, P-mags are WAY better than standard mags.

    The bad. Like magnetos, they’re still a mechanical device that requires attention from time to time. Things can still wear out! The factory use to recommend sending them back in for a health checkup every 100 hours, or at annual time. I think that’s changed now, so I’d confirm the maintenance intervals with them.

    EFII System 32 or SDS:
    The good. It can take the place of either your ignition system, fuel delivery system,….or both! It’ll bring your old technology air cooled engine into modern times if you utilized it to its full potential of both electronic fuel injection and electronic ignition. Everything is solid state, so there’s no moving parts and nothing to wear out. Advance/retard is variable and is based on manifold pressure. As with other electronic ignitions, Inexpensive automotive spark plugs are used. If the fuel injection portion is taken advantage of, the high pressure fuel rail will always deliver cold fresh fuel, so hot-starts will never be an issue again. Each injector is adjustable/programmable, so you can get the perfect Gami CHT’s. The entire fuel delivery system is automotive gas friendly….both with and without ethanol. I run 91 octane ethanol laced fuel in my 180 hp RV-8 all the time and she runs perfectly fine. I typically cruse at around 10k’ altitude at 2200 RPM, 165 kts TAS, burning 7.5 GPH. That’s some pretty cheap flying!

    The bad. Not rally so much as “the bad”, but really more “the careful”. Yes, the aircraft is completely electrically dependent, so the electrical system and wiring MUST be rock solid. It would be highly advisable to run either a backup alternator or backup battery….or both. I personally think a back alternator is probably the better choice. If your electrical system is bulletproof and you have the proper backup systems in place, there’s really nothing “bad” about the EFII system. If you take advantage of its full potential and utilize both its electronic ignition and fuel injection, you’ll have to do some fuel system plumbing work, but once you’ve finished with the product it’ll be well worth it and you’ll never look back at the old school technology again.


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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeTopFlyer33 View Post
    I’ve had experience with both P-mags and EFII System 32.
    This? https://www.flyefii.com/system-32/

    How does the cost compare to a pair of Pmags and a standard fuel injection system?
    My dual Pmag Bendix FI IO-360B will do 7.5 gph at sea level.
    The instructions mention 12 volts and 5 circuit breakers with a total of 45 amps of protection. It does not mention what the system current draw is expected to be. My entire airplane draws less than 10 amps.
    Having a dedicated alternator on the engine seems like a good proposition with the ship's power as the standby.
    Something like this on the engine for power would make sense. https://bandc.com/product/alternator...ilt-less-gear/ Or this: https://bandc.com/product/alternator...tor-controller

    A small brushless dynamo makes sense.
    N1PA

  4. #44
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    My Airflow Performance FI is excellent as are my Pmags but I’m not running LOP and don’t intend to for most of my flying. For the go-fast guys I’d think the EFII and deep into LOP makes good sense. ROP vs LOP should be a consideration for choosing EI and FI.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by TreeTopFlyer33 View Post

    P-mags:
    The good. They’re simple, easy to time, generate their own power above a certain RPM, advance/retard is based on manifold pressure, ....
    I would expect RPM to be dominant input to spark timing in this, and any other, electronic ignition system. In stone age car distributors spark advance was controlled by a centrifugal governor and manifold vacuum only became dominant at low power settings. Electronic ignition systems can directly sense rpm from the trigger inputs.

  6. #46
    stewartb's Avatar
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    They still use load (MP) to compute advance.
    Last edited by stewartb; 11-05-2021 at 02:26 PM.

  7. #47

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    Looking for Options for Electronic Ignition

    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This? https://www.flyefii.com/system-32/

    How does the cost compare to a pair of Pmags and a standard fuel injection system?
    My dual Pmag Bendix FI IO-360B will do 7.5 gph at sea level.
    The instructions mention 12 volts and 5 circuit breakers with a total of 45 amps of protection. It does not mention what the system current draw is expected to be. My entire airplane draws less than 10 amps.
    Having a dedicated alternator on the engine seems like a good proposition with the ship's power as the standby.
    Something like this on the engine for power would make sense. https://bandc.com/product/alternator...ilt-less-gear/ Or this: https://bandc.com/product/alternator...tor-controller

    A small brushless dynamo makes sense.
    I think if you compare the the total expense of your fuel delivery system….carburetor or mechanical fuel injection, plus the cost of duel P-mags, to a complete EFII System 32, I think you’ll find that the EFII is less expensive overall. If you’re planning on sticking with a standard mechanical fuel delivery setup, it may be close to a toss up on price. P-mags aren’t cheep and they’re kind of a one trick pony, whereas the EFII can do everything. I think if I were strictly wanting electronic ignition and not planning for electronic fuel injection, I’d probably just go with the P-mags. I think they’d definitely be easier to install when thinking about the wiring and also the self powering benefit they offer. But, if you’re wanting the whole enchilada, EFII is the way to go. The wiring of the EFII can be a little bit intimidating at first glance, but it’s really not all that bad. For the most part, the harnesses make it plug and play. The one thing I don’t like about how the instructions have you wire the fuel pump(s) relay is the fact that you only have one relay that operates both fuel pumps. I modified my setup a little bit and use two separate relays….one for each pump. I also wired my relays so that power is supplied to the pumps when the relay is in the “normally closed” position rather than the energized position. This way, if the relays were to lose power, main power would still flow through them and the pump(s) would still work. So basically, power is supplied to each one of my fuel pumps when power is “removed” from the relays and the fuel pump(s) are turned off when power is supplied to the relay(s). I have one high quality Honeywell TL series three position D.P. toggle switch that controls both of my fuel pumps. I have it wired as (off/pump1/pump2). The toggle switch then operates both of my fuel pump relays. Everything works really well and as mentioned above, the relays default to the normally closed position if power is taken away. By doing it this way, it gives me a better sense of reliability and redundancy.

    The dynamo is a nice compact backup unit and is probably all you’d really need to get you out of a pinch. I personally like a more standard backup alternator that’ll put out a full 30-40 amps. Both B&C and PlanePower make really nice units that plugs into the vacuum pump pad mount. The PlanePower is internally regulated whereas the B&C is externally regulated. I like the B&C and think it’s a more robust unit.


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    Last edited by TreeTopFlyer33; 11-05-2021 at 02:55 PM.
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  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    I would expect RPM to be dominant input to spark timing in this, and any other, electronic ignition system. In stone age car distributors spark advance was controlled by a centrifugal governor and manifold vacuum only became dominant at low power settings. Electronic ignition systems can directly sense rpm from the trigger inputs.
    Very true, but MP is also a direct result of RPM’s AND altitude. I think of the entire system as hand and glove and working in concert with each other to provide the proper advance/retard at the current altitude. When I’m flying my RV-8, as I gain altitude, the RPM’s remain constant but the MP continues to decrease with altitude. With that decrease in MP, my ignition slowly advances until it reaches 30* BTDC. With the advice/retard being linked to the MP, it helps keeps me out of the detonation zone.


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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    They still use load (MP) to compute advance.
    Agree, but it's not the only input to the advance curve.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    They still use load (MP) to compute advance.
    We're using an engine that spends a large portion of it's run time with the throttle at a set position. The easiest way to sense the load on the engine is to monitor manifold pressure. An easy way of showing this is to place a vacuum gauge on something like a water pump engine. If you leave the throttle at any position but vary the amount of water put through the pump, you'll see the vacuum vary with load. Same thing if you monitor manifold pressure on a gas powered air compressor. As the compressor fills the air tank and the load increases, the manifold pressure will vary accordingly

    This is why aircraft with constant speed props always have manifold pressure gauges. They help you obtain power from your engine and not destroy it in the process. EI and EFII systems monitoring manifold pressures are just doing this automatically.

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  11. #51

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    I need a 20 amp battery to comply with the Surefire STC electronic mag. Does anyone know of one that can replace my current lightweight battery under the front seat (16-18 amp)? Certified Cub.

  12. #52
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    I am running the Hawker J16. I asked Surefly about this and they just put down the smallest battery they knew of. They are suppose to be revising that.
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  13. #53
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    The Odyssey PC925 is the best small battery I know over 20aH. It’d require mods to the seat mount but it’s a great battery.
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Williams View Post
    I need a 20 amp battery to comply with the Surefire STC electronic mag. Does anyone know of one that can replace my current lightweight battery under the front seat (16-18 amp)? Certified Cub.
    Just read through the install instructions for this. Seems the unit is to be connected to UNSWITCHED battery power and it will draw one milliamp continuously when the engine is not running. Makes me suspect that it may have to do with not leaving a half dead battery after non flying times. I know . . . they 'recommend' keeping it on a trickle charger, but we're dealing with humans here. Has anyone tried to hand prop with this setup (needs one Surefly and one mag, for certified)?

    Yet another reason to use a secondary battery with electronic ignition. Besides keeping power on the EI, if master is off for electrical emergency, it could also be used to keep power on the EI without depleting ships battery.

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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Yet another reason to use a secondary battery with electronic ignition. Besides keeping power on the EI, if master is off for electrical emergency, it could also be used to keep power on the EI without depleting ships battery.
    CubCrafters installs the Light Speed Engineering Plasma ignition modules with primary power independent of Master. The left and right ignition breakers are battery direct. Light Speed claims zero current draw when the ignition ("mag") switch is off but I have not verified that.

    There is sufficient current draw with engine not running and "mag" switch not Off to drain the battery overnight. No, I haven't done that yet but seen reports from those who have.

    Surprised that Surefly has a constant current drain. What happens if power is removed and then restored? Doesn't the ignition system work?

  16. #56
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    Why would direct connection to the battery matter?

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Why would direct connection to the battery matter?
    Memory for programming.

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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Just read through the install instructions for this. Seems the unit is to be connected to UNSWITCHED battery power and it will draw one milliamp continuously when the engine is not running. Makes me suspect that it may have to do with not leaving a half dead battery after non flying times. I know . . . they 'recommend' keeping it on a trickle charger, but we're dealing with humans here. Has anyone tried to hand prop with this setup (needs one Surefly and one mag, for certified)?
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    I did not know about the continuous current draw and the need for a trickle charger. I'm curious where that is written. I can tell you that because of the excess humidity we are having in Alaska this summer my Maule has had some extended periods of sit time. I just went out yesterday and it fired up instantly. Also just doing the math on 1 mA continuous draw seems like a non issue for most of us.

    As I recall the requirement to an unswitched source is just so you can't accidentally turn it off in flight. Once it's timed you can disconnect the battery without loosing the timing. It will just go through a boot sequence on reconnect that last a few seconds.

    As for hand prop concerns, I have not tried it for obvious reasons (3 blade on floats) but I can tell you that the difference in starting response going from two Slicks to a Surefly on the right is amazing. I would guess this would help, unless I'm missing something.

    Jerry

  19. #59
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    Screenshots from the airframe install manual.

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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Memory for programming.

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    Per the Lightspeed manual it’s for reliability and radio noise. It’s still wired to a breaker, too.

  21. #61
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    Not sure what direct connection has to do with electrical noise? But thinking through emergency operations, it might work to keep the EI powered when you switch the master off in flight. Then if you still need to power down the EI you can pop the breaker. Breaker (circuit protection) is ALWAYS going to be on a powered circuit. Or supposed to be, lol.

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  22. #62
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    I think I’d use a small battery backup dedicated to the ignition if I had a CDI type. It would be seamless for master on, engine start, master off. I wonder how long a 6ah IBBS would run a Lightspeed before it got to 6v? Probably plenty long enough. Or an EarthX on a backup bus like EFII and SDS sell. I’m suprised CC doesn’t have a second battery wired in.

  23. #63
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    You have to power up the programming lug on the Surely to reboot any timing changes done with the dip switches. Reason I know is I reset the dip switches and thought I was on variable timing but in a conversation with the Surely engineer I learned you have to apply at least a 9 volt battery to that other lug
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  24. #64
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    Cub Crafters does have a back up battery for the ignition. Will run it for 1/2 hr plus.
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  25. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Cub Crafters does have a back up battery for the ignition. Will run it for 1/2 hr plus.
    I had a conversation with them once, about the 1/2 hour run time. They never could wrap their mind around why I needed a battery with longer run time up here. The one I ended up using was originally for emergency lighting. It had a voltage profile that held up well until the charge was almost completely depleted.

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  26. #66
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    It will still run on ships battery down to about 6 volts.
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  27. #67
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    Found this. They use the same IBBS that I use for my G3X. Their wiring diagram for Lightspeed in on page 18. TCW offers the same unit in 6ah so they could double the backup, or run both ignitions for the same duration. I wonder why the chose the 3ah? For the price of those planes another $150 wouldn’t break the bank. I’d want the 6ah to both ignitions and know I could turn one off if I needed to stretch the duration.


    https://cubcrafters.com/c/wp-content...ah_rev_1.4.pdf

  28. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I had a conversation with them once, about the 1/2 hour run time. They never could wrap their mind around why I needed a battery with longer run time up here.
    As I have pointed out before, the 1/2 hour duration of the emergency ignition battery does not define the time the engine will run after electrical system fault detection.

    My plan, day vfr, is to run nothing but ignition on the main battery until it is exhausted. I would expect that to keep the engine running for several hours before even thinking of using the emergency ignition battery.

    My FX-3 has better electrical system instrumentation than provided by the factory. I would be alerted immediately if the alternator was not charging the main battery.

  29. #69
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    IBBS units are generally connected as the primary power source for the connected device and when the ship’s power is working ship’s power passes through. Unless I switch the IBBS breaker to off I don’t get to decide when it switches to primary. I don’t care enough about CC’s wiring to figure it out but I know for sure that’s how it works for my panel. As I’ve mentioned before, early in my Phase 1, I had an EarthX failure. The Pmags purred and the G3X worked perfectly with the alternator and battery switches off. I love it when backup stuff works as planned.
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  30. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    IBBS units are generally connected as the primary power source for the connected device and when the ship’s power is working ship’s power passes through.


    CC aircraft IBBS is not configured that way. IBBS output is dead unless input voltage drops below switching threshold. IBBS power and main bus power are wired to independent power pins on the using LRU.

    IBBS in a CC aircraft does not power the ignition.

    The important thing is to know the systems in the aircraft you are flying and know how to best dodge the stream when the merde hits the fan. I don't think many people take to the time to understand the systems of the aircraft they are flying or have have considered how best to manage failures.


  31. #71
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    First off. The 1/2 hour is the time the engine will run with the master off. Simple math there. If you have an electrical emergency, you will more than likely have to switch off the master. If you are lucky you MIGHT be able to pop some breakers and bring the ships battery back on line. Plan for the worst case.

    Second. It's not difficult to add a backup battery. No particularly special circuits required to access the backup power and yet keep it from powering anything but the ignition system. Also a good idea (if you run dual EI) is to add a switch to select backup power for left, right, or both EIs. After all, what will you do if the one EI with backup power is the cause of the electrical emergency?

    And, as always, make sure your EI(s) will have backup power for as long as you have fuel on board.

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  32. #72
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    Cub Crafters uses a separate battery for IBBS and ignition. Ignition back up is a PowerSonic PS-1221S 2 Ah 12 volt battery that gets replaced annually. The IBBS battery is behind it and is change on condition as is the ignition back up batteries on the new X and NX Cubs with the dual SureFly ignitions.
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  33. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Found this. They use the same IBBS that I use for my G3X. Their wiring diagram for Lightspeed in on page 18. TCW offers the same unit in 6ah so they could double the backup, or run both ignitions for the same duration. I wonder why the chose the 3ah? For the price of those planes another $150 wouldn’t break the bank. I’d want the 6ah to both ignitions and know I could turn one off if I needed to stretch the duration.


    https://cubcrafters.com/c/wp-content...ah_rev_1.4.pdf
    That is the vendor's document and I have only found it installed in early Carbon Cubs and was hard to figure out which schematic was used to wire it in.
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  34. #74
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    When I built my CC EX-3, I did my own electrical system. I had great luck with Lightspeed on my RV-8, so I used that again. But, on the 8, I had constant problems with keeping a healthy backup battery using the germanium diode to charge it off the main electrical system. Even though that diode only has a .2V drop when conducting, and I was using an odysee battery (310? series) for backup, I would replace that battery at least once a year. I can't really say if it was the battery, or that being .2V less than buss voltage resulted in a reduced battery lifetime, when the Odysee 680 main battery would last for 4 years easily.

    So for the EX-3, I am using two IBBS battery systems, one for the GX3, and one for the right side Lightspeed. I am hoping that the more intelligent charging system in the IBBS will give it a longer than 1 year service life. The 3 Ah IBBS runs the single ignition for a hour or so at cruise RPM, at least so far.

    I have only been flying for just over 6 months, and 120 hours, so the results are still unknown. So far, so good.
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  35. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    First off. The 1/2 hour is the time the engine will run with the master off. Simple math there.
    No, that's not true for an EX-3 or FX-3. The ignition primary power is not Master switched. It is Battery Direct.

    In an EX-3 or FX-3, and probably any other CC aircraft with Light Speed ignition and Garmin G3X, Master off results in:

    Both ignition modules remain powered by the primary battery
    All equipment on Main, Avionics, Ext, and Lighting buses becomes unpowered (transponder, radio, and lighting lost)
    IBBS powers the Display Unit, GSU 25 ADAHRS, magnetometer, and GEA engine interface unit

    My IBBS discharge testing demonstrated normal equipment operation for over 2.5 hours. (I got bored at 2.5 hours and abandoned the test). I have no doubt a main battery in good condition would run both ignition systems for over 2.5 hours. Engine run time on main battery could be increased by running right ignition only. That keeps those plugs clean in case reversion to emergency ignition battery is required.

    In my FX-3 I also have a Garmin G5 with integrated backup battery.

    There is no 30 minute limit on anything when master goes off.

  36. #76
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    I was addressing ignition systems with back up batteries. The point being to eliminate single point of failure.

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  37. #77
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    The "P"-mag systems don't require any back up electricity for normal operation. They are self generating unless the rpm drops below 7 or 800 rpm. A simple Duracell 9 volt battery is suitable for hand staring. The above described systems appear to have too many built-in gotchas. If there is any possibility of running out of ignition sooner than running out of a full tank of gas.....one is asking for a learning experience.
    N1PA
    Likes cub yellow, wireweinie liked this post

  38. #78
    stewartb's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Wolf Lake, AK
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    EFI and CDI ignition combinations like EFII and SDS provide more power and far better fuel efficiency than my Pmags and mechanical injection. I don’t regret my decisions but I’m aware of the reality.

    In this backup power discussion I still think EFII’s bus manager is the best solution for EFI and CDI users. The fuel pressure manager is an added bonus. I wouldn’t mind having that in my plane. https://www.flyefii.com/products/bus-manager/

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