# Controlling sparks in car

Hello, I'm trying to figure how to program an engine controller. What I need is to check the presence of the sparks on 4 cylinders and on the wheel. Where is problem: how to programme to have an average time between each cyliner and wheel and the percentage amount of missed sparks.

romekplaszcz:
Hello, I'm trying to figure how to program an engine controller. What I need is to check the presence of the sparks on 4 cylinders and on the wheel. Where is problem: how to programme to have an average time between each cyliner and wheel and the percentage amount of missed sparks.

Perhaps a translation problem. The only way to know if there is a "spark" is to detect it visually. The inclusion of "wheel" males no sense at all. Please try again to explain your project.

Paul

By usuing hall sensor I can detect high voltage creating spark. Have problem how to process signal from 5 sensors . How to process the signals in term of time and presence ? What information need is : presence of signal for example as SP1 100% SP 100% SP3 50% SP4 80% where signal from wheel is the reference. Second set of data will be average timing -for example TSP1 3ms TSP2 4ms TSP3 5ms TSP4 5ms calculated where signal from wheel is reference.
Where SP mean spark presence. TSP time between reference signal and spark presence signal.

romekplaszcz:
By usuing hall sensor I can detect high voltage creating spark. Have problem how to process signal from 5 sensors . How to process the signals in term of time and presence ? What information need is : presence of signal for example as SP1 100% SP 100% SP3 50% SP4 80% where signal from wheel is the reference. Second set of data will be average timing -for example TSP1 3ms TSP2 4ms TSP3 5ms TSP4 5ms calculated where signal from wheel is reference.
Where SP mean spark presence. TSP time between reference signal and spark presence signal.

Ok, then you are detecting high voltage, not a spark. What hall sensor are you using and what is it's response time and recovery time? Are you using a magneto or a distributor/coil ignition? Either way, the high voltage will be an oscillation, not a single electrical pulse. Will your hall sensor handle this correctly?

All things being equal, you can use a digital pin are read the pulse and save the millis() time for that pulse. Same for each of the 4 pulses. I am sure the firing order enters here somewhere.

And again!!!! what is the "wheel" you refer to?

Paul

I want to try/use this on a very old Volvo Penta outboard around 40-50 years old- but maybe in the future on another. The wheel is on crankshaf or camshaft (at this point it is less important) and is as a reference signal to know which cylinder is giving signal to board. Without this I will not known is it starting from 1st or 2nd. Also because Im worry how to create sequence reading signals from 4 wires in case if one of it not working. For example if SP3 not working - board will treat SP4 as SP3. Unable to set timing
as delay (ms) because rpm changing. Secondly, because spare parts are very difficult to find for this engine was thinking to swap to electronic. Instead of transformers was thinkin about electronic spark makers. Because of this I do not want to connect signals from the breaker switches or coils( other engines have coils instead of circuit breakers).
In this engine I think circuit breakers do not give proper contact on some speed but because have two carburators is difficult to find this out. In the future will think eventually to upgrade it with pressure sensors etc but for now stuck on how to read this 5 signals reading presence and time.
And yes you right contact breaker disconnect from grounding when piston is 3mm from top dead end but closing much later. This mean spark should appear a bit longer. In another engines with electronic ECU signal is much shorter. On thsi ocasion will be great to measure time from start of signal to start of signal from the next breaker. And will use LM 35 as the sensors- think will be ok for 1 to 2 thousand pulses per minute. Thank you.

As point ignition position for opening and closing is dependant on advance/retard perhaps monitoring this on the low tension side might be more of an advantage.
Naturally any engine speed or load would need to be taken into account as well as crank or cam position.

I'm curious just as to why one would need to know this information as a \$10.00 timing light positioned to fire at the crank position degree indicator would be a much more appropriate solution.

romekplaszcz:
I want to try/use this on a very old Volvo Penta outboard

If you are trying to make an electronic ignition control system then there is no need to detect the sparks - the sparks are history. All you need to do is detect the crankshaft position at Top Dead Centre. That will enable your Arduino to figure out the engine speed and the time at which each spark should be triggered. If you have a detector that can detect (say) 4 pulses per crank rotation that would probably be better - but it must be able to identify TDC.

I have no idea how you would use an Arduino to trigger a spark, but I'm sure it has been done many times before so a Google search should find stuff.

...R

Have a look at the auto labs web site for low cost commercially available ignition controllers .