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  • Capacitor discharge ignition

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    CDI moduleCapacitor discharge ignition (CDI) or thyristor ignition is a type of automotive electronic ignition system which is widely used in outboard motors, motorcycles, lawn mowers, chainsaws, small engines, turbine-powered aircraft, and some cars. It was originally developed to overcome the long charging times associated with high inductance coils used in inductive discharge ignition (IDI) systems, making the ignition system more suitable for high engine speeds (for small engines, racing engines and rotary engines). The capacitive-discharge ignition uses capacitor discharge current to the coil to fire the spark plugs.

  • Distributor

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    Typical distributor with distributor cap.Also visible are mounting/drive shaft (bottom), vacuum advance unit (right) and capacitor (centre). Car ignition system. Upper right is Distributor. A distributor is an enclosed rotating shaft used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines that have mechanically-timed ignition. The distributor's main function is to route secondary, or high voltage, current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct firing order, and for the correct amount of time. Except in magneto systems, the distributor also houses a mechanical or inductive breaker switch to open and close the ignition coil's primary circuit. The first reliable battery operated ignition was developed by Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. (Delco) and introduced in the 1910 Cadillac. This ignition was developed by Charles Kettering and was considered a wonder in its day. Atwater Kent invented his Unisparker ignition system about this time in competition with the Delco system. By the end of the 20th century mechanical ignitions were disappearing from automotive applications in favor of inductive or capacitive electronic ignitions fully controlled by engine control units (ECU), rather than directly timed to the engine's crankshaft speed.

  • Ignition coil

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    Aceon Bright Ignition Coil Bosch ignition coil. Dual ignition coils (blue cylinders, top of picture) on a Saab 92. An ignition coil (also called a spark coil) is an induction coil in an automobile's ignition system that transforms the battery's low voltage to the thousands of volts needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Some coils have an internal resistor, while others rely on a resistor wire or an external resistor to limit the current flowing into the coil from the car's 12-volt supply. The wire that goes from the ignition coil to the distributor and the high voltage wires that go from the distributor to each of the spark plugs are called spark plug wires or high tension leads. Originally, every ignition coil system required mechanical contact breaker points and a capacitor (condenser). More recent electronic ignition systems use a power transistor to provide pulses to the ignition coil. A modern passenger automobile may use one ignition coil for each engine cylinder (or pair of cylinders), eliminating fault-prone spark plug cables and a distributor to route the high voltage pulses.

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