The FADEC System – Low-Tension Retard Breaker Vibrator

in Engine Ignition and Electrical Systems

This system, which is in limited use, is designed for light aircraft reciprocating engines. A typical system consists of a retard breaker magneto, a single breaker magneto, a starting vibrator, transformer coils, and a starter and ignition switch. [Figure 4-32]

Figure 4-32. Low-tension retard breaker magneto and starting vibrator circuit.

Figure 4-32. Low-tension retard breaker magneto and starting vibrator circuit.

To operate the system, place the starter switch S3 in the on position. This energizes starter solenoid L3 and coil L1, closing relay contacts R1, R2, R3, and R4. With the magneto switch in the L position, current flows through R1, the vibrator points, L2, R2, and through the main breaker points to ground. Current also flows through R3 and the retard breaker points to ground. Current through L2 builds up a magnetic field that opens the vibrator points. Then, the current stops flowing through L2, reclosing the points. These surges of current flow through both the retard and main breaker points to ground.

Since the starter switch is closed, the engine crankshaft is turning. When it has turned to the normal advance or running ignition position, the main breaker points of the magneto open. However, current still flows to ground through the closed retard breaker points. As the engine continues to turn, the retard ignition position is reached, and the retard breaker points open. Since the main breaker points are still open, current must flow to ground through coil L4, producing a magnetic field around the coil L4.

As the engine continues to turn, the vibrator breaker points open, collapsing the L4 magnetic field through T1 primary, inducing a high-voltage in the secondary of T1 to fire the spark plug.

When the engine fires, the starter switch is released, deenergizing L1 and L3. This opens the vibrator circuit and retard breaker points circuit. The ignition switch is then turned to the both position, permitting the right magneto to operate in time with the left magneto.

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