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 The Brightspark EasyCap

 

Overview

Although many things can be the cause of failure, particularly when hot, capacitors are the commonest cause of 'internal' magneto failure. Despite their modest cost, replacing them in the traditional way requires time and a certain amount of skill. Often, it will only be undertaken in the context of a full overhaul and rewind of the coils.

Because capacitors fail more often than HT windings, our objective with the EasyCap has been to separate capacitor replacement and maintenance from the 'full works' rebuild/rewind, while at the same time empowering the magneto owner to tackle the work required for the initial fitment of one of our EasyCap products.

Our capacitors fit at the 'easy end' of the magneto (where the contact breaker sits), rather than being buried in the armature. They are available for an expanding range of common magnetos and magdynos. They take a few minutes maximum to fit or remove. Replacement becomes what it ought to be, an inexpensive routine maintenance task for the good of the overall health of the ignition system  - just as as it is on vehicles with distributor and coil ignition.

Initial fitment does, however, involve disabling or removing the old condenser/capacitor. This is a delicate but not particularly difficult task, which we explain in very great detail. You may need to remove one of the bearings of the magneto, and we provide drawings for the required puller, for those who enjoy a bit of turning. Alternatively, you can send your armature or complete magneto to us, and we will do the job for you.

EasyCap Key advantages


Fits next to the points, not buried in the armature.

Easily replaceable routine service item.

Affordable.

Enables quick and easy magneto testing by substitution to identify or eliminate the capacitor as the cause of problems.

Can save unnecessary and expensive full overhauls/rebuilds.

Guaranteed for two years.

What is it and where does it go?

The EasyCap is a modern surface-mount multi-layer ceramic capacitor on a specially-designed mounting plate in the form of a double-sided circuit board, as shown in the first photo on the left. Most versions of EasyCap have a capacitance of 140 or 150 nF, but some are 220 nF. The voltage rating is 630 Vdc. For further information on the spec, please go to the FAQs by clicking here.

The exploded view on the right shows where the C01 EasyCap fits in the brass contact breaker assembly of a Lucas magneto, clamped between the backplate and the mounting block for the fixed contact-breaker point, replacing the insulator plate fitted as original. Clamping the EasyCap in position automatically makes the electrical connections between the two contact breaker points and the capacitor. It really is that simple.

The second photo on the left shows a C01 EasyCap fitted to the contact breaker assembly, with the capacitor nicely nestled between the two exposed posts of the brass backplate.

Performance and reliability

The EasyCap is a relatively new product to the market, but specimens have been extensively tested throughout 2011 on an A10 BSA, an AJS twin, and in countless hours of non-stop stress-testing on the Brightspark test rigs. They have performed faultlessly and not shown any signs of degradation. Nevertheless, all capacitors do age, and we do not claim that the EasyCap will have an unlimited life. We therefore recommend, after four  years of service, either replacement or checking using a 500V Megger and a capacitance meter. If the capacitor tests good, then we recommend Megger and capacitance checking every year thereafter.

The EasyCap is in any case warranted for two years from purchase against defects in manufacture or construction of the condenser leading to failure in normal service. No quibbles, except that 'normal service' does not include damage to the condenser caused by mis-fitting! In the very unlikely event of a failure, tell us, send us the old one, and we'll send you a new one by return and reimburse you the cost of the post.

As of July 2013, two thousand EasyCaps had been sold, most of them retail and fitted to a magneto soon after purchase. Of those, we have heard of only one failure, and that was in the first few miles. As it happens, the customer had bought a spare, and the problem was fixed in a few minutes. The failed item was immediately replaced under guarantee.

Product range

Specific EasyCaps: Currently, we are producing EasyCaps to fit many models of Lucas, BTH, M-L and Magnéto France rotating-coil magnetos and magdynos, as fitted to innumerable Triumph, BSA, AJS, Matchless, Norton, Ariel, Velocette and Vincent motorcycles and many pre-WW2 cars in the UK, and Terrot, Magnat-Debon and other machines in France. For the Lucas ring-cam magnetos, the version of EasyCap required depends on whether it has the earlier brass contact-breaker back-plate or the later steel affair. For Lucas instruments with a brass contact-breaker back-plate, and for Magnéto France instruments, the version of EasyCap required also depends on which way the armature rotates.

Universal EasyCaps: The 'Universal' EasyCap is an ignition condenser suitable for use not only in all types of magneto (rotating-coil, rotating-magnet and flywheel), but also in battery-coil ('Kettering') ignition systems. It is designed so that it can be shaped to fit wherever the space permits. Please click here for more details, including examples with photos as fitted to various makes of magneto, including ABG, Bosch, CAV, Joe Hunt, Lucas SR1, Magnéto Novi, Morel, Villiers, Wico-Pacy and Wipac.

Magneto/Magdyno Contact breaker Rotation
(as viewed from the drive end of the magneto)
EasyCap Version Fitting

Lucas

K1F, K2F, KVF, MN2

(ring cam)

Brass -  Lucas part No. 470534 Anti-clockwise C01 Fitted between the fixed-point mounting-block and the back-plate in place of the original insulator plate(s)
Brass - Lucas part No. 470533 or 470542.   Clockwise
(Of the post-war British motorcycles, only Enfield twins, Vincents and Douglases had clockwise magnetos.)
C02
Steel - Lucas part No. 492854 or 493836 Either direction C04 Fitted under the screw head and steel washer as shown in place of the original insulating washer

Lucas
MO1, N1, KN1
with face cam

M-L  Magneto
with face cam

Lucas part No. 460051 Either direction C03 Fitted between the moving-point mounting-block and the back-plate in place of the original insulator plate(s)
BTH

KC1, KC2, KD1, KD2

(ring cam)

Brass - BTH part No. CX1883-G24 etc, as shown in the photo Either direction C05 Fitted between the fixed-point mounting-block and the back-plate in place of the original insulator plate(s)
Magnéto France

GCOR, GCOO, HCOR, HDCOR, GCO, HCO, HDCO & HR

(ring cam)

Magnéto France part No. 575. Clockwise.
(Droite)
C06 Fitted between the spring mounting-block and the back-plate in place of the original insulator plate(s)
Magnéto France part No. 576. Anti-clockwise (Gauche) C07
'Universal'

Available with 150 nF or 220 nF capacitor.

CU/150 and CU/220

 For more information, click here.

 

 

Versions of the EasyCap for other magnetos and magdynos will follow.

Where to buy

All versions of the EasyCap are available now from our online shop. They cost £13 each for all except the C04, and £16 each for the C04, plus postage and packing (per order) of £2 to anywhere in the European Union, or £4.50 to the rest of the world. If you wish, you can also purchase EasyCaps on Ebay, but at a premium to cover the Ebay fees. Brightspark's charges are not liable to VAT.

For trade enquiries, please contact us: info@brightsparkmagnetos.com.


Other Suppliers

Customers can also obtain the full range of Brightspark EasyCaps from:


Use in aircraft. Different rules and regulations apply in different jurisdictions regarding replacement parts used in aircraft. As far as we are aware, EasyCap condensers have not yet been approved for use in aircraft in any territories where such approval may be required. If use in an aircraft magneto is contemplated, the onus is on the purchaser of the EasyCap condenser or fitter of the magneto to the aircraft to ensure that the EasyCap condenser is suitable and complies with all relevant rules and regulations. Brightspark Magnetos Ltd does not make any claims in respect of suitability for use in aircraft and disclaims any responsibility for such use.


Brightspark and EasyCap are trade marks of Brightspark Magnetos Limited.

The EasyCap capacitor is patented (GB2480565 - foreign rights reserved) and is the subject of design right throughout the European Union and other forms of protection throughout the world.

 

 

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