Michael Pardee wrote:
I don't think the heat is too great for the ignitor. There apparently
any electrolytic capacitors in it, and those are the big heat sensitive
The vulnerability of transistors to heat is related to junction
and to collector voltage. When the collector junction gets hot enough,
reverse voltage across it can make the dopants migrate and "blur" the
junction. That spot gets hotter and eventually melts, leading to the
But the heat required to melt the junction without the voltage stress
much higher than your engine compartment - the melting point of silicon
over 2500 degrees F. The silicon chips are typically soldered to the
sink internally, and I have personally soldered a UHF power transistor
large copper heatsink with an acetylene torch.
Yes, but you didn't put power to it until after it cooled down, and I
bet you moved a lot of air across that heatsink to keep it cool. In
transisotr is switching at least 5A. I have the exact value in my
and yes it is a fast switch, the transistor is driven completly and
rapidly into full conduction so the Vec is about .5V for ~2mS every few
10s of aMsec.
Not a haeavy duty cydle by any means, but it runs, with "perfect"
to the block at ~195F. Those I measured actualy ran about 210~220F.
Somewhere I have the leakage versus temp from motorola and at +200F
we are getting too darn hot. I saw a Ducati pointless ignition system
used a flip flop to switch between 2 transitor to cut the Pd in half.
that system was expossed directly to the airstream. Of the people
I know who have had igniter failurs, Honda or Toyota, it has always
been in >90F weather, most frequently in stop and go traffic on the way
Except for one that failed in ~-25F weather on startup. I can't prove
it, but I suspect if we could reduce the temp 20 or even 10 degrees F,
the failure rate would drop "way down". Another failure mode that is
only slightly heat related is the piezo effect on the junction when it
I had a early JBL switch mode power amp that ate switching transistors
at fairly regular intervals. I had built, and still have, a ultrasonic
converter and you could plainly hear the transitors screaming at 40KHz.
I supsect that heat, plus current stress, plus the piezo effect could
most igniter failures. One could always attempt to place it remotly, in
of the radiator to breath cool air, but I suspect the lead inductanc
kill you and the RFI would be "interesting".
When I needed to align my R2000 SW I needed an "ignition like"
noise source "with harmonics extending up too beyond 30MHz"
I pulled my 1991 Civic under my "long" wire antenna, and adjusted
the noise blanker. Worked much better then the puilse generator
at the shop where I work.