Finishing my turbocharger jet; Just a few questions!

Hey all, I'm currently building a turbocharger based jet engine, and i'm nearly done. The one problem stopping it from becoming a finished machine is how to get a good reliable spark. Is it possible to use a glow plug in the combustion chamber and a glow starter insted of a spark plug? All my attempts to use a spark plug have failed so far, and I would love to be able to avoid the issue of 555 timers and electronics needed for reliable sparks, since I haven't a clue how they work.

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sig77076 years ago
I would use a "glow plug" from a remote controlled car. Their ignition system is very high compression and last for a good while. If not you can try the paso ignition system for a gas stove like the one in your house. it sparks about 2x per second and a 6volt lantern battery should run one for days. Good luck.
I suggest using a 100kv stun-gun. Take it apart (carefully!), and place the electronic circuit into a plastic enclosure. Solder the appropriate wires on, perhaps using a screw terminal on the outside of the enclosure. It's simple, works off a 9v battery, and will light ANYTHING! Including puddles of kerosene, of course, any atomized fuel, and propane. Worked excellently for my engine any many others. It sounds extreme, but it's not. Simple, cheap ignition circuit. You can get the stun guns off eBay for about $12 if you look. VERY reliable. Works every time!
mikeasaurus8 years ago
you're talking glow plugs and spark plugs, unless I am very mistaken they operate completely differently. You mention requiring a 'spark' but are using glow plugs to generate said spark, wouldn't you need a spark plug?
OldManMahoney (author)  mikeasaurus8 years ago
I'm trying to figure out if a glow plug would work INSTEAD of a spark plug. My main concern is that the glow plug would be cooled by the incoming air.
I see. To my understanding glow plugs operate by heating diesel and allowing it to ignite under compression, as such glow plugs create no spark. For this application I would say that they will not work. Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding. Good luck on your project!
OldManMahoney (author)  mikeasaurus8 years ago
I share your scepticism, but I think i'll give it a shot since i can get glow plug starters etc on ebay for next to nothing.
My theroy is that if a glow starter (like the ones use to start tiny model engines) is contiually heating the glow plug (ie if i can attach it somehow) then the heat from the glow plug alone should be enough to ignite the propane gas that im hoping to use.
If I can pipe the propane gas directly onto the top of the heat filament, and keep the starter going until the jet becomes 'self sustaining' it could work
just a pic to demonstrate:
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/4350/lolololr.jpg
. The auto-ignition point of propane is only 480oC/842oF. You should be able to find a glow plug that can do that.
NachoMahma8 years ago
. Why are spark plugs not working? . A glow plug from a diesel engine may work. . If you want to go with a low-tech ignition system, use the automotive coil you have and something like a telegraph key to manually trigger the coil several times a second. Don't forget the condenser or the contacts will wear out in a hurry. That's assuming you don't need the spark after flame on; your finger will probably get tired quickly. ;).
OldManMahoney (author)  NachoMahma8 years ago
Not sure why its not working. I tried it low tech by hooking up a coil to a car battery, using a distributor attached to an electric drill to break the circuit, but all it got was very unreliable, inttermittent sparks (that were also very puny). Charged up the battery and tried different sized spark gaps, but to no avail.
. Insufficient/improper grounding may be your problem. Make sure you have a good ground between the coil and whatever the plug screws into and between the distributor and coil.
lemonie8 years ago
What fuel are you running this on? Could you start on one fuel and change to another? Are you starting this with an air blower too? The ignition should should work, but it may be knackered or not being driven in the best way. L