The Remarkable WICO Model EK Magneto
Fig. 1 Magneto, moving parts removed.
A very popular type of magneto used on early model single cylinder gasoline engines was the reciprocating armature induction type magneto that is so difficult to locate these days.
This magneto was so simple in design that very little could go wrong with it. The only moving parts on the magneto were the armature and contact points (see Fig. 1). The armature moved about 1/4 inch back and forth. The contact points moved about 1/16 inch.
Referring to figures 1, 2 and 3 for illustration, the parts of the magneto consists of items shown in the numbered lines below:
- This magneto operates on the basic principles of all magnetos concerning magnetism and electricity. The theory is that any time a magnetic line of force is interrupted, changed or collapsed, an electric current is created.
1. A laminated bar called the armature. (K, fig. 1 and 2)
2. Lower contact point connected to the armature. (P fig. 1 and 2)
3. A condenser (fig. 2), one terminal connected to the upper contact point, (UP, fig. 3), and the other terminal connected to ground, (B, fig. 3) with the primary lead wire terminal.
4. Spark plug wire terminal (SP, fig. 1)
5. A set of magnets. (M fig. 3) (NS fig. 2)
6. Two soft iron cores. (A, fig. 2 and 3)
7. Primary and secondary windings. (fig. 2)
8. Brass cover around main frame (D, fig. 1)
9. Machine screws attaching brass cover and side plates. (E, fig. 1) 10. Guide rod for armature (GR, fig. 3)
This electric current for the WICO EK Magneto was created by pulling the armature away from the magnet coil cores. The armature was connected to a rocker arm that was activated by a sliding bar. (see fig. 4)
This armature movement created a current in the windings around the magnet cores. The collapse of this current was created by separating the contact points in this magneto. The contact points were connected to the armature. The collapse of this primary winding circuit induced a high voltage build up in the secondary winding. This surge of high-voltage current caused the spark at the spark plug.
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