E-MAG Series 200T – Redundant “SafT”
Fourteen years ago E-MAG pioneered the first redundant power supply (built-in PM alternator) to address a vulnerability common to all electronic ignitions. With our new Series 200T, E-MAG is adding another redundant capability, only this time we’re addressing safety issues in a much wider population – every piston engine ever built with traditional left/right ignitions. We acknowledge the traditional ignition test (left/right/both) has served well on countless occasions. Even so, it can be problematic in some situations. When it falls short, it does so in significant and predictable ways. At low altitude in particular, the binary (ON/OFF) nature of the test can transform it from a troubleshooting resource – to a troubleshooting impediment. (ref – Good, Bad, Ugly)
E-MAG’s solution was initially planned for our future certified models. We decided instead to accelerate development so it could be included in our first Experimental release. This added significant time to the already delayed Experimental schedule. Complicating matters, patent issues prevented us from disclosing the new capability . . . until now.
[Patent Pending] Each Series 200T (Tandem) ignition will include two separate logic control circuits – the operating core of any modern system. A full-featured Variable firing circuit runs in tandem with a basic Fixed firing circuit. A simple cockpit “SafT” switch determines which circuit is enabled. SafT switching from Variable ON to Fixed ON does not turn either ignition OFF. This method of checking ignitions avoids the test switch dilemma, lowers pilot workload, and improves pilot response time.
The E-MAG Tandem is a novel application of very traditional redundant safety principals. Descriptions will follow that examine various operating details. Keep in mind, however, most of this is for background understanding. Only a small portion is required for full and effective use. This is not an incidental convenience. It’s the central guiding principal. The SafT switch is designed for emergency high-stress situations, where pilot capabilities can degrade. To be useful in these conditions, instructions and tools must be simple – in the extreme.
Operating simplicity – the SafT switch:
- Replaces Variable control circuits with Fixed control circuits (or vice-versa) in both ignitions.
- Does not require specialized training or skill.
- Doesn’t turn anything OFF. There is no “wrong” setting.
- Does not replace or interfere with existing left/right/both controls or prior safety training.
- Can be switched at any time.
Hardware simplicity – the Fixed (redundant) control circuit adds:
- No (zero) mechanical wear parts.
- Minimal electronic parts (four per cylinder bank). Minimal weight (3 grams) to the ignition module.
- No change to the overall ignition length, width, or height.