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"Bright Spark Easy Cap"

Bazlerker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I would like to know if any of our members have purchased a "BrightSpark Easy Cap" and can report on the product...simply put..does it work as advertised?


 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I believe that several members of my section are running magnetos rebuilt by Ken Targett. He is doing one for me now and if, as I expect, it needs a new condenser it will be fitted with an EasyCap.
Even if Magnetoman is correct about this repair not lasting forty years I am sure that it will be thoroughly tested and will work well when I get it back. I expect that it will then last for at least as long as any of the other rebuilds I've had done in the last thirty years.
My first Vincent ride was for 17 miles. After half an hour of fiddling the bike started again and did another 17 miles. The rest of the journey home was in a van. A week later I trailered the bike back to the seller then, a week or two later, had to get someone to drive me 60 miles to collect it again.
If an EasyCap fails in the same way I'll be able to replace it by the roadside and a spare will take virtually no space in a tool tray. The most likely problem is that at some time in the future when EasyCaps fail spares may be unavailable. This will leave us, or our successors, with exactly the problem we now have if a mag stops sparking.
It is the uncertainty of ordinary magneto rebuilds that has led me use coil ignition on other bikes.
 
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Bazlerker

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Hmmm, not the glowing endorsement I was looking forward to reading. My expectations are simple...Vincent's were better than state of the art machines, fitted with electrics built, unlike the mechanical components, to a price..What I want is something that performs to the best of its capabilities. I am not really concerned with the cost, but because I live on the Canadian Prairies, I am concerned with reliability- it can be a very long push home. I have never been an "early adopter", where modifications are concerned..so, before I fit a BrightSpark Easy cap I want to hear of several housand worry free miles having been travelled,not, with all respect,..17. I am an old man, with not many motorcycling miles left on my wrinkled arse and I cant fritter those miles away by pushing instead of riding.
 

b'knighted

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Sorry, you misunderstand me.
My first Vincent ride was 17 miles with a standard magneto in 1977. Had an EasyCap been fitted I might have been able to replace it by the roadside (if I'd had a spare). The problem of an invisible, unreliable condenser which takes the bike off the road for a couple of weeks, several tmes in thirty years, made me change to coil ignition which also entails upgrading the charging system. I now live in the middle of Exmoor National Park, not as big as the prairies but still often many miles from civilisation. A seventeen mile bike worked for me when I lived in London and travelled seven miles to work. Now its further than that to my nearest petrol station so I do need to plan and to trust my machinery. My point is that if you have an EasyCap and carry a spare, even if it fails you shouldn't need to push the bike as it is fixable.
 

Bill Thomas

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The trouble is, For many years we have been told that a good Condenser, You can't get, The repairers have been fitting two, Back to back ? and other bodges. It has cost me hundreds over the years, If you have to stick with a Mag' I would give the easycap a go, Cheers Bill.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
On another note mentioned in this post, I don't think the Vincent factory had much choice when it came to electrics.....Miller, Lucas, BT-H, Thats all they had to choose from. The original BT-H Would have been a better mag than a Lucas, but maybe Lucas were the only company prepared to adapt the K2-F to suit our 50 degree Vtwins.....The KV-F as we know it.....the Miller and Lucas generators are roughly the same, although the Lucas is much more common and has larger brushes than the Miller, but Lucas had a pretty good elecrto/ mechanical regulator verses the Millers carbon pile reg which was doubtful at best. It was the best technology available to them at the time......As a side, Ive actually found that while this thread talks about the reliability of new and old condensers, I've found on magneto's that it's also/ mainly the old windings that break down......remembering that the condenser only stops the points burning, it does not actually produce the spark energy itself.........Greg.
 

Alan J

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Bob,I did over 100,000 miles on my mag. rebuilt it with the help of J.B. and hope it will last me out!!!
 

Marcus Bowden

VOC Hon. Overseas Representative
VOC Member
Firstly why did CollingsBob CLOSE the previous thread on this discussion? Other threads go on for hundreds of replies! Secondly Ian,, Ken Horner is the Aus Start Engineer that makes wonderful starters for much larger engines than ours,,also an old friend of our engine designer P.E.Irving. The "Irving Vincent" creator, when the "know hows" get on with the "can dos" look what can be achieved.
Ken Target is the "Bright Spark" man, Magnetoman is definitely a smart guy in theory and loses most of us in it,(me anyway) but not mechanically minded as he couldn't get his head round that an ATD did not alter the efficiency of the spark like a manual advance & retard does.
Question, manual mag, is it better to have 100% spark at full retard or full advance ? "OLD HARRY" the "A"Rap is a great starter, up until I got home from the French, messed around with it for a couple of days and sort of fixed it, not happy and had heard of "Bright Spark",checked his website, this guy isn't backwards in coming forwards, and willing to share his knowledge giving special tool descriptions to make it you self, (home made stuff is best) well my kids are !
Monday give him a ring and chat,talked sense! Posted midday. Condition,broken slip ring (I dropped it,but not far,crack),Stripped Tuffnel dynamo drive wheel,windings looked good.
Wednesday had a call from Ken Target, confirmed windings good. New, slip ring. bearings, Tuffnel wheel, re-magnetised and of cause a "Bright Spark" Condenser under the contact breaker unit. Received Saturday morning and fitted ready to take her indoors for a ride on Sunday, to date 1300 miles Cost a little over the £100, if a rewind was necessary be over £200, but still less than a third of what a new type BT-H, one of which failed me after salted roads had caused tracking on the LT side of all those fine wires to the coils, try finding out how those things work !? relayed home. Another relay home was also electronic ignition failure on an early Grosset system after the Irish in 2007, now upgraded and working well (but carry a spare trigger unit) not a big item. That is the total road failures in over 400k only because I took off my Scintilla to use else where and that did 200k with out stripping since buying it for £15 from Roger Slater in mid sixties and used since to Tory Canyon went aground off Cornwall as I was working in the I.C.E.shop H.M.D.Devonport.
The beauty with the Scintilla was it could easily be switched from mag to coil ignition as we first did it in 1988 as it interfered with the intercom 1990 went to twin plugged heads but points needed dressing every 2 to 3 k miles. Ostend ferry heading for Bremerhaven, battery flat, pushed off ferry loaded as usual, half an hour back to single pugs mag, carry on.
Now what we did as teenagers & intend doing again as it's cheaper and interesting, my mate Tim had a Tri-Bsa with a bad mag, Johnson / Evenrude out board engine coils ? Mag stripped, took end caps off the armature, hacked off the windings, cut the former in half through the small section, square hole in coil was larger than the core so we put steel shim and the hacksaw fillings (with Aradite) back where we had cut it, replaced the end caps, HT outlet from coil was offset from slip ring, so we married them up the best we could putting a short length copper wire into slip ring segment, rapped tape round as a cradle and filled with more Araldite, ( he had to borrow a Vincent that night) next evening it was hard, so we tried to fit it, plastic edges of coil had to be filed off to same diameter of armature, boxed up and spun freely, baker-light points end cap with cut out in with the bowed leaf spring and carbon contact type used and the regular condenser fitted through that worked very well indeed, but there was a problem, the carbon contact to the points centre screw where the LT passed use to get glazed and a rub with a piece of emery cloth restored it after 2 to 3 hundred miles, one day off the road and he was back in business, cost not a lot for an old OMC spare part and beautifully encased in plastic.
The answer is use some thing we under stand or know how to fix easily, It would cost me more to ride a modern bike than use the one I have and if any thing goes wrong what can one do, use your mobile !
 
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