Instructions for installing CH ignition Systems

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These instructions are only for the ignition systems. If you ordered an ignition with a T.C.S.A. or a Syncro spark, follow the instructions that came with them for correct installation.

SAFETY NOTE: The ignition can fire one time when the switch is turned off or on. Stay clear of the prop when turning the ignition off or on. If the engine would happen to be on compression, it could kick over.




1. Wrap the ignition module in foam, just as you do a receiver. We usually put the module in a plastic baggie before wrapping in foam. Protect from vibration. I have been asked if it is OK to mount the ignition module on the front of the firewall … beside or below the engine. This is fine but you do need to protect the module from fuel and vibration. I put a couple of cup hooks in the firewall and then place a 1/2″ thick piece of foam under the module. The unit is held to the firewall by rubber bands … simple but effective. Our big engines shake a lot. You MUST protect the module. Please don’t use Super Glue or RTV to glue the module solid to the airframe.

2. Use a good 4.8 volt battery pack; don’t use an old klunker from an old flight-pack. The majority of the problems with the ignition system are caused by bad or undercharged battery packs. Use a charger rated for the battery pack. Test with a load tester (ESV).

3. Keep the ignition module, ignition battery switch and the charging jack as far away from the receiver, receiver-battery-pack, and the receiver battery switch as possible. Keep all wires on the ignition as short as possible.

4. Do not use a metal push rod to the engine throttle or steerable nose wheel. Do not use a metal throttle cable, even if it has nylon ends.

5. Mount the throttle servo at least 8” from the engine.

6. On the H.D. system with the ground pigtail, do not solder a ground terminal lug to the shielded pigtail … crimp this on. Solder will flow up the lead and then it cannot flex, causing possible breakage. If this ground lead comes off, the engine usually will continue to run, which may cause interference to the radio. The best method is to use a hose clamp and clamp the ground braid to the spark plug hex. DO NOT attach the ground wire to a carb mounting bolt. Some of these bolts just go into a fiber block and are not grounded.
If you want to remove the Bosch cover to get the spark plug wire through a hole in the airframe, unsolder the ground from the Bosch cover and unscrew the cover from the wire. If the cap doesn’t unscrew easily you may have to heat it with a monokote gun to soften the sealant. After you have installed the ignition in the airplane, use a new piece of heat shrink on the plug wire, and screw the cover back on. The cover should be screwed on about four turns. If you want to remove the rubber boot, reach up into the boot with a small screwdriver and push the spring terminal back out of the boot. Use some lube on the spring to help get it back into the boot. You MUST protect the spark plug lead from chaffing. A fiberglass cowl can cut the plug wire in just one flight. Use a piece of vacuum hose or a grommet to protect it.

7. Make sure that none of the wires from the module or battery pack are routed where they may pass over a sharp bulkhead, or are pinched where vibration could cause them to rub through the insulation. This could cause a fire in your airplane. It could happen with radio equipment also I nearly lost my Laser with a short in the battery pack wires, so beware.
8. Range check your radio with the engine off and then running. There should be less than a 15% decrease in range with the engine running.




1. If you are in a high humidity area, use some Silicone dielectric grease on the spark plug and cap to prevent “arc over” onto the spark plug.
2. If you are running your engine inverted, run the engine as dry as you can on fuel when shutting down for the day. Store the airplane with the engine upright if possible. If you can’t store with the engine upright, remove the spark plug for storage.
3. Do not install a micro switch on top of a servo as a radio operated kill switch and run wires ahead to the ignition. If you want to use a micro switch for a kill switch (a good idea) or smoke pump, use an Ace switch box and a nylon rod to operate it.
If all else fails, read the instructions and troubleshooting guide one more time. If you still have a problem, give us a call. We are not always in the shop or office. Keep trying.




1. The number 1 problem is still with the battery. Check battery pack voltage with a good load tester. Check the battery pack voltage with an ESV. Then check voltage at the center pin of the female 3-pin Deans plug coming out of the module. It’s red, white and black. Unplug the pulse switch from the module sensor switch, then switch “on.” of course! This should be the same as battery pack voltage. If the voltage is OK here, the battery pack and switch are OK. If no voltage appears, make sure the battery and switch are wired correctly.

2. With the ignition switch on, ground the white wire on the female 3 pin Dean’s plug (same plug as step 1). When you break this ground, the ignition should fire the plug. If it does, then the problem is the pulse switch or the magnet reversed … check the pulse switch or replace it with a known good one.

3. The black end of the magnet must go toward the pulse switch. If up to this point everything checks OK, “flag” the pulse with the other end of the magnet or use another magnet. Just pass the magnet back and forth past the pulse switch. We could have marked the magnet wrong. If this check makes the system fire, then the magnet must be turned around.

4. It is normal to hear a spark fire inside the module case if you trigger the ignition with the spark plug wire removed and not grounded. Do not do this unnecessarily. If you get a double spark as the magnet approaches and once when it leaves the pulse switch, then the battery is bad or needs recharging.

5. If after making the above tests you do not have a spark … send the module to us for repair or replacement. I would like to have the battery pack switch harness and pulse switch also, if possible. If the system came from an engine manufacturer, send it directly to C & H for repair. If the system is under 90 days old it will be repaired or replaced under warranty.

6. Make sure the chain saw type engines are using a resistor type spark plug.

7. The new McDaniel spark plug ¼ x 32 cap is working very well and has just about stopped all complaints of R.F.I.

The McDaniel plug caps go on the spark plug very hard at first.
VERY IMPORTANT – With this cover you must push it over the hex on the spark plug and then turn it to lock it on the spark plug.
When all else fails … read the instructions. If after doing this you still cannot get a spark or get your engine to run right … do not fight it for days on end … or take it to your “local engine expert.” Give me a call. If we cannot figure it out over the phone, I will be happy to look at the complete set up and test run it.