Rae-San Electronics

Modern Electronics for Vintage Motorcycles

CX 500 CDI Ignitions

WHAT IS IT?

The CX 500 CDI ignition is unusual in the motorbike world – while not completely unique it is an uncommon arrangement share only with a few other bikes.

It uses 3 sets of coils to generate the timing information and another pair of CDI charging coils on the stator to power the system separately from the battery. Of course being 30 years old and with so many coils they are starting to consistently fail in a variety of ways.

There is a lot of information available on the www as to testing of the stator, having it rewound, and failure of the trigger coils. Unfortunately however the point has now been reached where there are no longer spares available for most of the parts – the stators can be rewound but there are no CDI units available.

There are some aftermarket CDI units available – however these will only work if your trigger coils are still correctly functioning – these are no longer available new and are becoming extremely rare in the used market – and are all of course 30 years old and may fail shortly after installation.

So in light of all of this – I embarked upon a design to address the pickup issue by using a custom HALL EFFECT sensor. This provides the timing information necessary to run the engine and perform the advance without the need to use the existing coils in any way shape or form.

I refer to this as the Rae-San CX Hall Effect CDI Ignition.

I also as part of this developed an option that is able to work with the original pickup coils if these are still functional – This replaces the CDI box, runs of 12V only and provides the advance electronically, and is referred to as the Rae-San Stock Coil Kit.

“What about the Ignitech?” I hear you ask.

The Ignitech is a great product that wasn’t available when I originally started this journey. The Ignitech provides a wealth of features that go 90% unused by most of its users. How many CX Ignitech users have actually altered the advance curve or used the variable input to perform mapping of the advance in response to throttle position and/or manifold vacuum on a CX?

I feel there is a need for a lower cost, less feature laden unit – specifically aimed for the CX that also solves the issue of the failing pickups. The Ignitech can be ordered with a Hall Effect input but not changed once built,  and there is no off the shelf Hall sensor for the CX.

I've opted to provide a complete solution, at lower cost, with reduced flexibility, and enhanced redundancy, that addresses all the failure mechanisms – and that can drive the Ignitech if desired.

The primary design considerations were
                Address the failing pickup/reliability issue
                Keep the cost as low as possible 
                Use readily available parts as much as possible
                Protect the electronics inside the engine
                Make the system 2 independent channels to provide redundancy and avoid common points of failure.

WHICH ONE DO I NEED/WANT?

The table below shows the differences as to what coils on the bike are NEEDED for various systems.

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WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS FOR XXXX FAULT?

With the number of coils involved in the stock CDI ignition there are a number of failure modes – and a number of suitable solutions. This table attempts to cover what WILL work with what fault.

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Notes:

1    An Ignitech can be used here but the Rae-San Hall effect sensor for Ignitech needs to be used to provide trigger information for the Ignitech module.

2   The OEM CDI will run without the advance coils but will exhibit poor power and fuel economy as there will be no timing advance – feels a bit like riding a heavy 250cc.

3    This product provides only a replacement for the CDI charging coils on the stator. It is still available as it allows keeping the remainder of the ignition completely original and is a useful emergency spare if still running a stock system in case the charging coils start to fail. If not wishing to keep the ignition as stock as possible – the other alternatives provide more flexibility and fault coverage.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE / WHAT DO I GET?

This is the Hall Effect kit (CX_HALL_CDI-S) containing:
                Hall Effect Trigger Rotor      
                Hall Effect Sensor with Advance computers sealed in Epoxy
                Stainless Mounting Screws

 

Below is shown the FULL kit including  all of the above plus:
     Dual CDI (GY6) DC-CDI Spark Modules.

 

Below is shown the  STOCK CDI kit (CX_STK_CDI-S) containing:
                Trigger Coil Interface Circuit and
                Advance computers sealed in Epoxy.

 

Below is shown the  FULL STOCK kit containing
                Trigger Coil Interface Circuit and
               Advance computers sealed in Epoxy
               Dual CDI (GY6) DC-CDI Spark Modules. 

In all cases the electronics are encased in epoxy or conformal coating. This has been done to protect the circuitry while minimizing cost and size.

HOW DO I INSTALL IT?

Installation is simple, but please have a look at the installation manual.

For the Rae-San Stock Kit, the installation only involves some wiring changes to provide 12V power to the ignition.

For the Rae-San Hall Effect Kit, the installation involves some wiring changes to provide 12V to the ignition and some access to the rear of the engine to remove the old advance coils and replace with the Hall Effect module. The actual engine does not need to be opened up, just the small rear access cover to the advance coils.

FEATURES

HALL KIT CX_HALL_CDI-S

  • Operates of 12V only - works if the CDI power coils are dead.
  • Provides electronically adjusted advance.
  • Default Advance Curve as for the TAI bike – Improved drivability and torque.
  • Provides ability to choose from 4 standard advance profiles for the bike chosen.
  • Provides Hall Sense and output fire indication LEDS on the Advance computer
  • Provides Hall Sense Leds on the Hall sensor.
  • Fully electronic.
  • Contains two completely independent circuits - one for each cylinder/pair  to provide failsafe redundancy.
  • Provides higher spark energy than original CDI.
  • Able to suit Coil On Plug (CDI Stick Coils).
  • Provides Electronic Tacho Drive signal.
  • Existing CDI kill switch functionality is retained.

STOCK COIL KIT CX_STK_CDI-S

  • Operates of 12V only - works if the CDI power coils are dead.
  • Provides electronically adjusted advance.
  • Provides Trigger Sense and output fire indication LEDS.
  • Default Advance Curve as for the TAI bike – Improved drivability and torque.
  • Provides ability to choose from 4 standard advance profiles for the bike chosen.
  • Fully electronic.
  • Contains two completely independent circuits - one for each cylinder/pair  to provide failsafe redundancy.
  • Provides higher spark energy than original.
  • Able to suit Coil On Plug (CDI Stick Coils).
  • Provides Electronic Tacho Drive signal.
  • Existing CDI kill switch functionality is retained.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH ONE I NEED? 

If your bike is CDI it will have a black or gold box located under the front of the seat that has an eight pin connector, a 2 pin connector and 3 flying bullet connectors that go to the ignition coils and the kill switch.

In this case you can use either of the ignitions above.

If your bike is a later model CX that is TAI it will have two igniter modules which with a 6 pin connector and they probably have NEC logos on them. The ignition cover on the very rear of the engine will also poke about 1.5 inches out from the main body of the engine.

In this case you can go here – to get the TAI Hall Effect version (CX_HALL_TAI-S).

WHAT IF I HAVE AN IGNTECH?

If you already have an Ignitech DC-CDI-P2 but have failed pickup coils or just don’t wish to be reliant upon the existing coils and want to convert to a HALL EFFECT setup – then you don’t need to purchase the full Hall Effect kit –as the Ignitech can be used to provide the advance control and coils drive.

The part number for the Ignitech configured Hall Sensor + rotor, without coil driver is CX_HALL_IGN-S

WHAT ABOUT WARRANTY?

All Rae-San products come with a 12 month return to base warranty against manufacturing faults and product failure as a matter of course. 

Note that the GY6 DC-CDI modules do not come with a warranty. If purchased as a full kit they are tested as working before leaving. Due to the shipping cost associated with the weight from Australia - I recommend ordering them directly from China - this saves you money and you could order 6 for the cost of me to send you 2. Buy 4 have spares and save money at the same time !

The place I buy them from is happymotors

You'll get the unit itself and email support if needed to help you get installed and operational. The installation instructions can be found below.

Please visit the Shop, to purchase Rae-San Ignitions