Plasma CD Ignition     

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Service Bulletins

last update:
July 20, 2009


Service Bulletin: PL-3

Date of Issue: 09/30/08
Installation & Cooling Requirements
Models Affected: 6-cylinder Dual Plasma I, II, II+ and III CD Ignition systems

Plasma CDI Module Placement

The LSE Plasma CDI is a sophisticated and powerful ignition system.  It must be mounted in a cool and dry location of the cockpit.

Cooling Requirements

The most important contribution to improved reliability of today’s electronics equipment is to limit the maximum operating temperature of each unit.

A small amount of air from an avionics fan must be provided to the vent port of 6-cylinder systems to assure reliable operation at elevated cockpit temperatures.

If your 6-cylinder Plasma CDI does not have a vent port, contact Light Speed Engineering for this upgrade.

Active cooling is not required on 4-cylinder systems.


Service Bulletin: PL-2

Date of Issue: 06/24/06
Electrical System Requirements and Operation
Models Affected: All Plasma CD Ignition systems

Electrical System Requirements

All Plasma CDI systems can be used with 12 or 24 volt electrical systems.  Input voltages above 35 volts or reversed polarity can cause system damage.

For this reason it is mandatory that all aircraft using Plasma CD Ignitions are equipped with over-voltage protection in their alternator charging system(s).  Over-voltage protection is a requirement for certified aircraft.  Power connection must be directly to the battery terminals to avoid voltage spikes and electrical noise.  Aluminum should never be used as an electrical conductor for the Plasma CDI.  Use only the supplied aircraft quality stranded wire.

Minimum supply voltage for starting is 6.5 Volts.

Minimum operating voltage is 5.5 Volts.

Electrical Operating Instructions

No operational limits or special procedures are necessary during normal use.  You can either hand start your engine or use your electrical starter.  All Plasma CDI systems retard timing to TDC during start and advance timing optimally for all flight conditions based on manifold pressure and rpm.

  • In case of a charging system failure, it is recommended that you land at the nearest safe airport and repair the charging system before further flight.
  • If you are using Dual Plasma CD Ignition, you can turn one system off, together with all other electrical loads not essential for flight, to maximize your range with your remaining battery capacity.
  • Dual Systems only: If you have installed an aux battery per the LSE supplied drawing, monitor your voltmeter and do not switch to the aux battery until the supply voltage of the main battery is below 6.5 Volts or the engine is not running smoothly.  After switching to the aux battery, your voltmeter will read the voltage remaining in your aux battery.
  • Do not switch your main alternator breaker in flight to avoid potentially damaging voltage spikes.  This does not apply to the alternator field breaker.

This information should be contained in the Aircraft Operating Manual.  

Service Bulletin: PL-1B

Date of Issue: 12/28/06 
Supercedes SB: PL-1, 1/2005, Kickbacks 
Misfire During Start
Models Affected: All Plasma CD Ignition systems prior to 12/2004
Models Not Affected:  Plasma II+ systems version "PMS"
                             Plasma III systems version "U3+","A","A1", or "B"

Plasma CDI systems shipped after December of 2004, have shown no tendency to misfire or cause a kickback during start.  This includes the current Plasma III versions "A" and "A1" and the current Plasma II Plus version "PMS".  

On earlier Plasma CDI systems version "U3" or "U3+", misfiring is completely avoided if the key switch is paused for 1 second in the "Both" position before engaging the starter.  Toggle switch operated systems have no tendency to misfire, (the issue was triggered by the rapid "on" / "off" / "on" sequence of the key switch motion).

All other systems can be modified to eliminate any possibility of misfiring.  Contact LSE for further details.  Unmodified systems shipped before 12/04, can misfire if the supply voltage drops below 8.5 volts repeatedly during cranking.  This can only occur if the starter draws excessive current and the battery is not sized for that current requirement.

If you are using a small battery, we recommend using a wound field starter, as they draw less than 1/2 the current of a permanent magnet starter.






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