Can I use a DSO Nano to Detect Misfires on my Race Car?

Hi guys!

I have a race car. Two cylinders, magneto fired, approximately 14,000 volts (measured) to the spark plugs, runs about 8,200 rpm. My current engine is one spark per fire (max 4,100 sparks per minute per plug), but the next engine, soon, has a wasted spark, so fires both plugs at about 8,200 rpm.

Will this cute, sexy little creature allow me to detect misfires? As in, the cylinder doesn’t fire every time. Or fires with reduced/increased voltage. I’m thinking “noise” in addition to the waveform. My professional advisor says that I would be shocked at how often my engine misfires.

I also hope to set the spark plug gap with it. Record the waveforms at the recommended gap, then start opening up the gap until misfires start. The back off, narrow the gap some.

Heavens, at this size, I could duct tape it to my frame and record an entire (60 second) run!

If it will do this, would I need to buy anything else? How would I attach this to the spark plug wire? I be a engineer, and have a complex data acquisition system that measures practically everything in the car but my heart rate, but I haven’t played with an oscilloscope for decades.

Oh, and it would be worth the price just to have fellow drivers walk up to me and ask what I’m doing. “Oh, just using my oscilloscope to check the plugs, fuel, battery, wires, and such.” (no, I don’t expect to be able to test all of these. . . :smiley: ) “THAT’s an oscilloscope???” “Eh, get with the times, man! What, are you still living in 2010?” “How much was it?” “Oh, well, if you have to ask. . .” :mrgreen:




It’s a good policy to search before you ask on the internet.

Thank you for the link, it is very helpful. It “suggests” probes, so I need a bit more research on that, but that’s easy enough.

I did three searches, without reasonable results. I just used the wrong keywords: misfires, engine, spark plug. Too much of a car guy, I guess. :slight_smile:


I searched ignition but I remembered the thread also so I had an advantage :wink: