The resistor helps to get a better spark when starting, but therefore you
need a starter switch with an additional contact. It works as follows:
In a normal 12 V system the ignition coil is made for 12 V. When you start
the engine, the starter motor takes a lot of current and the voltage goes
down to 8-10 Volts. If you feed a 12 V coil with only 8-10 V, the spark
Now comes the high performance coil with the external resistor. This
coil is made to make
a good spark with 6-8 V after the resistor and 12 V before the resistor.
In normal use you connect 12 V to the resistor, which makes 6-8 V for the
coil. You may not remove the resistor and connect 12 V direct to the coil
for a longer time, this will heat the coil and damage it.
When you start the engine, the voltage goes down. A special contact in the
starter switch connects the power supply as long as the starter runs direct
to the coil (behind the resistor). Now you have a strong spark, because the
coil without resistor is built for a lower voltage. Starting is only a short
time and the voltage is reduced, so the coil gets no problem with the heat.
To use the better starting of these high performance coils, you need a
special starter switch (or a relay) and a second cable for power supply.
If you only have one single power cable to the coil and a second cable to
the contact breaker, the coil works only like a normal coil without
starting spark enhancement.
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