SureFly Electronic Ignition

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Rich
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Just for grins I did some digging about LASAR. This is a system Diamond originally had in mind for the DA40, but CHT problems caused them to quit this approach. As I understand it there are a few DA40's out there with this system. It's referenced numerous places in the AMM.

I found a couple of articles on AvWeb dating from 2001 about installing as an aftermarket system. It's interesting reading. A few highlights:

- It basically operates like the Surefly (based on RPM and MAP), but works with both mags, which are still magnetos. These are special ones, though, whose timing is controlled by the "smart" box. Fails to fixed timing and magneto-supplied spark.
- Provides a "hotter" spark throughout.
- Appears to use special spark plug leads. Not sure about plugs.
- Draws quite a bit of electrical current. At 12V, the article says 4 amps.
- Similar behavior to the SF, with lower EGTs and higher CHTs. The latter, in the Comanche in which it was installed, was 30 deg.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Ultrapilot1 »

I installed a SureFly about a year ago and also experienced some sudden loss of power incidents. I replaced my fuel pump and changed all my plugs to fine wire but the problem persisted. Yesterday during a 3 hr. flight I had two "burgles", each lasting only a second or two but upon landing the engine began to run rough but smoothed out immediately after apply power during taxi. I had not seen any of the above reports but now at least I know where my problem is coming from. I had connected the Advance Timing feature but the engine ran badly so I disconnected it.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

FWIW still no hiccups in my plane or my fellow sufferer with the C210. Between the Powerflow, Bretfin and the Surefly the plane consistently, at. Cruise, delivers 10-11 KTAS above book at altitudes I typically fly.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Diamond_Dan »

Ultrapilot1 wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 11:48 am
I installed a SureFly about a year ago and also experienced some sudden loss of power incidents. I replaced my fuel pump and changed all my plugs to fine wire but the problem persisted. Yesterday during a 3 hr. flight I had two "burgles", each lasting only a second or two but upon landing the engine began to run rough but smoothed out immediately after apply power during taxi. I had not seen any of the above reports but now at least I know where my problem is coming from. I had connected the Advance Timing feature but the engine ran badly so I disconnected it.
I am having the periodic "burgles" too (I like that word). SureFly is sending me a kit. They are convinced that my problems are caused by voltage transients.

I have the Advanced Timing feature installed and active but I have been fighting so many problems I have not been able to test it. What problems were you seeing and at what altitudes? I am at sea level and have not flown it (yet) higher than 5500 ft due to maintenance problems and delays.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Diamond_Dan »

SureFly kits installed and no issues after 6-7 flights. I can't understate how much of a pain this has been. Months (yes) of AOG last year, mostly waiting to get into the shop. My mechanic charged 6 hours of labor to install the kits and an additional 3 hours for troubleshooting. A lot of the delays and confusion were due to plug issues which is a whole other story. And I am not impressed with the SureFly so far. My cylinders run hotter now but seem to produce less power so I am running richer to keep them cool. MPG drop! We had a failed attempt to check the timing (couldn't figure it out and my mechanic ran out of time.) Incorrect timing could be causing the problem but I want to bring it to somebody who has more experience with these things. At this point I just want an airplane to fly. If somebody knows a SF Cracker Jack in New England, please let me know. SF recommended Take Flight in Orange County, NY but I was hoping for something closer.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Diamond_Dan wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:59 pm
My mechanic charged 6 hours of labor to install the kits and an additional 3 hours for troubleshooting. ... My cylinders run hotter now but seem to produce less power so I am running richer to keep them cool
Took us about 1 hour to install the kit, given the SF was already installed. (The original SF was about 2 hours.) Pulled the Slick Start and mounted the voltage conditioning hardware on the plate it formerly occupied. No change in the SF except to eliminate any instances of burgle.

I do run lower EGTs to keep CHTs temps down, but this is expected and actually improved a bit after the voltage conditioning installation. I'm finding OAT seems to affect CHTs more than pre-SF.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Setting/checking base timing (0 deg BTDC) is easy and should have been done at initial installation. Then check the code it flashes when turned on. For 25 deg + advance enabled it's _ . _ _ (Morse Code: "Y"). Checking the actual advance behavior may not be feasible while mounted on the plane. Of course checking the timing of the other mag is conventional.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by MarkA »

I spoke with Surefly last week to get an update on the availability of version 2 of their Surefly Ignition Module (SIM).

https://www.surefly.aero/

For context, there have been some issues with the first version of the SIM in 24-volt planes. The original SIM was designed to detect and react to an over voltage condition at 35.7 volts, at which time the device would reset. It turns out the electrical system in some 24-volt planes (including DA40s) have been seen to generate transient voltage spikes above the 35.7-volt threshold. This caused the engine to “burgle” momentarily while the SIM electronics reset and rebooted. Surefly released a fix for version 1 SIMs by added a voltage step-down converter (to 17 volts) and a capacitor to condition the power line input to version 1 SIMs. Surefly is currently still shipping version 1 SIMs with the power conditioning addons.

Surefly just received FAA approval for version 2 of their SIM last week. The new design includes updated electronics that detect an overvoltage condition at 150 volts instead of the original 35.7 volts. The need for the addon step-down converter and capacitor to condition the power line are therefore eliminated for version 2 SIMs. Surefly expects to begin shipping version 2 SIMs by mid to late summer 2021.

My DA40 XLS will be due for its 500-hour magneto service this spring at its annual. My plan currently is to have the right mag sent in for the 500-hour service at the annual and then replace the left mag with a version 2 Surefly SIM later this summer when they become available.
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Mark, thanks for the info. I'm going to go out on a limb here and relate the Surefly voltage issue to the problem Arnaud has been having. We get short-duration spikes as a regular occurrence that affect the Surefly, but then it becomes a real problem apart from the SF. The kicker was when Arnaud reported things being affected by a change in manifold pressure, which I found came to incite weird behavior in the SF.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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Re: SureFly Electronic Ignition

Post by Rich »

Just a status. Last week I had occasion to fly a few hours at reasonably high altitudes - 10K/11K, with DA of 11K/12K respectively. Between the Powerflow, Surefly, and some contribution from the nosewheel fin, my plane beats POH cruise by 15 knots at these types of altitudes. 8.6 GPH, 2400 RPM, WOT: 141-143 KTAS. With OAT at 5 degC, CHTs perfectly fine at around 380 degF.

With the interim fix in place for many months now, no burbles at all from the engine.
2002 DA40-180: MT, PowerFlow, 530W/430W, KAP140, ext. baggage, 1090 ES out, 2646 MTOW, 40gal., Surefly, Flightstream 210, Orion 600 LED, XeVision, Aspen E5
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