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Initial post[edit]

What /sucks/ is the clutter about contact points? I've never seen contacts on a magneto although I hear motorcycles have them and I suppose they are common enough. Typically it's even more fault tolerant due to the absence of moving parts aside from the flywheel bearing (which isn't really part of the magneto). The coil placement defines the firing window and is sometimes adjustable on the fixed gap & I've seen fixed timing with an adjustable gap. The former is ideal, but I came here looking for the effects of the gap adjustment... The article seems to imply points are necessary and I feel like points are more of a refinement. The most basic magneto drives the coil directly as the magnets sweep past. I suppose the flywheel is technically a moving part but it doesn't wear due to any association with the nearby coil.

Then you've never taken a magneto apart. All magnetos on engines have a contact breaker (points). It is possible these days that some bright spark (!) has devised a way to operate them electronically, but without a constant source of power, it is difficult to se how. (talk) 12:50, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Dispute about Restructuring[edit]

I totally sucks that this has been changed into a disambig page. The term "magneto" is recognised by 99% of people to mean the electrical generator thingy - that's where the term originates. The other names are secondary. Therefore the correct thing to do is to make this the article page, with mention and wikis to the other two meanings in a separate section. Otherwise all the existing links need to be updated, which is just silly. I intend to put this back how it was, in keeping with the guidelines. GRAHAMUK 06:04, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't see much to agree with in your arguments, particularly your gratuitous and insulting observation that "I [sic] totally sucks". I'd bet that 99% of people neither know nor care about the "electrical generator thingy" (you don't seem to care, given your terminology). The other names are secondary - to whom? "Electrical generator thingies" carry more weight than popular culture characters because... why? And as for "all the existing links": I count 7 total pages, one of which is a redirect and two of which are users. Updating those links seems neither difficult nor silly. Also, the guidelines you refer to in such reverent tones note that references to other pages for a term should be listed at the top of a page, not the bottom, so at the very least I'll do that. -mhr 06:35, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

No need to be so touchy. Maybe I shouldn't have been either... but fact remains that "magneto" primarily means the generator. The other meanings, however "popular" they may be - which is highly subjective (personally they mean nothing to me) - are secondary, simply because of the precedence of time and usage. Magnetos have existed since Faraday's time, presumably the other usages are derivative, or else were arrived at independently by somebody who didn't think to check what it meant. To me - and probably anyone with an engineering bent, - naming a superhero after an engine component seems a bit, well, silly - what's next, rubber gasket man? (Hmmm... gives me an idea....) Anyway, this is not the point. I have no wish to argue about this, not upset anyone for whom "Magneto" is their favourite band/superhero/soft drink/panty liner brand or whatever, but the way the article is laid out now is correct, as far as I can see. You were right about putting the disambig at the top, but wrong about moving the primary meaning in the first place. I think we can agree at that! (I hope anyway). Incidentally if moving the associated links didn't seem difficult nor silly, why didn't you do it? GRAHAMUK 11:04, 16 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Sorry for being touchy, but I was taken aback by your comment, given the usually even tone of disagreement I usually see on WP.
Alas, I don't agree that magneto is primarily the engine component. Even discounting the fact that I'm a comic book fan, I've heard the term used to refer to the villain dozens of times in the past 5 years (from commercials for and reviews of the X-Men films alone), whereas in the last 20 years I've heard it used to refer to the engine component... well, maybe in a physics class at some point, but I can't remember a single concrete example. It's just not a term in common use, and I think there's good reason to think it's being eclipsed - in general usage - by the pop culture character. I would certainly argue that people on WP who are looking up Magneto are as likely to be looking for the character as the engine component.
Many technical and engineering terms fall out of favor over time (e.g., carburator), becoming of interest primarily to specialists. While I would not argue that any pop culture figure who adopts a name from science immediately (or ever) grows to equal the weight of the original term, I think the marginal nature of the magneto component combined with the prominence of the character makes this an exception. -mhr 06:58, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Yes, terms fall out of favour over time. Did you mean carburettor? AFAIK, carburator isn't even a word - which might have been your point! I disagree about magneto though. I suppose it just depends what you're interested in - since you're interested in comic books then you a probably more likely to "notice" the usage of Magneto as a comic book hero's name than someone who isn't, and vice versa - maybe you don't notice the use of magneto in its engineering sense. It all depends on who you ask in other words. As for whether it is in common use, I believe it is, it it still very much used in small and aero engines, and hasn't been replaced by something with another name. I just bought a brand new petrol-driven grass trimmer for example, and that has a magneto. What has to be considered is whether the relevant articles of either type are easily found by those looking for them. In its present form I think it accomplishes that pretty well. Those who only have ever heard of the comic book character will discover something interesting they didn't know into the bargain ;-) My apologies for the outburst you objected to - obviously it wasn't aimed at you or anyone in particular, it was just a final irritation at the end of a very long day.... GRAHAMUK 11:40, 18 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It occurs to me that my role in cleaning up the history might be construed as the only opinion being expressed here by a third party, and as an opinion that the device sense should be the main article to the exclusion of "equal disamb" i.e. that the second move would have been a good one if "move this page" had been used instead. In fact, my strongest opinion in that area is that expressing a preference would impair my ability to communicate about the technical and "process" issue, followed closely by my opinion that you each knows more about what the subject of Magneto should be than i do. --Jerzy 16:32, 2004 Jan 10 (UTC)

Just read this with interest - have been having some early flying lessons and wondered what on earth a magneto is, and found what I was looking for. It seems that it's great to list words that aren't in common usage - if I already knew what it was it's highly unlikely that I would have visited. I'm also aware of Magneto as an X-Men baddie, but would never consider looking him up in Wikipedia! Jon-stewart 11:27, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Reconstruction of Mangled History[edit]

When an editor renames an article by cutting and pasting its text to a page that has the new title (but "Move this page" should have been used), it is possible for a developer to correct the history entries of the page. The reconstruction of the history for the period from 2003 Nov 14 thru 2003 Nov 16 was instead performed by means of ordinary edits, after a sysop kindly

  1. moved Magneto to Talk:Magneto/temp (along with its history),
  2. deleted Magneto (as required by next step),
  3. moved Magneto (engine component) to Magneto (along with its history), and
  4. reverted the text to a convenient point.

(The need for a sysop was for the deletion, which only they can perform.)

The point of those maneuvers was to rejoin the history of the edits made under the title "Magneto" before the creation of "Magneto (engine component)" (and the ones made under the title "Magneto (engine component)" back with the text of "Magneto" and the history of future edits that will be added there. (The history of edits of text that are documented only as history entries on a redirect is essentially lost.)

They ugly way the history was recorded in this case is by using the summary field of reversion edits and dummy edits to store information, most significantly the summaries of early edits whose results are recapitulated as new revisions. Thus the differences in the text can be seen by clicking "cur" or "dif" links in the recapitulation entries, instead of the confusing and misleading ones involving the original Nov 15 entries. (Note that some of these recapitulation entries reflect previous content of Magneto, but others that of Magneto (engine component).)

Jerzy was the one who made up that approach, and as to what's not clear abt its meaning, ask me specific questions at this convenient spot and i will use them to tell me what more i need to say here to explain them. TIA for your patience. --Jerzy 10:40, 2004 Jan 10 (UTC)

How it got that way[edit]

Damage was done in the process of the competing edits motivated by the positions taken in the preceding section -- done, specifically, by the cut-and-paste move that was made to partially reverse the earlier true move. (The latter was executed with proper technique as described at Wikipedia:How to rename (move) a page, but gave no apparent attention to the advice given there for taking account the impact on this community.)

In any case, i have obtained the help of a sysop and am now in the process of creating have created a record, within the history of Magneto, of what the history of the article on the device should have looked like. (The result will make more sense than its description, worry not.) --Jerzy 08:28, 2004 Jan 10 (UTC)

Well, somewhat more sense, even if it sucks, but better than taking up a developer's time to do a pretty job of making the information available.

Contrary to my recollection, i see that clicking on "Move this page" doesn't point a user to Wikipedia:How to rename (move) a page, so i regert my willingness to let some harshness possibly creep into my earlier references to it. Please don't let that keep you from studying it. --Jerzy 10:40, 2004 Jan 10 (UTC)

Disambiguation header[edit]

I restored the single-line disambiguation header to the page. I think this reads better, and it's more in keeping with the form at Cream, which is explicitly referenced in Wikipedia:Disambiguation. This seems to be the standard, and I think it's desirable to keep the header as vertically short as possible. If we end up adding yet another meaning, then we should probably created Magneto (disambiguation) - but for only two secondary meanings I don't think we're there yet. -mhr 23:27, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Aircraft spark[edit]

'and two sparks burn more efficiently than one', why is that anyway? Surely when the avgas is ignited its going to burn the same with one spark than two? What about aircraft shower of sparks system anyway? I mean you might be right, just seems like the kind of thing to prove with a citation.

I can't give you a citation but I'm a pilot and I assure you that this is true. Part of the preflight check in an airplane with a reciprocating engine is to turn off the magnetos one at a time, which causes a drop in RPM. Maybe "efficiently" isn't the right word to use but having two sparks does make a difference. -- Captaindan 18:06, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Although not an expert I think the two spark efficiency comes from igniting the fuel simultaneously in two places. The flame front takes a significant time to spread from the point of ignition and so igniting the fuel/air mixture in two places causes it to burn marginally quicker and thus deliver power at a more optimum time during the stroke of the piston.

I'm also a pilot and flight instructor and wanted to mention that the 'shower of sparks' is only used on certain mags while the engine is being cranked. It uses a vibrator to create a near constant spark on one of the cylinder's spark plugs to make starting easier. As soon as the engine starts, the mag reverts to normal operation.

I have somewhere heard that before, that one magneto had a sort of spring loaded trip so that it would always flick past its spark point with adequate speed even at low revs. It appears to be related to the thinking behind "Some luxury cars before that time were dual-plugged as well, but had only one set of plugs fired by magneto. The other set was wired to a coil, dynamo, and battery circuit because the magneto would generate high voltage at high engine speed, but not at low engine speed, whereas the other ignition system would perform well at low engine speed but not as well as a magneto at high speed." Can anyone back this up so it can go in the article? PMLawrence (talk) 12:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Lawrence, the system you're referring to is called an "impulse coupling", and is only used during starting. Once the engine hits a minimum RPM (usually around 150), the impulse coupling is disabled by a flyweight system. And in the other department, about using a magneto ignition on one side and battery ignition on the other, this has been used on a few aircraft engines, most notably some versions of the Jacobs R-755 radial engine. It's used because magnetos are considered more reliable, but they have fixed timing, while battery ignition has the ability to vary the timing. Since magneto timing is fixed, it must be adjusted to a compromise setting which is neither the best for starting nor for full power. On the other hand, the battery ignition timing can be retarded in order to start the engine below the magneto's coming-in speed, or advanced to achieve greater fuel efficiency at cruise RPM. The idea has seen a resurgence in modern homebuilt aircraft, with the old style analog battery ignition being replaced by a modern, sophisticated electronic unit not unlike those used in automobiles. Australian Jon Johanson used such a setup (among other modifications) in order to achieve the fuel efficiency necessary to fly his RV-4 across the vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean. Shreditor (talk) 06:58, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Magneto ignition can be advanced and retarded in exactly the same way as battery coil ignition can. (talk) 14:56, 30 March 2010 (UTC)


Is it true that magnetos are also called permanent magnetic generators (PMG's)?

ANSWER: The human being can call the same object of the reality in different ways. Of course a magneto is a Permanent Magnets Electric Generator (not magnetic), or PMEG, but this is so complicated, something like to say a common cat is a Felix Catis... do you know anybody that calls sugar, for its chemical name, sacarosa? ... please... don´t complicate technology and science, they are enough complicated by themselves..

Needs a starter[edit]

I'm moving this sentence to the talk page:

Most importantly, the magneto does not have the ability to start the rotation of the engine or of itself, so that an alternative starting method will be required for a machine using a magneto. Some such methods are the starter motor, kickstart, starting crank or pull cord, starting charge, or the like.

This statement is somewhat misleading in that it implies that only engines with magnetoes require separate starters. All reciprocating internal combustion engines need an external starting method, regardless of ignition type. Nibios 21:10, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Magnetos are not just for ignition[edit]

I'm going to re-write the opening sentence. Magnetos today may be used mostly for ignition but I don't think that's the definition of a magneto. I think what makes it a magneto is 1) permanent magnets and 2) no commutator, so AC output. If you have a good reference please feel free to refine my definition. Rees11 (talk) 15:55, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

That definition does not quite distinguish modern alternators which charge the battery and AC generatators (magnetos) that powered spark coils. Also to be included should be the hand-cranked AC generators (magnetos) used in late 1800s telephones to signal the switchboard operator that the user of the magneto wanted to make a phone call. Greensburger (talk) 19:33, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Technically: a magneto is a specific type of permanent magnet generator that uses an interupting device of some sort (traditionally a contact breaker) in conjunction with a secondary coil to produce a pulsating high voltage output (typically thousands of volts). As ever in engineering, the term gets borrowed to describe other types of generator. The telephone 'magneto' described above and in the article does not work this way, but is in reality just a permanent magnet alternator that produces a few hundred volts only. The term has similarly been usurped to describe other types of permanent magnet generator. (talk) 15:05, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm confused. "Primary"/"Secondary"? "Points" ? Ignition magnetoes don't have a primary - there's no battery, and no points. It's been a while since I took apart a lawn mower engine, but I don't recall anything other than a coil and an insulated wire to the spark plug. I think the article is in error, or at least describes one of several cases (some of which have no points or primary/secondary coils). --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:24, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
Magnetos don't usually have a transformer, but see Eisemann magneto system, 1911 or Magneto ignition with low-tension magnetic spark plugs, 1909. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:17, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Magnetos are permanent magnet AC generators, no more, no less. No commutators, but the windings can be either on the stator or rotor, so they don't always have slip rings. I've recently split the Commons categories into
I would suggest re-structuring this article similarly - probably by moving this to ignition magneto and then starting with a disambiguation page under magneto. As to the assertion that they have either transformers, or always have points, then I think that's an excessive inferrence from some specific ignition magneto example somewhere. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:32, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't playing close attention the last time I took apart a lawnmower engine, all those years ago - from what I've been reading, a permanent-magnet generator is a magneto, but magnetos used for ignition have both an internal primary and secondary winding and also points and a condensor. Usually all this stuff is under the flywheel on a small engine so it's hard to see (and I haven't been around many aircraft engines).
I don't think the article needs to be split up as much as all that; the unity of permanent-magnet field is the common defining element, and we can briefly discuss the particulars of ignition and telephone uses. How would magneto (generator) differ from magneto (telephone) ? We would start off with a general description, discuss the telephone bell ringer, then discuss small engines and aircraft ignition (with some history in automobile use and current use in racing vehicles), and finish off with the lights the headlamp on a snowmobile. --Wtshymanski (talk) 14:19, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Bicycle dynamo[edit]

I don't have a source so I'm not putting this in, but the wheel mounted generator used power the headlight on a bicycle is a magneto, although it is incorrectly called a dynamo in common usage. Rees11 (talk) 16:14, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, good point. The Sturmey-Archer Dynohub hub dynamo which I lovingly installed on my pushbike in the 1960s, for example. Andrewa (talk) 18:25, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I have done a little work on the article linking to other places where this material is already in Wikipedia. It doesn't seem a good time to do too much work on the article, though, see below! Andrewa (talk) 19:02, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.
The result of the move request was: page not moved. There does not appear to be consensus for the suggested move. It would seem there is a general principle at work here, regarding when a derivative topic can supplant its root topic as primary. In particular, it appears that a derivative topic can be primary if it is of interest to a general audience, as opposed to a particular fandom. A magneto is a device used in commercial and industrial applications all over the world, and its notability is not subject to the whims of western pop culture.

I'm not sure that I've quite put my finger on it, but this is something we can all keep an eye out for, gauge consensus in similar cases, and see whether we've got a best practice worth writing down somewhere. - GTBacchus(talk) 23:39, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

– As discussed at Talk:Magneto (comics)#Requested move, this proposal suggests that there is no primary topic for the term "Magneto" and that the disambiguation page should be at the base name. Powers T 13:13, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose this is the primary topic. (talk) 13:24, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Are you certain that this topic is far more likely to be sought by people searching for "magneto"?
      • Look around you, in whatever settlement is wherever you live, and see how many electromagnetic devices conforming to the topic of this article that you find. Further per the decision at Avatar, where the movie is NOT primary, the encyclopedic topic is not the comic book character, it is this device. (talk) 04:09, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose and a damned great big electric trout to the comics fanboys who were happy to arrange such a move without even noting it on the affected pages. WP:RECENTISM has already been noted. From just where did they think that Magneto (comics) had derived his name otherwise? Andy Dingley (talk) 13:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Um, what move was arranged without notification? The proposed move I linked was soundly defeated, so nothing was "arranged", certainly not by plural "fanboys". Also, I note that derivation is not sufficient to demonstrate primacy; else, Mercury would be about the god, toilet would be about making oneself look presentable, and Boston would be about the town in Lincolnshire. Powers T 14:14, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is the primary topic. Cliff (talk) 14:05, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • I ask you the same question I asked the IP user above. Powers T 14:14, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Yes. People who are interested in comics are a minority, perhaps a large minority. Were I to be looking for information on a comic book character, I would look first at that comic's article, especially if I knew that there was more than one meaning of the word magneto. I feel that is a pretty normal approach. How are you sure that it is not what people who search magnet are looking for? Cliff (talk) 21:22, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - comic book characters named after electrical machine - it's those d*n Transformers all over again. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:42, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Comment: Very well put. While not wanting to produce instruction creep, when the dust clears we might be able to add something to some project page (MOS? but dunno where) to help with such issues. No change of vote (below). Andrewa (talk) 18:09, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. As can be seen by any of the methods given at Wikipedia:Primary topic, there is no clear primary topic for "Magneto" and therefore the disambiguation page should be moved to the primary topic. Jenks24 (talk) 15:49, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: I am of the opinion that any time article A has more traffic than article B, article B should not be the primary topic. (Article A might not be the primary topic either, regardless of how much traffic it has, but certainly not article B.) That is the case we have here. Better to go with a disambiguation page. 16:34, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
    • Where are you getting your traffic data? Cliff (talk) 21:25, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Here are links for Wikipedia article traffic statistics in 2010: comics (615,018) versus electrical generator (137,275). So a factor of ~4.5 even though the electrical generator was at the undisambiguated name. –CWenger (^@) 21:28, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
      • Page View Statistics from the article's history tab will link to these.
The point is not which is the higher traffic, because AFAIK that just isn't a consideration for naming policy. If it is, or if it ever becomes so, then let's just rename the whole thing LadyGagapedia and give up on it. Andy Dingley (talk) 21:32, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • It is certainly a consideration, as mentioned at WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, but one of many. –CWenger (^@) 21:48, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Then it's probably time to give up the project as a failure. When are we getting that Pokemon namespace? Andy Dingley (talk) 21:56, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Overly dramatic much? –CWenger (^@) 22:29, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm just tired of every "policy" decision being made so as to favour the teenager vote. Botticelli gets deleted but Plan B stays? Where do you think Magneto's name even comes from? Andy Dingley (talk) 22:46, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank Jimbo we didn't delete all those essential transistor articles. --Wtshymanski (talk) 00:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support The generator can not be the primary topic if the fictional character get several times as many page views, per CWenger above. The DAB gets a very high number of views, which suggests that many people are going to the generator article by mistake and then using the hat. Kauffner (talk) 01:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Support Magneto (generator) - Primary topic is influenced by page views not notability or worth. Most of the page views on what is currently Magneto are people looking for the character. Bad enough that the current arrangement is completely contrary to the primary topic policy. Marcus Qwertyus 04:42, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
You not only "support" this new change of name, you went right ahead and did it, without any further discussion or the faintest hint of consensus (what's that?)
This is a poorly chosen name at that, and will need to be moved yet again. Magneto (electrical) would be a reasonable choice for the broad-scope article on the three groups of electrical magnetos in general, if it's not to be the primary Magneto. Magneto (electrical generator) already exists as a separate article - this new name you've chosen independently is far too close to that and so is confusing.
You weren't aware that there were distinct groups? Did you not bother to read past discussion on the talk page here? Not that you've ever let ignorance of a subject hold up your BOLD editing style before. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:02, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
There was consensus on the last request so cool it. Luckily I noticed this new discussion on my watchlist. Marcus Qwertyus 16:45, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
There was no such consensus -- the other move request at Talk:Magneto (comics)#Requested move had been closed as "no move" for well over a day before you took it upon yourself to move the page. You might want to be a little more careful in the future. olderwiser 17:05, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
There were five editors plus myself advocating making the dab page the primary topic as a compromise. If others chimed in and opposed the move then fine. It can always be moved back and a debate can be initiated. In this case there was already one and I was quick to ask an administrator move it back. Marcus Qwertyus 17:19, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There was consensus actually. If you look at that discussion, Dicklyon and were in favor of keeping the electrical generator as the primary topic. Myself, Powers, Jenks24, and Kauffner all supported putting the disambiguation page at Magneto. Necrothesp probably favored the former as well but it's hard to tell as they voted before the alternate proposal was suggested. And James proposed making the comics the primary topic, so presumably they would support putting the disambiguation page at Magneto as an improvement. So that would be 5 to 3 in favor. With that said, I agree it was a very bad idea to go ahead with this move while this discussion was in progress. –CWenger (^@) 17:27, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I was not aware there was a discussion and would never have moved the page had I known. Marcus Qwertyus 17:34, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
(after ec) @Marcus Qwertyus: Which administrator were you quick to ask to move it back? And are you saying that you did see that the other move request had already been closed? That makes your action even less comprehensible. You had not expressed any opinion in the discussion there so where were you advocating for this? There were eight editors involved in the other move discussion, counting the requester. There were four that expressed support for moving the disambiguation page and three that explicitly indicated the electrical magneto was the primary topic. That is hardly consensus. olderwiser 17:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I mentally endorsed the making the dab page the primary topic which put it over the consensus threshold. I placed a speedy on the redirect I couldn't reverse. Marcus Qwertyus 17:50, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
(after ec 2x) @Marcus Qwertyus: If you were unaware of the discussion, then on what basis did you move the page? That seems unusually rash. olderwiser 17:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I was unaware of the discussion on this page. Marcus Qwertyus 17:51, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
I was referring to the discussion on the other page. olderwiser 17:58, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
@CWenger, Sorry, only four explicitly expressed support for the dab page -- we do not generally base consensus on assumptions of what we hope other editors might have meant. But even so, 5 to 3 is not consensus by any definition I'm aware of. olderwiser 17:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's use common sense here. If somebody nominates article A to be made primary topic instead of article B, why would they possibly not support a disambiguation page with article A and B as a compromise? –CWenger (^@) 17:58, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Common sense does not include speculating about what another editor's position might be and then counting such speculation as evidence. olderwiser 18:02, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Can you envision any scenario in which the nominator would reject such a compromise? Just for spite? –CWenger (^@) 18:07, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
There have been numerous discussions where compromise was an unacceptable option for many editors. The point is that we should not be counting !votes based on inferences about what we think another editor might have meant. olderwiser 18:10, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Five including the nominator. Marcus Qwertyus 17:51, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
The nominator made no express opinion regarding the disambiguation page. Until he expresses a position, it is pure speculation as to what James opinion might be. olderwiser 17:58, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Marcus, how do you know that most of the page views at magneto are people looking for the character? Cliff (talk) 05:57, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
The page views fluctuate similarly when Magneto (character) is in the news or something. Marcus Qwertyus 06:21, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose. Page views are not the only determinant of primary topic and I think there is good reason for a general encyclopedia to prefer to prefer the common historical usage. olderwiser 12:41, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
    • What would that reason be? (And keep in mind, the proposal to make the character the primary topic was soundly defeated.) Powers T 18:44, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
      • That the electrical sense is well-established and in common use and few readers (apart from comic fanboys) should be surprised to see an article about the electrical sense at the base name. olderwiser 18:59, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have heard of magnetos in petrol/gasoline engines for the last 50 years. Until reading tbis discussion I had never heard of the Magneto comic strip character, even though I have read comics sometimes. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 21:47, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Bkonrad. Even if the X men character is the most common search term at present, in some cases there is good reason to prefer the original use and not a derived use that, given the nature of popular culture, may little known 20 years hence. I remember reading an essay on this very argument some time ago but I can't seem to find it now. -- Mattinbgn (talk) 21:30, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I confess that I'm at a loss to explain how anyone would think there was any question that this is the primary topic, but we must take the support this is receiving seriously. The web search and page view stats are I guess biased by the disproportionate activity of comic fans on the web. This activity seems to be the whole basis for this support. I note at Talk:Magneto (comics)#Requested move the closing admin made a similar comment, and stated that Google books delivers an opposite result, strongly favouring the electromechanical device as the primary topic, as I would have expected. Andrewa (talk) 17:23, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Content forks[edit]

OK, so now we have Magneto, around 4800 bytes. We also have Ignition magneto 10,739 bytes, and Magneto (generator), 9999 bytes. Each of these articles contains some text pointing at the others. Even if we were to merge all three together it wouldn't exceed 32K, which is the limit of antique 20th century browsers that no-one uses any more. It would seem to be a more coherent explanation of the topic if they were all together in one place. Or am I the only one driven crazy by "Article continued on page 173" in the magazines? --Wtshymanski (talk) 22:36, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Oppose and are you still claiming that ignition magnetos have neither points nor transformers, or have you now learned a little about a subject before commencing to pontificate on it?
Magneto (generator) is over 10k because it's competently written, according to the level of coverage appropriate to the topic. If ignition magneto are telephone magneto are so much smaller, this isn't because the generator article is too big, but because those two articles are so poor. Fix them first, don't mess with the one part of the four that isn't shameful. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:40, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
It must be nice to never have made a mistake. If these articles are so independent, why does each one point at the others? --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Keep to the issues, please. The tone of discussion was already a bit unhelpful IMO, but I strongly suggest that it's wisest (and difficult I know) not to respond in kind. Andrewa (talk) 17:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
There seems nothing particularly poor about the articles at Telephone magneto and Ignition magneto. Agree they could be improved, but that doesn't make them poor. When the dust settles here I'd encourage you to improve them to your very high standard, and that's not sarcasm, you do edit very well. The leads in particular need some quite simple work and an early link back to the broader article. Andrewa (talk) 17:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

The split [1] [2] just yesterday was IMO completely unjustifiable in view of the ongoing controversy above. Probably the neatest and fairest solution is to revert in due course to the versions before it occurred, which is a shame in view of the amount of very competent work that has been done in the process but I don't see a good alternative. I wonder, should we put some protection on the pages, to reduce the risk of newbies wasting their time editing them in the meantime? Andrewa (talk) 17:32, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

On the other hand, the articles at Telephone magneto and Ignition magneto seem well scoped and there's no reason to merge them anywhere. Appropriate {{main}} links are in place from Magneto [3], and need to be preserved in any merge or revert, as they're not there at Magneto (generator) [4]. Some work on the leads at Telephone magneto and Ignition magneto to link back to the broader article is needed, see above. Andrewa (talk) 17:59, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
And if we simply revert, we now lose a little of my work too [5]. Such is life. I can redo it. Andrewa (talk) 19:00, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm mellowing towards keeping the split, as a trial at least, but we may need to rename Magneto (generator). If its topic is the large, mainly stationary generators once used to provide power for arc lighting and the like, then it's a good topic. But as all (electromechanical) magnetos are generators (and more specifically also electrical generators), the current disambiguation is not ideal.

The current hatnote This article is about magnetos as electrical generators. For other electrical uses, see Magneto [6] is a bit bizarre in fact, and I'd better change it immediately I think.

And we still of course need this overall article, by whatever name (see my views in the still current RM above). Andrewa (talk) 23:25, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm, and as I try to rewrite the hatnote at magneto (generator) I begin to see how little of the material in the current article there relates to the topic I suggested. A large section isn't about magnetos at all! Would anyone else like to have a go at the hatnote?
Or is it a fool's errand, and the merge the only real option? Andrewa (talk) 23:30, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Keeping Magneto by itself now seems pointless. It should just point the hapless user at the list of Ignition magneto, magneto (generator), and telephone magneto, or possibly the comic book character, and whatever other splinters of fact our esteemed co-editor chooses to identify. Maybe we can also work in a slam at the reader for not being smart enough to know what he was looking for in the first place. There's no content in Magneto that isn't repeated at each of those articles. --Wtshymanski (talk) 00:12, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Some duplication of content between related articles isn't a bad thing, particularly when one is an overview of a topic covered by more detailed articles as here.
Not sure who you mean by splinters of fact our esteemed co-editor chooses to identify but I suspect it's not a helpful comment!
The comic book character is off-topic and should not be mentioned except indirectly in the DAB, accessible by a hatnote, and perhaps in a see also section. That's what two RMs were about.
Not sure what alternative you see to Keeping Magneto by itself. Andrewa (talk) 00:32, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
My preference would be one integrated article to cover this topic instead of four splinters. --Wtshymanski (talk) 03:48, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Seeing this is far more than just reverting the split, perhaps then the way forward would be for you to formally propose a merge of the four. This then invites others who have experience in such proposals to be involved. Instructions are at Help:Merging#Proposing a merger, Wikipedia:Merging#Proposing a merger and Wikipedia:Merging#Tagging multiple articles. Andrewa (talk) 10:09, 3 July 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I'm late, but if I may just briefly ask, what exactly is the difference between the referent of this article and that of Magneto (generator)? The first sentences of are identical, so I'm confused. Sorry if the answer is in this thread here above but I couldn't find it easily. Chrisrus (talk) 21:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of the discussion to merge the article Ignition magneto into Magneto was: No concensus. Sparkie82 (talk) 19:21, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Wtshymanski started this merge request and left it incomplete. I have completed the request to facilitate discussion. Wtshymanski did not give reasons for his suggestion. Cliff (talk) 22:31, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

There's no interest in the merge proposal, so I'm closing it. Sparkie82 (tc) 14:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result was procedural close, with the discussion occurring here. -- BDD (talk) 19:18, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

It has been suggested that this page or section be merged with magneto (generator). Both aricles seem to have the same referent and scope. Chrisrus (talk) 03:41, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Please don't start multiple discussions on both pages. Please see Talk:Magneto_(generator)#Merge Andy Dingley (talk) 15:29, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Simplicity and reliability[edit]

What is our prototypical bright 12-year-old reader to think when she reads "Magnetos are used in piston aircraft engines for their reliability and simplicity, often in pairs." Doubling up everything is not simple. If it's so reliable, why would you need two of them? --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:25, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Because a two magneto system is inherently more reliable than a single magneto system. If one magneto/energy transfer coil/spark plug fails, the other system will keep the engine going. It's true that a magneto ignition system is very reliable (particularly the modern energy transfer systems), but any failure of an ignition system in an aeroplane is potentially embarasing. The odds of both failing together is substantially lower than one failing. (talk) 17:32, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
That might have dissuaded me when I was 12 years old, but I was a remarkably trusting and rather stupid child. Why not two spark coil ignition systems, then, if you're going to double them up? The 12-year-old might observe that Mum's minivan has gone for years between tuneups and surely doubling that system would make it, too, adequately reliable. --Wtshymanski (talk) 19:39, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Because magneto ingition systems are more inherantly reliable than battery coil. Even with dual redundancy, two magneto systems are still more reliable than two battery coil systems. In the aviation world, reliability is king and anything that improves it is considered highly desireable. Thus two magneto systems even though the odds of a double failure are considered to be very low - but they are not zero.
I am reminded of a case where a certain type of aircraft had two 20A fuses in parallel betwixt the battery and the electric motor that started the gas turbine starter unit (which in turn started the main jet engine). I was curious at the time why a single 40A fuse had not been used (and why 40A in the first place as it was a bit large for the motor used). I had already figured that it could not possibly be to reduce the I2t rating of the fusing because an electric motor just doesn't care that much. I had joked at the time to my then boss, that maybe it was for added reliability in case one fuse ruptured. On digging out the design requirement document, it turned out that this was indeed why a two fuse design was implemented. It also turned out that the correct fuse for the aplication was just 20A. Sometimes you just can't get the staff. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 17:53, 13 July 2012 (UTC)

RFC at Magneto (generator)[edit]

A Request for Comments is in progress at Magneto (generator) concerning whether to merge that article with this article, rename that article to Magneto (bulk power generator), or do neither and leave the article alone. Discussion should be there, using the RFC process. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:16, 2 April 2015 (UTC)