Question about Ferret Instruments Digital Tach Advance Timing Light

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Problem with a brand new ferret instruments timing light FER86

The light does'nt flash and the diplay shows 0000 when power leads and inductive pickup are connected. The timing light worked perfectly the first time, and stoped during the ignition timing.

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The Ferret FI-86 was a speciality light was originally to be made for a European auto company. Needless to say Ferret was quite surprised when the European auto company said they only want 20 lights.
They were shown to an American Tool Company that added them to thier "Ferret Line" of test equipment. After that the unit gained popularity with Marine and Motorcycle Techs.
Here is what is the first thing I would check - The pigtail coming out the handle probably broken and the number 2 pin which is the signal from the pickup is not getting through which will give you the ZEROS across the board.
The cable is a 5 pin DIN connector, should be able to find these most electronis stores....also refered to as a MIDI cable.
The next thing you might want to check is the carbon parts of the pick up the "U" shape cabon and the "I" shaped carcon make sure these are not missing or broken.
Also make sure you have the switches in the proper positions.

Posted on Nov 25, 2011

  • C J B Nov 25, 2011

    Forgot to mention Ferret 800-627-5655 ask for Repair they have the carbons the other stuff - if you wish to do the repair yourself.

    1310 Higgins Drive, Cheboygan, MI 49721


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If this is not the problem then you need to open the unit get a coated wire stripped ends 0.5 inches. there is a large yellow capacitor. Short this out first! Mostly this cap has a problem with loosening the solder joint(s) so check this first. The next area would be the flashtube area. Check the diodes and there is a trigger transformer. The phone number is 800-627-5655 Chris and Evy run the repair dept.

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My ferret 84 timing light is about 7 years old. it has been working flawlessly until recently. when connected it always sees rpm but the strobe is very intermittent. i purchased a new pickup with no...

Check the Big Yellow Capacitor on the Ckt Bd. the lead closest to the strobe lamp should measure approx 300 to 350 VDC these have a failure rate after about 7 years. Also make sure the solder is making a good connection. The Seriel Num is on the top of the light should be something like 84-9934-0001 which broken down it is 84 the model. next group 9934 is the year, (last two digits of) and week the last four digits production number.
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The pig tail will have issues at the "Heyco" connector. also what is the Ckt Bd is the construction Conventional "through hole" or SMT "Surface Mount"? I'm thinking it is the Cap.

Ferret Instruments or GXT, Inc. 800-627-5655 ask for Chris or Evy.
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