We're flying two EDIS systems locally, on an RV-8 and a Mustang II.
The Mustang's parallel valve 360 is triggered with a toothed wheel behind the ring gear, and the standard Ford sensor. I'm running an IO-390 with a mag hole trigger based on an ND reluctor, which is conceptually similar to an Electroair trigger. Both aircraft retain one magneto for now, a conservative approach to testing a new ignition system, but so far it looks like both of us will go dual eventually...already built/bought the needed parts. There are a few others following along.
A very complete EDIS/Megajolt article can be found in the British LAA magazine, August 2011. Author's name is Steve Brown. Steve apparently did quite a lot of bench testing per English homebuilding rules. I'll write something for Kitplanes in due course.
Reluctor-based systems are old tech, but work fine. Ford sold millions of EDIS ignitions worldwide, in 4, 6, and 8 cylinder versions. The Motorcraft ignition module is considered very reliable, and will continue to operate independently, delivering spark at 10 BTDC if the timing control computer is dead. The EDIS module can be mounted on the hot side of the firewall. However, it's just as easy to put it inside the airplane, with the Megajolt control computer, where it can live a life of luxury. In that case, there are no electronics mounted firewall forward, just the pickups (a magnet and some wire) and the coils (iron and some wire).
A late model Ford EDIS coil pack will look extremely
familiar to P-mag owners. I elected to use an earlier style, just because it incorporates positive terminal retention.
I've discussed aircraft use with Brent Picasso at Autosport, who produces the little Megajolt controller. Brent is ok with experimental use, as long as everyone understands the controller was not designed or intended specifically for aircraft. The intended use is converting points-equipped fun cars to EI.
The components, leveraged as they are from automotive production numbers, are downright cheap when priced in AMU's (Aircraft Monetary Units). One of our intrepid VAF'ers bought all the Ford components for two
complete ignitions at the local wrecking yard; the bill was $60. You can also buy everything new if you wish, from the usual auto parts sources. Autosport's Megajolt control units are currently $169 each, but Brent has been known to put them on sale. You'll need a laptop for setup. The software is dirt simple.
I had not intended to say much here until flying 50 hours or so; right now (note: March 2016) I'm at about 10. So, no concrete endorsement yet, although the system is working well. If you want to know more, start by downloading the Megajolt installation and operating files at:
Like everything else in EAB these days, some builders will prefer to buy a complete kit with detailed instructions, while others will happily build whatever they want. I don't expect EDIS installations to put a dent in sales at SDS, Lightspeed, or Electroair, but it certainly appears to be a viable alternative for the DIY-minded.
I built accessory case trigger assemblies:
Motorcraft EDIS modules (black), Autosport Labs Megajolt/E timing controls (silver):