@Dell - thank you!
That's what I was thinking.... except...
when I put the voltmeter on the 'hot' point, its 6 (open) or zero (closed) so at the points.. they are grounding and not generating a voltage across the closed points. ... so I was trying to decide how 4.5V was getting dissipated in that little length of wire from coil to points.
Kirchoff's voltage law: the sum of all potential drops around a closed circuit must sum to zero
Kirchoff's current law: the sum of all currents leaving a given node must sum to zero.
Sounder: yeah, I couldn;t figger out why I ddn;t have spark either.. "you should have spark" ... I thought so too.
What would a bad condenser act like? either a short to ground (no) or...