Thanks for the reply. battery now at 6 volts, cranking with coil wire out of cap and holding near the block, there was spark some red some white but both were weak. When checking the points for short, with points closed, opening and closing didn't result in any spark, but with small screwdriver to open and close there was a spark when touching the cam on the dist shaft.
cranking the engine with cap off there was a little spark while opening and closing. Is there a common point to short? the stud and copper strip looked ok.