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Author Topic: After Market Smoke Unit Preferences  (Read 4132 times)
RkyGriz
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« on: April 18, 2015, 09:52:07 PM »

I bought an Anniversary Edition Dummy 4-6-0 on Ebay a couple of months ago. Recently, I converted the useless front coupler to a working coupler for doubleheading purposes. This loco has no guts-it's just a shell. I've been considering purchasing a new, working chassis for it, but I'm probably going to leave it as-is for now. I was thinking that it would be cool to add a working headlight and smoke unit,either powering them via battery or track power. I'm considering purchasing another Seuthe #7 smoke generator for it, but I was wondering what your thoughts on the subject might be. Also, would a 9 volt battery be enough to power the smoke unit and the headlight, or would it be better to buy something with a higher voltage since the Seuthe #7 is rated for 11-16 volts. Suggestions?
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Chuck N

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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 10:12:33 PM »

Several questions.  Are you running indoors or out?  Do you like buying batteries? 

Running indoors, I find the odor from a smoke unit builds up fairly quickly.  Doubling the output could make it even worse.

Smoke units take a lot of power,  if the battery is rated at 9 volts and the unit is rated for 11-16v, I doubt you would get any smoke, only dead batteries trying to heat up the heating element.

As a bottom line I gave up on smoke units 25 years ago.  If there isn't a switch, I cut the wires.  For the typical output of smoke it isn't worth the effort.  There are higher performance units available from other suppliers, but they may take even more power.

This may not be what you want to hear, but that is my 30 plus years of experience.

Chuck
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RkyGriz
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 10:54:08 PM »

I could install a switch in the front of the boiler to turn it on and off. I would just have to figure out how to add power pickups to the dummy so the unit would be track powered . I really don't think that trying to power the smoke unit with batteries would be a great idea,but I decided to throw it out there and see what others might think of the idea. I have been using the Bachmann smoke fluid indoors without a problem. It  dissipates quickly and doesn't seem to hang in the air and I don't seem to detect too much of a smell coming from the fluid.. I have asthma, and it doesn't bother me. The only thing that I don't really like about the Bachmann smoke fluid is that it spatters all over the top of the locomotives and I have to clean them after most uses. What would be the best way to route track power to the smoke unit and headlight?  Thanks Chuck!
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Chuck N

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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 11:06:15 PM »

Early on, I put an on/off switch in the smoke box of my LGB moguls.  It worked, but it wasn't long before I left it in the off position.

Chuck
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2015, 01:32:32 AM »

I've heard good things about the Massoth Pulsed Smoke Unit.
http://www.massoth.com/en/produkte/8412x01.en.php
I've not used it myself, but it seems to be getting good reviews from those who have installed it. It's a fan-driven smoke unit that can also do pulsed smoke (synched with a chuff trigger from a sound system).

To run it on battery power, you're going to need either a dedicated battery pack just for the smoke unit, or a higher-capacity battery for all the electronics; something on the order of 5 amp hours or greater; I'd probably go with a 14.8 volt, 7amp hour (7000 mAh) or greater battery, which will probably run you around $100 or so. But that will give you ample power for the loco and smoke unit, and still give you respectable run times.

Later,

K
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2015, 11:47:36 AM »

RkyGriz,
Like Chuck, I also opted out of smoke, because even the high power units outdoors with the slightest breeze dissipate the smoke so fast it is like it it not even on.  I also hate the mess, I did run smoke on the indoor layout but it left a greasy film on the top of the boiler which was difficult to clean off. It doesn't seem to matter what smoke fluid you use, it still makes the mess.   I also did not like the white color of the smoke.   I would reconsider smoke if they ever come up with a way to make black smoke instead of the white and without the heavy smell.  Just my opinion of course.

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Chuck N

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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 12:16:48 PM »

One last comment.  My LGB "Bumble bee" mogul has a smoke stack with a small bend.  I didn't pay attention and ran it a while after it went dry.  It got hot enough to soften the plastic in the stack.  One of many reasons I cut the wires or throw the switch on my smoke units.

Chuck
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RkyGriz
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 04:02:58 PM »

Thanks for your excellent replies and advice Bill and Chuck. At this point I'm probably only going install a working LED headlight powered by a 9 volt battery in the cab of the dummy and forget about adding a smoke generator. I might decide to run wires from the tender to the headlight, but I think the cab will be fine.
Andrew
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Fred Jack

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 04:28:49 PM »

They do make a smoke that's either Chocolate or Vanilla. I think Trainworld carries it. I'm not sure why people have to clean off their engines since the real ones are always dirty.

As far as dummy units go, the expense of putting on smoke units and lights exceeds the cost of an Anniversary complete chassis wired and ready to run. When I upgraded two old Ten Wheelers, I ordered the rods that go from the smoke box to screw into the plate the cow catchers screws onto. Don't forget to order right and left and the screws. Bachmann parts online has a sale on chassis for $55.00 this month. For an old Ten Wheeler, you will want to either get a new boiler front with both switch cut outs or just cut one out yourself with a drill or Dremel like I did. A lamp housing with light and wiring costs $8.00 and a smoke unit with mount is $10.00. The smoke unit mounts to the middle lug on the smoke switch and the other wire to the on side of the switch. The lamp wires go to the middle lugs on both sides of the other switch.
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RkyGriz
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 10:27:59 PM »

I've been considering purchasing a new chassis for the dummy and turning it into a powered unit. It has a tendency to swing way out on curves which causes binding of the drive wheels on both powered and dummy and I've found that the minimum diameter that eliminates the problem is 8 feet. So, I may very well go in the direction of making the dummy a powered unit. Wiring up a headlight is cheap and simple so the only expense to do this, other than the new chassis, is going to be adding a smoke unit. I can obtain a Seuthe 7 smoke generator (which is made in Germany and used in LGB and Marklin trains)  for under $25.00 on Ebay for a total cost of about $100.00 while the Gen 5 chassis are still on sale. I've installed a Seuthe 7 in my Hartland 4-4-0 and it's working very well. It's more than I want to spend on this project, but what the heck. It will make a fun project if I decide to go in this direction with the dummy.
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