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Thread: A Smoke Unit for N-Scale Steam Locomotives!

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    Default Bryan,One could add a

    Bryan,One could add a working firebox to an N-scale steamer, too...doesn't make it a good idea! [img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]I've never understood the obsession with smoke in any of the 'toy' modeling scales (HO, N, etc)....it looks SO unrealistic in my eyes, its not even funny.To each their own, I suppose...
    AR
    Siderod (II)
    Andrew Reid
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    Default Hey Andrew, I agree with

    Hey Andrew, I agree with you! But there does seem to be interest and I came across it so I presented it! As you say, to each his own...

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    Default Smokin'

    I'm in favor of anything that improves realism, from more prototypical track to better rocks. I think there is room for improvement with smokeless and steamless locomotives*that buzz around with electric motor sound. I don't know if this unit is the one I'm hoping for, but I can't condemn it sight unseen. I'm sure that the future will bring*both quality sound and smoke, and other enhancements we don't even imagine yet. I will definitely check this out. (Might even be going to Britain this summer, so who knows?) And Bryan, thanks for this and many other intriguing posts.
    Just imagine! A grown man who plays with little trains!

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    Default Well, smoke is prototypical...

    Quote Originally Posted by siderod
    I've never understood the obsession with smoke in any of the 'toy' modeling scales (HO, N, etc)....it looks SO unrealistic in my eyes, its not even funny.
    I recall my father asking if today's trains smoked - he grew up on American Flyer etc. and had fond childhood memories of these 'toylike' features - including the vibrating cattle car. I suspect this nostalgia fuels some of the desire for smoke. As for looking unrealistic, does -no- smoke look more realistic then some smoke? [img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]

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    Default A darn good fireman with a

    A darn good fireman with a good engine and an engineer that knew how to work the train could fire a steam locomotive with no visible smoke coming from the stack. So yes, no smoke is realistic.[img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]If we're going to get into this argument, wheres the steam when the new N-scale fireman over-fires and lifts the valves? Wheres the steam when I blow the whistle on my new-fangled sound system? What about the cylinder cocks releasing? Smoke from the stack wasn't always there...the whistle, safetys and cylinder cocks were[img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]I'm just joking, of course, which is why I said "to each their own..."AR*
    Siderod (II)
    Andrew Reid
    * * *

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    Default No argument here..

    Quote Originally Posted by siderod
    A darn good fireman with a good engine and an engineer that knew how to work the train could fire a steam locomotive with no visible smoke coming from the stack. So yes, no smoke is realistic.[img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]If we're going to get into this argument, wheres the steam when the new N-scale fireman over-fires and lifts the valves? Wheres the steam when I blow the whistle on my new-fangled sound system? What about the cylinder cocks releasing? Smoke from the stack wasn't always there...the whistle, safetys and cylinder cocks were[img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-tongue-out.gif[/img]I'm just joking, of course, which is why I said "to each their own..."AR
    However, those rs23's seem to be pitching black soot two miles into the air everytime I see them in video.* Perhaps the smoke unit is better suited for late era diesels...Anyway, just poking fun - ta! *

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    Default Ah, Touché, Michael!AR*

    Ah, Touch<span style="font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Calibri','sans-serif'">é,</span> Michael!AR*
    Siderod (II)
    Andrew Reid
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    Default To Each His Own...

    I inherited an American Flyer (S scale) from my father that smoked beautifully. I still run S Scale trains around the Christmas tree every year, with smoke. Without the smoke units these engines would*lose a lot of their dramatic effect, in both sight and sound.Also I have recently viewed a video made at a British train show of a locomotive (I believe OO gauge) demonstrating a smoke unit that was the most impressive I've seen. I don't know if it was the one displayed in the link or not, but it emitted billows of white smoke in rythmn with the model's cylinders, even at slow speed. I'm sure there are or will be problems associated with accomplishing this in the small N scale locomotives, but the proposition intrigues me. As for the "argument", we might as well argue about what railroad or historical time period all*N scalers*should*model.[img]/C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/My%20Documents/My%20Pictures/12-5-2007[/img] To each his own.
    Just imagine! A grown man who plays with little trains!

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    Default Whilst*chuffing smoke*has

    Whilst*chuffing smoke*has an aesthetic attraction for some (myself not necessarily included), my biggest question/concern would be the long standing one, of does it grime up the track?As 'N' scalers, we have enough trouble with keeping the track clean as it is, so as to not loose performance (electrical or tractive)... if this is as other smoke generators have historically been, those wafts of smoke will mean slipping on grades and many more hours cleaning.An independent 'N' scale installation & performance*review would be great.
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    Default The Investigation Will Continue

    Right now my impression is that these smoke units operate on the same principle as the S scale/American Flyer units do; that is, a wick wet with "smoke fluid" contains a heat element that causes the fluid to smoke.*In the*S scale version, a piston pumps the smoke out the stack and provides the chuffing sound, as well as the rythmic expulsion of smoke, like prototypical steam engines have.I believe the "residue-on-the track" problem comes from a different system that Lionel used for their O Gauge.*My S scalers don't have the problem.Although I am interested, I am prepared to find that* maybe things don't translate well into N scale, or that the thing needs more development.Still, I intend to pursue the matter. The website that sells these also has some very reasonably priced LED coach lighting kits and other things.And Bryan, thanks so much for injecting some constructive dialog into this thread. I'd like to send you a case of Australian beer for restoring my faith in Nscale.net.*
    Just imagine! A grown man who plays with little trains!

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    Default In all seriousness,The unit

    In all seriousness,The unit operates on 8-14v @ 120ma. * Without sounding completely daft, does this mean that the unit is better suited to DCC or DC or both applications? *I ask as DCC has a constant track voltage where as DC is naturally variable. *If using a DCC system, would the unit smoke at a constant rate (perhaps unrealistically) while the DC version would smoke differently/not at all with lower voltages?

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    Default I'm sure the design id for

    I'm sure the design is for DC operation... on DCC you would hook it up to a function output as you would a light (these are DC output).
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    Default In my humble opinion, it's

    In my humble opinion, it's not a question of how realistic it looks, it's a question of health effects. I venture to say that, generally, smoke is bad. It is full of particles that you could be be breathing into your lungs and particles would stick around on the furniture, scenery, walls, etc. The particles have to go somewhere. There are those who say that good room-sized air cleaner would be a good idea for any layout, smoke or not.I do know that we have our local show each March and the O scale, three-rail guys run their smokers every time. By the end of the day, my throat is sore, my eyes red and my athsma is acting up. The next day, I have a headache and my throat is still raw. There's got to be something going on there, even if they tell me it's "safe" smoke fluid. In any case, it's clearly a matter of the pot calling the kettle black as I sit in a house heated by wood, with 2 cats in the livingroom and a dog in the porch. I'm doing things an athsmatic should not. Ha ha! -mike

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    Default Mike, ya best have a beer

    Mike, ya best have a beer to wash all that crud out of your throat [img]/modules/tinymce/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-wink.gif[/img]
    Bryan
    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

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    Default Michael*The smoke unit

    Michael
    *
    The smoke unit should not care if it is DC or AC (i.e. DCC) power.* As long as the*voltage is within 8-14 volts.* Though if wired to the rails with DCC it will always be on.* So it would seem like it would be a good idea to hook it to a function output.* The function output would need to be rated at >=150ma.* I looked at a Lenz silver it says only 100ma.* A Digitrax DZ123 etc. FX3 function*is rated at 500ma and would seem to be OK.
    *
    I suspect I would never try a smoking unit in a loco, but part of the fun is exploring different things in model railroading!
    Charles

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    Default I can think of .....

    ...other places where a small smoke unit would be fun.* It appears that the amount of smoke can be controlled by the voltage.Camp fire in the woodsFactory chimneysSteam boats and shipsBarbecue restaurantswamp fogwaterfall mist18 wheelershomeless folks with a burn barrelhobo jungleOf course a lot will depend on your ventilation.Moose
    (The voices I hear in my head may not be real, but sometimes they come up with a good idea.)

    Have fun.

    Moose

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    Default Other Uses

    Moose,I like those ideas.* Since I hate messing with my steamers, smoke at other places on the layout stirs my (feeble) imagination.Thanks
    Phil Olmsted
    San Francisco

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    Default Smoke for N-SCALE steam loco's

    ** If my observation is correct with this and previous post(s) about this subject, I would recommend leaving it up to the professionals such as BLW-BROADWAY LIMITED, Fleischmann*and*KATO as well as other manufacturers. Or we could have the highly skilled model railroaders *find the correct settings for steam locomotives.Tom*

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    Default Siderod makes a good point.

    * Yes I realize this thread is over a half year old, but I gotta agree with Siderod. The exuast of a steam locomotive is a very sharp blast...........I know I was on a signal bridge near Wicopee on the SP when 4449 came through. The blast of the exuast almost was enough to blow me off the signal bridge. A good fireman shouldn't make the loco smoke or pop the safety valves. Granted sometimes on an oil burner if the hogger shuts the throttle quickly the burner will over fire and smoke will pour from the stack. I think American Flyer had the most realistic approach to the smoky blast from the stack.Jacko*

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    Default SMOKE

    I'll buy it! Ron

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