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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whilst watching today's video on the BBC of Tornado setting off from Darlington, I was struck by just how much steam is ejected from the drain cocks as the loco is about to start. Now that we can have sound, lights and smoke from the chimney why not drain cock steam to envelop the front end as well? So I was wondering how effective putting a smoke generator between the rails might be, after all the locomotives usually start from the same place on the platform.

David
 

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Thats a really good idea. How would one go about doing it. Ive never fitted a smoke unit to a loco!
Steve
 

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The main problem is that the steam is quite forcefully ejected - you would need some means of pushing the smoke forward in front of the loco - a small air jet?
A second problem is that the loco then moves forward and the generator would be left behind giving either an unrealistic 'escape of steam' below the train or a very short period of operation of the cylinder cocks.

You'll just have to move up to a larger gauge with live steam and working cylinder cocks!

Regards,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
QUOTE How would one go about doing it.
First choose your smoke unit. I think it would have to be an insulated one so as not to set fire to the baseboard! Then drill a hole of the appropriate size between the rails. The smoke unit in my old Triang Britannia had just one wire with the body being the other connection. I think it would be better to have a pair of wires. For the supply, either a separate accessory supply with a switch or a decoder with enough power to drive it.

David
 

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Wouldnt it be a bit messy trying to get the oil in the unit? Tho I spose a few spills would add realism to the track ballast!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE Wouldnt it be a bit messy trying to get the oil in the unit?

Not if you use a syringe. It would be no more difficult than getting it down a chimney (Southern pacifics excepted, those chimneys seem very wide
or a diesel's exhaust outlet.

David
 

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David,

The idea always fascinated me. Steam not coming from the rails, as you put it, but from the loco itself.

I do not know if you have watched it, KM modellbau's steamers do it. Check:

http://www.km-1.de/32119.html

Scroll down and play the dynamic smoke video.

Now, I know its 1/32 scale and all that, but I believe if we can sort out the mechanics of how they have done it, we might do a little bit of head scratching to figure out how to channelize the smoke coming out of the smoke stack down to the drain cocks. A bit fantasy but worth a thought perhaps.

Baykal
 

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First step to fantasy then ;



We take a Seuthe Smoke generator, stick in a tube/syringe needle/ coreless wire from just below the stack entrance and all the way down to the front bottom of the loco. Put a cap to the entrance of the generator with a tiny hole, fill her up, fire.

Will it work?


Baykal
 

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Smoke units don't work too well in RTR 00 gauge. Steam is always ejected from a real loco under some pressure. None of it is really burnt oil. Smoke units which don't set light to or melt plastic don't give off sufficient smoke to be realistic and the smoke is 100% burnt oil in minute quantities.

Most of the chimney 'smoke' on real locos is mostly water vapour and, depending on how badly it is being fired, soot.

Larger gauges, built of brass, are capable of quite good smoke effects.

Cylinder cocks are literally venting pure steam at up to 200 lbs / sqinch.

I doubt that one could duplicate that with current technology but I would suggest that some form of water vapour under pressure might do the job better. i think that is what the larger gauges use and I think it is a party piece that needs constant attention and refilling.
 

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Just having a muse here:

What if a baseboard mounted unit could be pulsed at a frequency connected to the speed step of a DCC decoder? Then fit a small fan on the underside of the model to blow the smoke away in a rougly similar fashion to steam coming out of the drain cocks at high pressure?

Regards,

Dan
 

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A couple of years ago at an exhibition, a layout (00gauge) used a smoke generator (from a party/disco ) with a small tube attached that came up between the rails at a platform end. I don't know how it was controlled, but there was lots of realistic smoke under the loco as it started out from the station. I think, since it was generated from one of those party machines, it was safe - certainly there were no fumes from it. It also "curled" realistically around the rest of the train as it pulled out of the station. It looked like it came from the loco, but wasn't!
Regards,
Paul.

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Paul Hamilton aka "Lancashire Fusilier"
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If you look at a Thomas DVD the between the tracks method is exactly what you will see. A stand alone Seuth 22 or similar will not give the right volume of smoke. The preheated reservoir concept would be better and a fan forced unit will give the best results I reckon.

A loco based unit does offer challenges too regarding size and syncro etc however something is possible in 4mm scale, just won't fit every RTR unit out there which is kind of where the masses are at I think. When building a whitemetal kit that will run on a small layout and doesn't need the entire boiler filled with weight then there are other options for filling it with a tank of smoke oil and a small fan or similar valve contolled release. I reckon the fan should be turned on to give a bit of force behind a DCC actuated release valve allowing a good wheeesh of steam to come out (using Thomas parlance!)
 
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