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  • Topic: Aristrocraft Smoke Unit can it be made to pulse?

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    • April 21, 2017 2:17 PM EDT
      • Tinton Falls, NJ
         
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      Aristrocraft Smoke Unit can it be made to pulse?

      I have a couple of Aristrocraft smoke units from diesel locomotives that I want to use in steam locos I've changed the wadding and inproved the smoke output 100% but I would like to convert them to pulsed smoke units, is there anyone out there that may know how I can convert them, I mean other than just interrupting the fan power with a contact. I'm looking for the fan to run constant when power is on and the loco is not moving. Any info or ideas would be appreciated.
    • April 21, 2017 3:11 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      DCC decoders... QSI and Zimo would be best..

      dump the electronics in the smoke unit and wire directly to the heater and fan, 4 wires.

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • April 22, 2017 8:17 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      I do what Greg suggests with Aristo, Trainli and USA trains motorized smoke units.

      Be careful with the heater element voltage.  On some I change the parallel resistors to series which reduces the current by 1/4 but increases the voltage needed by a factor of 4.

      Latest Trainli needs control from 15 volts, Aristo and USA from 10 volts.  Motors only needed around 4 volts.

      This is why a zimo decoder works great (the only one I have used for this operation)  as the decoder reads motor back voltages (BEMF) and controls idle, run, and accelerate for fan speed and heater element temperature.

       

    • April 22, 2017 2:15 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I'll have to do a Zimo diesel, those new sound files sound pretty good, and I think the QSI does not do as good a job with the smoke unit in diesels.

      Have you done a diesel with the new Zimo files yet Dan?

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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    • April 23, 2017 9:03 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Yes, I did use the new files.  Note that there are now function keys for increasing the loco speed as steps just like the real diesels had.

      Which decoder are you going to use?

    • April 23, 2017 10:47 AM EDT

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      This subject interests me.  I'm also looking for ideas for pulsing a smoke unit but with different conditions.  I use 14.8v batteries, Airwire decoders and Phoenix P5 or P8 sound in all my locos, steam or diesel. The steam units have 4 magnets inbedded in a driver for chuff.   I have used TAS units before which work ok.  Constant light smoke with the fan running when stopped and chuffs when running.  They have not been available for many years now.   Any idea's on what I could do  using my basic Airwire/Phoenix setup  to drive a pulsed smoke unit?  I do have a couple spare TAS units that I might be able to use the circuit board but wire the fan and heater leads to a Train-Li or Aristo unit.

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • April 23, 2017 4:23 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So basically any unit where you can "get to" the leads for the heater and the fan, will work with the decoders presented.

      But you also asked about a pulsed unit, and for that, I would probably say buy the Massoth units that can be triggered by your reed switch, and they make the rectangular one, and a newer one that is curved to fit in a steam boiler.

      I prefer the DCC control option, so I can turn it on and off... since you run Airwire, a CONVRTR and one of these decoders directly wired to virtually any smoke unit would be my preference.

      Also, look at buying MTH replacement units, metal body and 4 wires already set up... I believe I have pictures on this page:

      https://elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=168&Itemid=203

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • April 24, 2017 6:02 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      I believe one of the advantages of a decoder running a smoke unit is the back emf can be shorted to make the motor stop faster thus giving a 'better' pulse.

    • April 24, 2017 8:01 PM EDT
      • Tinton Falls, NJ
         
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      Thanks to all for the replies, now another question to those in the know. I'm just now getting ready to purchase a DCC system, I was planning to purchase a NEC PH 10R system, I already have a Brutus 10 amp supply I picked for a few bucks, it's pre owned but like new. How well does an NEC system function with other manufacturers decoders such as the ones you have suggested for use with the Aristrocraft smoke units?
    • April 25, 2017 7:22 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      I have installed Zimo decoders and customers run them on many different systems, NCE is one of them.  Most mfg decoders will run on any DCC system, it is kinda like any type of automobile can run on any road.

      The important thing here is when someone does the work for you, they need to know your system limits.

      NCE has f1 for the bell, and f2 for the whistle and these keys are labeled bell and whistle.

      LGB MTS systems only do 14 speed steps and have other restraictions depending on the model.

      On my Zimo system I run engine decoders from Massoth, Zimo, MRC, LGB, ESU, plus switch decoders from lenz, and others.

      Original LGB MTS decoder was made by Lenz, then they switched to Massoth, and now they started using Marklin decoders.

       

    • April 25, 2017 9:02 AM EDT
      • Tinton Falls, NJ
         
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      Thanks Dan, I'll be doing all the installs so I'll just have to do a little more homework on DCC, I did work for a company Brown Boveri later ABB, who use Carrier Control systems for switching High Voltage power grids, same principle much lower voltages.
    • April 25, 2017 12:05 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Well, there's plenty of people to help if you ask Joe.

       

      If you need just to program the DCC part, but will run on DC most of the time, then the NCE PowerCab setup is really impossible to beat for the cost, all in one system with the ability to program all 3 service modes and nice menus and easy to read. Under $200. Not enough amps and volts to really run G scale well, about 13 volts and 2 amps max... can have a booster added for G scale if you want to run big locos, etc.

       

      But very economical to set and read CV's which is the programming part you will need. Once the decoder is programmed, it will run on DC, although remote control of bell and whistle is normally a DCC command.

       

      (Don't know if any Zimo has trigger inputs)

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
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    • April 25, 2017 9:44 PM EDT
      • Tinton Falls, NJ
         
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      Thanks Greg, I've been on your website so I will probably be seeking info from you as well as others here. I plan to run a 10amp 18vac system using the NEC PH10R with the wireless Power Cab.
    • April 25, 2017 10:05 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Joe Augustine said:
      Thanks Greg, I've been on your website so I will probably be seeking info from you as well as others here. I plan to run a 10amp 18vac system using the NEC PH10R with the wireless Power Cab.

      NEC S/B NCE

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • April 26, 2017 1:43 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I do the same letter swap all the time.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • April 26, 2017 7:00 AM EDT
      • Eastern Massachusetts
         
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      Greg, all of the Zimo MX69 series have 3 inputs, labeled in1, in2, in3.  in3 is for chuff.  One of the decoders has 4 inputs, perhaps one could active a coupler clank??

      These have adjustable volume and playing length.

      I normally use in1 for bell, in2 for whistle, in3 for chuff.

      The MX645 only has 1 input sensor.

       

       

    • April 26, 2017 12:12 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      so the MX69 series would be ideal for either DC operation or an RC system that has trigger outputs.

      I'll have to try one... the day is here that DCC decoders are going to be more popular in analog applications and R/C ....

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 26, 2017 9:31 PM EDT
      • Santa Ana, CA
         
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      I would do it with a 556 chip and a pair of relays.

       

      Set one side of the chip as a "one shot" with a short duration that triggers from the chuff switch/reed switch.  As the rate of the chuff switch increases, so will the chip be triggered.  Eventually, when fast enough, it should just be continuous.

       

      The relay is a dpdt and one side activates the fan/smoke.

       

      The other side of the 556 chip is also set as a "one shot" but with a longer duration.  And, we connect its relay (spdt) to the output pin and the "+" so it stays on when not being actively triggered.  This second relay will put continual power to the smoke/fan.  The current through the resistor that charges the capacitor, that determines the duration of this "one shot" is continually shunted to ground via the second pole of the chuff relay.   

       

      So as long as the chuff relay keeps flipping, the timing portion of the 556 chip for the second relay keeps restarting itself from scratch holding that relay closed.  When the chuff relay stops flipping, the current to the "continuous" relay portion of the 556 chip is no longer shunted to ground and this portion of the chip can run its course after which its relay will close and you will have continual smoke.

       

      ... or something to that effect.

      This post was edited by Todd Brody at April 26, 2017 9:45 PM EDT
    • April 27, 2017 1:30 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      The solution with the decoder can be adjusted easily, will increase smoke under load, decrease under drifting, can have different setting for idle, reacts better than a relay, will last longer than trying to make the relay follow chuffs, can have the chuff rate scaled to avoid the machine gun effect, and on and on...

      If you have a good sound card, then it will probably already drive the smoke unit with no other components.

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • April 27, 2017 9:33 AM EDT
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Dan put a Zimo Decoder with sound and smoke ( Zimo smoke unit) unit in my hudson.

      The smoke unit works great , I have magnets for bell and whistle, the layout is controlled by a Train Engineer (track powered)

      If I want to run it on a DCC system I just go to Dans .... nice have the option to run it on DCC or DC !

      ____________________________________

       My you-tube

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

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