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  • Topic: What am I doing Wrong?

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    • May 1, 2020 11:07 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      What am I doing Wrong?

      I am new to live steam and am trying to learn the best way to run my radio controlled Ruby. It has been doing pretty well as my skills increase but one thing has me bugged. As it's running, I get a lot of popping in the smoke box. So much so that it regularly blows out the fire. What is the problem? If you listen to it in this video it will be apparent. Help is appreciated. Thanks

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    • May 1, 2020 12:20 PM EDT
      • UK/Ontario/Oregon
         
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      Hmmm, could be lots of things, Joe, so look at these posts - https://gardenrails.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11947

       

      My first thought is a cruddy gas jet, or perhaps carp actually IN the gas you are using.  Do you invert the can before filling up?  Are you using a mix or straight butane?  

       

      Let us know if the gas jet might be blocked - cleaning them is NOT something that you can do properly unless you know how, in any event, do NOT use anything mechanical to try and do it.

      This post was edited by tac Foley at May 1, 2020 12:20 PM EDT
    • May 1, 2020 2:38 PM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      My first thought is a cruddy gas jet, or perhaps carp actually IN the gas you are using.  Do you invert the can before filling up?  Are you using a mix or straight butane? 

      Tac, it's not the gas. Rubys are renowned for burning oil and water in the smokebox, thus making the "POP" and the puff of blue oil smoke which you can see on the video.

      With a 'chuffer' in the smokebox, it is possible the wider chuffer is restricting the airflow and making the fire go out. For some reason these locos need airflow through the smokebox - my FWRR won't stay lit unless you leave the smokebox door open.

       

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        Pete

    • May 1, 2020 3:28 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Maybe it doesn't like your nick name Sparky

      Are you refilling the oiler before each run?

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • May 1, 2020 3:38 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      I'd go with what Pete said. My Accucraft 2Cyl Shay does that, except it usually does not blow the fire out. Learning to regulate the fire takes some practice on an Accucraft. I recently upgraded the gas valve on my Shay to help in that regard.  Might just be a matter of finding the right setting for the gas.

       

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      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • May 1, 2020 3:59 PM EDT
      • UK/Ontario/Oregon
         
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      I've got five Accucraft live steamers, and only one is meth-fired.

       

      None of them has ever done what Joe's Ruby does, but the Ruby belonging to a pal sure does, although it has not blown out the fire, AFAIK.

       

       

    • May 1, 2020 6:44 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Heck I haven't even built my Ruby yet, but I have a little, very little knowledge!

      My thinking is water is flashing to steam, and if he hasn't sucked the water out of the steam oil when refilling, that may be the source.

      Carry on....

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • May 1, 2020 7:41 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil. I agree that the smoke is oil being burned. I already have a TD needle valve for the gas and the throttle. The "pop" is so strong that sometimes it blows the smoke box door open!

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    • May 2, 2020 12:29 PM EDT
      • Fort Myers Beach & Annapolis, Florida & Maryland
         
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      Joe Zullo said:

      I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil. I agree that the smoke is oil being burned. I already have a TD needle valve for the gas and the throttle. The "pop" is so strong that sometimes it blows the smoke box door open!

      It certainly is a strong Pop on your video. But Accucraft door latches are very wimpy, so the fact that it blows open is nothing surprising.

       

      So, moving right along, I have seen the inside of a smokebox when this was happening, and the oil/water mix (technically called an "emulsion",) coming from the cylinders oozes out of the pipe/chuffer and runs down into the hot smokebox and burns with a bang/Pop. Bill Allen, over on MLS, posted that an 8 thou wire (0.008") can be put in the oiler hole to reduce the amount of oil being used. Tricky.  Replacing the lubricator with an adjustable one might be a better solution. Regner makes one that is small and easy to use.

       

      But before you try anything drastic, I would experiment with the blast pipe. Get some aluminum foil and tie it (with copper or brass wire) to the pipe just below the stack opening. Crumple the foil to make a drip edge, so the oil/water globules disperse in smaller droplets or drop down the side of the smokebox. Don't block the stack though.

      This post was edited by Pete Thornton at May 2, 2020 12:33 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

       

        Pete

    • May 11, 2020 9:34 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Yesterday:

      After many hours of reading on this site  this newbie to live steam finally figured it out!
      I was sucking in too much air at the nozzle because in my newbie brain I thought I needed more air, so I completely removed the brass ring around the nozzle holder that regulates how much air the burner gets. This had the effect of raising the BTU's produced by the burner to the point that the stack could not exhaust the CO2 fast enough and the CO2 would build up and snuff out the fire. This is why it stayed lit with the smoke box door open as several of you smarter than me mentioned. Today the light in my brain stopped blinking and came on full bright. I said to myself "Self, put that air regulator ring back on". Three steam ups on rollers and it ran great and stayed lit with the smoke box door closed.
      Tomorrow I will run it on the railroad, but I think with the help of all of you it will be OK. Thank you all!

      Today:

      Ran my Ruby on my railroad today and I am quite pleased. Two steam ups and the fire never snuffed out. Also a lot less popping!
      I am closing the books on this problem. Thank you all!

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    • May 12, 2020 8:55 AM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Sounds good Joe.  That would be a problem!  I'm no expert, but on most gas appliances you adjust the "shutter" so the flame burns blue with little or no orange on the tips. Too much or too little air in the mix will cause problems. Also getting the shutter adjusted properly can reduce to burner howl too.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

    • June 26, 2020 6:32 AM EDT
      • Criccieth, Wales
         
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      Joe Zullo said:

      I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil.

       

      The "gunge" is, of course, emulsified steam oil and is EXACTLY what the loco needs and uses for lubrication. As steam passes through the lubricator it emulsifies the steam oil, turning it in to "gunge", which then passes with the steam through to the valves and cylinders. Steam oil in non-emulsified form rarely gets to the cylinders and, given time, "gunge" will separate out in to its components: clear oil and water. Mess and money can be saved by giving it a good leaving alone and only sucking out the water.

      ____________________________________

      Tony Willm­ore
      Rhos Helyg­ Locomotiv­e Works: www.rhoshelyg.me.uk

    • June 28, 2020 8:43 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Rhos Helyg Loco Works said:
      Joe Zullo said:

      I suck out the gunge from the oiler after each run and refill it with fresh steam oil.

       

      The "gunge" is, of course, emulsified steam oil and is EXACTLY what the loco needs and uses for lubrication. As steam passes through the lubricator it emulsifies the steam oil, turning it in to "gunge", which then passes with the steam through to the valves and cylinders. Steam oil in non-emulsified form rarely gets to the cylinders and, given time, "gunge" will separate out in to its components: clear oil and water. Mess and money can be saved by giving it a good leaving alone and only sucking out the water.

      Your links in your signature do not work!

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • June 28, 2020 10:21 AM EDT
      • Criccieth, Wales
         
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      Joe Zullo said:

      Your links in your signature do not work!

      So they don't, but only because LSC seems to want to corrupt them for some strange reason. Copy and paste works or you can use this link which does work: www.rhoshelyg.me.uk

      This post was edited by Rhos Helyg Loco Works at June 28, 2020 10:22 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Tony Willm­ore
      Rhos Helyg­ Locomotiv­e Works: www.rhoshelyg.me.uk

    • June 28, 2020 11:13 AM EDT
      • Kokomo, Indiana
         
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      If I remember right, many Accucraft models from the earlier designs like the Ruby tend to way over oil themselves.  Leading to way to much oily goo out of the exhaust, which then is burnt in the smokebox with pops and blue smoke.  My friends early 3 cylinder Shay is bad for it.   The Dora is also a bad one to do it.  I know Jim Sanders(Wee Bee Loco Works) came up with a fix for the Dora and I think he got my other friends Ruby #2 to stop doing so much popping when he reset the timing on it.   Not sure what his mod was on the Ruby but you might message Mr Sanders or Jason Kovac at The Train Dept and see if they have some ideas you or they can do for you.     Mike

    • June 29, 2020 4:39 AM EDT
      • Winmalee, NSW Australia
         
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      http://www.rhoshelyg.me.uk/

       

    • July 1, 2020 4:46 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Mike Toney said:

      If I remember right, many Accucraft models from the earlier designs like the Ruby tend to way over oil themselves.  Leading to way to much oily goo out of the exhaust, which then is burnt in the smokebox with pops and blue smoke.  My friends early 3 cylinder Shay is bad for it.   The Dora is also a bad one to do it.  I know Jim Sanders(Wee Bee Loco Works) came up with a fix for the Dora and I think he got my other friends Ruby #2 to stop doing so much popping when he reset the timing on it.   Not sure what his mod was on the Ruby but you might message Mr Sanders or Jason Kovac at The Train Dept and see if they have some ideas you or they can do for you.     Mike

      Mike,

      Re-read my post of May 11th. I found the major problem and all is well now, but thanks.

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    • July 1, 2020 4:54 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Rhos Helyg Loco Works said:
      Joe Zullo said:

      Your links in your signature do not work!

      So they don't, but only because LSC seems to want to corrupt them for some strange reason. Copy and paste works or you can use this link which does work: www.rhoshelyg.me.uk

      Whatever the reason, THEY DON'T WORK. It's your signature line. Make them work or remove them. Confer with the webmaster if you cannot figure it out.

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • July 1, 2020 5:40 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Easy Joe.  No need to get your panties in a wad.

      ____________________________________

      www.cvsry.com www.cvsry.com

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