Question about smoke

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    I sent for one of the 0-6-0's. Union Pacific, Vanderbilt oil tender. I just liked the way it looked, grey with black and silver. Now this is not a Spectrum and was not very expensive.
    Did come with lights of course, and smoke. I don't really care about the smoke, but I thought that's fine. Comes with a little bottle of smoke oil.
    It came today, put it on the track and it took off with a limp. One of the drivers is out of round, but it runs strong and was pulling seven freight cars and a caboose. So I thought I'll try the smoke. Poured in the 2 drops, nothing. Figured it had to warm up or something. Put in 2 or 3 more drops and upped the speed. Still nothing--then about twice each lap, it would shoot a stream of smoke about two feet in the air. So it's going around the track at a pretty good clip and all of a sudden, smoke starts pouring out in front of the right side drivers. Needless to say, I'm going to have to send it to Bachmann for repair or replacement, but how are these smoke systems supposed to work? I would think that the smoke should be coming out the stack rather than on one side.
    Anyone know how they are supposed to work when they are working correctly? A fair amount of smoke? Just a little? Never had one before with this capability. I don't think I'll try it often or I'll be cleaning that smoke oil off of everything------
  2. UKSteam

    UKSteam Member

    I have one old original steamer from back in the 60's. The way mine works is the oil runs down into a small chamber containing a heater element and what looks like a small wad of cotton, althouugh I doubt it is given the flamability of cotton. The oil soaks the lint, and as the element warms, the oil is evaporated and runs up the smoke stack. The timing of the puffs is accomplished by a second cog running off the main worm gear from the motor which translates circular motion to linear motion and drives a small piston, hence the puffs timed to loco speed. It's old it's effective and I have no idea how the modern fitted ones work. I am toying with the idea of fitting a few of the Seuth smoke units that come in various sizes and shapes and can be fitted to several smoke stack types depending on whether they are plastic or metal.
    I don't blame you for sending it back for repair, sounds like something is misaligned :(
    Yes the cleaning is an issue that I have read here and other boards as well, but lets face it it just looks so damn cool, a bit of extra track cleaning does seem like a good compromise for the occasional run out. If it contaminates the track to such a degree that it's annoying I'll report it here :) Like I say one or two to start with once the layout is up and running then we'll see :)
  3. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    They work pretty much the same nowadaze.

    Dump the was actually banned in our club as the residue would foul the rails. Iwas impressed with a trio of O Gauge SD70MACs with smoke. As they were throttling up, the smoke units were designed to push the smoke in a thin high column out of the stack with increasing force, just like the real ones...quite a sight with the sound backing it up.
  4. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    UK, I'm thinking that you have a point. Once in awhile when someone is there to see the layout, the smoke might be cool and the track needs to be cleaned on a regular basis anyway. You can see the middle driver on the left side has a pronounced wobble. Also, I'm sure the smoke system is way out of wack, so got to send it in. Now I'm curious and want to see one of these smoke systems working the way they are supposed to. Wonder why they haven't figured out a way to make black smoke. That would be really cool. John
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Never mind the rails - it's burning oil in your basement, spare room, wherever you run the train...

    I had an old IHC/Mehano that came with a smoker - but nothing as fancy as the piston driven puffer... It just smoked when you put oil in. When I opened it up for maintenance, the smoke unit came out. I don't miss it...

  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Around 1990 I had a IHC 2-8-2 that had a smoke unit..Nice but,not for me..I open the engine up and snip the wires to the smoke unit.The reason being smoke or no smoke fluid the smoke unit would still heat up and *could* melt a hole in the boiler.
  7. darkcurves

    darkcurves Member

    Interesting thread, i myself was very curious how this Bachmann steamers with smoke performed. Please do update us on your replaced/repaired unit, JR.
  8. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    The IHC Hudson loco that came with our Christmas PC set has a smoke chamber in it. IT also has a small switch in the front that allowed you to turn it on and off. None the less, I used it once, and then for some reason it got all plugged up. I don't miss it really.
  9. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Bachmann steamers with smoke do use a heating element that when oil is applied gives off smoke. The split metal frame with electrical pickup to each side provides power to a smoke unit that fits between both sides of the frame. The smoke unit has metal wipers that press against these frames. Electricity flows from one rail thro the metal wheel to the frame then into the smoke unit. Flowing thro the resistive heating element out the opposit side down thro thr frame, wheel the back to the opposite rail. If the circuit is complete the units heats burns the oil and it smokes.
  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I have an IHC Hudson with a smoke unit. I've neber used it and probably never will but IHC units appear to come with an off/on switch for the smoke unit which is a cleaver idea. I've also rebuilt/ repainted an couple of these engines for other club members and I yank the smoke unit every time. so foar no one's complained.
  11. jr switch

    jr switch Member

    First of all, thanks all for the information. I knew it was some sort of heating element, but didn't know how it was set up or wired.
    Darkcurves----Unfortunately, the lady I spoke with in Bachmanns service dept., did not have good news. Seems their computer was down for awhile and they are also a good ways behind on the repairs. She says may get it back in two months. I don't know if they will repair it or replace it. If it is repaired, I will definately give everyone a heads up on what they did. John

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