I see possibilities :D

DGE-Railroad

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My 4yo just received a 'fire breathing' dragon for Christmas which I think could have possibilities for steam whistle/blowdown effects.

It was sub £30 and uses 3AA batteries for the RC, sound, light and motion in addition to the 'smoke' unit. 10ml of water lasted for about 10 mins of a 4yo using it!

20201225_112323.jpg

Smoke effect
 

dunnyrail

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My 4yo just received a 'fire breathing' dragon for Christmas which I think could have possibilities for steam whistle/blowdown effects.

It was sub £30 and uses 3AA batteries for the RC, sound, light and motion in addition to the 'smoke' unit. 10ml of water lasted for about 10 mins of a 4yo using it!

View attachment 277842

Smoke effect
So do you know where to get another so you do not destroy his one? Pray let us know if you find out as the steamer unit has definite possibilities. Plus take off the soeaker and no silly dragon sounds or unwanted movements by cutting wires to the motors.
 
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DGE-Railroad

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So do you know where to get another so you do not destroy his one? Pray let us know if you find out as the steamer unit has definite possibilities. Plus take off the soeaker and no silly dragon sounds or unwanted movements by cutting wires to the motors.
I'm pretty sure it was Amazon. I'm assuming it's a small ultrasonic fogger which is angled downwards and is mounted against a small tank, which is what you fill.

by having the ceramic ultrasonic plate on the bottom of the tank, it addresses the issue of needing to have it in constant contact with a water source, the height of which would be decreasing.

i hadnt seen a fogger in action first hand, but now I have I think the size,installation, voltage and overall effect could work for a cheap and easy DCC controlled blowdown effect.

The units themselves are only sbout £7 for the transducer and driver circuit so I'll pick one up and put into a 'guinea-pig'

watch this space :)
 
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PhilP

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I'm pretty sure it was Amazon. Im assumimg it's a tiny ultrasonic fogger but I'll pick up one for myself and take it apart to ascertain how it works and transplant the unit into a 'guinea-pig'

watch this space :)
Igor!

It lives! :eek::devil:
 
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We used 3 of the units to great effect on our heat layout for the Great Model Railway Challenge. Ours produced atmospheric smoke and steam from around our rocket shed and factory. We found a fan or piston type device was needed to blow the vaporised water out of the chimney and keeping such exhausts short avoided condensation reducing the efficiency.

The Tomy Thomas trains feature a Thomas with a puffing smoke unit as well. They turn up on ebay for not a lot of money quite often.
 
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DGE-Railroad

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We used 3 of the units to great effect on our heat layout for the Great Model Railway Challenge. Ours produced atmospheric smoke and steam from around our rocket shed and factory. We found a fan or piston type device was needed to blow the vaporised water out of the chimney and keeping such exhausts short avoided condensation reducing the efficiency.

The Tomy Thomas trains feature a Thomas with a puffing smoke unit as well. They turn up on ebay for not a lot of money quite often.
I'm humbled :) My wife and I were keen viewers of the series and I remember how impressive your team rocket effects were! :cool:

Thanks for the heads-up re: the Tomy Thomas and for the words of wisdom regarding the real-world practicalities of using these devices.

My locos are battery RC DCC and I have so far used ESU smoke units for main smoke effects, which of course use the heated glycerin approach. Great for the main smoke application but their bulk, cost and current draw preclude using them in the locos for any other effects.

These ultrasonic ceramic plates look more suited to the other steam effects such as a brief whistle or cylinder blowdown - particularly the latter; putting one on the bottom of a little 3d printed water resevoir, then triggering it with an unused channel which can be slaved to the appropriate sound and the job would be done.

I had reckoned that the outlet would need to be kept as short as possible to keep it effective and avoid the need for a fan or similar - particularly when the outlet is facing upwards and the droplets are working against gravity. That may not be too hard to avoid for a steam whistle but I couldn't get my head around how the plate could be kept in contact with the water surface for an 'upwards' application? Thinking some more this afternoon, I suppose an answer may be to have a small tank as a reservoir and providing a head of water to a smaller chamber that the ultrasonic plate sits on top of. I imagine that'd work although it means the plate is pushed lower down from the exit, which is something ideally avoided. :wondering:
 

3 minutes of fame

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Leave yourself some wiggling room for the plate. We found that sometimes angling the "jet" that emanates from the plate makes them more efficient. The one on the rocket was at about 30 degrees. It was mounted in a plastic takeaway carton hidden in the rocket base, with a fan blowing IN to the reservoir, so the "smoke" was blown out through a 2nd hole. The rocket platform was mounted on 2 pairs of tracks, so we wired it so that one track powered the vaporizer and the other the fan. We could therefore vary the fan to build up a little store of "smoke" then blow it out.

I'm glad you enjoyed the show, we had great fun making it. Hopefully it will be back next year!
 
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DGE-Railroad

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The little ultrasonic plate turned up and performs well

Ultrasonic plate testing

I've had a go at printing a pair of reservoirs to test with (the cylindrical one is intended to be used the other way up)

20210103_133230.jpg 20210103_133306.jpg 20210103_133356.jpg

I'm unsure how best to trigger it though. It's designed to be used with a continuous 5v supply and operated with the latching pushbutton.
Most triggers seem to switch the ground to turn a supply on or off.

Do i short the switch and rely on the trigger to just apply and remove a supply voltage?
 

PhilP

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The little ultrasonic plate turned up and performs well

Ultrasonic plate testing

I've had a go at printing a pair of reservoirs to test with (the cylindrical one is intended to be used the other way up)

View attachment 278318 View attachment 278319 View attachment 278320

I'm unsure how best to trigger it though. It's designed to be used with a continuous 5v supply and operated with the latching pushbutton.
Most triggers seem to switch the ground to turn a supply on or off.

Do i short the switch and rely on the trigger to just apply and remove a supply voltage?
Yes.......
It matters not, whether you switch the positive or negative.. Either will interrupt the power, so turning the unit off.

PhilP
 
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3 minutes of fame

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Is that push button latching or momentary? If it's latching, just short it out, but if it's momentary, you might need to consider another option. maybe a momentary relay contact?
 
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DGE-Railroad

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It's a latching type so I think shorting is the way to go.

The RC trigger system in the loco is running from an 11.1v supply and uses a switched ground for its normal outputs. I'm not sure what voltage it usually provides for the outputs. This fogger needs 5v

If the trigger system provides 5v, everything will be fine, i just short the switch on the fogger and let the RC trigger turn on and off a 5v signal to it, just as it would for anything else.

If it DOESN'T supply 5v natively, I *think* i would need to

1) supply the (fogger) load with a dedicated 5v on its positive feed,
2) Wire the GND of the (fogger) load to one of the RC unit trigger pins
3) Join the dedicated 5v ground to the RC trigger unit supply ground

Sound right?
 
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PhilP

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If it DOESN'T supply 5v natively, I *think* i would need to

1) supply the (fogger) load with a dedicated 5v on its positive feed,
2) Wire the GND of the (fogger) load to one of the RC unit trigger pins
3) Join the dedicated 5v ground to the RC trigger unit supply ground

Sound right?
Just leave the switch on the unit 'on'. - unless you have a use for the switch in something else?

You will need to create a 5V supply.
Connect the 5V positive to the unit, and switch the negative (ground) with your receiver.

What make / model is the receiver, and what are the specs for the fogger?
You must not exceed the current the receiver output can handle.

PhilP
 

DGE-Railroad

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Just leave the switch on the unit 'on'. - unless you have a use for the switch in something else?

You will need to create a 5V supply.
Connect the 5V positive to the unit, and switch the negative (ground) with your receiver.

What make / model is the receiver, and what are the specs for the fogger?
You must not exceed the current the receiver output can handle.

PhilP
Thanks again Phil.

The specs for the fogger state 300mA 2W - pretty much that same as your recollection 3MoF :)

I can't see output specs for the receiver so I've dropped the manufacturer a line. It's a Railpro LM-3S from Ring Engineering. The only examples shown in the instructions are for LEDs, so it may not be able to drive that much. The LED examples recommend using a 1K, 1/4W resistor for 15mA LED loads or 750 Ohm, 1/2W for 20mA. Can anything be derived from that?

If the Railpro unit can't do it, I can try an install in one of the ESU controlled locos. From memory they can handle 750mA and would likely be more capable at slaving and synchonising sound to the trigger too
 
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PhilP

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Not overly familiar with the RailPro..

I will have a little dig for information..

PhilP
 

PhilP

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Specifications
Maximum Power Input Voltage: 24 Volts
Maximum Motor Stall Current: 8 Amps
Maximum Output Current on a Single Output: 1.2 Amps.
Maximum Output Current on all Outputs Combined: 1.2 Amps.

So, assuming the outputs switch to ground, you are good to go.. (more reading on my part to check) - Unless Greg knows the RailPro kit?

PhilP