Is smoke fluid interchangeable?

FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

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26 Dec 2017
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San Diego
When reading different pulsed smoke generator manuals they all say to buy their own manufacturer specific smoke fluid to avoid damage. Is there any validity to this?
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
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Tamworth, Staffs.
Weeeelllllllllllllllll...................

A little like a printer manufacturer, saying use OEM ink or toner..
Or a car manufacturer saying use their own-brand oil etc.

If you stick with well-known brands, you will be fine..
If you 'roll your own', you will also (most likely) be fine.


But if you have a super-duper smoker, which cost you an arm and a leg, is it worth saving a few coppers over the 'correct' fluid?

You have to make the decision, and see what (if any) residue you get from your choice..
Personally, I roll my own, but tend to start the mix with a full-bottle of Massoth fluid. - This in a litre bottle, topped-up with 'mix'.
 
voodoopenguin

voodoopenguin

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20 Jul 2015
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Blofield, Norfolk
My earliest smokers were Tri-ang locos in the 1960s. A popular alternative to the Tri-ang fluid was Johnsons Baby Oil. The smell was pleasant but not very authentic.

Paul
 
F

Fred Mills

Registered
27 Mar 2017
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Ottawa/Nepean, Ontario Canada
Don't breath the fumes produced by those smoke units. They basically act like the latest craze "Vaping"...NOT GOOD FOR YOUR LUNGS...of course if you smoke or Vape, you know what's best for you, and nothing will prove you wrong...too bad...breathing as clean air as possible is what we all need for a healthy life
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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Some smoke fluids do not vaporize as cleanly as others, and also using tiki torch fuel can gum up the fiberglas wicks in most units.

Basically most seem similar... some people have tested various fluids but more for smoke volume, not long term studies on damage. I've found that the wicks eventually kind of scorch and lose their capillary action and need replacement no matter what fluid. I had the best results with the mega smoke and the original Aristo stuff.

Greg
 
FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

Registered
26 Dec 2017
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San Diego
Great info thanks, and since we are all here talking about some units. I just got one from ESU and it seems like there is a fair amount of smoke fluid that leaks out of the fan primarily I think when the unit is not level. I'm assuming this is normal?
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
23,888
621
Tamworth, Staffs.
The unit should not 'leak' really..

Many smoke units are not sealed to the smoke-stack, and any fluid that dribbles down the inside of the stack can miss the opening to the reservoir in the unit.
Loco's with fluid in, being tipped on their side when boxed/stored, does not help.

PhilP.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,807
199
North Essex
My earliest smokers were Tri-ang locos in the 1960s. A popular alternative to the Tri-ang fluid was Johnsons Baby Oil. The smell was pleasant but not very authentic.

Paul
Peanut oil is made from peanuts, olive oil is made from olives, etc.... so how many babies do you have to press to get a bottle of baby oil....? :devil:

Jon.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,807
199
North Essex
The unit should not 'leak' really..

Many smoke units are not sealed to the smoke-stack, and any fluid that dribbles down the inside of the stack can miss the opening to the reservoir in the unit.
Loco's with fluid in, being tipped on their side when boxed/stored, does not help.

PhilP.
Yep, I have a Saxon IVk (the Rugen-marked version) with a retro-fitted (not by me) pulsed smoker - thought it would have a pipe from the smoker to the stack, but it didn't - once turned it over to do something to it, forgetting there was still some fluid in the smoker! Took ages to fully evaporate away, though thankfully it didn't appear to do any damage to any of the internals.

Jon.
 
voodoopenguin

voodoopenguin

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20 Jul 2015
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Blofield, Norfolk
Peanut oil is made from peanuts, olive oil is made from olives, etc.... so how many babies do you have to press to get a bottle of baby oil....? :devil:

Jon.
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D

Dan

Registered
28 Jan 2010
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8
Eastern MA
Biggest issue with smoke units is they will not work for long if the fluid has wax in it. The wax will clog the LGB fine brass tube and also clog the wicks in others.
 
FurkaSOCal

FurkaSOCal

Registered
26 Dec 2017
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San Diego
It seems like less might be more when it comes to filling the smoke units. My layout has some fairly steep grades and I noticed again that there is definitely some seepage of fluid out of the cracks on the bottom of the unit. I'm not sure if I'm over filling it, I've never put more than 5ml in there (which is the max per the manual). It seems like inside the plastic housing there is just a wick, some sort of heating element, the fan, and of course the circuit board. It's not like there is a little tank that holds the fluid. So is the objective to get all the fluid to be absorbed by the wick?