LGB 20273 - Pulse Smoke Unit help

AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
Hello everyone,

I have purchased a LGB 20273 Rhatia
And while it works wonderfully, I have the feeling my smoke unit is a little sporadic.

It will work fine for a while, but then some of the liquid fluid seems to block the inside of the funnel.
I have been using LGB branded smoke fluid as instructed.

Looking inside (after removing the funnel) there seems to be some kind of plastic blocking half the output.
I'm not sure if this is to help direct smoke to the cylinders.

20200609_222142.jpg



If anyone can confirm if this is correct or not, I'd deeply appreciate it.
This is my first Pulse smoke locomotive, so I don't know if this is normal or not.

Thank you for reading,
AusrailQLD
 

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AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
I've been filling it up to 5ml as written in the LGB instructions.
It said 6ml maximum.

The smoke works for a while, till the funmel gets blocked.
And goes out of the cylinders.

If I puff some air/breath down the funnel it works again.
Until the next blockage.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,502
Tamworth, Staffs.
I would try a little less fluid? - It would appear you are getting a bubble of fluid in the throat of the funnel??

This might be fluid condensing in the funnel, and dripping back down to the narrowest part?

PhilP.
 
AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
Ok, will give it a go.
But I'm still curious if what I'm looking at down in the funnel is normal.
As the only top down photo I have to work with is this one from Massoth.
1594470452645.png
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Hello everyone,

I have purchased a LGB 202073 RhB Rhatia.
And while it works wonderfully, I have the feeling my smoke unit is a little sporadic.

It will work fine for a while, but then some of the liquid fluid seems to block the inside of the funnel.
I have been using LGB branded smoke fluid as instructed.

Looking inside (after removing the funnel) there seems to be some kind of plastic blocking half the output.
I'm not sure if this is to help direct smoke to the cylinders.

20200609_222142.jpg



If anyone can confirm if this is correct or not, I'd deeply appreciate it.
This is my first Pulse smoke locomotive, so I don't know if this is normal or not.

Thank you for reading,
AusrailQLD
The LGB # you've listed isn't correct.........please post the correct LGB # of your loco. I was going to find the Parts Diagram for it but that number doesn't come up.

I install Massoth Pulsed Smoke Generators into my customer's LGB locomotives and the photo you show isn't a Massoth unit, must be another brand. Did you buy the locomotive new or used.......if used someone may have installed a different brand smoker in it.
 
LGB333

LGB333

Active Member
Tom, that is the curved (round) Massoth pulsed smoke unit. - It even has 'Massoth' stamped in the top!
Yes, the second photo is of a Massoth Round Boiler DCC Pulsed Smoker. But neither the round or rectangle type Massoth DCC pulsed smokers look like the inside of the first photo. When you look straight down the smoke outlet of these Massoth smokers, you only see the heating element inside. So, there's something weird looking inside the one in the photo? I'm not sure we've confirmed he has a Massoth or some other brand smoker in his loco? I asked whether he bought the loco new or used.......if used someone could have installed a non-Massoth smoker in it.
 
PhilP

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
26,502
Tamworth, Staffs.
It does look strange.. - Almost like a bit of 'flash' on the loco moulding, perhaps?

To the OP:
Does the smokebox door open on this model? - If so, can you see inside to the smoke unit, from the front?
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,135
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Yes, before pushing the gas pedal to the floorboards, it would be prudent to establish the actual model number and then what smoke unit is in it.

Many smoke units have a vertical rod that has the heating element on it.

The very fact that it works well for a while pretty much proved this mechanical "obstruction" is not the issue, unless it is moving of it's own volition (haunted?)

Greg
 
AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
The LGB # you've listed isn't correct.........please post the correct LGB # of your loco. I was going to find the Parts Diagram for it but that number doesn't come up.

I install Massoth Pulsed Smoke Generators into my customer's LGB locomotives and the photo you show isn't a Massoth unit, must be another brand. Did you buy the locomotive new or used.......if used someone may have installed a different brand smoker in it.

Sorry somehow I typed an extra 0 in the id.
It's LGB 20273 Rhatia
20200712_071636.jpg
I brought it brand new.

Opening the front smokebox door, I get this.
From what I can tell, it's molded with the entire smokebox, so I can't remove it.
20200712_071650.jpg
 
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Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,135
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
From the manual from your link, it looks like a simple seuth smoke unit, with a simple heater, and yes those have something in the center.

But you indicate you have a pulse smoke unit.... so does it really puff in sync with the drivers and sound, instead of a continuous stream, and also does it come the cylinders too?

If so, the manual referenced is not right.

I looked up 10 references of places selling this loco, that 399 were produced, it has DCC and sound and the sound works on analog. There is no mention of smoke or puffing smoke.

Greg
 
AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
From the manual from your link, it looks like a simple seuth smoke unit, with a simple heater, and yes those have something in the center.

But you indicate you have a pulse smoke unit.... so does it really puff in sync with the drivers and sound, instead of a continuous stream, and also does it come the cylinders too?

If so, the manual referenced is not right.

I looked up 10 references of places selling this loco, that 399 were produced, it has DCC and sound and the sound works on analog. There is no mention of smoke or puffing smoke.

Greg

It does have pulse smoke.
There are several youtube videos demonstraiting this.



 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,135
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Great, looks like a nice loco. Now all you need is a manual that matches the loco you have, clearly the manual from the link you posted does not show a pulsed smoke unit, they are definitely larger than a 2 inch segment of a lead pencil.

Unfortunately, you may have to open it to determine what is really in there. Tom's guess on the Massoth is what I would guess with the information provided.

Could be some CV settings, perhaps the settings cause it to overheat and shut down after extended running. If it always recovers I would not suspect a mechanical problem.

Another thought, do you refill only when it runs out?

A final thought, I have heard more than one time that air lock occurs with a "bubble" on smoke units.

Greg
 
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AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
Thanks Greg, the sad thing is, that manual is from the official LGB website, which I'm starting to see is no longer a truthful company.
Apologies to anyone who disagrees. :-(

Bought another "marklin era" loco, (a diesel with sound), with the manual claiming to have a volume switch, when it never had one.
Wrote to LGB asking about this, and just dismissed it as an error, which I feel is false advertising. :-(
And another steam loco I was originally going to get before I settled for this one. (a LGB 24267)
Also seems to have some design flaws with the loco to tender connections after reading some reviews.

Did write to LGB about my 20273 steam loco, but I'm not 100% confident on their advice with sending it all the way from Australia to Germany to be inspected at my own cost. (and Covid19 restrictions doesn't help)
Especially with how much this loco cost me to get, have had thing go missing in post, hence the attempt to find another person with one so I have something to compare with.

I'd pull the loco apart myself, but I'm not sure how one is to open this loco and reassemble.
Especially as you pointed out, the manual is not 100% accurate.
 
Last edited:
P

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
630
Ann Arbor, Michigan
All the parts diagrams for this loco are incorrect including the one in the manual that comes with it. I have one of these and also have a problem with the pulsed smoke unit. I have had my LD1 apart to get at the smoke unit. It is indeed manufactured by Massoth and looks identical to the #8415001 unit pictured in post #5 including the Massoth logo. But, it may have been specially made for Märklin as it has a SUSI or other bus connection to the loco's mfx decoder in addition to power from the rails. I'm not sure if the Massoth #8415001 is a direct replacement. There was an additional smaller light colored plastic ring in the stack outlet of mine which may be why it doesn't look "right". My guess is that it was a restrictor so that sufficient smoke was directed to the cylinder ports. The problem I have is with the smoke unit's fan motor bushings. There is so much lateral and longitudinal slop in them that the motor operates intermittently. When the fan doesn't run the smoke preferentially comes out the cylinder ports rather than the chimney. Makes me wonder if this is a known problem with this particular smoke unit which might explain why the 8415001 was unavailable from Massoth for over a year. Maybe they were sourcing a different motor for it.

If you turn all the sound off you should be able to hear the smoke unit fan running if you put the loco on a rolling road. Try tapping the boiler near the stack when smoke stops coming from the chimney. That sometimes got the fan in mine running again.

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do. This was a rather expensive limited edition lok. The failure of the smoke unit was a great disappointment. But, like you, I'm not sure it's worth shipping back to Germany for repair. I just run mine without smoke in the mean time.
 
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AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
All the parts diagrams for this loco are incorrect including the one in the manual that comes with it. I have one of these and also have a problem with the pulsed smoke unit. I have had my LD1 apart to get at the smoke unit. It is indeed manufactured by Massoth and looks identical to the #8415001 unit pictured in post #5 including the Massoth logo. But, it may have been specially made for Märklin as it has a SUSI or other bus connection to the loco's mfx decoder in addition to power from the rails. I'm not sure if the Massoth #8415001 is a direct replacement. There was an additional smaller light colored plastic ring in the stack outlet of mine which may be why it doesn't look "right". My guess is that it was a restrictor so that sufficient smoke was directed to the cylinder ports. The problem I have is with the smoke unit's fan motor bushings. There is so much lateral and longitudinal slop in them that the motor operates intermittently. When the fan doesn't run the smoke preferentially comes out the cylinder ports rather than the chimney. Makes me wonder if this is a known problem with this particular smoke unit which might explain why the 8415001 was unavailable from Massoth for over a year. Maybe they were sourcing a different motor for it.

If you turn all the sound off you should be able to hear the smoke unit fan running if you put the loco on a rolling road. Try tapping the boiler near the stack when smoke stops coming from the chimney. That sometimes got the fan in mine running again.

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do. This was a rather expensive limited edition lok. The failure of the smoke unit was a great disappointment. But, like you, I'm not sure it's worth shipping back to Germany for repair. I just run mine without smoke in the mean time.

Thanks for the input, it does make me a little sad that I can't just swap the smoke unit when the old one fails.
Then again, I'm still unsure how to disassemble this loco.
What worries me is how to reconnect the copper tubes underneath the smoker that lead to the cylinders.

Will have a go with some rollers when the weather is good to hear the fan motor on mine.
Family doesn't approve of running my smoker locos inside the house, or near the dog.

sorry Phils2um, did you say your LD1 has the same half plastic thing inside the unit?
Mine did have a very short piece of clear plastic tubing, (like that for fish tanks), when I pulled out the funnel to get a closer look inside.
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
4,135
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I would think that if necessary you could put a Massoth unit in it, and figure out how to interface, but it might take some minor wiring changes and a fair bit of messing with programming. It's a nice loco, and once you get the hang of it, I'm sure the disassembly won't be too bad.

Greg
 
AusrailQLD

AusrailQLD

Registered
10 Jul 2020
21
32
Australia
Hi everyone,

So I've done the test, and I'm slowly narrowing it down to maybe two things.
20200713_142718.jpg 20200713_142728.jpg 20200713_142734.jpg
There is this tiny piece of clear plastic tubing to bridge the gap between the funnel and smoke unit.
I temporarily removed it and tried run the loco without it, and found the smoke goes everywhere, and quite a lot, so I put it back in.
(Hope I haven't damaged the inside of the loco electronics!)


The other is it may be the smoke fluid, I did take PhilP advice of using less fluid, only put in about 2ml instead of 5ml.
And the funnel still gets clogged with condensed fluid. (same with two of the four cylinder outlets now that I've noticed)

I'm using LGB 50010 smoke fluid, which I would have thought be fine.
1594615620394.png

But the manual does say to use 02421 Light Smoke Fluid, which I'll have to find.
The loco did come with a tiny bottle of Seuthe brand smoke fluid, which I would have though have similar properties as to what I'm currently using.

So I'm not sure now.
 
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P

phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
630
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The translucent piece of tube is what I was calling a "light colored plastic ring". The smoke stack actually helps lock the smoke unit in place. If you've got smoke "going everywhere" the unit may be dislodged from its designed position which is easy to do.

The plastic tubing on the two copper rt. angle tubes that lead to the cylinders had become rock hard on my LD1. I have temporarily removed these because I could not get the hardened plastic tubes back onto the cylinder steam nipples of the smoke unit. I'll replace the plastic tubing with more supple silicone tubing when I get around to fixing the loco.

As to replacing the unit with a Massoth #8415001 - If both decoders (loco and smoke unit) were DCC I could probably "nuke it out". But, with the loco decoder being mfx not so sure.

Later this week I'll try to post some guidance on getting to the smoke unit itself.

The LGB smoke fluid should be fine to use. It is basically the same stuff as Massoth or Seuthe smoke fluid. The 02421 fluid is made by Seuthe.