Need info on the smoke unit of a later version of the Aristocraft C-16

yellow_cad

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1 Jul 2020
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Would like to know how much fluid it takes. I tried 6 drops and worked up to 20 some drops (using a syringe I have for N scale) and the locomotive would smoke for about 20 feet and then quit. I don't know if it is shutting off prematurely or it requires a lot more fluid.
Also, what is the best fluid to get the most smoke? And finally, I read somewhere that to add a couple of drops of water before adding the smoke fluid helps generate more smoke, but I don't know if this is applicable to my smoke unit. Thanks for any help on this. Jim
 

Greg Elmassian

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This is the fan driven one, or it should be. You should get a syringe to fill, drop volumes are not consistent.

Read this page, more than you ever wanted to know about Aristo smoke units. Also, realize that they don't always work well, you might need to take it apart to check the wick. Do not add water! You can try different brands of fluid, what brand are you using? What voltage on the track? You need over about 12 volts for best smoke.


Greg
 

yellow_cad

Registered
1 Jul 2020
41
4
70
California
This is the fan driven one, or it should be. You should get a syringe to fill, drop volumes are not consistent.

Read this page, more than you ever wanted to know about Aristo smoke units. Also, realize that they don't always work well, you might need to take it apart to check the wick. Do not add water! You can try different brands of fluid, what brand are you using? What voltage on the track? You need over about 12 volts for best smoke.


Greg
Thanks Greg. That is a great article. Yes, it is the fan driven one. I was using Seuthe fluid and I have ordered a bottle of MEGA-STEAM COAL SMOKE FLUID for lionel mth atlas trains liquid scented. The previous owner of this locomotive said that he never used the smoke unit so it should be in good shape. My locomotive and the smoke unit are powered by a 14.8 volt battery pack. By just adding drops (to make sure I didn't overfill), I did get smoke just not for very long (20 feet) so it looks like the unit needed quite a bit more fluid than I was giving it.
 

Greg Elmassian

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I have Mega-Steam and it works well too.

Note my page gives you the milliliter capacity of the unit when empty.

Also, unfortunately, there was a wide variation in smoke output of new units (poor quality control, and the fact they are not fully tested at the factory)

If you have issues, the information on that page should give you all you need.... they work best at a constant, uninterrupted power above 12 volts.

Greg
 

yellow_cad

Registered
1 Jul 2020
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4
70
California
I have Mega-Steam and it works well too.

Note my page gives you the milliliter capacity of the unit when empty.

Also, unfortunately, there was a wide variation in smoke output of new units (poor quality control, and the fact they are not fully tested at the factory)

If you have issues, the information on that page should give you all you need.... they work best at a constant, uninterrupted power above 12 volts.

Greg
Should my current battery pack (14.8v) be a good source of power?
 

Greg Elmassian

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Anything over 12 volts constant works well, under that it gets iffy. The Aristo unit has it's own regulator, but it has weird circuitry (uses a microprocessor as a regulator, and has an algorithm to detect out of fluid that rarely works well.
 

yellow_cad

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California
I have one more question on the smoke unit: Of course my smoke unit is in the locomotive, the control board and switches are in the tender, and a car follows with the battery and the main power off and on switch. On the tender is a separate off and on switch for the smoke unit. Will the smoke unit reset when I use the main power switch while leaving the smoke unit switch on the tender on?
 

Greg Elmassian

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8 Mar 2014
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San Diego
www.elmassian.com
Running from constant voltage eliminates most of the quirks of the Aristo Smoke units.

The smoke unit will reset any time you remove power, not knowing how your system is wired I cannot answer.

The reset is basically the unit trying to "learn" the current draw of the heater element with the wick is wet. The power draw goes down with the wick goes dry and it is supposed to shut off.

In reality this rarely works, and you just run it, and turn it off when you run out of smoke. They are fairly rugged so a couple of minutes without fluid is not the end of the world. Also it is quite simple to fashion replacement wicks yourself.

Greg