Author Topic: Smoke makers  (Read 10659 times)

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tug-arlyn-nelson

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Smoke makers
« on: April 13, 2015, 15:14:39 »
No doubt been discussed here before, but would like to know a bit about smoke generators and what might be a good choice for my Assurance class Slipway tug.  If you followed my build you know its basically done, hit the tub today for ballasting so will be ready for the big blue soon. Anyway there seems to be some room left for other stuff and after watching Calimero's beautiful model making smoke today, it got me to thinking..

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

CGAux26

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 15:37:58 »
If you want to just buy one ready to run, Harbor Models has a good one.  It connects into the motor power circuit so as motor RPM increases so does the smoke output.  I have one in my 32" LOA Jim Wilder Tug.  I run it on clear lamp oil.  Much cheaper than the oil in a itty bitty bottle that comes with the smoker.
Dave

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 17:23:01 »
Hi Dave,  what does that unit weigh?  I think I saw it on their site but I didn't see a weight for it.

des

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 19:08:27 »
Another idea for smoke generators is to check out the model railroad press.  Smokers are used on model locos down to HO scale, so you should be able to find something for use in your boat.

A word of caution - some smokers require a 24Vdc supply, which makes them unsuitable for most locos and boats that run on 12V.

Des.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 19:49:30 »
Thanks Des!

The Harbor models smoker is 12V.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 19:51:01 by tug-arlyn-nelson »

Calimero

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 23:28:28 »
I got my "super smoker v4" unit from an Aussie on eBay: Chopperflyboy

Unit can be seen on pictures here:

Funnel and smoke generator - Smoke generator will be installed right under the funnel


Funnel and smoke generator - Aluminium plate was added to smoke gen; will be attached to wooden beams

Just like the Harbor Model unit it is a self-contained unit including a small fan. It would look more realistic on your steamer than on my diesel tug (diesel tugs only output black smoke for a few seconds when revving up).

There are versions for different voltages: 6-8V / 7.2V / 12V (6-8V and 7.2V looks a bit redundant to me though).

It can produce huge amounts of smoke. Their fluid is a bit smelly to my taste. Not horrible but not pleasant either.

Amp draw was a little over what was expected; a bit over 3A under 12V at full power. That figure somehow surprised the manufacturer (he expected 2A tops) who offered to look into it. But as I have two 12V/13Ah batteries in my tug and don't run the smoke unit at full throttle it wasn't worth a round trip to Australia.

If you have a spare channel on your radio (ideally with a potentiometer/knob) I'd go that route instead of hooking the smoke gen to the motor.

I've hooked my smoker on a proportional channel with an ESC (a cheap $5 airplane brushed ESC from HobbyKing). That way I can adjust the amount of smoke when idling and the throttle channel is mixed to the smoke channel to match the speed.

CGAux26

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2015, 07:37:31 »
I don't know the weight of the Harbor smoker.  Give Dave a call at Harbor and he can tell you.
Dave

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 07:43:57 »
Thanks Dave, I sent an email, haven't heard back yet.

Calimero, thanks for the info and the link. Looks like a fairly compact unit and reasonably priced.  I guess these things must not create much if any heat if you are using plastic tubing instead of metal.

Calimero

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2015, 08:05:45 »
The smoke itself is barely warm. The unit itself doesn't get too hot. I assume the fan also helps keeping the temperature down. And there's a safety that cuts the power if the temperature gets too high.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2015, 09:48:42 »
I went ahead and got the V4 Smoker from the Aussie on Ebay. It makes a fair amount of smoke. I was going to go the plastic tubing route like you did, but due to bends, the pc I have is a bit stiff and if thinner walled it wants to kink.  So I got some copper tubing and elbows and put that together instead. I think it will work good. Hope to try it the water again soon, though right now am nursing an upper back issue that makes my eyes cross and knees buckle!! Thanks for the heads-up on that unit Calimero.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2015, 09:52:32 by tug-arlyn-nelson »

Calimero

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2015, 10:04:19 »
Glad I could help. Are you hooking it up to an ESC and a dedicated channel on your radio ?

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2015, 10:55:27 »
No, will go directly to the battery for now.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2015, 14:14:04 »
I ran into a situation in need of a fix, if a crude one. This being only my second foray into RC, and not being blessed with any training in electrical affairs, beyond very basic 12V wiring on boats and cars: tape decks, radios and one radar unit, I am always a little leary of venturing forth in such matters. Like that old saying, 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread".  So having installed the smelly little smoke maker up forward of the main superstructure area, I had planned to just connect the bare wires to each post on the battery when I wanted smoke, simple and it works. Problem is, if I do it that way, I then have to suffer getting smoked on in a big way while I put the main house section back on, then unravel and hook up the mast stays, and the fore stay which takes more than a couple of seconds, all the while being uncomfortably close to the billowing clouds of noxious, soapy smelling smoke from the V4!  I had a vision problem with that. I couldn't see myself doing it. So went to the elec. fittings in my tool chest and grabbed some wire etc and proceeded to run wires aft first from the smoker, then the battery, thru two pcs of plastic glued to the hatch coaming of the large main hatch where they could be accessed quickly and easily just before getting underway, instead of the aforementioned method. All I have to do is connect one male/female connector and smoke is on the way and I am OUT of the way of it! As a local now departed famous boat builder of Slavic heritage  used to say "now you got a chance being genius!". 2tugboats Michael should know who I am talking about. A couple of pix to show my alleged handiwork.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 14:17:56 by tug-arlyn-nelson »

Calimero

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 01:43:58 »
I see in the very close future that you will upgrade this to a cheap $5 hobbyking ESC so that you'll be able enable/disable the smoker from your TX. :D

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: Smoke makers
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2015, 10:43:44 »
You are probably right.