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  • Topic: Smoke units a comparison

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    • December 3, 2016 2:19 PM EST
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Smoke units a comparison

      I have made a short video to show the difference in some smoke generators.

       

       

      This post was edited by Sean McGillicuddy at December 3, 2016 2:22 PM EST
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    • December 3, 2016 2:33 PM EST

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      The stock smoke unit in the Hudson is not made by USAT nor is it the same as in the rest of the USAT locos.

      The Zimo unit is a modified Aristo unit, and yes there is a world of difference.

      The Stock usat (in the Hudson) unit is a Train America Studios unit, no longer available, with a chuff input to modulate the fan and some basic electronics to control the heater.

       

      The Zimo unit is a gutted Aristo unit, with direct wires to the fan and heater, no smarts. The Zimo decoder pulses the fan and can supply varying voltage to the heater, customizable.

       

      So, it's not really the smoke unit at all that gives you this performance, it's the direct control of the heater and fan. This is the best way in my opinion, and I have used it on many different smoke units, see this one with a "normal" USAT smoke unit. This time from a QSI, but would work the same with a Zimo decoder.

       

       

      ____________________________________

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    • December 3, 2016 5:26 PM EST
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      I'm not sue I can see the difference other than the slight pulsing, in Sean's video.  The amount of smoke put out by the factory supplied unit seemed to be more than the Zimo unit.

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    • December 3, 2016 6:08 PM EST

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      Out of respect, I did not state that, but I agree with you Dan.

       

      I only posted to help clarify, since if someone buys a USAT smoke unit, it won't be the one from the Hudson. Also the idea was to remove any confusion about the "Zimo" smoke unit, since it can do nothing unless driven by a DCC decoder.

      I'd say that my little USAT unit from the QSI kicks butt though!

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 3, 2016 6:22 PM EST
      • Denver, Colorado
         
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         Sean, you wanna see some smokin'? Check this bad boy out (the guy modifies his own units):

       

         

       

       

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    • December 3, 2016 7:51 PM EST

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      From his youtube channel, DCC, Zimo, and modified smoke units.

       

      Greg

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      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 4, 2016 2:46 PM EST
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      Greg, I was trying to be gentle about Sean's films.  Possibly when viewed in person one can see more of a difference.  

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • December 4, 2016 6:34 PM EST

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      I'm sure that he can increase the heat level with the decoder to get even more smoke.

       

      The real issue is the effects of running a smoke unit with a plastic housing that hot for a long time. The Aristo units never put out a lot of smoke until they went into a death spiral.

       

      I prefer the metal bodied units, and the toughest I  have seen are the MTH, but the stock TAS unit can work very well as also the standard USAT units as you can see in my video.

       

      Even then, the elements themselves sort of cake up, the wick gets clogged, etc.

       

      If you looked at the comments in that other person's videos, he states the fluid only lasts 5 minutes!

       

      Greg

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    • December 4, 2016 11:32 PM EST
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      I have used a few USA smoke units in some of my conversions.  They work very well.  

       

       

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • December 5, 2016 10:04 AM EST
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Hmmm.... I'll have to ask my tech guy ... Dan can the smoke output be increased?

      ____________________________________

       My u-tube  My Vimeo

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • December 5, 2016 9:07 PM EST

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      Yes, Sean. Are you using Dan P?

       

      So the voltage to the heating element is programmable, and of course you need to be careful of extended high temperature operation, but that heater should work about 5-9 volts, and if I remember correctly, there are 3 different voltage levels the decoder uses, idle, low and high.

       

      I believe the locomotive speeds for low and high are also programmable.

      You can also do some tricks, like doubling up the heating elements inside for more smoke, which you have probably seen (but were not told) on some of the MTH conversions on youtube.

       

      The great thing is that your setup is completely programmable and configurable, as opposed to the stock ATS unit, which was a nice unit, but no adjustable settings.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 5, 2016 11:30 PM EST
      • Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
         
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      Greg saved the day.  He's the tech guy here, while I just wing it.  So thank you Greg for stepping in.  

      ____________________________________

      "In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholsome diet"

                                                                             Winston Churchill

    • December 6, 2016 7:15 AM EST
      • Easton , Massachusetts
         
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      Greg

      Yes that Dan! 

      ____________________________________

       My u-tube  My Vimeo

      The light in the tunnel might not be an engine , but a light in the caboose of my own train on my Roundy Round Rail Road !    My empire is complete...I think...

    • December 6, 2016 11:25 AM EST

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      Dan is a great guy, knowledgeable and thorough, you might ask him if you can up the max a bit.

      My suggestion is if you can open the smoke box so you can feel the smoke unit housing, you can experiment a bit, and see how the temp of the unit housing fares.

       

      My personal experience is that I can run the Aristo unit much harder than the plastic will afford, but the fan cools the unit at higher speeds... so a lot of slow running at high heat would be the worst case.

       

      I use Zimos myself, and indeed have one in a USAT Hudson myself with the same smoke unit. I have not been running it to tune it to my liking yet, but it was also installed by Dan.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 27, 2016 9:50 AM EST
      • Cumming, GA
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      The stock smoke unit in the Hudson is not made by USAT nor is it the same as in the rest of the USAT locos.

      The Zimo unit is a modified Aristo unit, and yes there is a world of difference.

      The Stock usat (in the Hudson) unit is a Train America Studios unit, no longer available, with a chuff input to modulate the fan and some basic electronics to control the heater.

       

      The Zimo unit is a gutted Aristo unit, with direct wires to the fan and heater, no smarts. The Zimo decoder pulses the fan and can supply varying voltage to the heater, customizable.

       

      So, it's not really the smoke unit at all that gives you this performance, it's the direct control of the heater and fan. This is the best way in my opinion, and I have used it on many different smoke units, see this one with a "normal" USAT smoke unit. This time from a QSI, but would work the same with a Zimo decoder.

       

       You been holding out on me. Later RJD

       

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