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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
I've been driven off my tracks trying to find out the specific type of 2 pin conectors used in Aristocraft Locos. Are they GWS, BEC, JST, L1a's or something else???? And do you know where I can get them in bulk?? Just for fun, here's my quick OOPS story and the reason for my "need to know".

I just recieved a brand new Aristocraft C16 Coal loco. The SD45 smoke unit put out GREAT smoke, but only for about 3 to 5 minutes, then shut itself off. After visiting various forums, the Ariso forum had a known problem with this and two additional holes needed to be drilled under the unit to allow for better ventilation and cooling. After I followed the instructions EXACTLY, the same problem continued. I noticed that the two original vent holes came all the way through to the underside of the front guide wheels and my two new holes did not! (I didn't want to over drill into something important, which becomes important in the next few sentences) This area was easily accessible without taking my whole boiler apart again as per the directions, so I drilled two more holes from the bottom...then OOPSSSS WENT TOO FAR! Right into the sump of the smoke unit! That wouldn't have been a problem because I have thermo plasiic and could easily fill in my new 1/4 in. "drain holes". The problem occured when the drill bit, took off one of the transistors on the circut board. .... Thinking I could re-solder it back on, I attempted the fix. NOPE...NO GO!

After ordering TWO new smoke units, I plan to use the extra one as a chimney unit for my recently scratch built train station or house. BUT I need to know the type of connector to use to wire it up. I would also like to buy a bunch of these to use to easily move and connect my lighted houses etc, around on they layout, or to take them in during our famous Houston rainstorms.

Any help or insight is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
FOLLOW THE DIRECIONS NEXT TIME...DUMMY!
 

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I believe the request is for the smaller white connectors on the smoke unit board and or the power board, not the MU black connectors.

MU connector info is helpful though!!!
 

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If you order the smoke units they come with the plug. I get extras from battery plus. They are from old cordless phone battery's that are brought in to the store for recycle. You have to look as there are two types used. I talk nice to the folks and they will clip off what I need and give them to me. When it comes to cheap or free I'm all for it. Later RJD
 

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Also, on those Aristo units, make sure you get enough fluid. They want about 3ml.

I use these












They come on a card in the science toys section at Hobby Lobby. It easily sucks up 2 1/2 ml of fluid with one squeeze. That runs the smoke unit about 40 minutes. When it runs out, the unit turns itself off. To start it again, just reload it, and flick the smoke switch off for a couple seconds.
 

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Go to my site and search for smoke units, I have one page in general and one page specifically on the Aristo units.

They are very inconsistent, some will smoke for almost an hour, some will shut off after 5 minutes.

The reservoir capacity it "right at the spillway" at 4.5 milliliters.

4 ml (also known as 4cc) can be used if you don't rock the loco sideways after filling.

The run time vs. the fluid is variable, caused mainly by differences in the wicks, the better shape the wick is in, the more smoke over a shorter time.

As the wick ages, many units will smoke longer but with less smoke.

As Tom said, when the unit shuts itself off, you need to interrupt the power to it to reset it. There is a microprocessor on board, so you need to have about 7-8 volts or above for it to run properly. They also perform well on DCC and fixed track voltage.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you ALL! Great information and points! I knew if I posted here, the answers would come rolling in! I have read about the inconsistent sd45 units, I'll be testing both of my new ones to make sure the one that burns longer goes into the loco and will post burn times and volume for your future reference. It's a shame that after all this time, Aristo hasn't come up with a more consistent unit for these locos. I also find it amazing that finding these little white plugs is such a pain since they're used in many applications. It seems you can more readily buy the "battery" end (female) and that the male or recepticle end is a hunting expidition...especially if you want those on a lead wire. Paul, thanks for the link,, that is what I was looking for. I can solder and heat shrink the male connector to get the power to my locations on the layout. RJD, GREAT idea! I have a batteries plus right down the road! I'll be stopping in early next week! I also appreciate the pipette idea from Torby. I teach elementary school and our science lab has 100's of these floating around!

Living in Houston, we don't have many train shops that carry G scale.. in fact, only 1. Yes!, the country's 4th largest city, and ONE dedicated train shop...with limited G scale at that!

I'll keep checking back here if ya'll happen to have any more advice for me.

Thanks again,
Phil
Oak Thicket Valley RailRoad OTVRR
 

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Just to let you know, "drops" are not consistent from liquid to liquid, and different sizes depending on your droppers. Use the ml you determine and you will enjoy much more consistent operation.

Regards, Greg
 

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I'm ADD. There is absolutely NO WAY I could count 70 drops.
 

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I even found different bottles of Aristo fluid, that looked identical, had different droplet sizes... we really went through this, Phil Zane and I were going nuts trying to come up with a way to do drops... it just doesn't work.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update!!
Recieved the two units today! After reading several posts on the Ariso Forum about the sd45 units, I decided that the best way to get the best of the two in to the loco was to install and run it on the track. Well.......at first... 25 drops, same problems with the unit shutting off. Filled 25 more drops ( I forgot to pick up the syringe) ran for about 8 minutes. Then after that. on and off functioning. I hesitate to keep adding drops because I can't see down into the unit to see if there is still fluid and do NOT want to overflow. Tomorrow I will pick up the syringes and suck up whatever is down in the tank (if any) and start with 3cc to get a time measurement. There also has been discussion about track voltage. I'll see if I can get a reading during my testing. If it runs for more than 15 mins I won't switch out to the second unit and will be happy with the performance. Since I'm running PWC I may connect the second unit directly to the track and see which one performs the best just for comparison.

Torby...My undiagnosed ADD had driven me nuts with the drop counting too!

Regards,
Phil
 

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DO NOT INSERT THE SYRINGE INTO THE RESERVOIR.

No matter what anyone else tells you, you can damage the wick! It's fragile fiberglas that gets more brittle with age, and strands will break off.

When the unit stops smoking. Cycle power and see how long it runs... if it goes out soon, then it's pretty well dry (or it does not work right and you should send it back for repair).

If it runs for a time over 5 minutes, then there was significant fluid in it.

Doing this will guarantee it is empty.

Don't flip it over to empty it out, you will accelerate the destruction of the capacitors on the main board...

Read the threads on the Aristo forum, and on my site...

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Greg! I caught this just before I attempted this procedure so no harm done! Here's the latest...runnig 14v and 2cc of fluid the unit in the C16 smokes beautifully for about 12-15 minutes. I haven't loaded her up to the 4cc amount because that just seems too close for comfort. I hooked up the second unit as a chimney on a house and got about 18 minutes at 12v DC. What is interesting to me is that the smoke unit in my older U25B, with the same 2cc amount smoked GREAT for about 20 minutes. I don't know if this unit has the auto shut off, I'll have to check into it. It may be that if it doesn't, it was burning off what was left in the wic, and residual fluid. I made sure that as soon as I noticed a reduction in smoke, I turned off the unit to avoid burnout. At least until I know if it has the auto shut off.

Regards and happy Railroading.

Phil
 

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Phil, you can put 4.5 ml into a dry unit (new style, not the U25b). try 4 ml... I use 3.5 for my safety margin, which is an entire 1 ml of margin. The Aristo site is full of misinformation on this unit, and even the head of the company has the wrong info. The funniest thing is that you can open the unit with 4 screws, but it took 3 of us working together to really get the right data on this.

3.5 - 4 ml in a dry unit is fine. in the worst case, if you overfill, there are little overflow slots and you will just get some fluid inside your loco. By the way, this will happen ANYWAY over time, the vaporized fluid sort of gets everywhere evenutally. The design of the unit is such that the circuit board eventually gets wet, and and of course, eventually self desctructs. Read my site.

My advice is enjoy the unit, and by your numbers, yours is working just fine.

Regards, Greg
 

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Phil: If the unit in your SD45 is not working correctly and you think it still has fluid in it you can remove it very easily by removing two screws and unplug it. You can then turn the unit upside down to empty. The U Boat does not have this type of smoke unit especially if its a couple years old. The new ones do have it tho. Later RJD
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Greg, I spent 3 hours on your website today!! Believe me...3 hours is NOT hard to do! Can I just say.... AMAZING!! The innovative layout, bust a wall here, build a wall there... move those pipes... keep layin track! I loved it! I have to say, I saved your "about Greg" page for the end but the funny thing was that while looking at your layout pics, I was thinking Mission Viejo, Capistrano or San Diego! It wasn't until the "about Greg" page that I confirmed my prediction! I grew up in Orange County and am now in Houston. The weather here sure makes me wish I was building my layout in CA. Much less wash out, tons less leaves....NO mosquitos! Your site is incredibly informative and inspirational... You've now got me thinking about switching from TE to DCC! THANK YOU! I'll be checking it often. As far as the SD45 smoke unit... interestingly every time I repower, even after the auto shut off, I get smoke for about 3 minutes then it shuts off again. I know the well is dry, how long do you think this action will continue off of the residual fluid in the wick? Same thing happens in the unit I put into a house. Documentation with the unit said "no switch is necessary due to the auto shut off", how many 3 minute cycles do you suspect will happen before it wont even start? Until I refill it that is? Just curious...

RJD, I have an older U25B. Does the same apply to turning the smoke unit over? I noticed that the fan has a tube coming from deep in the loco. The smoke unit itself just lifts out! It was held in place with an ineffective adhesive. Makes it easy to remove and dump if there's no worry of a pc board. I haven't checked to see if there are screws to open the smoke unit itself, none visible from the top! However, it works GREAT! Smokes like there's no tomorrow for about 20 minutes. I just didn't know if it had the auto shut off, which I doubt due to age. Aristo documenation doesn't clarify either way!

Amazing how all this started with a question about the 2 pin connectors! Thank you all for being so dedicated to the hobby! Unfortunately, here in Houston, there is only one train shop with limited G Scale and one G Gauge club.

Talk to you all soon.

Phil
 

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When I cut back from 4ml to 2.5 or so, I spilled LOTS less fluid out the bottom of the loco.
 

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You must walk funny Tom! ha ha ha... (just pulling your leg) yes, you can spill it if you shake it back and forth. I normally fill them on the track.

Phil, the unit will do these 3 minute cycles forever even if out of fluid.. it takes that long for the logic to determine that there is no fluid... remember it's run by a microprocessor and a program, and all it can do is sense current through the resistor that vaporizes the fluid. The "program" has to monitor the current for long enough to get a "baseline".

Regards, Greg
 
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