Navy tech: if you have the older Pacific it does not have the current fan driven smoke unit which is called the prime mover. Yours does have a fan but not hooked up to the smoke unit. Its use to create air flow to blow through tubes directed at the smoke to blow it out the stack. Later RJD
Jerry, they just die after a while.... take it apart, the capacitors typically absorb the smoke fluid, swell up, and this swelling rips them from the circuit board. There is no control over the seeping of fluid onto the circuit board. It's just a matter of time.
The other smoke units separate the electronics from the chambers with fluid in them. That's the major weak point in the aristo design.
Hmm, sort of liked the all in one piece design. The old Pacifics I tore apart for the Challenger build appear to have never been used but not sure I can use them in the Challenger or not. I'll try it again today.
There are basically 2 chambers in the aristo unit, the one on the left has the fan in it, and the one on the right has the fluid reservoir. The wall between them is cut down a bit at the top, so the air goes from the left to the right:
Here's the circuit board that fits down into the housing shown above. You see the exhaust opening on the right side:
You can also see the wick underneath, that sits into the reservoir.
The picture below shows the problem, the circuit components are exposed to the smoke vapor, and even though the flow of the vapor is mostly out the hole under the heating element, the vapor contacts everything, condenses on the circuit board, and affects the components on the board.
The components that most often fail are the 3 electrolytic caps, you see 2 on the right end of the boards, and there is one just peeking out behind the motor. The large black device to the left of the motor is an inductor.
The caps are soldered tight to the board, and the smoke fluid expands the rubber sealing at that end of the cap, and breaks them away from the board, normally damaging the copper traces.
Thats the Aristo smoke unit in a nutshell. There's some other weak points that explain units that run for 5 minutes and quit, but I'm SURE I will be accused of bashing by now, so visit my web site page:
Greg I would not accuse you of bashing for this, it's a reasonable description of an ongoing problem, and I appreciate the effort that you put into investigating it very much. You may also have noticed I credited you in my post about the switch frogs.
The Aristo units are cost effective, although they have been going through price increases. They do a reasonable job, but there is a reason the MTH, TAS, and Massoth units cost more, and are longer lived.
I personally use the Aristo units until they die, and then try repairing. Not every one can be repaired, and it's sometimes difficult to do. I would think that these repairs would be difficult for the average user.
Jerry you may have one that just does not want to work as intended. When it quits just turn off for a sec or two and then turn it back on. Check to make sure you have the correct amount of fluid in the unit. As far as I know cold should not affect the operation of the unit unless you get to sub zero temps. One thing I have noticed is since goeing to DCC the units work so much better. I has some that would only work for 5 to 7 min, now they work for at least 20 min. Have not figured that one out yet. Later RJD