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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, the disclaimer:

Contrary to what Aristo thinks (since they banned me from their site), I will not post anything negative about Aristo products, UNLESS they know about the problem, and have either IGNORED or DENIED the problem.

Aristo makes several smoke units, I am only going to discuss the one they call their "prime mover" one. It looks like this:

OK, so this post is to help people understand just how much fluid to use, since there is conflicting information provided with Aristo locos using this same smoke unit.




It is in most all of their newer locos, and some of the older units that have been updated. When running properly, it produces a good volume of smoke, and a long run time. It is about half the amount of the TAS or MTH units, which are the top units in my opinion, and about twice that of Bachmann or LGB.

There are several different problems reported by users, and the first one I will discuss is short run times.

The most common problem is not enough fluid.

The absolute first thing to know is how much fluid to use. The Aristo documentation is all over the map, with anything from 6-7 drops to 40-45 drops specified. Each loco comes with it's own instruction sheet, and, even though they are specifying the same smoke unit, the documentation does not agree.

First recommendation: DO NOT COUNT DROPS, measure the fluid in an inexpensive syringe. You can usually get these free at a drug store, or cheaply from many places. The problem is that different fluids and different containers will have a different ratio of "Drops" to "milliliters" or "cc".

The capacity of this unit is my opinion:

You can put 4.5 milliliters into it if it is bone dry, and you do not slosh it around, this is right up to the point where more fluid will come out the overflow "slots" internally.

I recommend 4 milliliters. (1 milliliter is 1 cc).

So, now you know the right way to fill the unit. If you have doubts as to if the unit is empty, run it and if it shuts off within 5 minutes it's either empty or defective.

See my site for more detailed analysis: Greg's Aristo smoke unit page[/b][/b]

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg: I have used and installed dozens of these same units and have always used a rubber bulb type dropper and filled it to just above the 3.5ml level, then squeeze that into the Aristo unit, essentially your same conclusion of 4.0 ml. They work very well at this fill level and are a good value. For very large locos such as accucraft , I JB weld a brass tube into the fill/output hole on the aristo and flare the top of the tube with a flaring tool to make a perfect fit in big stacks.

Jonathan
 

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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great idea Jonathan, the sealing helps keep the fluid out of other places, most all fluids seem to have a solvent component, and it seems to get everywhere.

I think the Aristo units are a good value also, although the price has increased several times this year. They used to be about half the price of a TAS, but now the list price of them is $48 per the latest Aristo in stock list. I believe the street price is around $40. The TAS unit is aroung $65 I think, and the MTH is cheaper if you can get them.

(Anyone having a better handle on the street prices please jump in!)

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg,

You have presented a truly nice writeup with many pictures on your web site about the Aristo smoke units. (I will have to read it more closely when time permits.)
BTW, RJ's picture of the "Old style Rogers" smoke unit shown on your web site looks very similar to one supplied in Aristo's "Long Caboose".

Being I have an under house layout, I have never tried any smoke units, but it's my understanding that the older Aristo units will burn out when their fluid is used up. Those types must not last long in any practical sense and I suspect are a major frustration to folks - hence, Aristo's newer design to the rescue.

-Ted
 

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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
USAT had the same issue, I will post some pictures in the future, they made small heater units with no electronics, and they would burn up, just like some of the Bachmann and LGB ones.

The newer USAT ones have a circuit board and fan, and indeed shut off when out of fluid. It seems that this is an evolution most manufacturers are going to, although I'm not aware Bachmann has made the change.

Regards, Greg

p.s. It's not anything more than vaporized oil, so no combustion products are emitted... it would not set your house on fire, but you would probably be gagging under the house!
 

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Just to add To Gregs comments, I just received two Aristo Show FA-1 s. They have been upgraded with the so called prime mover smoke unit. However The switch that controls the on/off for smoke still carries the old sticker no more than 6 or 7 drops of smoke. I can tell ya put in that amount and they sure will not work right. AC has not updated there manuals that also come with the locos it says the same thing. I noticed on the AC forum some mentioned having trouble with his new C-16 with the same new style smoke unit. This unit requires more air volume than most and in the C-16 this is pretty sparse as to the tight quaters. Later RJD
 

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Greg,

I am a little confused (not hard to do for me). In your conversion above you state that 1 ml is equal to 1 cc. Is that centiliter or centimeter? The reason I ask is that 1 cl is equal to 1/100 of a liter and one ml is equal to 1/1000 of a liter. I am not a math wiz, I just found it a little confusing from my old chemistry days in college.
 

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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Greg, centiliter is cl, and centimeter is cm... cc is cubic centimeter as RJ says. Your syringe will be in either cc or ml, they are the same, that's why I used the term.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg, You're banned for life

Guess they can't handle the truth..


Anyway here's the difference between a TAStudios smoke unit which is bigger than a Aristo Prime Mover which should really be named a Prime PIA and a big MTh double barreled Big Boy/Challenger smoke unit which still sells for around $57.00 retail. I have a "few" MTH smoke units on hand esp. if I can't get the USAT Big Boy's to smoke nice after I DCS them..




 

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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Chuck, I have pictures of them on my site also. I have a TAS unit I will check out, but the MTH unit is the "big boy" of smoke units from all the pictures I have seen, and a good price also. The only disadvantage is there is no internal circuitry to pulse the motor, while a logic input for chuff is built into the TAS unit.

I need to experiment with the MTH, and get the size to see if I can fit it into my locos... I think it will fit in most Aristos because they have a horizontally split boiler.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg,

I told you it didn't take much to confuse me. Thanks for setting this question straight in my mind.

Greg
 

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Super Modulator
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No problem Greg... good name by the way! ha ha!

You should see the work we went to to solve the "drops" per "ml" equation... seems that Aristo has made several different "nozzles" in their smoke fluid bottles, resulting in different number of drops per ml.

I finally took them apart and started measuring the capacity of the fluid chamber with and without the wick in it...

There's a whole lot more about these units, such as how fluid will pop components right off the board, and more.

I've written it up on my site, search for "smoke" if you are curious.

I think the street price of the Aristo units makes them attractive, but compared to other more expensive units, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is still operational.

Regards, Greg
 
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