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Would you try using Fog Fluid and/or E-Cigarette Fluid mixed in in your smoke units?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever try using Fog Fluid in your smoke units? And since e-cigarette fluid has a multitude of flavors/"scents" anyone tried mixing the two and using them as smoke fluid?

If not, well I have and they work great together! I can buy a quart of Fog Fluid {Wal-Mart} at Halloween time for around $4.99¢, the e-cig flavors are a bit expensive {depending on size, from $7-$15}, but you only use 2-6 drops in a small bottle, so it lasts a long time.

I just wanted to see if it would work, so I tried the fog fluid by itself, it smoked fantastic in my modified LGB Stainz smoke system that I built for it{that's another story and project}. Just got tired of trying to find replacement smoke units that cost $24.95¢ or higher for it.

Anyway, the fog fluid smoked great and ran in my "modified" smoke stack for almost 45 minutes without a refill. And since I had some e-cig fluid, "Chocolate-Strawberry" I found on sale at a loco tobacco shop for less than $2.00, I opted to add some to the fog fluid, I added 2 drops in a small bottle, aprox. a 2-3oz bottle, it was okay, but the scent wasn't really very strong, so I added 2 more, still not really that strong, so 2 more and 6 drops seemed to be the "magic" number.

I use it out in the Garden Railroad and you can smell the "Chocolate-Strawberry scent from several feet away, the smoke output is strong and very visible at even very low speed, I run the LGB Stainz loco at slow to modertate speeds, if full speed, currently the smoke heating elements I'm using would fail in a short time. To prevent that would require a lot more modification to the loco to add in a 5VDC or 12VDC voltage regulator and Full Wave Diode Bridge before the smoke unit, which would require drilling additional holes in the loco for the additional wiring that would be needed.

The elements do smoke heavily at low speeds, and I do have video of the train using this method, just have to do some work and get them posted on-line, probably on my facebook page to show the smoke output.

I use two heating elements wired in parallel and stand vertical in the smokestack, I also use a fiberglass mat material{available at Home Depot} for the wicking that surrounds the heating elements.

To be quite honest, I didn't expect the fog fluid to work, nor did I expect the e-cig fluid mixed in with it to actually work, but since I didn't have any real smoke fluid, I just thought I'd give it a try and see how well it would work. It actually went above what I expected.

When I get the video on-line, I'll be sure and post the link here so you can see for yourself how well this actually worked! And fog fluid by the quart is much cheaper than traditional normal smoke fluid!

Anyway, just thought I'd share my findings about using fog fluid and e
 

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Before we start talking run times, what is your smoke unit?

Also, to react to run time, you have to also relate the volume of smoke produced, and probably the only way to communicate this is a video.

There have been many experiments over the years, and if you got 45 minutes, you must have had quiet a volume of fluid, how many cc's did you use?

Fog fluid is normally glycol or glycerine based. Our smoke fluid is normally wax or oil based. The E-cigarette stuff is the same as fog machine fluid.

If you get this much smoke, let us know:


Greg
 

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Greg, what smoke unit are you using in your video?

Thanks,
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just use several small eye dropper full of fluid, usually about 1/3 full. Those fan blown units WILL always produce more smoke than what I get, but I'm happy with what I do get from a NON-MOTORIZED Smoke system.

There is no room in an LGB Stainz for one of those type units. Believe me, I was looking for a way to install one in the loco, with the weight inside and the smoke stack the way it is designed, just no way to use a unit like in your video.

But I do get a darn good volume of smoke irregardless and it hasn't damaged the loco or the smoke unit I built and installed in the stack. I've had regular smoke fluid actually eat the paint off some loco's, haven't had that problem with the fog fluid. And yes, the one I use is glycol based.

The heater elements are two elements wired in parallel with each other, I think they are actually Lionel Heating Elements, but can't say for sure, I got about 500+ of them for free when a warehouse company I worked for was just going to throw them away in the trash. So I asked if they were going into the trash, if I could have them as I could use them for possible replacements in my O Gauge and possibly G Gauge trains. And they gave me the whole box of them

Been using them for replacement parts for years now, most often I do have a full wave diode bridge and a 5v or 12v regulator in front of the heating elements, but that is just too much trouble for the LGB Stainz, so they are run directly from track voltage using an Aristocraft 10amp power supply and TE 5471 wireless module{old style stuff} in the Stainz 0-4-0.

I'm working on the videos I shot of different angles and such, when I get them online {on my FB account} I'll try and see if I can link to them from here. I have an area I can upload them using my SkyDrive account{although they call it something else now}, but every time I've tried to link to a video on my skydrive account via hotmail, it always shows up as a broken link. Have never gotten videos or photo's from those accounts to ever work or show up in any forums. :(
 

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Even a link to the pictures will help, but not everyone wants to go to facebook to look at pix. Can you get a free picture hosting account, like flickr, or similar?

By the way, another free alternative is get a free dropbox account, put the pictures in there and then you can link to them, I don't think they will show embedded, but it's another free alternative.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
That's not bad for a Stainz!

Let us know how long it lasts!

Greg
It sure beats the heck out of the original replacement smoke unit, which is the entire stack! Now I just have to desolder a couple of wires and install a new heating element set. I have several made up in advance for it. I have another Stainz with a different type stack which is a little shorter than the one in the video, but it doesn't run very well for some reason. But I could use it's stack in the loco in the video, only issue I had with the shorter stack is the heater element leads stick about a 1/4" or so just above the shorter smokestack. Other than that, works great.

If you noticed, there is a small hole drilled in the Stainz smokestack in the front even with the heating elements{just above the headlamp}, it allows air to flow into the stack and generate the smoke output you saw in my video. Without that hole, the smoke was just as poor as most non-fan driven smoke units. So I sort of cheated on that option. LOL

Currently the heating elements in the current video have been in that loco for about 3 months, the first month I tested them out, if I ran at full speed, I would burn the suckers up in short order. It would take only about 4-5 times around my 9-1/2x11 foot{aprox} loop and they were dead. So far, running at slow speeds, sometimes a little faster, the units have held up very well for the last few months. I just have to remind myself not to run full throttle or disassembly of the stack and heater replacement becomes necessary, but it only takes about 5-6 minutes to replace if you have spares made up. :)
 

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Well, not many people have 500 spares, so you have a great situation if you don't mind changing stuff out.

It's fairly easy to make great smoke if you don't mind burning up the elements. You should see an Aristo unit in it's death throes... smokes great.

Smart idea about the hole pushing air into the stack and venting it, although not everyone may like drilling one.

Yes, put a regulator on it and make it work at any speed. Most of the more sophisticated ones have a 5 volt heater and use a regulated voltage/current.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well, not many people have 500 spares, so you have a great situation if you don't mind changing stuff out.

It's fairly easy to make great smoke if you don't mind burning up the elements. You should see an Aristo unit in it's death throes... smokes great.

Smart idea about the hole pushing air into the stack and venting it, although not everyone may like drilling one.

Yes, put a regulator on it and make it work at any speed. Most of the more sophisticated ones have a 5 volt heater and use a regulated voltage/current.

Regards, Greg

I'm still trying to figure out how to add the constant voltage circuit to the heating elements, since they would have to be inside the loco, the wires run down through the original smoke tube that I hollowed out to get the wires down to the underside of the loco. When I opened it up, the weight inside the boiler takes up the length of the entire loco and doesn't leave enough room for any added electronics inside the boiler, plus I have to figure out where to drill a hole under the loco to bring the wires up that exit the metal tube under the loco and get them back inside the boiler to the circuit. Really doesn't appear to be enough room inside the boiler for the electronics needed to do it.

The only way it may be possible is if a company built such a circuit using SMT {Surface Mount Technology} parts, which can be extremely small, but still need enough room on the circuit board to solder 4 22 gauge wires to it. Using standard parts, I can make a small PC board with the Diode Bridge and the regulator, bending the regulator over and mounting its tab to the weight with a heatsink, since voltage regulators can get just as hot as the heating elements or sure seems like it!

And since the metal tube runs down through the loco, no way to re-route the wires from inside the tube into the boiler, the original {now hollowed out for the wires} goes into a nut on the bottom of the loco that holds it and the headlamp in place. The wires are soldered to the nut and the original metal strip that once served as the on/off switch. Current configuration there is no off/on switch for the smoke unit, I cut that switch down and soldered the 2nd wire to it to make the circuit to power the current smoke system in the video.

BTW: Drilling that hole in the stack, not a big deal, if you can still find "original LGB replacement smoke units" for the Stainz, they come with the metal tube{heating element} and a new smokestack as one piece. So taking the dead unit apart, putting in new heaters inside the stack itself, and drilling the hole for air flow was not a big deal for me. Just a repurposed old burnt out LGB smoke unit. Don't know what the heating elements by themselves cost today, but when I did buy them, I usually paid about $1-$2 each for them{not the LGB units, they were $19.99¢, and last time I bought an LGB smoke unit they were $24.95¢!}, so the element by itself weren't that expensive when I was buying them for other ideas/projects.

Just don't think I can add a constant voltage circuit very easily in the Stainz because of the interior weight, if that's removed, it wouldn't be able to pull any rolling stock, tried it and it couldn't even pull the sound car behind it, maybe a single small lightweight car, but nothing more. And I don't want to cut the weight down as the smoke unit metal rod also goes through it to keep it in place.

So my Stainz is regulated to operate at slower speeds, but that's okay with me, I prefer slow moving trains over fast moving ones.
 

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I cut the weight and lower part of the boiler and installed the Train-Li motorized smoke unit in a stainz. Sure I lost some weight, but this unit was only used with 2 cars, and one could always add the powered tender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I cut the weight and lower part of the boiler and installed the Train-Li motorized smoke unit in a stainz. Sure I lost some weight, but this unit was only used with 2 cars, and one could always add the powered tender.
Where do you buy a new powered tender for the Stainz? Or do you have to find a used one somewhere?

I haven't seen much in the way of LGB type stuff in my local train shops since the original company went belly-up.

Otherwise I might consider cutting the weight down near the cab area and add my constant voltage circuit at that location.

BTW: Does the powered tender come with the jumper wires that would fit the two small electrical power contacts in the back of the cab in the Stainz? Or do they have to be bought separately? And is there room in the powered tender to add an older " the 97 Phoenix Sound System" inside it as well, or should I just use the trailing car I already have set up for that behind the tender, providing I can get one?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's a photo of how the heating elements will sit down inside the refurbished LGB smokestack.

The wires are drawn down the metal hollowed out original heating element tube. The heating elements will then be pulled down gently into the smokestack, just before entering the stack I use a fiberglass mat material cut and wrapped around the elements, then gently push the heating system down and pull the wires down from the bottom of the loco, this will seat the heating elements just down inside the smokestack.

I also drilled about a 1/2" vent hole for airflow in the smokestack before re-assembling into and on the loco, the hole faces the front of the loco, just above the headlamp, this allows air to be forced into the stack and generate a nice amount of smoke, even at low speeds, as seen in my video in this thread.

Here's the photo: {this was a short test to make sure the heating elements were functional before installing in the loco}. Nothing worse than getting something all together and then find out it doesn't work and have to redo it! :eek:

 

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Where do you buy a new powered tender for the Stainz? Or do you have to find a used one somewhere?

I haven't seen much in the way of LGB type stuff in my local train shops since the original company went belly-up.

Otherwise I might consider cutting the weight down near the cab area and add my constant voltage circuit at that location.

BTW: Does the powered tender come with the jumper wires that would fit the two small electrical power contacts in the back of the cab in the Stainz? Or do they have to be bought separately? And is there room in the powered tender to add an older " the 97 Phoenix Sound System" inside it as well, or should I just use the trailing car I already have set up for that behind the tender, providing I can get one?

Thanks.
LGB powered tenders come up on eBay fairly regularly. I don't think it's likely you'll find a used one with the jumper, but they're widely available on-line... and you can buy the pins to make your own for just a couple bucks.
 

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There are three combinations of power leads for engine to tender with the stainz and power tender.
double round connectors to double round.
Double round connectors to 100, mil male connector.
Double 100 mil female connectors on each end.
Pre 1995 used the double round connectors and newer stock had the 100 mil sockets.

LGB did have a cable/wire harness kit to address this.

Alll new stock uses the 100 mil sockets (these are the same as the older PC mother boards and cables, 100 mil spacing on pins and connectors.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
There are three combinations of power leads for engine to tender with the stainz and power tender.
double round connectors to double round.
Double round connectors to 100, mil male connector.
Double 100 mil female connectors on each end.
Pre 1995 used the double round connectors and newer stock had the 100 mil sockets.

LGB did have a cable/wire harness kit to address this.

All new stock uses the 100 mil sockets (these are the same as the older PC mother boards and cables, 100 mil spacing on pins and connectors.)
Thanks for the info Dan. I don't know when my 2 Stainz loco's were made, but they came in an LGB Circus Ready-to-Run Train set and both have small female receptacles in the cab for connecting a powered car behind them. I think they may be pre-1995, I bought them in 1997 if I recall. One set was a passenger set, Stainz Loco, Passenger Car{unlit/unpowered} and Caboose, the other had the Stain Loco with a different style smokestack, 2 flat cars and a caboose.

I did modify the passenger car with power pickups so I could put in a PSS sound board and LED lighting.
 

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As a long time e-cigg user I would mention that at the usual prices the juice for them wouldn't make it a reasonable substitute. Also, most flavors don't have a very noticeable aroma. The chocolate the OP used is an exception, coffee/mocha sometimes and also one I use that tastes like breakfast cereal :eek:. And one or two have a smell that my boyfriend has banned.
 

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I wonder if that would work in my FA-1... Dual heating elements... Don't know how id get it to work, or where I'd get two new ones though...
 
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