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Has anyone gotten one of these C-18s and had a chance to see how it works. I was wondering mostly about lighting it especially in cooler weather. Would love to hear any reports on this and other aspects. Jim
 

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I dont believe it has arrived just yet, but due anytime now. Like any gas fired engine, the colder it gets outside, the more tempermental it will be. Its the nature of the fuel. Using the Iso-butane mix gas(butane/propane) helps with colder weather running verses running straight butane. I get my mix fuel from the camping dept at Walmart, made by Coleman. An alcohol fired engine is the best for running in cold/winter weather. The fuel could care less about the temps and if its set up right burner wise, the cold only slightly slows the steaming up process.
 

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I noticed that Accucraft states one of their manuals only to use pure butane and not a mixture because of the risk of overpressuring the storage vessel in the tender. How do you avoid that, or failing that, detect that the pressure in the vessel is too high?
 

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Everybody I know uses mixed fuel in my area due to the temps. Never seen a problem yet. As long as its a 70% butane/30% propane mix, IMHO you will be fine. They are just covering their tails for liablity issues.
 

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I noticed that Accucraft states one of their manuals only to use pure butane and not a mixture because of the risk of overpressuring the storage vessel in the tender.
My Accucraft gas tanks all have a plate on them saying 'butane only' - however as I always use a 70/30 butane mix I was concerned enough when my Accucraft NA class arrived to check the certificate numbers.

I looked up the hottest recorded temp on earth ( ~50 deg somewhere in Libya I seem to remember at the time) and then I checked the vapor pressure of pure propane (worst case scenario) at that temperature, which was around 400 psi.

So I concluded that as the tank certificate stated a test pressure of 600 psi - which is consistant with a max. working pressure of 400 psi - It was OK to use the propane mix.
 

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Mike, as good as meths is coal is the absolute best for cool temperatures, also no track fires. Maybe someone will do a coal fired conversion of the C-18 like the 10 or so K-27 conversions Torry did about 10 - 12 years ago.
 

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I'll use straight butane in the summer months, but when it gets chilly, the butane/propane mix works much better.

Some locos work better with the more volatile mixture, regardless of weather: I used to have a Regner Konrad that would light 100% of the time on the butane/propane mix, but would struggle to get and keep the burner lit on butane alone. Accucraft's label is more for liability purposes -- but more to the point, to keep anyone from using 100% propane.
 

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Correct Joel. I have seen folks build tanks for pure propane as the burner itself will burn that. Most of the time, folks with the bigger Accucraft engines would run a dedicated fuel car, like a box car, behind the tender with a Coleman green propane disposable tank in it and feed that with a flex line up thru the tender to the burner assembly. These were the models with the twin jet burners that would use nearly a whole can of butane in the stock tender tank.
 

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Has anyone gotten one of these C-18s and had a chance to see how it works. I was wondering mostly about lighting it especially in cooler weather. Would love to hear any reports on this and other aspects. Jim
The first batch of 20 are supposed to be here in a few weeks. (I was initially told late November, but it's getting pretty tight :cautious: ) One thing you'll want to know -- the C-18 is a gas burner that thinks it's an alcohol burner! Similar to the C-25 and the 7/8ths Forney, the C-18 has a ceramic burner in a fairly open firebox, so the burner cannot create it's own draft like a poker burner can. So when you initially light this off (from the firebox, there is no smokebox door) you'll need to put a fan on the stack just like you would for a coal or alcohol engine. They have equipped the loco with a blower. My understanding is that at about 10 lbs. pressure you've got enough to power the blower -- crack it open and take off the fan. From that point it should get to pop-off pressure pretty quickly, and I THINK you can just turn the blower off.
So if you don't already have one, order a fan now!

Lets know what you think of it when you get yours!

best--
 

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It's a shame that Accucraft can't/won't make their ceramic burners that don't need the fan. The Bowand ceramic burners don't need one.
Propane: Just would like to add: I used a pressure reducer sold just for the purpose of using propane in items designed for butane. Propane gas has four times the pressure of Butane.
 

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I think its also a shame that Accucraft cant/wont make a live steam Shay with proper Stephenson valve gear. Using their cop out single eccentric with a reversing valve. When the Shays are 2K or more, folks are not going to complain to spend a little bit more to have the proper valve gear. Shays waggly bits are all out there in the open, if any model needs full valve gear, its a Shay. If Bowande can pull off ceramic burners that do not require a draft fan, then Accucraft should be able to as well. Sounds like poor engineering or cost cutting.
 

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Mike,

I hear you on the valve gear but their engines at least run at prototypic speed…maybe if we mated an aster shay and an accucraft one, we might have what you want😆! That said, the acc 2 cylinder is a very nice controllable running engine.

Sam
 

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Yep, need Accucraft wheels and pinion gears in the Aster trucks to get that gear ratio deeper to slow them down a bit. Aster made them to run the way the Japanese like to run back then....fast! They can run slower but need a bit of blower to keep the fire where it belongs and RC on the throttle so you can help hold it to that RPM. I keep hounding Channing to put proper valve gear on them. I would love the new 2 cylinder one they are taking preorders one, but still has that single eccentric crap. I sorry, Accucraft can do better than that for the $$ spent.
 

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Accucraft 3 cylinder Shay is geared extremely low, I read real scale speed. So much so ran out of fuel and water pretty quickly only a few times around my oval. I swapped the trucks and rear drive shaft with a 2 cylinder one just to get longer run times.
 

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My friend has both the 2 cyl Mich Cal deuce and the 3 cylinder Accucraft Shays. The 2 cylinder ones run much better IMHO than the 3 from experience in running his at steam ups. If only Channing would have full valve gear fitted to this next 2 cylinder model, I would pull out my wallet and order one. But nope, still single eccentric per cylinder. I believe the Aster Shays were 2:1 ratio. A ratio of 5:1 would be much better I am suprised nobody over the years offered new wheel sets and pinions with a deeper gear ratio for those Aster Shays. I hope the C18 is a winner for Accucraft though.
 
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