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Thank you for the responses! The mention of asbestos brings back the memories of school labs, we all handled the stuff, an amazingly durable material, too bad it has side effects. Will try different smoke fluid mixes once I get a unit built, it's on the list of projects ongoing. Joe
This is a first try at a simpler quieter smoke unit. I used the smoker box/element off the Heng Long tank/car smoker unit with a 40x40 5v fan (the fan being voltage controlled by a 5v UBEC and the lot being run by a 2s Lipo (with a y splitter for the fan UBEC and the element using JST leads. Doesn't smoke that well as I had broken then repaired the element previously, but the other one I have smokes a lot better, and has a better type of element (possibly a newer version) Some photos etc on the smoker discussion. Unit is almost silent (the noise you hear is the camera and outside noise, as the window was open)
Have just made a prototype of a fan forced smoker which seems to be working well (despite breaking the heater coil by moving it while hot, - had it apart, broke wire, screw and washer repair, not quite as hot) I bought a couple of Heng Long smokers (for R/C tanks or cars) to play with, for $10 NZ each(or 5.3 Euros to you Northerners give or take a yen) from Bangood and just bought another from Ebay. There seem to be 2 different models, as one has a long coil with a lamp wick draped over it, which is sitting in the oil reservoir, the other has a small coil inside a piece of heat resistant woven tubing (as you might find insulating toaster/heater wiring etc) which acts as a wick and that also sits in cotton wool in the reservoir, (this seems to be the better of the two) Tip - don't fill the tank right up, only enough to soak the cotton, element should be just out of the oil. The wick loads the element. The better model seems to have a black top to the tank (also maybe either brown or black tank) and the other has a brown top and dirty brown tank. As with most of this stuff you won't know till you get it what it's going to be. What I did was remove the tank and cut off the pump tube just in front of the screw lugs (see black line in photo) then fitted the tank, and a 40x40x10 5v ESC fan (voltage controlled by a UBEC set to 5v on the jumpers) into a plastic electronics utility box from Jaycar (our local electronics and hobby store). I made up a double JST lead for the 2s 1800Mah Lipo and fired it up (using baby oil). It's pretty much silent and smokes well once it gets warmed up, ( starts smoking in about 5 seconds) You could control it (on/off volume) by either a remote on/off switch or perhaps a small cheap 10A brushed ESC. I would leave the fan running and control the element to avoid burning the element. The original pump tank inlet hole seems ok as is (approx 1.5mm) but you could enlarge it very slightly to get a better flow if you could find a better oil. At the electronics store they have proper smoke machine oil for $20 NZ per litre so I may have a look at that. The reason I went for the fan idea was that I found in std pump form, if I immersed a tube from the tank in water, it sucked water back into the tank. I was hoping it would pump smoke out of my HSL exhausts at water level alongside the cooling water but it would need a very light non return valve to do this. The fan seems to pump the smoke through 2mm ID silicone tube ok, so tubing of similar ID to the OD of the tank outlets should work well. These pumps in original form work pretty well for the price, and are cheap enough to keep a few for spare elements, the only thing is they are a bit noisy but in an 'engine sounding' way, (might add to the effect on a tug or work-boat though) What you have left after this mod is a very handy little geared motor with an eccentric output wheel which could be used for winches, radar and whirly bits of any description (see pic of motor leftover and original) To avoid burnout, these should be run on no more than a 2s (around 7.5v-(suggest 8v max with fan running) The other tank is going to work a lot better than this one but I'm not making a tug, just want a bit of exhaust smoke on start-up etc to go with the 2 sound units. Very cheap to make (around $25 NZ with pump, box, fan and UBEC all through Ebay, Aliexpress and Bangood (and local electronics store) If you wanted to run an ESC to control the smoke and you have no channels left to control it proportionally, you can always try using a second receiver bound to your TX, (if your TX will allow it,) power it and a brushed ESC (wired to the element) as normal and use the throttle channel to plug in your smoke control. This should work if you want more smoke as you accelerate or if you are using only 1 stick on a 2 stick TX you could use your 'elevator' stick pushed up (or a toggle switch if available) to start/stop the smoke (through the brushed ESC setup) . This setup weighs 100g (10g more than std) The quest for lots of smoke continues Will try to upload vid later and update progress.
A bit of confusion over what i wrote last night (note to self dont mix the internet with rum) I did not use a piezo unit, I used ultrasonic units, the kind that are fitted to fire places to produce the smoke and flame effect. The water depth seems to be the critical factor in the amount of mist produced. I am not looking for masses of dark smoke just enough to simulate diesel exhaust. This was just a prototype that works quite well but I am going to revisit it and try to improve the output and look for an ultrasonic unit that will work at 12v
I have made a smoke generator using a piezo transducer and a P68s variable speed brush less fan controller from action electroncs. The transducers tend to be 24v dc and are relatively cheap (£2-£3 each). I am using S3 lipos so I only have 11.4 available but a very cheap variable output unit gives me 24v. The fan is connected in-between the receiver channel for the throttle and the speed controller. The fan speed increases with the throttle and follows the throttle speed regardless of direction. The net effect is quite pleasing for diesel exhaust simulation, with a steady stream when the stick is centralised and the fan just idling. On fwd/rev throttle movement you get an increasing amount of exhaust dependent on speed. I have this installed in my Forceful paddler with twin funnels. The effect is quite realistic but can be difficult to see. I am looking for a another transducer that will produce more vapour. in its present configuration it will run for around 3 hours before topping up is required.
Hi Dick, It's a small smoker. So, I figure it probably smokes for about 45-1 hour! The one I have. smokes for 3 hours. On one fill of smoker liquid! But maybe you can call Cornwall Model Boats. And ask some questions! 01840 211009 Cornwall Model Boats Ltd Unit 3B, Highfield Rd Ind Est, Camelford, Cornwall, PL32 9RA, United Kingdom. Cheers, Ed
Just pondering how one would set up and sincrconize a simulated steam whistle. Since I’m not running on steam I could use smoke from my smoke unit and of course a steam sound module. Any ideas as how To do this? My thought was using the RAM ship whistle which works with a micro switch. One servo would control both the whistle and at the same time release squeezing off neoprene tubing would allow smoke to issue out the whistle. Anyone thoughts on this would be appreciated.
When I had another try at the big hatch it came right off easily. I think it was a bit stuck on the gasket. The push-to-release latch is really something; a 50/50 blend of wow & ridiculous. It’s an impressive mechanism but it’s also seriously over-designed. The battery hatch under the pilot house has a simple quarter-turn catch to hold it shut while the aft hatch has a fancy spring-loaded push button release assembly. Doesn’t make much sense, really. My boat has a piece of foam in the bilge, too, but I’m reluctant to remove it. Although it’s no use for flotation my theory is that it may serve two purposes. First, it might be there for sound dampening. Those two big motors & their reduction gears make a lot of noise in that large void surrounded by stiff plastic. Second, any seepage through the stuffing boxes would be absorbed by the foam & keep bilge water away from the motors. Those are my thoughts but I could be way off. The Richardson does indeed have different electronics compared to some of the other Hobby Engine tugs. It’s got working interior & exterior lighting, horn & smoke units, plus it has a 2.4ghz transmitter & receiver, which is a nice feature in that it does away with a mast-style antenna. That’s the main reason I chose my boat; I don’t know enough about R/C models to be able to say if 2.4ghz actually performs any better than 27mhz. Anyway, thanks again for the excellent advice. I learned more about my boat without breaking it. Outstanding!
Starting to build the said boat, loyal Moderator any help will be appreciated. I have built boat before , but looking for any tips on this Loyal Moderator. I hope to add lights and smoke unit , plus sound unit. Thanking you in anticipation, Ken.
[Score: 10/10] 31" SATURN Capable of 5mph and a runtime of 45mins Geared to a Mfa (4 Blade) Powered by Lead Acid (12v) 4Amp/h Batteries Controlled Through Mtronik ESC - Comments: Fold down funnel, hunter smoke unit , lights
[Score: 5/10] Twin Propellors (4 Blade 45mm) Direct Drive Powered by Lead Acid (12v) 7Amp/h Batteries - Comments: I think that this is a Assurance class Tug of world war two vintage, It has tank steering, sound unit and a water vapor smoke unit, H.M.S ATTENTIF W68 French Naval Tug. Allocated SNO Portland for towing Bombardons. Built 1938 Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux. L114.75’. B27.75’. 672grt. 1000ihp 3cylTE steam engine. Armament 1x20mm AA, 2xMG. 1938 Delivered to French Navy. 19-6-1940 Arrived Plymouth. 3-7-1940 Seized and Req by RN. 9-1940 Based Devonport. 0-1940 Based at Aberdeen. 1-1941 Based at Milford Haven. 2-1941 – 1942 Based Aberdeen . 1942 – 1944 Based at Harwich. 5-1944 - 1945 Based Portsmouth. 6-1944 Towed 30ton crane 1206 Cardiff to Plymouth. 5-6-1945 Released from Overlord tug pool. 7-8-1945 Returned to French Navy, pennant A671. 1946-7 Renamed Locmine. 6-3-1964 Laid up at Brest. The Bombardons were large 200 ft (61 m) by 25 ft (7.6 m) cross-shaped floating breakwaters fabricated in steel that were anchored outside the main breakwaters that consisted of Gooseberries (scuttled ships) and Phoenixes (concrete caissons). 24 bombardon units, attached to one another with hemp ropes, would create a 1 mi (1.6 km) breakwater. During the storms at the end 1944 some Bombardons broke up and sank while others parted their anchors and drifted down onto the harbours, possibly causing more damage
Received my smoke generator in today's post. Haven't had the opportunity to test it yet! Also need 5/8" brass tubing. To run up the stack! I had ordered some 5/8" plastic tubing. But I don't like it. It's all curved up don't like at all! Note: I used 1/4" piece of wood dowel. To hold the clear hose that's used for the smoker! It worked really nice! and has practically no weight what so ever!
Hi Ballast The unit needs to be mounted vertically inside or under the smoke stack, with access to allow you to top up the smoke fluid into the unit. Current draw is about 2-3 amps so you will either need a relay/microswitch driven by a servo or electronic switch capable of switching 3 amps to switch it on or off. You will need a spare channel on your Rx to operate, preferably one controlled by a switch on the tx. You can use the main battery but it will reduce your running time because of the high current. You will need a 6v unit if you wish to use your existing battery.