Lionel Steam Engines, Smoke Pellets or Liquid ?

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Lionel Steam Engines, Smoke Pellets or Liquid ?
Posted by krapug1 on Thursday, November 15, 2007 7:40 PM

OK for those of you who operate Lionel PW era Steam Engines, which smoke method in YOUR opinion worked better ?

SP, Smoke Pellets, or Liquid Smoke Fluid.

Yes, I know that CTT included Smoke Pellets in a feature it did on Sleepers and Duds, and it ranked Smoke pellets as a dud. However, my 671RR, and it's older smoke pellet type of smoke element smokes the heck out of my modern era Lionel engines that use smoke fluid,.

Which do YOU feel works better ?

Ken

....and for the record, the only smoke fluid type of smoke unit that I have found to keep up with my 671RR is my trusty Marx 666. Yes, I am well aware of MTH and the proto-smoke system, BUT I do not
now, nor will ever use ANY MTH product.
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Posted by LS1Heli on Thursday, November 15, 2007 7:53 PM

I don't think it's a matter of what works better. The fact is that unless it is a 746 or 6557, it should be using a smoke pellet and only a smoke pellet. I personally have not noticed a difference between the original postwar pellet and the new commonly available pellet by Toy Trains Unlimited. I still struggle with the fact that people pour liquid down a postwar engine. Regardless of what the result is, it was designed for use with a solid.

I have had some postwar engines smoke well and others so-so. All of my modern equipment smokes well too. However, the $1,500 engines with the 3 smoke levels like on my Lionel 38095 N&W 611, have the capability to set smoke dectectors off. A fan driven smoke unit on "high" really gives the effect that your on the main line!

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:20 PM

There are many 1957-1969 locos that have liquid smoke requirements.

Any pill type smoker works fine with the liquids.  The only difference is the temperature that the material melts at(pills are solid at room temp, liquid isn't... they're both liquid while smoking).

The initial several puffs are more intense with the pills,  liquid in a pill smoker seems to last with better consistancy for most of our locos(726RR/671/736 especially).

Rob 

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Posted by sir james I on Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:45 PM
The pellets always made good smoke, but I use liquid in all of my engines without any problems. Like Rob said the pellet turns to liquid when hot.

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, November 15, 2007 10:22 PM
 I always loved my pill smokers and put a drop of liquid in as well for the different flavors. as far as smoke output, I read a thread on this forum (sorry, can't remember who wrote it) about taking the factory wadding out of the modern fluid units and repacking with pink fiberglass insulation. after I did it the smoke was twice as much. so now I have to say liquid makes the most smoke. P.S. thanks to who ever thought of it.
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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, November 16, 2007 5:13 AM

 

I have several post war steamers, and run pills and fluid in all of them, depending upon my mood. I was wrongly advised by a forum member to use 4 drops of smoke fluid in my post war steamers, and as a result, they didn't smoke very well. Too much fluid! Once I cut back to only 1 or 2 drops, the smoke output increased dramatically.  

I have noticed that some of these steamers smoke better with fiberglass insulation underneath the heating element. I say "some" because I haven't converted them all.

 

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Posted by sir james I on Friday, November 16, 2007 10:56 AM
Jumijo- 4 drops doesn't sound like much, but if the wadding was old or your train is running at a low voltage that would certainly make a difference in smoke output.

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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, November 16, 2007 11:12 AM

 

That's right. Try putting 4 drops of smoke fluid on a non-pourus surface. It's a lot for a post war smoke unit to have to heat up. Especially at lower voltages. And due to capillary action, some of that fluid is going to slide off the heater and end up in the bowl where it will accumulate and make a mess that will eventually need to be cleaned out.

By only putting in 1 or 2 drops, you reduce the amount of wasted fluid and the heater can more easily and efficiently (ie-lower voltages) turn the fluid into vapor "smoke". You can always add more if you need it. But emptying out fluid because you put too much in is a hassle.

Jim

 

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, November 16, 2007 3:14 PM
   I usually put a drop on the SP and let it soak in and then drop it in. I wouldn't put more than 1 drop directly in a pill type heater, it will just run off into the bowl and eventually cause some kind of problem.
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Posted by sir james I on Friday, November 16, 2007 4:47 PM
but but, if it has good wadding it should hold four drops and become a wick for the heater element. However if it's old and burnt or crusted from old pellet residue it's not going to work as entended.

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Posted by krapug1 on Friday, November 16, 2007 5:16 PM


Back to the original topic for a moement.

What smoke generating system do you feel works better ??

The smoke pellet system, or the later developed smoke fluid system ?

Ken
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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, November 16, 2007 5:35 PM

 krapug1 wrote:


Back to the original topic for a moement.

What smoke generating system do you feel works better ??

The smoke pellet system, or the later developed smoke fluid system ?

Ken

Your original question was what worked better - Pellets or fluid? I thought you meant which of those worked better in a pill-type heater.

I've heard that the fluid heaters tend to burn out faster than pill-types. On the other hand, I think the fluid smokers produce better smoke. When I replace elements, I always use a pill-type, because it can use pills OR liquid. The difference in the amount of smoke isn't that big a deal to me.

See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

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