Reply to "Holy Smoke! It’s Smokin’ Diesel Day!"

Arnold D. Cribari posted:

I have found that MTH diesels with smoke produce a fair amount of smoke in neutral with maximum power applied. However, when running at 10 to 12 volts, the smoke is either nil or barely noticeable. 

I would love to know a smoking diesel that produces obviously noticeable smoke when running at 10 to 12 volts. Sometimes my Lionel Legacy D&H RS-11 dies that and sometimes it does not. 

My guess is that it is important to put in just the right amount of smoke fluid in order for the smoke to be good at normal running speed.

Except as noted below I can't speak to MTH smoke units running under conventional control. I do know that a lot depends on a good supply of power to the track, which is largely a function of good wiring as well as the transformer used.

There was a thread on the subject of voltage supply to various Lionel smoke units, which you can see here: https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...h-lionel-smoke-units. The main comments are towards the end, including some from our resident Guru, GRJ.

As I understand it basically with most Legacy units there's a voltage regulator that is supposed to ensure sufficient voltage to the smoke unit over most of the range of voltage used in conventional operation. This matters at least as much as having a smoke unit that is not overfilled or running dry. I agree that with late model Legacy smoke units there's a "sweet spot" in terms of how well saturated the smoke batting is and certain settings like EFX and smoke volume. That's in addition to there being a good power supply to the track. 

 
Arnold D. Cribari posted:

In other words, please let me know which smoking diesel of yours smokes the best.

OK, this first example is not a diesel except at the front of the combined unit but this engine is not called "Ol' Smoky" in my household for nothing. This was a PS1 MTH UP80 coal turbine that years ago Train America Studios converted to PS2 for me. With three smoke units it has always generated vast could of smoke, as I imagine the prototype did at least from the middle turbine stack. This photo doesn't do it real justice because the background is light:

Ol_Smoky_2018

For a true diesel I offer the below, another MTH PS2 model this time of the UP DDA40X shown here just a few seconds into its startup sequence:

MTH_DDA40X

Lastly,both of these models were made before the point a couple of years ago when MTH made its diesels more "realistic" by linking smoke output to rpm levels; as a result, if you're used to older MTH smoke output you might be fooled into thinking there's something wrong with a model that is not belching smoke at startup, idle or slow speed. I assume that this feature also applies to conventional operation but in any case I prefer the old school versions. 

 

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