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If you are willing to DIY, consider ultrasonic misting "technology" popularized by Aromatherapy essential oil diffusers.  There are thousands of different models out there starting around $10.   Here's a short video showing one in action.  A nice feature of the retail diffuser units is they shut off when the liquid runs out; too bad our trains don't have this feature! 

In an earlier OGR thread I show the misting transducer at the heart of these widgets.  There is NO heater to melt the walls of a plastic structure.  The transducer is generating a mist, not steam!   If you're willing to work at this level of DIY, the electronics and transducer are maybe $5.   

It's kind of neat how such a thin transducer can blast a stream of mist with enough momentum to climb a tube (e.g., chimney, smokestack).  No need for a fan motor as used in many train smoke units.

@stan2004 posted:

If you are willing to DIY, consider ultrasonic misting "technology" popularized by Aromatherapy essential oil diffusers.  There are thousands of different models out there starting around $10.   Here's a short video showing one in action.  A nice feature of the retail diffuser units is they shut off when the liquid runs out; too bad our trains don't have this feature!



In an earlier OGR thread I show the misting transducer at the heart of these widgets.  There is NO heater to melt the walls of a plastic structure.  The transducer is generating a mist, not steam!   If you're willing to work at this level of DIY, the electronics and transducer are maybe $5.   



It's kind of neat how such a thin transducer can blast a stream of mist with enough momentum to climb a tube (e.g., chimney, smokestack).  No need for a fan motor as used in many train smoke units.

Now let's see you generate chuffing smoke in the space allocated for the traditional smoke unit in a locomotive and we can talk.

@Forty Rod posted:

my only concern is using water anywhere near my O-27 tracks, switch motor, engines, and accessories that can rust solid in the Sahara.  Is this going to be a problem with these mist makers?

If it isn't then it looks like a better idea than the Seuthe units....simpler and at a lot lower cost.

Tell me more.

The short answer to your question about rusting is, "I don't know."

Obviously the Seuthe and similar "smoke" units were purpose-built for the modeling market.  I think it is early days (the jury is out) on whether the mister approach promotes rusting.  I don't recall anyone (on OGR anyway) actually building a smoking cabin or smoking whatever using this technology.  The electronics are actually quite interesting as you vibrate a ceramic disk at a very high frequency - way above audio frequencies so you can't hear it.  It essentially vibrates the heck out of the liquid thereby generating droplets/mist.  If the only application of this technology was in model trains, then I don't think it would be cost effective.  But like most technologies in our trains, we rely on consumer products to bring the cost down and then get lucky to re-purpose the technology into our hobby.

But some thoughts about water and trains.  I use an Aromatherapy mister for its intended purpose and I've never noticed any condensation around the diffuser...or any dampness on the surface of objects nearby.  From what I can tell (smell) the mist efficiently diffuses or disperses (as you'd want) into the air since any scent drops you mix into the water reservoir soon fills the room with said aroma.  I'm sure someone smarter than me can analyze the physics or whatever of all this using Relative Humidity, Dew Point Temperature, and so on.

As I hasten to point out, OGR is a discussion forum where we can exchange ideas about our hobby.  I don't have any solutions but would be interested in continued discussion!

Stan, thanks for bringing this up.  Earlier this year there was another topic (Alternative to Smoke Oil) about a ready made product by the UK company TRS Trains for exactly this purpose.

In the other thread concerns were raised about the proximity of water and electricity.  It may be a little known fact that uncontaminated distilled water is non-conductive.  Distilled water is what is recommend.

As far as humidity and rust are concerned, since the mister distributes the water vapor fairly well up into the air, if one is following the recommended practice of keeping their trains in a climate controlled environment and running a dehumidifier, I would think that running one or even a few of these small misters occasionally would not be an insurmountable problem.

I believe the biggest attraction to these would be for individuals who are unable to use traditional oil based smoke units due to respiratory issues within their household.

Here are some links with more info: https://www.keymodelworld.com/...sed-smoke-generators

Their facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/trs.trains/

and their email is: trstrains@yahoo.com

Scale: 'OO' and 'O' gauge | Price: from £100 (excluding decoder)

I fully appreciate that most model train enthusiasts would prefer to stick with the traditional oil type smoke units, but there may be a few who would like another alternative, especially if it could be DIYed inexpensively to fit inside the limited available space inside a locomotive.

I'm interested to see where this discussion might go towards that end...

Last edited by SteveH

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