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Before I go buy a handful of some company's fan driven smoke units, are there smoke units intended for factory smoke stacks? I'm modelling the steel industry and intend to create smoke stacks for the blast furnace, open hearth, Bessemer converter (if I model it), boiler house, and blower house. There are other small industries that could use exhaust but the mill is my main focus. I already have a fume hood installed at the basement work bench so I intend to tap into that to prevent the smoke from getting out of hand.

I initially thought maybe using a fog machine would be a more efficient route. I haven't abandoned that. I just thought I would ask in case somebody has been down this road before. 

Original Post

This is a bit of an aside, but...

Has anybody ever tried one of those little ultrasonic mist makers instead of a real smoke generator?

https://www.amazon.com/Gumps-g...YY4/ref=sr_1_88_sspa

These things are available in many shapes and sizes and produce an impressive amount of cool water vapor. No chemicals except H2O. I don't know if the moisture would create any issues, but I kind of think not. 

I've been meaning to give this a try, but have never gotten around to it. Anybody have any data?

@Avanti posted:

This is a bit of an aside, but...

Has anybody ever tried one of those little ultrasonic mist makers instead of a real smoke generator?

https://www.amazon.com/Gumps-g...YY4/ref=sr_1_88_sspa

These things are available in many shapes and sizes and produce an impressive amount of cool water vapor. No chemicals except H2O. I don't know if the moisture would create any issues, but I kind of think not. 

I've been meaning to give this a try, but have never gotten around to it. Anybody have any data?

Not crazy about water around my layout.  Too much bad experience with rust (and mold and mildew).

Look at Harbormodels.com for smoke generators.  They are a site for the r/c boat hobbyists. There are a few different smoke generators listed some are 12 volt and some 6 volt . Watch because a few need r/c servos for them to work.  Might be pricey but you get up to 3 hours smoke output with a single 1/2 ounce filling. Also they're designed for multiple smoke stacks/chimneys using flexible plastic tubing and fittings.

Possibly one unit could provide enough smoke for all your stack. 

Chris from the Lehigh Valley Hirailers has an atomic power plant cooling tower on a module that uses water vapor.  I believe it has about half a dozen similar ultrasonic generators in the base.  Puts out an impressive amount of fog, really looks cool.  It does have it's advantages, it's odorless and should dissipate without leaving moisture on everything.  The times I've seen his cooling tower in operation I didn't see any water issues.

I mean I think water vapor would be plausible since open heart stacks were high up. I run a dehumidifier where the layout will go so I feel like that could work. I guess that a nickel track shouldnt rust.

I'll be making a decision sooner than I think I tore out most of the cruddy shelves that were in the way. A weekend worth of wall painting and I should be able to start bench work and figuring out how to fit this all on the layout. I lost this weekend because I had to work

@BillYo414 posted:

I mean I think water vapor would be plausible since open heart stacks were high up. I run a dehumidifier where the layout will go so I feel like that could work. I guess that a nickel track shouldnt rust.

I'll be making a decision sooner than I think I tore out most of the cruddy shelves that were in the way. A weekend worth of wall painting and I should be able to start bench work and figuring out how to fit this all on the layout. I lost this weekend because I had to work

First of all, thanks for starting a very interesting and useful topic.

I, too, have an open hearth mill on the layout.  Or had (shown below).  It used Lionel industrial smokestacks (6-14142), which have been extended by adding another middle section from a donor stack.  Despite the photo, Lionel's product does not produce the volume of smoke depicted.    And maybe that's a good thing.  The real thing, as I remember it, belched huge clouds of orange, gray, brown, and black smoke into the air and deposited graphite and other debris on my grandmother's laundry.     I am all for modeling accuracy, but let's not go crazy.    

6-14142_1550100_1696SAM_0390W

While this version was fine for its purposes, I am planning to scratch-build a larger, more authentic looking structure with a visible interior.  The late Mike Rabbit supplied me with the plans for a generic open hearth mill which I have used to draw up my representation of Weirton Steel's OH.   I am still planning on using the Lionel industrial smokestacks, but this topic has given me some thoughts about how to simulate the charging of an oven and the pouring of steel into ingot cars.

Open Hearth Structural Drawings v22-TrussOpen Hearth Structural Drawings v24 - Charging FloorOpen Hearth Structural Drawings v24 - Pouring Floor

Please keep the ideas coming!

George

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  • Open Hearth Structural Drawings v24 - Charging Floor
  • Open Hearth Structural Drawings v24 - Pouring Floor

I remember going into my friend's garage attic/loft in the late 90s when we were kids. We were covered in super fine black dust when we came down. I wonder if it was crud from the open hearth. His house was across the street and river from 5 blast furnaces and an open hearth. 

Which part of charging? Pouring the iron in or dumping the charge box? Are you going to model a mixer? I don't know if they are prototypical from years ago. 

Alright just hear me out... I was thinking hot glue and an orange LED strip might get it done for pouring/tapping. Light travels decently through whatever hot glue is made of and hot glue stays semi flexible after it cools. I was thinking that you could "cast" the hot glue (or any similar pourable plastic) into the runner at the base of a BF or OH. Then activate orange LEDs in the runners when you "pour" iron/steel. I have to get my table up and the cast hour floor complete to test this but I remember how the light looked in the hot glue on the cardboard mills I made as young engineer on my first layout. I'll be tinkering as soon as I get the space to do it. I just don't know what you would create the illusion of a filled ladle with. I have printed some beautiful ladles though. I haven't painted them but I was pleased with how they looked off the printer. I attached a pic of an early version. It came from a Youngstown Sheet & Tube drawing I got at the museum archives here. 

This brainstorm of modelling ideas might find itself in a new thread haha

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@BillYo414 posted:

I remember going into my friend's garage attic/loft in the late 90s when we were kids. We were covered in super fine black dust when we came down. I wonder if it was crud from the open hearth. His house was across the street and river from 5 blast furnaces and an open hearth. 

Which part of charging? Pouring the iron in or dumping the charge box? Are you going to model a mixer? I don't know if they are prototypical from years ago. 

Alright just hear me out... I was thinking hot glue and an orange LED strip might get it done for pouring/tapping. Light travels decently through whatever hot glue is made of and hot glue stays semi flexible after it cools. I was thinking that you could "cast" the hot glue (or any similar pourable plastic) into the runner at the base of a BF or OH. Then activate orange LEDs in the runners when you "pour" iron/steel. I have to get my table up and the cast hour floor complete to test this but I remember how the light looked in the hot glue on the cardboard mills I made as young engineer on my first layout. I'll be tinkering as soon as I get the space to do it. I just don't know what you would create the illusion of a filled ladle with. I have printed some beautiful ladles though. I haven't painted them but I was pleased with how they looked off the printer. I attached a pic of an early version. It came from a Youngstown Sheet & Tube drawing I got at the museum archives here. 

This brainstorm of modelling ideas might find itself in a new thread haha

I assume those questions were for me?  I am not sure yet about what part of charging to model.  I do have plans for a wide-gauge charging machine.  

Weirton Steel's mixer was on the north end of their Open Hearth.  I don't have space for it.  The building will be roughly 34" wide x 62" long and will approach a backdrop (divider) at a 45 degree angle.  Only the south end of the building will be visible / modeled.  Below is an early concept / plan of the area.

Open Hearth Track Layout

I like your idea about hot glue and an orange LED strip.    That has potential!

I love that ladle!!  Can you make me one?  Please shoot me an e-mail with the details.

George

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  • Open Hearth Track Layout

They were questions for you. 

 

A wide scale charge car would be cool. I haven't decided what to do in the open hearth building yet. I hope to charge and tap but we shall see. I think the idea to angle the building a good one for appearance and for the effect of getting more building into a space. 

I'll post about the hot metal when I get to it. 

I'll email you. 

@Avanti posted:

This is a bit of an aside, but...

Has anybody ever tried one of those little ultrasonic mist makers instead of a real smoke generator?

https://www.amazon.com/Gumps-g...YY4/ref=sr_1_88_sspa

These things are available in many shapes and sizes and produce an impressive amount of cool water vapor. No chemicals except H2O. I don't know if the moisture would create any issues, but I kind of think not. 

I've been meaning to give this a try, but have never gotten around to it. Anybody have any data?

What's not obvious is this style of transducer acts as its own "fan" propelling the mist with enough momentum to climb, say, a smokestack. 

Also, unlike our resistor-heater smoke units, you can get instant on-off "smoke" ... no warm-up time required!  In this case the module has an on/off button but could be replaced with an electronic switch (e.g., transistor) synchronized to the modeled intermittent action.

This particular module draws a fixed ~2 Watts of power with no adjustment to smoke volume or "fan speed".

Note I am just answering the posed question.  Clearly there are many i's to dot and t's to cross to prepare it for prime time.

If you do eBay and can wait for shipping from Asia, you can get the electronic module and replacement transducers for a fraction of the Amazon price in the earlier link.

Last edited by stan2004

That video sure as heck makes it look appealing! And naturally I'm wondering if I could add dyes/food coloring/whatever to make it colored. 

The more I think about water vapor, the less worried I am about rust and such. Just because open hearth stacks are so stinkin' tall. I can't see rust being an issue with nickel tracks and painted locos and rolling stock. Maybe I'll set one up when I get the track done and just let it spew for a month and see what happens. 

The holy-grail of smoke color for modeling is black.  It sure would be interesting to get a handle on how ultrasonic "atomization" transducers handle the difference between dyes vs. pigments ... or suspended vs. dissolved particles.

black food coloring

There is no shortage of self-proclaimed expertise on these ultrasonic transducers such as whether you should use distilled water vs. "tap" water and so on.  I have zero expertise in this regard.  But I do see vendors selling these atomizers for aromatherapy so "something" more than plain-old H20 can be emitted.

The good news is you won't break the bank messing with these gadgets.  If you "clog up" the transducer with an incompatible liquid, it can be replaced for maybe $1.  As with our heater-resistors where you can burn/char the wick if operating dry; you should not operate ultrasonic transducers "dry".  While the mist is cool, the vibrating transducers get hot to the touch if dry...and possibly irreversibly fail.  The metaphor is almost uncanny!  That is, the concept of replacing the smoke wick and possibly even the smoke heater-resistors is akin to replacing the ultrasonic transducers which themselves have a finite life albeit typically in the thousands of hours.

OTOH if you're not after black, in previous threads I've shown how a colored LED can provide a reasonable illusion of colored smoke by illuminating the smoke stream.  Here's photo from an earlier OGR thread where a blue LED models the "blue" smoke from a diesel engine.  AFAIK there is no such thing as a black LED. 

ogr%20LED%20blue-smoke

 

 

 

 

 

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I was assuming distilled water was a requirement because the minerals in tap water would be too heavy to vaporize or float. So we'll have to find out. I'll have to tinker when the time comes. I came across a video of some kind of smoke device that creates non toxic breathable black smoke but it had to be burned and put out an obscene amount of smoke. It wouldn't have worked. But maybe the water will! 

@BillYo414 posted:

That video sure as heck makes it look appealing! And naturally I'm wondering if I could add dyes/food coloring/whatever to make it colored. 

The more I think about water vapor, the less worried I am about rust and such. Just because open hearth stacks are so stinkin' tall. I can't see rust being an issue with nickel tracks and painted locos and rolling stock. Maybe I'll set one up when I get the track done and just let it spew for a month and see what happens. 

Bill,

To your point about the height of open hearth stacks, it's possible to extend the length of the Lionel Industrial Smokestack (6-14142) almost indefinitely.  This is done by cannibalizing a stack and using the middle piece.  That will buy you about 8".  The other thing you can do to gain height is to mount the stack inside the building (all stacks in the Weirton Steel OH emanated from the roof).   That buys you about 6".

Here's a shot of two Lionel smokestacks (altered).  On the left is a "shorty" created by removing the middle section and "donating" it to the one on the right.  That 28.5" high stack will end up in my new OH.  The shorty will end up in some other building - perhaps a powerhouse?  That's still TBD.

Stack Comparison

Here are a few photos showing how the stacks were mounted in my old OH to increase their apparent height.  

In this shot from the rear of the building, the wooden platform for the stacks is visible at the right.

IMG_0231

This photo shows the mountings and wiring for both stacks.

Figure 13

Finally, this photo shows the stacks mounted inside the building.  A piece of foamcore is lined up.  You can see the markings where I am going to cut the holes.  Later, the foamcore will be covered with Plastruct or Evergreen corrugated roofing.

Figure 20

Placing that cool misting unit at the very top of each stack would create a very realistic effect!  And running the wiring, that's no big deal at all.  I like this idea!  

George

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  • Figure 13
  • Figure 20
  • Stack Comparison
@GVDobler posted:

Could LEDs be combined like a color wheel?

I remember my first projection TV only had 3 light guns. Yellow, blue, and red. All colors came from those three guns.

That is kind of a strange color wheel. It seems to be confusing the two different kinds of color mixing: (1) Additive, and (2) subtractive. They are very different. Importantly, they have different "primary" colors.

When you are mixing LIGHT, you are doing "additive" mixing. In that case, the primaries are RED, GREEN, and BLUE. Mixing those colors gets you WHITE, not black.

When you are mixing PIGMENTS, you are doing "subtractive" mixing. In that case, the primaries are YELLOW, CYAN, and MAGENTA.  Mixing those primaries does indeed give you BLACK. 

The difference is due to the fact that pigments don't emit light, they absorb it, and you see what is reflected rather than what is absorbed. Your projection TV would have had RED, GREEN, and BLUE, not yellow.

Your chart appears to be SUBTRACTIVE, but it seems to be labeling CYAN as "blue" and MAGENTA as "red", which is not correct.

LEDs are additive, so you can make WHITE, but not BLACK.

Last edited by Avanti
@BillYo414 posted:

I mean I think water vapor would be plausible since open heart stacks were high up. I run a dehumidifier where the layout will go so I feel like that could work. I guess that a nickel track shouldnt rust.

I'll be making a decision sooner than I think I tore out most of the cruddy shelves that were in the way. A weekend worth of wall painting and I should be able to start bench work and figuring out how to fit this all on the layout. I lost this weekend because I had to work

Not worried about track rusting, but water plays pure-dee **** with electric motors of all kinds, and can warp wood and card stock.

Note more expensive "black screens" are often an improvement for projection in a brightly painted or light leaky room.

I've seen cabinet games that used the mixed color set in monitor board labeling. Some as MCY, MCG, you name it.

The context is normally there for a electronic tech. (could've been poor translation too)  (not a counterpoint so much as a possible explanation; color wheel exactness isn't always that important there, the label text won't change the final output of the equipment....parts might   

Stage gel companies used both descriptively. E.g. Magenta was red, but red was more red; so I imagine some of that spread into projection TV lamp sets too.  I never looked to mixed lamps to find out. (secondaries, Magenta, etc, is warmer and more natural looking imo)

@Forty Rod posted:

Not worried about track rusting, but water plays pure-dee **** with electric motors of all kinds, and can warp wood and card stock.

Good call. I imagined that was more of an environmental humidity than just the exhaust from stacks on the layout. I know I've struggled in the past with track rusting when the basement got flooded even though no water ever came in contact. 

Time will tell. I cleared the last corner of the basement today. Now I gotta paint and build a table. Then I'll try it out! 

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