I was rebuilding a couple of Vintage Flyer Smoke assemblies. One had burned out titanium wire and the angle hair was black, I cut it out, pulled some hair up and wound in the bottom. then installed a brand new Lionel 27 ohm heater. Man it smoked like crazy, then it was out of fluid. so quick I thought. I took it apart to do some checking. That dang heater at 5 volts is over 200 degrees, at 10 volts its up to 280, then at 15 volts it was nearly 400 degrees and red dang hot!!!! I happened to have a voltage regulator I throw into the mix and cranked it all the way down. It limits Amperage at 15 volts to .5 A and the heater coil never went over 220 Degrees. At 5 volts the heater was at 185 voltage as amperage was up to .75. So this is a solution but the regulator is like 5 dollars. 

Anyone have a good idea how to get nice smoke at low volts AND higher volts? Or a cheaper regulator if that is the answer.

I seemed to have forgotten all my EE training over the years.   Dennis in Virginiasmoke heater testTest Meters on Smoke

DMurf, old Flyer guy using 3D design and printing to adapt TMCC and MTH PS2 into original Gilbert S Gauge with fan smoke and chuff triggers and fireboxes etc etc etc  


Photos (2)
Original Post

For future reference the wire in the Gilbert smoke units is NiChrome resistance wire, not titanium. Any properly maintained Gilbert engine will run faster than you want at 12V, sustained 15V at the engine is not realistic.

From the picture you show there is a basic problem, did you meter the resistor? Ohms law is resistance is equal to voltage divided by current. Your meters read .8A at 15V so the resistor you have is 19ohms, not 27. Resistors are generally linear over the design range. With a 27ohm resistor the current reading should be .55A. Assuming the engine is running at 12V, the resistor is in contact with the dampened wick and there is airflow from the piston there should be no problem. Or do as Bill said and get a replacement NiChrome wick, they are widely available.


this is one of those times when I think newer is not better. the original ACG designs (there are two different SIB units) work well, have for decades! Some original units are still functioning well!

As the first suggestion: go back to the original design, you want about 35-40 ohms resistance.


David "two rails" Dewey

Add Reply

Likes (0)
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653