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I have a K Line K612/K613 smoking caboose.  The resistor is ceramic coated and it appears to be cracked.  I am not sure if it is functioning so I was going to crack the ceramic off to inspect.  If that fails, what size resistor is typical in these units?  I don't typically run smoke in cabooses, but my son does and it's his !





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@cjack posted:

Running TMCC or Conventional?

Excellent question because the one thing I was warned about is that how may people have destroyed a smoking caboose running with command control typical 18V on the track.

Example topics

Link with pictures showing the damage that can happen

I'm not trying to tell you not to use the smoke unit, but you specifically said with your son. The last thing you want is something cooking off and melting.

Bottom line is, the stock system may have not been ideal, many people modified it or flat out switched to something entirely different.

@dennish posted:

Sorry, he runs in command.

Given that, I would either recommend not running with smoke or this might take experimentation to find an ideal value.

This is now a bad example given new information in this topic, you could use the common 27 Ohm standard Lionel typical smoke resistor, however in command (18V on the track) you want to half wave feed that through a suggested 3A diode.

But even then that might lead to overheating. So then say you use a higher 30 Ohm resistor plus diode or maybe even higher value, but many of those are then not the uncoated wire wound style so they get hot but may not smoke well.

I know, none of this is the happy easy answer you might have been hoping for.

Last edited by Vernon Barry

The original value of the resistor was 62 ohms @ 3 watts, but for conventional running only.

That sounds good. I figured maybe a 5 Watt resistor, running 18 vac would result in about 64.8 ohms. With no regard for heatsinking.

What do the new Lionel cabooses use for a ckt? Running command they seem to put out a wisp of smoke and nothing melts. Fan driven smoke unit as GRJ suggests?

So far I've found this control for caboose smoke...

IMG_0515IMG_0513IMG_0515IMG_0513 I need to learn to check this forum before I flip the switch from off to on. Note that the switch was in the DCS position. I will follow the advice and not turn it on until I replace it with a fan unit.

note that the second picture it is smoking sitting on the workbench a good minute or two after I removed it from the track


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I just got one of these and am also concerned about a meltdown when running in command @ 18-20v track power.  Would it be possible to wire in a voltage limiting resistor before the smoke unit to drop the voltage down to something more appropriate, but still maintain smoke functionality?  Any idea what value resistor might work?

@cjack posted:

Good answer! Is there a schematic on the smoking cabooses that had the conventional/18 vac switches?

I don't know of a schematic, but my guess is that the K-Line caboose probably did something like a diode switched in.  If the K-Line caboose wasn't such a PITA to take apart, I'd pull one of mine apart and see if it's just a diode as I suspect.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

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