First off, I'm running in command.

I'm trying to get a little more smoke out of my Lionel 6-18043  circa about 1995.

The smoke unit is simple with no wicking and just that "sleeve" over the resistor.  I removed the sleeve and am going to try a lower resistor than the 30 ohm that is presently in it.  I'll also put a little wicking in and see how that goes.

It has an LCRU 0412 (C) 95 Liontech board.

What does the board do with respect to controlling the smoke unit?  One end of the resistor goes to the board.  Is this just on/off via Cab keys 8 and 9 or does it also control voltage?  Any harm in going lower with a suitable resistor?

I 've also noticed that when the engine is not moving the smoke unit shuts off.  How is this accomplished?

Thanks for the help Gents....much appreciated.





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Original Post

Removing the sleeve is a good start. Can you pack some wicking in along side the resistor? That might make a big difference. I don't see the gasket in the photo's. Do you have one for it? 

Thats a puffer style smoke unit. Only Puffs when the train is moving and pumping the piston. 

Yes Forest I do have the gasket.  As you probably know the resistor sits vertically and the idea is to pack around it with some wicking. 

Still would like to know how the smoke unit and the board work together in this unit.

Nice running engine and pretty smooth given it's a pulmore without cruise.

I can't answer about lowering the resistor value as to how much current draw the board can handle. Maybe Gunrunnerjohn or one of the more electronic savvy can answer that. I didn't make any suggestions so as not be responsible for any damage that might possibly be caused. If you bypass the board and wire the smoke unit straight to  track power it would eliminate possible board failure but then you will lose TMCC Control of the smoke unit. 

The original LCRU is only capable of supplying maybe around 300ma to the smoke unit, they use the tiny MAC97A4 triac.  The newer LCRU-2 uses a much more robust triac for smoke control.  Your locomotive has the original, so I wouldn't reduce the resistor value any.

Well, you could put a lower value smoke resistor in it.  OTOH, if you really want good smoke, I'd bite the bullet and give it a fan driven smoke unit.

Creativity is required.   I did a full upgrade on one of these several years back, fan driven smoke and a Super-Chuffer, really made a huge difference.


I managed to get a solid 60% better output using the stock resistor.

First take off the sleeve.  If it is burnt on use a little alcohol and ...Gently!....use a toothpick to move some of the sleeve residue.  If it is too far gone, use a new 28-30 ohm resistor.

Next I placed a piece of MTH wicking a little longer than the resistor standing up along side the resistor with a little sitting on the bottom so it can wick up the fluid.  Once closed up the resistor holds the wicking in place.

This smoke chamber is divided in 2.  Keep the wicking in the same chamber as the resistor.  This is important.  The MTH wicking worked better for me than the Lionel wicking for this application.


I'm sure you can coax a little more out of the smoke unit.  I'm just totally hard over on having synchronized fan driven smoke, so you have to take that into account.

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