Hi Guys, As the original designer of the Smoke Loader I would be interested in how your using it.

Hint: best way to get the loader up and running the first time. Program the unit, then put Run/Program switch in program mode hold down the brake key to prime the pump, this will get you up and running fast. don't forget to put something under the spout as it will stream fluid. It's always best to start this way for a given Train running session.

Ernie

Proud Member of the OGR Family, Designer of Unique TMCC Products, Lionel Collector and Operator, Lionel Beta Tester, Original Train-Ca-Teer Member

Original Post

I just received mine yesterday... I took it downstairs this morning.  I am having a problem getting the pump to move fluid...I didn't have a bunch of time before work.But I did try to get the pump into "drain mode" It ran for a second but will not run any longer in that configuration. It does burst still when in "run" mode. But still no fluid. I also took the liberty of using a straw and "gently" blowing into the reservoir and i have fluid at the end of the discharge nozzle so the pump is primed...Not sure why no fluid...????  I will look at it again tomorrow ..(I'm at work). 

Keith podolan

A really quick iPhone video to demo for those who don't have one.  I primed mine the way Ernie suggested and so far it works great.  One question is how much fluid will the reservoir hold?  I don't want to overfill.  

Still playing with location and height adjustments.

Ernie, I received my smoke loader on Monday last week. I finally got a chance to add it to my railroad on Friday. The boom operates fine with my Cab 2 and my lcs app. I cannot get the pump to prime even after I discovered your post which suggested using the program switch I only let it run about thirty seconds. Don't know if that is enough or not. I put about 4 ounces of fluid in the tank. Also I noticed a three position switch on the top of the pump. Does its position matter? Thanks

 

Tom

Lionel2341 posted:

Hi Guys, As the original designer of the Smoke Loader I would be interested in how your using it.

Hint: best way to get the loader up and running the first time. Program the unit, then put Run/Program switch in program mode hold down the brake key to prime the pump, this will get you up and running fast. don't forget to put something under the spout as it will stream fluid. It's always best to start this way for a given Train running session.

Ernie

How long does it take? What is that switch inside?

Poor documentation...kind of a mystery product. Who wrote the manual?

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Ottawa Biker posted:

Ernie, I received my smoke loader on Monday last week. I finally got a chance to add it to my railroad on Friday. The boom operates fine with my Cab 2 and my lcs app. I cannot get the pump to prime even after I discovered your post which suggested using the program switch I only let it run about thirty seconds. Don't know if that is enough or not. I put about 4 ounces of fluid in the tank. Also I noticed a three position switch on the top of the pump. Does its position matter? Thanks

 

Tom

For the first time I decided to try the Smoke Fluid Loader out to see if it pumped fluid since your's obviously does not. I put 2 oz of fluid, a whole bottle of Lionel Premium Smoke Fluid in it and cannot get it to pump any out. I tried the streaming method with the Prog/Run switch in Prog and clearly hear the pump running fast, but nothing comes out. So then I put a piece of windshield washer hose on the output stem and sucked while running the pump and got a mouth full of Smoke Fluid. So I put the arm back on and ran the "streaming in Prog mode" again for a minute and still nothing. Surely it's primed now since I brought the fluid all the way out of the stem coming out of the roof. The pump just does not pump but obviously the fluid is able to come thru the pipes if I suck on it.

Are there pump seals that need to soak up fluid...? Kind of frustrating, eh?

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

AH HA! I SEE WHAT IS WRONG! I sucked gently and brought some bubbles and fluid up the transparent hoses inside the little house. Then I ran the pump and the pump sucked the fluid and tiny bubbles back down. The hoses are clearly hooked up backwards or is that something with the inside switch?

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

IT'S THE INSIDE SWITCH which has to be switched AWAY from the OUTSIDE WALL so the pump will suck fluid out of the tank instead of running it back into the tank. I think the pump switch is switched toward the inside of the house for pumping fluid, in the middle position probably for off, and toward the outside wall for back pumping.

Anyway it works now...after I rewrote the manual.

BTW, the switch on mine came in the wrong position from new.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

cjack posted:

IT'S THE INSIDE SWITCH which has to be switched AWAY from the OUTSIDE WALL so the pump will suck fluid out of the tank instead of running it back into the tank. I think the pump switch is switched toward the inside of the house for pumping fluid, in the middle position probably for off, and toward the outside wall for back pumping.

Anyway it works now...after I rewrote the manual.

BTW, the switch on mine came in the wrong position from new.

Well that will be handy information....  I hadn't actually powered mine up yet, but I will check for what you describe.

Sorry to hear about the mouth full of smoke fluid - ick..... !!!  Thanks for warning the rest of us!

-Dave

Surprised the switch is being shipped in the wrong position, it should be to the right with the front doors facing you.

Switch positions are as follows,  reverse-off-forward from left to right. I'm surprised this is not mentioned in the manual.

Ernie

Proud Member of the OGR Family, Designer of Unique TMCC Products, Lionel Collector and Operator, Lionel Beta Tester, Original Train-Ca-Teer Member

Lionel2341 posted:

Surprised the switch is being shipped in the wrong position, it should be to the right with the front doors facing you.

Switch positions are as follows,  reverse-off-forward from left to right. I'm surprised this is not mentioned in the manual.

Ernie

Thanks, I like it, that's a better description of the switch than mine. I looked fairly carefully in the manual for the switch but it's not in there that I found. I penciled it in mine. I also labeled the switch in the unit. That would have been satisfory if not in the manual. I have found Lionel manuals to be somewhat lacking in technical details...kind of like "No user serviceable items inside". The switch is kind of inside.

There are drawings of wires instead of schematics in many accessory manuals. I personally think that that plays to dumbing down the customer base. I also think that the interest in how it works and how to personalize a product increases the customer base and interest.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

According to Mike Reagan, the three position slide switch inside the Smoke Fluid Loader will reverse the pump if in the wrong position. The center position turns the pump off. The correct position on the one I have is to the right when you look in with the front facing you. If you can't get any fluid to come out, you might try moving the position of that switch to the opposite side.   
Best,
Bill Schmeelk

Thanks "NM". No biggie on the pics. (need help? ask, or even e-mail me, but I think maybe that's been offered before; correct?)

  It is likely a "slip collar". Good fittings you simply push a tube into. Press a collar for release. Still speculation on my part, but the tubing type was that cats main curiosity anyhow.

Got my fingers crossed for all parties here .

The smoke fluid pump is an accessory I dreamed about 50 years ago .

The follow up concern shown, reflects a pertain pride that's very refreshing.

Seeing them made was as cool as knowing Lionel made a Jawn Henry

  I bet they are still opening all the letters sent in the 60's and 70's, by Gramps with Jawn requests at the core.

 Relax Ernie, I wont be over filling your inbox. You guys already did the vanishing coal loads too ...Hey, is this house bugged or sumptin'  

  .....

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





nmtrains posted:

Adriatic, soft tubing,not a barb fitting-never seen a connector as was presented,appears to be molded into pump housing! And sorry don't know the how-to for pics.

I also ran into the same problem......it appears the clear tube attached at the pump intake has a molded thinner end which is inserted into the pump.  On mine, that molded end appeared to break off.....my fix which was to insert a short, narrow piece of shrink tubing into the original clear tube and then insert the other end of the shrink tube into the pump.....this seems to work for me at the moment, until I can call Lionel for a new tube.

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

BF166,Sorry for your dilemma! If I'm reading you right reducing tube size would create a "bottle neck/pressure problem"-I would think-perhaps bursting tube at this point(when in prime mode} We'll see what Lionel has to say! Hope this isn't an "Archilles heel" in this product though.

Bill Schmeelk posted:

According to Mike Reagan, the three position slide switch inside the Smoke Fluid Loader will reverse the pump if in the wrong position. The center position turns the pump off. The correct position on the one I have is to the right when you look in with the front facing you. If you can't get any fluid to come out, you might try moving the position of that switch to the opposite side.   
Best,
Bill Schmeelk

Mornin, Switch was in right hand position as described by Bernie_(LIONEL2341) facing doors at front of accessory.

nmtrains posted:

BF166,Sorry for your dilemma! If I'm reading you right reducing tube size would create a "bottle neck/pressure problem"-I would think-perhaps bursting tube at this point(when in prime mode} We'll see what Lionel has to say! Hope this isn't an "Archilles heel" in this product though.

Good point,......but Lionels molded insert also narrows the original tube so it fits into the pump.....what I did simulates it.....nevertheless.....I will see if Lionel will send me out a new tube.

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

nmtrains posted:
Bill Schmeelk posted:

According to Mike Reagan, the three position slide switch inside the Smoke Fluid Loader will reverse the pump if in the wrong position. The center position turns the pump off. The correct position on the one I have is to the right when you look in with the front facing you. If you can't get any fluid to come out, you might try moving the position of that switch to the opposite side.   
Best,
Bill Schmeelk

Mornin, Switch was in right hand position as described by Bernie_(LIONEL2341) facing doors at front of accessory.

ERNIE (lionel2341)

Proud Member of the OGR Family, Designer of Unique TMCC Products, Lionel Collector and Operator, Lionel Beta Tester, Original Train-Ca-Teer Member

Addendum:  Lionel contacted me today and offered me a replacement smoke fluid loading building.  While this is a nice and much appreciated gesture, I rather have them just ship me a tube......guess they do not have this in their replacement parts bin.

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

Well I've shown much restraint as of late in posting about this Loader we waited, what 3-4 years to get...At the end of the day this thing still seems as if it was rushed to market..The instructions are basically useless and the hole thing is just fragile. I have a pump with both hoses pulled out of it and no hope of getting them back in with out modifications....Why are the hoses out you ask? Because in my ignorance I put Maga steam smoke fluid in mine and locked the thing up before I ever seen a drop dispensed. So I was removing the pump to try and flush it out .. I completely take charge of this being my fault because one of the few things in the instructions that is clear is the requirement to use ONLY lionel fluid.. Why on earth would you design your product like that?  Gallons of other fluids are sold daily but you design to use one specific type? I guess your service department will be in the black next month..lol...Hopefully I can buy a new pump with the hoses attached otherwise I'll be sending the hole dam thing in....

Can I buy a more robust pump that will move slightly thinker fluid?

Seriously can someone answer why you designed this to use only your fluid ???? Is this a marketing ploy to sell your fluid?

Keith podolan

Why do you think the slightly thicker fluid kept any fluid from flowing. Seems unlikely, but you should know. Are you sure that the forward/reverse switch was in forward when you tried the fluid? Mine came with the switch on reverse and there was no fluid although I could hear the pump running. Then I experimented with the switch and realized it controlled the direction of the pump.

Please excuse me if the fluid was thicker and really is the cause. Just seems a bit touchy if it's true.

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

O there is absolutely no doubt at all the thicker fluid locks it up.. I've repeated the problem multiple times on the bench...I'll video it actually...Soon as the maga fluid gets up the tube to the pump it shuts down ..The lionel fluid runs no problem.. now if I can just get these stupid hoses back in the pump correctly...............

I no all about the switch...Found that out with no help from the instructions..

Keith podolan

wiz posted:

O there is absolutely no doubt at all the thicker fluid locks it up.. I've repeated the problem multiple times on the bench...I'll video it actually...Soon as the maga fluid gets up the tube to the pump it shuts down ..The lionel fluid runs no problem.. now if I can just get these stupid hoses back in the pump correctly...............

I no all about the switch...Found that out with no help from the instructions..

Ok thanks. More information. Lionel did say to use Lionel Premium Smoke Fluid, but as we all know that can be mistaken for marketing. Not that it would actually foul the fluid loader.

That's one of my disappointments with the whole Lionel manual program. It's do this or do that without any explanation of why or what about it. No wiring diagrams, just pictures of wires and where they mysteriously go. The smoke fluid loader manual is no exception. Except in this case the lack of information has led to several having issues. In my case, not mentioning the switch could have resulted in unnecessary disassembly, and in your case, caused the fouling of the pump. A simple comment about the pump's sensitivity to fluid viscosity would have been much more helpful than just "Use Our Fluid".

Chuck TCA LCCA ARRL BMWMOA

Wiz, I Will take you at your word that the thicker mega steam fluid clogged up your pump....maybe I got lucky, but I have been running mega steam fluid through mine since I have had it with no problem...even after my tube had an issue and I inserted my modified shrink tube nipple (see my above post) the unit works well.  I tried it again tonight and put it in program mode to expel the mega steam fluid in the tank and that worked successfully.....you say you are having problems connecting the hoses back to the pump....are you sure the nipple at the end of the tube is still intact....just a thought.....  Can you elaborate why you cannot insert the tubes back into the pump?  If the nipple is intact it should easily fit into the pump.....at this point I feel this is the    "Achilles heel"(as nmtrains stated") of this product.   At this point I am inclined not to send my loader back to Lionel and leave it alone with my mod since it is working well.

-Pete

 

Final thought, why is Lionel insisting on sending the whole unit back for a faulty tube....why not just mail out another tube instead of scrapping the whole product.....just cannot wrap my head around that one....

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

We were shocked at what little difference the thickness seemed to be between the different fluids causing the pump to lock our selves.. I wounder if different sense have different thicknesses and this is why yours will run and mine won't. At any rate you are correct this should be a major point in the instruction booklet... The tube thing is just stupid.. There are no male nipples mine was a push the hose into the end of the pump deal (female)..and there is no way they will go back in with out damaging them by using a tool. These hoses were torn as I removed the pump from the tight cavite it sits in.. Please bear in mind im not a goof ball and care was being used during the removal. The are way to fragile IMO..  All I no is I haven't put one drop of fluid into a locomotive yet and this stupid thing is still sitting on my bench.. Hey atleast I no what the black switch does now....It helps un lock the motor when you but the wrong fluid in..Smart thinking Lionel thanks....

Keith podolan

Keith, you may have a point here...I am using megasteam cinnamon roll fluid.....maybe the viscosity is thinner than what you are using.  As far as the tube is concerned, mine appeared as if the tube was shaved down at its end so it cold be squeezed into the pump...I feel it is because it was squeezed down or shaved it weakened the tube so it eventually broke off at the pump after continued use.....I tried at first to reinsert the tube into my pump, but it was too big for the pump intake.

BTW, have you tried to remove the wall across from the pump inputs....makes it easy to work on the pump.....mine was held by minimal glue and popped off easily...just be careful of the attached wire to the wall and the three tits on the bottom of the wall that hold the wall to the base.

 

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

I know, these toys frustrate the hell out  of me too at times....just walk away from it for a day and sometimes the fix hits you out of nowhere......try the shrink tube approach as I posted...cut a short piece tha fits both into the tube and the pump snugly.....keep the tube short so you can keep the tube fitted within the building without kinking...it worked for me so far.

Good Luck,

-Pete

"My greatest fear is that one day I will die and my wife will sell my trains at the price that I told her I paid For them!"

 

 

wiz posted:

Well I've shown much restraint as of late in posting about this Loader we waited, what 3-4 years to get...At the end of the day this thing still seems as if it was rushed to market..The instructions are basically useless and the hole thing is just fragile. I have a pump with both hoses pulled out of it and no hope of getting them back in with out modifications....Why are the hoses out you ask? Because in my ignorance I put Maga steam smoke fluid in mine and locked the thing up before I ever seen a drop dispensed. So I was removing the pump to try and flush it out .. I completely take charge of this being my fault because one of the few things in the instructions that is clear is the requirement to use ONLY lionel fluid.. Why on earth would you design your product like that?  Gallons of other fluids are sold daily but you design to use one specific type? I guess your service department will be in the black next month..lol...Hopefully I can buy a new pump with the hoses attached otherwise I'll be sending the hole dam thing in....

Can I buy a more robust pump that will move slightly thinker fluid?

Seriously can someone answer why you designed this to use only your fluid ???? Is this a marketing ploy to sell your fluid?

I've sent Lionel service a fix for the hose breakage. Secondly, the original prototype I gave to Lionel used ANY smoke fluid,(Same Pump) my original design did not attach the hoses to the pump this way.  Also the pump will last a long time, that's why it was used for long term reliability. The fix is easy, I'm sure Lionel will take care of it. My original test unit still runs fine after 5 years of use with this pump. The pump is not the problem. It's the way the hoses are attached to it, and like I said I've provided Lionel with a simple fix.

PS During any large scale product release a fault may show up that is an easy fix for the customer.

Ernie

Proud Member of the OGR Family, Designer of Unique TMCC Products, Lionel Collector and Operator, Lionel Beta Tester, Original Train-Ca-Teer Member

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