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In the SuperChuffer instructions, it shows that its connected directly to the smoke unit fan and track power is used for the smoke unit resistor.  You mentioned using a smoke unit regulator here, but I didn’t see that mentioned in the SuperChuffer instructions.  What is that used for… is it necessary?

Actually track power is NOT directly used for the smoke resistor, it's either controlled by the RxLC or the smoke voltage regulator.  The early modular Legacy all used a smoke voltage regulator.

The Super-Chuffer instructions cover the most commonly used installations.  In addition, the Super-Chuffer installation actually doesn't change the source of power for the smoke resistor, that remains unchanged.

John,

Thanks for your quick reply.

Sorry for the confusion, you are 100% correct. I misread the schematic. My apologies, I should remember to not attempt tasks that involve too much brain power after a certain hour in the evening.

So as a follow up, to use the smoke unit regulator with the Legacy R4LC, do I need to change out the older 27 ohm smoke resistor for something else?

Yep, the smoke resistor for the regulator is an 8 ohm resistor.  However, all the regulators I got from Lionel do the same thing, they start out fine, but after a few seconds they cut back the smoke to where I don't get any smoke volume.

The regulator starts out fine, and I get smoke for a bit...

After a few seconds, it tails off where there is no smoke produced!

While I spar with Lionel about getting working regulators, I'm going to put a bandaid on mine so I have a working locomotive.  I'm building a small board that will switch in half-wave track power using the anemic signal you see here to trigger it, and I'll just swap the resistor and drive it from half-wave track power.

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Yep, the smoke resistor for the regulator is an 8 ohm resistor.  However, all the regulators I got from Lionel do the same thing, they start out fine, but after a few seconds they cut back the smoke to where I don't get any smoke volume.

While I spar with Lionel about getting working regulators, I'm going to put a bandaid on mine so I have a working locomotive.  I'm building a small board that will switch in half-wave track power using the anemic signal you see here to trigger it, and I'll just swap the resistor and drive it from half-wave track power.

The smoke voltage regulator doesn’t need a thermistor, does it?

John, have you given any thought to designing and marketing your own smoke resistor regulator? Something that could accept a range of voltage input and keep a fixed voltage going to an 8 ohm resistor? The Lionel regulators seem to be quite fickle.

A product like this could have good applications for improving smoke output in conventional and TMCC models as well as puffing or fan driven units.

John, have you given any thought to designing and marketing your own smoke resistor regulator?

It's one of an endless parade of good ideas for future electronic projects.   I've never gotten around to building a TMCC/Legacy serial data receiver code base for the PIC processor, so projects like that are on hold.

Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

How difficult would it be to create something comparable to your LED lighting regulator? I am imagining a board that runs off 8-20 VAC track power and steps it to the correct voltage/current for a known value smoke resistor which would allow the smoke unit to operate at peak performance at all times. Perhaps it can have a transistor circuit to use the smoke input from the R2LC/RCMC to turn it on and off which would have the added benefit of not overloading the smoke triacs on older R2LC’s.

When I was still doing train repair, smoke units were one of the most common things I worked on. Everything from replacing cooked resistors to trying to improve smoke output on conventional engines as well as TMCC models. If a product like this existed, I could have sold hundreds. I can’t begin to count how many customers at the shop bought starter sets and complained of the anemic smoke output. I could have sold countless upgrades and most people likely would have sprung for the extra cost.

Not sure what your projects list looks like but I think this one could have some siginificant potential.

Yep, the smoke resistor for the regulator is an 8 ohm resistor.  However, all the regulators I got from Lionel do the same thing, they start out fine, but after a few seconds they cut back the smoke to where I don't get any smoke volume.

While I spar with Lionel about getting working regulators, I'm going to put a bandaid on mine so I have a working locomotive.  I'm building a small board that will switch in half-wave track power using the anemic signal you see here to trigger it, and I'll just swap the resistor and drive it from half-wave track power.

Just wondering... have you made any progress with Lionel support/parts on this issue?

So I really want to do an upgrade like this to my Scale T1 I picked up at York. Obviously, the Legacy/RS6 sounds from the Lionmaster version make a lot of sense to use since the numbers match and all. However, does that sound set actually provide "articulated" chuff sounds? Every video I've watched of the Lionmaster version (and I know there was an earlier TMCC version) seems to only have four chuffs per revolution. I never hear an syncopation of the chuffs either.

Am I missing something?

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