I'm still kickin' rocks 😑 but kickin' um here, & tryin' to smile 😬

The piston assembly will lay loose in the slots until you lock everything down with the steam chest.

This is another loco with a similar set up, but on the engineers side instead. (665)  The dot in front of the bolt head is the end of the piston rocker arm (stepped bend) and moves fore and aft , piston and gravity(&/or spring on piston) keep it resting on the crosshead. (the spring seen is so if the piston hangs up, it doesn't bind up all the way to the motor, and softens compression and shock in side thrusts too. 

sketch-1559618008581IMG_20190603_223653~2IMG_20190603_223634

 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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That's it - got the smoke piston and lever assembly yesterday and installed it last night. Works exactly as everyone has pointed out - the lever is moved by the cross-head on the left side of the engine.

One last (hopefully) question - there is one wire coming from the e-unit to the "motor side" of the smoke unit. Is there supposed to be a second (ground) wire attached to the "front side" of the smoke unit ?

Thanks, again.  

Hi, Rob …. I guess, more specifically, my question is where I have the arrow at the heater element, is there supposed to be a wire or connection from that point to the chassis or frame or is the heater element grounded simply because it's physically attached to the frame ?  

The reason I ask is because if there's no more wires to attach, then it's not working right because I put a few drops of liquid smoke inside and ran it and got nothing - the heater element was not even warm.

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Richie C. posted:

Hi, Rob …. I guess, more specifically, my question is where I have the arrow at the heater element, is there supposed to be a wire or connection from that point to the chassis or frame or is the heater element grounded simply because it's physically attached to the frame ?

The ground side of the element is supposed to be crimped/sandwiched between the smoke bowl and the metal cap.

2026 Smoke

Rob

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Yep, it is connected, or should be anyhow.  A tab on one end, wire on the other. 

You could add a wire to the tab and chassis ground that if you wanted to.      I've had a cap fit so tight I couldn't get the tab to sandwich and still have the lid seat and another I added wire to because I didn't think there was enough pressure on the tab.  (pressure can reduce resistance more than total contact area does)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





if the element isn't hot enough, you can remove a wrap and reattach. Mind that solder doesn't stick to ni-chrome heating wire, but traps it instead. So you wrap the ni-chrome then encapsulate in solder to prevent pull out.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Took apart the smoke unit and I can now see what is meant by the other end of the element being grounded by the metal tab.

Unfortunately, I can also see why it isn't working - the wire on the left side is broken.

Now have to decide if I should just get a replacement element and stay with pellets or convert to a liquid smoke unit. 

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Richie C-

A lot of folks say that the wire-wound original smoke element will work with either pellets or liquid smoke fluid. Just use just 2 or 3 drops of the smoke fluid in place of the old style pellets. The big advantage is the wire-wound smoke element will last a lot longer as the original design wire is more robust than the liquid smoke conversion kit.

Carl J

Its true, either element works with fluid, but fluid units wont work with  pellets.

I mentioned "too hot", but that is also a repair tutorial if the break repair doesn't eliminate too many windings.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Quick update - I got the headlight bulb, spring and eyelet assembly and that is working ok (but somewhat dim - see below).

I got the liquid smoke replacement unit and it works great on the bench, but produces no smoke when on the track. I suspect that the running track voltage might be too low to drive the liquid smoke element (28 ohms resistance). The engine runs best at about 9.5 v (as shown on the Z-4K) and will derail on an O-31 curve at 11 volts.

IF the heater element requires more voltage, then I'm not sure if this issue is correctable, so I may have to get a pellet-type element.

 

 

Richie C. posted:

Quick update - I got the headlight bulb, spring and eyelet assembly and that is working ok (but somewhat dim - see below).

I got the liquid smoke replacement unit and it works great on the bench, but produces no smoke when on the track. I suspect that the running track voltage might be too low to drive the liquid smoke element (28 ohms resistance). The engine runs best at about 9.5 v (as shown on the Z-4K) and will derail on an O-31 curve at 11 volts.

IF the heater element requires more voltage, then I'm not sure if this issue is correctable, so I may have to get a pellet-type element.

 

I may be way out of context here, but when I bought resistors for my 2-8-0, they were only 14 ohm...

Mark in Oregon

Richie C. posted:

Now have to decide if I should just get a replacement element and stay with pellets or convert to a liquid smoke unit. 

Just to reiterate what everyone else is saying, the original pellet smoke unit will work just fine (probably better) with liquid smoke.  No need to replace it with a liquid-only unit.

When I brought my 1951 2026 back to life in the Seventies, the porous pad in its smoke unit was so clogged with pellet residue that I had to throw the pad away and install a new pad.  It's been working just fine on liquid smoke ever since.

I did buy a replacement pellet unit and it burned out a wire and left a burn mark on the liner - not sure what would have caused that (nothing is shorting), but that's why I'm trying to get the liquid unit going.

According to the pic, the LIQUID SMOKE UNITelement is 28 ohms ...

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Richie C  and others

I have been out the country on vacation when you discovered the broken nipple on the e unit drum.  I know you have replaced the e unit.  Below is my method of repairing an e unit with a missing nipple on the drum for others and saving the time and cost of buying a new e unit.

I have repaired the missing nipples on e units several times. My method does not require wedging open the e unit frame. 

I leave the drum in the e unit and drill a small hole, slightly smaller than the hole in the frame where the nipple went, in the drum where the nipple was.  I mark the center of the drum where the nipple was with an awl to center the hole.  I drill this through the hole in the frame where the nipple would have gone.  Then I find a small round headed wood screw maybe 1/4 to 3/8 inches long and screw it into the hole which should be slightly smaller than the screw diameter size.  The screw makes its own threads in the soft plastic of the drum.  Do not tighten the screw and allow it to let the drum rotate.

This fix is stronger and should last longer than plastic nipple of the original drum.  It may not work if the plastic of the original drum is aged and crumbling.  In that case the drum should be replaced.

Charlie

That's a great tip, Charlie.

Unfortunately, the fingers on both the other e-unit pieces were severely bent and distorted (probably as a result of being run with the cocked drum), so I had no choice but to open it up and replace those parts as well. The e-unit works great now - no complaints.

I think the command units use those. Command gets a constant 14-18v at the track (mostly 18v) Holding the loco so wheels spin & it doesn't take off like a rocket, note what voltage does make smoke. (Is that enough smoke? Lower ohms get hotter per volt)

  If its only a few volts difference. It may take a minor wiring change, but you could then insert diodes for a voltage drop to the motor, full power will go to the element.  ....All as an alternative to chasing down another element of course     Ive done this to 4 locos to improve smoke with the elements on hand that weren't exactly correct, or were poor smokers when new.

  Read amps the motor draws, 4a may be enough, 6a definitely large enough and will stay cooler, but theytare bigger. Choose general purpose rectifying diodes of your amp choice. Use in pairs in opposed directions & pair legs tied together, in series with other pairs, to the e-unit input from roller wire. Each pair added eat about 0.7v.  So six diodes, 3 pairs in series eats about 1.8v-2.5v +/- a few points.  (results vary slightly by diode choice) ten diodes would give a little over 4a drop, etc, etc.  

The smoke unit gets connected between diodes and roller so it ends up with element getting a full 11.5-12v out of 11.5-12v, while the motor sees only 9.5v. of 11.5-12v  thru the diodes. 

GP rectifying diodes are super cheap if you shop (literally pennies ea.) and useful for lots of things in the hobby. 

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Oh, forgot.... It sounds more like the element ni-cjromeni-cj ←spellwreck... nichrome had a flaw, if you can't imagine what shorted out.

 The PW units are FAR more robust than the liquid types.  The caps turning color from heat not unusual. Neither are cracks etc. really. (after seeing aa couple of melted tops from B.S. copies not in high heat plastic or teflon, I like to stick to the metal tops.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





Which headlamp bulb # or voltage, watts, amps (printed on base)

 Im guessing it's an 18v or higher bulb. move to a 12v bulb for more brightness.

Rule of thumb, a 12v bulb burns half as bright and lasts twice as long used at 6v.  It burns twice as bright and lasts half as long on 24v.  (The heat range is something you need to check. It can occasionally not be what's expected, so I'm not even going eleborate on the "norm" because it has bit me before.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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