So is it safe to run a operating smoke boxcar with the R/C system? I just bought the Lionel Alien smoke car.



Original Post

As far as I know, yes, it's safe. I have a K-Line smoking caboose and haven't had a problem with it. I run LC+ and DCS with 18 volts to the track.

No problems running my alien smoke car or hot box reefer at 18 volts using LC remote.   Just make sure you run the alien smoke car with smoke fluid or smoke switch off......easy to forget about it.  I modified mine with strobe lights.....heres a video.





Videos (1)
Last edited by BFI66

Thanks David.....the Alien smoke car, if you can find it, is a very under-rated accessory!  

CSWalter, you will enjoy it!


You're welcome.  I may just have to get one and modify it as you did.    On my layout I have a siding that sits next to the AEC Nuclear Reactor, and the classic Rocket Launcher.   it would fit right in!

One consideration for running the smoking cars, you'll need more "beef" in the transformer.  The little LC power-packs won't get the job done, you'll want a real transformer.

I expect someone would have mentioned it by now if it was an issue with the smoking car in question, But I'm aware of some smoking cabooses(?) that had issues with melting plastic when run on the constant 18VAC of command layouts.  Assuming you're using a more powerful transformer than the LionChief DC wall packs this may be something to keep an eye on, just to make sure you don't damage anything.  

I'll also second that you'll probably want something more than a starter transformer, and defiantly more than one of the little wall packs that come with LC sets.  


Country Joe posted:

As far as I know, yes, it's safe. I have a K-Line smoking caboose and haven't had a problem with it. I run LC+ and DCS with 18 volts to the track.

Unless that caboose has the CMD/CONV switch, I'd modify it for 18 volt operation.  I've seen a number of melted sides on smoking cabooses.  The smoking boxcars and tankcars normally have a regulator for the smoke units, but the caboose typically doesn't.

ok, sorry for the dumb question. Wouldn't I install a resistor in series to reduce the voltage?

Or does the diode do the same thing in an AC circuit?


In order for a resistor to drop the voltage by half, it would dissipate as much power as the smoke resistor.  Do you really want another hot component in there melting the shell?

The diode operates in a totally different way to dissipate the AC power, it simply blocks one polarity of the alternating current and thus supplies about half the power to the smoke resistor.  It does this while dissipating very little power, it simply doesn't allow the half cycle of current to pass.

I have to drop the voltage in half?

Yes I knew the diode regulated the current in one direction, but did not know this reduced the power and voltage to the smoke unit. Thanks.

Last edited by J Daddy

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