It’s been a while fussing with Lionel smoke units. A couple of questions.

1) can light smoke output be caused by AC Reg that didn’t experience major failure?

2) Do changes in smoke settings under command stay active when switching back to conventional mode.

3) Fan Rotation direction?

 

Original Post

Don't know the answer to question 2 although I suspect that the answer is no.

Questions 1 and 3:

1.  Don't think so as AC Reg failure is normally pretty self-destructive. Moreover, light smoke output even at the high setting is relative to which model you are considering and what its EFX settings are as well as the smoke fluid volume.

2.  Clockwise BUT certain Lionel Legacy smoke units are wired to run in the opposite direction because of the air channel in the specific smoke unit. I get impatient with this every time I find it because every Lionel (or MTH) smoke impeller I have seen is designed to spin clockwise. 

The AC Regulator frequently fails in an incremental way.  I've seen them gradually reduce the smoke to off as you run, some that you just can't get smoke volume changes to stick, and obviously some that simply don't work. 

The worst failures, (yes I've seen these as well), are the ones that the triac shorts and puts full 18V track voltage on the 6 or 8 ohm resistor.  When you dump 40 or 50 watts inside a 1/2 cubic inch space, things get VERY hot in a hurry.  Spectacular smoke until the resistor burns up, and I've also seen a diesel with the shell melted from the heat.

Those do run CCW stock.  FWIW, the impellers you display are designed to run CW, the convex part pushes the air as a rule and is quieter than pushing it with the concave side.  Obviously, either direction pushes the air, so it's really a function of where the exhaust is.  As you can see from your shot, the exhaust is clearly designed for CCW operation.  Why that did that is a mystery, it appears it would have been just as easy to mold it with the exhaust on the other side of the chamber and then run them in the proper direction and cut down on any fan noise.

Clearly CW looking at the top, note where the exhaust port is located.  The impeller blades are even curved the correct direction.

Note that I've found more than one fan wired incorrectly and rotating in the wrong direction, I just turn them around when I see them.

Wow, Going nuts! Ok, had a spare old smoke unit. Same model 6 ohm. Reacts the same way. Both motors were backward according to John. The resistor does get hot. I need swap one of the funcky ones into another engine..

Anyway, to ask a question again. If the smoke unit mode is set in legacy. Then the engine is run conventional. Does it retain the legacy settings L,M,H and off.

I don't believe this to be the case. But, it's worth asking.

If the resistor gets hot, the regulator is doing something.  I know the regulator remembers it's settings through power cycles, I just don't know what it does in conventional mode.  Thinking about it, it would logically retain them there as well.

Where are the smoke settings stored? Onboard in the engine’s electronics or in the Legacy control components? Thinking about it I suppose it would be the latter, in which case it seems to follow running the engine in conventional transformer-only control would have no impact on them. 

I have noticed however that Legacy EFX settings don’t seem to be stored after an engine is shut down. I find I have to ramp them up again the next time the engine is operated. Not sure why that would be different from smoke settings.

Lol, talk about pilot error. I'm putting two katy 1998's back together from parts at Nassau hobbies. Wow, what a collection of shells Nassau hobbies has for sale. A lot of them are in mint shape. I was able to take five bodies and make 2 Katy's.

Now, for the pilot error! The old we don't smoke in neutral syndrome. Fooled - by the resistor getting hot. I was checking in conventional. Going to legacy on both units pointed me to the neutral no smoke.

It does appear that the legacy settings were keep in conventional?  Anyway, 2 smoke units totally rebuilt. Smoking like hell. Both of the Chassis done. I can't wait to get the lighting in the shells and these two beast together.

By the way, John. All of the Impellers were spinning backwards. But, found it didn't affect smoke output that much. At least anything noticeable. But, did do the change,

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Hancock52 posted:

Where are the smoke settings stored? Onboard in the engine’s electronics or in the Legacy control components? Thinking about it I suppose it would be the latter, in which case it seems to follow running the engine in conventional transformer-only control would have no impact on them. 

I have noticed however that Legacy EFX settings don’t seem to be stored after an engine is shut down. I find I have to ramp them up again the next time the engine is operated. Not sure why that would be different from smoke settings.

The TMCC smoke volume settings are clearly stored in the locomotive as the command system has no capability like that.  They're actually stored in the regulator module on the uP.  The early Legacy uses the same regulator design and I'm sure stores the settings there as well. 

The Legacy system stores a copy of the last settings and operates off that, but clearly it can't truly know what the locomotive is set to as TMCC/Legacy is a one-way conversation from the command base to the locomotive.

shawn posted:
By the way, John. All of the Impellers were spinning backwards. But, found it didn't affect smoke output that much. At least anything noticeable. But, did do the change,

Smoke will come out either way, and sometimes it's hard to tell if there's a change.

I don't know if it remembers the last command setting or defaults to some nominal setting in conventional mode.  That's really a question for the folks at Lionel that have access to the code in the regulator module or in the RCMC for newer Legacy.  My guess is it would probably have to simply use a nominal conventional volume setting, whatever that is.

nice post I just learned somthing new. the fan rotation talk and pics made the light bulb come on just now for me. I somehow had forgoten this as I read about this rotation problem years ago. thanks guys  now I can check for proper rotation also when I rebuild my units in the future.

Roger g.

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