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Old Feb 03, 2005, 08:54 AM
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How to make smoke ?

Hi guys and gals,

I saw some photos of model tug boats which are running with smoke coming out of the funnel. I am a newbie and I am glad if you experts would tell me how that is done. Thanks.

Regards,

Douglas
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 09:24 AM
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check at model railroad stores. They should sell the proper equipment and oil.
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 10:58 AM
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see this thread:
http://rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=272428
Pat M
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 10:59 AM
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McAlester
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Douglas,
The quick'n'dirty explanation is that there is something in there that burns a fuel that makes smoke. From there, it gets more complicated. Most smoke generators use an electric filament in a puddle of some kind of oil that produces smoke. The filiment doesn't get hot enough to completely burn the 'oil', and the type of oil used is such that it tends to make lots of smoke anyway (sort of like leaving a pan filled with cooking oil on the stove to long/hot?). The design of the generator controls the burning, and there are a number of differnet 'styles' which produce different effects. How 'realistic' the smoke is is sort of relative. Windy days don't make for 'nice' smoke. Or another way of saying it is that the 'smoke' doesn't 'scale' very well (if that makes sense). But, when everything works 'right'... ain't it nice?
- 'Doc
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 11:10 AM
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In the previous thread (link above), I show a smoker based on theatrical foggers... not smoke at all, but a fog of glycol/water solution, which is safe (used on-stage with actors walking and singing in it). These things can POUR out "smoke", you'll never think about using the old wispy oil burners again.
Pat M
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 11:37 AM
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one thing u may wanna bear in mind, the saying there's no smoke without fire. lol.
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Old Feb 04, 2005, 12:08 AM
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Douglas-
patmat is right on. Here's the link he refers to http://wmunderway.8m.com/cont/smoke/smoke.htm
This weekend I'll post (I hope) an update on the Calypso I'm building with smoke unit details and pics. I built a small smoke unit based on the link and some other info. Works great!(Thanks patmat for the link). The air injection is the key -it makes a huge increase in smoke output. I used a battery powered backup aquarium airpump as my air source.
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Old Feb 09, 2005, 04:28 AM
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hi all this is a great thread i think i will try the way that is shown in the www. that danl posted it looks intresting. i will be building a clyed puffer next model and the smoke would look magic thanks for posting the question
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Old Feb 09, 2005, 06:42 PM
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Cold Smoke

Here's some pix of my fogger:
- Metal electronics project box for a reservoir
- Second box on top makes the "smoke box"
- 1 inch computer fan
- fiberglass wick on a stick, with nichrome wound around
Pulls about 10 A on 6v.

Pat M
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Old Feb 28, 2005, 08:00 PM
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I was sent this shot by someone with more time than me,...

He hasn't released the recipie yet.... Length of Nichrome, Nichrome wire guage, voltage, fiberglass weave/wt, etc.

But it looks like he has go good cup of tea brewing.
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Old Feb 28, 2005, 10:31 PM
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I made a pretty compact, low-current draw "fog" unit that puts out a lot of smoke for the Calypso I'm building. See this post:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=118
Unit works well - tested for 2+ hours - and uses very little smoke fluid.
The key, as others pointed out, is to ahve airflow over the evaporating heater wire to really enhance smoke volume.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 02:00 PM
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Hi DanL,

I'm interested in building a compact unit similar to the one you built for Calypso (but even smaller). I read your post on the construction, but I'm wondering if you could share some more details, and perhaps a sketch.

Regards,

Ray
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 05:26 PM
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RG,
Will post details tomorrow. Home computer crashed. I'll write up construction tonight and post from work tomorrow. Smaller should be no problem, but note that if your funnel is plastic like mine, you have to make up a brass liner and brass cap and that might get tougher as you get smaller cuz you ahve to leave ventilation space between the brass liner and plastic funnel. Note too that I had to open up the dummy vent on the side of the funnel to actually work, and partially opened the access door on the funnel also to vent heat. When I first tested the smoke unit, I luckily saw the top of the funnel start to deform from the heat and pulled the funnel off before meltdown.
Do you ahve an ohm-meter or milliammeter/voltmeter? If you do, and know the voltage you will run, I can tell you how to size the nichrome wire for specific amp draw. About 0.8 to 1A on teh heater wire geenrates a lot of smoke but doesn't burn the smoke fluid and foul the wick. The best smoke fluid is here:
http://www.lemaitreltd.com/ProductDe...idxCategory=16
Don't use glycerol - its sticky and burns. LeMaitre is a combo of glycols that works very well. I got a liter for $11 at a local costume and stage supply store. I bought some cheaper glycol stuff at a party store, but it didn't smoke well, was sticky and burned in the smoke unit. Sounds expensive, but I have 6-8 hrs of burn time already and hardly notice a drop in level in the bottle.
Some things you can start to get: the air pump is from an aquarium store - its a 1.5v battery operated one that is used as a power-outage backup unit. I think that minnow bucket aerators for fishing are the same kind of small pump. Allyou need is the pump head - the pump will be driven off your main drive motor shaft (the moreRPM, the more smoke) Also get some high temp silicone sealant (the no acid kind), a small test tube probably no smaller than 2" high and 1/2" dia preferably flat bottom.
Hey - here's an idea if you're interesred- I found all this junk over time and have a collection. I can send you a lot of the stuff you'll need. It was all pretty cheap - cover what I paid and shipping and I'll send it to you. Maybe even some smoke fluid if you want.

More tomorrow.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Hi DanL,

Thanks for the offer! PM me and I'll arrange to finalize the details. I've found a local supply of smoke fluid.. they carry Rosco fluids. It sounds similar in spec to the one you're using. I'm looking to cram the unit into an area 4"x3"x2"H (+ stack). For the air supply I was considering a low tech axial flow turbine drawing the air down the stack and around the brass funnel to keep the stack cool. Here's a rough sketch...
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 09:49 AM
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McAlester
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RG,
Nice idea! I think I'd position the air intake further away from the exhaust part of the stack though.
- 'Doc

(Yeah, I know it's a rough sketch, but I had these extra 2 cents...)
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