Model smoke and steam

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Dan Randall, 16 November 2016.

  1. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the replies. John Birch is going to meet Steve's family to help them sort out some of the railway stuff in January and will try to find the missing info then. We are pretty sure Steve bought a box full of vaping heater coils on ebay and was using those in the later versions, the missing links are the CAD files and the source of the fans shown in Brian's photo. Will post an update when we know more.
    Len Cattley likes this.
  2. Marsh Lane

    Marsh Lane Active Member

    I may be able to help. I had a conversation with Steve in May last year about his steam units and how they were constructed, although I only discovered today that he had passed away - very sad.

    However, Steve imparted quite a bit of info and some drawings, and I think the 3D CADs. Certainly there is reference on the messages to him sending me the 3D files by email - and I never delete anything - so I'll go and have a trawl.

    However, Steve said that the motors, fan rotors and heater elements all came from MTH. In his own words....

    The part number for the fan is AI-0000019
    The heating elements are AI-0000018-10

    I don't have a number for the motor but its just their 5V fan motor. A better motor is called N10WA 07235, they're slightly shorter tan there standard motors and are therefore easier to fit in. Whilst I've found a supplier of them in China you have to buy 500 of them! I haven't been able to find anyone who can supply a small quantity of them. If you find anyone, then please let me know.

    I'll try and find the 3D drawings, I do have some PDFs that he sent, if anyone wants anything them please do PM me, either on here (which I look in once or twice a week mostly) or rmWeb (same username) which I looked at daily lol!

    Hope that helps somebody.

    Last edited: 12 February 2019
    Dan Randall likes this.
  3. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Thanks for your information Rich.

    Marsh Lane likes this.
  4. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Rich & Len,
    Have just seen your posts this morning. Over the last couple of weeks the Love Lane team have collected all the railway related equipment from Steve's flat and have been sorting through it. I can confirm Rich's info about the heating elements & fan blades. The motors Steve had in stock are rated 3 volts, part number FF-20PN and are available in batches of 10 on eBay: 50pcs Mabuchi Ff-n20pa 3v DC Micro Motor 12100rpm 0.045a No Load | eBay. I can also supply the part numbers for the relays and nano fuses.

    On Tuesday by coincidence almost as Rich was typing his post we made copies of the Solidworks files that were on Steve's "Railway" PC and John has seen the tank units among them. We don't have copies in a portable file format at the moment but I'm sure John can produce those if required.

    I'm now the proud owner of the original smoke & steam 8F which is currently in bits on my bench while I try to fix problems with the heaters, function codes and servo with help from John Gymer. We found that the servo and some of the heater coils had burnt out, also the function codes and inertia settings had been modified to work with TrainController software. I haven't plucked up courage to cut into the shrinkwrap encapsulating the very neat decoder package yet, maybe tomorrow.

    Its clear that Steve continued to develop the technology after the initial version and the "motherboard" now fitted to the 8F is much smaller than his original vero board version. When the package is opened I suspect we'll find an etched circuit board and if that is the case we will look for the design among the Solidworks files.

    I've taken more photos of the set-up in the 8F and will post them when I have the decoder package open, probably next week. My plan is to have the 8F running at the Albury Scale 7 meeting and if people are interested we can have a demo set of the inner workings so you can see the fans going etc.

  5. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer


    I am using Solidworks at work. If you need conversions or modification, please contact me. Would be happy to help at this exciting project.

  6. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the offer, John does also have access to Solidworks so we should be able to produce the goods ourselves when we have sorted out what is current and who needs it.
  7. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Over a year and another Valentine's Day has passed by since my last post. What a different place the world is now. Sorry for the delay, it took me a long time to reverse engineer the wiring diagram for Steve's Smoke and Steam unit in the 8F and by then it was the sailing season so modelling got put on the back burner. Then it was flat out finishing Love Lane wiring for Telford, then it was doing more Love Lane wiring for Bristol, then I moved on to trying to develop a different smoke system. In the meantime Len Cattley asked for a SB Smoke System for his 9F to be ready for the Scale 7 Albury meeting and that was cancelled although I had started on it by getting a new decoder suitable for the 9F and ADAPLU50 board from YouChoos.

    Primarily for Len and Kev T’s benefit here are the details of Steve’s system as I understand it. Firstly though there are 2 snags that need to be understood by anyone intending to use it:

    1. As mentioned by Richard Carr the heater coils are prone to burn out when the smoke fluid level gets low, if this happens then the only solution is to strip the loco down to take out the offending unit and solder in new coils. With the 8F this is a pain because the backhead has to be removed and it is really tricky. Steve Baldock had been trying to come up with a solution but as far as I know he hadn’t found one that would fit in the space. An electronic fluid level monitor appears to be the simplest, I haven’t found anything accurate and reliable that will fit so any ideas are welcome. Otherwise the practical solution is to fill the tanks at each session and fairly accurately time the smoke output and stop before it runs out. It is very easy to overfill the tanks, then smoke fluid runs into the fan motors but luckily they don’t seem to mind, just leave it to dry out for 30 minutes before running.

    2. Fumes. I haven’t seen any other system that approaches Steve’s for realism but it does create a smell that offends some people. Also when used in a normal house the fumes affect my chest and so I have stopped using it at home except for a few minutes testing. It seems some shows are now banning smoke units under the “Vaping” rules. Steve tried several different smoke fluids and found the ESU oil was the least offensive, I’ve tried a few more and haven’t found anything better. As a result of the fume problem I have been experimenting with an ultrasound system that uses water originally developed by David Viewing for his G1 Victorian locos. I have it working in a J50 tank with synchronised chuffing, blower etc. but its nothing like as impressive as Steve B’s steam effects.

    Here are the components needed for the SB system:
    ADAPLU 50 and MX645.JPG
    Zimo MX645 decoder with PLUX22 connection and ADAPLU50 board and stay-alive capacitor. This combination is either shrink wrapped or covered in cling film to insulate it.

    Zimo Boombox Speaker.JPG
    Loudspeaker. Steve used a massive TangBang double unit mounted in the tender of the 8F and was planning to do the same with the 9F I believe. It makes a great noise but when in close proximity it seems wrong to me because its obvious the noise is coming from the tender. I am quite happy with the sound made by the Zimo 40mm BoomBox as used by a number of Love Lane locos. Snag with the 8F is there is not enough room to fit it in the boiler because of the smoke units, and I don’t want to mess up Steve’s original creation.

    Smoke control board.JPG
    Steve Baldock Control board. This consolidates the function outputs from the decoder and houses the AC relays for the heater coils, DC relays for the fans and fuses designed to prevent the decoder blowing up if the heater components fail. As designed this is shrunk wrapped to the decoder/ADAPLU board and fits on the integral tray of the safety valve heater within the firebox/boiler. I think it is possible to fit the combined Decoder/ADAPLU/Control board in the tender as desired by Len however that will need a lot of wires connecting the loco to the tender i.e:
    2 pickup wires from loco to decoder.
    2 motor wires from tender to loco.
    2 speaker wires tender to loco unless the speaker is also in the tender.
    4 heater wires from tender to loco capable of carrying up to 2 amps at 16v DCC. Steve used 1.4mm diameter silicon cable.
    4 fan wires from tender to loco, low current.
    Total 14 wires, plus if cylinder drain steam is desired then 2 more heavy gauge heater wires and 2 more fan wires will be needed. If a servo operating the valve gear as fitted by Steve on most of his locos is desired then another 3 thin wires will be needed, total now 21 wires.

    Safety Valve Unit.JPG
    Safety Valve side elevation.JPG
    Safety Valve smoke unit made of PTFE incorporating tank, fan, 2 heater coils and plate for valve outlets to mate. Doubt if this unit will slide in through the smokebox door of a 9F? The control board, decoder and ADAPLU50 board fit on the tray.

    Safety Valve body.JPG
    Safety valves made of brass, drops in holes in top of the firebox, locks the Safety Valve smoke unit in place. Can be lifted out for tank removal or to make filling easier.

    Chimney Unit.JPG
    Chimney smoke unit incorporating tank, fan & 2 heater coils. This unit can probably slide in through the smokebox door of a 9F?
    Chimney liner, not shown because I don’t have any spares, this is an accurately tapered thin wall tube that fits exactly in the bored out loco chimney and tapered lower end goes into the ptfe smoke unit to lock it in place.

    Parts available now. I have in stock:
    8 Chimney PTFE tank units, one of which is already assembled for Len.
    1 Safety Valve PTFE unit with no cylinder drain function, set aside for Len and not yet assembled.
    1 Cylinder Drain PTFE tank unit, possibly a SB reject.
    4 Fan motors, 2 set aside for Len. I don’t think they last very long when pulsed rapidly on and off.
    9 DC relays Takamisawa A5W-K for fan motors, 2 set aside for Len.
    5 AC relays Crydom SDV2415, 2 set aside for Len.
    10 micro fuses ESKA Quick Blow SMD 2 amp, 2 set aside for Len. But no spare holders at the moment.
    11 Fan blades MTH part number AI-0000019, 2 set aside for Len. Plus another 10 3D printed by SB that need shaft holes boring
    16 Heater coils MTH part number AI-0000018-10, 4 set aside for Len
    No working control boards but I have drawn the circuit diagram for the 8F version and will make a new one from vero board for Len if he still wants it after reading this lot!
    I don’t have any spare safety valves or chimney liners.

    We also have the Solidworks drawings for Steve’s PTFE tanks, although I can’t find the correct versions at the moment.
    Any questions?
    Dan Randall and Oz7mm like this.
  8. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Looks like you've just about sorted it all out mate :thumbs:, look forward to seeing if I can fit smoke into a Y4 for Bow Creek :D.

    In the meantime.......

    3 LINK and Len Cattley like this.
  9. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Hi Robin, sounds like you had a lot of work there. I would be interested in the vero board for the circuit board if that's ok and any other things I might need. I will have to check when I build the loco that I can get everything in the tender and the engine. If I need any help I will send you a message. Regards.

  10. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Co ter heck Col, thass a rum ‘un’

    Len, I was planning to put together the whole set for you and check it works before posting to you, so long as you are happy not to have the cylinder drain steam or the valve gear servo. I expect you will pay for the postage, Zimo MX645 decoder and ADAPLU board, they will cost less than you think due to the good offices of John Gymer. The question which perhaps Kev is able to answer is whether the chimney and safety valve steam units are able to be fitted through the smokebox door. If so then its logical to put the speaker in the boiler along with the smoke units and put the electronics in the tender. I'll have a go at assembling the cables tomorrow (sailing cancelled due to high winds ) so you can see what it will look like.
  11. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Thanks Robin, you will have to let me know how much I owe you (I get payed in Euro though). It's a pain the lock-down happened when it did.

  12. Kev T

    Kev T Western Thunderer

    The front door on the MOK 9F is integral with the door surround and will not "open". I made the complete front removable. There is a problem fitting anything through the boiler from the front caused by the round "polo mint" support pieces at regular intervals. It's possible to feed through where the motor sits in the firebox, but it is tight. I have the Tang Band 9125 fitted both in the tender and under the chimney.

    The Zimo 696 has a PWM fan output and will output sufficient current to directly power the heater element in the Massoth unit. I can't see any specs on the MTH fan motors and heaters but I'd be surprised if the 696 couldn't do the job directly.
  13. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    Hi Kev, when I come to do the engine I will have to ask how you did it.

    Kev T likes this.
  14. Boyblunder

    Boyblunder Western Thunderer

    Kev, I don't know anything about the 696 decoder so have read the specs and I think you are right about the capacity. The max pulsed fan output of 200ma should be plenty and total function output is 2 amps. Steve's units consume about 2 amps max when both smoke units are working. I'm not sure whether you can run the heater coils directly from the decoder, worth trying I guess.

    Do you know what the internal diameter of the "polo mints" are? If less than 30mm then Len won't be able to fit the chimney smoke unit without doing some surgery to the structure.
  15. Kev T

    Kev T Western Thunderer

    I can't remember and we're still in the middle of a protracted house refurbishment so all my modelling stuff is packed. Easiest is for Len to have a quick look at the etches.
  16. markjj

    markjj Western Thunderer

    There are about 3 differing internal diameters and one of them is hexagonal that's 26.5mm approx across the flats the other diameters are approximately 26.5mm and 32.5mm. The biggest diameter rings are in the smoke box end if I am looking at the instructions right. I hope this helps.
  17. markjj

    markjj Western Thunderer

    FullSizeRender.jpg Hopefully this photo taken by Mr Grumpy for me at Dave's stand a few years back might give you a better idea of how things are laid out.
  18. fenman

    fenman Active Member

    Colin, I've got a copy of that record if you want to borrow it, he was very popular up here bor.
    eastsidepilot likes this.
  19. Mudhen

    Mudhen Western Thunderer

    I've just spent 30 minutes on You Tubeafter following that link

    As a result of your and Colin's posts I've ended up spending 1/2 an hour looking at You Tube videos of the Singing Postman. There's a rumour on-line that he's Ed Sheeran's dad:D