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Old 09-29-2008, 09:35 PM
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Default Build your own Smoke generator

If you want smoke in your scaler you pretty much have 3 choices.

1) you can purchase a Heng Long smoke unit from MatoToys and you'll get a simple but small smoker on the cheap (bout 13 bucks for 2 of them) Don't be misled by jerks on fleebay selling the same thing for 5-10x as much.

The downfalls of using this system is they are fragile and don't produce much smoke. However the benefit is you're not likely to damage your vehicle from a meltdown...

http://www.matotoys.com/canada/produ...products_id=58

2) you can bite the bullet and spend upwards of 100 bucks on a decent smoker. Output is impressive, and they should be safe to use. Downfalls is most draw a lot of power. They are pretty much made for trains or boats that have room for a lot larger batteries then we use.

http://www.harbormodels.com/site08/m...ges/smoker.htm

3) 3rd option is to make your own. Benefits is its cheap, output is whatever you set... The downfall is your taking some risk... Make sure you do prolonged tests before you risk your vehicle...

So what do you need?

1) You need to get some heating wire. Easiest place to grab this from is to hit up a used thrift store for a hair dryer. I grabbed a couple of them to get some different wire sizes for 5 bucks. To get the right length you need to start out with a few inches and apply power from a 7.2 v battery. Keep clipping it back until it glows.

Heres the heating elements ripped out of 2 dryers. I used the thinner wire thinking it would draw less power.





2) Next on the list is a project box from an electronics store. I grabbed a 2"x4" box for 2 bucks.

3) Your going to have to find a 40mm cpu fan. Preferably one of the thicker ones. The thin ones only puts out about 5cfm, There seems to be a lot of smoke bleed around the fan. While the thicker ones can put out 15cfm. If you really lucky you can find a small squirrel cage fan or a crazy dual counter rotating ones like I found at my local surplus store... (it was 10 bucks for 4 dual fans)

Check out this bad boy!!!





4) Another piece of the puzzle is to get a short length of fire rope (fiberglass) Its the stuff that they use in fireplaces as a seal.

5) Some brass tubing for crimps. You going to be crimping the heating element to the wires as solder will just fall off under power.

6) For fluid you can go to your hobby shop for some smoke oil, I also hear 3n1 oil, baby oil work as well. Experiment and see what happens. From reading on the internet any light oil should work.

7) Aluminum tape for firewalls

Putting it all together:



The basic layout for this design has all the connections in the lid of the project box and lets the base hold the fluid. Overall size really depends on what you decide. You can use a smaller or larger box, smaller or larger fans.

Start by laying out your fan on the one side, the 2 holes for the heating element wires (spaced apart so the element runs between them) and the exit tube (s) on the far side. Once your happy with your layout then trace the fan profile onto the lid and drill / dremel it out. Drill the four mounting holes, and you can bolt your fan in place.

Next using a drill bit that is the same size as your wires drill two holes. The wires should be a press fit, if they are loose your going to have to glue them in. That makes it more difficult to adjust modify later.

Lastly you need to drill out your exit hole. Depending on you setup, you could use styrene / alum / brass tubing. Or just stick some silicone tube in the hole. Again you want a tight fit. You want to think about what you exhaust strategy is. If you want a single exhaust then the same tube on each end with larger silicone tubing connecting the two will work. If its dual exhaust you can either drill two holes or run a single and T it at the end. A little pre planning makes sure you don't have to redo your work.

Now to make your heating element, Take your custom length heating element and wrap it around your cord. What your after is you want the coiled section in the middle and an inch hanging down on either side to act as the wick. Crimp 2 sections of brass tubing to the ends of the element. The brass only needs to be a few mm long. Slide your wire into your holes that you made in the top of the lid and crimp them to the element.

Yes it's ugly but it works!





Adjust the hanging element by pulling the wire back through the holes until the element sits half way between the lid and the base. The wick should be resting on the base. If your wires are a snug fit it will stay there, if not a dab of glue locks them in place.

Alright, by now your ready to fire it up.

Add a couple mm of oil in the reservoir, drop the lid on the base so the rope starts to wick the oil. Ignoring the fan for a moment plug in you battery to the element and you should start smoking. Lift up your lid and make sure everything is going as planned.

Now attach your fan to power and you should see your smoke pouring out your exhaust instead of everywhere. You'll prolly need to screw down your lid to make the box airtight at this point.

The first thing you need to do once your at this stage is do a burn in test. You want to run your smoker for an extended time to make sure its not going to do something stupid. Here's a picture of my extended burn in test. I ran it for 15-20 minutes straight. Running the element full time, and the fans off the esc. Other then a bit of wire shroud melting at the lid it performed admirably.



Initial fan startup:



Long term full burn test:







Now the time for tweaking can start.

My next couple tweaks on my list to look at, I want to place some aluminum tape on the underside of the lid around the smoker. That should help direct the heat away from the plastic. That should add a lot of protection to the area.

I want to play with baffles inside the chamber. I have a lot more smoke escaping my fan area then Ax-10Canadians smoker build. He is running some baffles in the interior so there's less oil under the fans...

Going to play with the power changes. All my tests so far have been with the smoker running full out and the fan being adjustable. The benefits of running the element full out is when your off the throttle you build up smoke, so you get a nice puff when you start the fans. The downfall of this is wait too long and the smoke starts escaping the casing and pours out the fans into your truck.

You can run both off the esc. Then you only produce smoke when you want. This might be a bit much for an esc. Remembering that eventually the fan will be connected to the motor leads. Only tests will tell. The smoke output will of course be less as well.

If anyone wants to tackle this fun little project, be sure to post up your results. Depending on how resourceful you are its a project that can cost between 10-20 bucks, and you'll be smoking in no time... Between a few of us playing around I am sure we can figure out the perfect setup.
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Last edited by outcastrc : 05-25-2009 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:47 PM
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Nice! Can I fit it in the back of a Ford scaler for that super scale effect ?!?!
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:54 PM
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Not this one. It is being designed for a rig so rooms not an issue.

For a truck the Heng Long size is pretty good. Or you can build a small custom about the same size if you use a 2"x3" or 2"x2" box and a thin 10mm fan. The only way to find out is to try...
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outcastrc View Post
Not this one. It is being designed for a rig so rooms not an issue.

For a truck the Heng Long size is pretty good. Or you can build a small custom about the same size if you use a 2"x3" or 2"x2" box and a thin 10mm fan. The only way to find out is to try...

Yeah I know. I was just taking a shot at Fords. I drive them for work but I love old Chevys. Very nice tut by the way.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:08 AM
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Well I just modified mine and I had to use quite a bit of the thinner wire but I am running 7 cells. It works way better than the HL element. I took 1 baffel out so Im only running 1 now and it seems to work well. Just have to swing by the LHS tomorrow and get some styrene tube for the outlet. Will post some pics and a vid tomorrow.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:26 AM
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awesome!!turned out to be quite a smoker!!!!now i wander if theres a way to darken the smoke color a bit for the deisel guys...lol..
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:31 AM
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Sadly anything you put in there will not burn off, all you end up doing is coating the element.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ax-10Canadian View Post
Well I just modified mine and I had to use quite a bit of the thinner wire but I am running 7 cells. It works way better than the HL element. I took 1 baffel out so Im only running 1 now and it seems to work well. Just have to swing by the LHS tomorrow and get some styrene tube for the outlet. Will post some pics and a vid tomorrow.
Which baffle did you end up removing? The upper or lower one?
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:22 AM
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I took out the upper one that was mounted to the lid. It was to close to the element and I think it might have hindered some smoke production.
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:34 AM
RCH_Blackfoot RCH_Blackfoot is offline
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Thats pretty trick.

But something about mixing a firestarter and a $500+ RC that I have put too much time, money and love into bothers me.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:38 PM
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very interesting indeed
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:42 PM
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Well I tried some 3n1 oil in the smoker today and it smokes, but not as well as the smoker oil. I have some other stuff im going to try as well.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:42 PM
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any way to make the smoke black like real diesel trucks?
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:00 PM
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As far as everything I have ever read on the subject there is no way to change the color. Everything you could add to the fluid just congeals on the element.

The reason for this is you are not burning anything in a smoke generator. Your vaporizing it.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:20 PM
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Heres a web site with useful smoker information. It's for trains but the concept is the same.

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips3/smoke_tips.html
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