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Author Topic: SMOKEY JOE  (Read 9649 times)

samuel15g

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SMOKEY JOE
« on: September 27, 2008, 01:45:14 AM »

Hello All

I'm unsure as to where to post this topic so I've started it in the Mess Deck in the hope that Martin will either erase it or put it somewhere useful.

Since seeing JJC's "Old Smokey" at the Warwick Show a couple of years ago I'd hankered after obtaining one but as many of us know they disappeared off the planet and though you might find the odd one lurking on e-bay, they often go for silly money.

I've been pondering on a new project for winter-- something like a drifter or puffer into which I want to install an effective smoke generator.
On my current fleet I've tried everything from incense sticks to smouldering WD40 on a piece of old rope but all seem to be a fire risk or the boys in our boat club moan about the smell of Jasmine---nothing matches the output of the defunked JJC units.

Late on Wednesday evening, with my wife at Yoga class, I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and put together a "Heath Robinson " plan for a home made JJC type unit.
A couple of hours later I'd come up with something.
On my way into work on Thursday I bought a few essential bits from RS Components and during my hour lunch break commenced the project.
By late Friday evening, after working on the project Thursday evening and Friday lunch I'd come up with the attached .

It's worked out to be a reasonably sized unit (15 cm long x 8 cms wide x 9 cms high - excluding the chimney)
empty weight is 600 grms - operating weight approx 900grms.
 I've just run it up and it's used 100 ml of water and  ran for a tad over 90 minutes. The kitchen is as humid as the Amazon Rain Forest.

I've decided to call it "Smokey Joe" -- the pictures show the smoker in full throw after my initial test with a back drop of a black sheet to show the "steam",

In the background you'll see the power source consisting of two 12 volt batteries  connected together to give an output of 24 volts and another 12 V for the fan drive.
The wiring to these is a little untidy but I'll sort that out tomorrow evening

This set up should sit very nicely in something about 40" long with a beam of 8 to 10 inches with the weight of the batteries assisting as removable ballast.

Now to get the sketch pad out and start on that boat!

Happy boating and kind regards
Terry H
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amdaylight

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2008, 03:48:59 AM »

Well don't keep us in suspense, how does it work and ow can we build one? By the way it does work nice?

Andre
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Reade Models

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2008, 07:28:13 AM »

These smoke units are like the proverbial bus - you wait and wait but nothing comes - then a load of them all come together!

I'm not sure about the individual designs of these latest smoke units, and so this may not be applicable if they are operate by burning oil, but some points to note:

As I understand it, one of the major problems with well known previous version was that if the tank was filled too high, the water would slosh around inside and soak the small intake fan causing it to fail.  Some sort of internal baffle arrangement might reduce this possibility, if not eliminate it?

The previous version also had some rather complex electronics which a) allowed the unit to be driven proportionally to the ESC/motor, and b) in different modes to simulate various types of engines by pulsing the fan.

The main problems with complex electronics circuitry in models are c) modellers themselves, no disrespect here, but we sell electronics products to modellers and know from experience what some of them can do to anything electronic, and d) complex electronics units are generally not particularly robust, and are always subject to the possibility of a soaking - electronics and water generally don't mix well.

If you can stay away from complex proportional electronics, and live with a steady stream of smoke/water vapour, it's probably best if you do?

Both of the latest ones that I've seen look to be excellent - well done!

Malc

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boatmadman

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2008, 08:14:21 AM »

Thats impressive. I have often thought that the straight jet of smoke as it leaves the exhaust on these units looks a little false. Perhaps a baffle in the pipe near the top would diffuse that a little?

Ian
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2008, 08:35:13 AM »

That's interesting, as Malc says it's a bit like the number three bus, never one when you want one then all of a sudden they all come along together!!

I have only just recieved one of these units from "No Mustang Mark" which interestingly enough is exactly the same arrangement to this one.  Consequently I think the strengths and weaknesses of his will be exactly the same as this unit when compared with the JJC "Old Smokey" units.

The big advantage with the JJC units for me was the fact that they could be run off the 12v main battery and so did not require another 24v battery for the nebuliser unit.  As has been pointed out though, this requires electronics to arrange which is then introducing additional complexity and possible sources of failure.  Strangely enough though one of the ones I had failed because the nebuliser itself packed in!!

I think the thing for me though is that I was prepared to pay for the developement of the electronics to make the device useable and controllable in my model.  This alternative, whilst possibly more robust, is nothing more than an assembly of items purchased from any electronics supplier, which most of us could do ourselves, so the cost would have to be very competetive when compared to doing it yourself or having those electronics which make the device that bit more user freindly.

It's certainly going to be interesting to see what comes of these new units and how they are developed to compete with each other.  I think the deciding factor for a lot of people will be the first one to step the battery up to the required 24v and so do away with the additional battery.

 
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nhp651

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2008, 09:23:23 AM »

I think, bunkerbarge, you are (in your paragraph 4 of above statement) being very harsh on someone who has had the know how to put one of these items together, just as JJC had and also the other gent who has just also produced one.
Sadly we are not all wizzards in electronics and I for one could never ever even consider going to a shop for basic components and raw materials in order to put one together.
For those reasons alone I WOULD BE PREPARED to pay the "going rate" for such an item, taking intio account his "developement and manufacturing costs" just as I would if buying a new motor car.
Sadly I feel that your stab at him to bring unit costs down before you even know what they would cost was unjust  and not really needed. >>:-(
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bigford

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2008, 09:52:01 AM »

why 24 volts is my only question???
 other then that it looks very nice O0
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malcolmfrary

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 10:07:04 AM »

Just how much actual power do these nebulisers use?  How does power consumption compare to the vaporising oil type?
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Reade Models

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2008, 10:07:30 AM »

In defence of Bunkerbarge (who, incidentally is perfectly capable of defending himself, should he need to), I don't believe that he was making any attempt to bring unit costs down?

Reading his post carefully, I believe that like me, he was merely indicating that these units in their most basic form are a viable project for a modeller?  Manufacturers would need to develop the product, probably by the incorporation of complex electronics, offer a product that the average modeller couldn't build in isolation, and be sufficiently competitive on price to encourage the modeller to buy one, rather than build one for himself?  Nothing wrong with that?

samuel15g has very capably demonstrated that these gizmo's can be de-mystified (probably to No mustang Mark's detriment), and Mark has already probably realised that the gains to be made from manufacturing rest in the fact that sales are mostly made to punters who although largely capable of researching, developing and putting a product together, mostly just can't be bothered?

Whilst we're on this subject, and before it starts, I would counsel all concerned not to go down the route of accusations of copying each others designs.  The model industry is too small and volumes are too low to support those sorts of histrionics.  It is painful if somebody copies your design (Jim Casey will certainly be hurting) , but treat it as imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, improve your own product, make sure that your price is lower than the opposition, and live with it, - life is far too short....

Malc
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Reade Models

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2008, 10:22:41 AM »

Just how much actual power do these nebulisers use?  How does power consumption compare to the vaporising oil type?

Malcolm

I'm only guessing, but I expect that nebulisers use a lot less power than a soldering iron element (used in most oil type smoke generators).

The problem as I understand it is that the only available nebulisers run on 24V, albeit at probably a low power consumption.

NB:  The term 'nebuliser' is generic - it is also used for the machines that produce water vapour for medical use.  A better term might be 'nebuliser transducer'?

Malc


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samuel15g

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2008, 11:14:37 AM »

Hello All

Many thanks for all of your very positive comments.

The reason I built this and posted the pictures was to show that something is possible.

As a mechanical development engineer, some of my fellow club members urged me to take a look at making something effective and I appear to have done it. My skills in electronics are zero so I had no idea about involved circuits etc - I use  what is available.

As I have a full time and highly stressful job I don't have any interest in manufacturing them-- this was built as what we call in the trade,a "bit of Jarvo" during a couple of evenings and two lunch breaks. I will, however, build them as a favour for fellow club members and in this case I will ask to cover my material costs.
Sadly I wouldn't want to go the way of JJC as I fully understand Customer demands for reliabilty, low cost and warranty support. Locally and for club members I can put things right without too much hassle but with a potential Customer, who may have stumped up hard earned cash and lives  200 miles away it could get difficult.

Now to answer some of your queries-

1 - I agree water can slosh around and get into the fan. To get around this I used a sealed, brushless fan offset from the inner module and have put a baffle plate just below the inlet holes

2 -I agree with boatmanmad regarding the jet streaming and his idea of using using baffles in the stack would definitely break this up. The pictures are of the fan running on full bore at 12V, if you use a lower voltage ( I've run with at 4.8V) then the steam is slow and voluminous.
I've yet to test this but I'm sure the fan could be wired up to motor output to give variable fan speed in relation to boat motor speed via the speed controller, hence increase or decrease the steam volume.

3 - As previously stated I'm not an Electronics Engineer but I do have colleagues who are.
They could probably assist in dropping from 24 volts to 12V but they have no interest in model boating and though they would advise I reckon things  could end up with expensive development costs and lower reliability and as far as I'm concerned its unknown territory-- keep it simple and effective.
If I want steam puffing accuracy then out comes my Cheddar steamer!

4 - Actually 24Vac is the recommended input power required of the module - I bit the bullet and tried it on 24Vdc and it works - there is a very slight decrease in steam output, but nothing gets hot , makes a noise or seems to want to break down after running continuously for 90 minutes cycles throughtout the day .

5 - As this will be going into a boat of 40" proportions then two 12V batteries rated at 2.2 amp each will only assist in ballast. I'm not into fast electric wizz bangers and have only used heavy Lead acid cells in my boats for this very reason - I like to have them pootling around the pond at a relaxed pace. That said if you want to build up a stack of smaller, lighter cells then I'm sure its possible

6 - Thanks NHP651 for your supportive comments - rest assured that if you can build a boat and wire it up then you could make one of these!

Basically for me it works as I want it to - relaxed Sunday boating -- keep the stress levels at work not at the pond side!

Kind regards
To all
Terry H
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barryfoote

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2008, 11:57:40 AM »

Very impressive Terry now if someone would put a detailed list of required components on the forum,then I may have a go too.....My electronics knowledge is also very limited.
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tigertiger

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2008, 01:40:28 PM »

Hi Terry

you mentioned reliabilty.

This was the BIG isse with JJC units from ny understanding. The users will be very sensetive to this. Alothogh 12 v would be nice, if the added complxity of would affect reliabilty then this would be a weakness the market would be sensitive to.

However, if you are going to provide plans so the those with the right electirical knowledge could have a go themselves, then this is not an issue as 'if I built it, I can fix it.'


Good luck
Mark
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nhp651

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2008, 06:03:11 PM »

sorry Malc,
but I beg to differ with regards competant modellers being able to "put one of these together".
I class myself as a competant modeller and will attempt all forms of modelling applications.
However, I don't class even basic electronics as modelling, and I for one would far prefer to pay someone 50 - 60 quid to make one and for me to purchase than spend my time on something I KNOW I would cock up when I can be spending my time doing a process I enjoy.
There are certain things in life that you have a total mental block on, and it doesn't help when someone who doesn't know my limitations in life suggests I can do something I can't, and both you and bunkerbarge make that assumption by saying " any competant modeller" could throw one of these together.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 06:51:24 PM »

At the risk of going off at a tangent, and repeating a point previously made somewhere else on the Forum I would agree that a model "steam" boat emitting clouds of whiteish smoke from the funnel does look very pretty but I don't think it's very authentic in most cases. I spent all day on the Waverley on Thursday and all you could see was a faint shimmering heat haze from her funnels from the combustion process (waste steam of course goes into a condenser). Even diesel powered vessels don't normally emit smoke, except maybe a black cloud at start up.

Same with sound units, it's very rarely that you get to hear a ship's engines unless you are actually in the engine room. Again, on Waverley, all you could hear (and feel) was the thumping of the paddle wheels - not sure if anyone does a sound unit that replicates that!

It does seem to me that a lot of these ingenious electronic gizmos reproduce what people think they ought to see/hear rather than reflect reality.

But do feel free to shoot me down on this!

Colin
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Peterm

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2008, 06:54:25 PM »

Colin, I agree completely.   Pete M
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cos918

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2008, 07:20:48 PM »

hi colin.
On the sound . I have to agree with you. A 1:100 scale ship 1m from the shore is 100m in reality.Apart from a faint rumbel you can hear much elese execpt a horn. As for smoke. on the diesel ship i have seen i have to fully agree with you. But i think  it comes down to this. Most  modlers who go own this road want more than foward and back left and right. So the next step is sound and smoke. So what do you do go fore the true scale look wich will be a fain wisp of smoke a a fain rumbel of sound or go for over kill to show oyher people the extra you have gone to.
Me i love a smoke unit that gave a big black cloud on start up.

john
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Reade Models

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2008, 07:23:05 PM »

sorry Malc,
but I beg to differ with regards competant modellers being able to "put one of these together".
I class myself as a competant modeller and will attempt all forms of modelling applications.
However, I don't class even basic electronics as modelling, and I for one would far prefer to pay someone 50 - 60 quid to make one and for me to purchase than spend my time on something I KNOW I would cock up when I can be spending my time doing a process I enjoy.
There are certain things in life that you have a total mental block on, and it doesn't help when someone who doesn't know my limitations in life suggests I can do something I can't, and both you and bunkerbarge make that assumption by saying " any competant modeller" could throw one of these together.

Sorry, I repeat, any COMPETANT modeller could assemble one of these - there are NO ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS IN IT, just a simple two wire connection for the fan, and a two wire connection for the nebuliser all through a single switch - Oh and maybe a fuse? - If you've ever built a RC model boat, you've already done more complex stuff than this!  If you've got a mental block matey - it's your problem alone an not everybody else's.

Malc

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Bunkerbarge

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2008, 08:06:39 PM »

Been out for the day, Malc you read and understood my point perfectly. 

There are no electronics involved with this unit, it is a 24v nebuliser and a 6-12v computer fan housed in an electrical enclosure, all available from electronics wholesalers such as Maplins or RS Components.  I'd be surprised if the majority of us here cannot put that together relatively competently.  My assumption was based on the fact that most modellers should be capable of drilling a hole in a piece of plastic and that's about the sum total of the requirement here!!  ...and no I am not being detrimental to anyone who has put one together, they have simply evaluated the available components, asembled them and shown us what can be achieved relatively simply.  My hat off to them.  For those of us who do not want to risk drilling holes in the said plastic, each to thier own, I'm open minded enough to accept that we all take on the challenges that we want to however I do think when someone has shown us how relatively simple something is we should allow people to spread the word rather than critisise them for making relatively safe assumptions.

My point was that for me I am looking for someone who can put the electronics together to make it more user friendly and controllable whilst maintaining the reliability.  We don't seem to have been able to have achieved that as yet, although all credit to JJC for a very good attempt.

By the way Colin, I have been saying for some time now that the levels of noise emanating from most ponds on a Sunday morning is grossly disproportionate to the sound levels of your average harbour, but what the heck, if people get enjoyment out of it who are we to get picky!!



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Colin Bishop

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2008, 08:13:04 PM »

I don't disagree that sounds and smoke make life more entertaining, I rather liked the diesel sounds from one of the lifeboats at Mayhem last year and something coming out of the funnel does give the impression that things are happening below decks. So it's all harmless fun really, just not all that realistic in most cases. In fact the only vessel I have heard which really does make a noise you can't miss is the Isle of Wight hovercraft ferry. But it does have four aero engines stuck up on pylons. Curiously enough, all the model hovercraft I have seen have been pretty quiet!

Colin
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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2008, 08:31:25 PM »

I don't disagree that sounds and smoke make life more entertaining, I rather liked the diesel sounds from one of the lifeboats at Mayhem last year and something coming out of the funnel does give the impression that things are happening below decks. So it's all harmless fun really, just not all that realistic in most cases. In fact the only vessel I have heard which really does make a noise you can't miss is the Isle of Wight hovercraft ferry. But it does have four aero engines stuck up on pylons. Curiously enough, all the model hovercraft I have seen have been pretty quiet!

Colin
Email received from club just recently Colin.

Dear Members .
         Following complaints about noise levels at Setley pond to the Forestry Commission . The attached rules for operation of hovercraft are to be followed with immediate effect .
         I am sorry to sound so dictatorial about this but  your Committee are very concerned that we  are at risk of losing the use of the lake if we do not reduce noise levels.

You are obviously listening to the wrong ones.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2008, 08:34:10 PM »

Obviously Richard! Do you import yours from Portsmouth -Ryde? Sounds(!) as if they really are authentic!
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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2008, 08:37:28 PM »

Obviously Richard! Do you import yours from Portsmouth -Ryde? Sounds(!) as if they really are authentic!

No ours come via Pete (hoverboy) from Salisbury. {-)
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2008, 08:45:41 PM »

There was a little pusher tug on our pond last Sunday and it was making a very realistic diesel engine noise.  Not too much, just enough to be feasible and a very realistic tone that matched the engine revs perfectly.

I asked the owner which sound system he was using and he said he would take it out and show me.  When he did I couldn't see a thing, the noise was being generated by an out of alignement gearbox {-) {-) {-)  It made the best diesel engine noise I had heard!!
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Bee

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Re: SMOKEY JOE
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2008, 09:15:28 PM »

One advantage of going along to a club is there is always someone who can help you out. So built unit, kit, or list of parts it shouldn't really be a problem. Most clubs will help anyone, not just members.

As to sounds and smoke. Maybe the 'unrealistic' effects can be thought of as an enhancement for the admiring public rather than the afficionados. In an expert only situation they can be turned off. These effects, like water viscosity, do not scale so the exageration is perhaps needed to 'fool' the human senses. Lets not forget how much we admire a nicely prepared real wood finish on a 1/24 th model which if scaled up actually has the grain texture of a straw bale.
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