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Author Topic: Wiring up Smoke Generator  (Read 2197 times)

richald

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Wiring up Smoke Generator
« on: December 18, 2013, 11:22:52 AM »

Just bought a 12v Graupner Super Steam Generator to go in my Mountfleet 1/32 Sealight Puffer.

Has anybody any experiences they would care to pass on, regarding wiring up and using one of these?

I would like to vary the amount of smoke generated in match the throttle setting.
The wiring suggests that there are no defined positive and negative wires so I am guessing that
I could wire it up in parallel with the ESC. I will be using an Electronize 43HVR with 2 x 6v SLA
batteries and a low power 12v motor.

Where I am unclear about the installation is in the distillate feed to the unit - I am guessing that it
should really vary with the throttle setting. I have been toying with the idea of a geared electric
motor connected to some sort of pump to produce a small but variable flow of fluid into the unit.

Obviously the pump would only have to run in one direction whether forward or reverse was selected

I have been experimenting with a small Arduino computer board, and have a crude program running that
is reading the throttle setting sent from the Radio receiver to the ESC - I think that I will be able to then
control a pump motor feeding the distillate to the smoke generator. Anybody done anything like this?

Richard

As an aside  - If I can read the ESC signal from the receiver reliably I am thinking of hooking up an
Ultrasonic Distance sensor to the computer board and producing an anti-collision unit - i.e. if the
distance sensor reads something in front of the boat it will be able to back off the throttle signal
to the ESC and thus avoid running into anything!
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inertia

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 01:50:13 PM »

Richard
While I don't know of anyone who has connected one of these up to an ESC I can tell you that you won't need a pump if you mount the bottle slightly higher than the element of the unit. Drill a small hole in the bottle to allow air in above the fluid (about 1.5mm dia) to prevent an airlock. One of the main problems with these is to stop the fluid from soaking the element when the power is off, so running it from the ESC doesn't sound like a bad idea. Another method is to have a servo-controlled squeeze-valve on the feed tube from the reservoir which can be used to restrict or shut off the flow when required.  You won't damage it by trying. It's all part of this wonderful hobby!
Dave M
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john44

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 03:15:23 PM »

Richard,
I for 1 will be very interested in this topic and have never thought about
wiring the Graupner smoke unit I have, in parallel to the main motor ESC.
I wonder if a small computer fan can be wired to the same ESC as well so the
smoke comes out proportionally with the increase in motor speed.
please keep us posted.

john
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inertia

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 04:18:14 PM »

The problem with that is when the main motor is reversed. ACTion produce a special fan and controller (P68S) which runs the fan in the right direction whichever way the main motor is running. You will, however, need to fit a 12v main motor supply and to use the main ESC for the smoke unit and drive motor.
DM
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john44

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 06:09:44 PM »

Thanks for that Dave,  :-))

john
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richald

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2013, 08:57:51 AM »

Sorry for delay in replying - Christmas got in the way a bit!

Dave M - thought about using a pump since there isn't (or wasn't) anywhere higher to place
smoke fluid reservoir - that was until I had a bit more of a think about the system - I didn't
want to put the oil reservoir in the wheelhouse - which seemed the only suitable place - but
then realised that immediately behind the wheelhouse is a dummy water tank - I think I can make
it 'oil proof' and put a removable cap on - see diagram below

I may well retain the computer board to block oil flow at zero throttle, and it would easily
control a small fan to blow the smoke out of the funnel

Richard
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inertia

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2013, 10:52:23 AM »

Rich
Why not mount the smoke element down in  the bowels of the hull and use a flue tube to route the smoke up the funnel? That way you could fit the reservoir under the deck.
DM
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richald

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Re: Wiring up Smoke Generator
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 12:05:28 PM »

Dave

Quote
Why not mount the smoke element down in  the bowels of the hull

Basically because the bowels is already full of
                         Technobots engine sound unit,
                         Action steam whistle unit,
                         Electronize ESC,
                         Technobots Speakers,
                         2 x 6v SLA batteries'
                         Action Switcher (for the lights),
                         Steering Servo
                         Wiring,
                         the odd switch or two
                         and finally of course the propulsion motor and propshaft

I did think about mounting it lower bit there isn't room, plus I'm not sure
how much space will be required for ballasting

Richard
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