Smoke Units

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Nannuu

New Member
Sorry to have to register for this but I have a question about smoke units. I want to use a model train smoke unit for my daughter's birthday cake but I have no idea what to use.
Can I just buy a smoke unit and some protosmoke (nice smelling kind or unscented) and hook it up to a battery or DC inverter (assuming correct voltage)? If I hook it up to run constantly, how long does a full smoke unit typically last, a few minutes or an hour?
Is there an easier way to do this? I assume the smoke unit just heats up the smoke liquid. Is there a DIY smoke plan out there for models (not the train)? Or is there a specific model smoke unit?

I can see protosmoke at walthers.com but I don't know which smoke unit matches.

Thanks for any help.
Will
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
None of the smoke units that were used in trains smell good just FYI. They all burn a type of oil that I'm sure you honestly wouldn't want to mix with the cake. If you want the illusion of smoke why not put a little plasic tube with the top open and put a little water and tiny bit of dry ice. A lot healthier solution.
 

Nannuu

New Member
I tried dry ice on a previous cake and it made the fondant all sticky and gross as it flows out and down so I was hoping the train smoke thing would be the way to go. It won't touch the frosting if the smoke goes up.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
Yea it will man I have a smoke unit train before the oil gets hot enough to turn into smoke it spits the stuff around in a wide radius. These things are that un-healthy to have around in trains I can't imagine having them on a cake. I wouldn't do it at all. Just a fair warning from someone that has one and won't have another in a train.
 

Nannuu

New Member
If I place it under the cake and the smoke rises up a tube it shouldn't splatter on the frosting right? The smoke will be coming out of a volcano but the volcano will be cake and probably covered with fondant. Maybe I'll test dry ice with some icing other than fondant to see how it reacts. I have a month before the party.
 

NickB

Wannabe Engineer
The smoke fumes are not healthy to inhale either. That's another reason why you don't see these in model trains anymore really. Burning oil is just not something that would be pleasant to smell nor would it be healthy but it seems your boud and determined to make it work.

P.S. The oil drops will shoot aways out of the tube that's why I said in one of my posts it has a wide radius. My smoke unit splattered some oil on my hand as it went by about 12-14 inches away.
 
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GJ@PARR

New Member
Try one of those party supply places. They have smoke units that won't poison everyone out. They are designed for your intended use.

Jim
 

Railphotog

Railroad Photographer
I doubt if a battery could supply enough current to operate a smoke unit, but I could be wrong if a big enough one was used. They don't really make a whole lot of smoke either, it puffs a little but sort of drifts out. Whether it would work inside the volcano as suggested is something else.

I had a Seuthe unit in a sawdust burner on my modules. For that purpose it worked OK for a while, then it burned out. Don't know if I let it run dry and it burned itself out or if I overfilled it. After three $20.00 smoke units, I gave up on the idea.

Modern smoke units in MTH O scale trains would probably work but would also be rather expensive I guess. They have large reservoirs and a fan that actually blows the smoke out of their steam and diesel engines. Some people at our train shows who are exposed to the smoke have allergy/breathing problems, so it is used in moderation by our Lionel guys. Can't imagine it being healthy for young children.
 

Nannuu

New Member
Thanks for the information guys. I'll try a party store too, I never realized they had stuff like that other than plates and tinkertoys.
 




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