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Seuthe smoke units failing

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2022 12:49 pm
by RodTT
I took 'Naples Street' to a show this weekend and as usual invited kids to press a button on the front of the layout to make a factory chimney smoke via a Seuthe 117 smoke unit. And it didn't. I checked there was smoke oil in the unit, then took some out in case there was too much, but nothing. Of course when I tested it beforehand it was fine. I've tested it again since and it's not working.
This is the second time a Seuthe smoke unit has failed on me after only very light use.
Are they just unreliable?
Or...the instructions say they are supposed to run on 16-18V AC or DC. I've had mine running direct off the DCC track supply, via a PSU which is 16V AC. Could this harm the unit?
No option now but to buy yet another for my next shows, but could running it off its own AC or DC supply (say from my backup Gaugemaster controller) rather than the track DCC be a safer option?

Re: Seuthe smoke units failing

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:03 am
by Bigelov
I would always run something like that on a separate power supply.

'Normal' AC varies from full voltage (eg +16v) to zero, to -16v in a constant wave form. DCC is always max voltage, but stops and starts (digital on/off) and flips (+/-) VERY quickly. I suspect that would cause problems for electronics that wasn't designed for it.

Re: Seuthe smoke units failing

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:25 am
by TheKnighTT
I don't have any experience with Seuthe smoke units on DCC. I had one in my H0 loco when I was a kid. That was reliable as a brick. If I had steam liquid, I think I could fire it up right now.
I'm with Bigelov and would run it on a separate power supply.

Re: Seuthe smoke units failing

Posted: Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:37 am
by RodTT
Thanks. This would seem to tie in with what I remember about the first one I had some years ago before I had DCC, when I ran it off the dedicated 16V AC output from my Gaugemaster and never had problems.