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Cheap Smoke Pump

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Old 07-08-2007, 05:40 AM
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efish
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Default Cheap Smoke Pump

Hi, here's a problem I've been mulling over on and off for months. Simply - how to rig a cheap yet effective smoke system.

After looking at a number of systems, both commercial and home made, it appears to be, for a pumped system, that the plumbing and exhaust setups are pretty similar and the big difference lies with the pump.

I looked at the Sullivan skywriter system. Seems to me that the pump is just their standard electric pump (that's a fraction the price of the sky writer system) for smoke fuel with a fancy aluminium face plate. The other difference appears to be the integration of a switch that hooks up to a free receiver channel and allows a variable pump rate.

Well, I'm thinking all I need to do would be to solder a brushed ESC across the switch terminals of a normal Sullivan smoke fuel pump (or any other pump that can handle smoke fuel) and hook this up to one of the levers on my transmitter. Power can come either from NiCD/NiMH or my older Lipos. Once setup, I can vary the pump rate (and so the smoke density) by simply moving the lever.

Does all this make sense? Or have I missed something somewhere?

Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2007, 06:38 AM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

You're planning on doing what Sullivan did in that fancy aluminum box. Or TME (which has their speed control, er, "pump control", externally wired to the pump through a connector, no less! Give it a try and report back. I'm betting others have done this same thing, and I can't think of a reason the brushed ESC wouldn't let you vary the rate like you need to.
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:06 AM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

Thanks Bob. Your vote of confidence means quite a bit to me. On another note, I have found your website to be extremely informative and helpful.

Errm only thing is it will be quite a while before this happens - I'm doing a little advance planning for a 50cc gasser I have. Only thing is the servos are at least a month away and I have a number of other projects queued.

I've also heard of others running car windscreen detergent (which I think are waterbased) pumps for smoke. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 07-08-2007, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

Thanks.... appreciate the comments.

I've heard of others using the windshield washer pumps. I think it would depend on whether or not their pump mechanism (gears, I think) would be affected by various petroleum-based smoke fluids. I've not ever found a non-petroleum based fluid that worked well enough to call it "smoke", so that could be an issue.

One thing for certain... the TME pump looks exactly LIKE a windshield washer pump - for sure.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

Thanks for that Bob.

Cost wise both the sullivan and windscreen wiper pumps are pretty similar but I thought I would try and save some weight by using the latter. Given your comments, perhaps the Sullivan would be the better choice.

Something else occured to me. In brushed motor setups, it is common to solder a capacitor or two across the motor terminals to reduce unwanted RF noise. Would doing the same across the pump switch terminals be a good idea?

Thanks.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:37 AM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

That's what TME does on theirs. Capacitor soldered across the terminals. Don't know what Sullivan does; never had one apart.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:44 PM
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Default RE: Cheap Smoke Pump

I bought a dyna smoke pump and put a GWS speed control on and it works fine.
Plus it pumps itself full buy flipping the in-out switch. Used a 7.4v lipo as power source.
And its variable with a slider or mixing to throttle.
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