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Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

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Old 05-03-2007, 02:08 PM
  #1
patpatballball8888
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Default Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

My Heng Long Tiger smoke unit worked for 2 hours and died, the displacement pump is on and can hear the noise from it. After the search on the forum and before order the replacement, I found the smoke unit for the SS tanks usually the first part to be broken and people have different reasons for the failure. I suspect it would be a design flaw, and if so, get a replacement will finally has the same result, run 2 hours and die again. Therefore, I decided to tear down the smoke unit and find out what is going on.

My smoke unit is made of clear plastic and can be see-through, I used a regulated DC power supply to juice the unit at 7.0V, (in case as others suggested the unit need a fresh charged battery, otherwise not powerful enough to heat the smoke out, but I figured the power source is not the origin of the problem) motor pump runs but still no smoke in the chamber then I used a model knife to cut open the smoke chamber (about 23mm cube), and there is a cotton pellet with aerosol at the bottom of the chamber (also contradict to some suggested, the cotton pellet is not the source of the problem since this pellet is right at the bottom of the chamber, and far away from the pumped air inlet and smoke outlet, this cotton pellet will not block or clog the smoke), a thick wick that is twisted with the heating element, the element is then soldered to a little circuit board and wired out to the power source. After careful examination, I found the heating element came off from the solder joint on the board, then I untwisted the wick and separated the heating element from it, since wire of the element was come off and only half of the length of the element can be reused (it has only 5 ohms in resistance, so the stock would be 10 ohms I guess), resoldered it and connected to the power supply, the bare element started to heat up the little aerosol residue on it and for 2 mins without burn out the element (so burn out of the element due to aerosol dry out for short time should not exist). Then I found a cotton wick only 1/3 of diameter of the stock one, put 2 drops of aerosol, put back everything and seal the chamber up, power up with the stock battery about 2/3 charged, WOW , a lot of the smoke was generated and came out from exhaust (see the YouTube video).

[link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhp6P69Sshk[/link]

Since the heating element only half length so it generates more heat than the stock and gives out more smoke, therefore, a repair now become a mod.

The conclusion is the stock smoke unit is only good for like model train, but not for HL tanks. The reason is the wick is too thick and when put too much aerosol in it, it will soak up and gain a very “heavy” weight, (actually the even excess aerosol will go down to the cotton pellet at the bottom of the chamber as a reservoir and will not hurt the unit) however, HL tanks usually run at rough surface, doing super spins and recoil, this kind of shock, vibration and force give a great stress on the tightly twisted and soldered heating element and finally broke up and cut off from the soldered joint or the wire itself by the weight of the stock wick (the heating element works like seat belt and the wick likes an over weighted adult). Finally, the suggestion not to put too much aerosol into the stock smoke unit is right in order to prevent this happen, and if you have a broken smoke unit, you may try to do this repair by replacing with a smaller wick and resoldered the element and enjoy the mod.
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Old 05-03-2007, 03:14 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Nice to see a HL smoker working well for once!
A quick question and please excuse my electrical ignorance, but am I right in thinking that if you half the resistance then the unit will now draw double the current? If that's the case you my find the main board will require extra cooling (fan or heat sink) as they are pretty much on the edge of overheating as it is in a S&S tank.
Just a thought, like I say, I know very little about electrics.
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:23 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Nice job on the fix. I love the smoke feature but it is so finicky. Nice video too. I am working on a replacement unit that is proportional.
My daughter called me the biggest nerd in the world for filming my smoke generator and putting it on Youtube. Now I know she was wrong, I am at least tied

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufKjdk63s-o

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Old 06-13-2007, 01:35 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

could you miss out the board and connect the element straight to the battery on a switch?
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

OK Perry, now the $64,000 question - when are you gonna begin to make and sell the smoke unit you developed? My Tiger is in dire need of a decent smoke unit !!!
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:43 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

[]I hate smoke units i only use them on my first 2 HL tanks all the others i don't even bother it just messes up your paint jobs and everything gets dicolored and oily....That's my take on them..
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:09 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

hi..i 've just ben reading your thread on the smoke unit mod..my smoke unit stopped working so i've got it all apart and the heating element is broken...what do i need for a replacement heating element..? not sure what resistance or size...? also, i wasn't sure what you meant about the wick..its too heavy so is it best left out completely or cut down in size..? any help would be much appreciated..! could buy another one but i want to increase the smoke produced and would rather fix this one anyway if possible..
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:47 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

when i picked up my sandbags from creepingdeath they were telling me that their tanks will be comming standard with a porportional smoker we'll have to see how theirs are done. i found a porportional smoker for hl's on ebay looks like stock but it was clear with a small circuit board. i love the smoke feature my bulldog smoker went out but i loved it when it did work.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:41 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

I did not replace or use another heating element, I just recycled the broken one on the smoke unit and cut it into half length, resolder it back to the circuit board; so you may get the heating element from a broken solder iron and make the length with a resistance of about 5 ohms and that would be fine. The heating element was circularly wrapping around the white color cotton wick (or string, it is hard to see at the first place) and the diameter of the stock wick is too thick and heavy, so I just use a less diameter (about 1/3) from a regular gift-wrapping cotton string for replacement.

The wick shown on the right side has similar dia. as inside the smoke unit (actually it is a shoes lace), the one on the left I used for replacement. Wrap the heating element around the loop section of the wick, resolder back to the board. Done.

P.S. after months of fix, the smoke unit is still working.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:31 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi patpatballball8888 and all tankers.

I found your post and I have a question to you: after your smoker "rebuilt", for where do you refill your smoker? Do you use the exaust pipes or another method?

Thanks. Arturo.


Go tankers!!!!!
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:17 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi, Arturo:


Just use the exhaust pipes as before to refill the smoking fluid. The refill pump comes with the tank does not do the job well, I use a needle syringe instead, in that way, I can also measure the amount of fluid that comes into the unit.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi. Thanks for your answer.

My smoker worked for a 1 hour and then It K.O. Now I have measured with a tested and It gives me that there is continuity, for that reason I think that It's not damaged. What amount of liquid do you put inside?

Thanks.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi Guys
Nearly changing the subject, My smoker box died after a short while as well, same problem, I did something different though, I found the element had broken as well, so all I did was got some household fuse wire and joined the broken filament together. What had bothered me since day one was the motor/pump noise, simple, I got a 40mm computer fan, cut the original smoke unit about, rebuilt it with a cd case installed the fan (with the help of a hot glue gun) and hey presto, a smoke box that worked again but totally silent !!!
Sorry about the fuzzy piccys but you can get the general idea
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:31 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Nice job on the tank forum's most ubiquitous smoke generator fix (the computer fan).

What I am curious about though, is more details about the "household fuse wire" you used to replace the filament. Can you elaborate on that and what it is exactly? If it works long-term, then we may have a viable fix for these troublesome little smoke units.

Whereas others promptly discard the smoker after it gives up the ghost, I always like to see one that has survived albeit in a different form.

[sm=thumbs_up.gif][sm=thumbup.gif][sm=wink_smile.gif]
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:45 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi Again

The fuse wire I used was standard fuse wire that all the older houses have (you know, comes on a card, old type ceramic fuses, screw at each end, wrap the wire around the screw and tighten the screw up) it was 15 amp fuse wire and all I did was to wrap the fuse wire around the original filament wire bridging the broken gap. The smoker box were the filament is has a small hole in it (about 4mm) I drilled it out to 8mm so the air from the fan can get in more easily and also pushes the smoke out quicker and makes the smoke seem more dense
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

oh I forget to mention, I did this fix approx a month ago and I ran it for an hour after doing it plus I was so impressed with it I run it up most nights for at least 20 minutes and so far it is still going strong, so much so I am having to build one for my bruvver but this time I am building it into a metal box so what I will do is a step by step guide in piccys and post it if anyone is interesed in it, I am going away for a few weeks to Devon (yipeeeeeeeeee, Love Devon) so I will do it when I get back

Richard
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:29 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

hi laz..i too have been waiting for someone to provide info on an easy element replacement...i have several of those cards of fuse wire..!
my question is, how long was the piece of fuse wire you used..? have heard that the length of the element can affect the performance due to the ohms..? dunno much about electrics in case you hadn't realised..![][:@]
i love the smoker feature but don't use it too much as have already gone through 2 smokers (which may now be easily fixed...)
cheers, rgds stuart
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod


Quote:
ORIGINAL: laz2428

oh I forget to mention, I did this fix approx a month ago and I ran it for an hour after doing it plus I was so impressed with it I run it up most nights for at least 20 minutes and so far it is still going strong, so much so I am having to build one for my bruvver but this time I am building it into a metal box so what I will do is a step by step guide in piccys and post it if anyone is interesed in it, I am going away for a few weeks to Devon (yipeeeeeeeeee, Love Devon) so I will do it when I get back

Richard

Please do post a step by step on this idea, and if you could shoot a little video of the out put of the smoker?

The Blitz
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:08 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi Guys
Yea no probs, I will do a video as soon as I get back from Devon in 2 weeks ( have I mentioned that I luv Devon )
The fuse wire I used was near as dammit the same length as th original filament but the 15 amp wire is smaller in diameter so making it heat up quicker and run slightly hotter hence the enlarged hole I drilled in the casing of the smoker box making the air/smoke move faster.
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Old 08-16-2008, 05:23 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Hi You could use nichrome wire its used for cutting foam wings very cheap as replacement fillament the only problem is trying to solder it you need an acid flux so the solder will take .


regards pete
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:20 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Anything new?
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:30 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

I watched my smoker in action while I have the top off my Tiger. I noticed that the angle is not very steep were you add the fluid, so it doesnt want to go into the smoker, rather stays in the "exhaust tube". I was wondering if it might be a good idea to drill a hole in the top of the smoker and run a seperate filler tube up under the engine grill. You could then use a syringe to fill it. When filling your stock smoker, are you suppossed to fill by only one tube? While the computer fan idea is inventive, I prefer improving the stock setup as the fan method looses the puff, puff that is in sink with the motor.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:39 PM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

Tried using the 15 amp wire wound around a cotton core because the original wire was beyond salvage. The pump ran and the wire heated the wick which smoked but the red/white power supply wire also heated up and melted the insulation.

Tried again with another smoke unit using 5amp wire bur the pump ran slowly whilst the wire started to burn out. Am using a HL 7.2 battery for a supply.

  Any ideas anyone.
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Old 11-02-2009, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

pulled the smoke unit today in my tiger 1. the top tubes were melted down! probably only ran 15 minutes in the last 2 years!
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:46 AM
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Default RE: Heng Long Tiger Smoke Unit Repair and Mod

I got two new smoke units coming in this week from Mato. How much oil do I need to initially put in when the smoke unit is dry?
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