Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn
Pete is correct, I get many Lionel locomotives smoking similar to MTH, it just takes a little work. FWIW, the MTH smoke units don't really use more power, they just came up with a great design that has the smoke wick between the resistors and right in the airflow. Since nobody has replicated it, I have to assume they have some sort of patent on the idea.
It is patented; I looked it up once. The patent seemed to be very wide in its terms basically encompassing the whole smoke unit and not just dual resistors.
It strikes me that Lionel has tried all sorts of alternative smoke unit designs; there's a bewildering variety of them although the basic idea is not rocket science.
MTH has also messed around with smoke unit controls. More recent diesel units have some control that limits output unless RPMs are ramped up. First engine I had of this type I thought was defective because it did not smoke in volume out of the box like older diesels.
But I would not call MTH's design or DCS generally bulletproof. Look at the thread on the dreaded "no engine to add" issue.