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In my neighborhood, I currently rule for halloween. Easy to do, since no one seems to know or care about lighting and other effects--the bar is low and I can easily raise it. I'm betting my green laser vortex alone will be a big hit in 2010.

However, my wife's been wanting me to do something for christmas, but there are some pretty elaborate displays--can't compete there and don't want to.

But I can add one thing that others don't have--snow! I'm in central North Carolina, and we often don't even have flurries around then. I've seen DJ snow machines for ~$130 USD. Evidently it's not real snow like those made by snow machines at ski resorts. So I'm wondering--what's in the snow fluid used by the DJ versions?

As for halloween, perhaps someone could use a snow machine to make a wicked "snow maze" ala The Shining.

Anyway, does anyone here own a snow machine and if so:

1) How does it work?

2) How do you like it?

3) How have you set up scenes with it? (another good post out there on actual uses for the green laser vortex)

Also wondering how much a *real* snow machine is--e.g. least expensive--is and what it's like running one. And if anyone here has used one.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Answer

Answer: it's a sort of "dry" bubble fluid, at least for the devices I have in mind:

Theatre Effects - Making It Snow

In the link above, or elsewhere on the same site, they mention combining a red strobe with a snow machine to simulate a snowstorm of blood effect. Sounds nifty.
 

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the horror up North ...Eh
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I tell you what we can trade haunts for a year ... We can make a Tv show Called Haunt Swap
The Real snow macines at ski resorts make snow from water it must be below -5 celcius constant temp to make them work properly and a crap load electricity (220/230 VAC or 440/460 VAC - 3 phase) and you'll need to hook up to a fire hydrant. I worked at a ski hill for a couple days doing this it was without a doubt the hardest job I had you had to be in fireman shape to do this job.If you have a spare $9000 to $20000 and below freezing temps I have seen other devices but I never have to worry about getting snow it has happened every year usually a couple days before halloween
Snow Flurry High Output Snow Machine
 

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The snow machines you are asking about use a very thinned down non-toxic liquid soap. This is pumped from a one gallon container by what is essentially a larger version of a fog machine pump. The fluid is pushed to a bronze type filter which is positioned in front of a hefty enclosed fan with a dispersion 'sock' mounted on the exhaust side. When the fluid is blown into the 'sock' it foams up and is shot out the front of the machine creating the illusion of snow. I work with four of these things every year for our cities "Winter Wonderland" event. They work pretty well, but you have to clean them well before storage (the soap tends to coagulate in the filters and gums up the works royally). The ones we use are True North snow machines and have been in service for about ten years now.
 

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Is the snow that comes out of the DJ snow machines like the substance from foam machines? That soapy stuff which looks like the laundry drain after doing the washing? Is it wet or slippery on the floor once it has landed? Could it last through rain on the ground? Any advice would be great.

angelique_nm
 
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