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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I have been a member of this forum for about a year reading many threads on a variety of topics. I am in the process of planning my Halloween setup in October and am in need of advice and recommendations.

Background
I live in a home that has a front yard about 70 ft by 30 ft. The entire front yard is decorated with a very elaborate setup. Starting in May I am building significant upgrades including:

(1) a Halloween fence for the entire perimeter
(2) corner pedestals with flame flickering bulbs
(3) a "haunted spider tunnel" that is 16 ft long, 10 ft high, and 4 ft wide that splits the property in half

The tunnel is the main attraction. I had a basic tunnel last year on the edge of the property. Many children waited in line to walk thru the tunnel. I had no decorations inside, but this year the tunnel will be significantly augmented with webbing, spiders, engulfed with fog, and illuminated with blacklights. On the left side of the bridge is primarily an open area with a cemetery closer to the fence at the front of the property and some other animatronics. The right side of the bridge is a spider's nest, which includes the following:

(1) beef netting is stretched from the top of the 10-ft tunnel to the ground
(2) a huge, 50-ft spider web hangs in the air from the house and a tall tree to the ground on the very far right edge of the property
(3) on the ground in-between the two webs are 2 huge spiders about 9-ft wide and 5-ft high

To chill the fog, I use a 100-gallon steel drum that is filled with ice. The fog is channeled through the barrel using ducting tubes.


The Challenge
The challenge I face is placing fog on both sides of the tunnel. (I have a small fog machine that will be used to place fog inside the tunnel.) My old Antari fog machine, which lasted 12 years, failed unexpectedly last year. The 200+ children & their families that come to our home on Halloween were saddened by this; they really noticed the lack of eerie fog they had grown accustomed to seeing. My wife and I decided to invest in a new fog machine that provides significantly more volume: the Antari M10. We have upgraded our electrical fuse box to include a subpanel that controls all of the power for the Halloween decorations, including two 240V circuits (one will be used the the M10).

I am unable to cover the entire property with one fog machine, like I have done in the past, due to the new spider tunnel in the middle (and I cannot place the tunnel anywhere else). The fog will not penetrate the bridge, thus will be limited to one side of the property unless I can channel the fog to both sides. We do not have the budget to buy two professional fog machines.

I can use ducting or PVC tubing to direct the fog along a single channel to wherever I would like. However, I have never seen anything online whereby the ducting is split into two distinct paths using a Y-branch. I need two separate ducting channels to direct fog to both sides of the bridge. Does anyone have this experience or any ideas? The Antari M10 is capable of 50,000 cfm and can continuously sustain that volume output. The fog fluid I use is Froggy Fog's Backwood Bay - a very thick, low-lying fog that dissipates very slowly.

One Possible Strategy: Using a Single Channel
One idea is to still use a single channel of PVC tubing, but have that tubing placed on one side of the bridge, go up and over the bridge, then down the other side and onto the ground is a very long path: about 30 to 40 feet, and this does not include the tubing inside the 100-gallon steel drum that has an additional 20 feet of ducting! I can use 2 portable ventilator fans, 1 immediately outside the steel drum and 1 at the end of the tubing (or ducting) to increase the airflow through the very long PVC tubing and drill holes in specific places where the fog will exit. One downside to this approach is whether the fog will dissipate uniformly across the entire tubing. For example, will more fog exit the holes close to the fog machine compared to the holes at the very end of the PVC tube.

A two channel approach would reduce the amount of PVC tubing in half (or possibly even less).


Does anyone have any suggestions, recommendations, or ideas that would help me overcome this challenge? Many thanks for taking the time to read this post. I know I provided a lot of detail. My wife and I really enjoy Halloween and seeing the happy faces of over 200 children when they see our Halloween setup is worth every bit of time and money we spend on this project every year. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
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I would suggest one of two things:

1) Get a cheapy fogger for one side/area. The basic foggers that are sold at Walmart/Target and such for under $25 are decent enough for a smaller area to fill in where your larger pro fogger can't reach. I'd place it at the far side opposite the main area, making sure the pro fogger is located nearest the main viewing areas and the cheapy one is located towards the back, you could even set up a completely separate chiller (again, using cheap construction like an old foam cooler and frozen water bottles).

2) Get some fans that will fit inside ducting, and use them to direct and maintain the airflow through the ducting to push the pro fogger fog further into the yard areas as needed. This is going to require much planning and testing along with the know-how on wiring small fans and proper placement tho. But if you are capable, then getting fans from someplace like Sciplus (like this one maybe?) will allow you to split off into a Y and still have fog piped into both areas if you arrange them to optimize the flow.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank for your suggestions. If trying to channel the fog from the primary fog machine to two separate areas becomes too difficult, I will have to buy a cheap fog machine to cover the spider's nest. Although that is the primary display, it's a slightly smaller area (about 25-ft x 25 ft). I can then focus the M10 on the larger area of about 35-ft x 30-ft. Building a 2nd, small chiller is very easy.

When I purchased the M10, I knew that would produce enough fog to cover the entire yard. I did not take into account an obstruction in the middle of the yard. :)

I begin construction of multiple structures next month. When the time comes I will begin testing the new fogger in different configurations. Let's see what happens.
 

Oak Lane Cemetery
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Computer fans are small enough to fit into a 3-4" pvc fitting and can run for a long time just wired to a 9v battery. I just attached one to the 4" side of a 4-3" reducer to use just in case I need to pull fog through a long run of pipe this Halloween when I set up the new chiller I made. Had to file the corners off of the fan to get it to slip in, but it was a perfect fit once I did. Most of them run off 5-12v so a 9v battery works perfect to run one. I can just pop this onto the end of a long run of 3" pipe and be able to almost silently pull the fog to the area I need it. Most of the time the cold fog travels fine on it's own, so this is just in case I need it.

No 9v battery plug on the wires yet but you get the idea...

IMG_20180406_232636.jpg

A little hot glue to secure it...

IMG_20180406_232649.jpg

IMG_20180406_232700.jpg
 

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Not sure I completely understand your setup but could you possibly just make another outlet at the drum itself and run pipe or hose from there to where needed? Maybe somehow valve each outlet to balance flow as you wish.
Do you have any photos of you setup from past years? We love pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited by Moderator)
I have attached a pdf file of the layout of our front yard. If you have Microsoft Visio, I can provide the .vsdx file.

The right side of the diagram will be the spider's nest. The large, somewhat shaded area is a 50-foot spider web that hangs from a window on the side of the house and a tall tree to the ground. The center of the diagram has the tunnel that everyone walks through. Almost everyone goes thru the bridge, which leads to the front of the house to get the candy.

On the diagram there is a long black and yellow channel with smoke coming out every six inches. This is a black PVC tube with built-in holes. Originally, this tube would go up and over the tunnel, which is about 20 ft, then would extend an additional 20 feet to cover the spider's nest (right side of tunnel). I was hoping one powerful fog machine could handle both areas using this strategy. The challenge is proper ventilation. I will have a ventilator immediately outside the chiller that will push the fog through the tub. What I am learning from this forum is that additional small fans may be needed along the way to maintain the positive pressure. The total PVC tube length would be almost 100 feet! Unfortunately, I cannot insert PVC tubing through the tunnel nor underneath the tunnel.

I have attached a Jpeg file and a pdf file. The pdf file has better resolution.

Halloween Front Yard.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My above post has only a pdf file. I was trying to delete the other files but could not figure out how to do so. I may have accidentally posted an earlier version of the image above. If you see "Legend" in the bottom right corner, then you are viewing the current version. Otherwise, the diagram is an older version.

Does anyone know how to delete an image ot file after it is posted? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Computer fans are small enough to fit into a 3-4" pvc fitting and can run for a long time just wired to a 9v battery. I just attached one to the 4" side of a 4-3" reducer to use just in case I need to pull fog through a long run of pipe this Halloween when I set up the new chiller I made. Had to file the corners off of the fan to get it to slip in, but it was a perfect fit once I did. Most of them run off 5-12v so a 9v battery works perfect to run one. I can just pop this onto the end of a long run of 3" pipe and be able to almost silently pull the fog to the area I need it. Most of the time the cold fog travels fine on it's own, so this is just in case I need it.

No 9v battery plug on the wires yet but you get the idea...
Do you have the fans running inside the tube with fog flowing through the fan? Or, do you have a Y-connector at each location with one branch? Please see attached image. I learned from various sources on the internet that the Y-branch approach increases airflow since you have an additional vent to draw air into the pipe. Also, one manufacturer web site indicated that inline fans should not be used due to the fog eventually damaging the fan. However, I have not been able to find any additional source to corroborate this claim.

Y-Branch with Fan.jpg

The manufacturer I mentioned earlier is Rosco. They mentioned the inline fan problem in this YouTube video (about 1:50 into the video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=3eLASNGuyCw
 

Oak Lane Cemetery
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Do you have the fans running inside the tube with fog flowing through the fan? Or, do you have a Y-connector at each location with one branch? Please see attached image. I learned from various sources on the internet that the Y-branch approach increases airflow since you have an additional vent to draw air into the pipe. Also, one manufacturer web site indicated that inline fans should not be used due to the fog eventually damaging the fan. However, I have not been able to find any additional source to corroborate this claim
I've never tried the fan before. I made this attachment for this year just because I know I may have to employ a very long run of pipe to keep my fogger and chiller hidden. My intent is to just attach this to the end of my pipe and run it off the lowest speed wire to create a little gentle flow to help the fog along without stirring it up too much. I may not need it at all. And yea, I can see how it could damage the fan, but they are very cheap/free and easily replaced.
 

Typical Ghoul Next Door
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My above post has only a pdf file. I was trying to delete the other files but could not figure out how to do so. I may have accidentally posted an earlier version of the image above. If you see "Legend" in the bottom right corner, then you are viewing the current version. Otherwise, the diagram is an older version.

Does anyone know how to delete an image ot file after it is posted? Thanks.
I've removed the pdf attachment that had no legend and left the one that had it and matched the JPG pic. Hope that was correct! And wow - you've got the planning down cold on your setup! Very nifty!! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #12
That Y setup would isolate the fan from the fog so damage would not be likely. Would also prevent the fan from "chopping" the fog and stirring it up so much. Might redo mine to a Y after seeing this.
You make a good point about "chopping" the fog with an in-line fan. Chopping the fog could also compromise the low-lying effect I am trying to achieve. If you are using an inexpensive fog machine that has limited output, then the "chopping" effect may be more evident, but less likely to damage the fan blades. A professional machine like mine that produces 50,000 cfm may not be affected at all by "chopping", but the fans themselves could be critically damaged in a very short time.

When I begin experimenting with this project, I am going to do a cost analysis. If buying a 2nd fog machine (in the $100-200 range) and a small homemade chiller is cheaper than purchasing all of the additional PVC tubing, Y-branches, and fans, then I will go with the 2nd fog machine. If I decide to purchase, then I will make sure to buy a fog machine that has a remote with a timer. I have really cheap fog machines for my 2 Gargoyles but they require manual activation by remote. That is a real nuisance when you are trying to manage a large Halloween display with dozens of children at a time running around. I recommend to everyone to save your money and spend the extra $40 for a fog machine that supports a remote with a timer. The remote does not need to be wireless. Once the timer is set, the fog machine will produce fog consistently on its own. Also, when I say "remote" I do not mean DMX control. Although I have equipment that supports DMX, I have no idea how to use it nor have I ever had the need for that kind of control for a home display/haunt.

I begin construction in early May. I will be significantly augmenting the haunted tunnel, create a new Halloween fence, pedestals, and various smaller pieces like covers for fog machines and wire covers. Afterwards, everything will be painted black. That will take a few weeks (at least). Afterwards, I begin experimenting with the fog machine and directing the fog to different locations.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That Y setup would isolate the fan from the fog so damage would not be likely. Would also prevent the fan from "chopping" the fog and stirring it up so much. Might redo mine to a Y after seeing this.
If you ever find small AC-powered fans that are relatively inexpensive, please post a link. They will be more expensive than their DC-powered counterparts, but I am trying to remove batteries from every part of the display. When I began creating Halloween displays many years ago, I was spending a fortune on batteries - and rechargeable batteries do not perform as well. I can also turn on and shut down the entire display much more easily when everything is connected to a switch inside my home.

One funny story: I forgot to shut off the animatronics one night. Multiple neighbors stopped by the next day and told me they thought they were hearing voices the night before. They eventually figured out that the "voices" were the ghosts, clowns, and witches I have. They were talking all night because of the wind blowing leaves in front of the motion sensors. Squirrels, rabbits, and other small animals also take interest in the decorations and activate the sensor. Needless to say, I did not make that mistake again! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've removed the pdf attachment that had no legend and left the one that had it and matched the JPG pic. Hope that was correct! And wow - you've got the planning down cold on your setup! Very nifty!! :D
Thanks! I spent about 6 weeks diagramming the front yard. I have learned the hard way that poor planning leads to spending considerably more money. So, this year, I am constantly revising this diagram to make absolutely sure that I have everything planned with 95% accuracy. I say 95%, not 100%, because it is impossible to predict every scenario. Something always happens that was unexpected, and that's when you end up spending more money at the last minute.
 

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The setup with the "y" connection and the corrugated drain pipe is similar to what I have used for years. A "y" connection comes directly off my fog chiller with the "y" facing the fog chiller and a fan on one side and a second "y" connection is attached to the first facing away from the chiller which has 20 feet of corrugated drain pipe coming off in both directions. I also place frozen bottles of water inside the drain pipes to help keep the fog chilled along the length of each pipe and block the far ends of the pipe so the fog is forced out through the holes drilled along the length. For me the tricky part is camouflaging the drain pipes without blocking the fog. By the way, I use a small, personal fan placed just inside the "y" and I have to clean it each year because the fog juice tends to leave a coating on it. I don't know how powerful or sturdy a computer fan would be under those conditions but the little round fan I found fits perfectly set up against the opening of a 4" "y".
 

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Computer fans are small enough to fit into a 3-4" pvc fitting and can run for a long time just wired to a 9v battery. I just attached one to the 4" side of a 4-3" reducer to use just in case I need to pull fog through a long run of pipe this Halloween when I set up the new chiller I made. Had to file the corners off of the fan to get it to slip in, but it was a perfect fit once I did. Most of them run off 5-12v so a 9v battery works perfect to run one. I can just pop this onto the end of a long run of 3" pipe and be able to almost silently pull the fog to the area I need it. Most of the time the cold fog travels fine on it's own, so this is just in case I need it.

No 9v battery plug on the wires yet but you get the idea...

View attachment 543482

A little hot glue to secure it...

View attachment 543490

View attachment 543498
This is downright BEAUTIFUL TO BEHOLD

I must have twenty chassis fans piled up. Totally using them instead of spending more money on duct forced-air assist fans.

I've been using the black corrugated landscaping pipes, simply cuz they're light, affordable, and easy to cut chop and modify. I watched my fog machine fire into them and saw maybe 20% of the fog just floating around outside the nozzle instead of going into the pipe. Plus, without a fan, the fog tends to stay stuck inside, cuz the corrugated ribs restrict flow considerably.

I'm definitely planning ahead. Ima see if I can mount the fans to the coupler fittings, then snap em in place wherever I need them.

Lemme guess... if you got 5-volt fans, we could use el-cheapo cell phone charger blocks to power them? I'm getting giddy over here!!!
 

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...If you are using an inexpensive fog machine that has limited output, then the "chopping" effect may be more evident, but less likely to damage the fan blades. A professional machine like mine that produces 50,000 cfm may not be affected at all by "chopping", but the fans themselves could be critically damaged in a very short time....
I believe computer chassis fans are cheap enough and available enough that replacing them every other year still wouldn't be too costly. Ask your computer techy friends if they have any old chassis corpses to strip their fans.

If you put that fan closer to the fog machine, any cavitation or chopping would stabilize back to a laminar flow inside the pipes/ducts by the time it traveled 10 feet. So as long as you're locating your fog machine back away from your actual haunt location, a long run will come out stable and smooth.
 

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Something I want to test as well, is to use the black sewer hose used for RV and camper tank drains. They make those accordion style extending hoses, and you can flex and turn them into position. They would bend and stay, helping you with routing through your yard. Seen them on sale a couple times at Home Depot for landscaping as well, and wasn't too expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do small computer fans provide sufficient airflow to push the fog through the pipes? I am trying to calculate how many fans I would need to install, using Y-branches discussed earlier in this post, to push the fog through 100 feet of PVC piping that has holes every 4 or 6 inches, additional small chillers inserted into the pathway, as well as multiple 90-degree elbows along the 100-ft path. This is turning out to be a challenging math problem! :D Believe it or not, I may be able to calculate this mathematically, but will not have time to work out the equations until later this summer. Once I have fog airflow (e.g., 20,000 cfm), air speed measured at 5-ft intervals along the pathway, cfm of the small fan, and airspeed increase along the pipe from the small fan, I have almost everything I need. The only variable left is fog density, which is more subjective.

I will be experimenting with this later this summer. I sincerely appreciate everyone's feedback on this post. I am learning so much from your collective experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you put that fan closer to the fog machine, any cavitation or chopping would stabilize back to a laminar flow inside the pipes/ducts by the time it traveled 10 feet. So as long as you're locating your fog machine back away from your actual haunt location, a long run will come out stable and smooth.
How did you learn this? By experimentation & observation, or by calculation? In any case, this information is incredibly helpful!!!!! Thanks!!!!!
 
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