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Discussion Starter #1
I took my first shot at a fog chiller yesterday. The cooler itself is small (maybe 32 quarts? not sure), but I had it kicking around and thought I'd give it a shot before I bought a larger unit.

I have a Chauvet 1000w chiller, and plan on using it in my graveyard - so I want to keep the fog as low as possible, otherwise it just seems to get in the way of my other lighting effects & props.

I was hoping i could get away with a smaller chiller, so I took some 3" aluminim dryer hose and I looped it around in an S shape within the cooler to try and get the fog to stay on longer. I know you can't see it well, but here's a shot with the cooler full of ice:



Like I said you can't see it well, but the hose is basically in an S shape within the cooler. In one side and out the other.

I filled it with ice last night, let it sit for a couple hours, then gave it a shot. The fog definitely seemed to stay lower than without the chiller, but still not nearly low enough for my taste and not nearly as low as some videos I've seen. Almost seems like some fog would stay low, but then other fog would rise right up.

I feel like I definitely need something more, but I'm not sure how to proceed. I've seen the trash barrel chillers, but wonder if they are overkill for my needs and my 1000w fogger, and I also wonder how well the fog goes through all that tubing!!

Anybody have any suggestions? Should I simply go with a larger cooler? Should I stick with the S shape inside? Should I skip the dryer hose and S shape and go with a wire mess host as pictured here intead?

Fog Machines - Your Guide to using Fog Machines for Halloween

Should I bite the bullet and go with a trash chiller? Or is that overkill for my fogger? How much ice is needed to fill one of those things? It seems crazy to go out and buy all that ice every night I want to run the show..

One other question - what's the trick to controlling the direction of fog? If the wind isn't blowing the right way, the fog simply flows away from my graveyard and is wasted. Are people placing their foggers in the middle of their graveyard, or is it more common to place them behind?

This is all new to me, so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!! :)
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Dry ice in your chiller might get a more ground hugging effect.

As far as directing it, I've seen the long irrigation tubes that snake through the graveyard (usually in the back of the graveyard) so it seeps out and flows slowly over the ground to the front.

If you have ANY wind at all, the fog won't work and will dissapate, so understand that it doesn't matter how great of a chiller and distribution you've got if there is even a slight breeze.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you have ANY wind at all, the fog won't work and will dissapate, so understand that it doesn't matter how great of a chiller and distribution you've got if there is even a slight breeze.
Well, that's quite a drag!! :)

So how do I eliminate the breeze this Halloween? ;)
 

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I would try the gotfog design. Never seen that one before, but looks very easy to assemble. I don't think you have enough dryer hose to be real effective.

Just make the innards for the gotfod design and put your fog machine next to the cooler, instead of on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just make the innards for the gotfod design and put your fog machine next to the cooler, instead of on top.
The gotfog design uses an even smaller path inside the cooler. But, you think it might be more effective because of the wire mesh piping?

The holes I drilled are offset, so I can't use the wire mesh with this cooler. Maybe I'll try poking lots of small holes into my dryer vent before I give up on this.

It's a 10', 4" perforated drain pipe filled with a dozen bottles of frozen water. I'll attach it to the outlet of my ice chest chiller and bury it in the leaves in the graveyard. The fogger is a Chauvet 1250.
I have one of those perforated drain pipes. Though a lot of fog shoots out the perforations, a lot more comes out the other end. A you blocking it with something?

I LOVE the frozen water bottle idea. I think I may give that a shot, in conjunction with my ice cooler.
 

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Bête noire
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Yeah, I just closed the open end with duct tape. What you see in the vid is just the effect of the water bottles - when its attached to the chiller the fog will lay super-low.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I just closed the open end with duct tape. What you see in the vid is just the effect of the water bottles - when its attached to the chiller the fog will lay super-low.
Mind sharing what you're doing for a fog chiller?
 

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Bête noire
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I'm using a modified ice chest design, along the lines of a Vortex chiller. BTW, there's a huge thread over on Haunt Forum about fog chillers and various mod's. The fog blows in through a 2" pipe and is directed up to the top of the chest. The 2" pipe sticks up through the ice layer to about 2" below the lid. The fog expands and is forced down through the ice layer. The ice is sitting on a heavy metal screen supported with a PVC pipe frame about 4" from the bottom of the chest. A 2" pipe below the screen lets the cold fog out. I use a 2" to 4" ABS adapter to attach the extension pipe (4" dryer duct) and the perf pipe. The chest holds about 60 lbs of ice and lasts all night.
Regarding GotFog chillers: I modified my GotFog design a few years back by adding a baffle to the inlet (just a circle of plastic cut from a Nesquik lid) to force the fog out of the straight-through mesh pipe and into the ice. A similar baffle was added to the outlet port so the fog had to go through the ice pack before it could exit the chiller. It basically eliminated the straight path. This made a big difference in the performance of the GotFog chiller, and didn't require any disassembly to place the baffles. I have some pix of the interior of the chiller - I'll post them on Monday or Tuesday if you're interested in taking a look.
 

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From what I can see in the photo...
the hose is too long & the outlet hole is in the wrong position. (should face out the front of the cooler) The fog needs to move around in a vortex swirling motion to maximize the heat/cold ratio.
 

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For any fogger larger then 700 watts you need to use the trash can chiller. I will explain later why or you can do a search on it. I have explained it before in another thread. I am just sick and not really up for typing much :(

To counter the wind or breeze you need to have several different locations for your fogger. I do the same thing and I know others as well that do this. When you have multiple locations that you can put it in case of change in wind then you won't have to worry about it. You can also set up two machines at opposites ends out of a chiller. The drainage pipe running the lenght of the yard at the back will work too...
 

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Grand Poobah
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My solution to the wind and weather is also to just have more fog. Every year I read threads about chillers and modify mine a little, hoping for better results. Every year, a micro-breeze blows it all away.

So, I just run the dang fogger into a pipe or hose for direction and it works great. The wind carries the fog thru the scene and accomplishes my main goal of "ambience."
 

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I was having the same problem last year so I took a four foot piece of pvc pipe and put some wire on the end and filled it up half way so when you layed it down you had a four foot section where the fog had to pass over the ice. I still used my chiller box with it but it worked really well... For the record it was a 4" round piece and I covered the bottom side of the wire with duct tape covering not quite half of the wire and poked a couple of holes in the tape for the water to drain..
 

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Well i did my first test run tonight with my chiller and chauvet 1700. I wanted to see how it would work with 30 feet of the drainage pipe. I got 3 10 ft sticks at the depot for 5 bucks each and I was really hoping to get an even flow of fog across the back of my grave yard.

Lots of the videos I saw now that I think about it were done inside a garage or a controlled environment. Only a few I saw were out side with the trash can chiller and pipe and they looked great. I guess there was zero wind for them.

Not sure if it was the slight breeze (but not much) or what but I was pretty disappointed. I got 7lbs of dry ice which I put half at the bottom of my trash can cooler followed by 25 lbs of water ice and the other few lbs of dry ice I broke up and threw in to the 30 ft of drain pipe.

After running thru 16 feet of dryer hose in the chiller the machine had to be on for longer than I would have guessed to get the full 30ft filled and squirting out fog across my yard.

I tried the 30ft run without the chiller and it worked great but it wasnt cold so it just rose and dissipated fast. I then tried filling the 30ft pipe with what ever remain dry ice i had and running it thru. This worked okay didn't hug the ground really but again the breeze would just carry it away. I tried only 20ft and then again 10ft with and with out the chiller.

My end result that i found I was most happy with was trash can chiller only and no runs of pipe. so Ill just have to place the fogger behind a headstone ether on the east or west side of the yard that night depending which was the winds is going.

I got the dry ice and at safeway grocery store. It was 1.39 a lb and they had pre packaged bags that were 5-7lbs each. I grab a bag that was closer to the 7 than 5lbs. The block was about 1 & 1/2 inch thick and about 12in by 12in square.

I didnt take any photos but it was to dark to see really.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK so tonight I filled up my cooler, filled my drainage pipe with frozen bottled waters, and gave it a shot. Most of the fog stayed VERY low, very cool. My only problem that in earlier stupidity I poked holes in my cooler dryer vent to see if it would help, and now a lot of fog is coming through the seams of the cooler.

My 2nd problem is that fog seems to roll AWAY from my graveyard (down the back), instead of towards the front. I don't want the fog machine or drainage pipe at the front of my graveyard for cosmetic reasons. I may have to try ditching the perforated drain pipe and instead go with something solid so I can better direct where the fog comes out.

I'll post back when I can test more.

Thanks!

I'm going to hopefully replace the dryer vent today, and try it again.
 

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Bête noire
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Kremlar,
Here's a pic of the reworked GotFog design. I wrapped a rubber sheet around the bottom half of the screen tube on the inlet side and secured it with large cable ties. I cut the screen about halfway around and inserted a plastic disc cut from a Nesquik lid (the yellow circle in the pic). A coffee can lid will also work. Don't worry about it melting - the ice keeps everything cold. I used hot melt glue to secure the lid. I attached another rubber sheet halfway around the top of the remaining length of the screen tube with cable ties. The fog inlet is on the right in the picture. This forces the hot fog to go up through the ice pack, then back down to get to the outlet pipe. It'll slow down the fog a little, but it gets very cold.

HalloweenGallery.com - Halloween 2007/DSC05761s

Let me know if you have any questions.
 
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