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A HUGE hurdle with using a fog machine outdoors is, as we all know, wind. Even the smallest breeze can fluff up an awesome effect. So I was thinking, what if I "trapped" the fog on the ground?

My idea is this - our display this year will utilize the "Laser Swamp" effect. What I want to do is use clear vinyl/mylar/plastic/etc. that has been attached to 2x4's on my lawn. I will then feed the fog machine tube into the structure at timed intervals, hopefully "trapping" the fog underneath the plastic. I will then position the lasers underneath the plastic so it will give the desired effect.

Has anyone tried this or see any reason why this effect wouldn't work? My husband has his doubts but I think this would be a solid way to keep the swamp effect wind-proof.
 

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We just use a homemade chiller and that seems to help a lot. One year I used a large diameter wye to feed the fog into the chiller and a plastic trash bag. There is a fan at the exit for the chiller so the bag would inflate with "overflow" hot fog (the fog machine puts out a lot of fog in a short time). The fan would draw that overflow fog thru the chiller when the fog machine was off. It made for a more consistent flow.
 

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black light queen
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in my opinion, the laser swamp works best when the laser is close to eye level, ymmv, lol ... experiment to see what you like :)

consider that you might be trapping too much fog ... if this is the case then the laser will be blocked from going all the way through and the effect will only be seen closer to the laser ... you might want to consider a continuous fogger so that it doesn't overwhelm the laser

amk
 

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I made an enclosure last year with a frame of 2×4's and black plastic. The doorway had strips of black plastic for Tot's to enter. Worked great.
 

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I understand what you mean by wind driving us nuts. My first year using a fog machine was awful. All my testing leading up to Halloween and the fog machine worked like a charm. Then Halloween night, a breeze. Short of it is, my neighbor had the spookiest yard ever. I had zero fog. The next year, I had two machines. I figured one towards the front, one to the back and surely ONE of them would keep my yard in fog no matter where the wind blew. It sounded so good in theory. That year, the wind blew from the side. Of course it did. LOL. The next couple years we tried all sorts of different chillers, machines, angles, pipes, placements, wet yard/dry yard, blah blah blah.

This year, we have the entire area surrounded by fog machines with ice bottle filled corrugated drain pipes. High wattage machines. Best fog juice there is. Two smaller machines support individual props that require fog. We can turn machines on or off as needed. I am now at that point where I have conceded to Mother Nature and I will just go with what I get and be darn happy about it. Haahahahahaha!!

I am keen to see if your ideas work. This is one I haven't tried for an outdoor area. I don't do anything indoors nor enclosed. So "managing" my fog with a frame is an interesting concept. I hope you succeed. Please keep us informed. :)
 

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Thanks for the input all!! My displays are 100% outdoor in our small yard - so managing the elements is the bane of my existence.

I will def keep you all updated with my progress!
 

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I've always thought that running barriers down each side of my yard - say 2 feet high of plastic would slow the wind down and keep the fog around a little longer. My yard can't be longer than 25 feet so it wouldn't be costly.
 

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I always get my fog machines out and test them to make sure they still work so no last minute surprises. I might have to see if this works. Rolls of plastic are relatively cheap. I am def curious now. LOL.
 

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Using a chiller to get it on the ground is step 1 for sure. Enclosing the area with plastic walls is interesting. With my cemetery I can’t see any way to do a fog “blanket” but I would definitely be curious if it will work. I’ve done the same thing where you get a fogger, build a chiller and then you get another fogger, build a second chiller etc... I just got another fogger this week and it appears to be able to run continuously so we’ll see what happens although it doesn’t take much wind to basically fog everything except my yard, trust me I’ve done lab... repeatedly...,
 

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Something to consider is a wet lawn. It holds the fog.
Several years ago I bought blocks of ice. They were like 12" x 24" x 36". 5 of them made a large box.for my chiller. 3 of the cheap fog machines kept making fog all evening. It was perfect. There was a 10" layer of fog all over the place.

I tried for years to get it to work again.... only once did the stars align and make a magical evening.

But a wet lawn works even with a breeze kinda.
 

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I've always thought that running barriers down each side of my yard - say 2 feet high of plastic would slow the wind down and keep the fog around a little longer. My yard can't be longer than 25 feet so it wouldn't be costly.
I actually did that but I made the wooden post about 6 foot high than attached to black heavy plastic about 6 foot high , Put this down two sides of my front lawn, the third side was blocked by my home come but to the front was partially opened. I also.make sure I got the bottom down as tight as I could to the ground,with long two by fours and bricks. Somehow the wind still got under it and blew my fog around. Was a little better but definitely not worth all the time and expense involved, at least for me. I lived in South Florida so it was not overly windy just may be five or 6 mph. Good luck
 

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It's pronounced "Fronkensteen."
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I have about 5 different fog machines for my yard to cover such a large area. I built small fog chillers for 3 of them to help with the fog rising and blowing away. In addition I pump the cooled fog out through perforated drain pipes to help distribute it evenly across the yard. The remaining two foggers are allowed to run normal and provide the higher level of fog. A medium breeze will blow most of all of them away. I've not tried to block it in as I think I would impractical. I would be curious to see how it works for someone. I use to run one of the small foggers inside my garage aka Mad scientists lab, and it would fill up the space in there so quickly you couldn't see one side from the other. I generally keep them running outside now. Since I live in NW Indiana, near Lake Michigan, it can be quite cold on Halloween, so keeping any fog low and in place is a major challenge. I didn't even try last year because my entire display was under an inch of snow.
"My Nightmare Before Christmas"
736213
 

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Poured rain here. So disappointing. I've had freezing temps and snow flurries here in East Tennessee before, too.Mother Nature can be the scariest of all, lol.
 

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I made a homemade fog chiller with plans from people on here. Then I run flexible dryer pipe throughout the yard, then cover with leaves and pine straw(if you have pine trees), I then turn on the fogger and let it start producing fog, then i take a knife and put holes in the piping starting the furtherest away from the fogger working my way back. Be careful not to put to many holes close to the fog chiller as that is where all your fog will come out. If you do mess up putting to many near the fogger, you will have to clean the pipe with some alcohol before tape will stick to the pipe.
 

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I have about 5 different fog machines for my yard to cover such a large area. I built small fog chillers for 3 of them to help with the fog rising and blowing away. In addition I pump the cooled fog out through perforated drain pipes to help distribute it evenly across the yard. The remaining two foggers are allowed to run normal and provide the higher level of fog. A medium breeze will blow most of all of them away. I've not tried to block it in as I think I would impractical. I would be curious to see how it works for someone. I use to run one of the small foggers inside my garage aka Mad scientists lab, and it would fill up the space in there so quickly you couldn't see one side from the other. I generally keep them running outside now. Since I live in NW Indiana, near Lake Michigan, it can be quite cold on Halloween, so keeping any fog low and in place is a major challenge. I didn't even try last year because my entire display was under an inch of snow.
"My Nightmare Before Christmas"
View attachment 736213
Wow! I would’ve thought all that snow would’ve helped keep the fog low to the ground if there were no wind. Looks awesome though. Awesome corner lot for a display.
 

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Using fog outdoors is always challenging. If you have a light wind, the challenge can be overcome by increasing volume of the fog. If there is a moderate to strong wind, forget about it. You can have 100 fog machines and you will never be able to overcome the wind. All the fog machines I use are mostly variable speed and DMX controlled. I am constantly adjusting the volume to compensate for changes in wind. I would definitely recommend a continuous fog machine.

You might be better off, if feasible, to have a large clear tent that tot's can enter and walk through. The clear tent would allow you to see the effect from the street, and walk into the tent to experience the effect. If you have a garage or carport you can temporally convert, it would make it easier.
 

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black light queen
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Using fog outdoors is always challenging. If you have a light wind, the challenge can be overcome by increasing volume of the fog. If there is a moderate to strong wind, forget about it. You can have 100 fog machines and you will never be able to overcome the wind. All the fog machines I use are mostly variable speed and DMX controlled. I am constantly adjusting the volume to compensate for changes in wind. I would definitely recommend a continuous fog machine.

You might be better off, if feasible, to have a large clear tent that tot's can enter and walk through. The clear tent would allow you to see the effect from the street, and walk into the tent to experience the effect. If you have a garage or carport you can temporally convert, it would make it easier.
any recommendations for a supplier for clear tents?

amk
 

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I would recommend renting a large tent from a party supply company or you can use a few pop up tents. Use clear tarp to enclose the rest of the tent.
 

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I do something similar in my witch’s cauldron. I have a piece of plexiglass just inside the top to trap the fog in the cauldron. I drilled a few holes in the glass so some fog can escape but the cauldron stays full all night long. I also use far less fog fluid since I can le then the interval at which I pump fog into the cauldron. It works great but far smaller than what you’re trying to do.
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