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Discussion Starter #1
In a pro audio / video / DJ products catalog--or perhaps the distributor catalog someone posted to the thread about the new Gemmy Lightshow Projection units thread--I saw a listing for a Continuous fog machine. Forget the price, but it was a shocker--can't justify the cost, as my show is a home yard haunt, one night per year. For all the actual laser units I have (like the separate red, green, and blue BlissLight spright / firefly weatherized "spread laser dot field" units), and possibly for a Green Laser Vortex emulation, etc. Everything seems to go better with fog. I had a mishap with a front yard fogger that interfered with my otherwise cool-to-me 2000 watt cheap lightning effect using two Morris Costume Perfect Storm units, some photo flash bulbs, etc. And I just lost the atmosphere of green flood lights shining through my graveyard--so much less interesting without semi-continuous fog.

What are my options for emulating a Continuous Fog machine? Doesn't have to be 100% Continuous; but a lot closer than what you get with a typical reheat cycle.

I see some options as:
1) Figure out how many cheap fog machines I'd need to purchase and run to achieve near-continuous fog on my lawn. Any ideas? And of what wattages? e.g. a bunch of 400 watt or 700 watt units? Just turn 'em all on and let chaos keep things moving more or less continuously--or close enough for my budget...

2) Discover some sort of timer-socket fogger hack which could then be controlled by a Raspberry Pi. I've never owned a RasPi, but hope to get one before the summer is over. A colleague at work just bought a CanaKit RaspBerry Pi from Amazon and actually didn't have any compelling ideas to do things with it. I'd have *plenty* of projects to keep him busy with--a Fogger Hack / Foggers controlled by a Raspberry Pi would be awesome. Here's the kit he bought:

3) Combine either technique 1 or 2 with a very high wattage fogger like the one Monoprice sold last season as a "fog base." I have a Monoprice still unboxed from last year; no timer socket I believe)

http://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Ultimate-Starter-Components/dp/B00G1PNG54/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1435866673&sr=1-3&keywords=raspberry+pi

Any ideas would help on trying to simulate / emulate / get close to a continuous fogger without spending a lot of money
 

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Try Chauvet Hurricane 1300 foggers, I have two of the old 1300's that run continuous, I also have one of the new 1301's which is not quite continuous even though it says it is.

Also the fog fluid you use makes a world of difference. Froggys or 10-31 fog, either is worth every penny.
 

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The cheapo foggers I've seen have a little cord with a switch to turn them on and off and little neon light that lights up when the unit is hot.
You could replace this switch with a relay, and use a photodiode to pick up the neon light being on, and then run the control from a raspberry pi. Should be simple enough to switch units when the active one runs out of heat. Though raspberry pi is overkill for that minimal control a little arduino or attiny chip would do it.
 

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only thing I would add, it is silly to stack a bunch of little foggers with a controller because of cost / time / maintenance. just buy a good fogger, it will cost you less in time and money in the long run.
 

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I have seen the big mist makes used for this. No worry about over heating or using fog juice. Maybe you could set it up somehow and use computer fans to move the mist. Just a thought. I know that's how they make fog walls that need continuous fog.
 

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Going bump in the night..
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A thought on the quality vs. quantity topic: the cheap-o machines are cheap for a reason.
Every year, there are dozens and dozens of threads on the topic of "Help! My fogger won't fog!"
Thankfully, there are just as many helpful people responding to them, but the point I bring up is: the cheap foggers will fail, and seem to know the worst time to do so. You'll be multiplying that exponentially with the number of cheap foggers you end up using.

For most of us, the cheap foggers are the best we can get, so we make do with prayer and bodging them together until we scrap them.

The higher quality foggers will run well, produce fog more regularly, and require far less maintenance and stress.
I can tell you from experience, that a quality fogger will do what you want, when you want, without having to offer up a blood sacrifice to the old gods as prayer for a fogger that will work.


(and yes, I do think cheap foggers are a "gift" from C'thulhu. For, while he may lie dreaming at R'lyeh, his return means madness for all. Since he can't be here right now, he's sent these cheap foggers ahead of his return, to drive us insane when we attempt to keep them working. Diabolical, to say the least.)
 

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black light queen
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OMG I found a constant output fog machine!!! :D

it's available from minions web
http://www.minionsweb.com/osStore/fog-machine-afx-brick-900-watt-smoke-machine-p-1107.html

I have no idea if its any good ... but it's only $92 plus $18.14 fedex ground for me = $110.14 from minions web

& $72 + $28.81 shipping = $100.81 from minions web through amazon link => http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00896RJ5Q/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

"AFX Brick

900 Watt Smoke Machine
w/ Wired control and remote control

The AFX Brick 900 watt Fog Machine is the most compact high wattage fog machine available for any haunt or halloween set up.
Parlaying the full 900 watt fog output from the Brick is a pleasure, thanks to it's compact size and great value.
Not only is it affordable, it is feature packed.

The Brick is a constant fogger, no special set up needed.
To protect it, when the fog solution runs out of its reservoir, the pump automatically shuts off.
Sturdy all metal construction, not cheap plastic.
The convenient compact size of this machine makes it easy to hide, making it great for prop effects and tucking it out of sight.
Perfect for haunted houses, yard haunts, small venues, props, theaters, photo shoots, DJs...anywhere you want a a big blast of fog in a short time.

It is made to last, solid as a.... Brick.

Specifications:
Constant Fog
900 watts
~ 20' Line control Button Trigger
Wireless Remote Trigger
Sturdy Metal Construction
Warm-up time: 5 min
Output time : Constant or On Demand
Weight: 9.7 lbs
Voltage: AC110V/AC220V 50-60Hz
Fuse: 10A Protection
CE Certified
Dimensions: 9� x 6.7� x 4.75"
Output distance: 5m
Smoke Output: 5000cfm
Tank capacity: 1L
Protection rating: IP22
Overheat protection
Auto shut off (empty tank)
Complete instructions"

from amazon
" Sturdy metal body and integrated .5 liter plastic fluid tank shoots fog without stopping until the tank is empty, then automatically turns the pump off.
110v power with 4' cord, fuse protection, latching trigger and wireless remote control
Powerful 900 watts with constant fog output, burst on demand fog, and reheats WHILE fogging
Includes adjustable truss mount bracket, safety ring and sturdy carry handle.
Perfect for parties, DJs, events, clubs, pools, use indoors or out."

the tank seems small ... i wonder if this volume is all that it can produce & it uses the refilling time to "catch-up" for getting the heater core up to temperature again?

will it work with a home brew fluid tank that holds a lot more fluid?

amk
 

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It sounds good but...

1) it is only 900 watts.... If it is constant I doubt it puts out much fog usually need a 1300 - 2000 watt to do that
2) no reviews, this is the bigger issue for me personally, I generally prefer to let others be the guinea pig
 

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black light queen
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It sounds good but...

1) it is only 900 watts.... If it is constant I doubt it puts out much fog usually need a 1300 - 2000 watt to do that
2) no reviews, this is the bigger issue for me personally, I generally prefer to let others be the guinea pig
i totally agree, but if no one tries it because they don't want to be the guinea pig ... :-(

mikeerdas was looking for an inexpensive continuous fogger ... well i found one ... no doubt there better ones ... but for in what price range?

i'm guessing that it'll put out the same amount of fog that any 900w fogger generates ... using top quality fog juice will make a huge difference, so use forggy's fog juices ... probably the #1 choice of those looking for an amazing fog

a typical home power outlet is typically only rated for 1500watts, which is the maximum size heater that you can purchase to plug into a household outlet, so a 2000w fogger isn't going to work without the breaker constantly tripping

amk
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks AMK and others. I'll consider that unit. Need to get some external USB soundcards and experiment with gear I already have before committing $100 at this time. Hopefully someone out there knows this unit or has other ideas.

I think it is time, however, for me to strongly consider purchasing only non-cheap, pro / semi-pro good quality foggers--as I finally experienced failure, as another suggested, at the worst time; one pooped out on me last Halloween in my mini-graveyard. Fortunately I had the 2,000 watt lightning and thunder effect deployed, along with ghost projections in windows, to wow 'em.

i totally agree, but if no one tries it because they don't want to be the guinea pig ... :-(

mikeerdas was looking for an inexpensive continuous fogger ... well i found one ... no doubt there better ones ... but for in what price range?

i'm guessing that it'll put out the same amount of fog that any 900w fogger generates ... using top quality fog juice will make a huge difference, so use forggy's fog juices ... probably the #1 choice of those looking for an amazing fog

a typical home power outlet is typically only rated for 1500watts, which is the maximum size heater that you can purchase to plug into a household outlet, so a 2000w fogger isn't going to work without the breaker constantly tripping

amk
 

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black light queen
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mikeerdas,

i also have gone the cheap fogger route ... if you're lucky they last a season :-(

but i still have my very first fogger, a vei party fogger ... its small & doesn't produce a lot of fog due to it's low wattage heater, but it was still working the last time i used it ... maybe a couple years ago, i forget how long its been since i fired it up ... but i'd be willing to bet that it'll still work ... i did some "research" on the internet & this particular fogger had good reviews/recommendations, so i got it ... it was more expensive, in comparison to the foggers @ walmart, & i was hesitant in spending that much money ... i forget how much it was, but i've spent a lot more on all of the foggers that died on me and in comparison to the quality foggers that i've acquired/collected it was very inexpensive

a good quality fogger will run easily over $200 minimum ... i can't remember what the most i paid for a fogger was ... that's probably a good thing, lol :)

if finances permit, i recommend getting something that is for a dj or a club ... naturally you can spend a fortune & get one that is designed for concerts, but i can't justify spending that amount of money, and those foggers need some serious power & 120vac isn't usually enough

ok, i've rambled on way too much ... again :)

amk
 

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black light queen
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years ago i broke down & purchased an adj fog fury 3000 because it has a continuous fog setting

its on the expensive side, but i've used it for many seasons & luv it ... if you're looking for a continuous fogger, it gets my recommendation ... i haven't looked for other fog machines since, so there may be others on the market now

normal fog machines only heat when they cool down ... running fog juice through them cools down, the heater turns on, & the pump stops so continuous fog isn't possible. reducing the flow rate of the pump will only reduce the amount of fog produced & increase the time between heating cycles, but once it starts heating, pumping shuts down

the fog fury 3000, in continuous fogging operation, slows the pump down so that it doesn't overwhelm the heating element. i don't know if the heater is continuously on in normal operation or not but in continuous fogging operation it stays on ... i only use it in the continuous fogging setting & it produces just the right amount of fog for my laser vortex & other laser effects & has enough fog to make the whole front yard & porch look spooky without fogging everyone & everything out

amk
 

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Thanks - very informative
I did not know fog machines won't pump while heating.
What a joke... I guess that's how they keep cost down.
 

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After watching U-tube videos on taking apart fog machine pumps.... I added an extra cushion O-ring onto pump shaft to limit pump stroke. This has reduced pump output which reduced fog produced. Also seems to make pump quieter.
The Fog machine seems to last longer before re-heating which is better...
This all for a few minutes time and a single O-ring!
 

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For those that wan't closer to continuous fog:
To reduce pump capacity and get fog to last longer (with less fog) add another o-ring at big black arrows in this picture:
730204
 
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