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Discussion Starter #3
That is sweet! How’d ya keep it from melting?
I tried all kinds of methods...lining the mouth with kayo-wool, grill paint, building an aluminum heat sink tube to fit in the throat, mounting under the mouth, etc...

Found a sweet spot at the tip of the nose to mount where the propane comes out...then I just make sure I dont program it to run for more than 1-2 sec...and everything stayed cool and nothing melted.

The real kicker to this design was using an arc lighter as a constant ignition source...so I didnt have to have a pilot flame running.
Of course that was a task all in its own as I had to combine the components of two different styles\brands of arc lighters together and then design a proper relay system that I could then run it all off of 120v wall outlet.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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This is AWESOME. I think it looks as good as any pro display (FIRE always ups the skill level/thrills). That is amazing you've got it programmed to work with the other fire effects too and still stayed safe and didn't destroy any of your props to boot.

:cool:
 
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Took me a little time to figure out how to get this all working (2yrs working on and off to be exact) to make sure I didnt end up with a flaming pile of plastic dripping on my trick-or-treaters, but I finally got it working this year.

That’s some next level stuff there. Very impressive
 

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Very cool!! What did you use for the skull flames? Was that something you made or bought?
 

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1st, I must emphasize that your work is AWESOME. I consider the following to be a minor issue. But, I wonder if the flaming torches on the ground may detract from the dragon, which is the main attraction. Especially since they have a larger flame than what the dragon emits.

If you use the torches, then ideally I think they need to be located where they are visible before you really see much of the dragon. And when you really can see the dragon well, that the flaming torches are outside of your field of vision. Though, your yard's geometry may not permit this.

Another approach might be to make the dragon's flame much bigger. Not necessarily by making the flame itself bigger. But, perhaps it can be perceived as larger by adding some fog blasting out. Adding a narrow LED spotlight to light the fog may also add to it. But, I think the flame itself is the main thing, so both the fog and the light should not be so intense as to block the vision of the flame itself.

Finally, I am a little concerned about having a flaming object above an enclosed area that the people go under. Your Visqueen sheeting is not flame proof. If part of the dragon's head were to catch fire and detach, it would fall onto the enclosed area below. And those people my not immediately realize this had happened, and that the initial flame that may result , is intended to be there. So, next year, I suggest moving the dragon to the side. I think that having the dragon closer to the ground may even make it better, since the audience can get a better look at it. Perhaps the skeletons have just dragged the dragon out of its lair, to get at the treasure inside, and your guests are now free to get to the "treasure" (i.e. Candy).

If you do decide to make it on the ground, I can see another potential additional idea. Have the dragon head aimed towards a skeleton that is fairly close, so that the fog emitted really hits it well. Then have a 2nd flame emit from the skeleton. Perhaps just the head. II've seen ceramic slip-cast molds for skeleton heads, so you can make it flame proof. This 2nd burst should come perhaps a second after the one on the dragon, and ideally he emits some sort of silly sound indicating his discomfort. But I am a little concerned that it may detract from the awesome. dragon.

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very cool!! What did you use for the skull flames? Was that something you made or bought?
Thank you to everyone that has commented. Its nice to have your hard work appreciated by your peers.

The flaming skulls were a set of tiki torches that I bought from the Spirit store several years back. They no longer look to be available for purchase, but could easily be replicated.
 

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Thank you for the feed back and suggestions...

I wonder if the flaming torches on the ground may detract from the dragon, which is the main attraction.
The portion of the video you see is the only time when the tiki torches and the dragon are going at the same time. I have everything set on a controller system connected to my computer. At the beginning of my presentation you hear the "Welcome to Hell" and everything goes off...this give me a good time frame to know where in the programming my display is at. After the initial start...the dragon goes off once ever other even minute (2:00, 6:00, 10:00, 14:00, etc..). The tiki torches will go off every other odd minute (3:00, 7:00, 11:00 etc...). This ensures that there is enough time between items going off that it stays fresh for new people coming in to get scared, ensures you can focus on one item at a time and not miss something else, and ensure I have enough propane to last the night without having to swap tanks.

Another approach might be to make the dragon's flame much bigger. Not necessarily by making the flame itself bigger. But, perhaps it can be perceived as larger by adding some fog blasting out.
The dragon does have fog...the problem here is the fog machine that came with him is a manual remote only machine. So my wife who is under the dragon handing out candy has to manually set off the fog with a remote. Occasionally we time it right with the fire, but not often. I am looking for a device that I can connect to my controlling software to sync the fog and the fire together.

Finally, I am a little concerned about having a flaming object above an enclosed area that the people go under. Your Visqueen sheeting is not flame proof. If part of the dragon's head were to catch fire and detach, it would fall onto the enclosed area below. And those people my not immediately realize this had happened, and that the initial flame that may result , is intended to be there. So, next year, I suggest moving the dragon to the side. I think that having the dragon closer to the ground may even make it better, since the audience can get a better look at it. Perhaps the skeletons have just dragged the dragon out of its lair, to get at the treasure inside, and your guests are now free to get to the "treasure" (i.e. Candy).
I do like this idea of having the dragon pulled out of the cave. I try to keep safety in mind with all of my projects. The flame does not touch the dragon long enough to even heat the plastic up a little bit. I had regular scheduled "stop" points in my display this year to check that the dragon head was not being damaged. Another reason I have him elevated is because of picture takers. A lot of people like to take picture of their kids with my props and I could not have my dragon going on with someone too close taking a picture...children are flammable from what I hear...I cant confirm this as I have children, but there is a strong case supporting this theory.
Another reason for having the Dragon elevated is for the kids to face their fears. There are several children (young and old) that dont want to get close to any of it...the lure of candy is too strong. This is why the inside of our cave is just brightly lite with tame skeletons and the mermaid. Once the kids get past the dragon that they HAVE to pass under...they tend to calm down and realize there is nothing to worry about. This allows them to get close and get the adrenaline pumping, but not close enough that I have to worry about anything or anyone.

With my wife or neighbor in the cave at all times...if something were to happen...it should be spotted quickly. I also always have two fire extinguishers close by and I make a note to tell all my neighbors where they are in case the need arised since they are all outside handing out candy in our driveways.

We are tossing around some ideas of possibly redoing the cave facade and adding a projection portal in the dragon cave...not totally sold on this idea yet as I like the kids walking under the dragon, but ideas in the back of my mind.
 

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The dragon does have fog...the problem here is the fog machine that came with him is a manual remote only machine.
It is possible to convert a fog machine to be automatically controlled. The idea is to add a relay that is powered by whatever control system you are using. The relay could be powered by 5vDC, 12vDC or 120vAC. Then wire the output of the relay in parallel with whatever switch you use to trigger it manually.

In the situation where I was, we wanted to adapt the fogger to be triggered by a theatrical light system. So, we chose a relay that is powered by 120 VAC, and simply had a household plug at the end. By plugging this new plug into the socket for a light, anytime the socket was turned on, the fogger was triggered. With the widespread availability of low cost WiFi light switch modules, you could use one of them to make it remote. But, I find that the WiFi switches have too much delay. Perhaps one of the remotes marketed for Christmas decorations would be a better choice.

Anyway, these kinds of relays are a very common electrical device. They are available to be controlled by virtually any signal voltage you want. Here is one example that is controlled by applying between 3.3v DC and 5v DC. The device at the output could be up to 250v AC. 5 amps. It costs $2.90.

The relay could be wired inside of the fog machine itself, and its signal wire run out of the fog machine through a small hole. Attached is a basic schematic of how it is set up.
743051

-Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It is possible to convert a fog machine to be automatically controlled. The idea is to add a relay that is powered by whatever control system you are using. The relay could be powered by 5vDC, 12vDC or 120vAC. Then wire the output of the relay in parallel with whatever switch you use to trigger it manually.
I have relays that are controlling the pilot light on the dragon now. I actually had to buy two relays when I purcahsed them...so I have one just sitting around and the idea was to use that on for the fog machine. I just have not had time to look into the pin out for the fog machine to connect to the relay, but that is the idea...is to get it to run on a 120vAC relay. Still just trying to get everything put away for now as my fog machines need to be cleaned pulled out from underneith all the other decorations waiting to be packed back up and stored for next year. :)
 

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Thank you to everyone that has commented. Its nice to have your hard work appreciated by your peers.

The flaming skulls were a set of tiki torches that I bought from the Spirit store several years back. They no longer look to be available for purchase, but could easily be replicated.
Hey Mouse! I'm actually interested in the flame part rather than the skulls. What are you using to control the fire bursts?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Mouse! I'm actually interested in the flame part rather than the skulls. What are you using to control the fire bursts?
I provide this information at your own risk...
I have solenoids connected to camping propane canisters that are being controlled by a Light-O-Rama lighting controller running off of Light Show Pro software.
 
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