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Need help and advice fine tuning my fog idea

2100 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  jpbaily1
So this year, I am doing up the inside of my house for the first time. We are doing a haunted hotel. The outside will be primarily cemetery/undead themed, and I was looking for a way to tie the two together.

I thought it would be cool to put some luggage on the lawn a little in front of a window, with clothes strewn about and coming out of it, as if it were tossed from the window by a ghost. [there will be an FCG in each of my 2 forward windows]

now Here's my idea/desired effect:

the larger of the luggage will be cracked open, with chilled fog coming out of it. probably lit inside with a few LED's [green, red, orange?] I am considering having the luggage slowly lift open and then drop shut [using a fcg like motor, with a snail shaped cam, if you don't understand the concept just trust me it can work fine]

My thinking is that when the luggage drops shut, it will let out a puff of fog and create a good effect. My only worry is that the force of the lid shutting will do more harm than good for the chilled fog coming from the output hole cut into the back of the luggage.

a word about the luggage. It is medium sized, and the kind from like the 70s/80s that is hard shell and opens clam shell style.

I also am toying with how to chill it. If I can avoid a large ice chest a few feet behind the piece of luggage, that would be great, but I would really like the fog to flow out and over the edge of the luggage so it needs to be a halfway descent chiller. I was considering just using frozen water bottles inside large diameter tubing, but I dunno.

The lid moving open and shut is just my idea of taking it a step further, it is not absolutely necessary. I am not sure I want to build the motor structure just to not use it so I am looking for opinions on that...

also, creative ideas on chilling the fog on its route out to the luggage is more than encouraged.
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wow this fell down to the 2nd page without any response so bump for a little help.
I not good with this type of operation, but why not rig the luggage to close all but a half inch (or quarter) so that you don't stop the flow of the fog completely. maybe have an hand sticking out so the lid stops because of the hand.

Also, can you hide the fog chiller behind something? bush? tombstone and cover your conduit (hose, what ever) with leaves so it can't be seen?
good suggestions... I was thinking about hiding the chiller, but I dunno yet.

the lid would only be closed for a second or two before it started to lift again. But i still dunno about that. Maybe I'll buy the supplies and try it out if I have time. They can always be re-appropriated for another prop.
Maybe instead of having the luggage scattered like it was thrown out, have it stacked crookedly like the folks just set it down and saw the hotel and skedaddled without their luggage? Or that they hastily packed it (thus the clothes hanging out and maybe a path of it out from the door)?

If you stacked the luggage, (minimum of 3 suitcases) you could put the fogger INSIDE the bottom one, (with some ventilation holes discretely drilled) run some duct work inside that up to the middle suitcase (make it the chiller using frozen bottles of water and have holes drilled for the ductwork to enter). Then run the duct work up to the top suitcase, which will contain the motor that opens and closes and any light you're thinking of having.

You would have to screw them all together, have holes cut for power cords and seal off the openings around the ductwork (caulk?) as it passes from one to the other, but it could work. I can picture it in my head anyway... :rolleyes:

It would look awesome, tho... possessed luggage! :)
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Frankies Girl - THANK YOU. that is exactly what I needed. What a great idea.

Now the only thing that I am worried about is how to give the fog enough velocity to go up that far and out. Will the natural pressure from the fog output push the fog, even chilled, up that far?

I have read briefly about fans recondensing the fog and making it "non fog". any suggestions on how to get the fog to route up to the chiller, and then up to the exit suitcase?

This is definately what I will be doing I think, now I just have to make it work.
That was a good idea. I was just thinking that if the way the fog reacts to the case opening and closing is your concern then it would be easy to test by pumping the fog in and moving it open and closed by hand to study the effects before you build a mechanism.

One impression I get is that guests might not get the link between suitcases and your theme so positioning it near the Hotel sign and/or other props might make it play better. Baggage cart, check in sign, doorman from hell...
Hmmmm... I just picture the luggage on the ground just out of the window and I think, the spouse must have kicked someone out of the house? lol.
compoast, as cool as the doorman from hell idea is, Im already in over my head this halloween so adding any more projects to my list is asking for trouble.

I plan on hanging a hotel sign from the house and then not to far from that will be the luggage. Hopefully that will be good.

My main concern now, is how to get the fog UP through the suitcase chiller and out the top. Fan?? or i dunno what else...
hey I was just bringing this back up for an opinion on weather I should try and incorporate a fan to bring the fog up and out the top?

Scott Axworthy (3 Jun 1995):

Even if you buy a fogger you still have to get the fog where you want it. A fog distribution system can really help if you want to maximize your fogger's capabilities. The best fog distribution systems consist of a fog reservoir, a blower, and flexible tubing to deliver the fog where you want it. The blower is typically enclosed within a reservoir box and blows directly into the tubing. The fog machine is aimed at a opening in the reservoir box. The blower produces suction in the box and the fog is drawn in. The fog is then distributed out the tubing. The extra air pulled in helps increase the volume of fog produced as well. I used my dry-ice fogger as my reservoir as it already had a blower mounted on it and tubing attachments. I directed tubes outside, and into my shop and garage. I used dryer vent ducting for my tubes but you can also use ADS flexible drainage pipe. I then fed the pipe into carved pumpkins. These pumpkins had a large hole cut in the back for the tubing and used lights instead of candle. The fog shooting out of the eyes and mouth looked great.
from this website: Fog Chiller

I am still kind of "foggy" on how this proffesional system works exactly and how exactly the squirrel cage fan works with it. Can anyone help me out?
skaunit: Right off the bat I was thinking of "Tower of Terror" when I read about your idea. Could be cool. Depending on how your home looks, it would be cool to have a retro theme going on for the event.

I'm in agreement with the replies that question if people will connect the luggage strewn about the yard as having been thrown out the window by ghosts. You're going to need to play that kinda careful to get the story across accurately.

However, I like the idea of the luggage looking haunted. I could see low lying fog (via a chiller) coming out of the suitcases with erie green lights seeping through the joints. Perhaps the fogger can be multi-tubed so as to hook into multiple pieces of luggage from one source machine.

As far as animations go, I like the idea of the luggage slightly opening and closing. Perhaps there could be a way to wire the clothing so they can have some movement too — a long sleeved collared shirt could be rigged like a crank ghost so it appears to be floating around on its own.

Right off the bat I was thinking you need a hotel sign of some sort. It would be cool if you could come up with a name in lights and have a few of the letters "dead" so that it says something else (i.e. Motel Hello > Motel Hell). Also, a vacancy sign would be a great topper to the sign.

For the lit sign itself, I would recommend building a 2' x 4' box frame with the face covered in a clear acrylic sheet. Inside the box you would have a couple shop lights facing the acrylic. Find someone in the area who can cut adhesive vinyl (most sign shops can do this), and have them reverse cut the name of your hotel from a 2x4 piece of black vinyl. You would get back something that looks like this:

Stick the cut vinyl to the clear acrylic. Then using colored bulbs or gels behind the acrylic, you'll get a convincing backlit sign that would illuminate quite nicely.

I also think you need a spooky bellhop. Perhaps that could be the person answering the door for the TOTs, but they should be all dressed up in a red vest with matching cap to make the connection.

Finally, if you're really wanting to do up the interior, I would make a front desk, complete with a bell, and keys hanging on the wall behind the desk. Don't forget to have the register/guest book for everyone to sign.

I would re-watch "The Shining" for ideas about a haunted resort. You may want a few stories to pitch to the people that visit, along with apparitions that appear (crank ghost) or thunderous noises that emit from a hidden subwoofer (as in The Haunting).

I know you were only asking about the fogger. Hope you can do something with all that ranting. ;)
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MacEricG -

I have decided to go with Frankie's Girl's idea of having the luggage stacked up in order to create a whole fog machine/chiller system contained within. I am just trying to figure out what the best way to get the fog to go up and out the top will be.

This will be placed under and a little forward of my lit hotel sign hanging off the edge of my roof.

I am also planning on 2 FCG's, one in each foward facing window.

in my intro post I have a pic of the front of my house http://www.halloweenforum.com/member-introduction/80085-hello-san-jose-california.html

I work at a hotel as a bellman... but my uniform is not classic or traditional or bright so I have to make a costume, but I was planning on dressing up as a zombie bellman anyway.

I think the tie in to the luggage will be ok as long as the sign is close behind it.

now who thinks im going to need to do something with fans or will the fogger itself be enough?

I am actually contemplating this:
In the middle fog cooler luggage, puting a PVC Y peice facing down, with one side routed to the back of the suitcase through a hole with a fan drawing air from the outside and up through the Y to the top suitcase... then leave the whole rest of the volume of the suitcase to put frozen water bottles in and have the fog chill through.
I did a VERY rough paint file just to show my idea, its attached:
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Maybe you could just test it out using cardboard boxes before you have to cut holes in the suitcases. Anyway, that way you could see just how it works rather than speculating. Crank up the fogger and have fun experimenting.
What about putting the frozen water bottles in the top suitcase, eliminating the need for a fan? unless your going to open the case really wide, with lights, prop clothes and the like you should be able to disguise them pretty well. The fog will get to the case easily enough since its still "room temp". Then it will cool and drop off. Anytime you introduce air currents, even gentle ones, they can really mess up a fog effect. I think a fan where you drew it would play havoc on your desired effect.
spanky - not a bad idea, however the whole idea of the luggage is to stack it up.

So you think that, even with the fan placed that far away from the final opening, it will mess it all up? I am really trying to think of a way to create a suction at the top or something... because cool air [and fog] falls.

My other idea was to use ducting all the way through the middle chiller suitcase, with ice all around it. If I use the metal/aluminum kind, it should chill the ducting pretty good. Do you think, even with it snaked around in a few U shapes, it would still have enough pressure to push up? After thinking... the vertical lift would probably only be around 24-36" from the fog output to the opening in the top suitcase.

Or, idea #2 [or 3... whos counting?] would be to basically use no ducting... put the fogger in the bottom with a fan mounted sucking outside air in, creating positive pressure forcing fog up to the 2nd chiller chamber, and finally up and out the top.

hmm.... very different designs... I wish i could find someone else who has played with fog and fog chillers in enclosed chambers.
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Depending on your fog machine you could have a bracket so your fog machine is rotated 90˚ pointing up. have your fog fluid bottle sitting next to the machine with the feeder hose connecting them. This will shoot the fog upward into the chiller with no need for hoses and fans. If you use dry ice instead of regular ice there will be no need for a drainage hose and the fog needs less space to chill meaning smaller chiller. I have a similar set up myself just not made out of luggage. haha. very cool idea. very tower of terror. Be sure to get creative with the luggage tag names and sayings. attached is a diagram i threw together of this possible set up.
I thought I would bring this back up to the top just to see if anyone else had anymore input. I am working on another project first, but then I will be able to get started testing and messing around with this, though possibly not untill late this month.
So when the lid closes, won't that force the fog back down the tube from the luggage?

I think you will need the muffin fan from a computer plus a flap to cover the fog tube as the lid closes.

This would run off ot the cam trigger also perhaps like the way a trai wheel turns to open & close the flap.

Just a thought.

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