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refrigerator/freezer guts as chiller?

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has anyone tried this? Like disassembling say a chest freezer and using the refrigeration system as a chiller? I've been looking around on craigslist and classifieds ever since I came up with this idea a few days ago and found several freezers for insanely cheap

I know it will be some work but refilling ice gets tired and messy (and looks amateur), ice melts, dry ice is too pricey to go all nite, and ice only cools the fog to 32F whereas freezer coils would get it a bit cooler. In the end I would think if I could build a self-contained, reuseable contraption I would feel alot better about it

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128 Posts
It can be done

Jems Glaciator is nothing more than a mini freezer and fog machine, we have one and took it apart the day we got it just see what made it tick.
NOT WORTH 13K:mad:
Also somewhere in the halloween forum someone posted that froggys fog has done the same but on a much smaller scale for under a grand.
It's would be childs play to take a mini fridge / freezer and use a hopped up constant fogger and chill the fog.
It will work as long as you know how to transfer temperatures.
As long as you got a small fridge nothing more than 2.5cubic ft you should be ok as far as not blowing breakers.
Our glaciator has to have it's own 40amp breaker where ever you plug it in because a fogger and mini fridge draw some serious friggin wattage.
If.........If im feeling frisky next month I may run up to big box or walwart and grab a fridge and slice and dice the thing just to show you kiddies it can be done.
Even the $12K Glaciator from Jem has to be turned on for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the ambient temp before you go pushing fog, WHY?
Becuase the freezer plate inside has to get ice cold first not to mention the fogger inside has to heat up as well.
You wouldnt have to have coolant for the fridge, if your handy with a sawzaw then you can cut the cooler out of the fridge, it's all about how far are you willing to go.
Even I would have to think about this one just to prove a point.:cool:

· Registered
128 Posts
Hacked Low Fog on a Budget?

I have posted this before but I will again....Someone has accomplished this. It can be done. Here is the proof:

YouTube - Low fog generator

Here is the comments from the user:
This is a "home brew" refrigerated low fog generator that I built last last week (8-1-08) This requires NO co2, no ice cubes, no dry ice, etc, etc... Its completely self contained. Its a little underpowered in the BTU dept (4,000btu) as this was just a trial mockup and was built on a tight budget. (everything was under $100 -foger not included) The next unit is going to be built on a 35,000 to 40,000 BTU scale. Once the project commences, new video ensures. =)
Were going to do this for sure now.
For some reason I just want to chop up a brand new fridge.
It's kinda hard not cheat since I have seen the inside of a Glaciator and know the specs on all the parts.
Matter of fact we have repaired just about every fogger on the market except for the budget ones.

I guess if I limited myself to basic hardware store supplies and didnt let myself use our machine shop to fabricate any thing and documented it as a how to for you guys then it might be worth while.
I do know this much, for every 100watts of heat on a fogger block you have to have roughly 1000 BTU's to get good results for low fog.
We are going to use aluminum tubing brazed to the aluminum freezer plate, I figure 1/4 ID inch will sufface for pleanty of travel, I think about ten foot will do.
Well use a minfridge that is notiourious for freezing beer, Haier Americ HSE02 -WNAWW 1.8 CF $89.99 the fridge has a lot of complaints on consumer reports that it gets too cold on the half way setting, so for this use it should be a money shot.:cool:
For the fogger I guess well just use a 800watt constant fogger, the rest is all plumbing, im sure you guys and gals will be able to look at the pics and kinda follow, I will make sure our pics are high quaility so you all can zoom in on them at the end I will do a video overview.
If I am missing anything that you guys wouldl like to see added let me know before we start so we can get the max benifit for you guys so im not just throwing stuff together.

· Registered
128 Posts
Sorry we never replied about the fog chiller :(

We did build it and it worked perfect.

Pictures didnt get posted upon finish of the project as I had to settle up a divorce, so between keeping the shop running and the divorce I was a bit pressed for time, I sincerely apologize.

What we did - On ours we did wind up cheating in the end though because it took too long for the unit to get to a point that would fight fifty five degree weather which in alls reality is what most of you will be fighting so we wound up using a special tight aluminum cooling fin set to get the output temp of the fog down to a temp gun measured 22.6 deg. hose output degrees verses the cooling fins from the factory unit that only got it down to 43.1 deg. MAJOR DIFFERENCE!
The catch.
With the unit we built in the end it takes about a half an hour to really get good and cold so you dont have to take breaks but the fogger we hooked up to it was a American DJ 1200W.

The first version inital cost was $136.00 in supplies if you count the unit from wally world and it didnt look too horrible but the performance was mediocre and the wind could still catch it and blow it away fairly easy.
The second version where we used the special cooling gate added a extra $112.00 and another ten in redoing the air passage way.

So to do this project in terms of making not only cold fog that hugs but cold fog that condenses and packs its self tighter the extra $112.00 for the cooling gate ( which is made locally here in Louisville ) made it in my eyes a worth while project for you guys to do.
My personal laptop and camera walked off in the divorce that had the pics of the project as did a whole bunch of other stuff so I kinda feel like I owe to you guys to do it again.

I did notice something that made it a lot easier / faster once we got going, a pop rivet gun, we started doing tack welds with the mig when we first started but then I realized not all you guys own a mig so we looked around for the next best thing that most of you guys would have, the pop rivet gun.
I have no problem with you guys and gals calling me with questions on where to find stuff or how to get through any issues as long as your physically attempting the project and your some what dedicated to it. 502-836-3125 im usually in the shop from 11am - 1am seven days a week ( now that im single LOL! )

· Registered
128 Posts
When the temp was measured it was always the out put port surface.
Trust me if we had the temp of the fog itself down to sub zero id be retired by now.
But we did get good measurements at good distances from the cooling gate.
Temps were all Fahrenhite.
Youll never see ice forming in the fog for several reason but the most non scientific is the glycol, average person can't get it cold enough unless you hit it with a LN2 GDU Gas Dispersal Unit screen style but then that would kinda put it in the realm of unaffordable for you guys and gals.
So many ways to chill fog machine outputs but no matter how hard you try you, nor I can fight mother nature, even with a Glaciator if a strong wind comes along the fog goes by by.
Personally ive learned the best way to duke it out with wind is to have two or three neighbors join in on the fun.
Trust me on this.
You get three people with two 1500 watt foggers a piece spaced out and you should have no issue with causing a white out for a friggin city block.
Usually if wind isnt too bad even though it may blow away you always get shifts and the wind blows the built up pockets right back to ya.
Have a contest to see who can get the fire Department called first. lol
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