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Toaster
12-28-2007, 02:36 AM
I used 3 "Amazing Snowman" snowmachines in 2007. Here is the recipe I used for creating home made snow juice, instead of buying the expensive stuff. As always, use common sense here.. And use at your own risk. I take no responsibility for any damages to property, machines, lawn, individuals, animals, lights, wiring, eletricity or persons. Use the following at your own risk. 8)

I tested a few recipe's, and this is what worked for me:

8 oz dish soap
8 oz 70% Alcohol
1 gal Distilled Water {{ MUST USE DISTILLED WATER }}

There are several recipe's floating around... Here is what I have found with my machines.. Some people use Mr bubble bath soap... That didn't work well for me. Made alot of mess and residue, the "snow" didn't fly up as much, or as far away from the machine. Dish soap worked best for me. I used Ajax brand, only because it was the cheapest at Walmart.... 64oz for like $2.97.

I also tried the Lander (Walmart) brand bubble bath, and got even worse results. I'm assuming its because they contain moisturizers and lotions, which weigh down the foam? I dunno... The dish soap left almost zero residue, and worked out well.

I tried without the Alcohol, and the foam seemed a lot heavier and less "fluffy" -- Maybe I'm crazy? But its really cheap at 32oz for $1.50'ish, so it was no big deal to add it. Plus I do feel it actually did something. Some people say you need to use the green alcohol...? I saw NO DIFFERENCE between the wintergreen, and the clear... except smell and price. Otherwise they seemed exactly the same to me in the end. *Warning: too much and it will stink up your yard...

The important part is the distilled water. Tap water, even filtered, has impurities in it, that over time will almost certainly hurt your snow machine, its pump and any parts that come in contact with the liquid solution. The distilled water is only $0.65 a gallon at Walmart, and will help keep your machine running longer without the need for major service. USE DISTILLED WATER.

I ran though many GALLONS of this stuff during the 2007 season - about 1.5+ gallons per night, and no problems to speak of. The machines like it better when the solution is warmer vs when its colder... I tried some cheap submersible aquarium heaters from Walmart - they prevented the solution from freezing, but never "warmed" it up.. Maybe the larger heaters would work better? Food for thought. It was well documented on another forum, that around 40 degrees F and below, the snow machines don't seem to pump the solution, or turn it in to foam quickly enough. Many people use heaters of one sort or another. I tried some 2-5 gallon aquarium heaters to heat my 1 gallon containers for each of the 3 snowmen, but I personally don't think the solution ever got "warm" vs "not freezing" when we got to near and below 32F. If I tried the heaters again, I'd probably try the 10 gallon variety and see what happens.. FYI.

NOTE: I did NOT invent this recipe, and take no credit for it. Since I do NOT know who originally figured out the recipe, I will simply thank ALL those that came before me. It was their hard work and efforts that made this possible... Like many others in the DIY community... their labors, and efforts are what make many of the things we do today - possible. THANK YOU.

Toaster
12-28-2007, 07:57 PM
Some one asked how I rewired my snowman to turn on without the remote control... Just thought I'd post the reply for all to see. Below is basic instructions for re-wiring your amazing snowman to power on and start blowing snow immediately upon applying power. No remote needed.


The surgery your snowman needs is easy, but he's a bit tough to work inside of (see tight fit for big hands) Its easier if you open him up - but thats up to you. Opening him up requires more work to hot glue his clothes and covering back on.

If you feel on his back, up near his head - you'll find a white box that has the power cord going in, and an antenna lead and 2 other cords coming out - these are for the blower motor, and juice pump. The white box is the remote control receiver and obviously turns on (sends power to) the blower and pump when activated. Ideally in our application, you would want to have the snowman start when power is applied.

You have to cut all the wires, and splice the blower motor power cord, and pump power cord into the main power cord... I used simple wire nuts - Its pretty easy really. By bypassing the white remote control box altogether, when you plug the snowman in (or give him power) he'll turn on, and start making snow within 3-10 seconds (or there abouts...ymmv)

Another thing to note is the pump uses VERY little power, the blower motor is the power hog in this thing... As I remember, the pump is maxed out at 0.12 amp while the blower motor is something like nearly 6 amps? So make sure your SSR's can handle the load, or figure out a better way to wire in the components.

GOOD LUCK.

kostyun
12-31-2007, 10:19 AM
Toaster, this seems like a much simpler recipie than I've been using - I have two large machines, and went through about 30 gallons of fluid this year (The wal-mart bubble bath solution) and to say the least - my machines need a good cleaning. Now, I do like the wintergreen alcohol myself, as it adds a "minty smell" to the snow!

Thankfully - turn on/off of the machines was via DMX for me this year, so no splicing needed. (I just need some sort of a remote to attach to the remote plugin so I can trigger it with a handheld remote.

Mudsculpter
12-31-2007, 10:44 AM
For those of you that have constant cold temps in the winter seasons. I found some interesing free design plans to make "Real Snow" machines using pressure washers, aircompressors, and plumbing fixtures. It was fun reading the design schematics, anyway.

http://www.snowathome.com/free_plans.php

JerryPlak
12-31-2007, 10:49 AM
Toaster,
Thanks for the PM and the info :idea:

Jerry Plak

Toaster
12-31-2007, 04:32 PM
Toaster, this seems like a much simpler recipie than I've been using - I have two large machines, and went through about 30 gallons of fluid this year (The wal-mart bubble bath solution) and to say the least - my machines need a good cleaning. Now, I do like the wintergreen alcohol myself, as it adds a "minty smell" to the snow!

Thankfully - turn on/off of the machines was via DMX for me this year, so no splicing needed. (I just need some sort of a remote to attach to the remote plugin so I can trigger it with a handheld remote.

What recipe has you been using? I tried the walmart bubble bath (lander and mr bubble) and I think the results I get with the dish soap are MUCH better and cleaner.

Much better = snow goes up in the air farther and shoots farther away from the machines. Thats my experience anyway. Ymmv.

TERBObob
01-01-2008, 12:50 AM
Talking from experience here ... ( about the REAL snow machnes ) . whatever you do , INVEST in a ONE WAY valve for the air compressor , OTHERWISE , if there is a cut of power , that water WILL go right into your compressor and then good bye compressor .
And those home made jobby do's , DO work and work well . :wink:

Toaster
01-01-2008, 07:19 PM
Thats cool, making REAL snow :) Us texans have to settle for the foamy soapy stuff ;)