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ron d
09-23-2008, 10:12 PM
I built 4 fog machine relays to trigger and really quite cheap and easy. got them from all www.electronics.com and are just simple ice cube relays. Super easy to hook up and you can trigger up to 4 thing from each. I am just using 4 for the fog machines for my halloween display but will also use them for battery powered led strobe lights for christmas. Took an hour to solder the power wires and switches, hot glue the end and then seal the back end and test. they were dirt cheap but the shipping was 7 bucks.

BuzzKill
09-24-2008, 10:21 AM
www.electronics.com (http://www.electronics.com) is a dead, parked url.

rca
09-24-2008, 10:26 AM
I wonder if he was talking about these:

http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/4PRLY-120N/4PDT-120VAC-ICE-CUBE-RELAY/1.html

Ron

ron d
09-24-2008, 10:49 AM
yes, all electronics.

ron d
09-24-2008, 10:56 AM
When I was done wiring and soldering them i wrapped electrical tape up the sides High enough to hold in some hot glue to cover and seal everything. Came out very nice, just thought the idea would help and they are super easy to wire. top two are power to plug into controller then row 2 is green wire from fog machine and row 3 is white wire. bottom row i did not use and also the black wire going to the fog machine switch i just cut off and did not use. Has 4 plug ins for say 4 fog machines but i just wired for single. If you hot glue them in, wire all 4 and attach wire nuts so all 4 are available. its just tight in there so the hot glue is just to keep it inclosed better.

BuzzKill
09-24-2008, 12:17 PM
I built something similar for use with an X-10 universal relay. I just nipped a hole on the back of the remote push button box and installed a relay socket to "press" the on button when I triggered the X-10 remote with a hawkeye motion sensor. Everything I needed was at your friendly neighborhood radio shack.

TERBObob
09-24-2008, 02:25 PM
Those relays are kinda border -line for the amperage . The smallest wattage for a fogger that I used was 400 watts , which , is roughly 3.5 amps . A bit over the rating for those relays . Might want to keep an eye out that they ( the relays ) don't "stick/weld" on ya .

BuzzKill
09-24-2008, 03:43 PM
You are not controlling the heater element with the relay, only the pump which squirts the juice onto the hotplate which what makes the fog. The heater is constantly on.

ron d
09-27-2008, 10:40 AM
i tested in vixen an on/off sequence with a 15 second on and a 30 second off then 10 second on and 30 seconds off then repeat for a full hour. no issues.

Michael
09-28-2008, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the idea. After reading your first post, I was brave enough to go and get a fog machine. I picked up an ice cube relay at Radio Shack for $9, That is what you pay for wanting in NOW. I put the relay in a Radio Shack project box with one of the cut off 110vac extension cord male ends, and connected it to a quick disconnect cord. Cut a hole in the fog machine remote, and wired the other end of the quick disconnect cord. I was not able to determine the voltages that are going on inside the remote, but I did find which 2 wires I needed to jumper into. In my case it is the green and white. The black is used to light the rocker switch when the fog machine has warmed up. The original rocker switch still works so I can still trip it manually for testing. I have not sealed anything yet, but I do like the hot glue idea.
These remotes are the same ones found on machines at Menards, and Halloween Express.
A recommendation I was given was to get the big watt fog machine (1000 watts) because the common 400 watt machines take so long to reheat after a blast. This is especially true if you have a cold Halloween.
I took some quick pictures. Hope they help someone.

- Michael

ron d
09-28-2008, 10:42 AM
I would solder wires to the relay before hot glueing them in and put wire nuts on the ends just in case you wanted these to control more things easily at a later time. I am sure i wasnt the first but was proud to figure it out for less then 5$.

djulien
10-19-2008, 09:43 PM
You are not controlling the heater element with the relay, only the pump which squirts the juice onto the hotplate which what makes the fog. The heater is constantly on.

Will the standard DCSSR work as-is to control the relay added to the fogger remote, or are there alternate ways? For example, I have all AC SSRs currently, and I was trying to come up with an easy way to just use one of those channels (on/off, not dimmed), instead of building another SSR just for this.

don

BuzzKill
10-19-2008, 11:12 PM
There is no DC in the fog machine that I am aware of. As far as I can tell, and somebody jump in if I am wrong, the heater element is always on. The heating element also has a thermostat switch that is what turns on the neon bulb in the remote when it has become hot enough to make fog. It is also what allows you to press the button which makes the pump squirt the fog juice onto the internal hot plate which then rapidly expands and comes out as "fog".

So as far as I can tell, you are dealing with 120VAC in the entire system. But I have never put a meter to it, so I am not sure. When I put my relay in place I just made sure it was sized for 120V and it just worked. I have never tried with an SSR.

The only wierdness that could occur that I can think of is that when the thermostat switch is not hot enough, there will be no current coming into the SSR so it won't latch into the "off" mode. I don't know what that will do, or what problems, if any, that could cause.

djulien
10-20-2008, 10:28 AM
So as far as I can tell, you are dealing with 120VAC in the entire system. .... When I put my relay in place I just made sure it was sized for 120V and it just worked. I have never tried with an SSR.


Sorry, my question probably was not worded clearly - I was wanting to know about the Vixen side of things. ie, what is on the controller side that triggers the relay.

don

BuzzKill
10-20-2008, 12:30 PM
Umm .. okay. You need a relay with 120v coil. You can get one at radio shack. The coil of the relay will plug into one of the channels on your SSR. The NO (normally open) contacts side of the relay will connect to the 2 wires on thes switch in the fog machine remote. So when the SSR is triggered, it will activate the relay coil, close the contacts, and "push" the button on the fog machine.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2049721&cp=&sr=1&kw=relay&origkw=relay&parentPage=search

djulien
10-21-2008, 12:05 PM
You need a relay with 120v coil. .... The coil of the relay will plug into one of the channels on your SSR.

Okay, I understand you now. I was thinking that the 120V relay coil would look like an inductive load to the AC SSR, so the SSR could not be used as-is. If a regular AC SSR can be used to drive the relay directly, that solves a couple of my design challenges!

don

BuzzKill
10-21-2008, 12:20 PM
Isn't a light bulb just a coil of wire? Except in this case you are not heating it to point it glows. At least not on purpose. :)

djulien
10-22-2008, 01:03 PM
Isn't a light bulb just a coil of wire? Except in this case you are not heating it to point it glows. At least not on purpose. :)

You're right. I was mixing motors with coils. I'm kinda weak on non-digital stuff.

rikerz
10-30-2008, 09:06 AM
I set up my fogger with the relay like suggested now LOR locks up everytime I turn it on so I unhooked it and it works ok again:confused: Wonder what I am doing wrong and if anyone else has had this problem but I did test the relay out and it works ok....

BuzzKill
10-30-2008, 12:13 PM
Never used LOR stuff. I am just guessing that their SSR is similar to the Renards. Can you post an image or draw a schematic of how you have it hooked up?

djulien
10-30-2008, 05:07 PM
The coil of the relay will plug into one of the channels on your SSR. The NO (normally open) contacts side of the relay will connect to the 2 wires on thes switch in the fog machine remote. So when the SSR is triggered, it will activate the relay coil, close the contacts, and "push" the button on the fog machine.

If used with dimmable channels (Renard), the SSR needs to be on a PWM channel, correct? (otherwise, the brief on-pulse would not leave the relay on for long enough)

don

Michael
10-30-2008, 06:11 PM
If used with dimmable channels (Renard), the SSR needs to be on a PWM channel, correct? (otherwise, the brief on-pulse would not leave the relay on for long enough)

don

YES

A work-around for this is to put an additional load onto the channel. I have lots of single C9 bulbs soldered to the ends of the extension cords I cut off and I just plug one of these into the same channel to hold it open. The light is usually in a place it can be hidden.

- Michael

djulien
10-31-2008, 01:18 PM
A work-around for this is to put an additional load onto the channel. I have lots of single C9 bulbs soldered to the ends of the extension cords I cut off and I just plug one of these into the same channel to hold it open.

Great idea! That will be a LOT easier than rearranging my channels so all the PWM channels come out of the same PIC, running PWM. (I need just a few relays scattered all over the layout, and I'm using mostly non-PWM so I can run the controller off the USB port instead of a separate power supply).

I presume C7's would work as well as C9's? I cut apart a string of C7's to use as testers, so I could re-use them for that.

don

Braveit1
11-03-2008, 10:49 AM
The way I did it was to go and get a cheap 5v/120v SPST relay for under a dollar and grap an unused wall wart from some old speakers. Plug the wall wart into one of your A/c channels on the controller and then to the 5v of the relay. The other end goes inline to replace the switch. Simple, easy and no extra lights needed. No need for extra loads and if you have any wall warts you can do it under a dollar!