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Thread: Fake Snow?

  1. #1
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    Default Fake Snow?

    Since the first year having a display I have always wanted to put fake snow machines on the roof of my house and have them blow fake snow during portions of the show. Logistically I am not finding a solution.

    Has or does anyone run fake snow machines in their display? If you do how do you keep the tanks filled? With wanting to put 2 or 3 of them on my roof I'm not sure what I could do to monitor and keep the tanks filled. I could run some sort of ground container that would pump the juice upto the tanks. But Im not sure how to monitor the tanks so they dont over fill.
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights - 2 Sequenced Songs
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    That's a tough problem. I haven't added one into my show, but I do own a decent one. I doubt that it would be able to suck up the juice from any far distance, so you would want to keep the tanks co located for sure.

    This feels like a project whose complexity level could get out of hand quickly, but there certainly solutions.

    Maybe figure out how much fluid one night's worth of show would need in a unit (without multiple refills), and then pump that amount up each day. Is there any concern about freezing?

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    Sounds like the perfect place for an Arduino setup to measure a start and stop fill points on your reservoir, and then control a pump from a ground source to keep it filled within the limits.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by toozie21 View Post
    That's a tough problem. I haven't added one into my show, but I do own a decent one. I doubt that it would be able to suck up the juice from any far distance, so you would want to keep the tanks co located for sure.

    This feels like a project whose complexity level could get out of hand quickly, but there certainly solutions.

    Maybe figure out how much fluid one night's worth of show would need in a unit (without multiple refills), and then pump that amount up each day. Is there any concern about freezing?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I was thinking a small pump from the ground to force feed the liquid up to fill the tank. I just cant/wont go up a ladder multiple times to fill the tanks. I would have to look into the solution compound to see if freezing is an issue.

    This might end up being a special even type of thing.

    That would work assuming every day was below freezing, but then again the solution in fake snow machines wouldn't leave ice/water all over my display. That video was interesting but with that amount of water I wouldnt want to risk spraying my display like that.
    2016 - 32 LOR Channels - Roughly 5,000 Lights - 2 Sequenced Songs
    2017 - 64 LOR Channels - 9,373 Lights - 4 Sequenced Songs
    2018 - 64 LOR Channels - New House - Total Redesign - 9,011 Lights - 5 Sequenced Songs (Interactive)
    2019 - 80 LOR Channels - Expecting 15,000+ Lights - 6-8 Sequences Songs (Interactive)

    Ridgewood Lights - Facebook Page
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    Could you place them on a shelf on a top-floor window sill to make them more accessible, instead of the roof? I've rigged one up on a stand before (and in a tree) and it works quite well at lower height - anything more than a gentle breeze and it all just vanishes in to the distance!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    What markp said. I've read here about folks that created snowbanks on the neighbor-across-the-street's lawn due to it blowing from "high up".

    Also, in keeping your tanks full - how about a float switch put into your tank? When it is triggered, you can pump from your larger container (on the ground) into the snow maker's tank. If you don't have room for the float switch in the unit's tank,add a tank to the side of the snowmaker that can contain the switch, and pipe it into the unit.

    Lots of options.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    Quote Originally Posted by algerdes View Post
    What markp said. I've read here about folks that created snowbanks on the neighbor-across-the-street's lawn due to it blowing from "high up".

    Also, in keeping your tanks full - how about a float switch put into your tank? When it is triggered, you can pump from your larger container (on the ground) into the snow maker's tank. If you don't have room for the float switch in the unit's tank,add a tank to the side of the snowmaker that can contain the switch, and pipe it into the unit.

    Lots of options.
    That is basically what I was talking about, but you will need two float switches, one to activate the pump when your reservoir gets low and the second to deactivate the pump when it is full.
    2012 - 1st year 64 Channels - 7500 LED lights - 5 sequences
    2013 - 128 Channels - 10,000 LED lights - 7 sequences (2 New)
    2014 - 201 Channels - upgrading 8 Arches to dumb RGB - 8+ sequences (1+ New)
    2015 - 240 Channels + 8 Universes - sequences TBD
    2016 - No Display
    2017 - Back in the Game - 240 Renard Channels + 12 Universes
    2018 - 256 Renard and 9 Falcon Outputs of Pixels - 16 sequences shown over 2 nights

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    A good float switch, similar to one used in a sump pump, will do both functions internally. When it drops below a specified level, it turns the switch on. When it gets above another set level, it turns the switch off. The pump itself doesn't have any real intelligence. It just turns on when it has electricity, and off when it doesn't.

    I am looking at SIL pumps for their small float switches. Of course I got rid of all of mine last year during "fall cleaning". What was I thinking!?!
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fake Snow?

    I'm planning to add a fake snow machine to my display this year. I'm going to go with a used SM-250 I got off ebay to test out how will it works during my shows. It it works out well I may buy additional machines or a single bigger one for more coverage. I will mount it near a second floor window under the eave so I will have access via the window to refill the tank. This thread has also go me thinking about using an auto top off system I have from an old aquarium setup. I'm also not sure how cold weather and freezing will impact things so that will be part of my test as well. In Seattle area we don't usually get much below freezing in Dec, but it does sometimes happen. I've seen recommendations to add a small aquarium heater to the tank to keep it from getting too cold.

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