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Renard64
02-24-2012, 07:56 PM
Ok, I have DIY Renard based controllers, and 2 - H700 fog machines, they both have the 3 wire remote controllers, and I want to be able to "push the button" (not physically) with my controllers... anyone know what hardware would be needed? DMX? Relay? Lets hear the experts opinions...

JackFrost
02-25-2012, 12:50 AM
13365


pinout

L = line
N = neutral
O = output

n8huntsman
02-25-2012, 10:24 AM
One option is to get a relay with a 120v coil. Connect that to your Renard, assuming that's what you're using. If youre using a bosch style realy, it would be pins 30 and 87, connected to the line and output shown above.

JackFrost
02-25-2012, 12:36 PM
Relay is NOT really a good idea ... it creates a sort of backfeed and will mess up .

n8huntsman
02-25-2012, 01:19 PM
Relay is NOT really a good idea ... it creates a sort of backfeed and will mess up .
You mean backfeed onto the controller? Is this from the inductive kickback? If so, couldn't this be fixed with a simple diode across the coil?

Renard64
02-25-2012, 03:17 PM
I am scared of the relay - any other options?

jcross
02-25-2012, 03:45 PM
If you have concerns about or experience problems with using a relay then you could put a C7 bulb across the relay contacts. Sometimes you have to do something like this for LEDs also as the triacs have issue with low current at times.

3 years ago I started using relays to replace the button triggers on fog machines for our haunted house. It works perfectly every time.

I also use relays for controlling motors and have never had problems. Last year I did 3 saw themed rooms.
-The first room had relays controlling a dc motor which allowed the doll (Billy) to peddle out to you and then peddle back. (he talked as well)
-The second room used a relay to activate an air solenoid to trigger the reversed bear trap.
The third room used relays to turn on the table saw motor and make the blade rise up.
-The last room used relays to turn on a fog machine, a police beacon and a strobe light before the "swat team" broke down the door to rescue the people who did not put their hand through the table saw.
-Between each room was a door with relay controlled door locks.

Relays can be your friend... Sounds a little pathetic I know.

KeithW
02-28-2012, 09:05 PM
I hacked my fog machine, and pigtailed out the control circuit to an ice cube relay - it 'clicks' loud, but works just fine (so far, only used in Halloween 2011) I just timed the fog when the music is loud, but I like the control of exactly how many seconds to pulse - of course, only at 100% to zero - no dimming

Braveit1
02-28-2012, 11:42 PM
i also did something different. i used a solid state brick relay but powered the switch with a wall wart. plugged that into the ren. didnt have to worry about the bounce thst way. also didnt have to worry about hooking it up to the ren or moving it from channel to channel.

Renard64
02-29-2012, 02:26 AM
Ok, so I am looking at an SSR to try and do this... what voltage is present in the control circuit of fog machines? Is the circuit hot? Or is it a neg? Any pointers as to what SSR I would need? I have 12 volt clicker relays laying around all over... but not sure if they can pass the voltage that might be present in the control unit... I just don't want to start breaking stuff on purpose if someone has better knowledge to help before I start.. I have 8 months to figure it out...

jcross
02-29-2012, 05:09 AM
Ok, so I am looking at an SSR to try and do this... what voltage is present in the control circuit of fog machines? Is the circuit hot? Or is it a neg? Any pointers as to what SSR I would need? I have 12 volt clicker relays laying around all over... but not sure if they can pass the voltage that might be present in the control unit... I just don't want to start breaking stuff on purpose if someone has better knowledge to help before I start.. I have 8 months to figure it out...

The Foggers I have used have all been 120VAC control at the remote I believe.

The relays you have should indicate a few things.
1- the primary or coil voltage is what is required to make the relay "change state" or "turn on". If they are 12VDC then you will need a DCSSR with a 12VDC power supply. If it is 120VAC then you can use a standard SSR.
2- the secondary (or contacts) should tell you how much current they can handle at VAC & VDC.

I always use 15Amp relays but that is because I have them kicking around.

If you have a good multimeter you can use it to check how many Amps the trigger is asking for. I have seen 2 different characteristics with different Foggers. Some use the switch to control a relay for the fog release (which takes minimal current) but others seem to run the fogger through the switch (I've seen 8Amps on one of my old ones).

As you say, at least there is time to play.

Braveit1
02-29-2012, 10:49 AM
I use a 3v control voltage relay so I can turn the on and off with an old cell phone charger.
Remember Watts = Volts x Amps so if you have a 400 watt fog machine a good estimate could be 400w (fog machine)= 120v (AC line in house) x Amps or 400/120 = 3.4 Amps. So a relay that holds at least 4 amps would be needed. For a 1000 watt fogger have at least a 10 Amp relay.
But use a meter to be sure.

rstehle
02-29-2012, 11:03 AM
I am looking to possibly purchase a fog machine to use this year for Halloween. I would like to have a layer of fog on the ground near our front door. Can any of you with experience using them give me any recommendations on which style, brand, wattage I might consider?

vincehc
02-29-2012, 11:18 AM
If you war the fog to stay near ground you need a low level fogged I use antari ice-101. It uses ice to cool the fog down so it stays near the ground. I use one and creates a nice layer over most of my front yard. It takes about 16 lbs of ice to fill but that's gets me through two hrs of Halloween. The wired controller has timer for how offen how much and duration. It will run Cont. At 50%. They are not cheap but well built and worth the money

jcross
02-29-2012, 04:56 PM
I am looking to possibly purchase a fog machine to use this year for Halloween. I would like to have a layer of fog on the ground near our front door. Can any of you with experience using them give me any recommendations on which style, brand, wattage I might consider?

2 years ago I tried a weird concept but it was cheap and worked not too badly.

I took some old eaves trough and built 2 10' long boxes. I drilled 1/2" holes every few inches. I took a "T" fitting and placed it in between the 2 sections and ran a piece of downspout out from it about 2'.

I installed a fan in the downspout and then put the fogger against it so that the fog would be sucked into the pipe.

The end result was the fog was cooled enough by the time it came out of the holes to stay low to the ground (1-3' max) and it was dispersed nicely over 2 rooms (a graveyard and a swamp).

If you already have the stuff then this is a simple, cheap but bulky and messy solution.

Ultimately a chiller is likely the way to go. There are lots of designs for converting a cooler into a chiller using either dry ice or regular ice.

budude
02-29-2012, 06:55 PM
I used a bin with a flexible dryer duct and then used two sections of 10' flexible irrigation pipe to spread it out over around the perimeter of the yard. It worked pretty good until some floated into the house and my wife told me to shut the thing off...

edit - hmm - - tried to attach images but it doesn't show them for some reason - anyway link is HERE (http://christmasinsj.com/wordpress/?p=213):

n8huntsman
02-29-2012, 11:10 PM
I have a Chauvet Hurricane, 1000 watt fogger, H1300, I believe. I ran it into an ice chest chiller with a chicken wire duct inside, going from one side to the other, lengthwise. This worked great but took a lot of ice. I ran it from 6 to 9 on Halloween and had to refill the chest once. I was prepared though. For the previous month, I had been freezing milk jugs in my spare freezer. I used an air chisel to break them up. Here is the result. This is looking at my neighbors yard. The fog completely took over both yards and rolled out into the street.
13426

vincehc
03-01-2012, 12:58 PM
If you do use ice chest or any plastic tubing you have to be careful around the output area of the fog machine as they do get very hot.

n8huntsman
03-01-2012, 07:48 PM
You don't want to put the fogger directly on the plastic. The fog needs to mix with air when it exits the nozzle. It should be about 3 to 4 inches away. I found this to be suffiecient at keeping the plastic from melting as well.

JackFrost
03-03-2012, 04:03 PM
I use a 3v control voltage relay so I can turn the on and off with an old cell phone charger.
Remember Watts = Volts x Amps so if you have a 400 watt fog machine a good estimate could be 400w (fog machine)= 120v (AC line in house) x Amps or 400/120 = 3.4 Amps. So a relay that holds at least 4 amps would be needed. For a 1000 watt fogger have at least a 10 Amp relay.
But use a meter to be sure.

Most foggers do NOT use that kind of amperage/wattage to get the fog rolling . That wattage/amperage is what the heater requires . The small pump really uses hardly any power to speak of , and thats what you are going to be turning on and off .. NOT the heating element ( which needs to stay on so that when the pump DOES engage , the fluid gets heated and converted to the infamous hot fog . :)