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Fog machine timer hack

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If this is here twice - sorry, I'm having computer issues!!! I'm designing a new prop for my Halloween display. Large mausoleum, fog machine, RGB lights, strobes and Death - a 6.5' tall animated grim reaper. I was originally going to control the fog machine via DMX but I can't find a DMX controlled machine small enough for this application. I'm thinking a 400w - 1000w fogger should be able to completely fill the mausoleum within very short order. I have heard there is a way to hack the timer/remote with a relay to control the machine. Does anyone know exactly how to wire this up to be controlled by either a standard 120v AC LOR channel or through a HolidayCoro DMX controller? I'm even willing to purchase a LOR DC controller if I have to. I'll have to purchase a ServoDog anyway to control the head movements - unless anyone knows a cheaper way to run two servo's through LOR?

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Need a lot more info.. I am sure you an hack it easy enough but there really isn't enough info here to give you anything of value...

 

However.... if you get one and open it up.. there should be a heating circuit (leave that one alone) and a pump.  That pump most likely runs using a relay or triac or some such device.  The timer will usually run that device.  All you have to do (in most cases) is run allow the heater to work normally and run the pump when you want the effect to have fog.  Should be pretty simple once you get inside. 

 

Let us know how you do.

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try the search box above.  I remember lots of posts on this topic.  Last year someone was selling a kit to connect a fog machine to a LOR controller; I bought it, it worked well.  Minor issue, fog machine was slow to react; so I had to adjust the timing via sequencing to have the fogger come on earlier. 

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I'm out of the fog relays. Sold the last one I had in stock a few days ago. I should have more in the next couple of weeks. May add a DMX relay as well.

Buckeye....not sure which type of fog machine your using. I saw the same delay but with the cheap fog machines like from Target or Party City. My Chauvet didn't have a delay so guessing it's the fogger and not the relay. Timing also plays a factor. The cheap fogger could only fire for 20 secs then needed a whole min between. The Chauvet had less warmup time and longer burst. So if your channel turns on during this "warmup" time, the fog machine won't fire.

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I hacked 2 fog machines to make my pirate canons last year using a similar method posted above.  I got the relays at Radio Shack (amazing they actually had something I needed in stock-who knew!) they were ~$10 each but with shipping and not having to wait it wasn't that bad. 

 

I cut the cord to the remote and wired directly to the relay,  a male end of another extension cord was connected to the other end.  I did not put the LED light on my project box but in hindsight that would have been nice to see when the fogger is warm and ready to fire.  I simply tied a knot in each cord to keep strain off the connectors.  I also used marine grade silicone to seal up the box, I figure if its good enough for my boat it would work on this.  Total was about $15 per fogger. 

 

A member on here TJ (out of Arizona-pilot-pirate fan) also has a post that I can't seem to find right now (typical!) that explains how to do this.  

 

Here is a basic video on youtube I just found that shows the connection without a project box that obviously would be needed for safety.

 

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You should go check out CLD Kevin he has what your looking for. You can do a simple mod to the controller of your fog unit. I Would also Recomend a Chauvet Fog unit I have 3 of them.  I've had no problem with them and have been using them for about 4 years. but this is the link to the Fogger Relay from CLC Kevin

 

http://store.creativelightingdisplays.com/Fogger-Relay-FOG-RELAY.htm

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Hey everyone, thanks for all the info.  I knew there was a way to do it, just couldn't find what I was looking for.  I'm still a little confused on the actual wiring of the relay but I think if I got one to look at it would be pretty easy to figure out.  Does anyone know if there is a relay that I could activate with 12vdc from a DC control board?

 

Kevin, I really like your relay - nice, clean and well built.  It is a little pricey but definitely a nice (almost) plug and play option.  I would be very interested in a DMX version as I'm trying to limit the number of 110vac wiring running through my yard.  Even one that could be controlled by a DC control board would be good. One question though - what is the rc plug/cable for?  Will that handle 110v going through the relay to activate the fog pump?

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Hey everyone, thanks for all the info.  I knew there was a way to do it, just couldn't find what I was looking for.  I'm still a little confused on the actual wiring of the relay but I think if I got one to look at it would be pretty easy to figure out.  Does anyone know if there is a relay that I could activate with 12vdc from a DC control board?

 

Kevin, I really like your relay - nice, clean and well built.  It is a little pricey but definitely a nice (almost) plug and play option.  I would be very interested in a DMX version as I'm trying to limit the number of 110vac wiring running through my yard.  Even one that could be controlled by a DC control board would be good. One question though - what is the rc plug/cable for?  Will that handle 110v going through the relay to activate the fog pump?

 

     I have 3 of the Relays from Kevin.  The RCA gives you a quick way to disconnect the relay box to the Fog Controller. you drill a small hole in your fog units controller add the RCA plug and solder the RCA to your Manuel switch. There are instruction on how to do this with pictures with different fog timer. The relay will act as the Manuel switch when you add power to the fog relay box it will close the relay and triger your fog unit to come on. As for a 12V Ver go to Kevin's web site and email him about making a 12V Ver for a DC Controller board. He should be abile to have one made for you just ask him on his web site. I hope this helps

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Hey everyone. I see this topic is been dead for a couple of months but I'll give it a try anyway. I purchased a couple of cheap fog machines last year from Target. I can't find much info on them but I'm sure you guys know the ones I'm talking about. The fog machine has a local push button operation as well as a wireless remote (which honestly isn't worth a s**t because you've got to be standing next to the damn thing for it work). Anyway- the info I'm looking for is can I add (wire) a basic fog machine timer into this unit? In my mind it seems like it should be possible (but that's in my mind). I would appreciate any feedback.

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Hey everyone. I see this topic is been dead for a couple of months but I'll give it a try anyway. I purchased a couple of cheap fog machines last year from Target. I can't find much info on them but I'm sure you guys know the ones I'm talking about. The fog machine has a local push button operation as well as a wireless remote (which honestly isn't worth a s**t because you've got to be standing next to the damn thing for it work). Anyway- the info I'm looking for is can I add (wire) a basic fog machine timer into this unit? In my mind it seems like it should be possible (but that's in my mind). I would appreciate any feedback.

If the fog machine has a wired push button switch, one that has a female receptacle that is plugged into the back of the fog machine, you can actually buy a timer that will let you set the fog burst length and delay of how soon or late you want the fog burst to be.   The timer has 3 buttons, one is for manual bursts, red button is for turning on/off power, yellow button is for turning on/off the uto control {timer option} which is the stand alone use, no intervention from you required, and a green button which is for manual control or can be used in conjunction with the yellow button in the on position, this allows you to push the button and send a burst of fog before the timer has completed it's cycle.  Above each button is also an LED of the same color as the button, if I recall the green button is used to indicate the fogger is ready to be fired manually and that the timing cycle is ready and will auto fire the fog burst set by the two dials below the buttons.

 

One dial is seconds duration and can be set from 5 to 30 seconds, the second dial is duration, which can be set to fire the fog in a duration from 30 to 120 seconds{2 minutes apart}.

 

These timers can be bought at most stores that sell the fog machines and cost anywhere from $10-$20.00.

 

If you use it with an LOR AC controller, then you follow the schematics that have been shared here in other posts, it's actually quite easy to modify the manual button to be fired using LOR AC Controllers.   I'd think if using DC, the only difference would be instead of using an AC voltage rated relay, you'd replace it with a 12 volt DC relay.  The wiring would basically remain the same to the manual switch.

 

This is the one I use and what it looks like: http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=HN.607987010800258435&pid=1.7

 

Bought mine at Wal-Mart several years ago and cost me around $7.99¢, prices have since gone way up since then.

 

This is the one Wal-Mart sells now: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fog-Machine-Timer/16829744 {$19.98¢}

 

SpiritHalloween sells the same one a bit cheaper than Wal-Mart: http://www.spirithalloween.com/product/fog-timer/  {$16.99¢}

 

Looked for fog machine timers at Target and they didn't show any sold separately.

 

I don't want to tie up a channel for a fog machine, so I use the above type timer on my foggers, set them and leave them alone.  Only thing I have to watch is the fog fluid reservoir.  But I set mine for about 15 second bursts and a delay of about 45 seconds, a full tank of fog fluid will last me about 6-7 hours.

Edited by Orville

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Orville

Thanks for the reply. The fog machines I have don't have the accessory outlet for the timer which is why I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with hacking one of these. I'm sure it can be done. I'm not going to add it to my LOR or DMX. This prop is just a stand alone so the timer will work perfect.

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Hey everyone. I see this topic is been dead for a couple of months but I'll give it a try anyway. I purchased a couple of cheap fog machines last year from Target. I can't find much info on them but I'm sure you guys know the ones I'm talking about. The fog machine has a local push button operation as well as a wireless remote (which honestly isn't worth a s**t because you've got to be standing next to the damn thing for it work). Anyway- the info I'm looking for is can I add (wire) a basic fog machine timer into this unit? In my mind it seems like it should be possible (but that's in my mind). I would appreciate any feedback.

Yes, You can use the push button to activate the fog machines you can add a relay on the switch and use a 120 Vac relay to triger the button or can use this from CLD Kevin on his web site he has them in stock.

 

http://store.creativelightingdisplays.com/Fogger-Relay-FOG-RELAY.htm 

 

there are instructions on how to modify your standard switch to work with the Relay Box.

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Orville

Thanks for the reply. The fog machines I have don't have the accessory outlet for the timer which is why I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with hacking one of these. I'm sure it can be done. I'm not going to add it to my LOR or DMX. This prop is just a stand alone so the timer will work perfect.

Strange, I thought all foggers had a manual push button switch that plugged into female receptacle on the machine.  Yours doesn't even have a manual push button switch that is detachable or, if it doesn't, is it "hard-wired" directly into the fogger?

 

If  hardwired, the 120VAC relay option is still viable with the manual push button switch, just take it apart, wire the 120V AC line current to the coil of the relay, and then depending on whether the relay has both NO{Normally Open} and NC{Normally closed} contacts, you'd wire the wiper to one side of the manual PB switch, the other side, usually NO side would go to the other side of the foggers manual PB switch, now in a sequence you would use full ON or OFF commands to send out a burst of fog using the AC LOR Controllers {CTB16PC for example}  So when an ON command is encountered the NO relay connection is closed and fog shoots out, when OFF is encountered, ends the fog stream.   This way you still have and can control the gof burst manually as well as via the LOR SE software.  The only issue is the "warm up" times between each use of shooting the fog, depending on the fogger will take some practice within the SE to get it as close to where you want it.

 

It's actually a very simple modification that works, as long as the fogger has some type of manual control to send out fog bursts via the press of a button.

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I found a post (i believe on here) and the poster mentioned a Radio Shack relay.  Well, this bad boy is not available on line anymore... BUT all the Radio Shacks in my area have it in stock.

 

Its  part # 275-0217   They sell for $5 here. The relay base is not required.

 

Simple operation, the LOR channel gives 120 to the relay which closes the loop on the 'push to smoke' button, causing the smoke to turn on.

 

I found you need to add a second or two -before- you want the smoke to turn on so the smoke can actually be start up.

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So, here it is already November and....well....no mausoleum, fogger, 6.5' tall creepy guy - nothing!  I didn't even get started, family and work kind of took a forefront this year.  Oh well, maybe next year.  Thank you all for the ideas and suggestions on the fog control. Hopefully, after Christmas, I can actually get something done on it.

 

Matt

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We use a 110V dry contact relay from jameco.  Part# is 175573.   $6.95 last I checked and its as simple as taking the 2 wires from the push button (located in the remote or on the case of the fogger) and soldering them to pins 1 & 3.  Run a 110V pigtail to pins 7 & 8.   Plug in the 110V pigtail and your relay closes and the fogger fires. 

 

I recommend testing the wiring sequence prior to soldering by simply tapping the 2 remote/button wires together quickly.  The fogger should start to spray on each tap.    

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