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woodinvillejohn

Fog machine relay

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I have been trying to find a source for a fog machine relay that I can use to control my fog machines off an LOR channel.  Creativelightingdisplays.com seems to have shut down.  Does anyone know of another source?

 

I am willing to try assembling my own relay as others have done.  I know everyone says it takes about $20 worth of parts.  I've seen some of whats online, But simply telling me to buy a relay and make my own is too general.  I have no experience doing this and am afraid I need detailed instructions on how to hook everything up and what type and model of relay I need to buy.  Does anyone have any information like this?  From the forums, it looks like I am not the only one looking for this information. 

Thanks for any information you can send my way.

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4 hours ago, woodinvillejohn said:

I have been trying to find a source for a fog machine relay that I can use to control my fog machines off an LOR channel.  Creativelightingdisplays.com seems to have shut down.  Does anyone know of another source?

 

I am willing to try assembling my own relay as others have done.  I know everyone says it takes about $20 worth of parts.  I've seen some of whats online, But simply telling me to buy a relay and make my own is too general.  I have no experience doing this and am afraid I need detailed instructions on how to hook everything up and what type and model of relay I need to buy.  Does anyone have any information like this?  From the forums, it looks like I am not the only one looking for this information. 

Thanks for any information you can send my way.

here is the exact one I used http://www.frightprops.com/ac-activated-double-pull-double-throw-5-amp-relay.html. The wiring schematic is one of the description pics, might want to copy that.

((If the link does not produce the relay and say "moving things around" then type "AC activated relay" in the search box of that page.))

Most Fog Machines are wired up alike ( I said most, not all). There are topics on this forum that give instruction - its simple. I choose the method of attaching the relay to the remote switch. Just open the remote, use a multi-meter and find the power wire on one side of the switch and the other wire that gets activated when your switch is on, on the other said of the switch. connect those points to "common 1" and "N/O 1" on the relay (referencing the schematic pic I mentioned). 

 

 

Edited by saxon

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Thank you for all of the information.  Knowing which relay to buy was the big challenge.  I just ordered 2 of these relays and will see if I can get everything working.  With the info you provided it looks easy.   For anyone else reading this post you do have to enter AC relay in the search box at frightprops to find this relay.

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Any luck and update on accomplishing this? I am looking to do the same.  Does not seem that difficult but want to ensure I’m doing it correctly. Most the forum info is from 2009-2011. I found your post and was hoping to find some good steps to follow.  Thanks!!!

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Hi Dave,

I did have great success in making this work.  It is not hard but when I had not done it before i found it tough to find good information that made sense to a non tech guy like me.

First.  The cheapest source for the relay is Automationdirect.com.  They sell a 120v relay  Part#QM2N!-A 120 for $4.75.  You will also need the mounting base part # SQMO8D which costs 3.25.  The parts are cheap enough that I bought 3 sets and made 2 different controllers and have a spare set.  That way the shipping is more reasonable.

If you want to run your relay off a LOR controller you want to make sure it is a 120v A/C relay.  They sell 12v relays as well so don't get confused.

The relay snaps into the mounting block which has the connections for the wires.  I screwed  the mounting block into a plastic box I picked up at Home Depot.  I think it was about 6" square and waterproof.  I added waterproof connectors to the box and ran my wires through them to keep things water tight.  see photo below.

The wiring puzzled me for a while.  I was unable to copy the picture here, but you can view a wiring diagram at Frightprops.com.  From their home page do a search for A/C relay.  They sell the same relay and base as above for 19.99 for the set.  It is sku. # 0672-0088-RO.  Below the description are 2 photos.  The second photo shows a wiring diagram.  Frightprops has great customer service.

Even with the wiring diagram I was not sure about the hookup.  N/O means normally open and N/C means normally closed.  For a fog maching the switch is normally open until it is triggered closed.  I wanted to send a picture of my completed box but it is buried somewhere in all my tubs of Halloween stuff and I can't find it without pulling out 20 boxes. My memory is pretty fuzzy about the actual hookup of the fog machine wires.  I believe it was 1 wire to common and one to N/O.

You can either cut the wire off the fog machine controller and attach it to the controller or use a new plug assembly which is what I did.  I found you can buy 18" pigtails with a plug very inexpensively from www.monoprice.com.  Just make sure your plug matches the one on your fog machine trigger.  

As a side note they also sell extension cords very cheap if you can catch them on a sale.

I hope this helps you out.  

 

John

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Dave,

 

I just read Saxon's post again.  For some reason it was missing when I responded the first time.  That verifies it is Common and N/O for attaching the wires.  

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All, thanks for these updates. Very helpful and I hope others can benefit from this post also.  Thank you!

next I need to decide on a fogger also.

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I’m wondering if it can go in the fog unit?

i was hoping I didn’t need to get another enclosure just for this. Unless I can get a small one maybe???

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 I'll make a video real quick with information that may help. I'll post it here when I'm done. :)

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The video is great.  It really answers a lot of questions.

As far as fog machines go, the only issue I have had is one that whistled whenever it blew fog.  It was so loud i had to return it, as it covered up the music.  I have tried several.  They all seem to work. The problem with all of them seems to be that no matter how well you clean them they all quit working after 1 or 2 seasons.  Now I just find one that can put out the volume i need and figure on replacing it every other year.

There is some delay between triggering the fog and when it comes out in the display so you need to plan ahead.  I run the fog machines through a fog chiller so it can take a few seconds for the fog to build up pressure and blow out the other end.  It also will keep blowing for a few seconds (4-5) after I turn the fog machine off.  I use a dryer hose painted black to direct the fog where I want it.  The fog machines also need time to reheat after a burst so you can't trigger them non stop.  I find shorter bursts with 1000w fog machines give me more options that a 400W unit.  Using the fog chiller helps with a ground fog effect and keeps my other lights visible above it.  I found out early on that you can have too much fog.  Just remember that when using a fog machine the slightest breeze can totally wipe out any effects you were hoping for.

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3 hours ago, bryan.hurley5 said:

 

Awesome video thank you!

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54 minutes ago, woodinvillejohn said:

The video is great.  It really answers a lot of questions.

As far as fog machines go, the only issue I have had is one that whistled whenever it blew fog.  It was so loud i had to return it, as it covered up the music.  I have tried several.  They all seem to work. The problem with all of them seems to be that no matter how well you clean them they all quit working after 1 or 2 seasons.  Now I just find one that can put out the volume i need and figure on replacing it every other year.

There is some delay between triggering the fog and when it comes out in the display so you need to plan ahead.  I run the fog machines through a fog chiller so it can take a few seconds for the fog to build up pressure and blow out the other end.  It also will keep blowing for a few seconds (4-5) after I turn the fog machine off.  I use a dryer hose painted black to direct the fog where I want it.  The fog machines also need time to reheat after a burst so you can't trigger them non stop.  I find shorter bursts with 1000w fog machines give me more options that a 400W unit.  Using the fog chiller helps with a ground fog effect and keeps my other lights visible above it.  I found out early on that you can have too much fog.  Just remember that when using a fog machine the slightest breeze can totally wipe out any effects you were hoping for.

For my implementation, I don't need to have precise fog hits.  I obviously don't want it coming on at the end of the song though. 🙂

Are the foggers themselves waterproof?  I want to say no, and especially the cheaper ones.  If not, are any of you storing them say in a tote?  Or would that not work?

No idea what a fog chiller is.  I need to look into this.  Great idea using a hose to disperse the fog. 

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Dave76,

An internet search will overwhelm you with info on fog chillers.  Essentially they cool the fog so it lies low to the ground.  I made a couple last year after the show got partially obscured by dense fog output.   The fog machines are not waterproof.  I elevate mine on a piece of wood so it sits above any water.  In the past I have placed another piece of wood over them to form a roof, but only during heavy rains.  I don't worry about light rain, as the case will shed some water.  I don't leave them outside for long periods of time.  I try to bring them in each night.   I'm not sure a tote would work as the heating element in the machines can get very hot and they need airflow.

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Thanks WoodinvilleJohn.

 

One last question.  Any recommendations on FOG or are they all about the same?  I know I want to get one that is 400w compliant.  Thanks!

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The boards are filled with recommendations for Froggy's Fog juice.  Some of the mixtures out there claim they are denser and lay lower to the ground.  I think Froggy's has 3 or 4 types.  I haven't really compared the different ones so can't offer too much personal experience.  I have always tried  to stick with the denser types and been happy.

If you think the LOR and xmas light forums have lots of info, you'll be amazed at how many halloween forums are out there.  I think there is a link to one at www.frightprops.com.  An internet search should lead you to lots more.  I find some good info but you have to wade through lots of gory stuff.  My show is designed for about 3 year olds on up, so I try to keep the gory stuff out of it.  I try to make them a bit nervous without scaring them  to death.  The haunted house forums have some really cool stuff, lots of ideas and DIY stuff, but lots of gore as well.  If you google generic terms like "gigantic spider web" it will normally lead you to several good sources.  I have found that if I have an idea someone has already thought of it and put it online.  That lets me pick and choose the best ideas and modify or combine them.  I'm toying with the idea of animating some skeletons, but so far everything I find seems pricey and lots of work.

 

Happy haunting.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, woodinvillejohn said:

The boards are filled with recommendations for Froggy's Fog juice.  Some of the mixtures out there claim they are denser and lay lower to the ground.  I think Froggy's has 3 or 4 types.  I haven't really compared the different ones so can't offer too much personal experience.  I have always tried  to stick with the denser types and been happy.

 

Froggys fog is good stuff.  I have used it since 2010. The "Swamp Juice" is some pretty thick very long lasting fog. My house fills the entire neighborhood with fog every year. It's less than $25 a gallon shipped.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Froggys-Fog-Swamp-Juice-1-Gallon-long-lasting-extreme-hang-time-fog-fluid-/131281154543

They do have a fog chiller one for use in fog chillers. That stuff I heard works great. But have not used it. Just google froggys fog.  They have several different types of mixtures. You can even buy it in 55 gallon drums or single gallons.

One of the most important things to do is take the time *that night* after use to clean your fog machine. Heck clean it 2-3 times if need be. Just run the cleaner through it. I have gone through 5 of the cheap chauvet fog machines since 2010 all due to our lack of proper cleaning. They clog easy. Sure they are cheap but trust me, Buy the cleaner and save yourself the headache. You can get cleaner pretty cheap. The last 2 years I have not had to replace fog machines since I finally purchased some fog machine cleaner.

 

I'm actually considering buying this relay as well. Looks promising. Wont have to rubber band the controller button anymore and fill fog every hour lol.

Edited by GriswoldStyle

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