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Thread: fog machine

  1. #1
    bigbird
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    Default fog machine

    Can anyone offer advice on how to hook up fog machine to control it by LOR?

    also anyone near the Greensboro area, that saw Mel demo of the fire torches that could offer assistance in construction (willing to come travel to you). Mel is going to add it to CC forum but not before the holidays... I am going out of the country soon and would like to add this to my display but fear I might run out of time this year.

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Professional Net Lurker Jack Stevens's Avatar
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    Default Re: fog machine

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
    Can anyone offer advice on how to hook up fog machine to control it by LOR?

    also anyone near the Greensboro area, that saw Mel demo of the fire torches that could offer assistance in construction (willing to come travel to you). Mel is going to add it to CC forum but not before the holidays... I am going out of the country soon and would like to add this to my display but fear I might run out of time this year.

    Jeff
    Ok, I have no idea how to do it, but I'll ask questions to get the discussion going:

    Do you already have a fog machine, and if so, what type is it? Current draw, voltage range specifications, any mechanical motors? I'm thinking that a fan may do some inductive kick-back.

    And since you're not going to do high rates of flog flashes, maybe X10, controlled by the LOR software, might be better. I haven't done that either, but what little I looked at it, it appears that the software will only do X10 control through a serial port, not through an USB port.

    Unless you're doing a foggy Christmas Eve for a Rudolph display, I assume this is for Halloween. Maybe Don Williams (http://LakeMyraChristmas.com) can weigh in on this and describe how he controls his snow machine. While the machines are different, I would think that the controls would be similar.

    - Jack

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    This space for rent. Al in Raleigh's Avatar
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    Default Re: fog machine

    If your smoke machine is like mine you have a momentary contact switch that you push that sends the liquid to the smoke chamber which creates the smoke. If so, you will need to find an electrical way of shorting out the switch. You might be able to use a triac on the LOR board but it could be a little tricky to explain how to do it. The easiest way is to short out the switch with a relay contact. Use a relay similar to thisL
    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=2049721

    You would connect the common "C" of one relay contact to one side of the switch and the "NO" side of the relay to the other side of the switch. The relay's coil contacts then connect to LOR's output and neutral. When the LOR board turns on the relay, the relay contacts short out and complete the current path across the switch.

    If you have one of the new LOR relay contact boards, this is super easy. You just connect across the switch with an output from the board.
    Al

  4. #4
    Registered User Don Williams's Avatar
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    Default Re: fog machine

    Hi Jeff

    Controlling fog machine is very simple with LOR . I use the cheap fog machines from Wal Mart which is usually available for Halloween . I believe they are 400 watt units. I have 2 - 20 amp circuits dedicated just for the fog machines which I use 4 units. This may be a little over kill but if I wanted to add more I can. I use fog because I have what they call tracer lights which project beams of color light with in the display. With the fog the beams of light are very visible from the ground to the air and air to the ground. Just remember that fog is very weather related . If you have a windy night it could help and on the other end it could hinder your display.

    To control your units just plug the unit into ( I use timers) AC supply. Then on the control cable there is a switch to apply fog. You will bypass this switch which on my units is just a single pole single throw switch by wiring in a relay located in a separate enclosure. Be sure you install a load before you hit the relay. I use a single C9 bulb for the load.

    LOR channel ------------ Load----------- Relay ------------ fog machine

    If you will be using more than one fogger, install a relay on each unit. I have tried one relay to control 2 units and this just does not work. I am controlling 4 units from one channel but using 4 relays and 4 loads.

    Hope this help !!! If I can be of any more help just let me know.

    Don

  5. #5
    bigbird
    Visitor bigbird's Avatar

    Default Re: fog machine

    Don,
    your right that is the type of fog machines i am using. I believe I understand, my electrical skills are somewhat limited. (I did just install 8 20amp breakers without killing myself) I going to try and do this weekend. would you be available to discuss over the phone if a question comes up? I have done static display with 8 fog machines in the past, but would love to control them via LOR. Power won't be an issue as each machine would be on it's own 20amp breaker.

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