Author Topic: Fog Machines  (Read 221 times)

Offline lightingGURU

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Fog Machines
« on: February 21, 2018, 04:16:44 PM »
I'm looking to add a few fog machines to my Halloween setup but am wondering how they connect to the F16V3? There is obviously a step that I am missing. Does anyone know of any tutorial videos showing this configuration. Any help would be appreciated.


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Offline tbone321

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 04:38:03 PM »
What type of fog machine do you want to use?  The low cost thermal types simply will not work.  The higher priced on-demand types may work but there is no easy way to connect them.  An on-demand DMX controlled fogger should be fairly easy but are a bit expensive.  There, all you should need to do is create a RJ-45 to 3 pin DMX adapter cable and set one of the ports on the F16 to DMX mode.

Offline lightingGURU

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 06:46:29 PM »
I'm looking at the Chauvet Geyser 4's. Luckily I have a buddy who works for an entertainment lighting company and will let me borrow a few for the week of Halloween. Is there a certain DMX adapter that you would recommend?


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Offline JonB256

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 07:06:56 PM »
Is there a certain DMX adapter that you would recommend?

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If you have a Falcon Controller (the newer models), they all have a DMX output. A Falcon PiHat also has DMX output. It is standard DMX512. The concern you'll need to address is that your borrowed Fog Machine will likely have the Round 3 pin or Round 5 pin connector, not RJ45. You will need an adapter for the wiring change.

Offline lightingGURU

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 07:15:42 PM »
Awesome. Thanks for your help.

Offline plaberge

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 10:27:52 PM »
If you have a bit of knowledge of electronics, it is possible to hack the remote control of the cheap thermal ones and control them using a relay connected to the GPIO pins of a PI. With that, you can control them like any other DMX (binary) device. If interested in giving that a try, PM me.
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Offline tbone321

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Re: Fog Machines
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2018, 07:25:12 PM »
Actually. most of the time those don't work the way you would want.  While you can trigger them as you say, that doesn't mean that they will fire when triggered.  The low cost ones have a single circuit that controls Both the heater and the pump in an either / or configuration.  IOW, either the heater or the pump is on but never both at the same time.  When the fogger is first turned on and the nozzle id cold, the fogger goes into its heat cycle where the heater is turned on and the pump is turned off.  When the nozzle reaches max temp, the fogger goes into its fog cycle where the heater is turned off and the pump is turned on, allowing it to fog when triggered.  This lasts until the nozzle temp drops below the minimum temp required for fogging and the fogger switches back to its heat cycle and shuts off the pump again.  If you try and trigger it during the heat cycle, nothing happens because the pump is turned off.  Since there is no way to properly time these cycles, there can and will be many times when your show will trigger the fogger for the desired effect and it will not be ready and do nothing which makes them IMHO, useless for this purpose.'
 
The other type is the on demand fogger.  These foggers use two control circuits, one for the heat and the other for the pump.  The heater circuit works the same way it does in the previous fogger.  When the nozzle temp is below the minimum required to vaporize the fluid it turns on and when it reaches a determined max temp, it turns the heater back off.  This type has a separate circuit and sensor that controls the pump.  When the nozzle reaches a set temp (above the minimum required to fog) the pump is turned on and remains on as long as the temp remains above this level.  If for some reason the nozzle temp falls below that temp, it turns the pump back off again.  Since both the pump and the heater can be on at the same time, in an ideal situation, once the fogger warms up, it will remain in a ready state and will fog any time it is triggered.  Those of us that use them know that is not always the case.  Cold temps and / or excessive demand can drop the nozzle temp below the min and the pump will shut down until the nozzle warms back up.  Pretty much all of the DMX foggers are of this type and if you are going to modify a manual control fogger, this is the type that you need to work with.   Also keep in mind that if you cut into and modify the remote, you will void the warranty so I would make sure that the fogger is capable of doing what you want and then buy a separate remote to modify for relay control.

 

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