How do you deal with low lying fog wet flooring?

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
You are correct sir. Natural muslin with a pocket chain. Although, wasn’t too happy with the chain and will use pipe next time - assuming I ever get to do theater again.
@Catherder A couple of comments on inserting removing pipe in tight-ish venues.
The flown sky cloth in one of our venues was ~ 50' x 20'. We wished to avoid 10' lengths with through threaded external couplings every 10' or 11' (Threaded iron plumbers' pipe is normally manufactured / sold in "random" lengths ~22' Cutting in 1/2 would yield ~11' lengths).

Inserting ~22' lengths from one end requires ~25' of wing space on at least one side. We often piped the lower edges of flown drops and flat (non-pleated) borders. To minimize couplings, pocket damage, labor time, (The underside of our 'operating / pin rails' cleared ~28') we stored pipes vertically in ~22' and ~22' + ~6' (28') coupled lengths. A ~22' plus a ~28' pipe = ~50'.

At the center line, on the up stage side, we cut (Not tore) a neat ~2" vertical "insertion" slot in the pocket without damaging the excess 2" of fabric below the pocket.
This permitted us to insert ~28' pipes in the center. Momentarily slide them out one end. Insert a ~22' foot length facing the opposite side. Align the couplings, thread (Tighten) the pipes from either end then slide them laterally 'til properly centered leaving mere inches of excess pipe protruding from both ends to permit tightly stretching the cloth then securing with tightly cinched multiple wraps of flat, matte black twill tape or 'trick line' as preferred.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 
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LesWilson

Well-Known Member
EPILOG:
FWIW. Our build of the TechIngredients pea souper was not very successful. We managed to get it going in one scene in one show but the quantity of fog was insufficient due to our implementation of the unit. We got a thin coat roughly 100 square feet. We're going to evolve our prototype to do better but here's some of the issues we had to deal with:

1) Small size is an advantage to the design but water proofing the PVC board cabinet seams and heater mounts was problematic. The right epoxy must be used on the seams. Also, water heater elements have a slight curve for mounting to water heater tanks. So sealing them to a flat flange was difficult.
2) The hinges and clasps are not the right design for practical use. They are good for getting a good seal to prevent fog leakage but not speed of opening and closing. Also, when the top is opened, all the condensation on it runs down and drips outside the box onto the floor and the electrical boxes on the back side of the unit. It doesn't really hold itself in any practical way when open so you end up sliding it off the hinges. It is extremely fiddly to get it back on and utterly impractical for a dark back stage environment. The clasps are good for getting a tight fit but way too fiddly.
3) The parts basket for holding the dry ice load needs to have small openings. We could not find one. We ended up with one whose openings were too large. This resulted in losing small dry ice crumbs directly into the hot water.
4) Use of a water tank element requires adding a thermostat to regulate the temperature. To handle the case of water boiling off, we added a float valve to shut off the heater if a low water situation occurred (think unit being left on accidentally). The thermostat needs power, it needs a hefty relay big enough to handle the heater element, the float valve also needs a hefty relay and power for the coil. Lacking time, we ended up with a hodge podge of low voltage power supplies for pumps, wireless pump switch receiver, thermostat and float valve coil all sealed from water intrusion.
5) After getting all the mechanicals and electricals to work, the crux of the design comes down to how well you distribute the water onto the ice. The amount of fog you get depends on how much dry ice comes in contact with hot water. The TechIngredients implementation used rice shaped dry ice to maximize ice surface area and a meticulously constructed water dispersion pan to maximize gentle water spread. We only had access to block ice so by definition, we would not get high efficiency. Add to that the ice crumbs created by smashing up the ice lost through the basket openings and our ice utilization suffered. Lastly, the pumps in the specs are quiet but do not develop enough pressure to spray the water on the ice in spite of best efforts with physical stream disruption. This is why the TechIngredients build used a dispersion tray.
6) Ergonomics: The compact form is a winner when it comes to hiding it on stage. The spec'd handles are too small for the unit's weight. The pumps and other things stick out rather precariously on the back and unit needs a drain valve. When striking the set, one of our stage hands inadvertently side-swiped another set piece. In the set piece vs pump collision, the pump broke away and created an instant drain of the water. :stumped:
7) Heater: I expected dual 1000 watt heaters but the unit came in with dual 2000 watt heaters. That spec ripples to the the thermostat relay, float valve relay, wiring and facility. Fortunately we had 20amp receptacles and 12ga extension. I only used one heater and it heated 5 gallons of room temperature water to 150 F in 25 minutes. Plenty for our use. Due to lack of testing, I can't evaluate the water heating recycle performance but I have ideas on how to maximize it.

Summary, on opening night with my student builder's Dad in attendance, everything was set with pans and towels to control leaks and condensation: the thermostat failed. Next show I hot wired it and we got our first and only use of it. I'm committed to the move-water-to-ice design over the move-ice-to-water design and will rebuild the whole thing over the summer with the lessons learned from our prototype and some new ideas. There WILL be a sequel!

Wind in the Willows: Spring
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jtweigandt

Well-Known Member
EPILOG:
FWIW. Our build of the TechIngredients pea souper was not very successful. We managed to get it going in one scene in one show but the quantity of fog was insufficient due to our implementation of the unit. We got a thin coat roughly 100 square feet. We're going to evolve our prototype to do better but here's some of the issues we had to deal with:

I love a good frankenproject, but this gives me a new appreciation for our 20 year old commercially made Pea Soupers. I have re done the seals maybe twice now, and they just keep going.
At about $900 and change though they are indeed WAY overpriced.. but really good incentive for me to keep ours alive. I do see for anyone else wanting to "roll your own" you can buy the heating element and
pass through hardware by itself.
 
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