Ice Cooler Chiller

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
So I was going to start building one of those homemade ice cooler chillers for our fog machine, or some terrible party fogger, just to have it. I wonder though, my understanding is that when people walk through it, it kicks up, looks awful, and eventually hazy. I'm wondering if anyone has any stage pictures of those in action. I'm wondering if it is even worth making one if it will result in an effect so terrible, it's useless. Now I wouldn't mind the dissipation into a broken haze aspect, but if it just kicks up where footsteps are, it seems like it would look quite funny. I've seen low lying fog used once before (center city, The Walnut Street Theatre). It was like a thick carpet being unrolled, and was so dense, it didn't seem like quite the effect I wanted. (Though it was quite cool, they used it to create "water". They had some sort of motorized paddle boat, which the actor "paddled" across the stage through the fog to the pier.)

Does anyone have any other thoughts pertaining to building one of these devices? I think I've done my homework on them quite well. I've given the other threads here a once over, but would appreciate any newer input.

My thought as of now is to build the standard cooler chiller, but instead of the tubing, i'd use aluminum sheets, vertically, to force the fog around, and directly through the ice. I plan to extend the 90º bend, to allow more room for the fog to chill, and at the bottom of the 90º bend, include a space to place dry ice. At the end of the cooler I'd place a high CFM fan, between the flexible duct and cooler. There would be about 6 feet of flexible duct with another fan at the end. Both fans would be wired together, and the controls run back to the cooler, for variable speed.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Should I just abandon ship on this project all together? (As a note, it's not specifically for the upcoming show. I'm sitting around for a couple weeks at the end of this summer, and am looking for something to do.)
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
It sounds like the "water" effect you are describing was done with dry ice. It's much lower and denser than a chilled chemical fog. I think the trick to the chiller is having a good fogger and some good quality super fast dissipating fluid. If you are just using a party fogger and some low grade fluid it'll start out low but it will kick up and hang in the air for a long time. The fast dissipating stuff will disappear as soon as it warms up, so the act of getting kicked out of the rest of the fog will cause it to warm and disappear pretty quickly. It'll still rise off the floor a lot more than a dry ice or cryo fog will, but done right it'll MOSTLY stay down there.

By the way for those who have more money than time and want a chiller, check out the "fog cabin" from Theaterfx. $150 and you get a nice one.
 

taylorjacobs

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
it works really well. the colder the ice and faster the fog moves through it determines the effectiveness. we used this for a previous production and it worked very well, I am not too sure how well it will work with a party fogger, we had a high end fogger and once turned on high it looked just like a dry ice
machine, once it is heated up it does become hazy, but as far as walking through it it stayed put.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
We have a Rosco 1700 fogger, I'll assume (as it caries the Rosco name) that it is a quality fogger. I'll go downtown and pick up some fast dissipating fog juice to try out with this system. It seems like this will work well though.

Edit:

Does Rosco make fast dissipating fog fluid, or are there any recommended substitutions?
Rosco's 'Stage & Studio' fog fluid is the faster disapating of their two styles.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Your Rosco fogger is just fine. I know LeMaitre has something like 6 or 8 different styles of fluid. However if you are going to a specific place you'll be limited to whatever brand/styles they stock. Just ask them for whatever their fastest dissipating fluid is.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
It's fine to mix and match foggers and fog fluid? I'm pretty sure that I've read in the manual it only to use Rosco fog fluid, but I never knew if it was a quality / design thing, or simply promoting their own brand.
There are some fog fluids that are actually made by the same people in the same plant on the same line and then stamped with different brand names, but it is generally best to use the recommended fluids. Some may seem almost exactly the same, but the dilution is different or some little thing is off just enough to gum up your machine.
 

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Location
Kilmarnock, VA
Keep in mind when you chill chemical fog it condenses. It can be reduced in volume by a factor of 10 or more. Therefore a machine with an output of 15000 CFM will only produce a low lying volume of 1500 CFM or less.

It seems to me if you're planning on buying dry ice for your chiller, you'd be better off building a Dry Ice Fog Machine and have the effect you wanted in the first place.
 

Users who are viewing this thread