Low level Fog Advice

almorton

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You might look at hiring something like a glaciator. That's what we do when we need low fog on DMX tap. Other DMX controlled low fog machines are available. Speak to your local hire shop - they're not the sort of thing you purchase and stick in a cupboard on the off chance you'll use it.
 

derekleffew

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Here's a utube:


Looks terrific, right? TANTAAFL. I googled "jem glaciator price." The first return was $14,057.27? ! Also on the list was a used Martin Jem Glaciator X-Stream 208V, Martin JEM ZR45 Fogger for $1250. "Item no longer available."

In Las Vegas shows, almost every installation is custom and unique to that venue, uses liquid nitrogen (LN2), and has a tank somewhere between the size of a mini-van and a railroad car sitting out back behind the theatre. The tank calls Air Liquide (or similar company) when it wants to be refilled. Very slick, very expensive.
 

cbrandt

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Michigan
Ultratec sells the LSX unit. Adds on to *most fog machines, and can do quite a nice low lying effect. Very few manufactured low lying effects are cheap, which is why so many go the ice or dry ice route. MDG has a few options that are stellar, but as @derekleffew mentioned, they use CO2 tanks to achieve that effect.
 

gafftaper

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Low lying fog is a you get what you pay for item and it's never cheap. The really good stuff is both expensive to buy and expensive to maintain as you need to keep buying dry ice or liquid nitrogen. Chauvet has a pretty decent high volume dry ice fogger that is expensive, but a lot less than that Jem Glaciator. As was said the Anatari Ice 101 is a pretty good solution for those of us on the lower budget end. You do need to buy fluid and ice, but bags of normal ice are a lot cheaper and safer than dry ice (although it can use dry ice for even better looks). It will kick up a lot more as you walk through it than the heavy duty dry ice/LN2 units. But it's not bad. It's not all that different from the classic home brew ice chest chiller approach, but a lot more convenient and professional looking.
 

almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
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Caterham, Surrey, UK
Exactly, hence why, if you're a small to medium company, you hire as needed, and the rental company does the maintainence.

My little theatre doesn't stint on buying stuff if it will use if more than a couple of times a year, so of course we have wireless gear, hazer, fogger, cloud projector, pyro etc. In the last ten years we've needed low fog for two shows, so both times we hired a glaciator.
 
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Ford

Sr Product Manager, Chauvet Professional
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Oct 19, 2007
Location
South FL
A little clarification on the Chauvet offerings... We offer a Dry-Ice Fogger in our DJ line (the Nimbus), which is not terribly expensive.
We also offer 2 different units which combine regular fog with Distilled water which is vaporized by ultrasound.
the Cumulus (from ChauvetDJ), and the Cloud 9 (about twice the coverage area, from Chauvet Professional).

The disadvantage of Dry Ice is that the water needs to reheat between discharges. You can get a decent amount of fog for a few minutes, but then it starts to thin out, as the water cools. The effect is beautiful, but if you need it for a long period of time, you either need multiple smaller machines or a single giant unit (I had one that was made from a 55gal drum, and a water-heater element, with a hand welded cage to lower the dry-ice).
That, plus you have to source Dry-ice for your Tech and performances.
If you have access to a university lab, they often have Dry Ice at lower cost than the local grocery or Ice cream place.
 

macsound

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San Francisco, CA
I've used peasoupers and Ford's mentioned home made 55gal boiling water with dry ice basket jobby and understand how they work. Cold dry ice in hot water makes low lying fog until hot water becomes cold.

But isn't the physics of fog machine's fog's tendency to rise is that it's hot? And those goofy DJ boxes that you fill with a bag of regular ice and shove a fog machine into that its just chilling the fog from the fog machine which makes it low lying?
So wouldn't the same work using dry ice to chill the fog from a fog machine and you gain not having melted ice at the end? I'm imaging a plastic storage tub with a pipe fitting on the top and a small blower motor to keep the fog moving in the correct direction instead of just puddling inside the tub.

Found this youtube video of one of those Fog machines with a built in ice bucket.
 

Ford

Sr Product Manager, Chauvet Professional
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Oct 19, 2007
Location
South FL
We have a special low-lying fog juice for the Cloud 9 and Cumulous. LLG (Low Lying Gallon). It dissipates when it rises, so that you don't fog the place out.

Bang for your buck, Dry ice is an amazing solution... But it's a pain in the keister, you have to keep it cold, it can't always be purchased on weekends, and you always have people playing with Dry Ice backstage, and the occasional person who says that the CO2 is poisoning them (no... it's not...).

Ease of use, repeatability, and the fact that you can store it indefinitely, and use it non-stop... the Cloud 9 is pretty awesome.
 
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TonyG

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Aug 7, 2014
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DFW
Dry ice is a pain to deal with, there I said it! LOL
Either look at renting one of the refrigerated units to meet a cost point, or if you want really nice low fog to cover a large area, look into an LSG or FreezeFog unit.
I personally prefer and own a pair of the Lemaitre FreezeFog units with Geforce3 fog machines and can run them for up to 1.5-2 hours continuously on 1, 180 liter CO2 dewar tank. That run time is the big advantage over the LSG units I have used in the past, which I have routinely seen go thru the same dewar of CO2 in 45-60 minutes. Both the FreezeFog and LSG units are capable of being DMX controlled and run on 120 volts for ease of use.
I have also used portable LN2 low fog units, which required no smoke machine and put out great, knee high fog, but they required 220v at either 30 or 40 amps to run their heaters and burned through a dewar of liquid nitrogen quite quickly.
 

Gobokat

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Chicago
Dry ice is a pain to deal with, there I said it! LOL.
I would heartily second the recommendation to look at the LeMaitre GeForce3 with the FreezeFog unit - or if you're an Ultratec fan the G3000 with the LSG. Be sure you are using either company's "Molecular" formula, looks better chilled and dissipates quicker as it warms so you don't have a layer of 'smoke' over your low fog. Also if you don't want to use these units with cryogenic dewars you can use CO2 cylinders, just be sure to specify and verify that you need the "siphon tube" type - you're looking to use the liquid CO2, not the gas phase.
Personally I've never had much luck with the units built around refrigeration compressors.
If you have the budget and the access definitely go with LN2 - just can't be beat, but the gear to do it reliably and safely is a bit more expensive than any of the CO2 solutions.
As far as the "poison" element mentioned in a previous post - - with any large injection of gas into a confined space you need to be aware of O2 depletion. As CO2 is heavier than room air the trap rooms, orchestra pits, and front rows of orchestra seating will see the concentrations of CO2 rise the fastest, so this is where you want to monitor gas build up during rehearsals (and fix them if necessary before performances). Nitrogen is better than 80 percent of our regular atmosphere, CO2 is less than 1 percent, so if you have any issues with your room's air exchange it's far easier to throw off your CO2 levels than with Nitrogen - - just something to keep an eye on if you have a really large or sustained effect.
 

derekleffew

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A fascination piece on This Old House about "ice-blasting," just like sand-blasting except using rice-sized pellets of CO2. No clean-up as the CO2 just sublimates and disappears. BTW, in case you were wondering, they state the temperature of dry ice to be -110° F (it's actually -109° F). This week Howdy Doody & Tommy were remediating fire damage on timbers. Below is a video from 2014 mitigating attic mold.
 
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LesWilson

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Mar 2, 2012
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South Florida, USA
I found traditional foggers to be noisy. So using them for pea soup fog was not my first choice. After researching and understanding the principles, I went the DIY route of moving the water to the ice. For me, this also had the advantage of a DMX free solution using RF remote control of the water pumps. After building one and dealing with Dry Ice (hard to find, $6/pound, only available in blocks,...), I appreciate the engineering of commercial units with refrigeration. Mine took a fatal hit be a clumsy stage hand before I could do testing. But I have ideas that will make the next version perform better. This is my post describing the issues: #23
 

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