Author Topic: DIY Smoke Machine  (Read 1598 times)

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Graham D

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DIY Smoke Machine
« on: February 28, 2016, 00:10:03 »
I thought other steam tug enthusiasts might be interested in my little DIY smoke machine. For starters it's actually not smoke but mist but looks very realistic.
I wanted a 6 volt machine, as that is what the boat is powered by, but also wanted relatively low current draw. This ruled out the oil fuelled machines as they require a lot of heat which requires high watts. Experimenting confirmed that a 50/50 mixture of glycerine and water would do the job with only 1.5 amps current draw and very little heat allowing the use of a plastic container.
The body is a clear electronics jiffy box that allows me to see at a glance how much juice is inside.
The heat source is a 4.7 ohm 5watt wire wound resistor which has had the ceramic body carefully removed. ( Gentle use of a hammer and small screwdriver !). The wick is just a strip of woven cotton from my donated underwear. A small sacrifice to make for science.
A small 12 volt computer fan ( running on 6 volts) forces the mist up the chimney. When it gets going you can hear the water hissing as it is vapourised. The real trick however for getting lots of mist is in directing a concentrated current of air onto the resister and wick. If you blow on it with a straw for example the output increases dramatically. I have achieved much the same effect by concentrating most of the air from the fan through a 4mm hole just ahead of the resistor. I have had it running for over an hour from only 1/4 inch ( 5-6mm) of fluid added and the body is only warm, certainly not hot.
Give it a go, I recommend this as a definite alternative to the smelly power hungry oil burners.
Cheers
Graham.

Graham D

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 00:13:19 »
More photos

Graham D

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2016, 10:43:00 »
Yoooohooooooo  ----- is there anybody out there ???
Or am I the only person interested in DIY smoke machines ?
Graham

sea monkey

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2016, 20:22:57 »
Looks great. Would be no good down here in one of our 40knot breezes.
Steve

Model Tug Man

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2016, 11:26:50 »
Nice job. I have a Foggy that doesn't put out much with just water. Do you think the glycerol will help?
VGJQ

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2016, 20:19:54 »
I got mine from an Ebay seller from Oz. It uses one of the smelly oils in a coil heater, but it works well and puts out a pretty good smoke. I use it in my Slipway Assurance tug, seen on here.

Graham D

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2016, 01:27:37 »
[quote Do you think the glycerol will help?
[/quote]
Hi there.
I don't think so. The Foggy uses an ultrasonic unit that turns the water into mist, while mine uses heat to vaporise the water into steam with the glycerine suspended in the steam. I suspect the glycerine would gunk up the ultrasonic gizmo. I looked into building an ultrasonic version but the need for 24 volts and the physical size ruled it out for me.
Cheers
Graham


spud

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2016, 09:50:38 »
Hi all

Here is a link I used to make one ,


http://www.wicksteedparkmbc.com/smoke-generator.html


 the only problem I had was  the depth of the container , a bit of testing to find the best one for my model.   
  Apart from that it works really well even better it's less than  10

Good luck

Spud

speedweeder1

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Re: DIY Smoke Machine
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2016, 15:09:18 »
I have made similar smokers and run them on red diesel it smokes about right and has got the diesel smell !!!

Steve.