Battery Powered Fog Machine Just in Time for Halloween

[makendo] needed a portable fog machine for an upcoming project. It seemed like the kind of a thing a liberal application of money on the Internet could fix in no time. But quality fog machines are too expensive, and the cheap machines are just, well, cheap. Stuck between $800 and quickly broken crap, he decided instead to fashion his own.

Fortunately for him, a recent fad has made it so that a certain segment of the populace absolutely require dramatic clouds of scented drug fog or they get cranky. The market saw an opportunity, cost optimized, and now there are many portable fog machines just waiting to be born in the form of an e-cigarette. However, an e-cigarette needs interaction from a person’s lungs to provide an annoying cloud. So he modeled up a 3D printable case that would blow air into the intake of the e-cigarette. Instead of filling a person’s lungs with a cloud of eye drops and nicotine, it would let out a steady stream of fog.

This device does burn through emitters, because the e-cigarette was not designed for this kind of heavy duty. Even reading the Amazon comments for the $800 dollar version, this is fairly normal for these things. So now [makendo] is able to produce a nice cloud of smoke whenever he needs and it only set him back around $40 US dollars.

29 thoughts on “Battery Powered Fog Machine Just in Time for Halloween

  1. Why burn through proprietary hot plugs when a couple feet of NiChrome or other heater wire will do the same job? A furnace hot surface ignitor should work as well. You may need some sort of thermocouple to get the best fog & longevity from your heating elements.

    All that’s needed for fog is a hot surface and fog juice (glycerine + water). Even a potpourri votive will generate fog.

      1. That’s naturally: If you add to(o) much voltage things pretty easily burn out. So ‘add’ right amount of voltage. The expensive Tiny Fog Machines do not use a wick, they use a stainless or NiCr capillary tube. It looks like somebody took the raw material for thin syringe needles and wound about 10cm of it to a spiral of 5mm diameter. This is connected to the power (LiIon battery) and probably the resistance is measured between PWM pulses to determine the temperature. The fluid is pressed through it with a really tiny pump.

    1. Admittedly a bit of coiled nichrome was my first thought. Maybe it could be skunk down quite a bit further. Put the hole thing in a permanent marker. A couple of those little 12V car alarm remote batteries [ pre packaged stacks of coin cells ]

    1. To be honest, the snark is well placed. I was excited for e-cigarettes when they started catching on, since I’m allergic to tobacco smoke and, at the time, e-cigs were almost odorless and very discrete.

      Then the whole “vape nation” thing started up, and everywhere I go I see big sticky clouds of artificial flavoring and nicotine. I was still teaching when they got popular at my university, and kept having to tell students they couldn’t blow vape clouds during lectures or in the lab. Every bathroom, stairwell, and elevator was constantly foggy and humid from the constant stream of vape.

      Where I’m working now, the machine shop has one guy who vapes. As a result, the whole warehouse-sized shop smells of either cotton candy or bubblegum, depending on his flavor of the day.

      Vaping is terrible and so are the people who do it. At least cigarette smokers have the decency to go outside.

      1. As a former smoker myself, it really does boggle my mind that so many people who vape would even consider doing so indoors, let alone around other non-smokers. Even the lack of consideration and politeness from regular smokers always update me, and they generally were no where near as bad as those who vape.
        (Personally I always spent my smoke break in my own car, where I kept fabreeze and tictacs, running either the AC or heat so the windows could remain up)

        I too was initially excited when e-cigs first became a thing, as that was around about the time I decided to quit.
        But once things started going in the direction of vaping, it was the complete opposite from the solution I was hoping for.

        While e-cigs were certainly much better than regular cigarettes, even their usage still resulted in some smoke.
        I wanted a purely no smoke involved device, as that would be the only possible way I’d consider using one indoors.

        If only someone made a misting device more like an asthma inhaler for nicotine, it would have made quitting tobacco use so much easier. But alas I had no real options to taper down my usage, with only the assistance of nicotine patches and will power.
        And I can’t help but think the vaping market had a huge effect on manufacturers of such devices, supply and demand and all that. A mist type inhaler had no market, so no company cared to sell them. Instead we have the situation today, where the assholes of the vaping community give even me a bad name still to this day.

        1. Yah, the douche is strong with a significant number of them. They won’t self police, then end up like the drone guys, “Whut? Whut happen?” and be banned worse than the thing that they were similar to that was allowed with restrictions they didn’t respect before.

      1. A lot of tech reviewers and “how to” folks could learn a crapload from her production style though, she covers a lot of ground quickly, zips through the boring bits. you know people who could umm and err that 8 mins out to a half hour or worse.

      2. I think it’s just a combination of jitters and a Boca Raton accent. I don’t think a junkie could keep it together well enough to put together such a presentation. Hope the vaping doesn’t hurt her health.
        I’ve been next to a car when the driver used something like that. It reminded me of a Cheech and Chong movie.

      3. First implying that she probably uses heroin isn’t fine – it’d be fine if you mentioned it in person (but see point#2) but this is the Internet where these kinds of unfounded rumors can actually hurt people.
        Second peoples voices differ a lot so any kind of “distortion” have to be based on the baseline of a person, e.g. I know a woman with a deep “raspy” voice that some would think was caused by whiskey/smoking – but she doesn’t drink and doesn’t smoke!

          1. No you are just naive, plus the implication is wider, there are many things that can damage neurons or interfere with their function. Did you know that a persons risk of developing Parkinson’s disease can be detected in their voice long before they even sense they have a problem themselves?

        1. Hah, get back to me in 5 years time and if you isn’t a complete mess I’ll apologise, but until then I will stick with what my (probably substantially greater than yours) life experience tells me.

  2. This 3D printed into a faux S7 would make a great Halloween prop!
    I want it in the shape of a cute little brick factory and belching smokestack decked out with Trump for…Let’s make… on the side.

  3. With people mentioning that this could of have implemented with just nichrome wire I wanted to give my two cents. For one vaping devices have gotten very cheap especially for what technology is being used. You can easily purchase ecigs or just modules that are capable of delivering 1-8 volts at 20amps with buck and boosting abilities. Also in terms of the wire used these devices are now capable of using Nickel and Stainless Steel wire. When this wire is heated up(unlike nichrome) the resistance drastically changes allowing for accurate reading of temperature. This can be used to prevent there ever being a dry hit. Modules such as the istick pico module can be purchased for less than $10 from china and Vegetable Glycerin(the main ingredient in ecig liquid) is also fairly cheap. This could allow for an increbibly cheap and reliable fog machine. Or possibly other projects involving heating at a secific temperature.

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