[Cyborg] wearable fog machines

Eric Boyd mrericboyd at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 4 08:00:31 UTC 2010

So, we're probably going to need fog machines of some sort in order to 
make the beams from the laser properly visible.

There are basically three types of fog generators:

1) Chemical, using heat to vaporize "fog juice". This is what clubs use. 
They typically require a ~kW of power for the heater, and 5 minutes to 
warm up. Obviously that'll never be wearable.  But, maybe some small 
wearable version could be built somehow?  I'm thinking of some kind of 
tiny heater, and a way to "drip" the fog juice.  Not sure how much fog 
you could get that way though, even if you pulled it off. Almost 
certainly not the solution we need.  Interestingly, you can get these 
fog machines surprisingly cheap, I found several at the $50 price point. 
  Fog juice is about $20/gallon.  Does noisebridge need a fog machine?!?

2) Ultrasonic.  Basically, mechanically force vapor out of water.  Makes 
a heavy (sinking) fog.  Still has fairly large power requirements, 
typically 24V @>1 amp, i.e. 25W or more - possible for batteries, it'd 
be heavy, but doable.  This usually only yields a small amount of fog, 
suitable for e.g. a small fountain.  Maybe that's sufficient.  Can't be 
used with fog juice, it gums up the ultrasonic emitter (darn!).  Overall 
I don't think it could be made to work.

3) The winner: dry ice.  Simply add water to dry ice and presto, fog. 
Primary concern is safety, dry ice is dangerous.  Still, I think this is 
the clear choice.  You could have a little hand-pump to meter out the 
water into a chamber in e.g. a backpack, and tubes to guide the fog 
where you want it. Bonus points if you can engineer the dry-ice chamber 
into your laser costume somehow :-).  Anyone know where I could buy some 
dry ice in the Mission?

One final thing: you could just actually use smoke, i.e. burn something. 
  It might be harder to control that though.  Perhaps the use of 
something like Smoke Candles?



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