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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The site below describes using a Holiday Light Projector to create a vortex effect through a fog machine's cloud. I've got an old slide projector in the attic and wonder if anyone's ever tried this effect with a slide projector? Could it be that simple?

I did a search here and only found discussions on the 'vortex' fog machine chiller - p.s. I built a fog chiller today from a kitty litter bucket ($15 for the litter, but the bucket's free! or, was that $15 for the bucket and the litter's free?? anyway it works great!

http://www.gotfog.com/vortex1-1.html
 

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I've been thinking about that prop for about a year but haven't build one yet. Let us know how it looks! Post pictures and a video, if possible.
 

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From what I understand, wind absolutely destroys the effect created here. I've wanted to create one of these effects for quite some time, but I was warned long ago by another haunter that the slightest wind ruins this effect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll give it a go, I don't think the wind would be a problem as long as the fog is plentiful. Since the image would be static the wind blown fog across the lawn might even enhance the effect. I'll take some old 35mm slides and paint circles on them, project across the lawn through the fog and see if I can get a digital photo.
Taking a digital photo of a 35mm slide, that's like looking into the past.
 

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I'll be inside of a carport/tent I purchased for my haunt, so wind shouldn't be a problem. Hmm, 3 weeks to go, plenty of time for one more prop!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Laser Pointer / Fog Machine Vortex Generator
I found this site last night and just got back from Radio Shack with a small 12V computer fan ($4.79 on clearance). I already have a small laser pointer and a small mirror. Hope it works, if it does I might get a more powerful green laser for next year.
The slide project vortex generator is now the backup plan.
http://www.instructables.com/id/E8V840XE40ET9K5F3F/
 

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i am currently working with my stepson who is an electronics wiz and pc expert and our project will be using projection l.e.ds heres a link to the l.e.ds its alot safer than lasers and cheaper. id hate to blind a child for a prop.

http://theledlight.com/LuxeonLEDs.html
Which LED's are you using and how are you using them. Are you substituting the LED(s) for the laser but using the same set up as the Laser vortex? I was looking into building the laser vortex but decided not to for the same reason you are not using it. Any help on an alternative would be greatly appreciated.
 

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The site below describes using a Holiday Light Projector to create a vortex effect through a fog machine's cloud. I've got an old slide projector in the attic and wonder if anyone's ever tried this effect with a slide projector? Could it be that simple?

I did a search here and only found discussions on the 'vortex' fog machine chiller - p.s. I built a fog chiller today from a kitty litter bucket ($15 for the litter, but the bucket's free! or, was that $15 for the bucket and the litter's free?? anyway it works great!

http://www.gotfog.com/vortex1-1.html
I have the exact projector they're using on that site. Found it on the curb last year after a neighbor moved out. May have to play with this in the off-season.
 

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I'm planning on doing the laser version of the vortex in one side of my garage. I picked up a 5mw green module on the Internet over the weekend and have most of the other needed parts. The real challenge looks like getting the fog right to get a consistent effect.

While looking into the vortex I came across the liquid sky effect. This would be very cool off the front of the house over the graveyard. I know that it would take absolutely 0 wind, but would be worth it to pull it off. But then again Halloween night two years ago Mother Nature laid down her own fog that would have been have been perfect.
[nomedia]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-HwbPl3LJ4[/nomedia]

The blue lasers are really cool, but 10X the cost of even the green.
 

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Fester,

I think the liquid sky over the grave yard would look cool, if the wind cooperates. It would also be safer since green lasers can be dangerous to the eyes and the liquid sky keeps the laser beams flat and below eye level. Just make sure it is lower that a tots eye level and not right in it.;)
 

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So do you just use one of those laser room levels that scans a flat plane out from the unit?
 

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My plan is to put the laser on the neighbor's roof across the street and shoot the plane just over the top of my front gutter line on the second floor. This will put the plane ~20' over the Tots heads and keep the laser off of traffic. It's maybe 100' across. I'm looking at a 50-100mw unit to make this shot.

I don't know if you can use a level or not. I don't think the laser would be much more than a 5mw that is in most pointers. I created the effect last night in my kitchen with a fog machine and the 5mw module I got in last night. Just shoot a small burst of fog and wave the laser back and forth quickly and instant liquid sky out to 10 to 15'. I just can't wave my arm all night :D. It was a good demo to help convince my wife that I just GOTTA have that 100mw unit now.

If you already have the level give it a try, if not it only costs about $40 to build a unit with a 5mw laser. It's not much more than a laser pointer and a computer fan with a mirror glued on.
 

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So the question is are you also going to have low lying fog too? If so, where will you put a separate fog machine for the non-chilled fog? I really like this idea and think it will look great, but I am thinking two fog machines are a must, no?
 

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Ideally the fog for the laser effect would be coming off of the roof and the grave yard would have one for the chilled fog. But if I had to scrimp on the ground fog to get the sky effect to work I would. It would most likely take more than one machine on the roof to get a decent spread as well as getting the depth to make the effect a decent size. And of course no wind. I know it will require extreme luck with the weather, so I am not banking on getting this to work, but I would like to try :)
 

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I followed the Instructables how-to in a general sense and used a computer cooling fan with wall wart instead of a smaller motor with batteries and zip ties instead of beam clamps. One thing I realized is that the batteries die within an hour so I would have to constantly watch for when the batteries start dying. So instead of shutting down the Haunted House for minutes while I change it out, I decided to use 1/2 inch pvc with a small piece of cardboard to help push the ON button down. The clip that holds it a shirt pocket like a pen makes it fit snug into the 1/2 inch pvc tube. I can slip it out, change batts and back in within 30 seconds. The pvc pipe is zip tied into place and I just adjust once it is back in to hit the center of the mirror.

I didn't use a chiller because I want the fog to quickly head upwards to get the right swirling motion. If the room is just full of fog it is just a green glow and not really all that interesting. I have my laser light vortex in a 5x10 room that was previously all closed in with plastic and curtained entrance/exit. I had to remove the roof to let the fog move out quicker.

One other thing that I noticed is the pc cooling fan. It was suggested to use that but to cut off the fan blades because of the sound it could make. If the fan is turning in the right direction pulling the fog towards the fan, it could actually make the swirling effect even better. However, I don't really know since I had cut the fan blades off before testing it. Maybe even just cut half of the blades off might work well too. That is something to try when this pc cooling fan dies and I have to get another motor to turn the mirror.

I use a 400 watt fog machine in an enclosed room so I can't really speak for outdoors. However, I am hesitant to try any fog outside since it is so windy in Michigan at the end of October.

For the person that wants to build a flat plane of laser light with fog effect, what about a mirror mounted to something that is more of a cylinder. Maybe a few mirrors...

Take a vertical dowel of some kind, glue some mirrors to a horizontal row all the way around, and when it spins, you could get a 90 degree reflection on a level plane. If that doesn't make sense I drew up a picture.

Flat Plane laser pointer fog effect on Flickr - Photo [email protected]@[email protected]@http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3187/[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@59b615a82d

I thought those tips might help someone else.
 

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One thing I had a problem with using the Instructables was the duty cycle on my pointer module. I had ordered just the module, not an assembled pointer/pen. I can only get about 15 minutes of constant on before the diode starts to over heat and it goes dark. After about 5 minutes of off, it will work again for ~15 minutes. I picked up a lab module off of ebay for $70 that some are running as high as 140mw. I am only running mine about 20mw for my garage vortex. It's a brighter than the 5mw, but can also run for hours at a time.

Here is a shot at the power setting I am planning on using compared to the 5mw pen module.


And this is at full power. It has to warm up about 10 minutes at a lower setting before I can crank the pot up without it pulsing.

Damn. That shot really shows all the crap on my garage floor. :)

I also used a computer fan to spin the mirror, but I did not cut off the blades and I don't seem to be having any problems.

On the flat plane setup. I have seen some just using a motor with a single mirror glued to the motor shaft perpendicular to the beam. I guess if the motor is spinning fast enough you do not see the dark time when the laser is shining on the back side of the mirror. It seems that with three mirrors you would be reflecting all the time. I had some across a place selling what looked to be parts out of a laser printer with a six sided mirror for ~ $30 that I was considering. I decided not to risk the weather problems with fog and go with the semi-enclosed garage vortex this year.
 
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