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Is this even possible?

  • Yes! It could be done and that includes the micro-freezer

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  • Yes! It could be done with the backpack ice chiller

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  • No, for reasons (listed below)

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Hi everyone, brand new member here obsessed with low-lying fog on demand.

The vision:

Mobile, battery-operated smoke machine powerful enough to use outdoors to fill a frame. 400 watts minimum with a strong juice or up to whatever wattage would still be practical for mobile purposes.

Battery must be strong but does not need to last terribly long. 2 hours worth of bursts or 45 minutes continuous, perhaps. Must be able to handle the constant heating element and of course the pump without compromise.

The fog cooler would be something that could be a part of a backpack if we're going with Ice with output hose long enough to connect to wrist.

Now to really make it pro, if this is possible, Instead of an ice cooler: A long tube that is filled with a row of heatsink freezers.

If you haven't seen these, here's a vid:

Useful Cooler Box - How to Make a Mini Freezer - YouTube

I think the extra draw on heatsink fans would not be very great and would provide enough chill to get the fog to lie low...greatly reducing overall weight of the device.

Can a 12v battery do all this for an hour or two?

I know there are very expensive battery operated foggers already out there, mostly in Great Britain for some reason, they run about 1000 dollars but I'm guessing with the right plan and know-how this could get down to about 300 DIY.

Why? Photography. I'm always on location with no access to electricity and already am carting around too much gear in a wagon. Wearable and portable is the key!

I'm guessing there are experts here that might be able to steer me in the right direction or tell me this is all impossible.

Thanks! -Meridian
 

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Depending on the battery, possible but not sure your 300 budget would be quite attainable unless some things are picked up second hand or are already owned. A typical cheap deep cycle battery would run about 100 bucks for anything around 100 amp hours of juice. The problems are that a typical lead acid battery being the cheaper technology, really shouldn't be drawn down beyond 50%. Yes, you could go further than that for a bit but at the risk of needing to replace it sooner than later (I've done it plenty). Then there's also the weight (50 lbs or more), so I'm not sure if that's going to be an issue as well, but could be cumbersome if you had to walk a bit to get to the setting. Lithium definitely brings that down in weight and makes the capacity a lot more useable, but at a higher price point.

Inverter-wise, those would be cheap enough for something small enough to run a fogger, a 500 or 750 watt continuous inverter. All that though, and you'd be looking at right around a max of just about 1.5 - 2 hours of total time.

At the end of the day though, portable and wearable is going to be the biggest challenge. Cheap is heavy and borders on your time allotment. Expensive is quite doable, but then you're in the realm of what those battery foggers are running, and would just be worth it to pony the money up for a completed product with warranty and support. Side note: Just looked at a lot of those, and even for that price, many are rated for less than 20 minutes total run time on the battery, no doubt the result of being a small enough battery to make it light enough to be portable.

Another alternative I could offer though, might be if you can find a good deal on a Jackery or something similar. I bought one from Rich Solar to power some lights, but it's basically a lithium battery with plugs in it. Pick up a 40 dollar fogger, and one of those units can be had for 3-400 bucks on the low end, and if you find the right one, it might actually keep up for a bit. Mine's rated at 500 watt-hours (so a 400 watt fogger would run about an hour or so with a little to spare). It's definitely lighter than carrying a deep cycle battery around.


for example, similar to what I have, but at a $200ish price point. And many of them offer an option to add solar charging by hooking a panel to it. If you do a lot in the sun, grab a 100 watt panel and stick it on the ground next to it, it'll give you a slightly longer use-case. Lots of options really, but overall, it'll be the best case for portability, not as many parts to deal with, and somewhat reasonable overall in cost.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Fog chillers have been discussed to death around here. So I'll leave it up to you to do some searching/reading on that side and decide how you best want to approach it. I'll focus a bit on the battery side - though as fair warning - if you think you have too much gear now... wait till you start adding a battery, inverter, fogger, chiller, ice, juice, distribution pipes, etc!

[Paragraph here about the nuances of running a 400W fogger on 12V batteries, but will sum it up by saying 400W @120V is 'technically' going to draw 33 amps at 12V...and likely closer to 40 amps considering inefficiencies of the conversion. So this is likely going to be 3-4 decent sized car batteries to make a workable /reliable system]

The next (easiest) option - would be to just get a small gas powered generator. Pound for pound and dollar for dollar, that would be the best solution. A small, quiet inverter generator like the Honda 2000 or similar knock offs and a modest extension cord could keep your power a decent distance away and very low on the dB scale for sound.

If that is unworkable, the next 'easy' option would be to look into a power station. That would get your batteries and inverter all together, modern lithium batteries would reduce weight, and increase performance....at the sacrifice of expense, though.


If you're going to be chilling fog, the best by far is simple ice. Those peltier coolers, on a BTU for watt basis are going to be the absolute worst performance you can find. They suck a lot of energy and make very little actual 'cold'.

Hope this helps with some of the high points.
 
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