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Fogger/Hazer

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John Simoson:
In another thread I had asked for suggestions for small light setup for a 3 piece bar band.  Settled on 10 thinpars 8 behind us and 2 front wash.  Simple controller the bass player manages.  Now looking to add some fog/haze.  Looking for compact if possible.  Again we mostly play bars and some festivals.  100-500 capacity.

Fog or Haze?  Dmx?  No more than $200

Thanks all

John Fruits:
The first thing you must consider is ALWAYS get permission to use atmospherics in any venue.  Currently in the US the most stringent rules are in New York City.  You have to get a permit to use any atmospherics, they also include bubble machines and fluid based snow machines.  The bad news is the permit for a single use exceeds your total budget.   The main issue is that many fire alarms can be triggered by fog and haze.  Fire departments have a major problem in rolling a response team for what turns out to be a false alarm. 

Then you have to make sure that spare parts are easily available for the unit you are using, they do require some upkeep.  It is often the case that the really cheap units are sometime hard to source parts for.  Also at the low price end of things some companies sell a dual purpose bit of kit , one name for them is phasers, which can produce both fog and haze, but neither very well, at least with the earlier versions. 
Good luck in your search.

Jamin Lynch:

--- Quote from: John Simoson on October 02, 2019, 09:06:00 am ---In another thread I had asked for suggestions for small light setup for a 3 piece bar band.  Settled on 10 thinpars 8 behind us and 2 front wash.  Simple controller the bass player manages.  Now looking to add some fog/haze.  Looking for compact if possible.  Again we mostly play bars and some festivals.  100-500 capacity.

Fog or Haze?  Dmx?  No more than $200

Thanks all

--- End quote ---

I prefer a hazer over a fogger.

Take a look at the Chauvet 1D hazer. You can run it via DMX or use the controls on the unit. Or the 4D hazer if you could spend a little more. You'll get a lot more output. Once you get the room hazed up, you can often times lower the output to maintain a constant haze in the room. 

Make sure they are allowed wherever you go.

Rich Grisier:
+1 On the permission thing.
I almost caused an entire casino to be evacuated when using a fogger. It triggered the fire alarm. The use of atmospheric effects were banned from that point on.

I've used both hazers and foggers.  There are good and bad points to each. I ultimately ended up using foggers. I like being able to control their output via DMX. When using decent fog fluid, the output will have a decent hang time thus creating a haze.

With a Hazer, you don't really need DMX control. Just some timer control is fine. I used an ADJ HazeGenerator. Set up the timer for a decent cycle to keep a good amount of haze in the room.

Hazers often use a mineral oil based fluid. This gives it a long hang time. You won't use as much haze fluid as you would fog fluid. The downside to Haze fluid is it gets sucked into equipment. This creates an thin oily layer on the fan blades and heat sinks the fan is blowing on. This oil acts like a magnet to dirt and dust. Bars have a lot of dust flying around. When using oil based haze fluid, you're going to want to factor in a cleaning and inspection routine every three months. This means dismantling all your lights and cleaning out the accumulated dust.

Foggers use a water based fluid with some glycol. This can also cause dirt to build up, but not as quickly as oil based fluid. I give my lights a thorough cleaning about once a year.

Foggers work by pumping the fluid through a tube in a heater core. The fluid heats up until it vaporizes and thus sprays out the end of the tube. That tube will clog up over time. Once it's completely clogged then it's time for a new fogger.

Hazers work by compressing air which then gets infused into the fluid. This creates a mist or haze. There's no heating process... and as such, no heater core to clog up. Because of this a Hazer is going to last a lot longer than a fogger.

Jeff Lelko:
Iím another vote for knowing where you can (and canít) use atmosphere before buying anything.  Iím also another vote for haze, though at the price point youíre shopping, all the haze machines (that Iím aware of) will be water based.  Where the line is drawn between ďfogĒ and ďhazeĒ is a bit murky and really has more to do with particulate size compared to fluid make-up, but haze works best to accentuate lighting.  Fog is more of a special effect.  True compression-based hazers like a DF-50 tend to work the best, but are also very expensive.  The Ultratec Radiance unit is a solid water-based hazer thatís more affordable but still generally well-liked among professionals.  Itís about $1,000 new, give or take.

Anything youíll be buying for $200 is very much DJ-grade...fog or haze.  This isnít a bad thing per say, but it wonít be professional.  By that I mean it might be noisy, leaky, smelly, splurt out random fog, etc.  Many cheap foggers also go through reheating cycles every so often which renders them unable to fog until complete.  This means that you may not have fog on demand or be able to keep fog running continuously.  More professional units can always fire on demand and throttle output to maintain continuous fogging, but again, thatís more money too.  At that level Iíd want things like DMX control, but for a simple point-and-shoot fogger (or hazer), I wouldnít overthink it if wanting to stay on the cheap.  Hope this helps!

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