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E-mail: wbn@wickedbeernut.com

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Introduction

I came up with the idea of using an ultrasonic mister in conjunction with a small fan to produce breath as part of my Crate Beast prop. As it turns out, I saw the exact same mechanism in practice at the TransWorld 2002 convention in Chicago. Gag Studios used an ultrasonic mister in conjunction with a small fan to produce smoke as part of their Old Deadeye, The Gunslinger prop. Gag Studios mounted the fan to the side of a sport water bottle. Gag Studio's sells their "fog unit" for $100.

This is a rather poor picture of my unit. The ultrasonic mister is contained within an acrylic "mason jar" like container. A small fan mounted on the lid of the container blows the mist up through an 18" length of 3/4" PVC pipe to a copper nozzle that would correspond to the Crate Beast's mouth.

This is a rather poor video of the unit in action. Here I am manually operating the fan, effectively turning it on and off as quickly as I can. The unit will be controlled by a microcontroller once it is integrated into the final prop. It's a subtle effect and difficult to capture on video, but I think that it really adds to the suspense that there is "something" alive inside of the crate.

Bad Breath Video (750 Kb)

 

Materials

1- Acrylic Container, Wal-mart AC507

$5.00

1 - Mist Maker Mister Fogger (with splash guard), Fountains & Accessories Gift Shop

$25.95

1 - 1" x 3/4" Copper Bushing

$0.69

1 - 3/4" PVC Slip to Male Thread Adapter

$0.34

1 - 3/4" PVC 90 ELL Slip x Slip

$0.24

1 - 18" x 3/4" PVC Pipe

$0.19

1- Brushless 12 VDC Cooling Fan 14.5 CFM 110 mA 2.36 x 1", Radio Shack 273-239.

$14.99

1- 12 VDC 500 mA Transformer, Radio Shack 273-1773.

$12.99

1- Hobby Power Leads Adaptaplug, Radio Shack 273-1742.

$1.99

1- 5.5 x 2.1mm Panel-Mount Jack with Switch DC Power Connector, Radio Shack 274-1582.

$1.99

1- 5.5 x 2.1mm Inline Plug DC Power (2), Radio Shack 274-1569A.

$1.99 / 2 = $0.99

4 - 8/32 x 1 1/2" Machine Screws and Locknuts

 

 

$65

Miscellaneous

Epoxy Glue, Solder, 3/16" Steel Bar, Shrink Tubing

Tools

Electric Drill, 2 3/8" Keyhole Saw, 1 1/4" Keyhole Saw, Various Drill Bits to 5/16", Soldering Iron, Screwdriver, Wrench, Vice, Hacksaw, Dremel

I marked the outline of the fan on the lid of the acrylic canister, positioning the fan as close to the edge as possible while leaving room for the mounting screws. I drilled a hole for the fan using a 2 3/8" keyhole saw. I drilled a hole for the 3/4" PVC Slip to male thread adapter using a 1 1/4" keyhole saw. Note: The 1 1/4" keyhole saw is actually a little too big, but it was the smallest keyhole saw blade that I had. I generously applied epoxy in order to secure the adapter to the lid.

I soldered the Radio Shack Adaptaplug hobby power leads to the leads of the fan. The Adaptaplug will plug into the 12 VDC transformer.

I cut the Mist Maker wire, leaving enough wire to reach from the bottom of the canister to the underside of the lid (while open). I soldered one end of the Mist Maker lead to the Radio Shack 5.5 x 2.1 mm panel-mount jack and the other end of the Mist Maker lead to the Radio Shack 5.5 x 2.1 mm inline DC power plug. I drilled a 5/16" hole in the lid to accept the panel-mount jack.

I needed a nozzle in order to funnel the mist through the slats in my crate. I started with a 1" x 3/4" copper bushing. I used a Dremel to reduce the outer diameter of a short length of 3/4" PVC such that it would slip into the 1" end of the bushing. I pinched the 3/4" end of the bushing in a vice until it was 3/16" wide. I used a few 1" lengths of 3/16" steel bar in 3/4" end of the bushing while I was pinching it in order to achieve a uniform opening. This picture shows a close-up of the bushing-turned-nozzle.

You must use the splash guard in conjunction with the Mister Maker. The Mister Maker splashes water high enough that the fan would get wet without the splash guard. Note: While the splash guard prevents water from directly splashing on the fan, the fan is still subjected to a significant amount of moisture. It is not clear how long the fan will last.

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