Fog machines are lots of fun, especially at Halloween. But the ones you can get at most party stores either come with a basic remote that means you have to push a button to get a blast of fog, or they have a remote with a built-in timer, which blasts fog all night every few moments...even if no one is there. And then you run out of fog juice.
I'll show you how to make a replacement for the standard remote that you can control with any microcontroller (Basic Stamp, Arduino, Picaxe, EFX-Tek Prop-1, etc.) I'm going to assume you know how to program and connect your microcontroller. This Instructable is about making the control box for the fog machine.
You could just use a motion sensor and a microcontroller to blast kids with fog as they came up to get candy, but this also lets you incorporate the fog machine into a more elaborate scene...trigger a sound effect, a light, or a moving prop, and include a blast of fog as well.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
1x 5V Relay Module – www.dx.com SKU: 157153
1x IEC extension cable – this will connect to your fog machine.
1x Project box - comes with screws to hold it closed in a small plastic bag. Jameco Part no. 675462
1x Stereo plug Jameco Part no. 231176
1x Stereo jack Jameco Part no. 2095437
4x Screws 4-40, 1/2”
4x Nuts 4-40
1x 1” piece of plastic tubing, ¼” outside diameter, for stand-offs
1x Servo extension cable – connects the relay to the stereo jack
1x 3-wire cable – connects the stereo plug to the controller, 12” or more if needed
1x zip tie
Heat shrink tubing
The parts list is attached as a handy Excel file, with part numbers and websites. You can substitute similar parts for many of these.
• Soldering iron
• "Helping Hands". You can make one yourself, check these out:
• Wire clippers
• Wire strippers
• Small flat blade screwdriver
• Small Phillips screwdriver
• Small needle-nosed pliers
• Hot Glue gun and sticks
• Exacto knife and something to cut on (small board, etc)
• The remote from your fog machine
• Power drill with assorted bits
• Hot air gun or hair dryer (for heat shrink tubing)