Introduction: Smokin' - Remote Controlled Smoke Machine on the Cheap
This is a short instructable on how to make a relatively small, remote controllable, cheap and fun little smoke machine, which can be used to prank friends, do magic tricks, test airflows or whatever you heart desires.
Disclaimer: This build contains incandescent parts therefore if it not handled thoughtfully then you can burn your house down! I don't take any responsibility!
Step 1: Get the Ingredients
You will need:
- Glycerol and Distilled water for the magic juice (probably accessible from your local pharmacy)
- an Air pump for blowin'
- a Vape-head for smokin'
- a Wemos board for controllin'
- two n-channel mosfets
- one wire ferrule
- Some tubing and tube connectors (with 3 or 4mm inner diameter)
- Battery (I used an old li-ion phone battery)
- battery charger and power controller board
- Some foam for noise insulation
- a box to hold all together
I ordered almost all the hardware parts from aliexpress, and all costed less than 10$
Step 2: Prepare the Atomizer
This is the "tricky" part.
Take a pair of long nose pliers and pull out the middle rod in the bottom of the atomizer. Put a matching size wire ferrule to the outer end (around 3mm outer diameter). Heath booth metal together and apply a bit solder to connect the two together.
For the magic juice / smoke fluid / e-liquid: mix 80% glycerol with 20% distilled water. The rule of the thumb: if you want thicker smoke you can add more glycerol, and if you want less dense smoke, you add less. (this 80-20 worked for me best)
Apply the liquid to the atomizer. It is practical to not fill up the whole container, just wet the strings inside, because if the atomizer is laying on its side, the liquid can clog the coil inside. In that case you will hear the hiss noise from the atomizer (when its working) but no smoke will come out. Don't panic, take apart the head, clean the excess liquid and put back together.
Step 3: Prepare the Remote Controller
If you don't have blynk then visit this page: http://www.blynk.cc/getting-started/ Install the blynk app to your phone and register.
If you don't have arduino then go to https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software , download and install the IDE In the blynk app, create a new empty project.
Choose ESP8266 as hardware and Wifi as connection mode. You will receive an email with the API key. You will need this soon.
Add a button and a slider to the project and assign the proper pins to them (If you follow my schematic, select the ones in the pictures). Or you can add two buttons if you will, but with the slider you can control the smoke intensity.
Connect the wemos board to your computer, open up the Arduino IDE, select ESP8266_Standalone_Smartconfig sketch from the examples, replace the API key with the one you received and upload the code to the board.
The last app you will need is the ESP8266 SmartConfig
Open up this app, fill your wifi password, reset the wemos board, wait a couple seconds and hit confirm in the app. It will say that the ESP is configured to the current network. From now on (as long as the wemos board is in range to the currently authorized network) you can control this board from anywhere you want (not just from the same network)
Step 4: Solder It Up
Follow the schematic, solder and insulate the wires on the mosfets with some heatshrink tube.
Make sure the heatsinks of the mosfets aren't touching (for example just simply cover them with some masking or electrical tape)
Test the system.
If everything looks good then tape up the wemos board to protect the inner components if you pack this thing into a tight place.
For my build i added a simple charging controller board between the switch and the battery.
Step 5: Use
In my case i used this device to prank my colleagues using some black silicon tubing attached to the vape head.
Also you can use this pump motor and vape head combo (for bare minimum, just hook up a li-ion cell, like a 18650 in paralel with the vape head and the motor, and add a simple push button to activate booth) to make a little smoke machine to test airflows. I used this to check my computer venting performance and do some experiment with it.
Also a fun project to make a vortex cannon (look it up) and fill up with smoke to make smoke rings.
WARNING: Because of the natural behavior of the vape head it will heat up. If you run this for more than a minute, itt will be quite hot. Be aware and don't let this run without proper supervision!