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Thread: Canned Smoke

  1. #1
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    Default Canned Smoke

    Hi,

    Has anyone else here tried canned smoke?

    I ask because I've finally put the videos for my new laser up in this thread: http://photonlexicon.com/forums/show...0111#post60111

    ..and whilst the beams when projected onto a surface have extreme brightness (I even went to see an optician after filming the 2nd video - filmed 12 hours apart because on both occassions the diffuse reflection seemed to leave me with burning eyes - in the end we decided it was some kind of dry eye reaction with my contacts brought on my staring rather than any problem with radiation but it does illustrate the extreme brightness which isn't full captured in the video), the beams I filmed looked a little weak. The room was like a foggy day when I switched the light back on - I used a full can in a 10ft square room in under 5 minutes. However, I didn't fel the beams were as bright as expected although the graphics on the walll were extreme!

    I knwo the camera / viewing position from behind the projector isn't the best place to observe / record from as it gives a much dimmer view although its the safest in a small room.

    So my real question is, is canned smoke poor at reflecting beams?

    I certainly didn't see the drifting smoke effect I've seen in many other videos of beams on here except whilst I was actually spraying close to the beams. The canned smoke seemed to be oil base like haze as it left a sticky residue everywhere (guess who was popular!).

    I could understand the beams looking a little weak if the laser was dim, but man this thing looks extreme to me. Watching the graphic points on a line is quite hard as its so bright on a white emulsion wall. There s definite tendancy to squint / shift attention!

  2. #2
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    Default

    The canned smoke seemed to be oil base like haze as it left a sticky residue everywhere (guess who was popular!).




    I have no experiance with smoke in a can, but at home I use a cracker based hazer (antari HZ100) this hazer will leave no residu like normal smoke canons do, and can be used safely in your livingroom without destroying your furniture and equipment.

    The only problem is crackers are a little bit expensive, but hey no one ever told you this hobby is cheap

    If you have money i can reccomed the HZ400 as this hazer is more quit compared to the hz100

  3. #3
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    Default

    I use canned smoke on occasion, in small doses only, and it actually works pretty good IF the air is relatively calm, and the beams are coming TOWARD you (overhead), not away from you - this is especially true if running with lower power lasers.

    The canned smoke usually only lasts a short while, so I spray. lase, repeat as needed....
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  4. #4
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    So am I right in assuming that a lot of the beam dimness was due to the fact I was filming from behind?

    BTW measured the distance - 11 feet projector to wall.

  5. #5
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    Probably so - you'll probably be amazed how much brighter beam shows appear when they're coming toward you, plus you'll get the full "3D" effect of the beams, even when they're shooting overhead!
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  6. #6
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    If you're using Maplin's canned smoke it's not the same formulation as it used to be. I now find the smell of it is quite overpowering and the particle size is too large. It tends to glisten in the beams. As previously mentioned, you should be looking towards your projector for beam effects to look their best.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  7. #7
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    Ok thanks.

    I thought that might be at least partially to blame. At times you can see the red fairly well (start and end) but a lot of the time it disappeared in the video which considering the extreme brightness of the laser on the wall with all the colours, and its power level was puzzling.

    Yes it was Maplins smoke, I bought it really as a stop gap just to enable me to put a video on here. I didn't think it smelt so bad, kind of a sweet smell, but it was definately wasn't the subtlest of smells.

    I couldn't believe what a pea souper I had in the room in the end when I turned the light on but I knew there was something wrong with the smoke when I didn't see the "clouds" floating in the tunnels like on all of your videos except when I sprayed extra directly in.

    I guess as soon as I get a smoke machine I'll have to try again. I'm currently trying to figure out how to mount it under the car port as the beams are too high so thats my next big problem. A cheap removeable but sturdy mount that won't allow the projector to slip downwards on its bracked should it come loose. In fact thats my only critism of the safety cable mount its towards the back so if the bracket failed it would swing the beams down into the audience. Would have seemed to have made more sense to put it towards the front so the projector swung up protecting the audience and giving access to the power controls and switches at the back.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGBLaserFan View Post
    Ok thanks.

    I thought that might be at least partially to blame. At times you can see the red fairly well (start and end) but a lot of the time it disappeared in the video which considering the extreme brightness of the laser on the wall with all the colours, and its power level was puzzling.

    Yes it was Maplins smoke, I bought it really as a stop gap just to enable me to put a video on here. I didn't think it smelt so bad, kind of a sweet smell, but it was definately wasn't the subtlest of smells.

    I couldn't believe what a pea souper I had in the room in the end when I turned the light on but I knew there was something wrong with the smoke when I didn't see the "clouds" floating in the tunnels like on all of your videos except when I sprayed extra directly in.

    I guess as soon as I get a smoke machine I'll have to try again. I'm currently trying to figure out how to mount it under the car port as the beams are too high so thats my next big problem. A cheap removeable but sturdy mount that won't allow the projector to slip downwards on its bracked should it come loose. In fact thats my only critism of the safety cable mount its towards the back so if the bracket failed it would swing the beams down into the audience. Would have seemed to have made more sense to put it towards the front so the projector swung up protecting the audience and giving access to the power controls and switches at the back.
    The "cloud" effect generally only appears when you first spray the smoke, even with a smoke machine. If you wanted that ALL the time (which would be WAY cool!!), you and your guests would probably have to be wearing oxygen masks!!
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  9. #9
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    Ah so it was probably only down to the reflectivity. I'm a newb when it comes to smoke never having had any disco lighting, so I'm on a learning curve with the laser.

    Do you think a curtain or somthing similar suspended in front of the laser would make a good emergency beam screen - i was thinking perhaps a piece of poyester tarp or something similar. I know alu tape has been mentioned before but whilst that might stop stray beams from the lasers fixed position, it doesn't give any protection if the laser should slip and rotate round slightly on its bracket. I'm thinking now this might be the biggest danger. The other night whilst setting up my tilting table's mechanism failed and the laser table top suddenly tilted backwards - luckily the laser wasn't on and I caught it in mid air by the bracket but it made me realise how serious this could have been had it been switched on as it could have titled the beams back towards me behind the laser. Thinking about safety, this has made me think about the confined area of the car port and what would happen if the laser swivelled downwards on its bracket, hence the idea of a seperate screen in front.

    As an aside, I now have an emergency stop button on a 15m cable.
    Last edited by White-Light; 09-13-2008 at 01:57.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGBLaserFan View Post
    Ah so it was probably only down to the reflectivity. I'm a newb when it comes to smoke never having had any disco lighting, so I'm on a learning curve with the laser.
    The difference between 'real' smoke/haze and the new 'canned' stuff is massive. You have a treat in store

    Do you think a curtain or somthing similar suspended in front of the laser would make a good emergency beam screen - i was thinking perhaps a piece of poyester tarp or something similar. I know alu tape has been mentioned before but whilst that might stop stray beams from the lasers fixed position, it doesn't give any protection if the laser should slip and rotate round slightly on its bracket. I'm thinking now this might be the biggest danger. The other night whilst setting up my tilting table's mechanism failed and the laser table top suddenly tilted backwards - luckily the laser wasn't on and I caught it in mid air by the bracket but it made me realise how serious this could have been had it been switched on as it could have titled the beams back towards me behind the laser. Thinking about safety, this has made me think about the confined area of the car port and what would happen if the laser swivelled downwards on its bracket, hence the idea of a seperate screen in front.

    As an aside, I now have an emergency stop button on a 15m cable.
    I would be very wary of using any 'fabric' in front of a laser. I appreciate that you laser isn't too powerful, but even a 100mW green laser can smoke dark cloth if it's a raw beam. My projector can burn holes in wood in no time at all if a static beam is projected

    Well done on the emergency stop button, that's always a useful addition

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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