Cold spark and dry ice machine

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djtaso

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We use pellets... if you only have access to blocks of dry ice, get a hammer and break them into smaller pieces. Some use hose, some don't really depends on where you're shooting from, and where you're trying to focus the smoke, and if a hose will help distribute it more effectively. For example, some venues have ac that really messes with the flow of the smoke and prevents it from reaching the center of the floor hwen shooting it from a certain side of the room, however if shooting from a different side, it works perfectly. A hose is a lot easier to manuever, than say an entire machine, especially around guests. What we do now is we do a test run with a handful of pellets before any guests arrive, and see how the air is blowing so that we can find the best shooting position.
 
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rickryan.com

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We use pellets... if you only have access to blocks of dry ice, get a hammer and break them into smaller pieces. Some use hose, some don't really depends on where you're shooting from, and where you're trying to focus the smoke, and if a hose will help distribute it more effectively. For example, some venues have ac that really messes with the flow of the smoke and prevents it from reaching the center of the floor hwen shooting it from a certain side of the room, however if shooting from a different side, it works perfectly. A hose is a lot easier to manuever, than say an entire machine, especially around guests. What we do now is we do a test run with a handful of pellets before any guests arrive, and see how the air is blowing so that we can find the best shooting position.
I've only seen blocks around here but will look for pellets. If I bust them up, I'll likely have to line the basket with mesh wire. Pellets sound better.
 

djtaso

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I've only seen blocks around here but will look for pellets. If I bust them up, I'll likely have to line the basket with mesh wire. Pellets sound better.
don't worry about the mesh... they're going to melt anyways, unless you're planning on slowing down the effect during the first dance by raising the lever and basket out of the water (we just keep the basket all the way down throughout the first dance to maximize effect, and constantly dump fresh ice in every 20-30 seconds to keep the level of could thickness high). the smaller pieces essentially create a better/quicker result.
 

rickryan.com

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don't worry about the mesh... they're going to melt anyways, unless you're planning on slowing down the effect during the first dance by raising the lever and basket out of the water (we just keep the basket all the way down throughout the first dance to maximize effect, and constantly dump fresh ice in every 20-30 seconds to keep the level of could thickness high). the smaller pieces essentially create a better/quicker result.
Not planning to raise the basket but whenever I bust up a block it creates a bunch of tiny pieces that will go thru those larger holes in the basket. I'd rather not be getting blasted in the face with fog (like happens with that bucket contraption I made). I gotta find some pellets but dry ice is hard to come by around here. I'm having to travel 20 miles to the nearest Publix to get it.
 

djtaso

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Not planning to raise the basket but whenever I bust up a block it creates a bunch of tiny pieces that will go thru those larger holes in the basket. I'd rather not be getting blasted in the face with fog (like happens with that bucket contraption I made). I gotta find some pellets but dry ice is hard to come by around here. I'm having to travel 20 miles to the nearest Publix to get it.
nothing wrong with blocks, just break it down is all. I've used both, and the difference is subtle, but if you've expereinced both, you'll see it.
 

Proformance

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The amount of fog you can get out of a Nimbus type machine (also known as a Pea Souper) is a function of the total exposed surface area of the dry ice in the machine at any given time. The surface area rapidly declines when dry ice comes in contact with liquid water because the water freezes and encapsulates the dry ice (like an M&M candy.)

Pellets present significantly more surface area than does the same volume of dry ice in blocks. The ideal dry ice pellet size would completely sublime before frozen water could fully encapsulates it. Once a block or pellet is encapsulated by frozen water the fog effect would no longer work while much of the solid CO2 still remains prisoner inside the ice.

The purpose of heating the water is to increase the time it takes for the water to reach a freezing point. If you could keep the water hot enough to not freeze on the surface, or to constantly wash the frost from surface the effect would be continuous for as long as any dry ice remains.

Block ice works fine in larger machines where a shower head is used to run hot water over the block without ever fully submersing it in water. This further slows down the growth of the frost for a more prolonged effect. The units have heaters that use up to 60A 250V and a water supply of up to 50 Gallons.
 
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djtaso

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Not the pleased with my test run. I have a nimbus knockoff and put 6 lbs of block dry ice. Kinda pitiful display. The hose definitely knocked down volume. Will probably try busting it up but so far my diy unit does a better job. Hoping the spark machines do better.
When I do an event, I probably go through 20lbs for a 3 minute dance. Also, make sure your water is heated completely before doing the effect. Lastly, I don't know how you do it, but when we do the initial drop of ice, we have 3 water pitchers full of ice ready to go right away, so its a massive initial burst.
 

DJ Ricky B

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Good Luck!

Personally, I think this effect won't be a hit with those rural country brides. They may take it if it's thrown in, but I think if you are adding in say $400 to have this effect, it is rarely going to sell. This is a "splurge" effect that a bride with a 40K+ wedding budget might throw in when they know they have budget money left over. ...Just my opinion. I guess for $1550 and just some restock on the pellets, I guess the investment isn't too bad. It might take you 2 years to get your money back out of it, but if you keep these machines around long term, they will probably be worth it in the long run.

Or I could be wrong, and since you might be the only venue offering them in the entire area there, and you sell it right, you will create demand for it and sell it to every other couple that books at your venue.

I just look at this effect as something that can sell in New Jersey, New York. Rural Country Rustin venue in Alabama???? ....Seems like a tough sell to me, and might be a PITA for you to deal with, especially when you start discounting the effect to get it sold and used for an extra hundred bucks here and there.
 

djtaso

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Good Luck!

Personally, I think this effect won't be a hit with those rural country brides. They may take it if it's thrown in, but I think if you are adding in say $400 to have this effect, it is rarely going to sell. This is a "splurge" effect that a bride with a 40K+ wedding budget might throw in when they know they have budget money left over. ...Just my opinion. I guess for $1550 and just some restock on the pellets, I guess the investment isn't too bad. It might take you 2 years to get your money back out of it, but if you keep these machines around long term, they will probably be worth it in the long run.

Or I could be wrong, and since you might be the only venue offering them in the entire area there, and you sell it right, you will create demand for it and sell it to every other couple that books at your venue.

I just look at this effect as something that can sell in New Jersey, New York. Rural Country Rustin venue in Alabama???? ....Seems like a tough sell to me, and might be a PITA for you to deal with, especially when you start discounting the effect to get it sold and used for an extra hundred bucks here and there.
$1550? I bought mine for $900. And I think Rick got a knockoff version for less.

If I'm not mistaken, he's not charging for it. Also, I don't think people will come to his venue for this, or even add it on... it'll just help him stand apart more. Make the sell easier.

For example... my tufted facade or podium booth... they're not add ons or extra costs... just something to set myself apart.
 

steve149

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rickryan.com

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If I'm not mistaken, he's not charging for it. Also, I don't think people will come to his venue for this, or even add it on... it'll just help him stand apart more. Make the sell easier.
Exactly correct. Nobody is doing this in my area. I've been pitching this to tour prospects and their eyes light up every time. I wouldn't even think about trying to upsell it. I'm hoping to get some decent video this weekend and will start burning some FB ads if I do.
 
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rickryan.com

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When I do an event, I probably go through 20lbs for a 3 minute dance. Also, make sure your water is heated completely before doing the effect. Lastly, I don't know how you do it, but when we do the initial drop of ice, we have 3 water pitchers full of ice ready to go right away, so its a massive initial burst.
Does your basket immerse completely in water? I'm not sure this one does. I think it's pretty clear, after last night's test, that I'm going to have to line the basket with mesh, then fill it completely with crushed dry ice, like you suggested. Putting in whole blocks (it was only 6 lbs), it kinda fizzled then after about 60 seconds it started putting out a moderate volume of fog. On my homemade rig I dropped in 10-15 lbs of crushed ice and it virtually exploded. I'll probably go get another batch of ice tonight and re-try. I also have to connect up the spark machines and to install some new circuits to power them.

On the spark units, they sent vacuum-sealed packets. Not sure how big your packets are but how long of a burn can you typically get off a packet? Are you triggering them via dmx or with a remote control (these units come with one)? I'd like to do some tests but I'm hesitant to dump an entire packet in.
 

djtaso

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Does your basket immerse completely in water? I'm not sure this one does. I think it's pretty clear, after last night's test, that I'm going to have to line the basket with mesh, then fill it completely with crushed dry ice, like you suggested. Putting in whole blocks (it was only 6 lbs), it kinda fizzled then after about 60 seconds it started putting out a moderate volume of fog. On my homemade rig I dropped in 10-15 lbs of crushed ice and it virtually exploded. I'll probably go get another batch of ice tonight and re-try. I also have to connect up the spark machines and to install some new circuits to power them.

On the spark units, they sent vacuum-sealed packets. Not sure how big your packets are but how long of a burn can you typically get off a packet? Are you triggering them via dmx or with a remote control (these units come with one)? I'd like to do some tests but I'm hesitant to dump an entire packet in.
You HAVE to break down the blocks! If you don’t, you’re gonna get no effect. And yes, completely immersed in water from the very start.

spark packs are vacuum sealed.I get about 2-3 parties per pack. But if you’re doing first dance only, you’ll get closer to 5 depending on how you distribute them.
 

rickryan.com

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You HAVE to break down the blocks! If you don’t, you’re gonna get no effect. And yes, completely immersed in water from the very start.

spark packs are vacuum sealed.I get about 2-3 parties per pack. But if you’re doing first dance only, you’ll get closer to 5 depending on how you distribute them.
You're able to run 4 machines for 2-3 parties per pack? How much do you typically put into a machine for 1 first dance? Do you just dump the un-used stuff out of the machine at the end of the night or do you burn it all out?
 

djtaso

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You're able to run 4 machines for 2-3 parties per pack? How much do you typically put into a machine for 1 first dance? Do you just dump the un-used stuff out of the machine at the end of the night or do you burn it all out?
I guess I should answer this differently. I use about 1/3 of the units capacity per event (includes preevent photo shoot, 2x during first dance, and maybe 1-3x during the event). For the first dance it's the length of the chorus so 15-20 seconds, and the open dancing it's typically 5-10 seconds.

At the end of the night I "clear" the units shooting tube (there's a function for that), and leave the remaining granules in the loading part of the unit until the next event.
 

anzyxx

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I turn my machine over and collect all reminding powder to the glass jar. Next time I'm going to use my machines I will run cleaning circle, turn it off, add the powder and it's ready to go. For some reason I dont like leaving the power in the machine. My 5 cents. LOL
 

djtaso

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I turn my machine over and collect all reminding powder to the glass jar. Next time I'm going to use my machines I will run cleaning circle, turn it off, add the powder and it's ready to go. For some reason I dont like leaving the power in the machine. My 5 cents. LOL
It’s advisable to empty it, but mine are road cases and always upright, so there aren’t any issues that I’m concerned about. If you move them alot, tip them or may accidentally flip them, or store them for extended periods of time without using it, then empty it
 

steve149

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Just fired up my first cold spark machine. These are just too cool. Here's my first run of only 1 machine. I'm running it on the medium height and it's still reach the ceiling.
Just be careful with a white ceiling .. it might blacken a bit over time from the chemicals.
 
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