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Fog Machines in a 82-70 House


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  • Fog Machines in a 82-70 House

    So about 3 or 4 weeks ago my center decided to install 2 fog machine above the lanes, one at each end of the house (we are a 24 lane center). I protested this for weeks before they were installed but the higher-ups didn’t seem to listen. They mainly run them during cosmic bowlin, and after about 15mins of them being on the backend becomes VERY foggy. I have stood on top of lane 16 and can't see the distributor on lane 1. My question is this; are there any issues or problems I should start to expect out of the machines, either mechanically or electrically? We have MP superstar chassis and I have notice a few of them on the high end (16-24) begin to have major sweep and/or table drift issues in the chassis. I have switch the chassis with another lane, and the drift always follows the chassis, so im pretty sure its not anything to do with motors/cams/micro switches/ect (at least not yet). This didnt start until the fog machines were installed. Just so im not the only one making this assumption, COULD IT BE the LARGE amount of fog making it to the backend thats causing these drift issues with our chassis? Oh, and lets not forget the scoring issues I am having while they are on too.

    Maybe im wrong and there is no harm with fog machines being installed over the lanes. If this is so, please dont hesitate to say and I will gladly change my way of thinking on this matter. I am simply asking for anyones honest opinion/advice with this.


  • #2
    We also have 2 fog machines and depending on what type of fluid is being used approaches become tacky and lanes become sticky, but stripping corrects lanes but not approaches.


    • #3
      That is pretty thick. I would reduce the out put of fog machines by 30/40% or more. You can still get the effect with less output. you use less fog juice and save money.

      I don't have 70's so I can't comment there but vapor and circuit boards don't mix well.
      For Sale, Parachute. Only used once, never opened, small stain.


      • #4
        The approaches is what I was first worried about when I first heard they were putting them in. As far as fluid used and the settings, Im not sure. Im not supposed to touch the settings on it or know where they keep the fluid.


        • #5
          check out this related thread and I'd suggest you pass it on to the powers that be. We never ran the fog machines at work in the 5 years I've been there, but I heard it created all kinds of problems.

          When you know what to do, everything is easy.


          • #6
            From an employee safety standpoint, if visibility in the machine room is reduced, one could almost say that is a safety hazard.


            • #7
              I got to look at the fluid tonight and it said that its for water based fog machines. The way our backend is blocked off from the front, the only way fog can get to the back is from under the machines. We also just had two combo motors go out this week (all they will do is humm now). Could this have come from the fog or just coincidence? Im not trying to blame everything on this, im just trying to figure out why we are having so many issues suddenly. And since I have no experience with fog machines, I dont know how much they will effect motors and chassis.
              But yes Tablejam, id defiantly say visibility is an issue back here some nights. It takes about 1 or 2 hrs for the fog to clear once they are turned off.


              • #8
                I would bet my balls on it that it wouldn't be good for the chassis LET ALONE the steel in the machine, let's face the fost mist is exactly that a mist or haze so you have a heavy damp vapour floating through the air just dying to settle down on the your C1 and C2A pins and your chassis contacts etc, then you have the moist air settling down on your steel assemblies making them rust, they are something that should NOT be run in a bowling centre, we do however use them in our laser tag arena but thats a whole different story that IS ok....
                What if ( GOD FORBID) you had a b/e fire how the hell would you get out in a hurry if you couldn't even see where you are going due to think fog??
                AS REQUESTED....The all new and VERY improved "super cool" Pin_Head with super hip shades.....


                • #9
                  If you're using fog to accentuate your lighting effects, then a light haze is sufficient and actually better. You should only barely be able to see the fog - it certainly shouldn't be obscuring your view.

                  Both oil-based and water-based fog juices will create buildup on surfaces, but a light haze a few nights a week should not be leaving significant build up that would interfere with relay contacts, motors, board connections, etc. If it's very thick though, then that could be a different story - you certainly can notice (feel/touch) the slickness on surfaces near a dense fog machine after only hours of use.

                  I doubt (although I have not tested personally) that oil versus water-based will make a major difference if you adjust the machine for a light haze. Water-based still leaves a residue on surfaces (it's not water, which evaporates, but other ingredients like propylene glycol).

                  And using a haze machine is more appropriate because of the same reason: it results in a lighter fog, which is perfect for accentuating lights, without the intrusive, smelly, messy, dense fog.

                  Having said that, I'm not considering the effect on lanes or approaches which depend heavily on surface properties and could easily be upset by even light fogs (think of how a humid day or a failed HVAC affects them - they can be sensitive). You'd need to get details from other people who have experienced vairous combinations of fog juice type, lane type and approach type similar to your own. You didn't mention that so I'm guessing your lanes and approaches aren't being affected (now).

                  One more thing - do not use a different fog juice in these machines other than the one stated in the manual. Definitely cannot swap oil-based with water-based (that seems obvious) but you shouldn't generally swap fluids even if they only differ in their ratio of ingredients, unless the machine is designed for the range of concentrations (of, say, glycol, or glycerine, which is the actual important ingredient in "water-based" fluids). The reason is that the temperature used to vapourise the fluid must match the specific fluid composition, to a) make it work optimally, and b) stop it burning, smelling bad, making your customers feel sick, and damaging the fog machine! Companies will try to sell their own branded fluid, and it's a safe bet to use that, but as long as you make sure the ingredients are in the same concentrations, you could substitute, but care needs to be taken.

                  Also () the best test is someone else's experience - and i read a few good test cases above and in the other linked thread.

                  Good luck.


                  • #10
                    I got carried with my rant that I forgot the most important thing (which was already mentioned by others but deserves highlighting): under no circumstances should your visibility be compromised in the back end. Full stop.


                    • #11
                      We have the same problem with the backend blacking out due to excess fog. The front desk rocket scientists think the more the better and juice up the output so its like a dense smoke screen throughout the center. One good thing that happened is with all their juicing it up both machines have now ceased to operate. Only the power light comes on in the units. Guess they'll learn now.


                      • #12
                        At first we used fog. Have sinced switched to haze. I'm not much of a chemist, so I don't know the differance. Haven't seen any adverse effects on machines with either one though. (36 lanes, 3 machines mounted just south of the dovetails. And yes, plenty hazey in the machine room by the end of the night.)
                        I can't even spell Brunsw-ick anymore!!!


                        • #13
                          The majority of foggers and hazers use a mixture of water and food-grade glycols (usually triethylene glycol) to produce the haze in the air. Some use oil to create a very fine optical haze.

                          The most common causes of dead smoke machines is either the one-shot thermal fuse to the heater failing or the heater core clogging up. Using crappy fluid is a very good way to clog a machine up with impurities very quickly.


                          • #14
                            If they're fogging out the back, that's too much. When fogging for cosmic lights, a light haze is best. If you can see a light beam from fixture to floor, you have enough fog. Any more is a waste of fluid and can cause some customers discomfort. Clean your fogger/hazzer once a year.

                            I've never really noticed any ill effects on an 8270 from excess fogging. As everyone has stated, it eventually settles on flat surfaces and can be tacky. I'd say the increase in sweep hits does more damage.

                            We leave our greatest mark on this earth with the quality of our craftsmanship.


                            • #15
                              Well said guys.
                              Fog machines may make fun bowling but things become tacky and coated with the oil gnerated smoke.
                              If vision is impaired I have tried a medium sized rotating fan on the walkway behind the lanes to try to keep the back end a bit clearer.
                              Normally when in cosmic, management want the back end lights off also. (also NOT SAFE working practice)


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