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Topic: Quick, Small (6 or 9 inch) Puff of Smoke Needed
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 15, 2017 10:17AM)
I am looking to replace a moment when I use "flash paper" in a "teleportation device" bill in lemon plot. I have decided I want to use flash paper for an effect later in my show and I want to protect that moment by making the blinding "flash" at that time unique and have its own dramatic weight. I realize that for the earlier "teleportation device" moment a "puff of smoke" - preferably with no or little "flash" - would be equally as effective.

So - I am looking for a way to produce a startling "puff of smoke" - preferably one which emerges from the device (a "retro" cigar box looking instrument with an "antennae" and gizmos sticking out from it and wired up already to emit comic "sounds" when it is "on") What I'd like is something I could control with a switch and something like a 9 volt battery in the unit with some kind of electronic igniter. I would prefer to keep holding the unit in my hand if possible, but I could set it down on a table prior to the moment of the "puff" if absolutely necessary.

I've considered potassium nitrate and sugar - but I would prefer a quick "puff" of smoke - a ball about six to nine inches - rising up - and not a stream of smoke - though I could live with that if it were short - no more than just a few seconds. I could build a tube or would be willing to have it built - either metal or cardboard - down into the "cigar box" teleportation device - or could have a stack emerging from the top, for that matter.

I would prefer to not have to "caramelize" the sodium nitrate and sugar.

Any help or places you could point me to get advice would be greatly appreciated.
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jul 16, 2017 05:49PM)
What is your budget?

This might be like building a computer, the bigger the budget the better the system.

Also what are the dimensions of the box?? Can you post a picture online?
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 17, 2017 10:41AM)
Thanks Gothike,

Exterior Dimensions are 2 and 1/2 inches by 9 and 1/2 inches by 7 inches. It is cigar box size - although it is not a cigar box. I bought it online as a simple wood box, stained it, put a 3 inch round speaker in the middle front, an antennae sticking up from it, lights on the front and there are some modest wires and 9 volt batteries and electronics on the inside to make the comic whirring bleeping sounds. So the entirety of the interior would not be available - BUT some of it would - maybe about 1/2 if I moved thinks around - and a metal tube - if that were the design - could definitely go up on the inside and end either flush with or sticking out of the 2 and 1/2 inch top. I don't know how to post a picture - but it is a comic, retro, out of Jules Verne "Teleportation Device" that makes comic sounds. For that matter, I can build another box and transfer the present electronics to it and build the box around the smoke puff device. I would like it to be relatively small and compact and the final "teleportation device" to be somewhat in the range of my current one - just for packing and transportation and I think its a nice visual size to be seen and to hold in my hands. So a reasonably small device, but I think I can make it work with anything that would emit a nice, reliable puff of smoke without a flame - or minimal flame powered by something like a 9 volt battery - or some battery that allows the device not to plug in.

As far as expense, everyone LIKES a deal - particularly on costs for repeated use. A potassium nitrate and sugar solution would be very cost effective BUT to answer your question, I am prepared to spend a little bit of money to get a professional level setup that would reliably emit a nice, startling, comic puff of smoke. Budget - Maybe a couple hundred dollars - more or less.

Many Thanks
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jul 18, 2017 12:56AM)
The Blu E-Cigarette has the ability to be able to blow into it and smoke appears, tubing and a camera air bulb.

e-cigarette cartimizer (3.7v, wired to a 3.7v air pump (aquariums), switch and 3.7v lipo battery.

Or my friend sells a plasma spark system, connected to a 3.7v lipo battery with switch and you use white smoke powder.

camera air bulb with talcum powder.
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 18, 2017 06:56PM)

Thanks so much. I will explore each of these. They all seem promising.

Here is a brief YouTube clip of exactly the effect I want. Unfortunately it is in a category of "Stock Footage" so you can use the look - just no hints or information as to how it was produced.


Thanks again for your help. Possibly one of your suggestions can duplicate or come close to that look. I think it has to be a sudden "plosive" burst to get the proper "humorous" and startling effect. A low tech Talcum Powder burst might be able to capture that! I will explore each of these suggestions!
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jul 18, 2017 08:11PM)
White Smoke powder with an electric match or some type of ignition system.

Similar effect can also be created with flash paper and black powder.
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 19, 2017 06:28AM)
Ah, this seems to be the right track. Thank you.
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jul 21, 2017 01:01PM)
It is not really the right track rather a step down from the "plasma spark system, connected to a 3.7v lipo battery with switch and you use white smoke powder" that I mentioned earlier. Also Lipo batteries can be smaller than two AA batteries.

Electric matches have a cost and are not renewal. Plasma spark systems will last for years and just needs electricity.
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 21, 2017 02:45PM)

Great. Thanks for sticking in there with me on this one. You seem to have forwarded two references - one "Valkyrie Studios" which - from their video seemed to be creating a small continuous "fog" effect which could work but is not exactly what I was looking for. Then, the "Theatre Effects" website seemed to offer more effects closer to my target. Re-reading your posts your number one recommendation is something created by a friend using a plasma spark system, connected to a 3.7v lipo battery with switch and you use white smoke powder. I didn't mean to be overlooking that. Is your friend at either Valkyrie Studios or Theatre Effects or somewhere else? Wherever it is if you direct me there I will contact him and look into the Plasma Spark System!!!! Again, many thanks - just what the Magic Café is designed to do - provide help to one another and you have. Many Thanks.
Message: Posted by: gothike (Jul 23, 2017 05:30AM)
Message: Posted by: John (Jul 30, 2017 01:41AM)
That's it. Thank you Gothike. You have been informative, helpful and knowledgable. Thanks for the help!