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my new homemade evap UV smoke machine

posted Apr 03, 2016 01:25:45 by tony redolfi
I built this the other day, I added some necessary things that many other homemade jobs are missing,, I have a 0-10psi regulator so I can get 1/2 psi or around 13 inh20, I added a pressure gauge and a shut off valve so I can check the evap for pressure drop.

the oil I used is baby oil with AC UV dye added,, it really works great. I used a nichrome wire wrapped around a wick that's powered by a dimmer switch, the unit draws about 6amps turned on max.

here are some pictures and a video of it working


[Last edited Apr 03, 2016 01:28:48]
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9 replies
AndyMacFadyen said Apr 03, 2016 13:42:18
Nice build -- neater than the others I have seen. I plan on building one after my current project is finished and was looking at using the same dimmer unit but using a diesel glow plug for the heater , what sort of temperature do you need to get it smoking?

[Last edited Apr 03, 2016 13:42:49]
"Rust never sleeps"
tony redolfi said Apr 03, 2016 16:02:11
I was going with the glow plug but changed my mind after reading about some comparative testing, the nichrome wire and wick seem to produce more smoke, there is a video somewhere of a nicrome wire against a pro unit with a plug in it. (but the nichrome method requires more time making sure your wick is in the oil correctly etc)

I'm not sure how hot it gets, at first I used a 32 gauge wire and that didn't produce enough smoke, it made the can hot and took well over 20 secs to get the smoke going,,, so I change to a 20 gauge nichome wire, now it smokes instantly and produces tons of smoke plus the can does not get hot and the wire seems to cool off after a few seconds.

later on ill get a video of the wick turning on and smoking, it can fill up the garage pretty quick, I was also complimented on how nice I been smelling the last few days due to all the baby oil lol

Matt Harradine said Apr 03, 2016 17:57:22
I have some embarassing looking blueprints for a nice set up but have no welding skills to build the enclosure I want. If anyone is interested let me know and I'll email them.

Its a glow plug design with a flow meter and uses pwm to control the plug heat.
Noah said Apr 04, 2016 03:09:15
Sweet build, looks like a quality tool.
I use a different smoking mechanism when I listen to Pink Floyd...😎
Is that the live Pulse version?
[Last edited Apr 04, 2016 03:19:12]
Massachusetts, USA
tony redolfi said Apr 05, 2016 18:13:10
yea its the pulse, haha its why I just moved to south Colorado from Pittsburgh,, its lots more fun over here in these parts and much warmer too!!

anyways,, I just got that video posted with the lid off and the smoke just being turned on,, as you can see its producing tons of smoke. it gets really thick near the end

[Last edited Apr 05, 2016 18:14:28]
Noah said Apr 06, 2016 00:44:23
Wow! That thing really cranks out some smoke!
Massachusetts, USA
ChristopherCote said Apr 17, 2016 12:48:34
Great build Tony, I been looking at building one as well for our shop at the cab stand I work at. Too much cash to get a retail model and they are super handy to have. Could you tell me the specs on the dimmer switch and also those terminal lugs going thru the can, can you get them on amazon, or maybe even a retail store? I had looked in a local electronic parts place for the terminal lugs and he said he didn't have anything that would work for me. You need something that would be insulated from the can.
ChristopherCote said Apr 17, 2016 13:14:32
LOL..ok nvm my asking about the dimmer switch..was the first thing on the list when searched amazon! But I know I have looked for terminal lugs before and I get a lot of them to choose from, but just not sure which ones would be best applicable for this use. Thats the advantage of a real store where you can have the items in your hands and can figure out on the spot if you can make them work or not, rather than ordering something online only to find out they won't be useable once you see the actual parts.
tony redolfi said Apr 17, 2016 15:30:21
I got everything from ebay,, its cheaper over there. but here is a list of key words you can look up, these are the titles of the parts I got off ebay

20 gauge Resistance Nichrome Wire

1 Set UV Leak Detector Kit for Car A/C System Dye & Glasses & 28 Led Light

(mix dye from AC kit with 14oz of baby oil) I think the syringe in the kit is 1-1/2ml

Adjustable 0 to 10psi Propane Regulator LP LPG Gas parts Precimex 7003

gauge 0-30 inh2o with 1/4 npt fitting

Manual Dimmer Switch for LED Strip Light, 12V 8A Mountable with Terminals

Binding Post Insulated Threaded - Red - Pack of 5 (here is a link)

Brass Hose Barb x Male Pipe Thread NPT, MIP Fitting

HURRICANE LANTERNS, OIL LAMPS, One Replacement Wick, 1/2' Wide x 5-1/2" Long


[Last edited Apr 17, 2016 15:43:38]
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