Remote Control Smoke Generator

This is a short workshop on how to make a relatively small, inexpensive, and fun smoke machine that you can use for practical jokes, magic tricks, air flow research, and anything else that comes to your mind.

Caution: The operation of the smoke machine is associated with heating, and careless use of it can lead to undesirable consequences.

Required Components

You will need:

  • Glycerin and distilled water to create a liquid for soaring.

  • Air supply pump.

  • The mouthpiece of an electronic cigarette.

  • Microcontroller WeMos.

  • Two MOSFETs.

  • Wire clip.

  • Branch pipes and connecting elements for them (with an internal diameter of 3 or 4 mm).

  • Battery (I used a lithium-ion battery from an old phone).

Additionally:

  • Power management board.

  • Some kind of foam filler for sound insulation.

  • A box in which everything will fit.

I ordered almost all the details for the project on the Internet, and they cost me less than $ 10.

Evaporator Preparation

This part of the job will require dexterity.

Take the long-nose pliers and remove the core of the evaporator. At the outer end (about 3 mm of the outer diameter), put on the wire clip (the pipe will fit on it). To connect them, heat both metal parts and apply a small amount of solder.

To create a liquid for soaring, mix 80% glycerin and 20% distilled water. If you want the smoke to be thicker, add more glycerin to the mixture and vice versa. A ratio of 80 to 20 seemed to me optimal.

Add liquid to the evaporator. It is better not to fill the entire container, but only to wet the fibers inside. Since with the horizontal arrangement of the evaporator, excess liquid in it can interfere with the heating of the spiral. In this case, you will hear a hiss (as if it is functioning), but there will be no smoke. If this happens, remove the cap, remove excess liquid and collect the evaporator again.

Preparing the remote controller

If you have not already installed the Blynk application, then you can do this at the link //www.blynk.cc/getting-started/. After installation, you must register.

To install the development environment for Arduino, go to //www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software. Download and install the development environment, and in the Blynk application, create an empty project.

As the controller, select ESP8266, and the connection type is WiFi. A developer key will come to your email. He will be needed soon.

Add a button and a slider to the project and assign them the corresponding functions (you can do this as shown in the images). Instead, you can add two buttons, but with the slider you can adjust the density of the smoke.

Connect the WeMos controller to your computer, open the Arduino IDE, select the ESP8266_Standalone_Smartconfig from the options provided, replace the developer key with the one you received and upload the code to the controller.

After that, you'll need the ESP8266 SmartConfig app.

Open it, enter your password for WiFi connection, restart WeMos, wait a few seconds and in the application dialog box, click on the confirmation button. It will answer you that the ESP is tied to the current network. From this moment (while the WeMos card is in the registered network's field of effect), you can control the controller from anywhere (it is not necessary to connect to the same network).

Soldering device

Following the wiring diagram, solder the wires and insulate them.

The bare wires should not touch parts of the microcontroller board (you can use electrical tape).

Check system operation.

If everything is functioning properly, then you can pack everything in a box.

In my version, between the switch and the battery, I added a simple charge controller.

Using a remote control smoke machine

I used this device to play colleagues.

With a low smoke emission rate, the machine can be used to study air flows. For example, I checked the operation of the fan of my computer and conducted some experiments on it.

You can still make a vortex gun and fill it with smoke so that the rings can be seen.

WARNING: Due to ongoing processes, the evaporator may heat up. If the device will work for more than one minute, then its temperature will become quite high. Keep this in mind and do not leave the evaporator unattended.

Test video

Practical jokes

Be sure to watch the video on how to play your friends or colleagues very creatively.

Original article in English