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Tony Thomas
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So, if you were going to modify a Wiz Kote machine to update it with a new paint job and make the device appear different, what would you make it look like? I'm taking some ideas...

Here is one. You could paint the front to look like a microwave oven, with a lightening bolt across the front. Ask the kids if they have heard of a dry cleaner? How about a microwave? Well, have you ever heard of a Microcleaner? That's right boys and girls it cleans with microwave technology...
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Stevethomas
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You (I need to, as well) first need to update the smoke system with a glo-plug so it's simpler and more reliable.

Steve
Tony Thomas
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Hmmm. That is concerning. Mine is being built as we speak (supposed to be finished this week). Don't you think one built in 2011 will be reliable?
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Stevethomas
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I love my W-K, but after 9-11, the inability to buy, transport, use, possess or ship the item called "electric matches" meant you have to use nichrome ignitors. I hate those. The W-K is VERY reliable if you get a good batch of ignitors. The glo-plug is just a better system. I still haven't upgraded mine, yet.

Steve
Tony Thomas
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This is the note I received today from the maker of the Wiz Kote. He is answering my concerns about reliability and how the units ingnighter has changed over the years. Y'all might find this helpful...

"Concerning a glow plug, I have never used glow plugs in a Wiz Kote. It might be possible, but I am not sure if they would work 100% or not. The regular igniters AKA electric matches have worked just fine for several years and are reliable. I don't know that adding a glow plug would be an upgrade. Personally, I would not trust them, but if you want one, I can look into it and see about installing one, but I will not guarantee the reliability, I just don't know. It would be untested waters. The only advantage to the glow plugs would be that you wouldn't have to replace an igniter each show, which could be important if you are doing hundreds of shows a year. I used glow plugs one time to ignite flash powder in a flash pot, and the flame from the flash paper and flash powder kept burning (or blowing) the nichrome wire in two on the glow plug. And the glow plugs were something like $4.00 each and that has been quiet a few years ago.

A lot of the Wiz Kotes that you see for sale on the used market are the very old units that used electronics gutted from a toy phazer gun and had a steel smoke pan on top of the base that rusted and had alligator clips on the top to connect the igniters, which also rusted. The new ones are so much better with an aluminum smoke pan and the connectors are underneath the lid on the base. Also, the electronics (automatic) are now custom made for the Wiz Kote now and are very reliable. I have never had one fail yet. When people talk about upgrading a Wiz Kote, it usually means putting in all new electronics."
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Sam Sandler
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Tony

george makes a beautiful prop! don't go with the glow plug I still use the electric matches with no probles!
its reliable and works well. the key to learn the right amount of smoke poder with the slow cotten don't wory about he electronisc portion.

have fun and enjoy.

did you by a retrival chest as well!?
sam
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Chance Wolf
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Tony,
I Created and Designed my own Glow Plug system for my Cellulator effect and Sneeker Tweeker with great success.
Many units are out there working with no complaints. The only "Must Do" as I write in the instructions, you MUST use NEW Energizer batteries which will give you 15-20 reliable ignitions. Overall, much cheaper than the original Ignitor flash Cotton system with the Wiz Kote.
Also, you DO NOT use flash paper or cotton with my system. We supply a Smoke Powder that has been determined NON PYRO and does NOT burn the Glow Plug Coil.
A lot of research went into my system and it is very reliable.
Regarding design, I have customized several Wiz Kotes,
Here is a link to my custom design.
http://wolfsmagic.com/Wacky%20Wiz-Kote.htm

I am sorry but I cannot allow you to make an exact copy but it might inspire some thoughts.
Good luck with the project!!
Chance Wolf
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Tony Thomas
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Great design Chance. Thanks for showing me that. I certainly wont copy (couldn't if I tried), but it is stimulating some ideas. Thank you - sincerely.

Your comments about the glo plug have me in a quandry. George was very nice about the glo plug suggestion and even said he would figure out how to install it if I wanted him to, but he was clear that he had no experience with it, and coudn't guarantee reliability. He said his current models are 100% reliable and well constructed.

I really don't know how to compare. Earlier today I told him to just build it for me the way he typically does. But then Chance tells me that he prefers glow plugs. I could call him back. Can someone speak to the pros and cons of glow plug vs. elecric matches?
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Chance Wolf
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Tony,
I would have George build it the way he does and see if it works for you.
He seems to have engineered a more reliable system so go for it.
Stick with his system or it may create a longer delay in getting your prop as he would have to R&D the whole system.
I just felt it necessary to defend the Glow Plug system but was not stating the case that it was better or not.
Surely better than the old Wiz Kote system but his new one sounds pretty darn good.
If you don't like it then you can always make the changes.
Hope this helps
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

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magic4u02
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Getting back to the original question, I think it would be cool to make it a time traveling machine. That would leave you open for all kinds of interesting and creative routines. It would also still give reason for a shoe to be burnt since it perhaps got lost or (aged) as it came back form the future etc.).

You could also use other objects and have something (instead of being burnt) become old. For example a cell phone is placed in and the time traveler machine knob goes bonkers taking it back to the 1950s. You lift the lid off to try and stop the device and the cell phone turns into a funny rotary dial phone.

So many different ideas could spark from the time travel concept and can be used to theme a history or educational theme for school assemblies of library style shows. If it is a time machine, the fire element would not always have to be used. It could just be the sounds and the knobs and perhaps something malfunctions on the machine.

This opens the creative mind to numerous possibilities. Something modern day can go back in time. Even a question asked by a student could come back as an object that answers that question. It can also be used to advance time as well. A few years back the library theme was bugs. What if you placed in a picture or stuffed animal of a caterpillar and the machines forwards time and the end result is a butterfly.

I think if we think past what the object really is and open ourselves up to what it can become, we can create numerous situations, themes, stories and routines that are vastly interesting and unique.

Kyle
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Lou Hilario
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I installed a 2 channel remote for my Cellulator. One channel to trigger the buzzer and the other to trigger the smoke. In this way, I don't have to go near the unit at all.
The only problem with the glow plug is you have to clean it immediately after the show.
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magic4u02
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Has anyone ever played around with creating the smoke but without fire or a glow plug? I am looking for a safer way to create smoke that is just easier, safer and not such a mess. Just curious is all.

Kyle
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Lou Hilario
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I did try using the smoke from those model train toys but the smoke was not enough to create the burning effect. I think nowadays, the new smoke units in magic use the same system in electronic cigarettes technology combined with those mini vacuum cleaners for computer keyboards.
A long time ago, I made one using a dc portable aquarium air pump and an oil smoke producer from a toy train. It worked but I never was able to use it in magic. Just a fun project.
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magic4u02
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I think there is a way to do this safely and provide the smoke without the fire. I just have to play around with options.

Kyle
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magicmanfrank
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You GO, Kyle!!!!

Keep us posted!

=Frank=
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magic4u02
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Thanks, Frank. I have a few options and ideas. I just never use the fire at all because of the fire laws in the oplaces I perform at. It is almost not worth the total hassle I face. That is what prompted a cleaner and safer system that can deliver a smoke effect but is not fire and not toxic.

I know there are toys out on the market that create smoke rings and effects using plain water. I am also thinking a small or self-contained fog machine would even be a remote possibility.

The answer has to be out there.

Kyle
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Chance Wolf
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Hey guys,
For the record, I researched this "smoke/fire" issue.
The Smoke Powder we supply is NON-PYRO rated by the Fire Dept.
Some have a hard time believing this but it is.
The Fire Marshals use the for Fire Tests simulating fires, flow of smoke, ventilation etc.
Just thought I would get that out there.
Thanks
Chance
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

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magic4u02
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Chance: great to know. I really appreciate that. I am still trying to find an easier way though. That is just me. I do not like to have to mess around with glow plugs and the like. If I could figure out an easier and safer way, then that would be very cool. I do appreciate your ideas and sharing.

Kyle
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JamesinLA
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I use a flashpaper fuse and a lighter.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Razamatazz Magic
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Being magic makers and performers ourselves, we still think Chances version is the best version to see in any act. Come on guys, just look at it. It's Stunning. As for the smoke effect, Lou is bang on with the electronic cigarette. They even allow these on airplanes so it would be great to try and convert this for the effect.
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