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Bryan Gilles
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Northern California
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I am looking for a mini-confetti blower that can be concealed in my square-circle for a comedy bird routine any ideas....It needs to fit into a space no bigger than 4.5" x 12.5" x 18"...

Magically,
Bryan
hugmagic
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Rig up a small squirrel cage blower on a battery power motor.
Richard E. Hughes, Hughes Magic Inc., 352 N. Prospect St., Ravenna, OH 44266 (330)296-4023
www.hughesmagic.com
email-hugmagic@raex.com
Write direct as I will be turning off my PM's.
GuySavoie
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Yep - a high volume blower (or the guts of a battery hair dryer minus the heating element, or personal fan) can provide the air flow. a small tube with a mesh screen bottom can be fashioned to fit over the business end of the blower, and hold the confetti/feathers/floaty stuff needed. PVC fittings, reducers, collars, from your local hardware store should provide some solutions for the confetti holder.

--- Guy
Bryan Gilles
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Someone PMed me saying the Molloy "Chattering Teeth Box" uses a small blower... I wonder if chance is using it in his "Outhouse"...does anyone know who makes this blower? Is it built by Malloy or Chance?
Chance Wolf
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The blower system is of Doug Malloy's design. I made some modifications to get more hieght but it is pretty close to his. I apologize for not being able to give you more structural details but I have to respect Doug's invention.
I am sure you will come up with a solution with the help of the fellow Café members Smile
Good luck!
Chance Wolf
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
Cliffg37
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Long Beach, CA
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Something I discovered years ago by dumb luck. If you cut the wires leading to the heating element in a handheld blow dryer, the fan will run very effectively when connected to a nine volt battery. It was stron enough to blow a ping pong ball up a 3 foot tube almost straight up. Hope that idea helps.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Bryan Gilles
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Cliff, Great idea....

Any idea on hooking this up to a "momentary switch"? I would like to be able to hit the switch or toggle and walk away from the illusion as the blower runs for a short time..... any ideas?
Cliffg37
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How long a time do you want? this is very simple to do using the hourglass principle. The wire connected to your blower is broken and connected on each side to a metal plate. The gap between the two places is only 1/4 inch or so. The plates are no bigger than a 25 cent piece (quarter) a pencil wrapped partially in alluminum foil is allowed to slide down between the plates. Gravity works for you. Once the pencil slides to where the foil no longer makes contact, the motor will shut off.

Truthfully, if you are willing to spend a little money, there are professional remote controls that would be easier to use. The hourglass does work, but has to be lined up just right.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
GuySavoie
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That doesn't sound too reliable for a timing circuit, Cliffg37.

If you'd like to use a DC based hair dryer motor as I and Cliffg37 mentioned, A very simple 2 stage 555 time delay circuit would do the job reliably. One timer to set the delay amount, and one to shut it off.

It's a pretty simple circuit that can be wired up on an experimenter's board with 555 timer ICs, a relay or two, some capacitors, resistors, diodes, and potentiometers.

A basic delay circuit is listed here:

http://www.aaroncake.net/circuits/relaytim.htm

I'll leave it as an exercise for the interested reader to pursue a circuit that will delay before powering up, then shutting down after the appropriate delay.

--- Guy
Cliffg37
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Hey guy, I assure you , what I suggested is very reliable (I have used it personally) and it works fine. Also the pencil can be replaced by a long dowel or anything else, which can increase or decrease the time. Mounting the whole business inside a paper towel cardboard tube or mailing tube will hold it reliable, and yes, it does work.

I like your curcuit too. I teach basic electronics as a physics teacher, and I may build your curcuit just for the experience. You never know when you might want something like that. It looks pretty inexpensive as well.

As for delay power up and shut down, I suppose you could double your curcuit.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
GuySavoie
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Hi Cliffg37 -

My comment was based on two observations:

1) Your own words: "The hourglass does work, but has to be lined up just right."

2) The environmental factors as presented. This is for a square circle production tube. It means the entire piece will be picked up prior to activation, and will need to be handled casually.

The same site has a "delay before turning on" circuit that would interface transparently with the circuit to which I linked. It's actually a simpler circuit by it's nature. It is available at:

http://www.aaroncake.net/circuits/relaytim2.htm

The output from this circuit is a simple replacement for the SW1 component in the original circuit (match voltage and current needs, of course,) or, if you want to electrically isolate them (can't imagine why, but you could Smile ,) you can use the relay from circuit 2 to activate circuit 1, and built them as listed.

A single 556 timer ($1.99 at Radio Shack) provides two 555 timer circuits. Relays are a buck or so. Total cost for an adjustable electronic solution should be under $10 locally. Not bad!

--- Guy
Cliffg37
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Ah, the enviornmental factors... Here of course, you are correct.

Typically I would tape my assembly (the paper towel tube, to a table leg, or somewhere it could be hidden appropriately. Of course I am not questioning your circuit. When you built it how much room did it take up? Did you put it in a small electric project box? 4 I think) I suppose you could mount your circuit into almost any shape you wanted huh?

I'll look at the other circuit.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
GuySavoie
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Well, that circuit is not my design, but the 555 circuits detailed are about as old as the 555 IC (it was introduced in 1971, IIRC.)

Dimensions: on a small experimenter's breadboard, it might take up 2"x2" x 1" tall (depending on the relays used, which are likely to be the "tallest" components. Soldered on a standard perfboard, it would be about 1/4" less tall when compared to an experimenter's breadboard.

In a project similar to the one proposed, if I was provided with the parts, a gun held to my head, and told to build it "well" within 30 minutes or meet my maker, I would probably start with a 3 or 4 inch section of 2" or 3" diameter black abs plumbing pipe.

I would breadboard the trigger circuit to test it, then solder it on a standard perfboard and trim it to a minimal size.

I would stand the pipe on a table, mark "swiss cheese" holes in the bottom third of the pipe, and drill them out to provide plenty of air flow.

I would drill support holes through the cross section in the center of the pipe and secure the fan motor inside the abs tube, with supports that criss/cross through the holes, making it into a miniature "wind tunnel" (just like a hair dryer.) The air flow would be "up" if the pipe is still standing upright on the table.

I would secure the trigger circuit in the area below the motor, by mounting it to the inner wall of the abs pipe. There is still plenty of room for air flow.

The small momentary switch/pushbutton to start the circuit timing would be located through a hole drilled near the top of the unit; probably with the actual pushbutton on the inside wall, so it is easier to engage when manipulating the load tube during the square circle sequence.

A small bank of 2-4 AA batteries would provide more than enough juice for this project, and would also fit inside the pipe with still plenty of room for air flow.

The final part of the equation would be a disc cut from metal window screen material (or fiberglass patch cloth, or plastic quilting material.) This disc is just large enough to fit into the inner diameter of the pipe, and sits directly over the fan area. The diameter of the holes should be small enough to keep any confetti/feathers/glitter from sifting through.

Once test fitted, the disc would be spun a few times over a glob of epoxy, so the entire circumference is coated. Once put in place, it is a sieve that allows the air through, while holding the projectile material at the ready.

I'd hope that after the thirty minutes, the gun would be lowered, I would be given a biscuit, and I would be put on to the next Task O'Doom. Smile

--- Guy
zaubern
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If you need a cheep remote check out Radio Shack...I got one there pretty reasonably priced. You plug the cord into the box and that into your power source and it comes with a small remote.
Zaubern Smile
GuySavoie
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If it's the standard remote for lamps and such, it's possible, but might be awkward in actual use:

1) you'll need to wire an AC source into place,
2) you'll need to use an AC blower unit,
3) you'll need to figure out a way to establish connections with the blower after replacing the square circle load tube.

If it's a DC remote controlled relay, let me know; right now, I use auto remotes that are about $50, but properly encrypted and quite reliable when I build solutions that require true remote control.

I'm always on the lookout for alternative solutions.

--- Guy
Bryan Gilles
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Is there an aftermarket blower that fits my size needs?
GuySavoie
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A quick net search found the following fan that should be able to lift your table off the ground Smile

http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.......=259-132

--- Guy
Bryan Gilles
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Guy, When it comes to building....I've got it pretty good....however, I am not too up on electronics... how would I rig this fan from the link?
GuySavoie
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If you're not up for the task, I'd recommend getting it built by someone who is; find a local who knows how to do basic electronics, and throw him an extra $10 or $20 over the cost of parts.

It's worth it to save yourself the hours of hairpulling if your circuit isn't proper.

Ask at the local Radio Shack for a teen that can solder who wants to earn a couple of bucks, ask your friends if they know somebody that can do a little electronics job for you, or call a local vocational school and see if a teacher can point you to a student who's up for the task.

--- Guy
Chance Wolf
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Bryan,
There are a lot of good suggestions above but I gotta tell ya...it is getting to be overkill. Set yourself up with a PM option and I will make this WAY EASY for you Smile
Chance Wolf
Creator of Wacky Wolf Productions & Fine Collectibles

A DECADE of building Magic and we're just getting started!

http://www.wolfsmagic.com
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