Smart Fog Controller Hack

Looking to integrate your fog machine into Home Automation or just simply make it wifi enabled... This will show you how.

This project is a bit more complex but if you ever want to control a fog machine with Home Automation, this post is for you. The hack is designed where you can still use the original features of the machine with the added benefits of a smart device. Details and Circuit Design Coming Soon!

Note: Working with AC voltages is DANGEROUS, care must be taken to prevent any short circuits or mistakes in connection. And as always, you are doing this project at your own risk and the Author cannot be held liable for any damages.

The concept explained and demo'ed

Supplies

  • 5V Relay Module (1 Channel)

  • AC Sensing Circuit (See "Building an AC Sensing Circuit")

  • D1 Mini ESP8266 (or an ESP8266/ESP32 board alternative but you will need to adapt the pin configuration)

  • (Optional) 5V 1A 6W Isolated Switching Power Supply (PLG06A-5V)

  • (Optional) Computer power cord extension cable, 1.5ft (Monoprice has the best price)

  • (Optional) Qty 2 - GX16-3 Panel Metal Mount Circular Metal Aviation Connector Adapter Male Female Plug Socket (3 Pins)

  • Fog Machine (This article is designed around the Chauvet Hurricane 700 but most fog machines would work with this hack)

Building an AC Sensing Circuit

Since a fog machine runs on AC power you need a way to convert the AC signal that indicates the fog machine is ready into a microprocessor. This can be done with an AC sensing circuit who's primary components are a Bridge Rectifier and an Optocoupler. See the circuit diagrams below.

To make this compatible with 220v AC current you will need to swap the 33k ohm and 330 ohm resistors. Details coming soon.

AC Sensing Circuit Build (5v only)

Parts

  • 2cm x 8cm PCB (Cut in half) [Amazon]

  • DB107 Bridge Rectifier [Mouser]

  • LTV-816 Optocoupler [Mouser]

  • 33k ohm, 1/2 watt Resistor [Mouser]

  • 330 ohm, 1/2 watt Resistor [Mouser]

  • 2.2 uf Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitor [Mouser]

  • 2 Pole Fixed Terminal Block [Mouser]

  • (Optional) Male Header Pin [Amazon] (You can direct wire to the ESP board, I tend to modularize things if I need to replace parts in the future)

Details and Build Video Coming Soon!

Hacking the controller

Hacking the system boils down to tapping into the wires that feed the remote to sense when the LED turns on indicating it is ready to disperse fog and connecting the two wires together that trigger the fog. AC power is what runs the entire fog machine to proceed with caution and at your own risk.

See the wiring diagram below to understand how each component interconnects to make up the entire smart hack.

Wiring Diagram

Common Controller Color Code Conversion

Common Remote on no name fog machines

There is a common controller that is used on no-name or non mainstream brands of fog machines which uses a yellow, brown and blue color coding. Below you will find a color conversion for this remote with the color coding found in Chauvet Hurricane remotes.

Black = Yellow Green = Brown White = Blue

Providing Power

There are two ways to provide power to your D1 Mini... either through a USB micro power supply or by tapping into the the fog machine power cord and using a PLG06A-5V transformer (see "Wiring Diagram").

The Build

From This...

To This...

To THIS...

Details Coming Soon!

Flashing Your Controller

I am not going to cover how to flash an espHome because there documentation that already exists to do this. Visit the espHome site for installation details or add the espHome plugin to Hass.io to flash an espHome device. I have provided a template YAML config based on the diagram above.