OK, got my ICE-101 on December 4th, fired it up for the first time with a bag of ice in there on December 5th. I still need to learn some of the nuances of this machine. Let's say that I'm pleased with my purchase.

1: DAMN that pump is loud. The pump to get rid of the melted ice. I take it I should pump out at the end of the night only. Obviously, if the unit can hold 20 pounds of ice, it can hold 20 pounds of ice water. No reason to hook up the drainage tubing until the show is over.

2: Ice: Should I remove the purchased ice from the bags or is it OK to leave it in the bags? I'm trying to save on clean-up time and mess afterwards as the environment is pressed for time. They don't seem to grasp the concept of "it takes a fair amount of time to pack and load out a full concert sound system".

3: Can I use ice packs? This would be great time saver. Since the ICE-101 would not be a daily operation machine, re-freesing these packs would be a nice way to avoid mess and save clean-up time.

I am wondering if it is necessary for the heated fog juice to interact with the water directly in order to work properly, or of it merely needs to be cooled. I can see ice cubes providing the most surface area and hence probably the most effective and efficient way to chill the fog. Then again, I could simply buy 2 blocks of solid ice and drop one on each side and that could handle it too.

Any suggestions for getting the fog output to spread sideways easier? Straight is great, but with the 18-foot stage and this right on the stage, it doesn't spread out too well. I'm probably going to move the fogger from stage center to angled off from a back corner to encourage spread.

The HZ-300 is nice too. The noise it makes when outputting haze is noticable but not when there is stuff going on, which is constant. Definately a set it and leave it sort of thing. I like what it's doing.

I'll stick with bags of ice cubes until further notice and advisement. This machine goes into production Friday for final tech rehearsals and then show on Saturday.

My next goal: a real fogger(I'm open to suggetions, just must have DMX and good output but as low on the current draw as I can get away with) and I'm debating that fazer now too. That and cases for these high-ticket items.
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Ice Packs in theory should work, but like you point out, not as large as a surface area to work with. So they might not be as efficient.

The fog juice needs to heat to become fog, otherwise it won't turn into fog and just remain a liquid. The fog actually comes out and into the ice bucket and then out the front. You can open the top and see what is going on.

To get it more sideways, get a/some fan/s. We have a bunch of little 12" fans and some large box fans for bigger spaces. Just note, however, the using a fan with the ICE-101 will turn the stuff into regular fog fairly quick.

As for the HZ-300, I got my HZ-500 and love the thing. Talk about quiet and efficient. It ran for about 41 hours last week right out of the box and used a little more then 3/4s of a gallon of juice. But more on that latter.
Well, the ice pack idea will be something I try in the future. I'll stick with ice cubes for now, especially since the stage manager will pay for those. I coughed up for the ICE-101, time for them to help out! I find myself really liking this unit a lot. I'll see about getting some low speed and small fans to help spread it out a bit. That plus the angle I think will make a big difference. I was thining of using some sort of a low profile v-wedge on the ground slightly in front of where the ground fog hits to force it to spread a little bit.

One thing, back to stuff you mentioned(I do pay attention!), is that you said by going with a water-based solution instead of an oil-based, it would not stick so well and would go away pretty fast. First, I'm going to say that of course, you are right. Second, in my situation, this works very well and in fact, near perfect. Due to rapid scene changes, this works in my favor. In regards to your warning that people walking through it would cause it to vanish faster, that of course is also true, but fortunately, it does work in my situation and isn't really a big problem.

Now I want DMX fans!!!

I'm going to risk angering the wife and using all the ice in the house to work with the ICE-101 this weekend a bit. It's not much ice, but I need to test some other functions of the machine. Hopefully it's enough.

OK, onto the HZ-300: Despite the noise it makes(which I have no problem with), I'm starting to wonder how I lived without this thing. I don't have the funds to afford the HZ-500(nor the jobs to justify the costs0, but man, haze sure is cool. My only problem wit the HZ-300 is that I just need to let it run a while before doors to fill the room. This isn't a real problem, just an issue I have to keep in mind.
That is a problem with all hazers. They don't fill a space nearly as fast as a fogger can. Generally, I turn my hazers on an hour or two before show depending on how large the space is and how many I have. The show I had my HZ-500 on last week, the stage was 50' wide, 30' deep, and the ceiling went up to about 30'. Wings on each side were about 15' each, so about 72,000 cubic feet. Now that is just stage and doesn't include house space which held 885 seats. So the reason I have the HZ-500 is I need to output. With that much output, in about 10 minutes, the stage was filled but not evenly. Within 30 minutes, it was filled evenly all the way across. It looks nicer then the X-310's haze and uses a lot less juice and power as well. No where near as loud as an X-310 either. If I get time this week (I should since I am stuck in North Jersey again on a week long convention), I am going to right up a little review on the little guy.
Well, doing some research, I find lots of options for "re-usable ice cubes". I found something on the Target web site, and I'll see what I can find locally QUICKLY. Basically, a sheet of "pre-made" ice cubes that can be cut apart if I wanted to do so.(I think I would). I'm probably going to buy 4 packages and then 2 mesh bags. This way, clean-up would be as simple as picking out two bags and putting them into a 5-gallon bucket at the end of the night!

No drainage, no noise, no muss, no fuss.

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