Bubbles and Smoke

I love bubbles. Last Fathers Day they got me a Chauvet B-550 Bubble King. It was our 4th bubble machine. We tried the cheaper plastic ones but they kept breaking and didn’t put out very many bubbles. We are still experimenting with different bubble solutions but whatever we try this machine puts out a ton of bubbles.So after playing with it for a while I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could make bubbles with smoke in them? I asked at work if anyone had a smoke machine I could borrow and sure enough Bruce had one in his office. First thing I gathered all the materials.

Here are my partners in crime.Our first test we tried to make smoke in bubbles with Dry Ice. It didn’t turn out very good. The smoke from Dry Ice dissipated too quickly. It was then we thought of trying the smoke machine. After I borrowed the smoke machine from Bruce I tried it out in my house. Sure enough my smoke detector works. No more testing inside. Hence you see our outdoor setup.I started testing by making sure the Bubble King would work with the new cheap bubble solution I am trying.It works but the bubbles are a little smaller than the last solution I tried. The video is of the smoke machine blowing into the bubble machine to make smoke bubbles.

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Later I tried to make large bubble with small bubbles inside them. Here is a picture of that.I then went on to try to feed the smoke though the bubble machine and make a large smoke bubble with bubbles inside of it.The large smoke bubbles are cool because when they pop you are left in a large cloud of smoke. As show by Jordan from next door. The smoke is vanilla scented so it’s not a bad thing to be in a cloud of it.I need to clean up how I am doing video links on the blog but all in all I am happy with the bubble experiment.

16 thoughts on “Bubbles and Smoke

  1. Marcus A Dare

    hey, i was looking at your machine from your blog and i was just wondering what is the output of the machine as in bubbles per minute? and also is there a smaller model of this machine which can do the same job of allowing us to blow smoke into the bubbles from behind, Thanks

    Marcus

    Reply
  2. paul Post author

    Hey Marcus,

    I would guess the bubble machine puts out about 15 bubbles a second. But, it’s really hard to count. I’ve tried a few smaller bubble machines in the $30 range. But they all broke pretty quickly and had very small bubble output. I finally decided to get a solid, industrial quality machine. The Chauvet B-550 Bubble King is really well build. Chauvet makes smaller machines that all look good. I just wanted the biggest. I would recommend Chauvet.

    It’s also worth noting there is a machine someone linked to me:
    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2008/09/halloween_bubble_fogger_delivers_targeted_strikes_of_fogfilled_bubbles_to_your_eyes-2.html
    It blows smoke bubbles. It is just very slow and the bubbles didn’t look like they lasted.

    Paul

    Reply
  3. Michael

    Hey. I’m working with Marcus on our project which would involve a very similar setup to yours. However we are students and the Chauvet B-550 is rather expensive!! We were wondering if it was still possible to have smoke filled bubbles using the Chauvet B-250 instead? I’m not sure if you’d know, but can you blow smoke into the bubble machine somehow so that the bubbles coming out are filled with smoke? The effect we are aiming for is a lot of smoke filled bubbles, and if you could give us any pointers, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    Michael

    Reply
  4. paul Post author

    I agree the Chauvet B-550 is expensive. (Hurry up and graduate, I am telling you the money is better afterwards. :) )

    All these machines are very simple. They all have a fan, a reservoir for the bubble fluid, bubble wands and a motor to turn the wands. The 550 has two large fans in the back. It looks like the 250 has one. All I did was put the smoke machine behind the unit facing into the fans and hit the button to emit smoke. The smoke blew though the machine and filled the bubbles.

    How you would do it depends on your needs. The part that is a little tricky is the smoke machine. The nozzle in front gets very hot and doesn’t constantly emit smoke. I didn’t time it but I would guess that you can get about 30 seconds of smoke then have to wait a minute for it to recover. I borrowed the smoke machine I used from a friend at work so I wasn’t picky. For doing a constant stream of bubbles with smoke I would want one that emits smoke constantly. Maybe even a little less smoke. I haven’t researched enough to know if that even exists. The only reason I suggest less smoke is because I really only want smoke bubbles not a layer of smoke. I am not sure that is even possible.

    BTW, the next thing I am looking into is using colored smoke. I found a recipe for making colored smoke here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuKN7dXIeR0&feature=related

    Paul

    Reply
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  6. Patrick

    Dear Sir

    Very good website . I am interested in making large size bubbles. What is the best quality machine and liquid for this process, and how large are the bubbles. Also roughly how much solution does it use per hour, any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards
    Patrick

    Reply
  7. paul Post author

    Patrick,

    Thanks. I end up bringing my bubble stuff to birthday parties where my kids are invited. The Chauvet B-550 is almost too much for the kids to handle but, the love it. The bubbles it puts out vary depending on the solution but are around 2 inches in diameter. The larger bubbles I make with the bubble wand from BeeBoo (http://www.xtremebubbles.com/index.html) They have a great wand. I actually want to make a bigger one but they don’t sell the rope they use anymore. Hopefully they will change their mind because it works great.

    I was just thinking about machines that make large bubbles before I saw your comment. I wish that the Chauvet put out larger bubbles. Before I got the Chavet I thought about making a machine. But when I saw the volume of bubbles the Chavet put out I decided to get that. I am still very happy with the Chavet purchase and will continue to use it. Now though I want more. I am considering making a bubble machine myself that make large bubbles. I will first have to determine what I mean by large. I think I would be happy (as a start) to make a machine that blew bubbles 8″-12″ in diameter. I been musing on ideas mainly based off the simple Chavet design. I haven’t gotten much further than that though. I will make a post about it when/if I do make one. I would also be interested if you find something that exists that makes large bubbles.

    Paul

    Reply
  8. patrick

    Dear Paul

    Thank you for your interesting and helpful reply, one other question , im hoping to do a project involving bubbles outside in winter. In you opinion will the bubble solution freeze outside during winter.

    regards

    Patrick

    Reply
  9. paul Post author

    Patrick,

    Winter will be tricky. Living in Southern California I don’t deal with it a lot. I do know that what makes a bubble pop (beside children) is when a spot on it dries out. This means that in times of low humidity making large bubbles is very hard. Because freezing temperatures lower the humidity you may have problems.

    Glycerine, used in many bubble solutions, combined with water has a lower freezing temperature that just water. See link:
    http://www.dow.com/glycerine/resources/table8.htm
    So maybe for smaller bubbles you will be okay. But… you will have to experiment.

    Paul

    Reply
  10. pam

    hello
    this is precisely what im tryign to do. however, with a twist. my only issue is that my event is on saturday, and already, it is almost thursday here. I have a fog machine and bubble machine, both rentals. (baby fog, and a single fan bubbler by varytech, inc.) im guessing theyre both of the less technical, less expensive, varieties. i noticed you scented your smoke with vanilla….

    the challenge here is that this is for a dinner involving taste and aroma. i want the aroma of seawater/brininess/ocean to be the smoke in my bubbles..this in itself is quite a challenge. would love some advice….and, if you have a generous amount of time, a brief phone discussion for some help. short on time, but i suppose, big on idea….just need it to pull through. thanks so much, and great post!!

    Reply
  11. Charlie

    Hi there,

    Your idea looks really great and is worth a try.

    I just have a quick question. I bought a B-550 new off of Ebay with Chauvet bubble fluid (not sure whether it was just refilled with cheap stuff or not though).

    Anyway, my bubble machine doesn’t seem to have as good output as yours! I was wondering what bubble fluid you use, and if the bubble fluid affects the size and output number? Thanks.

    Reply
  12. paul Post author

    @Pam: Sorry I didn’t see your post until now. I am sure I am too late to answer your question but I will take a stab at it anyway.

    The smoke I used came pre-scented. I’ve found links to make my own but haven’t tried it yet. I would probably try getting commercial solution.
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5340093_make-scented-fog-solution.html

    There are places to buy scented fog like the following:
    http://www.americandj.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ItemNumber=331&MainId=2&Category=Fog_Juice
    They have STRAWBERRY, LEMON, VANILLA, RUM, MUSK, PEACH, AND APPLE. Some have cautioned that they may adversely effect your machine but I would try them anyway. :)

    I wouldn’t try the flavored smoke because even though I said in the blog post it was a smoke machine, its really fog. This is a shame because I found bacon flavored smoke.

    If you still want me to call post here and I will email you.

    Reply
  13. paul Post author

    @Charlie: I’ve never used the actual Chauvet fluid. I’ve just used the cheap stuff from WalMart or Party City. That said there are time it works well and times it doesn’t. I’ve bought a gallon of bubble fluid that only gave me a bubble or two a second. I had to through it out. Another batch of the same brand worked fine. Maybe what you got was watered down or a bad batch.

    If you really want good results and don’t mind spending a little extra the Gazillion bubble solution is top notch.

    Reply
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