Christmas came early for the school Tech Crew this year, with the delivery of a 1500W Artificial Snow Machine.
This awesome beast featured in our school’s Christmas Countdown Assembly; as the Junior Choir sang, the Tech Crew funnelled a steady stream of snow (actually light foam) over the singers’ heads. Yay! Snow in the Performing Arts Centre in Australia in summer!
In the olden days (as in twenty years ago) all our productions featured fog machines. These industrial monsters produced their beautiful low-lying fog effect by slowly immersing a block of dry-ice into a vat of boiling water. Safety concerns? What, from dry ice (temp < -70C), boiling water (temp >99C) and electricity? Hah!
But now we have our new favourite toy, though fitting it into any other performances this year may be interesting, to say the least.
The machine is a model SM-1500. This video gives an idea of its output (but ours doesn’t have the remote).
I bought the snow machine on the Australian eBay, cost $125, postage $39 to South Australia. Delivery was snappy with the contents safely and securely packaged. All kudos to the seller panatechnology, who runs the online store Panatech Electronics Factory outlet. It has an air volume switch (high / low) and weighs 13kg without the snow fluid.
It can draw 1500W (so put it on its own circuit) and warms up very quickly; less than a minute is sufficient. It comes with a wired remote but can also be controlled by a DMX 512 connection.
The machine was easy to set up and start but be warned: it will create a huge pile of foam if pointed near the ground as it can pump out half a litre of snow each minute.
Pointing it up at a 45 degree angle achieved the best throw and spread. We found the low air volume combined with short burst produced more than enough snow for our purposes.
Noise is an issue and we needed the whole choir singing to mask the sound of the fan. The effect though is brilliant and certainly added huge amounts of interest – and excitement – to our themed assembly.