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Scarecrow
07-28-2009, 02:35 PM
We are looking at creating a spake cage that our patrons walk by. Are there any issues that anyone has had in the past? with safety? Fire Marshal?

Looking at using car charger, attached to metal pipe that gets scrapped along metal screening.

Thanks

lerandell
07-28-2009, 03:18 PM
a car charger alone wont get you much of a spark. we used a car battery, very large gauge wire, 100 Amp DC circuit breaker, and a charger to keep the battery charged up. awesome sparks! Here it is on our 2006 video at the 2:25 mark. never had any spark or burn issues.

let me know if you want more details. ive still got the rig in storage.

7DBLPdaIctA

lerandell
08-08-2009, 10:21 PM
I've have had a few request on how I did mine so here it is.
****** Disclaimer ******** Build at your own risk!!!
A few safety tips on using a car battery to do this.
Have the battery in a well ventilated area.
Keep an eye on the temp of the battery. Don't let it get super hot. If you are over using it, let it rest and cool down. This may not be a good setup where your sparking every 15 to 30 secs all night. We were doing it about every 2 to 5 mins. all that being said we have used this setup for 3 years with zero issues. it does make a large spark so give the customer some room to move back. our halls are 4ft wide.
items you will need
- Wire screen
- Battery charger
- DC circuit breaker (we used one for a high end car stereo system)
- car battery
- Large gage jumper cables
- pipe / electric conduit
connect your charger to the battery
the yellow jumper cable wire goes from the negative side of the battery and is bolted to the screen on the other side.
the black wire is attached to the positive side then to one side of a DC breaker the from the Dcv breaker to a short section of electrical conduit.
you can see the copper crimp rings I used on each end of the black wire. there is also one of those connectors at the pipe end with a screw thru it and wraped in electrical tape to keep it sturdy and to form a grip for the actor.

Allen H
08-08-2009, 11:04 PM
Very nice, great helpful post. I have done mine a bit differently but I may try one with this set up this season.
Allen H
P.S. how are your mini spots turning out?

lerandell
08-08-2009, 11:29 PM
thanks!
mini spot are still waiting on my ebay order of LEDs. The smallest tube I found at Lowe's is an aluminum 10mm Inside Diameter tube. of course I screwed up and ordered the 5mm LEDs. Doh!

IF YOUR 555
08-09-2009, 12:30 AM
Looks like fun, I need a new project! Thanks for sharing.

hsmag
08-10-2009, 06:28 PM
At a haunt I worked at about 15 years ago we did the spark screen with a car charger hooked up to a fabricated knife (it was cut out of steel and had rounded edges and corners and around the handle we had a piece of large hose cut and slipped around the base to protect your hands. It was wide, kind of like a paddle and was shaped similarly to a pirate sword. Keep in mind this was 15+ yrs ago). The sparks weren't huge but it was enough (at that time anyway) to get a reaction from the guests. We never had any issues with the fire marshal or anything getting out of hand, however I did have one incident where I got bored and left the knife on one area for too long and the metal mesh got red hot (we were using heavier gauge fencing than chicken mesh). I thought it had cooled down but it hadn't and when I touched the metal I got a nice mustard-yellow blister on my hand.

As long as you don't leave the metal object in one spot for too long and you keep it moving along the mesh you should be fine. I don't think your fire marshal would object as long as you take the proper safety precautions and make sure there's nothing that could catch fire in the vicinity.

Mad Wax Sculptor
08-11-2009, 01:18 AM
for the wand you can take a piece of copper pipe and hammer the end out into a flattened end and then attach that to the cable

Mad Wax Sculptor
08-11-2009, 01:27 AM
fyi most newer model car battery chargers have a switch in them to cut off so they wont heat up they work better if you keep the wand moving. I added a holder on a grounded piece of wood to store the wand when not in use. I know everyone has seen this but if not attach the cable to the bar of a chainsaw instead of a wand. This works best if you use an old car instead of mesh.