Easy Timer Hack For Budget Fog Machines

I built up a light truss with some lasers and needed fog to see them. I clicked over to that giant supermegaevil online market run by a guy that looks like Lex Luther, complete with an inflatable wife, and to my dismay, none of the budget options under $200 had timer controls. I’m not spergy enough to spend a lot on a dumb fog machine. I saw a lot of people asking about timer control compatibility and if anyone had figured it out. I found a simple, solder-free way that anyone can do with virtually no tech knowledge. You could do it inside the timer if you wanted to take it all apart to do it solder pro; however, you will still have to swap splice 3 pin timer plugs because one is square and one is round, so they are not compatible, which is all I did. My way is safe, easy, and only takes a couple minutes for anyone.

What you need:

1:Fog machine with wired manual controller. I don’t believe in advertisements, so there are no specific names or links to aid you here, but I chose the top-reviewed one. They are all essentially the same, though at low price points. (Use the contact form if you’re really lost here.)

2: Fog timer controller: It doesn’t matter what one; they all look and function the same. Some companies brand them by putting a name on them, but that’s just cosmetic. I got one from a used site that the homeless person was selling with the fogger. I presumed the fogger was broken junk. It worked for an hour or so, being old and stored improperly between Halloweens, but I knew the timer would be good. All I wanted was a timer, so a gamble on the fogger was just a bonus. It still came out to be less expensive than a new timer on its own, which is usually around the $25–$30 price range.

3: Tape (electrical best or any sort of insulating kind). Scotch would work fine too, or even Band-Aids if in a pinch. A few wraps with masking would even work. It’s really low current. Wire nuts are best if you happen to have some around.

4: Scissors or a knife (a wire strip, crimp, or cut multitool is ideal here, but it doesn’t matter; the wires are soft and easy to cut.)

All fog machines come with a manual press as well as a wired controller. The end that connects to the machine is


You want to cut that end off with a pair of scissors from the manual controller; likewise, cut the square plug off the timer. You can toss the square plug now, as you won’t need it.


There are 3 wires in both the 3-pin plug from the manual controller and the timer controller that had the square incompatible plug. Separate them and twist them up tight. Don’t tape them up until you test. Mine was:

Controller Black to Round Plug Brown

Controller White to Round Plug Blue

Controller Yellow to Round Plug Black

Yours is likely the same or close to that. Don’t trip if some of your wires aren’t the same color as mine. There are only three things that can happen if you get it wrong. 1: It doesn’t work. 2: It works, but it’s backwards, as in the red button being swapped with another one, like the yellow or green buttons. (theres lights) 3: It works perfectly as it should. Possibility 2 even helps get to goal 3 because of the easy swap! Make sure none of the three uninsulated wire parts are touching, and you are also not touching them when plugged in to figure it out with trial and error as needed.

After verifying by testing that it works, tape the spliced wires together individually so none of the different wires touch each other, then tape all of them together.

Press your power red and your yellow auto control buttons, and after the fogger heats up, they will light up and start running at the durations and intervals you have set. (The color of mine was the black one everyone has, but I spray canned it white for motif sake.) It works as it should!

Other tips. If you plan to mount using a pro truss clamp, you’ll need to widen the hole on the bracket because it’s a smidge too small. A boaring bit and drill work ideally, but those scissors or a knife work fine too. Stick them in and shave till the bolt fits in. Easy.


Make your own water-based haze or fog fluid. It’s incredibly easy and saves a ton of money from the store. Also safer because you know what’s in it, as opposed to someone who knows where and what these sites sell. There’s a tutorial online everywhere for that. You can also add scented oils of your choosing. Anything for a decanter works. Lavender, patchouli….etc. A little baby oil will make it fresh-smelling. Pumpkin spice for Halloween is a basic SZN. Possibilities? Endless. Happy travels. Z~

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