View Full Version : spark fence

X-Treme Torment
05-18-2011, 12:26 PM
Last year i made a spark fence from connecting a metal rood (with plastic on end for handle) to a battery and then the battery to the lower corner of the metal fence. But i have heard from people that this is very dangerous and could potentially blow up. And from what i remember from last year it did get a little hot at the end of the night. Is there any other way to get the same effect but without using a car battery? (and i donít want to buy one for $600 on Haunted props either ) haha

05-18-2011, 12:37 PM
welder, i believe. We'll be looking into the same thing this year

X-Treme Torment
05-18-2011, 12:42 PM
o good idea.... But would it start melting the metal once you touch it?

Twin Locusts
05-18-2011, 04:27 PM
Car Battery charger is the standard method, called a jump box on a used car lot. I'll find a diagram and post it later. It's safe and effective.

X-Treme Torment
05-18-2011, 04:50 PM
o thank you that sound good.

Dr Spooktakular
05-18-2011, 07:08 PM
I set up my spark fence this week. I purchased a battery charger from Harbor Freight for $39.99. Hooked everything up, took about 10 minutes tops. I followed the following instructions from www.hauntedillinois.com.

Although spectacular, this effect could be potentially dangerous if certain safety precautions are not observed. In order to make this effect safe, the following safety tips should be observed:

Have the operator of this effect wear heavy work gloves and safety glasses.
Keep the effect a safe distance from the audience, either in a recessed area or behind plexiglass. This will prevent patrons' fingers from getting pinched or sparks flying in their eyes.

The construction of this effect is simple. You need to find a section of chain-link fence or a metal grid of some sort that is durable and that you can see through easily. Also needed are a heavy duty car battery charger, 2 battery cables and a metal rod.

Set up the chain-link fence between where your ghoul will be and the audience. The fence can either be full length or just a one or two foot high section along the wall in a hallway. Electrically connect the fence to the negative (-) terminal of the charger with one of the battery cables. Connect the metal rod to the positive (+) charger terminal with the other battery cable. When the audience starts to walk by, run the metal rod along the fence in fast, long strokes and watch the sparks fly!

Note: Using a regular car battery in place of the battery charger is not recommended. A car battery puts out a lot more current than a charger and the rod could even fuse to the fence. If that were to happen, the dead-short could potentially cause the battery to heat up and explode.

You can surprise the audience by having this effect set-up behind them. As they are watching the scene in front of them, scare them from behind! Or you can use this in a dark hallway. As the audience is walking down a dark hallway, light up the scene with some sparks!

Although this scene is electrically safe (12 volts DC can not electrocute you), you will want to protect your customers from injury. Since your ghoul will be swinging a metal rod against a fence, there may be a small chance that one of the audience members may be holding on to the fence at the same time and their hands may get hit by the rod. Be sure to either have the scene well lit or have the fence recessed slightly so it will be harder for the audience to touch (see diagram 2). For additional protection, you may want to cover to recessed opening (shown in diagram 2) with fine wire mesh (the stuff used for screen doors) or plexiglass, so that it will be impossible for the audience to get injured.

You will want to protect the operator of the effect by having them wear heavy work gloves to protect from burns if the rod heats up, and also have them wear safety glasses to protect their eyes from flying sparks.

Gore Galore
05-18-2011, 07:20 PM
This is actually very simple effect.
However it is best if you purchase a high quality jump start/batter charger say a Craftsman from Sears.
In other words. One with reset overload protection.

Using a car battery, it can weld itself to the steel you are sparking against. And yes it can blow up.

With the overload protect, it will kick its internal breaker making it a safe effect. And then you can reset.
Just don't do this from overhead or too close or you will be dropping sparks on your patrons. Yes, you can burn them this way.
Bolt the negative to the steel you are sparking against (fence, expanded metal etc....). And bolt the Positive to a solid metal rod, such as 1/2 hot rolled steel with a thick rubber handle to protect your actor.

X-Treme Torment
05-18-2011, 08:14 PM
i tried getting on www.hauntedillinois.com and it dosent have a section on how to's..... Where did u get that infor on the spark fence?

05-18-2011, 08:40 PM
the one thing everyone doing this has GOT TO WATCH OUT FOR is: don't accidentally leave the circuit closed! These sparks are great effects but only for short bursts. You are essentially SHORTING A CIRCUIT which doesn't sound like something you want in a haunted house. i would ESPECIALLY make the surrounding areas fire proof.

if you happen to hold the circuit closed, you can eventually heat up the wires enough to get burned, literally. ABSOLUTELY make sure that there's no way to accidentally leave the device on.

Allen H
05-18-2011, 09:48 PM
My two cents= Add a foot pedal to Dr spooktaculars plans- otherwise they are great. the foot pedal will mean that it can only be triggered when the actor depresses the pedal. That way the rod cant accidentially touch the fence and complete the circuit while the actor is away.
Allen H

05-18-2011, 10:14 PM
There was a vendor at hauntcon who had a portable spark system.

Dr Spooktakular
05-18-2011, 10:20 PM
Try this link: http://www.hauntedillinois.com/h3.php

If this doesn't work, on the main page, upper left, click resources, then click additional info, then click prop ideas, a whole list of ideas and how to create them will cover the page.

05-19-2011, 12:04 PM
i tried getting on www.hauntedillinois.com and it dosent have a section on how to's..... Where did u get that infor on the spark fence?

Search "haunted illinois spark grid" it'll come up that way.

Nice idea Allen

X-Treme Torment
05-24-2011, 07:47 PM
there we go... thank you dr spook

Mad Wax Sculptor
05-25-2011, 11:47 PM
I have the traditional spark fence in my frankenstein lab which everyone loves and just added a chainsaw spark wall at the chainsaw room finale . I took a dead gasless chainsaw and attached the cable to the bar and the screwed a full piece of corrugate roof metal to the wall and attached the other clamp to it .I have noticed rebar works great and most battery chargers have a thermal shut off switch to temporarily kill power if overloaded for too long. I love Allans idea of the switch pad maybe even put it under the actor so it works only when hes there

05-29-2011, 12:15 AM
There was a vendor at hauntcon who had a portable spark system.

was it this? http://shotinthedarkscaretools.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=25

05-30-2011, 01:16 AM
The foot switch/pedal thing is a good idea, adds another fail safe incase something goes wrong and will not work if the actors not there. you never know, they could set the rod down and it could get bumped into the fence. Acutally the same concept of a foot switch is used in most amusement/carnival rides, so if the operator leaves or has a heart attack, the ride stops. They call it a dead man swith lol, kind of fitting!