The Lite F/X 1741 fogger was cheap and readily available a few years ago. Many of us have one or more of them that still work great. One down-side to these fog machines is that it’s tough to find fog timer remotes and wireless remotes that actually work with them. I’ll show you how to make common remotes that are readily available work with these foggers.
When you go down to your local party store, they have fog remotes that have the same kind of connector as the Lite F/X units have, so you’d think that they would be compatible. It’s true that several manufacturers use IEC-320 C13/C14 connectors, but Lite F/X uses one pinout and everybody else uses a different one.
The above schematic is drawn as if you are looking at the male connector that is attached to the remote from the pin side. The first thing we notice is that the button connects the same two pins together when you press it. This explains why simple button-and-light remotes from other manufacturers work on the Lite F/X foggers (even though the lights act a little weird), but when you get a fancier remote that requires power from the machine, it does not work.
Most foggers that use this type of connector have the same 3 signals on their pins: Line, Neutral and Output.
- Line: Connects to the “Line” wire of the power plug
- Neutral: Connects to the “Neutral” wire of the power plug
- Output: Hooks to the fog machine’s pump. Connect this pin to the Neutral pin to make the fogger operate.
Looking at the above schematic, we see that the Neutral pin stays the same between all manufacturers, and that the Neutral and Output pins are reversed between Lite F/X and everyone else. This means that it’s a simple task to convert a remote from one standard to the other. You just need to take it apart and reverse the Line and Output wires.
Here’s an example of this mod performed on a fog timer remote that is readily available:
When you take these remotes apart, it’s not immediately obvious why the board doesn’t just come right out. The trick is to desolder the 3 buttons as they are the panel-mount kind and can’t be pulled through the front of the case. There are a total of 6 points you need to desolder:
You’ll need to remove the 2 knobs too. They just pull off. After doing those 2 steps the board should lift right out of the case.
In this remote the Line and Out connections are clearly marked, so we know that we need to swap the white and green wires.
Here’s another example using a wireless remote I found:
Once again the connections are clearly marked on the board, so this is an easy mod. Just swap the white and green wires. Notice a pattern? The manufacturers of these remotes buy their IEC-320 C14 cables pre-made, and since they are typically used as a standard power cable, the same colors always go to the same pins. (Well, mostly. I did find one with a red wire instead of green once). This means that even if you get a remote that doesn’t have the connections labeled anywhere, it’s easy to determine which two wires to swap.
The short version: If you get a fogger remote and it doesn’t work on your Lite F/X fog machine, take the remote apart and swap the white and green wires.
That’s it. Lots of explanation for a simple mod. There aren’t many remotes that are made to work with the Lite/FX foggers right out of the box, but this mod will let you use easy to find but incompatible remotes with your machine.