20121030 B 06 crop

100" top-string. Single strand bottom string. HEC/guar/eGoo mix.

Since I am quickly running out of my Dow Cellosize QP100MH HEC and have a supply of a few different types of Natrosol 250, I have been mixing up some HEC-based juice  using the Natrosol in search of the right amounts of each. Natrosol 250 comes in a variety of viscosities. I have already found that 250HHR (the most viscous formulation) works nearly as well as the QP100MH when substituted on a 1:1 basis.

Since 250HR, the least viscous of the 250 series, is pretty widely found, I figured that I should explore that next. I mixed up a batch using 1.5:1 (Natrosol for QP100MH) substitution. While I haven't measured the viscosity, the resulting juice seemed a lot more viscous than the "standard" QP100MH juice.

With a small dimestore wand, I was getting 10 to 20 colorful bubbles per dip. Early this morning, it was another cool overcast day -- almost foggy -- with somewhere between 80%-93% humidity and little wind. Similar to the weather that I have had on some recent epic test sessions. Full of hope, I lugged out my gear for what I thought would be a quick 10 minute session with a 100" top-string loop to see how this 250HR-based mix worked. I was using the same full-ply rayon topstring and t-shirt yarn bottom string that created so many gigantic bubbles the last few sessions.

The results were disappointing. Small (2 to 3 foot diameter) bubbles were working great. They were colorful and would last up to a few minutes. But giant bubbles were proving hard to close. And when they did close, they were breaking within a second or two. Very unlike the last few sessions. After about 7 bubbles, it seemed that I was having similar problems as I had a couple of weeks ago with a QP100MH mix that had extra HEC but less soap. That juice (my 2012 10 16 juice which I need to blog) was a big disappointment. I attributed the fail to the dilution -- but after this morning -- I wonder if the problem was the extra HEC. It might be that these mixes are simply too thick. I did about 10 more dips before I decided to see if there was a fix.

Yesterday's mixtures of HEC juice and guar juice and also HEC juice and diluted eGoo worked so well that I decided to see if adding some of my guar-based bubble mix or some diluted eGoo would improve things.

The first step was adding some guar juice. Things immediately improved. It was a bit easier to close giants, and they were lasting a bit longer but not terribly much longer. [NOTE: after reviewing the video, it isn't clear if the guar juice really improved the longevity or if that was just the normal random variation. A few of the HEC-only bubbles were better than I had remembered.]

When I added just a touch of diluted eGoo juice there was an immediate improvement in both size and longevity. I was creating giants that were bigger than anything I had created before and they were lasting much longer. Much, much longer. It is possible that the difference was due to a shift in conditions, but since this has now happened two sessions in a row that seems unlikely. Also, I switched to mostly eGoo for a brief period in the middle and the longevity declined immediately. A few of the super giants lasted more than 30 seconds -- and quite a few of the ones that broke earlier broke due to collision with the ground.

More testing needs to be done both by myself and others, but this combination seems like it is a real winner.

20121030 B 28 tube

Some massive tubes were possible with just a single strand of deconstructed mop yarn on the bottom.

About one-third of the way through the session, I switched to using a single white strand of deconstructed rayon mop yarn (with full-ply RubberMaid WebFoot microfiber mop yarn top-string) and was creating bubbles just as big as with the higher-capacity t-shirt yarn bottom. I even created a couple of 40-50 tubes that broke when the leading edge hit the ground. Amazing with just a single-strand bottom string.

One thing was quite clear after reviewing the video. Even though the bottom string was so lightweight, not a single bubble broke at the bottom. There are cases where the bottom string might have been limiting the size partly due to the tendency of the light bottom string to sail or fly out as it become empty of juice. The rayon doesn't seem to be self-closing at all at this size even when it is quite drained of juice.


Some highlights. This is a "quick cut" video. There were so many bubbles that I wanted to get into the video that I didn't show the bubbles in their entirety. Some of the super giants lasted just an instant, but a few lasted 30 seconds ore more. I may do a longer version for documentation of the session. Almost all of these were with the full-ply microfiber top-string and single rayon strand bottom:

Two cool tubes. These were with the full-ply microfiber top-string and single rayon strand bottom:

A few nice giants from this session in their entirety. These were with the full-ply microfiber top-string and single rayon strand bottom

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.