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davidjones007
02-19-2013, 09:55
Hi all,
New to the whole laser scene, just wanted to know if anybody could recommend a really cheap setup as it seems my type of thing, but don't want to go out breaking the back to then find out it's not my thing at all, looking for something really basic at the minute. Needs to have manual control though, no idea but IDLA looks alot easier. Looking at pangolin's quickshow software, if anybody could suggest a cheaper better version then i'd be over the moon, as panagolin are asking 300+. Any help at all is appreciated,
Thanks!

planters
02-19-2013, 10:08
Don't buy anything, yet. Depending on where you live you would be well served to attend a Laser Enthusiast's Meeting or LEM. You will see a lot of options in hardware and levels of investment. If you can't wait then begin by looking at this forum. Spend some hours following the various threads and see if a few areas interest you or a particular person is doing what you like. After you do this you may be less overwhelmed and you'll ask better questions.

WookieBoy
02-19-2013, 11:20
Hi David.

I'm assuming from your price tag that you're in the UK?
If you fill in your location so that we can help you better with more specific advice.
Come to the upcoming LEM in April. There's a thread here all about it...( you can search for it as UKLEM14 I believe)
Meet some fellow laser addicts and have a look see what they're playing with before shelling out loads of cash you'll be hard pressed to get back. You'll usually see pretty much every type of laser controller and projector there so you can get an idea of where you would like to go with your new hobby...
But most of all, enjoy the ride and apologise to your credit card now! ;)

Jem
02-19-2013, 12:38
Hi David(?)

And welcome to the forum :)

Nice to have another UK member.

Jem

colouredmirrorball
02-19-2013, 13:06
Quickshow is the cheapest Pangolin laser control product, but there are other options available. I realize I might come off as a salesman after repeating it so many times on the forum, but there's also LSX. See here: http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/showthread.php/14768-Announcement-New-laser-show-software-available-Procedural-dynamic-frames-Much-More
But I have to say, it's entirely different from QS. It can do everything QS can and much more, but it has a learning curve. If you want plug and play software with lots of stock frames and a BPM option you want QS. If you have some time you want to dedicate to learning the software then go for LSX. You can't just start up the software, select a few cues then forget about it. But I did several really nice things with it.
LSX is a lot cheaper than QS, but it does not come with a DAC. You need to order one of your own choice, but fortunately many DACs are supported. I believe the DAC with the best price/quality ratio is the Etherdream, but you can go with Riya Lite as well if the etherdream is too expensive.

See here and decide if the software is something for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POrAv7M8qEg&list=PL98jfPM1pbKy-HMq0UuledsHYM-2bxwPd

White-Light
02-19-2013, 13:46
Lets not forget Spaghetti.

If you're really strapped for cash you can build your own DAC from a soundcard and then run spaghetti which is really cheap.
It can do some cool things for the money but understand you won't have the power of LSX or the usability of QS. However, if all you want is a taste of this expensive hobby, then its a cheap way in and you can always then buy QS, LSX or Beyond at a later date when you're prepared and able to commit money to the hobby without having wasted too much on your 1st system.

White-Light
02-20-2013, 00:32
Hi all,
New to the whole laser scene, just wanted to know if anybody could recommend a really cheap setup as it seems my type of thing, but don't want to go out breaking the back to then find out it's not my thing at all, looking for something really basic at the minute. Needs to have manual control though, no idea but IDLA looks alot easier. Looking at pangolin's quickshow software, if anybody could suggest a cheaper better version then i'd be over the moon, as panagolin are asking 300+. Any help at all is appreciated,
Thanks!

Actually I'm going to change my advice slightly.

If you can buy the QS-FB3 version for just over 300, then buy it!

An Etherdream will set you back almost $289 + International shipping + Customs Charges + VAT all in all which will take you well over 300, and the you still have to buy whatever software you intend to use.

The QS-FB3, if it is the QS-FB3 version and not the older XE or similar, is a bargain at just over 300 as the price is usually closer to 500. (so check the source is genuine and reliable).

If you can't afford 300+ then think about the sound card + spaghetti suggestion.

However, QS has one other advantage, it also gives you a reduced price upgrade path to Beyond should you ever be able to afford to upgrade in the future.

kecked
02-20-2013, 02:06
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY

Get a set of the best scanners you can afford. This is the most important part of the scanner but don't go crazy. Any scanner set that will do 30kps to around 45kps will be fine for anything you'll do. Then buy a single 642nm 170mw single mode laser diode and one of badpips driver or a Flexmod P3 if you can find one. Now you have a single color scanner. Now chose your DAC. Pangolin Quickshow is a really good way to go as it is integrated and you can move up to Beyond later. Once you have this in place you can then look to buy a green and blue lase and the optics to combine them. Make sure you wire the interface to ilda standards which is no big deal. You'll just use ground r,g,b x+,Y+X-,Y- for the conmections ona db25. In this way you grow your rig a few pieces ata time and it doesn't break the bank. DON'T try to build a 5W laser source right off. and PLEASE buy laser goggles and use them while you are working with the lasers. Last which should really be first take a laser saefty officer course before you touch a laser and yes do attend a LEM event before ou build a thing. One more point heat is your enemy so use an over sized baseplate( I used a 12"x18"x1/2" plate and it all just fit with the electronics mounted below the plate), use larger power supplies than you need, use a separate power supply for the lasers than the scanners, tie all grounds to a single point. This sounds like a lot but it really isn't.

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY

planters
02-20-2013, 11:44
Don't buy anything, yet. Depending on where you live you would be well served to attend a Laser Enthusiast's Meeting or LEM. You will see a lot of options in hardware and levels of investment. If you can't wait then begin by looking at this forum. Spend some hours following the various threads and see if a few areas interest you or a particular person is doing what you like. After you do this you may be less overwhelmed and you'll ask better questions.

I am quoting my self here because the enthusiasm to guide a newcomer can sometimes lead to so much information (all of it excellent) that making decisions doesn't get any easier. WookieBoy, suggested a LEM in the UK. If that is doable...go. You will get a valuable head start and save money and time, not to mention have a lot of fun. Then add these suggestions to what you learn there.

Ghoffman
02-22-2013, 08:34
Go to the LEM ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !