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Thread: Newbie

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie

    Hey folks, a friend of mine has been running events for the past 4 years, hard dance music, and he recently bought a Kvant 3watt RGB laser and he has asked me to doa show for his next gig.

    The laser hasnt come with any software however and he doesnt have the funds right now to buy some good software, could anyone reccomend a place to get either some free software or some trial software, the show is in 2 weeks and i havnt a clue how to use this so the easier the better. i have filled out a request from pangolin for the demo version of QuickShow but they have not responded so far.

    Thanks
    Woody

  2. #2
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    i think i put this in the wrong section, sorry folks

  3. #3
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    A few things here worry me,

    '3 watt RGB laser'

    'I haven't a clue'

    'Trial software'


    First off the practicalities:

    'Software' won't get you producing a show as you still need a DAC to connect the software to the projector. Bottom line is you are going to need to shell out (buy or hire) some sort of hardware/software to control this thing.


    Next, the rest:

    not sure where you are in the world (perhaps fill out your profile for us ) but there may be laws about what you can/cannot do with that laser, and whether you as an individual can even legally use it on that show. Certainly it is a reasonably powerful beast, and should be treated as extremely dangerous. Do you have a sense of how dangerous it could be and what you probably shouldn't do with it? even regardless of the law, there are a set of operating guidelines you should probably adhere to.

    I have to go but I'm sure a few others will chime in with more advice and cautions.

  4. #4
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    Default

    thanks for the reply,

    What is a DAC and where do i get one? i was told it would just plug into the parallal port on my PC, i Know we will have to purchase some software but i just wanted to get some trial software for now so i start learning how to make shows and stuff, i realise trial softwares probably wont be able to save anything and the features will be limited, but it will help get me started.

    Im form the UK, and i havnt personally checked the laws regarding using the laser, but myf riend who is organising the show has, and he says im fine to use it, also im aware of the dangers of crowd scanning, especially with a powerful laser like this one, but he said it had built in safety features to prevent any eye damage while crowd scanning.

    thanks for the quick reply

  5. #5
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    Cool

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon, Woody.
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody07 View Post
    What is a DAC and where do i get one?
    DAC is short for "Digital-to-Analog Converter". It's a slang term for a laser show controller, which is the hardware device that takes the digital signals generated by the laser show software on your computer and converts them to the analog signals that a laser projector requires for operation. Laser show controllers can be purchased from several laser show companies, including Medialas, Pangolin, Ryia, and others. Around here, you'll find that a *lot* of people favor Pangolin's products.
    i was told it would just plug into the parallal port on my PC
    You were told incorrectly. Plugging a standard ILDA-compatible projector into a PC's parallel port will not allow you to do anything with the projector, and might actually harm the scanners. (In some cases, depending on the interlock scheme that the projector uses, it can also damage your computer.)

    There are a few older controllers that are designed to connect to a PC's parallel port, but the projector still plugs into the controller - never directly to the PC's parallel port.

    More importantly, *ALL* controllers that use the PC's parallel port are subject to momentary pauses in the data stream, which can lead to static beams being displayed unintentionally. This is a serious safety hazard, and for this reason, the use of a parallel-port controller is discouraged for commercial laser shows.
    I Know we will have to purchase some software but i just wanted to get some trial software for now so i start learning how to make shows and stuff, i realise trial softwares probably wont be able to save anything and the features will be limited, but it will help get me started.
    There's more to it than that. Trial software might allow you to see (on your computer) what you could ultimately accomplish, but you can't control your projector with trial software. You need a complete package, including a controller, to do that.

    My suggestion would be for you to attend a Laser Enthusiast's Meeting (LEM) near you as soon as possible. These LEM's are usually held over a weekend, and they are designed so that hobbyists, newcomers, and professionals alike can all get together, set up their equipment, and play with their lasers in a fun, sheltered, and private environment. Think of it as a combination between a computer lan party and a geek's social event, only with lasers...

    It's a great way to learn what is available (and what is possible) in the world of laser projectors, controllers, and software. You can see several different software and controller solutions running side by side, and you can talk to the folks running the gear and find out what they like and don't like about it. Most people are only too happy to offer advice to newcomers at these events.

    Since you mentioned that you're in the UK, you might want to check up on the next event that they're planing for October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in South Lincolnshire. Here's the link to the thread.
    Im form the UK, and i havnt personally checked the laws regarding using the laser, but myf riend who is organising the show has, and he says im fine to use it, also im aware of the dangers of crowd scanning, especially with a powerful laser like this one, but he said it had built in safety features to prevent any eye damage while crowd scanning.
    Is this the same friend who told you that you could connect the projector to the parallel port on your PC? If so, then I respectfully submit that your friend does not know what he is talking about.

    Many people claim to understand the laws, when in fact they don't. Now, admittedly, I'm from the United States, so I am probably more sensitive to this that other people. (The US has some of the most restrictive laws of any country when it comes to laser shows in public.) But that doesn't mean that the UK doesn't have it's own requirements. Some of these requirements can be quite involved.

    There are several people here on PhotonLexicon who are from the UK and are in the business of performing laser shows professionally. They can give you excellent advice regarding the safe and legal use of this projector. But you have to understand that it's not something that happens overnight. I don't mean to put you off, but I think you're going to need to do some more research first, and spend some time talking with some of the senior UK members here, before you try to use this projector in public.

    Having said all that, I should also point out that if you follow the rules, you can accomplish some truly incredible effects with a nice laser projector. And the people here on this forum will bend over backwards to help you achieve your goals. It's just that we do take safety very seriously. Please do not misunderstand our commitment for safety as an affront to you. We're here to help, if you're willing to learn.

    Adam

  6. #6
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    thanks very much for the feedback, Ive spoken the the guy who gave me the laser and he is going to order pangolins quick show tomorrow (i believe that comes with a flashback 3 DAC) the information wayne told me about the laser was what he was told by the person that sold him the laser, i never trusted him to be honest as he sold us the laser for 10,000 and it wasn't even new, so it has no warranty or anything. the guy was gonna teach us how to use the laser but it later then turned out he didnt know how to make 3 or 4d pictures so we decided not to pay anymore money to him.

    I knew it would take a lot of work to learn how to use this in a responsible and safe manner, and it looks like Ive come to the right place here.

    I was told that the laser had a built in safety feature to prevent blinding people whilst crowd scanning, but personally i cant see how this works, if theres a fault and the beam stays stationary then it could cut it off to prevent it that way, but if the beam is too powerful even while moving theres no way of the laser knowing if its scanning a crowd or not, have i been told a load of rubbish here?

  7. #7
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    Pangolin quickshow is a great way to start using this thing! Very easy to use and yet very powerful! (PM me or visit my site if you would like to order it. I am unsure if you have a UK dealer on this board)

    Without getting into the laws in the UK, because i have no idea of them, the bottom line is keep the beams away from people at all times!! Yes, we all know that in the UK there is tons and tons of crowd scanning. However with your lack of knowledge (im not saying that in a negative manner) on how to do it relatively safely, you will have the potential to put people in harms way. A good laser show *does not* require "crowd scanning" to please a crowd. a good operator with good equipment (and kvant is good) and a good show sense can perform a spectacular show without shooting high powered lasers into a crowd.

    If you have specific questions, feel free to ask us. Definintely try to get to a LEM to learn and see some equipment. perhaps even bring your kvant and learn to use it there.

    -Marc
    http://www.laserist.org/images/ildalogos/ILDA-logo_colored-beams_Corporate_150w.jpg

    ILDA- U.S. Laser Regulatory Committee

    Authorized Dealer for:

    • Pangolin Laser Software and Hardware
    • KVANT Laser Modules & Laser Systems
    • X-Laser USA
    • CNI Lasers
    • Cambridge Technology & Eye Magic Professional Scanning Systems

    FDA/CDRH Certified Professional LuminanceRGB Laser Light Show Systems


  8. #8
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    I was told that the laser had a built in safety feature to prevent blinding people whilst crowd scanning, but personally i cant see how this works, if theres a fault and the beam stays stationary then it could cut it off to prevent it that way, but if the beam is too powerful even while moving theres no way of the laser knowing if its scanning a crowd or not, have i been told a load of rubbish here?
    Basically, yes. The laser cannot know at what distance the crowd is, so cannot include at least one of the parameters required to calculate whether it is over MPE (Maximum Permissible Exposure level) at the persons eye. Whilst you have bought is a good quality projector so there's a good chance it has many if not all of the required safety devices, but it still isn't sentient and/or capable of working magic.

    Out of interest, where does this seller come from? A County or Town will be close enough... some of it sounds familiar....
    Also, where are you based? And the gig?

    It has not been unheard of for someone on the forum (who 'does' know arse from elbow ) to attend a gig and assist with things in situations like this.

    One of the other things that you might come across if this party is big enough, or in a certain venue, is you will be asked to provide paperwork showing all of your procedures for setup and running the show and how you comply with H&S guidelines HSG95 that are used to set most conditions for licensed premises in the UK. It is the license holders responsibility to submit the paperwork to the relevant authority, but they will obviously have to come to you for it. On the flip side, sometimes (most times in my experience) it never happens...

  9. #9
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    thanks Marc, i don't know if Wayne has one already in mind, he said he would look at it tomorrow, if not i shall contact you.

    i have been reading about laser show safety this morning @
    http://www.lasershowsafety.org/

    and one thing that concerns me is the key lock / remote master control, it states that it is a uk law to have a key lock for the laser to prevent unauthorized access to the laser, yet i cannot see a keylock on the laser.

  10. #10
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    i dont know the seller personally but i believe he is based in the york area, i am based in wakefield, but the gig will be at the gallery in york, i have never been but im told its in the basement and VIP room, i would guess the basement would have a low ceiling and i know the laser needs to be at least 3m high.

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