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Thread: Laser Alignment issue?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Midland, TX, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Laser Alignment issue?

    Hi,

    I posted this on the Pangolin forum over the weekend and someone suggested I have an alignment issue with my laser and perhaps someone on this forum could help me.

    I really would appreciate any help, I am new to programming lasers and i've never even cracked one open or looked into how they work. I am very willing to learn though.

    Here is the post I made.

    A few months back, I purchased a 7 color laser on ebay from a company in China. Being worried about getting ripped off, I made sure to read lots of reviews and make sure they were a genuine company. Everything checked out, I saw one person complain about an alignment issue and I wonder if I have the same problem.
    I purchased a Meierlight ME-LAS 3 as shown here (http://cgi.ebay.com/1000mw-FULL-COLOUR-ANALOG-DMX512-ILDA-dj-Laser-40K-/180565625404?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a0a8c ca3c[/URL]) with the exception that mine is the 30k scanner version.
    The laser specs are:
    red 650nm@500mW
    green 532nm@400mW
    blue 473nm @100mW
    The blue beam is extremely thin but is very sharp in appearance, whereas the red, is very thick but fuzzy in appearance. Does that have anything to do with the difference in strength of the lasers?
    Another problem I have is that when I run the Pangolin animations, I do not get all the colors in the laser show, as what is shown on the computer screen. When I look closely at the beams, I notice the blue is slightly separated from the rest of the beams. It does not seem to converge with the red and the green.

    I have taken some pictures of the Pangolin test pattern’s, can anyone tell me if there is a problem?

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    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Sussex, England
    Posts
    5,246

    Default

    The beam characteristics you mention are typical of the wavelengths used in the projector.
    It just looks like the alignment needs tweaking.
    Do a search for alignment, there have been quite a few detailed threads about nearfield and farfield setup

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Posts
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    Default

    Is it analog or TTL modulation?
    leading in trailing technology

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,150

    Default

    Also -

    What looks like a tuning issue (some of the text is a bit distorted) may be due to the fact that you're scanning at too wide of an angle.

    Make sure the scan speed is set at 30k and try reducing the overall image size.
    Alignment issue aside (indicated by colors not lining up on the images, primarily in the blue, it appears) -

    If the image / text "cleans up" when reducing the overall image size, you're probably just finding the limit of what your scanners can actually handle.

    As a reminder -
    Let us know where you're located (in your profile), and you might find there could be someone close by willing to lend a hand!
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Midland, TX, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I want to say analog but i don't really know.

    I looked in the "manual", it doesn't say anything about it either. Here is the link to the ebay site if you are interested.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/1000mw-FULL-COLO...item2a0a8cca3c
    Last edited by phillD; 10-05-2010 at 17:51.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Midland, TX, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default

    After running the ILDA test pattern, the image seemed to display best at around 3300 scan rate. The text actually becomes clearer as I make the display area larger. However, there is still a lot of fuzzyness on the red and some on the green. I have approx 22 ft of distance between the laser and the projection surface. Is that too small for this power of a laser?

    Also, does the inbalance between the power of the different laser's cause problems with the display?

    So I am going to have to open the laser and realign the blue laser? Do I have to actually adjust the laser or the mirror/prism?

    Thanks for everyone's assistance. I am out of Midland, Texas USA, but orginally from Birmingham UK. There's really no one who does lasers out here.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Midland, TX, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Norty, I'm digging the Dave Angel!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Posts
    2,495

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by phillD View Post
    After running the ILDA test pattern, the image seemed to display best at around 3300 scan rate. The text actually becomes clearer as I make the display area larger. However, there is still a lot of fuzzyness on the red and some on the green. I have approx 22 ft of distance between the laser and the projection surface. Is that too small for this power of a laser?

    Also, does the inbalance between the power of the different laser's cause problems with the display?

    So I am going to have to open the laser and realign the blue laser? Do I have to actually adjust the laser or the mirror/prism?

    Thanks for everyone's assistance. I am out of Midland, Texas USA, but orginally from Birmingham UK. There's really no one who does lasers out here.....

    Saw the link and didnt notice if it was ttl or analog thats why I asked, but if TTL that would explain less colors.

    You adjust the dichros to align the beams as long as all is centered.

    Distance has nothing to do with fuzzyness unless you have serious power and blooming, doesn't appear to be the case.

    I am surprised your green is not the best color least fuzzy.

    What % or number are you running in pango for the size control? are you QM2000?

    3300 or 33K?
    leading in trailing technology

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Posts
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    Default

    Maybe it is all the garage's fault and you should move it inside

    That 473 beam is nice, but if you want a better match of colors (beam size) you could swap a 445 in instead and have more power (upto 1w blue) and near matching beams for around $100 you will also then get a better white without the green tint in it.


    I am kinda new to lasers only about 5 months, but have learned alot and built 3 RGB boxes, including gutting and rebuilding a laserworld, built a lumia pj, and working on a beam table. My point being all the info is available to get on this site, i'd recommend searching around and keep asking questions prior to getting your hands dirty.

    If they didn;t use nice dichro mounts it could be a pia to adjust the beams. It looks like it just got bumped in shipping. Also some china pj's epoxy them then it is a real problem to adjust.

    ALso it looks like you are about 5 hours from dallas, you may want to contact mrwilling and see if you can make a road trip.
    leading in trailing technology

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Midland, TX, USA
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks again for the help. The laser is at my work right now as I'm building a show for them. I will take a look inside tomorrow and look at the mounts.

    I will also double check the sizing but today (at work) I upped the size to 100% (if that's what your reffering to) it cleared up the letter R and G in one of the test patterns. I have tested the laser on the garage door and on a painted drywall surface. Both the red and green beams have a fuzziness to their edges (unlike the blue which is thin and sharp). I had assumed that it was because the beams were thick because of the power but I really don't know what I'm talking about.

    I am using quick show with the Flash Back 3 controller. I seem to be able to product each individual color but the animations seem to lack the blue, purple and even orange. I also seem to lack the ability to intentify the beams. Could this be a DB 25 cable issue? I took one from our computer room.

    Thanks again for all the help. I will get back with everyone and let you know what I find.

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