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Thread: Kolo: Chinese Made

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    12

    Default Kolo: Chinese Made

    Hey everyone!

    I'm VERY new to RGB lasers but am getting more and more interested as I'm building my light show up. I currently have a few units, mainly rgb led, that I use for when my buddies and I jam and for parties. Some pretty cool effects and a really nice ambiance so far. I actually just let a local band borrow them for a gig and got quite a few compliments... so I must be doing something right!

    Anyways... I'm in the process of trying to obtain my first RGB Laser to add to the collection... something just to mess around with at home and possibly tear apart and rebuild later on. I've been negotiating back and forth with someone from a Chinese company, Kolo. Ive watched a few videos of people who have them and they seem pretty decent.

    This is the model I'm looking at: kolo KL-A8 E600

    It's not on their website yet but they sent me the specs:

    ◆ 680mW RGB Animation Laser
    ◆ Laser Power:
    300mW blue (450nm),
    300mW red (650nm),
    80mW green (532nm)
    ◆ Features: Build-in 128 graphics
    and animation words. Sound
    control, Auto run, DMX 512, PC
    software control
    ◆ Scanner: 20K High-speed
    optical scanner, big angle scanning
    ◆ Play Mode: Sound Active,
    AUTO-Beam, AUTO-Animation,
    DMX512(12 channels), Master/
    Slave, PC ILDA Control
    ◆ Power Supply: 100V~250V,
    50/60HZ
    ◆ Product Size: 44*28*19CM
    ◆ Weight: 10Kg

    I know 99.9% of you on here have more knowledge at this stuff than I do... which is why I come looking for some insight and guidance. My current budget puts me at around $600-$700. I know it's not much, which is why I am most likely going to go with one made in China. Any decent company or model recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated!

    I'm really just looking for the best bang for my buck. Something to play around with...

    If I can get it here by next Sat, all the better. Big Halloween party at my place!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Anaheim, CA
    Posts
    387

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by simplykind View Post
    Hey everyone!

    I'm VERY new to RGB lasers but am getting more and more interested as I'm building my light show up. I currently have a few units, mainly rgb led, that I use for when my buddies and I jam and for parties. Some pretty cool effects and a really nice ambiance so far. I actually just let a local band borrow them for a gig and got quite a few compliments... so I must be doing something right!

    Anyways... I'm in the process of trying to obtain my first RGB Laser to add to the collection... something just to mess around with at home and possibly tear apart and rebuild later on. I've been negotiating back and forth with someone from a Chinese company, Kolo. Ive watched a few videos of people who have them and they seem pretty decent.

    This is the model I'm looking at: kolo KL-A8 E600

    It's not on their website yet but they sent me the specs:

    ◆ 680mW RGB Animation Laser
    ◆ Laser Power:
    300mW blue (450nm),
    300mW red (650nm),
    80mW green (532nm)
    ◆ Features: Build-in 128 graphics
    and animation words. Sound
    control, Auto run, DMX 512, PC
    software control
    ◆ Scanner: 20K High-speed
    optical scanner, big angle scanning
    ◆ Play Mode: Sound Active,
    AUTO-Beam, AUTO-Animation,
    DMX512(12 channels), Master/
    Slave, PC ILDA Control
    ◆ Power Supply: 100V~250V,
    50/60HZ
    ◆ Product Size: 44*28*19CM
    ◆ Weight: 10Kg

    I know 99.9% of you on here have more knowledge at this stuff than I do... which is why I come looking for some insight and guidance. My current budget puts me at around $600-$700. I know it's not much, which is why I am most likely going to go with one made in China. Any decent company or model recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated!

    I'm really just looking for the best bang for my buck. Something to play around with...

    If I can get it here by next Sat, all the better. Big Halloween party at my place!

    Thanks in advance!
    -No, you cannot get an RGB laser for $600-$700 that will be decent, probably an RGV (Red, Green, Violet).

    -If you do, you can guarantee that the laser will not meet the safety requirements and therefore be illegal. (I'm assuming you are from the US)

    -Any laser over 4.95mW requires a variance and I do not know of any cheap chinese brands that even meet the requirements that you need to get a variance.

    -Also, you will need software if you wanted to do a custom type show deal, which will cost you a few hundred bucks at the least, and no, you can't just download a torrent, because you need a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) to be able to run it.

    - If you want an RGB laser for personal home use, you can go with a Chinese unit.

    Your best luck would be to contact Marc from here (GottaLuvLasers) from CTLasers who will be able to sell you a safe and legal laser projector with a variance, but it will cost quite a bit more than $700, but you are paying for QUALITY, something most chinese manufacturers know nothing of. I've never purchased one from him, but he gets great reviews on here, and he is very knowledgeable and will talk with you about all the different options.
    - instinct

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,805

    Thumbs up Welcome to another new member!

    Quote Originally Posted by simplykind View Post
    My current budget puts me at around $600-$700. I know it's not much, which is why I am most likely going to go with one made in China.
    Welcome to PhotonLexicon. There's plenty of good information to be found here. Unfortunately, that information is going to break your heart once you read it.

    US law is unusually strict when it comes to laser shows. Because of this, a cheap Chinese projector is not going to be certifiable. You're going to have to spend a good deal more money if you want to buy a laser projector off-the-shelf and be legal with it for use in public.

    If you are willing to invest some time and a little work with a soldering iron and a hacksaw, you can build your own projector and get it certified yourself, saving a good bit of money in the process. This will take a long time, however. (Lots of research up front, then some planning, then the construction process, and finally the certification process, which is probably the hardest part.)
    I'm really just looking for the best bang for my buck. Something to play around with...
    Well, if you only want it to play around with in the privacy of your own home, then you are free to purchase an un-certified unit and use it as you see fit. The CDRH (a branch of the US FDA that is tasked with regulating commercial laser shows, and laser projectors as well) does not have any jurisdiction over what you do in your own home, so long as there's no commerce involved. But as soon as you set your projector up in public, you need to be 100% legal, and that is going to take a lot of time, and a good bit more money to achieve.
    If I can get it here by next Sat, all the better. Big Halloween party at my place!
    I doubt this would be possible. Even if it was just a couple friends of yours coming over to your house for a few beers (which would mean no CDRH worries), I don't think you'll be able to get the projector in time - even off of E-bay. Then too, there's a fairly steep learning curve with most software and controller packages, so even if you had the projector in your hand today, it will probably take you a while to become comfortable using it to project images.

    Then too, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed. Even at low power levels, a laser projector can cause permanent eye injury, so you need to be well-versed in what is safe, what is absolutely unsafe, and what is "questionable". ("Questionable" includes things that are illegal to do for a public show, but some people choose to do for private events even though there is a small risk of eye injury...) There's a lot of good safety information to be found here on PL, so when you get time, browse through the forums and read up...

    Adam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Washington.
    Posts
    139

    Default

    welcome!

    dont ever hesitate to pm me with any questions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thank you all very much for your valuable insight. I'm definitely going to be on here frequently, learning as much as I can. This stuff is WAY interesting!

    So I pulled the trigger and bought the Kolo 680mW. I will give a "begginers" review and post pics and vids when it arrives. Unfortunately, for now, it's going to be sound active or auto, along with all of my other lights. I can see the REAL fun down the road though when i can afford an interface and software and create an actual light show. Can't wait!

    Thank you all again for the warm welcome.

    ....and now... back to research

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,805

    Thumbs up

    Just noticed you're in Chicago... There is an experienced PhotonLexicon member who lives fairly close to you (within 90 min or so). His name is Adam Bourassa, and he goes by 300Evil here on PL. You might want to get in touch with him and see if the two of you can get together over a few beers some weekend and talk shop. He's got a lot of knowledge, and he can definitely steer you in the right direction.

    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Washington.
    Posts
    139

    Default

    i know id take geography up on that oppurtunity!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,805

    Thumbs up

    Yeah, 300Evil is one hell of a cool guy. He's as busy as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest though, so his schedule is frequently full. But getting together with him is bound to be fun *and* educational.

    Adam

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