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Thread: Beginner with little money

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Oshawa,On, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default Beginner with little money

    I have always loved lasers. and scanning shows are just that much cooler.

    Now ive been trying to find a way to try this hobby without spending to much money to start.

    i have read alot of other threads i know this is an expensive hobby.

    but could i just get some galvos and just use a pen laser?

    i just want to get a feel for programming animations etc.

    preferably id like to make upgradeable in the future thats why i thought i could get decent galvos and just use a green pen laser. i thought i could always replace the pen laser.

    i was considering picking this up (or something better)

    what else would i need ?

    and should i even do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    there are two problems with the galvos you found

    1. there is no ilda breakout board with them, so you must consider an extra few $ to buy and build one http://cgi.ebay.com/ILDA-Breakout-Br...#ht_607wt_1139 (i only recomend this as it is the cheapest)

    2. the galvos will probably give way too easily, maybe they are good for only limited hours, small scan angles and low points per second scan rates (thus introducing flicker to your images)

    then, there are two problems with the pen laser solution

    1. it will burn up if you run it for an hour or so, due to lack of proper heatsinking

    2. it has no blanking, so all your images will appear as a continuous line. the pen is not capable of modulation as it is (except if you change the power supply with one capable of modulation)


    then, you still need a DAC and software to control the galvos and produce the graphics. these start around 100usd for the ishow and go as high as you want. a good ebtry level dac+software will set you back around 350usd (riya+spaghetti). expect around 600usd if you go the pangolin way


    and still you are not sure if you will like the programming bit of the show.

    so i suggest you just get software first, and do everything in preview mode.
    practice using it, learn it, make a couple of shows and then start building your own projector bit by bit

    just imagine spending out for a projector and then discovering that the show creation process bores you to death and brings tears in your eyes

    and i say this from personnal experience, i enjoy building immensely, but the software part.... OMG... disaster...
    "its called character briggs..."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Oshawa,On, Canada
    Posts
    17

    Default great point

    yeah i cant believe i didnt thinking of programming and using preview mode. it never crossed my mind. ill obviously go that way first.

    for the galvos
    i know they probably arnt the best. im probably going to mainly do beam shows anyways.
    keep in mind im still looking around so im not buying those per say.

    for the laser.
    i know it will burn out, i can get a block of aluminium for that.
    blanking is a problem and i didnt think of that


    what if i went absolute cheapest(audio card dac, cheap software etc)

    what do you think it would run me? $300~ cause im cool with that. im willing to spend up to around $500~

    this is just to start out mind you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    if you spend 119 for spaghetti software and go for the usb sound card and audio dac, then you have something like 300 left for the rest

    with 300 i am sure that you can have a decent setup for a single colour

    a blue diode sells for 55usd and can give you up to 1watt of dark blue, but i suggest you run it conservatively at no more than 350-400mw, as you don't need all this power, you will have better diode life and you will not blind yourself with reflections. keep in mind that even 100mw is more than enough for projecting in your living room

    an opnext bright red diode (150mw but visible as two 660nm 250mw diodes) goes for 80-90usd. there is a group buy running as we speak if i am not mistaken

    so, choose colour and add 36usd for a flexmodP3 power supply, around 30usd for a very good aspheric lens and 7-9usd for a lasorb

    or you can choose green and get one of the cheap dpss modules that go around on ebay. price is roughly 1usd per mW, so you can get a 50mw for 55 usd

    so depending on your choice of colour, you are left with around 120-200usd to invest on galvos and a crude enclosure.

    this way i think you are pretty much ok. and after you outgrow this setup you can get a dichro, a mount and add another colour. and then the final dichro and the final colour and there you have it, your very own rgb. then, you most prbably want to get better galvos, too.

    i suggest you start with a crappy 50mw green, much more power will make your eyes sore

    i just hope someone else chimes in this thread so you don't take only my opinion

    ps. don't forget to get appropriate safety goggles while building and seting everything up
    Last edited by LaNeK779; 12-11-2010 at 10:19. Reason: forgot to add lenses to the costs... and afety goggles
    "its called character briggs..."

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