Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: more questions from a noobie

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    210

    Default more questions from a noobie

    Hi guys,

    I've been looking at this forum for a while now, but it's until now that I decided to join. Well, I've always wanted to have a laser projector, and now I'm trying to convince myself I can do it (and afford it, too :P ).

    So, here are a couple of questions I'm sure you've answered many times before, so please forgive my ignorance

    My intentions are to build a homemade, affordable laser scanner setup, so I can make figures mostly. I'm not much into beam effects, but they will certainly be done too . Also, if a setup is already available, that can be an option, although it will take some of the fun out.

    1. So, what kind of scanners do you recomend? I mean, what speed? 10k? 15K? more?. And, how much can I expect to get them for?

    2. I realize the scanners will need scanner drivers, but can any driver work with any scanner I choose? or do these come toghether in a package?, And what about the power supply? is it also included or do I need to get one seperately?. How fancy does it need to be?

    3. How about the DACs?, Can I get any kind and expect my setup to work properly? I am thinking USB ones are more versatile, as I can use my laptop and won't need to lug around my desktop, but I guess I could get a parallel port one for starters?

    4. Lastly (for now anyway :P ), software. I realize there are different kinds of software, and they don't all work together with the different DACs available, but can you give me an idea as to what to expect from the various versions?. I've been able to download a trial version of mamba black and peoplescan, but haven't been able to get to know them, as I have no clue how to use them ops:

    Also, I wanted to congratulate y'all on this excellent forum. You have a very nice comunity here. Keep up the good work

    Thanks
    Remember the future?, That'd today, as you imagined it yesterday.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,500

    Default Re: more questions from a noobie

    Quote Originally Posted by jkaiser3000
    My intentions are to build a homemade, affordable laser scanner setup, so I can make figures mostly. I'm not much into beam effects, but they will certainly be done too . Also, if a setup is already available, that can be an option, although it will take some of the fun out.
    Welcome, Jkaiser! I've seen you on other forums; glad to see you've made it here.

    I'm not quite sure what you want to do with your projector. When you say "figures", do you mean abstract patterns (like lissajous patterns), or are you speaking of actual pictures of objects (ie: graphics), text, and animations?

    The answer to this question above will help you decide what sort of scanners (open loop or closed loop) you'll want to get. If you're looking to do graphics, then you really need to think about closed loop, which of course will cost more.
    1. So, what kind of scanners do you recomend? I mean, what speed? 10k? 15K? more?. And, how much can I expect to get them for?
    Ok, it sounds like you've already decided on closed loop galvos. 12K to 15K closed-loop scanners can do some pretty cool things, and they are fairly inexpensive. You can find a pair of 15Kpps scanners WITH AMPS AND A POWER SUPPLY for around $275 (USD) on E-bay. (Shipping costs are still going to be a problem to your area, however.)

    One of the members of PhotonLexicon (Dave) is offering free shipping on his galvos that he sells on E-bay. Have a look at this thread for the details. Maybe he can make you a deal...

    Having said that, I also need to tell you that more intricate graphics will require faster galvos. I managed to get a deal on a set of the Dragon Tiger DT-40 scanners for my projector. They are capable of speeds greater than 40K, and can handle just about anything I throw at them. They are really nice, but they are also more than double the price of the 15K scanners I mentioned above. So it all comes down to cost... If you can afford it, go for the faster scanners, since that is the one part of your projector that will likely stay with you for a long while.
    2. I realize the scanners will need scanner drivers, but can any driver work with any scanner I choose? or do these come toghether in a package?, And what about the power supply? is it also included or do I need to get one seperately?. How fancy does it need to be?
    Normally scanners and amps are sold as a matched set. You can mix and match parts to SOME extent, but only within models that use the same pinouts on the connectors and the same voltage levels. (As an example, my DT-40 scanners and amps are 100% compatible with Cambridge 6800 series galvos... You can swap out the parts from either unit and they'll work in the other model.) But this isn't always the case.

    Since you are just starting out, you'd be better off buying a complete set of galvos, amps, and a dedicated power supply to run them. That way you know everything will work right out of the box. True - you could build your own power supply, but you need to make sure the output is very clean. I don't think you'll save all that much money vs some of the new Chinese packages, either. The prices on these Chinese units are really good!
    3. How about the DACs?, Can I get any kind and expect my setup to work properly? I am thinking USB ones are more versatile, as I can use my laptop and won't need to lug around my desktop, but I guess I could get a parallel port one for starters?
    To answer your first question, yes... With properly tuned galvos, the displayed image should be the same no matter which DAC you use to drive the scanners. Of course, some DAC's are better than others, and if you look closely you may find flaws in the image produced by the cheaper DAC... (Have a look at some of my alphalite pictures in the PhotonLexicon gallery for some examples of hot spots and tails where the DAC wasn't perfect...)

    Now, a USB DAC is probably a much smarter choice, not only for the convenience factor but because of the inherent problems in using a parallel port for timie-sensitive data on a PC running windows... The problem is that the data flow to the parallel port can (and will) be interrupted any time the operating system needs to do some other task. Disk access, mouse clicks, even routine housekeeping tasks can all cause stuttering, hot spots, and freezes in the image. So my advice is to stay away from parallel port solutions. USB doesn't suffer from the timing/bandwidth problems, so it's a much better choice.
    4. Lastly (for now anyway :P ), software. I realize there are different kinds of software, and they don't all work together with the different DACs available, but can you give me an idea as to what to expect from the various versions?
    Any software will enable you to display ILDA files. Most software will also include basic tools to put a show together. (Time-in, time-out for each file; effects like rotate, scale, and zoom on the file while it's being displayed; that sort of thing.) Good software will also allow you to syncronize the show to a music file (a soundtrack). Most packages will include some sort of ilda file editor, and they may also include tools for importing images and tracing the outline to create ilda files.

    It's really up to you to decide which package you like best. Play around some more with the downloaded packages you have and see if you like them. Ask questions here if you don't understand what the software is supposed to be doing. Many of the users here can help you through the learning curve.

    Edit: I had typed up a rant about the memory hole problem with the Alphalite software, but Rick Gebhardt has released a new version of the software (free, of course!) that solved the problem. So I felt my mild rant was out of place - hence this edit. /edit

    Another problem with the Alphalite software is the lack of support for any music track. You can't sync the show to music, and for me this is a BIG feature that is missing. I'm actually thinking about selling my Alphalite DAC and upgrading to the Easylase USB DAC and the MambaBlack software because of these two main problems.

    Edit: Well, maybe not... I just found out that Rick is working on music support for the Alphalite. If he can pull that off, then I'll keep it for sure. That's really the only big feature it's missing right now. The new version (2.86) of the software is rock stable, and he's added a few other features that I really like. Best thing though is that all upgrades are free... /edit

    I have to admit that the Alphalite software *does* make some very nice abstract patterns. It also has a very nice beam-show editor that allows you to simply point and click to aim your beams at the bounce mirrors. It has a good text-to-ilda conversion utility, and lots of other little modules that do useful things.

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    hi and welcome to the forum

    As I se it, you need to buy DT-40 galvos (chines and the cheapest you can get)
    and you will have lifetime support on them if they fail

    And togheter with the galvos you need a DAC and a software.

    I recomend you mamba black
    Becouse more and more ppl start to use it (nice to share help and shows to each other)

    And it`s the cheapest software you can find, and it`s NEVER FAIL during a show


    Test out the mamba black demo at www.jmlaser.com
    the software and DAC cost 500$ (maybe 400)
    And you can get the DT-40 from 500-600$ i think

    So a total is 1000$ and that is not sooo much for what you get

    And you will need a laser aswell hehe 100-200mW cost from 300-600$ !


    Correct me if i`m wrong about the prices as they always changes.




    But I can also recomend you my old setup.
    It runs on popelscan, that is a free software
    And the galvo speed is 8k !
    But it`s a complete ready to use setup to only 300$
    its nice to use for fun.. and i need to sell it ...




    cheers

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    210

    Default

    thanks guys for your welcoming and your help.

    I'm not quite sure what you want to do with your projector. When you say
    "figures", do you mean abstract patterns (like lissajous patterns), or are you
    speaking of actual pictures of objects (ie: graphics), text, and animations?
    Well, yes, I was thinking more like graphics )like logos and cartoons) and animations, but I realize the more complicated I want my graphics, the more expensive my setup will become, so that's something I need to keep in mind.

    One of the members of PhotonLexicon (Dave) is offering free shipping on his galvos that he sells on E-bay. Have a look at this thread for the details. Maybe he can make you a deal...
    I saw his store a while back, and he has 30k galvos for something like 650$. According to liteglow, the DT-40 can be had for about the same, so, where can I
    take a look at the DT-40?, is there a store on ebay that has them or do I just
    need to keep looking until I see one set?. In any case, I'll probably go for the
    15 or 30k from the store you recomended, as he offers free shiping and it's something Available at the moment (i'm in no hurry though).

    If you can afford it, go for the faster scanners, since that is the one part of your projector that will likely stay with you for a long while.
    Yeah, and the harder part to sell if I ever need to, that's my main concern for
    getting a good set from the begining, as I don't think it'll be easy for me to sell it in case I don't feel it's good enough.

    The software and DAC cost 500$ (maybe 400)
    I was also thinking of the JMLasers EasyLase usb, as it seems to be good enough, and inexpensive also. I just didn't realize it was that inexpensive. I thought with the software it'd around 1000$. I'm glad I was wrong on that one :P

    Play around some more with the downloaded packages you have and see if you like them. Ask questions here if you don't understand what the software is supposed to be doing. Many of the users here can help you through the learning curve.
    Well I will need some help there :roll: . I've been playing with the mamba demo
    and even downloaded some shows to get a feeling as to what to expect, and how to do it, and I'm blank. Gee, I can't even draw on more than one scene yet ops: . Anyway, I'll keep trying .

    But I can also recomend you my old setup.
    It runs on popelscan, that is a free software
    And the galvo speed is 8k !
    But it`s a complete ready to use setup to only 300$ Wink
    its nice to use for fun.. and i need to sell it ...
    You know, that offer was one of the reasons I joined this forum. I'm very tempted by it, but for the time being, I'd like to take a look at other options. But, don't despair, I might end up sending you my shipping address

    As for the laser, I already have an 80mw green laser module. I think that will be enough for what I have planned at the moment. I might get a red module in the future, maybe a 150mw one, that way I can get three colors from my future projector.

    Again, thanks for you time and insight

    Best regards[/quote]
    Remember the future?, That'd today, as you imagined it yesterday.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    East Coast , Canada
    Posts
    285

    Default

    Any link for the DT-40's???
    CREATIVITY AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!
    www.laser-ad.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LASER-AD
    Any link for the DT-40's???
    No direct links that I know of. I have two pairs here up for grabs. Yadda bought the first set and loves them. Im also really goon on prices.

    I also have some other galvo sets here. lower speed 18k ones. closed loop.

    Come to think of it... I have a lot of stuff here...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,500

    Default

    Spec;

    You've still got two spare sets of DT-40's?

    Cool! How much for a complete set? (pwr supply, scanners, and amps)?

    Adam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    457

    Default

    Pm Sent

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    if not SPEC got any galvos left, i`m sure Jian will shipp some

    i think got some 10-30 pairs left


    Anyway, if you decide to buy mamba and easylase, just let me know and i guide you if you have any problems using it


    And i gladly trade shows if I have any..


    Cheers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Norway, Fauske
    Posts
    1,206

    Default LDS

    I was thinking of bying LDS aka phoenix and RIYA usb.
    But none has the RIYA usb in stock Where to get hold on that usb ?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •