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Thread: Getting My Feet Wet With Projectors - Looking for a budget scanner

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default Getting My Feet Wet With Projectors - Looking for a budget scanner

    Im sure this sort of question is frequent from new members such as myself but I hope you can bare with me. I have searched the forum a bit but not found what im looking for.

    I havent given myself a big budget for this so im looking for good value lower end scanner set.

    Ive browsed ebay but I hear their specs are exaggerated and mixed reviews on the units themselves.

    I need a ready to go set with PSU, galvos, drivers, DMX, the whole nine yards. It also needs to be upgradeable for when I get tired of the preprogramed effects. I'm fine with 15K galvos but obviously would love higher if I can afford it. I would also like analogue output again if affordable.

    My plan is to start with just 1W 445nm and then tinker and add on to it overtime. I have quite a bit of metal work experience and am comfortable with laser builds so I will DIY the rest myself. I will probably buy an adjustable FS mirror mount though.

    Now to the 1 factor that could be a killer: The budget

    $200 shipped for the scanner set is my limit (not including laser, case, etc). I would prefer $150. I know thats low but any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    Brad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    7,067

    Lightbulb

    I'll be a bit honest here due to the wine trying to lubricate the kidney stone... this hobby is not for the frugal. buying cheap scanners now will only disappoint you no mattter what you are thinking. With the cheap blues now on the market, scanners are what you want to spend good money on. The lowest I would go is a set of DT40 wides. I have a set of DT40 pros and they are "OK" compared to my good set in my Kvant which are Cambridge 6215s which I know can cost well over $1500, but... this is where this hobby... obsession will take you anyway; TRUST Me.

    IF you have to go cheap, not that this person sells only cheap, but a good person to talk with would be "dave" from lasershowparts.com. I got my first set of scanner sfrom him and he has never sone anyone wrong and has some good economy scanners. If you can spare and arm or leg for some Cambridge or... WTF are the Eyemagic ones called... Contact gottaluvlasers here in the states at CTLasers.com. These are over a grand but you will thank me in the future; so with any audience you do shows for.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,931

    Default

    well, i would give the exact opposite advice ( just for flavour )

    search ebay and find the cheapest scanners you can find (like 70-100 usd)!!! when starting up, you will not be doing any shows with other people than you present. so you don't need quality. all you need is something to help you set up your projector, learn how to fine tune, align etc etc and then get to know your software at small scan angles that will give you decent kpps rates

    so, when the time comes, you will be ready and relatively experienced to get an expensive pair of scanners and make the most out of it

    just my (low budget) 2p
    "its called character briggs..."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I appreciate the honesty and to be honest myself I sort of knew that would be the case.


    However before I jump into a 5-10 thousand dollar build (which im sure I will) I need to tinker a bit.

    I have read through the scanner guides on andycon's website (extremely helpful and well done) and looking at his 15K build I would be happy with results similar to those.

    When I do decide to upgrade I will only be out $150-200 since the rest can be transfered and I will have some invaluable experience.


    Although if these cheap units are really complete junk I wouldnt buy one. I guess ill wait and see what the concensus is


    Edit: LaNek posted just before I did

    Thats what I was thinking. Im not expecting show quality but would like something I can eventually get a DAC for and make some basic designs. Scan angle isnt high on list priority list for this build.

    Edit2: Do the cheap sets come with preprogrammed patterns? Some specify that they do and others are not as clear but seem to be the same items. Or better yet is there an inexpensive DAC and software for basic patterns? Ill read up some more on this option although I feel I will be adding to my total quite a bit.
    Last edited by Helios; 06-05-2011 at 23:57.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    3,589

    Default

    meh, to start off with I would get some cheap 30~40k chinese scanners, one of those cheap analog greens LPF was going nuts over a while ago, get a pair of flexmods and make a red out of a LOC and a blue out of a *asio diode... throw on a sound card dac with spaghetti and start playing... replace bits as you blow them up and then save up like $15k~$25k to build a real laser projector

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    8,647

    Default

    recommendig cambridge scanners to a newbie who only wants to spend 150-200?? i think we all wish we could afford cambridge scanners.

    i would also recommend cheap chinese scanners for a newbie, design your build right and you will be able to upgrade and just drop new scanners in.

    try ebay or laserpic
    Eat Sleep Lase Repeat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    You guys are fools. The best way to get into this hobby is to hire a laser show production company on retainer and have them over to your house whenever you want to watch shows. It's the only way to go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    East Sussex, England
    Posts
    5,246

    Default

    I do paid, professional beam shows (some may disagree! ) and I use DT25 and DT30 scanners and am yet to desire a faster/more expensive scanner set.

    If you want to do detailed graphics shows, or very big graphics then you may wish to look at a faster set, but beam shows are usually scanned slower than 30k anyway to maximise brightness and scan angle.

    My tuppence...
    Frikkin Lasers
    http://www.frikkinlasers.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    I have been getting by on a pair of cheap Laserpic 30Ks that I bought 3 or 4 yrs ago I guess. I beat the crap out of them during my software testing, regularly run them at 45 degrees and they keep ticking. I don't run them for more than 3 or 4 songs at a time, though, so I can't say how they'd handle being run for hours straight.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Essex, UK
    Posts
    8,647

    Default

    i have run laserpic z30's for a few years now doing laser shows and the UK meets, ive had them running for many many hours at a time. ive never had a problem with them.

    i also use 20k scanners for doing shows again not a single problem.

    you dont need fast scanners for beam shows.
    Eat Sleep Lase Repeat

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