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Thread: Choices, choices

  1. #1
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    Default Choices, choices

    Ok, I've given in. I'm putting together a real projector (compared to the stuff I wanted to do before). I'm working on purchasing a 1 watt green DPSS, but my concern for this thread is the scanning system. I'll make sure the laser has analogue modulation, and I want to get the best deal for my money obviously, but my budget is about $900 to go towards the scanner system, including software and DAC. So far, my best two choices seem to be either this system:

    http://photonlexicon.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=798
    Which is nice because I want very wide angle (these are +/- 40) for beam effects. The problem is, the software may or may not be sketchy.

    Or I could use Aijii's scanners (15 or 20k) with Mamba software w/ a USB interface, which would be about the same price, but I only have +/-20 degrees, which will not do for what I am looking for.

    I would like to do images and such, but my first priority is beam effects, which is why i like how wide those first galvos are. Does anyone have any ideas comparing these two, or perhaps a third alternative for around this prce? Or even any comments, if I'm missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default

    you can connect nono-shen to ask for further information!
    she can provide you the laser and the scanner with a price that you wish!
    MSN:wzcdehao@hotmail.com
    E-mail: wzc@viasho.com

  3. #3
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    Default

    At the moment I am talking with nono-shen about purchasing a 1watt 532nm laser, and I've pretty much decided to purchase a DT-40 scanner set from jian. I even have an already-variance projector casing on its way, all I am looking for now is the appropriate software/interface. So far the AlphaliteXC Pro system at laserillusions.com is seeming to be the best, but I'm still looking around for other ones <$500 since I'm not sure if I'll be able to purchase the system in time for the deal they are having.

    Overall though, I guess not too bad for my first system :P

  4. #4
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    Default

    Check out MediaLas I think the Mamba Black + USB bundle is great value.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Black+interface is going for 599 euro(~$788), and 2004+interface is going for 429 euro (~$564), not to mention $65 shipping; unfortunately it's pushing my wallet alot at those prices. Even EasyLase + Black is $721 w/ shipping right now; is Mamba Black really THAT much better than Alphalite?

  6. #6
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    I forgot it was and not $

    You can download Mamba Black to compare it though.

    Jim

  7. #7
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    Default Mamba Black vs Alphalite

    Quote Originally Posted by BoomDog
    is Mamba Black really THAT much better than Alphalite?
    It depends on what you want to do with your projector.

    If you want to do "live" shows, where you are hammering the function keys to select different files/effects in real time while the music is playing, then you can save a lot of money by going with the Alphalite. For "Live" shows, there isn't much difference in functionality between the two programs.

    Also, the Alphalite has a lot of cool features to explore. It is a good software package for the begining laser hobbyist, as it allows you to sample a lot of different aspects of laser show design, and it is fairly inexpensive. It also has one of the better abstract generators available. (Mamba Black doesn't come with an abstract generator.) The author of the software (Rick Gebhardt) is a great guy who sometimes checks in here on PhotonLexicon, and he is always ready to answer questions about his software. He continuously updates the software - adding new features and fixing bugs.

    There *IS* a world of difference between the Alphalite DAC and the EasyLase USB DAC, however. The Alphalite DAC uses the PC's parallel port, which means that the data stream to the DAC can be interrupted by various system events. Things like hard disk access, inserting a CD, and even some basic system maintenence tasks will all cause the parallel port to "freze" for a second. When this happens the scanners STOP wherever they are. Usually this results in just a hot spot or a flash in the scanned image, but if the interrupt lasts for several seconds (which is actually rather common) you will get a static beam coming out of the projector. So keep that in mind...

    If all you are doing is a live *beam* show, the timing problem with the parallel DAC will not be an issue. If you want to do graphics, then you will encounter the stuttering/static beam problem. It's your call if it will bother you or not. (See my Alphalite pics in the gallery for an idea of what this looks like.)

    Finally, if you want to do pre-edited shows that are syncronized to music, you will find that to be nearly impossible with the Alphalite. There is no way to add music to a show with the Alphalite. In fact, even the basic Mamba 2004 version lacks the ability to add music to a show. Mamba Black, on the other hand, *does* support music, and does so quite well. But it is more expensive than either the Alphalite or Mamba 2004.

    I suppose you could always start the show playing using the Alphalite, and then quickly hit play on your sound system... But that will never give you perfect timing. Also, the Alphalite software uses nearly all the CPU's power when it is running. (That is how the timing is handled - by throwing the CPU into an elaborate timing loop.) This means that you can't run any other software along with the Alphalite while you are displaying images. If you do, it will slow down the timing on the Alphalite and your points-per-second speed will drop. So if you want to add music, it's *got* to be from a source external to the computer. (Mamba Black plays the sound straight from the computer while simultaneously sending the frame data to the DAC, so everything stays in sync.)

    Mamba Black also has a *very* nice user interface, that I believe is easier to understand and work with - especially for piecing togther a stand-alone show. It also has better color selection (full analog pallete for Mamba Black, TTL color only on Alphalite), and even supports 3D ilda files. (As far as I've been able to determine, the Alphalite is 2D only.)

    Bottom line, Alphalite is a great starter system, but you will probably outgrow it. Mamba Black offers more features, and in my opinion it is a more polished product. It is doubtful that you will ever outgrow Mamba Black. However, it is also a lot more expensive. If you are serious about doing commercial shows, then I'd have to recommend the Mamba Black and EasyLase USB solution. But if you're only planning to do live beam shows, then you might want to look at the Alphalite too. (You could always upgrade later.)

    Adam

    PS: I've had my Alphalite for a year now, and I'm in the process of upgrading to Mamba Black. (I currently own Mamba 2004) But I plan on keeping my Alphalite too... Oh yeah, and one other thing: The DT-40 galvos are great!

  8. #8
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    Default

    Nice post!!!

    I just got my "projector" goin. Tryin to get the first scan uploaded now... There are definatly hotspots with my laptop running popelscan and the lpt port. It's kind of a nasty picture too... :roll: Good example of the hotspots though. :lol: Let me get it uploaded and i'll post it.

    :!:

    Here it is... and no hotspots...



    It seems slow to me. But this is a laptop. Sucks... All my compters for overclocking and none have a lpt port... :x

  9. #9
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    Wow... I put it on my spare dell that I haven't used in a year or so... p4 2.4, 768megs of rdram I just installed windows 8, 10 months ago when I got my action pack subscription and tossed the PC in the closet... Runs the scanners nice. Blanking seems a lil off. Could be my file. Anyone got some mot files I can look at? :roll: please...

  10. #10
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    Default

    Nice pic you got there, Allthat!

    Yeah, if you look closely you can still see some hot spots. And that is going to happen no matter which parallel DAC you use. It's the nature of the beast. The parallel port on a PC gets interrupted quite often, and even if it's just for a short time, you'll see it in the scanned image.

    Still, it looks pretty good, no? (I like it anyway!)

    You've got an Alphalite coming in the mail from Cruch, right? If you want some ilda files to play with in the mean time, go to the Laser Illusions website and download the full version of the latest Alphalite software. (It's a 3 meg D/L) It comes with a few ilda files that you can display. (It also comes with a bunch of other, Alphalite-specific files that you will want to play with when you get the Alphalite DAC hooked up.)

    Adam

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