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Thread: Opinions on a display

  1. #1

    Default Opinions on a display

    I was thinking about purchasing this unit:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MakeTrack=true

    I asked if it had a IR filter, and I was told it did and that the 100mw is true 100mw taken after the IR filter was installed. The main attraction to this is the ILDA capability. The only problem is, I have never used any software for lasers, and I don't know how hard it would be to use one, It shows the scanner speed to be 15k, would this be good enough to do animations? I am not looking do anything too insane, perhaps words flipping/rotating... Is the ILDA pretty technical? And there is any freeware/moderately priced software that I could use..

    Thanks for the advice..
    - instinct

  2. #2
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    Default turn-key vs roll your own...

    Hello Instinct! Welcome to Photon Lexicon.

    The laser projector you linked to will be capable of displaying beam shows and simple graphics. A few letters, some simple designs, that sort of thing. It includes a DMX interface, and also has an ILDA port. An ILDA port is a 25-pin standard that is used to connect a laser show controller to a projector like the one you linked to.

    So, in order to connect this projector to a computer, you would need to purchase a controller and some software. Just about every controller has an ILDA standard port that you can use to connect the controller to your projector. Then there is a separate cable that will connect the controller to your computer. (some controllers use a parallel cable, some use a USB cable, and some of the better controllers actually come on a PCI card that plugs into your motherboard.)

    There are some free/open source software solutions, and there are also some hardware controller designs that you can build yourself if you are handy with a soldering iron. However, these solutions only offer the most basic features.

    If you are on a tight budget, then this may be your only option. But bear in mind that laser equipment (both hardware and software) is EXPENSIVE. (This is a money pit hobby!) So consider now how much money you really want to devote to this hobby before you buy anything. Also think about how realistic it would be for you to assemble some (or all) of the components yourself. If you are handy, you can do it yourself and save a lot of money while learning a good bit as well. But if you are not, then you're just asking for trouble, and will probably waste a lot of time and money.

    If you'd like to have something that offers additional functionality, and especially if you don't like the idea of building something yourself, you might consider some of the commercial packages, including the Alphalite system, the Mamba Black and Easylase USB combination, or even an intro Pangolin system. As you go up in price, you of course increase the feature set and the quality of both the software interface and the ouput of the hardware controller.

    Have a good, long look around here on Photonlexicon before you decide to buy anything... You'll find many threads that discuss the pro's and con's of the various products out there.

    A commercial turn-key system is relatively easy to use, and will offer excellent reliability. Unfortunately, it will also cost more. How much that matters is a question only you can answer...

    Adam

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for all the info Buffo.. I greatly appreciate it.


    I am going to start looking into controllers/software, and see if I can find anything that looks like it will suit me, I'm sure I'll have many laser purchases in the future, I bought my 30mw green plug in play system last year, and I love it. It is an addiction for sure, I'm barely in college in now, so I'm sure this will be just the start of my laser collection, I want to eventually create my own from scratch, but I'm not at that level yet (or budget) to start yet.

    Thanks again for the advice!
    - instinct

  4. #4
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    Default

    Bill from Pangolin announced that Pangolin will also be releasing a hardware/software package within the alphalite/Mamba price range.
    You can bet your bottom dollar that it will be the *best* budget system out when he releases it.

    Jim

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    Default

    Yeah, I was thinking that I should have mentioned something about that after I posted my reply above. Thanks for bringing it up!

    Bill did say that it would be cheaper than the Mamba Black/Easylase combination... So if you can wait a couple months, Instinct, you can probably get a much better system.

    Adam

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBo
    Bill from Pangolin announced that Pangolin will also be releasing a hardware/software package within the alphalite/Mamba price range.
    You can bet your bottom dollar that it will be the *best* budget system out when he releases it.

    Jim
    Any idea of a ballpark $ he's going to charge?
    Does the hardware include scanners?

  7. #7
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    Default

    I think it will be < $700 to be cheaper than Mamba Black + USB.
    Have a read at this thread.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Default

    Interestinggg

  9. #9
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    Default

    I'm probably crossing a line here that I shouldn't, but when Bill Brenner was talking about this new product at FLEM this past weekend, he hinted that the price point for this new hobbyist board (which is based on the flashback product, BTW) would be closer to $500. That puts it squarely between the Alphalite and Mamba...

    I told Bill at the time that if he can hit that price point, he'll be the new king of the hobbyist market. (Right now I think the Mamba/Easylase combination is probably the most popular solution for hobbyists in terms of price vs features and overall value.)

    But if this Pangolin unit comes out for just $500, there's *no* reason to go with anything else - especially when you consider the fact that the Easylase DAC has some pronouced sample jitter (which I'm certain that the Pangolin unit will not have).

    Bill was talking about a Spring, 2007 release for this baby...

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thanks for sharing that Adam.
    Can't wait to get one!!

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