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Thread: what is tuning scanners for?

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    Default what is tuning scanners for?

    hi every one can you guys explain me what scanner tuning is done for? Is less distorted graphics the only thing tuning will achieve or does it improve other things as well?

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    Basically, tuning your scanners is all about ensuring that you get the same (or nearly the same) performance as everyone else.

    What I mean by this is that if someone creates a laser show using a projector that has been properly tuned to the ILDA 30K standard, then that show should look the same when it is played back on ANY laser projector that has also been properly tuned to the ILDA 30K standard.

    If your scanners are not properly tuned, then the show may look different (that is, worse) on your projector than it did on the one used to create it. And while this is more important for graphics shows, if your scanners are way out of tune you may notice problems even with beam shows.

    Beyond that simple definition, if your scanners are really far out of tune, you can suffer other problems including overheating, oscillation, and even permanent damage to the scanners themselves. But most scanners come from the factory with tuning that is at least good enough to prevent these problems. So in that case it becomes a case of trying to get them as close to the standard as possible, to get the best performance.

    Adam

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    Running slower would produce more flicker, but as long as the scanners are tuned correctly, it should not affect the quality of the image.

    Running at 30K with poor tuning will produce artifacts in the image. Things like rounded-off corners on squares, circles that look more like ovals, and so on. That's what I mean by "looking worse". Tuning will fix these problems.

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorn View Post
    1) cube edges are very bold and circle start and end points are very bold and slightly apart from each other
    If you could post a picture of this, it would make it easier to understand what you mean. From the description you gave, this might be a problem with the blanking shift adjustment and not a tuning problem.

    2) i get too much flicker (flashing) with stock animations so i thought maybe the scan speed can/should be tuned as well. is that also tuneable?
    Scan speed can be adjusted, yes. And while it would be best to re-tune your scanners at the new speed, you can try running them at a different speed without re-tuning just to see if it helps. There is a scan-speed adjustment in Mamba, but again, I can't remember where it is located.

    Most animations should look pretty good at 30Kpps. That's the speed that most laser artwork is designed to be displayed at. So long as your scanners are capable of running at 30K, you should be fine. If you want to run them faster, you can try this, but be sure to reduce the scan angle first. The faster you run your scanners, the narrower the scan angle has to be. (If you scan too wide, you will notice the image start to distort.)

    Adam

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    The flickering at 700 points is normal if you are scanning at 30K. As a general rule, you want to be below 1000 points total. Remember though that this includes both lit points (ones you can see) and unlit points (where the scanners are moving to a new area to draw something and the laser is off). So 700 lit points could very well be over 1000 points total when you consider all the extra blanked points in the image.

    When you increase the scan speed to 60K, you are doubling the speed of the scanners. This makes them work very hard, and if they are not rated for the speed you can overheat them. However, if you reduce the scan angle enough, you should be OK. And yes, by increasing the speed you will reduce the amount of flicker, because they are drawing the image twice as fast.

    What scanners are you using, and what speed are they rated for?

    Adam

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    think of scanners like a car engine.

    yes the engine works but there are improvements that can be made to fine tune it and make it work just that bit better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorn View Post
    yeah it says "dt40pro" on it.
    OK, the DT-40 pro scanners are pretty decent units. If you want to run them at 60K, it would be best to re-tune them for that speed to get maximum performance. But you can run them at 60K without re-tuning if you want. You may lose a little performance, but it won't be a huge problem.

    Note that you will only be able to scan the ILDA test pattern at around 5 degrees when running at 60K, but you can run most graphics shows at 12 to 15 degrees without any problems, even at 60K.

    If you start to see distortion in the images, or if you start to hear screeching sounds from the scanners, then reduce the scan angle a bit. (Some high frequency noise is normal, but if you hear a squealing sound, that's bad.)

    Quote Originally Posted by andy_con View Post
    think of scanners like a car engine.
    yes the engine works but there are improvements that can be made to fine tune it and make it work just that bit better.
    Very well put, Andy!

    Adam

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    Metal drilling sound? That sounds bad. If you just mean a high frequency whining sound, that's OK, but if it sounds like a screech (think feedback on a microphone and speaker), then it's bad.

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by zorn View Post
    yeah it says "dt40pro" on it. if i google i see 30Kpps ILDA at 15 but i ran it at 60Kpps at that angle and it didnt distort the complex graphic. maybe it will get overheated though. i only tested that speed for short time.
    The standard test is the ILDA pattern at 8 degrees and 30K (or 40K in your case if you want to see if they make a true 40K although the circle will be smaller than intended unless you adjust your scanners at the same time).

    Running the test pattern also gives information about other aspects of a scanners performance.

    You will be able to run less complex graphics at faster / wider angles than the test pattern as its designed to be taxing.

    BTW most manufacturers claims are a little optimistic (not necessarily saying that is the case here, just generally). Others on here have / have had DT40's so should be able to give you an idea of what an achievable realistic speed is with the DT's.
    Last edited by White-Light; 03-07-2014 at 07:06. Reason: Added a little extra info

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