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

Thread: Laser Advice for New Quickshow User

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11

    Default Laser Advice for New Quickshow User

    Hello,

    I run a mobile Disco & Events lighting business in South East England. I have used DJ style lasers for many years which are fine for what they do but I have become increasingly dissatisfied with the results I can get from them, either running their in-built programmes on sound to light mode or via DMX (I am competent DMX user, having run computer based light shows for many years) but never via ILDA.

    Last year I bought what could be considered a high end DJ laser - a Kam Laserscan 1000 3D - which was my second RGB laser and by far the most capable I have had so far. It has many built in patterns, but again the access to them via DMX is less than ideal, making building anything like a coherent show almost impossible. After much thought and a demonstration by a fellow DJ of the same laser run with Pangolin Quickshow, I took the plunge and bought it. I ran my first party using it last night and was delighted with what the software can do.

    Unfortunately, the laser is somewhat outmatched by Quickshow! Although you can run basic animations and abstracts, if you try and overlay a second or further images, the flickering becomes very noticeable, at whatever frame rate you set. There is also a very clear divergence of the blue laser from the red and green. When you project the ILDA test patterns the results are very poor. It was also very obvious, even in a relatively small room, that the blue laser was not easy to see making the balance of colours not that great.

    So, although I am happy to keep the Kam as part of my arsenal, I think it is time to upgrade to something more suitable that will give the option to offer a serious laser offering to my lighting. I am therefore looking for suggestions of an ILDA RGB laser capable of smooth animation and text projection as well as decent beam shows. I suspect I would want it to be analog rather than TTL. I would reckon that I have a budget of around 1,000 to 1,200. I am happy to consider a used laser in good order but am not a great technician so nothing that might need any tweaking. I am very comfortable with the safety aspect of using a laser and never scan the audience, aiming the laser above head height. Of course with the ability to set projection zones within Quickshow this makes life even easier. Being a mobile DJ it is important not to be too bulky as it will need to be set up without the need of large trussing systems. and possibly set up upside down, or if that is not possible at least have a bracket that can be positioned below so it can sit on top of a truss column.

    Can anyone offer sensible suggestions of what I should be looking at or even offer me something that is surplus to your requirements?
    James Skinner
    Silver Pines Sound & Light

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Norway, Stavanger
    Posts
    69

    Default

    The Kam is probably good for home use and such its not a professional laser and probably has horrible quality compared to the ILDA only projectors, Thats the reason you are getting poor results using a proper ILDA software and trying to run the projector at said specs (its probably not 25K as specified). For beamshows i would rather go single color Analog then RGB ttl.
    Have you checked out Goldenstarlasers.
    If you want very good quality you should look into kvant but they are very VERY expensive.

    Im happy with the parts iv gotten from both from kvant and goldenstar.
    If you wait and lurk the sales section there might pop up a projector.

    Also, When you are looking you should avoid stepper motor scanners.

    for beamshows only a 20-30K projector would do fine.

    -Hybrid
    1x - 2W RGB DT40Pro (Currently building)
    1x - 1W RGB PT25K
    ------------------------------------
    EtherDream, LaserShowExpress, Ipad (TouchOSC)
    -Hybridz0rz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
    Posts
    5,803

    Default

    I'd also suggest looking at Lightspace (Omar on the forum). http://www.eightonlight.cn/

    Their Pluto II line is a little above your budget but not all that much. The Pluto XS might be a little less and easier meet your requirements: http://www.eightonlight.cn/products/.../0113/176.html

    Great projectors for the money. Being in the business, I'm sure you understand the term "you get what you pay for" and 1,000 to 1,200 pounds is still just a little "light" to get you where you want to be. I don't know how the currency conversion works but, you might be able to get there for just a couple hundred more pounds.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    1,276

    Default

    Hi James.
    Welcome to PL!

    Where in the South East are you? I'm near Brighton.

    There are a few PLers in the SE.

    Quickshow is great for mobile disco use and you can learn pretty quickly what works and what doesn't. One of the best ways to improve the flickering without upgrading is to reduce the scan angle, otherwise upgrading your galvos is a relatively simple operation.

    If you read through PL you will find a common thread of beam specs and 'taming' diodes. This is the issue with your blue. I'm in the very drawn-out process of building my first RGB projector. It takes time to learn and to save but for me a balanced white is important and nice tight single mode beams are a must. Single mode relates to the beam profile (a section through it) and single mode has a Gaussian profile, meaning that it is relatively circular, hot in the middle and fading around the edges. For graphics and abstracts this can't be beaten but it also means that beams of a given power are also more effective.

    Having matched beams is something all laserists aim for, whether doing beams or graphics as the end result is always purer.

    I think a galvo upgrade (the 'motors' that drive the mirrors) could probably keep you going and then hang about here and see what these guys are doing and you might want to take it to the next level (or a few levels thereafter)

    Keith

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Thanks for all the responses and sorry I didn't get back sooner - Easter family commitments got in the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    I'd also suggest looking at Lightspace (Omar on the forum). http://www.eightonlight.cn/

    Their Pluto II line is a little above your budget but not all that much. The Pluto XS might be a little less and easier meet your requirements: http://www.eightonlight.cn/products/.../0113/176.html

    Great projectors for the money. Being in the business, I'm sure you understand the term "you get what you pay for" and 1,000 to 1,200 pounds is still just a little "light" to get you where you want to be. I don't know how the currency conversion works but, you might be able to get there for just a couple hundred more pounds.
    I will get in touch with Omar and see what he can do for me. It is a shame I missed out on the group buy as this would probably have been pretty much perfect for me. I am not sure whether I have the patience to wait for another (and will potentially miss out on income from bookings for the lasers in the short term).

    I don't necessarily have a fixed budget maximum of 1,200 but I do have to look at it realistically as it is a commercial enterprise and it is very easy to let things get out of control (as I am sure that many of you, as hobbyists, will know). Lasers only form a very small part of my lighting stock to date and even with a much improved showing are only likely to feature at about 20% of events so I need to see where a return can be made on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galvonaut View Post
    Hi James.
    Welcome to PL!

    Where in the South East are you? I'm near Brighton.

    There are a few PLers in the SE.

    Quickshow is great for mobile disco use and you can learn pretty quickly what works and what doesn't. One of the best ways to improve the flickering without upgrading is to reduce the scan angle, otherwise upgrading your galvos is a relatively simple operation.

    If you read through PL you will find a common thread of beam specs and 'taming' diodes. This is the issue with your blue. I'm in the very drawn-out process of building my first RGB projector. It takes time to learn and to save but for me a balanced white is important and nice tight single mode beams are a must. Single mode relates to the beam profile (a section through it) and single mode has a Gaussian profile, meaning that it is relatively circular, hot in the middle and fading around the edges. For graphics and abstracts this can't be beaten but it also means that beams of a given power are also more effective.

    Having matched beams is something all laserists aim for, whether doing beams or graphics as the end result is always purer.

    I think a galvo upgrade (the 'motors' that drive the mirrors) could probably keep you going and then hang about here and see what these guys are doing and you might want to take it to the next level (or a few levels thereafter)

    Keith
    I am in Sevenoaks, Kent so not too far from Brighton. I tend to gig and provide lighting throughout Kent, eastern Surrey and East Sussex.

    I did fiddle with scan rates on the Kam in attempt to improve things, but dropping down into the teens or below actually made things worse and more flickery. Yes, reducing the image size did help a bit but frequently we play in not too large venues where the distance to the projection surface (more often than not a facing wall) from the projector is not large. If you reduce the angle you end up with a teeny-weensie image which looks ridiculous. So a wider scan angle is actually almost a requirement for what I do.

    Thanks also for the suggestion of changing galvos. I am sure in practice this might work, but realistically I am not keen to start messing with the internals of such projectors, partially due to the fact I am not great at that sort of thing, partially due to time constraints and partially because the Kam also forms part of our rental stock and to tailor it in any fashion will make it harder to rent We have tried this with other lighting and find that people want the exact out of the box item. In fact we have had two rentals from a local DJ for this very same projector and he wants it to match up with existing one so he can run two which, predictably, need to be identical.

    If I buy another (bigger and better) projector it will be for my own gig use only (I wouldn't want to risk renting out a true 1W + projector to any Tom, Dick or Harry! - I am very careful about who I rent the existing stock to anyway.

    I think it would make sense to post a Buying request in the Buying/Selling Forum to see whether any UK based forum member is looking to dispose of anything decent that is unwanted.
    James Skinner
    Silver Pines Sound & Light

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    1,276

    Default

    Let me know next time you are Brighton way and we meet for coffee/beer and laser talk. I'm pretty new to it all but might have some tips. Also, do a search for UKLEM - well worth attending - still blows my mind!

    Keith

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Galvonaut View Post
    Let me know next time you are Brighton way and we meet for coffee/beer and laser talk. I'm pretty new to it all but might have some tips. Also, do a search for UKLEM - well worth attending - still blows my mind!

    Keith
    Keith,

    That sounds like a great idea. I will be in touch when I am in your area.

    James.
    James Skinner
    Silver Pines Sound & Light

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11

    Default

    I have now been in touch with Omar at Lightspace and they have suggested a few options, which look appealing but it has raised further questions on which I would be most grateful for some opinion/advice.

    They have suggested the following 4 lasers in order of price, the first being the highest

    Pluto II RGB2.6watt
    Red637nm 680mw, G532nm 1000mw, B445nm 1000mw, ILDA-40kpps, Analog modulation, divergence<1.0mrad

    Pure diode Pluto II RGB2watt
    Red637nm 480mw, *G520nm* 480mw, B445nm 1000mw, ILDA-40kpps, Analog modulation>50KHZ

    Pluto II RGB2.5watt
    Red637nm 480mw, G532nm 1000mw, B445nm 1000mw, ILDA-40kpps

    Pluto II RGB2watt
    Red638nm 500mw, G532nm 500mw, B445nm 1000mw, ILDA-30kpps, Analog modulation, divergence<1.3mrad

    There are obvious advantages in spec between the first three and the later with regards galvo speed, whereas the other differences seem purely down to wavelength and power. The power is likely to be a bit of a non-issue at this sort of level in view of the sort of venues in which we perform (we may have to "turn it down" in some cases at these sort of power levels), but I am more interested in the benefits of red at 637nm and 638nm and the green at 532nm and 540nm. Also the difference between standard and pure diodes.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
    James Skinner
    Silver Pines Sound & Light

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wilmington, DE
    Posts
    5,803

    Default

    The third one down, the Pluto II 2.5 watt RGB has been the most popular model for past group buy purchases and a large number of people on the forum have them. I think the price/performance ratio is probably the best on this unit.

    I don't know what the asking price is for the pure diode model listed second but, there are a number of people also now working with pure diode projectors that have been very happy with them. The plus is better performance from your green as a diode versus DPSS which is in the other three projectors however, the trade off according to some is the colors. A diode green is 520nm whereas DPSS is 532nm. The 520nm green by itself according to many is very pretty and nicer color than 532nm however, from the standpoint of mixing it with red and blue, there are others that don't like the secondary colors as much - for example the yellows, oranges, cyans. The longevity of diodes is also supposed to far out-last DPSS.

    Based on my observations, I would think the two watt listed last wouldn't be bad for your intended purpose and the fact that it's half the green power of the 2.5 doesn't worry me that much however... knowing the white produced from the 2.5 watt units leads me to believe that the white from the 2 watt will really lean towards a "blue white". Sort of like those blue headlamps people sometimes use on their cars.

    I know the Pluto II 2.5 watt was a little bit more than what you hoped to spend based on your budget but, I'm very, very, confident in saying you will NEVER regret spending a little bit more to have gone with that projector. Repeat... NEVER regret spending just a little more for that projector.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Brad,

    Once again thanks for your exceedingly helpful input.

    I will seriously consider the 2.5w Pluto II. It is more than I had hoped to spend, but I am sure you are correct - once I have it I won't regret the extra s.
    James Skinner
    Silver Pines Sound & Light

Posting Permissions

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