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Thread: still struggling finding laser library/equipment for personal usage

  1. #1
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    Default still struggling finding laser library/equipment for personal usage

    Hello I am an 18 year old guy who really has a passion and wants to find laser show equipment and a show library to playback for personal use. The problem lies within me and my parents financial issues. After my father retired from the military We literally have very little money to have the required equipment for playing full length shows. I know this is a very expensive industry to get into but we just do not have a ton of cash and I really do not want to give up my hopes and dreams to be involved with laser shows. I apologize for not being kind about it back in 2011 to anyone and especially apologize for my attitude towards bradfo69, and thepolishedball as well as other laserists. I would appreciate it if anyone can please give me another chance and please help me out in this topic of lasers either on this forum or by phone at my cell:719-258-0210 if anyone can help out or knows someone who can help please do not hesitate to give me a call.

    I have already tried to get support from the following people: Patrick Murphy of ILDA, Joanne Young of Audio Visual Imagineering (AVI), as well as firstlight international and pangolin and laser fantasy.

    If anyone has information at all or need more explanation of my passion please ask patrick at ILDA as me and him have spoken many times of what I am trying to accomplish.

    I appreciate everyone's time and help!
    Thank you,
    Tyler Schofield

  2. #2
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    Son, there are a few problems: some of these show libraries don't exist anymore, some are on old media that would require extensive restoration ( believe me - I know of what I speak about restoration.), and even assuming anybody has easily copied digital copies they will take dedicated hardware to playback and in the case of Laserium training/experience to perform them. You're really better off starting from scratch, but if your heart's set on old school your best bet is Jon. Of course at 18 you'd be besting my youngest Laserist of all time record by two years. Step one is knowing your way around op amps and digital logic.
    "There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun." Pablo Picasso

  3. #3
    Bradfo69's Avatar
    Bradfo69 is online now Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    Hi Tyler,

    Apology accepted. No worries. I had to go back and re-read the thread from back then just to recall what you were referencing. Just so you are aware, Patrick Murphy recently sent out an e-mail blast to all of us who are ILDA members about your situation and he seemed very impressed with your passion after the few conversations he's had with you. Hopefully perhaps some equipment may turn up for you.

    Lasers regrettably haven't gotten any cheaper in that time although my suggestion of the REKE 500RGB is still pretty viable as a "starter" at a few hundred bucks (assuming it's still being made and for sale.) There are some other entry level projectors that are probably a better choice although they will be a little more expensive. A company called Goldenstar has become pretty popular around here for parts for building your own and they have a number of complete systems that could be a good start. Pangolin has just gotten into the scanner market and their Compact 506 scanners are far better that what you'll find in the REKE or anything from Goldenstar and, they're also going to be affordable. If you do in fact, ever get your hands on some of the more sophisticated shows like you have seen in planetariums, you'll need capable scanners to play them. The cheap scanners in the REKE's for example, just can't physically do it. The abstracts, the details, everything else, just will sort of be mush. They are ok for beams and simple patterns but for complex images, they simply won't reproduce.

    The best repository of free laser shows is still the Pangolin show space. They are created by Pangolin users and freely uploaded for others to enjoy. There are a lot of them. The drawback is that you have to have Pangolin equipment to play them. Either an FB3 with Quickshow or the LD2000 or Beyond package. But again... it's money. Another less expensive alternative is LSX and a Riya or Etherdream DAC. Certain versions of LSX also come with a host of free shows although, just like Pangolin, you will need to track down and obtain the music because legally they can't be distributed with it (unless they're paying hefty royalties to the artist for the use of the song.) Most of the time the music can be found on places like iTunes and downloaded for $.99 or whatever it is these days.

    The planetarium type material from places like AVI or Laser Fantasy remains very hard to obtain and usually quite expensive when you can get it. As was mentioned, keep in mind many of these people who created these shows were animators and programmers hired from Disney and using expensive proprietary software to create with. If it's your living and you have a team of people working for weeks or months to create a full length show, there is a lot of money tied up in it's creation. Planetariums therefore have to pay big money to lease those shows and the rights to play them. AVI is not just going to say sure, here's a hard drive with a bunch of our shows on it for you to enjoy in your basement for free (or low cost) because you're a 16 year old kid interested in lasers. That's what we were trying to explain before.

    It will be far cheaper and rewarding if you have the bug, to begin learning how to create your own shows and perhaps try to mimic things you've seen. The tools are out there. It could be a great learning experience Once you've spent 20 hours creating your own 3 minute show, it may help give you an appreciation why these shows cost so much to obtain. A good example is the work of Swamidog here on the forum and what he's been able to accomplish with LSX. It holds up to any of the professional shows and is created with a very reasonable software/DAC package.

    I know money's tight but, I think you still need to think in terms of $600 - $800 to get involved in this madness.
    Last edited by Bradfo69; 05-25-2014 at 03:40. Reason: typo.... what else!

  4. #4
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    Why not start out like those in the late '60s and early '70s did? Go retro! Forget about the computer and animations, and build your own equipment with motors, gears, harvested optics, shower door glass, melting plastic, etc. Start with small lasers, again harvested or found cheap on ebay or through one of the internet forums (use the computer for THAT). Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. Study lasers in school and play with them at home. That'll set you up for a job working with them, and your application of personal interest will be easy. Consider a career as a laser technician.

  5. #5
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    We all love lasers like you, and most of us didn't have the funds, or didn't believe we could come up with them, but where there is a will there is a way. You might want to start working somewhere and saving your paychecks since you live with mom and dad. With the first/second paycheck you can buy a FB3, then with the 3-6th paycheck you can buy a 500mW-1Watt RGB laser. Working hard for something always makes it more worthwhile and you are take better care of it. My 2 cents...

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