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Thread: Pangolin is slow at service

  1. #21
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    Its not a bug in the software 100% sure it's cue related lets get that out of the way.

    The laser industry is a very different industry from the examples you named.. both in scale.. innovation speed and hardware/equipment value changes which has a big effect on how things work here.
    Some people share their knowledge because they are proud and because they want to push people to do things they might be capable off.

    Bill has most certainly helped a lot of us including me and isn't enforcing me anything.. I'm free to choose/try and use whatever software I want.

    In my eyes Bill is more of an developer/creator and inovator then he is a salesman and this is from own first hand experience seeing bill on tradeshows and on SELEM.
    I have been one of few lucky to be around bill for quite a long time during my stay in the US at pangolin HQ.... he works really hard and it's something to look up to.

    The reason why you don't see the others appearing is because to stay active you need to invest time in this on top him having to deliver support to his clients and developing.. sometimes I wonder how much vacation Bill is getting to be quite frank.

    Yes he owns a company and naturally he needs to eat too and earn to grow with his company to be able to invest in more to expand as a whole.....Innovating is satisfying.. Bill has plenty of money already and PL is a VERY small earning factor in compared to what they make these days.. the laser industry is MOST CERTAINLY benefiting from his companies investments and pangolin naturally also gains from it too.. but that makes sense.

    He helps the market grow by developing ways for his clients to be able to deliver more so that the end user is also willing to pay more (or more frequently) for the service and that all ends up in circulation.

  2. #22
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    Dec 2013
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    Yeah, I'm sorry, I've got to add my two cents here. Bill has gone above and beyond in helping me with issues I've had in the past. In fact, Bill invited me to the Pangolin shop when I was in Orlando working with Greg on an issue with one of my projectors. Bill helped me with both issues related to and not related to Pangolins software. We got into a technical deep dive on the software, and when I challenged him on some functionality of the software that didn't work the way I thought it should, he took the time to walk me through it, show me how to tweak it, and ultimately helped me understand when to use that part of the functionality and when to not. While it can be argued that a "sales engineer" will work with technical prospects for some reason that will ultimately benefit their company, IMHO that goes above and beyond. Bill doesn't know me from Adam, but he's always kept a fairly open dialog about their software and services regardless.

    Saying "it's the scanners" is completely appropriate. Back when the only scanners anyone used were GS120's and CT6800's, it was very easy to differentiate between software vs hardware issues. With so many different projectors out on the market now with so many different levels of performance in a technology that is already fairly inprecise takes time to track down the exact nature of the issue. Bill's wearing multiple hats now. He's President, Sales Engineer, Support Engineer, and Lead Developer. I can understand when he takes a day or two to respond to issues. Pangolins a small company in a niche market. And for what they are and what they do, I personally think they provide phenomenal level of support.

  3. #23
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    I think it would be really interesting to see a shot of the ILDA test pattern from the projectors exhibiting the 'extra line' behavior to see if there is anything there that would tell us whether to expect similar behavior from other projectors, or if there is an amp tuning adjustment that can address the issue. It's all about timing the galvo movements with the laser modulation, and if the galvo is still moving when it shouldn't be, there's your extra line. 'Course, there's a half dozen reasons why that could happen, some software related, some hardware related, some projector related... it's a system, and it's gotta work together. And, as is often the case with complex systems-of-systems, it may be possible to "fix" the behavior in different ways by adjusting different components... but each adjustment will have its own side effects. Finding the adjustment with the fewest side effects is sometimes difficult.

  4. #24
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    Aug 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
    Hi David,

    Of course with support, it's best when the situation is "I absolutely see it on all of our test projectors" rather than "I sort of see it on one of our test projectors".

    We keep a whole variety of projectors in stock now, including the original PuFeng projector with 10K scanners which I used to generate and then verify the QS workspace. Every cue we distribute looked acceptably well on this cheap projector -- but only when the scan rate was actually set to 10K, as the projector had 10K scanners.

    Once Aaron and I can get together and I can take a look at this specific situation, I can render a conclusion as to whether we want to make a change in QS software, our default workspace, or simply make a recommendation that you yourself modify a few cues or settings. But this will take some analysis -- not just a quick conclusion, and this analysis takes time.

    Therefore "slowness of Pangolin support" in this case is warranted. But if you want a quick answer, then you have plenty of them above. "It's your scanners".

    By the way, this is one of the reasons why we are getting into the scanner business. We're trying to raise everyone to an industry-standard level and hopefully one day eliminate the 10K and 20K scanners out there (as we're offering 30K scanners for 10K scanner prices -- in large quantities of course )

    Bill
    It's kinda funny when you say this... I have 20k scanners installed in my lasers, mainly because as someone still quite new to all this laser business, I didn't have the knowledge to ask the right questions, or I would have opted for at least a 30k upgrade... I definitely see the problems with even the 20k set that I have... And the laser is a Goldenstar that I am pretty happy with, although I didn't know much at the time that I bought it as I said, and it is my first REAL projector...

    You may have seen my issues with the Pangolin software... Yes, I was a little upset at .ild disablement... I have used some homebrew programs to do the kind of things I want to do, but eventually want to step it up into full scale animation. Working within the pixel to point ratio is indeed challenging, especially on a 20k set of scanners. However, I DO know that if I can get my images to work on these, then 30k and up are no problem... Still, that being said, I would like to have the 40k scanners installed in mine...

    From an industry standard, I do like to see someone taking the initiative to try and help better the industry as a whole. It puts an entirely new perspective FOR ME as someone who before saw a company trying to limit their customers to utilizing their product and only outputting shows to THEIR standards... So that being said, have you played around with any of the Chinese lasers? I am sure you've seen quite a few of them on ebay, and considering that this "hobby" is a very expensive one, wouldn't it make sense to "level the playing field" so to speak, so that the software for creating shows is more affordable, and therefore draw even more people into lasers?

  5. #25
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    Thanks for the kudos and kind words guys! I appreciate them.

    By the way, we're paying to have a few PL member projectors shipped to us. These are projectors that clearly exhibit the problem and exhibit it in a bad way. Once we receive the projectors we'll do some experimentations, make changes (one place or another) and then ship the projectors back at our expense.

    This isn't the first time we've done something like this. In the recent past, a customer reported having strange crash problems with BEYOND. We couldn't imagine what the problem was. We shipped the customer duplicate FB3, duplicate USB cables, helped work through different builds of software, etc. Finally we purchased a brand new, top-of-the-line Lenovo laptop, loaded it with our software, and shipped the entirely new system to the client and it solved his problem. We received his old laptop in exchange, and simply put that laptop to work here at Pangolin. This customer hadn't purchased tens of thousands of dollars worth of gear from us over the past 20 years. It was just a guy with a problem -- a strange problem, and a guy sincere enough to want to work through them.

    In another instance, there was a client in Brazil who had a strange problem that we were not able to identify or solve through telephone and email support, so we flew to Brazil just so we can see and understand the problem. Once we did, we fixed it and then flew back home the next day...

    Anyway, I appreciate the discussion and experiences people are having. There are a few ways to solve this particular problem. One way is to modify the cues using cue properties. This is pretty easy, and PJ did this on a prospective BEYOND workspace. Anybody can do this. But once I see the problem with my own eyes on these PL guys' projectors, we'll see if there is a better solution. Somehow I think there might be...

    Bill

  6. #26
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    It all depends on your perspective I guess. I consider Quickshow incredibly affordable these days, especially the price some places are charging, and the weak dollar also helps us Europeans currently too.


    *That was a reply to VoD, but Bill snuck in before me
    http://www.facebook.com/SubsonicSystems
    http://www.frikkinlazors.co.uk

    You are using Bonetti's defense against me, ah?

    I thought it fitting, considering the rocky terrain.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by tribble View Post
    I think it would be really interesting to see a shot of the ILDA test pattern from the projectors exhibiting the 'extra line' behavior to see if there is anything there that would tell us whether to expect similar behavior from other projectors, or if there is an amp tuning adjustment that can address the issue. It's all about timing the galvo movements with the laser modulation, and if the galvo is still moving when it shouldn't be, there's your extra line. 'Course, there's a half dozen reasons why that could happen, some software related, some hardware related, some projector related... it's a system, and it's gotta work together. And, as is often the case with complex systems-of-systems, it may be possible to "fix" the behavior in different ways by adjusting different components... but each adjustment will have its own side effects. Finding the adjustment with the fewest side effects is sometimes difficult.
    ILDA is perfect. The issue is with a very small number of cues only. Probably less than 1/2 a dozen (never counted).

    I've spoken to Peiter about this (as he has an apparent fix that Pangolin are evaluating), and it appears to be an individual cue property setting issue on a small number of cues, that means that with less than perfect scanners, you can get an over shoot / under shoot on the scanning on those cues alone, it's not a wider software issue, and all other cues / test patterns etc are largely unaffected, although one test pattern with the small circles does show slight "joins" where the circles close.

    BTW, on the speed subject, whilst running scanners too fast does exaggerate the issue, even pulling them back to within their rated / capable speed doesn't completely solve it so Vibrations, merely having 30K scanners wouldn't make this go away. The key to minimising it whilst evaluation is taking place, is to make sure your scanners are running within their TRUE speed capabilities (ie. Perfect ILDA @ 8 degrees, which you should have them doing anyway). Even a few K above their capability does increase the size of the over / under shoots by a noticeable margin. eg in my case, I can see a difference between 28K and 30K. Pulling mine back to 25K, which is below their ILDA rated speed does further improve it slightly . I can't remember testing below this but on the face of it, the lower the scanner load, the less apparent the issue will be.
    Last edited by White-Light; 09-01-2014 at 23:44.

  8. #28
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    Default Tests and results

    Hi all,

    I am pretty sure that I mentioned that we paid to have two projectors shipped to us from a Photon Lexicon member, so that we can find out what's going on here. The PL member shipped quickly, but then both Justin and I were out of town for more than a week, at a business conference.

    Well, I just unboxed both projectors and did some testing. Both projectors were these "Pluto" projectors that many people at SELEM were discussing. Both projectors had Phenix Technology scanners. One projector had their older PT40, and another projector had the newer PT-A40. Both projectors show the same problem and -- from testing, the problem is exhibited for the same reason.

    The problem has to do with something called "large-signal performance". Both projectors would display the ILDA test pattern just fine at 30K - but only at moderately small angles. The projector with PT-A40s was tuned precisely to 30K. No faster. The projector with PT-40s was tuned to around 34K. Size of the test pattern was rather moderate -- only a bit more than 10 degrees at 30K and 8 degrees at 34K for the PT-40s. So if you're only looking at the ILDA test pattern, you won't see any problems.

    However, on test patterns that have large features, such as the grid which has long fast lines, rounding will be seen as -- instead of simply stopping at the destination immediately, the scanner kind of skids slowly into place. I made a video of this here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrky8eXwZHY

    And I made a quick follow-up video showing the effect on beams here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gehW1VE7aJk

    By the way, for scanners with relatively small mirrors, this is the worst large-signal performance that I have ever seen. But that's just me... And it also goes to show you that -- just because a product name has the number "40" in it, doesn't mean that it's a 40K scanner...

    Now, setting aside poor large-signal performance, the question is how to solve the problem. Sure -- as Pieterjan has done -- you can go into the individual cue properties, click on Cue Properties and then you will need to click on "Custom optimization" and then mess with some blanking-related timing. That will work, but I'm not sure it is the 100000000% best solution for all users in the world.

    Let me look into this a bit further and then we will come to a final conclusion.

    Best regards,

    William Benner

  9. #29
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    AHA, I meant to include a picture showing how to edit the cues. Here it is:

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
    The problem has to do with something called "large-signal performance". Both projectors would display the ILDA test pattern just fine at 30K - but only at moderately small angles. The projector with PT-A40s was tuned precisely to 30K. No faster. The projector with PT-40s was tuned to around 34K. Size of the test pattern was rather moderate -- only a bit more than 10 degrees at 30K and 8 degrees at 34K for the PT-40s. So if you're only looking at the ILDA test pattern, you won't see any problems.

    However, on test patterns that have large features, such as the grid which has long fast lines, rounding will be seen as -- instead of simply stopping at the destination immediately, the scanner kind of skids slowly into place. I made a video of this here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrky8eXwZHY
    Bill, fascinating videos, thanks for the report! My curious mind has a question... having an audiophile background, and harkening back to my audio amplifier tweaking days, I have often wondered if scanner amps would benefit from a set of fat stiffening caps wired as close to the output transistors as possible. Say an extra 50,000 uF of low-ESR storage absolutely tightens up transient response in a woofer, and I wonder if it would enable any given scanner/amp combo some 'headroom' to achieve better large-signal performance for any given tuning. I expect that one would have to re-tune the amps completely, as adding the caps is going to change the timing of a lot of things, though I would expect the big jumps to be affected the most.

    Anyone tried this?

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