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Thread: First build

  1. #1
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    Laser Warning First build

    Hello all.

    For a while now Iíve been interested in dabbling with lasers. Over the years Iíve built several audio electronics projects and come to this with an above basic electronics understanding, but expert I am not.

    Iíve spent quite some time perusing this site and reading many threads not to mention the FAQ, and the time has come for me to take the step into the darkness from which I shall not return. Part of me wants to just go and buy one of the cheaper finished units so I can have the beams now, but Iím the sort who gets satisfaction from the build as well as the end result.

    Iíve read up on the safety aspects and am comfortable in my knowledge. Given this is not for commercial purposes, I feel I would be better suited starting out with the basics and building from there.

    With that said, I come seeking advice on my first build.

    I have comfortable understanding of most parts that I will require, but I am missing a key link in my mind. Assuming I have input to the ILDA socket DB25, the signal is then split out to the scanners, the diode drivers, and other components if fitted. After doing much reading, the only item that I have found that resembles what I think I would need is the ILDA breakout board from Stanwax. Apart from that, I think the Pangolin pass could be used in a similar way (more features? pricey and probably overkill for this project) but Iím not certain of this as it is not exactly its primary purpose it seems. Do I have this correct?

    As for diode drivers, Flexmod P3 is one option, and laser show parts is another. Are there any others available?

    For the record, this build will be with DTRs RGB kit, so it is relative low power (i.e. not a 3W unit being a beginner), but will give me enough to understand how things fit together.

    So parts list: scanners/ amps, diodes mounts and optics, diode drivers, power supply, and something that splits the ILDA supply from DAC to the drivers & amps (eg Stanwax breakout). Am I missing anything? (Keeping in mind basic functionality)

    Thx

  2. #2
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    Hi Skot, Welcome and hello. I am presuming you are in Australia by your Koala note? A few of us are based in Sydney, if your local then let us know, we often hook up. As far as the build goes, wise choice, I'm not the best person on here to advise about that but there sure is a hell of a lot here that do!!

    Keep us posted on progress, remember to take some pics....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by skot View Post
    As for diode drivers, Flexmod P3 is one option, and laser show parts is another. Are there any others available?
    Greetings and Welcome! I believe there will be another hobbyist-grade driver option available in the next few months. There exist other drivers, but they are much more expensive and capable than we typically need. I just ordered a pair of Dave's (lasershowparts) drivers myself.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the welcome. Whilst I'm glad to have found the forum, I may live to (financially) regret it haha.

    I'm Melbourne based now originally from the Harbour city.

    Tribble, can you elaborate on the newer driver? Just for interest sakes. (My didodes are on the way so not likely to wait that long)

  5. #5
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    A breakout board from Stanwax is your easiest option for wiring up the projector. PASS is something totally different that you don't need to be concerned with based on your aspirations.

    As far as drivers, the flexmod is difficult to obtain and a hit or miss proposition. The creator tends to surface and then disappear. Some people love them, some people have fried more than their share of diodes with them. The issue with diode drivers seems to be availability, reasonable cost and reliability. They're not a huge moneymaking device so often hobbyists have developed and produced them in small runs and made them available. X-Laser, a US based well respected laser projector builder and system integrator is about to bring to market a new driver that should be affordable, reliable and most importantly available. You'll actually be able to buy one when you want to buy one.

    I don't know enough about the ones Dave is selling to comment on them but, if they're like the rest of his stuff, I suspect they're decent as well.

  6. #6
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    Hi Skot

    Welcome to the forum

    For most parts (diode drivers, mounts, scanners, etc) you can hit up Laser Show Parts, Dave on here runs it and is based in Melbourne

    I've used Dave's drivers in my build with DTR diodes and they work fine

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...399#post287399
    RTI Piko RGB 4 Projector
    CT6215 Scanners & CT 671 Amps; CT6210 & Medialas Microamps. GS124PD
    RGBLaser Systems 6000mW RGB Module - 638nm/445nm/532
    LD2000 Pro + QM2000.net + Beyond
    Etherdream + LSX

    Old Projector Build


  7. #7
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    I was thinking of the X-laser driver. Not sure when it will be available, but I hope they will let us know on PL.

  8. #8
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    How do you plan to drive this projector? If you decide to use Quick Show and I would advise you to start with this then the output from the included FB3 ( Pangolin's DAC) will run through a DB25 to the projector. You can simply solder the appropriate pins (easy to find and posted pin assignments) to the drivers and to the scanner amps. There may be some additional benefits to running this through a Stanwax board, but I do not do this in any of my projectors.

    Dave can also supply the diode mounts, the dichroics and the dichroic mounts. You should not need a color correction board (don't ask if you haven't heard of this) as it is more appropriate to projectors using a DPSS for the green. Also, Dave's drivers work well.

  9. #9
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    Thx Eric, FB3 DAC is the plan.

    I've actually watched Pangolins progress with interest over the years, but never pursued Lasers based on costs. I've only just recently started looking again and realised how much more affordable it has become in terms of hobbyist market. First time I looked at an RGB system was from Oracle Lasers in Sydney (1999/2000?) for $140k. I know systems still exist in that bracket, but at the time my thought was 'move on, nothing to see here'.

    I appreciate your input as it has cleared my understanding of the distribution of the signal. Essentially the breakout use it to enable a neat way to distribute but as you say is not really neccesary. I've done plenty of 8 channel snakes for audio so am ok with wiring a db25; fiddly process though. Something to ponder over.

    And at the risk of making this sound like a dating website, I love your videos! I find them very informative and inspiring (as many others have said).


    And Loopee Thx for that link. Thats a nice clean build right there. Did you make that case (the vice tool linked to jaycar makes me think you did, but sizing is different)

  10. #10
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    I've done plenty of 8 channel snakes for audio so am ok with wiring a db25; fiddly process though. Something to ponder over.
    I buy a db cable of the necessary length. For me this turns out to be 25 feet. Buy a package of db bulkheads. These typically come in a package of 5-6 db cable TERMINATIONS. You dump the termination hardware except for the 25 pin connector. Carefully cut out and then file to perfection a hole in the side of your case and then solder some thin, as in 26g low voltage wire, to the appropriate pins on the inside half of the termination (bulkhead):

    http://www.pangolin.com/LD2000/qm2000pinouts.htm

    Make the leads WAY too long and then as you incorporate and position the drivers etc you can cut these wires to the exact length for a neat lay out. This is indeed almost trivial.

    Oh, and thanks for the nice review.

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