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Thread: Best Bet For Mini 1 to 2W RGB System?

  1. #1
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    Default Best Bet For Mini 1 to 2W RGB System?

    We have a Planetarium installation where we want to augment two channels of larger Laser imagery plus our Fulldome video with another channel of imagery from two daisy chained 1 to 2 watt RGB mini lasers up in the cove lip. In the past we have done this with multi mode lasers, fiber optics, and big mirror 12k Cambridge scanners for mainly beams, projected through movable opening dome ports.

    Chopping up the dome is a no go in this case, the available space in the cove lip depth is about 9 inches or so, I'd like to avoid the fiber optic dance, and too much laser power will sometimes drown out the stars and 360 video. In an era where lots of laser power has never been cheaper, we seem to be "playing in the cracks"


    Could anyone suggest a reasonably reliable supplier? Most folks have stopped making stuff in small low watt output machines. Ebay has lots of $300 to $500 systems that appear to be small enough do the job with the right power, but who are the manufacturers where you have a fighting chance?

    20k scanning is not the end of the world, we've got decades of shows with that imagery channel at 12k that we can convert to RGB, analog color mod would be preferred, ILDA in & out is required, I've heard 520 green is better, we can build a shelf to extend out a bit, but vertical size height above the spring line is critical

    Sorry to ramble on, but any tips would be a great help.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is offline Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slide View Post
    We have a Planetarium installation where we want to augment two channels of larger Laser imagery plus our Fulldome video with another channel of imagery from two daisy chained 1 to 2 watt RGB mini lasers up in the cove lip. In the past we have done this with multi mode lasers, fiber optics, and big mirror 12k Cambridge scanners for mainly beams, projected through movable opening dome ports.

    Chopping up the dome is a no go in this case, the available space in the cove lip depth is about 9 inches or so, I'd like to avoid the fiber optic dance, and too much laser power will sometimes drown out the stars and 360 video. In an era where lots of laser power has never been cheaper, we seem to be "playing in the cracks"


    Could anyone suggest a reasonably reliable supplier? Most folks have stopped making stuff in small low watt output machines. Ebay has lots of $300 to $500 systems that appear to be small enough do the job with the right power, but who are the manufacturers where you have a fighting chance?

    20k scanning is not the end of the world, we've got decades of shows with that imagery channel at 12k that we can convert to RGB, analog color mod would be preferred, ILDA in & out is required, I've heard 520 green is better, we can build a shelf to extend out a bit, but vertical size height above the spring line is critical

    Sorry to ramble on, but any tips would be a great help.

    Thanks in advance.
    with single mode diode projectors, you should have no problems finding something that size. the projector i use for show programming is basically an 8" cube with 40k scanners. i only have it half populated right now, but it would easily scale up to about a watt with the same beam specs, or higher if you switch to multimode diodes. i think you'd be fine with under a watt in the dome.

    the only problem is my projector is self built. however, the build process is not too complicated and quit a number of people here could assist you.
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  3. #3
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    The Kvant Atom 801 might just be small enough.
    http://www.kvantlasers.sk/product/kvant-atom-801
    __________________________________________________ __________

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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the speedy replies, sorry for the delay getting back, I was swamped wrangling a management issue.

    Swamidog's concept would certainly be a good way to go but we are not only opening a show, we're getting a Planetarium upgraded and running, and time wise it's warp 9 with my hair on fire.

    The Kavant Atom 801 looks great. I wish I'd known they were on the market when we bought the last batch of lasers. The fact that it looks like they come in white is also great if they were to stick up into the dome a bit. However at probably $5,000+ tax for two, paid with tiny post-oil-crash Canadian dollars, it's not in the cards for this imagery add on. We'll probably grab some small low end Langling or ReKe units to just try the concept out, and we'll not expect a lot.

    Anyone have any experience with mini Suny lasers?

    Thanks again for the pearls of wisdom.

  5. #5
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    Default Mini Laser-Got them

    Many thanks to all the folks that gave such great advice both here and in PMs, and to the several manufacturers who indulged my weird needs and gave me their time.

    I wound up getting 2, Lanling 1W RGB projectors with 40k "economy" scanners. They are only 105mm high and that's what I needed to fit up in the cove lip as little satellite projectors to augment the main lasers and Fulldome video.

    These guys are really very inexpensive, and really basic construction, butI think they will be perfect for the job, and they have cool "3D", standard D/G, and "galaxy" D/G effects optics moved in and out of the beam path by DMX. Frankly they are much more (so far) that I was expecting at that price and a blast to play with.

    One projector was out of collimation when it arrived, and the collimation process is really grass roots and new to me. No thumb screws just push and rotate, I was unsure how this would work, but it actually wasn't bad. I should probably get a spare set of scanners to have on standby.

    I'll attach a shot of the basic collimation approach.

    Craig
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DicroAlignment.jpg  


  6. #6
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    Greetings,
    How big is the dome? I work under a 40' dome using the DS2 (SkySkan) planetarium program. We have an old analog projector (about 20 yrs old) that was originally gas lasers, but I converted it to solid state about 5-6 years ago. We're putting out about 300-350mW, full color, which is a very good balance between the lasers and stars. (Using Pangolin for an all in-house programmed system). I've just added some "beam effect" small projectors, putting out between 300-450mW. At this point, I think we're at the "high end" of extra light in the dome. Since we use fulldome images, stars, other astronomy images with the lasers, I don't want too much competition.
    Anyway, I recently was doing some aligning and seeing how things look. Here's a short video I shot with a point-and-shoot camera using the "video" option, so it could be better. Some light fog in the theater and no stars on for the recording. (Clip from the end of our "Laser ELO" show.) http://www.thelostplanet.net/rvcc/newlasers2.mov Sorry for the flicker and "cuts" in the images, I think the camera runs at 15fps.

    -Bill
    RVCC Planetarium,
    North Branch, NJ USA

  7. #7
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    Hi,

    Sorry for the long delay in getting back to you, we were installing the two smaller projectors up in the tiny cove lip in the planetarium and testing all of the imagery coming through them as well as creating a bunch of 3-D video animations, and dealing with the physical and bureaucratic process of adapting the fire alarm system to cope with the theatrical fog.

    Your video looks great! We know only too well that laser is tough to capture in the dome.

    It looks like your philosophy is similar to ours. We started off as astronomy planetarium show producers and added laser entertainment shows to our repertoire later. We still feel that the theater makes the most powerful visual statement (when it's done properly) and that the lasers are actually another, important, part of the whole environment.

    We are used to doing shows in larger 60 foot to 90 foot domes, but this current venue has a 38 foot dome, so it's a bit of a switch, and yes, we might be using neutral density filters on our bigger lasers :-)

    Some of the folks on our team have created some new software that takes our old X, Y, color, and blanking tracks as wav files, and converts them over to X, Y, RGB wav files with blanking added as a multiplier with an adjustable offset, so we can now play back our 20 year library of past shows (or portions thereof ) from a DAW.

    We plan to make this software available at no charge if there are any other old-school laser junkies that might need to convert their shows. We just need to get the input process a little more user-friendly first.

    Thanks for bringing me up to date on your operations, looks like you're doing some very cool stuff.

    Best,

    Craig

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