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Thread: New projector build is killing me...

  1. #1
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    Unhappy New projector build is killing me...

    Hey guys...

    Well, as some of you already know, I bought the old optical table from Astroguy's original projector. (The one we saw at FLEM.) I got the three lasers, the two dicro's, and the mounts for everything, all for a great price. (THANKS FRED!!!) I planned to install this table into the projector housing that I bought from Mecheng3 back in December. Then I could install my new DT-40 Pro galvos that I got from Jian back in November, and I'd have a full-analog RGB projector to run on the QM-32... Woot!

    Then reality set in... First of all, I must have injured my back while in Florida last weekend. While I was at my Mom's place I cut up a tree that had fallen over during that wind storm they had a while back. Evidently I should have cut the pieces a little smaller! Come Monday morning, I started having trouble with my back. By Tuesday I was really hurting, and Wednesday morning I couldn't walk. I went to the doc, and after a couple X-rays he said I'd be fine - just a back strain (again), and to take it easy for a week or so. (Damn - this is the 3rd time I've done this in as many years!)

    So I'm thinking, "Hey, this is great! No work for the rest of the week... I can put my projector together!" Ha! No such luck. I've only been able to sit in a chair for about 20 minutes at a time before I have to lie back down. I've spent probably 95 % of the last 4 days in my bedroom. Ugh. And to top it off there's absolutely *nothing* on TV during the day. (I have gotten a lot of sleep though.)

    Well, this afternoon I told myself that I was going to get *something* done, no matter what. So between rounds of pain killers and muscle relaxers (methocarbomol is great stuff!), I managed to rip everything out of the big projector housing I got from Mecheng3. But of course, then I discover that the optical table won't fit on the braces in the new housing unless I install a larger plate beneath the table.

    OK - no problem... I've got a sheet of aluminum that will work. I had hoped to save it for another project, but what the hell. So I start laying everything out on the sheet of aluminum. And then I hit a wall... Alignment.

    ARGH! I've spent like three hours tinkering with this thing, and it's still off. Damn - I thought having the fancy adjustable mounts would make it easy, but it's actually making it more complicated. At this point I'm wondering if the painkillers are affecting my fine motor skils.

    Screw it. It's 11:30 and for the first time since Wednesday, I'm actually looking forward to going to bed. I'll have another go at it tomorrow. But if you're curious as to what this beast will look like when it's finished, here's a picture of the table:



    Yeah, yeah, I know... My work table is a mess. So sue me. It's been a long day and my back hurts!

    The lasers only have about 3 volts on the blanking leads for the above picture, which is why they look so dim. (You can just see the battery holder at the bottom of the picture that is supplying the +3vdc.)

    There are a few more pics in my gallery if you're interested. The color balance looks really goofy, but part of that is likely due to the screwed up alignment. (Then too, my digital camera is a piece of junk, so the colors won't look right in any case.)

    I've still got to build cables to connect the amps to the galvos, and I also need to hook up the power supplies to the amps. Maybe tomorrow, if my back isn't bothering me too much. I did get the ILDA connector wired. Ran 10 inch long wires from the connector and labeled each one. Now I just need to solder everything to those wires and I can hook it up. But the alignment needs more work first... Sigh...

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Hey Buffo,

    Just an observation.

    That plate you have the lasever blue mounted on is WAY to small. For max life of these lasevers, you really need a biggish heatsink. I'm sorry to say, we have seen many returns(>10%) of the lasever lasers, and i suspect its due to heat problems...

    Also, using fans without associated heatsinks are nearly a waste of time. A fan will work best blowing on a big surface area, not a small one

    The projector looks nice, keep it up.
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  3. #3
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    Damn man, if I can get mine aligned with part of a cpu waterblock and some poster puddy you should have no problem. Those are nice plates you got there... That green looks familiar... Good luck, I hope your back feels better soon!
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  4. #4
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    damn, I want an optical table like that.
    But they are WAY to expensive

    I may build one of 10-12mm alu sheet.

    Pangolin FB3 QS/LivePro/SMS2Laser
    Riya MultiBus
    Pangolin LD2000 Pro

  5. #5
    clandestiny's Avatar
    clandestiny is offline Eleventy-Billion Watt Ar/Kr >:)
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    whatever you do, dont get rid of that Houdini electrocution box you had at flem. It was great. For those who where not there- buffo had this box that
    looked like a laser projector. The thing was -whoever touched it would cry out in pain and be thrown to the ground- including the owner operator! It was
    great -every twenty minutes or so you would hear someone screaming-
    had to be there I guess. LOL

    too bad Darth didn't attempt to adjust those scanners-
    Hayden would be a free man by now-
    Last edited by clandestiny; 04-28-2007 at 22:29.
    go big or go home

  6. #6
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    Now That ... would have been worth stickin around for.. J/K

    No really, wish I did get to stay..I really did look forwards to having a good meet with everyone there..rather than my 15min .. damn work

    Lookin good Adam...take your time dude..Yeah, Im sure you dont want to get ribbed again with another deathbox.

    I know exactly what your going thru..My back is shot from slamming 100lb Sony Beta decks in and out of racks and ENG trucks..I used to have to take care of about 125 of them with no help.
    And that was fifteen years ago and I have still not recovered completely..
    I will have good sperts of about 2 or 3 months than I'll do something stupid like work and aggravate
    it again and go thru another month or so of back pain.
    Last edited by marconi; 04-28-2007 at 23:05.
    "My signature has been taken, so Insert another here"
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/laserfaq.htm
    *^_^* aka PhiloUHF

  7. #7
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    Default baseplate size

    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    Hey Buffo,

    Just an observation.

    That plate you have the lasever blue mounted on is WAY to small. For max life of these lasevers, you really need a biggish heatsink. I'm sorry to say, we have seen many returns(>10%) of the lasever lasers, and i suspect its due to heat problems...

    Also, using fans without associated heatsinks are nearly a waste of time. A fan will work best blowing on a big surface area, not a small one

    The projector looks nice, keep it up.
    dave, what size do you recommend ? a pic of a suggested set up would be useful, those lasever units seem quite popular (and i have 3 myself)
    dave321

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    Hey Buffo,

    Just an observation.

    That plate you have the lasever blue mounted on is WAY to small. For max life of these lasevers, you really need a biggish heatsink. I'm sorry to say, we have seen many returns(>10%) of the lasever lasers, and i suspect its due to heat problems...

    Also, using fans without associated heatsinks are nearly a waste of time. A fan will work best blowing on a big surface area, not a small one

    The projector looks nice, keep it up.
    Dave, If you look again there is also a heatsink with fan mounted to the top.
    After running for over an hour the laser is just warm to the touch.
    But if you think it needs more what do you suggest?
    "Gravity its not just a good idea its the law"

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys... It's coming along I guess; it's just taking a lot longer than I had planned.

    Dave: With regard to the lasever blue... Are you saying that the plate that the head is mounted to is too small? Because the head doesn't even get warm to the touch. The power supply does get warm, but it's got a big honkin' heat sink mounted on the bottom which keeps it pretty cool.

    To replace the metal plate that the blue laser head is mounted to would be a big job, but if you think it's necessary to keep the laser alive, I guess I'll tear everything apart and start over... Let me know your thoughts. If I'm going to re-do the layout, the time to do it is now - before I mount it in the case.

    Aaron & Cruch: Yeah, the table is rather nice. I bought it years ago off E-bay. It's made out of 1/4 inich thick aluminum plate, and it's been drilled and tapped over most of it's area. (1/4 x 20 on 1 inch centers) Unfortunately it's not a precision table. The guy made it himself, which means some of the holes are off, some of the threads are shot, and there are lots of extra holes in places where somthing just wouldn't fit using the standard holes. But it works.

    Clandestiny: That "Houdini electrocution box" would be my old Alphalite-based projector. Yeah, I'm going to keep that thing for a little while at least. (But one of these days I'm going to cover the 110V input terminals with plastisol so I don't shock the shit out of myself every time I reach inside the case!) I've got plans to add a red laser to it, but I need to get this RGB rig running first.

    BTW, Bill Benner *did* tune the galvos in that projector when we were at FLEM. He avoided getting electrocuted because he didn't have to stick his hand anywhere near the ILDA connector. (The ilda connector is right next to the power inlet, and every time I tried to connect or disconnect the cable to the ilda connector I got shocked.) If I had remembered to pull the damn plug I would have been fine. But both times I had already shut the power off at the main switch, so I figured I'd be fine. (Of course, I forgot that the inlet side of the power connection is always hot as long as the plug is in the wall!) I hope my screams didn't disrupt the event too much. (Damn, I hate getting shocked!)

    I probably will regret admitting this, but I actually got nailed while putting this new projector together. I was checking the voltage on the new power supplies that I'm going to use to supply +24 and -24 volts to the galvos. Well, I rested my hand the the circuit board while taking the measurement and managed to discover where the 110 V input is tied to the underside of the power suppply. ZAP! Not a huge shock, but enough to make me throw the voltmeter to the floor. (Don't worry - it's a Sperry. It can take it.) Sigh... At least I got the voltage outputs figured out.

    Marconi;
    I'm hoping that I can avoid a repeat performance of this. This is the third time I've been out with back problems, and it's taken longer to heal this time than ever before. I think my body is trying to tell me something. (Most likely trying to tell me that I'm not 22 anymore.) Sigh. Sorry to hear that you've been dealing with a bad back too. (Sounds like yours is a lot worse, actually.)

    RE: missing FLEM... Yeah, that really sucked. Next time hopefully it will fall on a day when you're not on-call for the station. We'll see what we can work out next time.

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post
    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys... It's coming along I guess; it's just taking a lot longer than I had planned.

    Dave: With regard to the la sever blue... Are you saying that the plate that the head is mounted to is too small? Because the head doesn't even get warm to the touch. The power supply does get warm, but it's got a big honkin' heat sink mounted on the bottom which keeps it pretty cool.

    To replace the metal plate that the blue laser head is mounted to would be a big job, but if you think it's necessary to keep the laser alive, I guess I'll tear everything apart and start over... Let me know your thoughts. If I'm going to re-do the layout, the time to do it is now - before I mount it in the case.


    Adam

    Adam, I don`t think you will have a problem with cooling on the blue. I have a plate half that size on my new unit with the same heatsink and fan on top and it runs cool also. They are all mounted using heatsink compound and transfer the heat quite well, I would not risk the lasers if I thought there was a problem. The heatsink and fan on top actually removes a lot of heat.
    "Gravity its not just a good idea its the law"

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