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Thread: Group Buy Compact 506 Complete Set

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    The scanners themselves are great but, until it's a complete product, my feeling is you're buying these "solutions" at your own risk.
    I think it should be stated more like... "Know what you're buying". Right now, these galvos are akin to the GS G-120s. How many amps are there for those??? Minisax, Laser Artistry, TubroTrack, Foresight Visuals, Gary Stadler specials..... and those are just a few!

    This is pointed at Adam... don't beat yourself up over this. I firmly believe the onus is on X-Laser and also the buyers. To X-laser; don't just throw out some numbers regarding performance. Test them first. Know what they can do. Post pictures and a datasheet. If you guys really didn't know how these were going to perform, you shouldn't have told everyone that they were capable of x_kpps @ x_angle.

    Buyers; know what you're buying. I was interested in this setup until I saw that this amp was driven off of a single 12V PSU. Right away, I knew it wasn't for me. I was hoping to see X-Laser post some photos of tests or a spec sheet or something to show how they were getting the performance that was touted. I think we get a little too trusting of established and respected members. Not that they're trying to rip anyone off but I am of the mindset; "If it's too good to be true...". We start to believe that anything they say is true simply because they're a trusted vendor. I fly my Pangolin flag often but I have to give Bill a lot of credit because he encourages people to scrutinize, test, ask questions, and to be skeptical in general. A skeptical person will practically tear something apart to make sure it does what it does.

    So again, this is largely X-Laser's SNAFU for throwing out some numbers without actually testing these fully but it is also the buyer's fault for not asking for these test results.
    Last edited by absolom7691; 08-07-2015 at 10:00.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    So again, this is largely X-Laser's SNAFU
    I agree completely. Specifically, my fault on behalf of X-Laser. I stand by my prior responses here indicating this.

  3. #123
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    I, for one, see this whole selling 506's with spare amps (noting that there are currently no other alternatives to 506 ownership without separately acquiring your own amps and sending them to Pangolin) as an intended good deed to the PL hobbyist community.

    This time it didn't work out and X-Laser admitted the short-comings on what we short-sidely thought were accurate stats. In any case, X-Laser has offered innumerable times to fix this issue for everyone affected in whatever manner they wished (smaller mirrors, full refunds, etc.) I thank Adam, Adam, Dan and the rest of the X-Laser crew for at least attempting to do something for us with what I imagine was a small profit margin originally and probably a loss now.

    Why bash one of the few vendors who take the time to do something for the PL community? Taken as a group, I suspect we are frequently pains-in-the-asses compared to the average laser consumer. We dissect every stat and blast anyone who we believe may be overstating their performance. I suspect just posting a product on PL can be risky for a vendor as it may attract attention from "master-blasters" challenging everything from performance to price-point. (I admit I am frequently guilty of at least the later.)

    As a group, we do not represent a thousand pound gorilla of organized purchasing power. We are always looking for the best deal and frequently trivialize labor costs as we generally like to do things ourselves even if we value our time at $0/hr. For those vendors (or individuals like DZ and Ed Keefe) who go out of their way to make cool stuff available to us and take all the financial risks as well, I am most grateful.

    -David
    "Help, help, I'm being repressed!"

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    I firmly believe the onus is on X-Laser and also the buyers. To X-laser; don't just throw out some numbers regarding performance. Test them first.
    For the record, Adam Raugh did test them - exhaustively. (He had to; he needed to be sure they would work for the client who commissioned them.) But when the specs were copied down, there was a transcription error. This wasn't relevant for their client, but it was relevant for our needs. Dan saw the data and ran with it. He contacted me, and I jumped up and down to get the few remaining amps into the hands of the hobbyists here.

    Adam Raugh actually tried to warn us, but he wasn't privy to all the details Dan and I had discussed, so he didn't realize what we were pushing until it was too late. Also, by that time everyone was looking at the same data sheet with the incorrect information on it, so everyone figured we would be OK.

    To my eternal shame, I actually argued with Dan at one point, saying something to the effect of "if there is any issue, the PL folks will figure it out right away, and I'm sure you guys (meaning X-laser) can fix it". Of course, none of us realized that there was a mistake in the specs. Had we noticed, that would have changed everything.

    If you guys really didn't know how these were going to perform, you shouldn't have told everyone that they were capable of x_kpps @ x_angle.
    That's just it. They did know how they would perform. They just goofed when they transcribed the spec, and also Dan forgot that they were testing with the smaller mirrors.

    Had they followed their normal process, they no doubt would have written up a fancy brochure and a user's manual. There would have been meetings and action items and all that usual stuff. They also would have had a 3rd party test them. That would surely have tipped them off to the mistakes. But remember that this was basically a one-off for a special client, so who knows if they ever would have tried to bring them to the general market. For sure Dan didn't think he would, because he mentioned that there were only a limited number of these amps left over from the special project they had just completed, and when they were gone, they were gone.

    Interestingly, Dan actually asked me twice if I would be willing to put them through their paces before he announced them here, but I begged off because I had a lot on my plate at the time (and still do!), so I knew I couldn't give them the attention they deserved. Besides, I argued that it was more important to get them into the hands of people who were holding up their projector builds to be able to put 506 scanners in them. Also, I had previously played with an X-laser projector that had 506 scanners and these amps in it, but I never pushed it to see how it looked at 30K. (Not enough time, and I wasn't supposed to be evaluating the scanners anyway, but rather the diode driver.) I vaguely remember the scanners working well, and that was that.

    Bottom line: I really wanted to see some of these builds at SELEM. And in the end, I convinced them to abandon their normal process because "It's just a few units, and the PL community will understand if it's not 100% polished." Yeah, I really said that... My bad.

    I was interested in this setup until I saw that this amp was driven off of a single 12V PSU. Right away, I knew it wasn't for me.
    Yup - totally agree. This is where my excitement got the best of me. Intuitively I knew that running off a single rail PSU (and only a 12 volt one at that) would have to mean that the amps could not generate anywhere near the maximum torque that the 506's were otherwise capable of. But I also knew that in race trim with a powerful scan amp driving them they were capable of running the ILDA test pattern at 30 degrees or more.

    So I figured that even though the performance wouldn't be as good as what I had seen previously, if they could at least manage 8 degree performance it would be worth it just to get these amps out there. And no, I didn't badger Dan (or anyone else) for detailed specs. Yes, I should have. Instead I briefly discussed their performance with Dan (and only Dan) on the phone. Now add the transcription error and the mirror-size mix-up on top of this, and you end up with the mess we've created.

    I was hoping to see X-Laser post some photos of tests or a spec sheet or something to show how they were getting the performance that was touted.
    Like I said, I don't know if this was ever going to be a commercial product (apart from the one-offs for their special client). If not, then it's clear that they never would have gone to the trouble to do all that (nor would they need to). On the other hand, if I hadn't been in such a damned hurry, they would have at least developed SOME information for general consumption, and that process would have caught the errors explained above.

    Not that they're trying to rip anyone off but I am of the mindset; "If it's too good to be true...".
    As a general rule, I agree with you. However, excessive skepticism is equally bad as blind faith. Remember how many people couldn't believe that the Chinese Pangolin Dealers were legitimate when they advertised Quickshow FB3s for $375? I bought two of them, and I've been very pleased with their performance. Lots of people missed out on that deal because they couldn't believe it was true. Then there was all the skepticism surrounding the projectors from Goldenstar and Lightspace, even after people got a chance to see them at SELEM. Of course, by the time people were ready to jump in, the prices had also gone up.

    So again, this is largely X-Laser's SNAFU for throwing out some numbers without actually testing these
    And again, I know I said it above, but it bears repeating: they did test them. Rather extensively, in fact. But there were two errors following the testing. 1) a small transcription error in the spec, and 2) a slightly larger error (or really, an omission) regarding the size of the mirrors used. Yes, these are X-laser's problems. But had it ended there, it would have remained an in-house screw up.

    I'm the one who pushed for them to bring these to market, as fast as possible, without considering the risks. So I'm absolutely part of the reason the screw-up ended up affecting people here. Admittedly, X-laser went along with my badgering, but they honestly thought they were doing us a favor.

    Adam
    Last edited by buffo; 08-07-2015 at 13:08.

  5. #125
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    Default ...Could not agree with David's comments more

    Quote Originally Posted by dkumpula View Post
    ... an intended good deed to the PL hobbyist community.... Why bash one of the few vendors ... We are always looking for the best deal ... we generally like to do things ourselves ... I am most grateful.

    -David
    I could not agree with David's comments more and totally agree with his perspective. For example, personally I am sitting on a 506 scan set without an amp, and worked with a PL member for over a year to get an amplifier working without success. Did I bash this member? No. Did we learn something along the way? Yes. Was this whole ordeal a great excuse to reach out to Pangolin for the first time to buy a galvo 'only' set and have some real interesting e-mail exchanges with Bill? Yes! Did I reach out to XLaser and ask to purchase an amp pair only? Yes! Did they say "yes"? No. But they did so politely and explained why. Am I looking forward to trying a different amp in the future? Yes. Am I sort of glad this ongoing project is sitting on my bench due to the challenge? Yup. But I do this for fun, not for a living.

    In the end I bought a Chinese 40k scan set to 'finish' my graphics PJ, and it works great for what I do in my basement --- but I'm still going to get that American Made slick looking 506 galvo set working at some point in time....

    As dsli_jon so eloquently put it: Why take the cookies out of the oven before they are ready? My answer: Because that is how some of us are wired, LOL!

    $0.02

  6. #126
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    Adam, you have trouble with those double posts!

    I also agree that X-laser was trying to do something good for the community. I don't have any issue with that. According to Adam, tests were done but the numbers got mixed. I can understand that too. Mistakes can be made. My post also made it clear that that part of the onus is on the buyer too. There is nothing wrong with being skeptical. Not all of us know electronics and electromechanics that well (me being one of those too) but when I saw 30K @ 8 with a single rail 12V PSU and those huge mirrors... my alarm went off. Maybe I should have said something too. Even though I wasn't buying, I should have asked for pictures or something. This isn't to bash anyone or call them out. This is to bring forth accurate information. I am very happy to see X-Laser own up to the mistake and to step up and try to correct it to the best of their ability.

    As far as waiting for the Pango amp... well, with the exception of one set with matching red board amps that had a bad galvo cable, all of my experiences with 506s and modified amps have been good ones. I own three sets now and am very happy. Even my modified PT-20 amps drove these galvos beautifully. Eh.... some of us like our cookies a little doughy in the middle!
    Last edited by absolom7691; 08-07-2015 at 13:07.
    Those who fail to grasp art are the ones who criticize it.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    Adam, you have trouble with those double posts!
    Yeah, I don't know what happened. That's the second time I've experienced it though. Basically it's like part of the message is repeated, including all my edits... Weird.

    I had to go back and re-edit it to fix that, and then I had to re-type the last two paragraphs because they were deleted.

    I think it's time to replace this keyboard... (Almost has to be a sticking control key or something similar.)

    Adam

  8. #128
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    Is this scanner amp combo still available?

  9. #129
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    Sorry but this combo is no longer available. I'd recommend contacting pangolin directly about getting a 506 set with their MachDSP amp

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by araugh View Post
    Sorry but this combo is no longer available. I'd recommend contacting pangolin directly about getting a 506 set with their MachDSP amp
    Thanks for the reply. I recently bought a set with the mach amp and love the set-up so far. Its the single power supply i'm interested in. It would work great for a little project i'm working on.

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