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Thread: Say hello to my little friend: The Laser Lunchbox of Wonder (LLBOW)

  1. #1
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    Default Say hello to my little friend: The Laser Lunchbox of Wonder (LLBOW)

    Greetings, all;

    I recently combined a 12V set of 506s with the DTR “Triode” to build a small projector for development purposes and to take to clients. My main projectors are built into a beer keg (“Brewster”) and vintage vacuum cleaners (“ExtraLuxen”), so it was time to get serious and build one into a lunchbox.

    I am an expert on the whole lasers into lunchboxen meme, having built 17 of them for a museum exhibit (“L is for Laser”) and writing up my first efforts for an article in Make Magazine (http://makezine.com/projects/make-20...x-laser-shows/). So when the 506s were made available by X-Laser (thanks, guys!), I had to go for it.

    The diodes were from DTR, what I call the triode:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...gb-diode-budle

    Lunchbox from eBay, $40, c. 1950s. Similar to this:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-V-TH...4AAOSwnDxUoaVZ


    ILDA breakout box from Stanwax:
    http://shop.stanwaxlaser.co.uk/ilda-...kout-625-p.asp

    Everything runs from a 12V 5A supply, the diodes fed from a DC-DC convertor wired for 8.5V to keep the heat down. Drivers are Dr. Lava’s FlexMod P3s:
    https://innolasers.com/shop/index.ph...roller=product

    Mirrors, dichros and Flexmounts from Dave:
    http://lasershowparts.com/store/inde...ewCat&catId=85

    Aluminum from Alro, machined by myself. Baseplate is ¼” Al.

    The completed unit:

    The Gort-like business end, doing what it does best:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Top view, fired up and fogged:

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    Note the aluminum drawer handles mounted on the left and right. These give a convenient handle when you need to pull the plate out of the box for maintenance, and enable a stable surface when the plate is flipped over to tweak galvo tuning, etc.. This is a technique I developed when building Brewster; very handy.


    Innards, showing the PSU, DC-DC convertor and 12V 506 drivers mounted on the bottom of the base plate:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some diagrams:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Some Observations:

    No heating anywhere; low power diodes are nice that way. 506 runs very cool. No TEC, no fans.
    But noisy: the 506 galvos are much noisier than my DT40s. Maybe quieter with better drivers, but galvo whir is clearly audible.
    506s can run really wide. I haven’t measured them, but I’m running them at 10% in my office 15’ from the screen.

    This set up works great for its intended usage, but I’m really hoping the official Pango drivers emerge from vapor RSN so I can upgrade my other projectors to match. There is lots of room in here for an additional +-24V supply or whatever the new Pango drivers will need, so I can update as desired.

    Lunchboxen do make really great housings; cheap and cheerful, easy to work with. Recommended.
    Total cost for project: ~$780.

    …Mike
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LLBOW Parts.pdf  

    LLBOW Layout.pdf  

    Runs with Lasers

  2. #2
    Bradfo69's Avatar
    Bradfo69 is offline Pending BST Forum Purchases: $47,127,283.53
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    Pretty cool! I have yet to build my DTR single mode box but, I have everything but an enclosure. I love seeing peoples creativity with these little boxes.
    PM Sent...

  3. #3
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    Looks very nice!

    By the way, I don't mean to sound defensive, but I doubt that our 506s are any more "noisy" than other scanners, especially when running only at +12V as you are doing.

    The "noise" (acoustics) comes from physics. Every action has an equal-but-opposite reaction. So when you apply torque to the mirror, the mirror applies a counter-torque to your entire projector. In scanning this is called "reaction torque". Now if I place a set of scanners on a guitar body (which can kind of focus and amplify the acoustic vibrations) then it will become more audible. If, on the other hand, the scanners are bolted to a thick plate inside a heavy projector, the reaction torques won't create much acoustic noise at all.

    I'M NOT SAYING that some scanners can't be louder than others. Some acoustic noise comes from mirrors themselves, which, if they are comparatively thin then the mirrors might vibrate like little speakers. Also, scanners that have higher inertia OR when a lot of power is applied, they will be louder than low-inertia scanners where small power is applied (again -- Physics -- higher inertia and stronger power/torque creates greater reaction torques).

    In any event, the C506 has among the lowest inertia of any scanner, and the mirrors are comparatively thick (Chinese use 0.5 to 0.8mm -- C506 is 1mm or even 1.1mm...) and with 12 volt drive, the peak current only reaches around 2.75 amps. I guarantee you that, if these scanners bolted to the same plate as DT40, they will most definitely be quieter!

    It's Physics!

    Bill

  4. #4
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is online now Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    i found the 506's with x-laser amps to be much quieter than my dt40w's.

    just a data point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pangolin View Post
    Looks very nice!

    By the way, I don't mean to sound defensive, but I doubt that our 506s are any more "noisy" than other scanners, especially when running only at +12V as you are doing.

    The "noise" (acoustics) comes from physics. Every action has an equal-but-opposite reaction. So when you apply torque to the mirror, the mirror applies a counter-torque to your entire projector. In scanning this is called "reaction torque". Now if I place a set of scanners on a guitar body (which can kind of focus and amplify the acoustic vibrations) then it will become more audible. If, on the other hand, the scanners are bolted to a thick plate inside a heavy projector, the reaction torques won't create much acoustic noise at all.

    I'M NOT SAYING that some scanners can't be louder than others. Some acoustic noise comes from mirrors themselves, which, if they are comparatively thin then the mirrors might vibrate like little speakers. Also, scanners that have higher inertia OR when a lot of power is applied, they will be louder than low-inertia scanners where small power is applied (again -- Physics -- higher inertia and stronger power/torque creates greater reaction torques).

    In any event, the C506 has among the lowest inertia of any scanner, and the mirrors are comparatively thick (Chinese use 0.5 to 0.8mm -- C506 is 1mm or even 1.1mm...) and with 12 volt drive, the peak current only reaches around 2.75 amps. I guarantee you that, if these scanners bolted to the same plate as DT40, they will most definitely be quieter!

    It's Physics!

    Bill
    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.

  5. #5
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    Wow, that's awesome! It almost looks like something from the fallout video game series, if you are familiar with them.
    I love how compact you have everything. I sure wish I had the cash to build a projector- problem is, i would need the money for the software as well! (Darn moneypit of a hobby!)

  6. #6
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    Nice build! It just needs one of these labels on the lid.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This space for rent.

  7. #7
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    Wow, nice project. I like the thought you put into the beam path: Blue (which usually has the most power for the money /visibility) passes through two dicros, while red (we always seem to want more red) only has once bounce before the steering mirror so it sees the least losses. And green falls right in the middle. Your layout is really tight, thanks for posting drawings; it does take some planning to pull that layout off doesn't it. Looks like you had fun with the build and your project really shows it! There is even a keyswitch (and is that a power light or emissions lamp, and fuse we see there?). How do you like the performance of the Xlaser amps for scanning graphics?

    Thanks for posting, always get a kick out of seeing homemade builds!

    -Jason

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Jason. Yup, keyswitch, emission light and fuse are present. Not planing on getting this varianced, but if I need to, easily done.
    Well, I will have to kludge up a shutter...also easily done. And right you are regarding the beam path order of colors; not that big an issue with the DTR Triode, as they are all more or less balanced single mode jobbies. But this is how I design all my PJs. Best practices and all that.

    I find the 12V X-Laser 506 set up just dandy for graphics. I have them on a small section of my wall in my office for image development - extremely helpful.
    I'm not stressing them at all, keeping most of my graphics around 200 points.

    The interesting thing to me was that the 506 closely matches the DT-40s in my main projectors. If I tweak a graphic so that the end points line up properly on the LLBOW, the points match up pretty closely when the image is projected with the DTs. I would still like to upgrade my main PJs to the 506s once the Pango amps emerge from vapor.

    Cool to see you are in Chicago; i was just there last month to see Cirque du Soliel. Drop me a line if you're ever in the Ann Arbor area.
    I keep thinking about a MichLEM or something...

    ...Mike
    Runs with Lasers

  9. #9
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    Really enjoying this post, amazing PJ and smart design
    Do you custom made those aluminum aixiz diode hosts?
    I have unused 506 (5mm beam) purchased directly from Pango some months ago.
    X-laser only sells complete sets (scanners+driver) and I only need 12v driver/x-laser amps to run my 506...any ideas?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by jors; 10-23-2015 at 13:04.
    Jordi Luque


    AtenLaser.com
    Barcelona

    "Let there be light"

  10. #10
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    Thanks, Jors.

    Yes, I cut the mounts out of 1/2 Al and did the rest of the machining in my shop.

    At this point I have mostly standardized on DTR diodes and housings for my builds. (Thanks, Jordan!)

    As to the 506, I don't think you can get the 12V system separately from X-Laser.
    My advice would be to talk to Kvant; they have amps they will sell you for around $100USD, if I recall correctly.
    Won't be 12V, but that's a good thing. Pango can probably advise you as to other sources.

    Good luck...Mike
    Runs with Lasers

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