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Thread: Laser Studio/ Laser Systems..where are they now?

  1. #1

    Default Laser Studio/ Laser Systems..where are they now?

    Does anyone know what has happened to this company. They used to have a website www.laser-studio.co.uk and produced mainly desk style controllers, Magnum, Magnum II and some others. From their website I remeber the controllers looking rather nice (in that they had lots of nice looking buttons ) )

    What has happend to them and more so, their controllers? I remember the Magnum

    I'd like some more info on their prducts and manuals too????

    Mazz

  2. #2
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    Laser Studio was run by a person named Jeff Jones (may have been spelled Geoff Jones). As far as I know, he is no longer in the industry.

    In the past, they worked with another company called Laser System Europe, managed by Patrick Awouters (had the same font in company literature). Laser System Europe is still alive and well, but doing more multimedia shows (including lasers) than exclusively laser shows.

    Bill

  3. #3

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    Thanks for that. I vaguely remember the name Geoff Jones. I bought some old schematics for a Laser systems, Maestro controller many many years ago.

    I would be interested to know what happened to any old stock they had as I know that they did a lot of good desk controllers, ie: Magnum, Magnum II and a few others.

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Laser Systems, Cumbran, Gwent

    If you are interested/still around, I worked for Laser Systems in the 80's. Sounds along time ago now.
    Still have some bits and pieces of LS equipment, info and manuals.
    The company was on Llantarnam Industrial Estate, South Wales.
    Ian

  5. #5
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    Apr 2007
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    Leicestershire, UK
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    We had the Magnum 1 at the venue where I used to work. I have the manual in word format if you want it. It was a pretty good controller, although the 80's arcade machine style tracker balls used to get a bit funky at times.

    We were running a 5 watt Spectra Physics argon into 2 sets of G120s. I believe it had a serial data link rather than an analogue ilda connector. Was installed in 1989 according to the test sticker.

    -Matt

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by INP View Post
    If you are interested/still around, I worked for Laser Systems in the 80's. Sounds along time ago now.
    Still have some bits and pieces of LS equipment, info and manuals.
    The company was on Llantarnam Industrial Estate, South Wales.
    Ian
    Sounds good! They had some great desk type consoles around. I remember the last lot they brought out had some great illuminated push buttons on them and were very unique. Shame they stopped trading, where are they now?

    What have you got?

    Hey Lampy, can you mail me or upload the manual?

    Thanks Guys!

  7. #7
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    The magnum was my first laser controller. Worked well with my '68. It did get a bit "tetchy" in sweaty clubs though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Yeovil Somerset UK
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    I too used to work for Laser systems, as a Field Service Engineer in the summer of 1987.

    They were based at Llantarnam Park Industrial Estate in Cwmbran, Gwent ( near Newport).

    Sales Director was Geoff Jones & a Tony Gibbs was the Technical Director. I recall his background might have been Chub Fire Alarm systems or similar. I think his brother Ken Gibbs was some sort of Production Manager.

    I worked in the Service Department, & spend much of my time on the road at customers installations here in the UK & also Europe, the Middle & Far East etc. Too much overseas travel in fact. Gerry Stevens was one of the other Field Service Engineers.

    The products we supported were mainly 4Watt Argon lasers; mainly Spectra-Physics & Coherent lasers. The big ones with 3 phase water-cooled power supplies drawing approx 100A/phase. Solid State lasers are SUCH a leap forward in technology.

    General Scanning G120 galvanometers in XY Config were driven by special closed-loop galvo drive circuits which used formal Control Theory techniques to obtain optimum matching of the control system that drives the galvos.

    These were typically the Magnum controller mentioned before, but also the Maestro controller (I didn't like the Magnum - because of its plinth/stalk/column that supported the control panel.

    The controllers were very definitely hardware controllers, typically based on Z80 or similar microprocessors, with RAM, Input/Output & the actual programme written in Assembler & located in EPROMs.

    Some of the 4W systems retailed at approx 40,000 per system (in 1980s economic conditions - I've no idea what that sort of money that is equivalent to nowadays!). I was told by colleagues that company often built special passwords into the software, which presumably were provided when said customer made their payment instalments.

    This was all done without going near PCs or Apple Macs ( all right - the software was compiled & the Printed Circuit Boards were developed on IBM PCS or ATs).

    They were bespoke microprocessor control systems. It brings things home for me, as nowadays the task of developing such a system is mainly integrating other people's components together, like a USB DAC from one firm with software from someone else & galvanometers from yet another firm.

    The largest system we serviced was a 20W Argon laser on the roof of Tropics disco in Llorret-de-Mar. It could loose upto 4W when the Spainish mains supply changed itself or someone used the lift!

    The owner of the nightclub intended writing on the clouds with the laser. Not sure how well that worked out for him, seeing Barcelona Airport was close!

    When I left the company to go back into Defence electronics/Avionics, Laser Systems were developing their 'Line Scanner' range of 1mW (Yes, that's 1mW - a 1/1000 of a Watt) Helium-Neon lasers, which used Futaba radio controlled model servos to steer mirrors!!!!!

    I cannot understand to this day WHY they would go into tiny red lasers, each less than the checkout at your local supermarket! I think the idea was having dozens or more of these 1mW red lasers would create a dramatic effect; but it must require a lot of haze in a very low ambient light level. Who knows.

    The last I heard of the company they had somehow changed their name to The Laser Studio, & were based in Bath or was it Bristol with a skeleton staff of just 1 or 2 of the staff from the Cwmbran company.

    If anyone knows more about what happened to them, or any of the other firms in the so-called UK Big 3 - Namely Laser Graphics of Cambridge & Laser Creations of Barnes Terrace, somewhere near London, who may still be going? I had enquired via the industry body PLASA, but they wee not able to help.

    Best wishes,

    Simon B.

  9. #9

    Default

    HI.

    It's quite funny. I've had the same thoughts where the guys from laser system / laser studio went.

    Back in 1993 we got a ALC60X argon with G120 and a merlin controller (single output). Some years laser i found a Magnum controller (dual output) Defective. But go it up and Running.
    3 year later i found another Magnum on Ebay. Looked like new. Used them for some many years, dahm good controller for live use. They was unstable to main line power drope. But rebuild then with switch mode power supplys, and it got them stable.
    Sold the last magnum to a PL member for some month ago. But it had been used for sevel years then.

    I have all the schematics on the Magnum controller and the interfaces + the dual G120 Driver. Beleave the drawings is A1 size and is from around 1987.

    /Poul Moeller
    Last edited by Laserpower; 01-09-2014 at 02:06.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Yeovil Somerset UK
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    Hi Ian,

    I read your post about working for Laser Systems in the 80s.

    I did too for a while, in Field Service in the summer of 1987. Which dept did you work for? I can remember several of the production staff & some of the software engineers who used to work upstairs near the pool table!

    I can remember one of Gibbs brothers (the production manager) telling me I was to install a new laser in a nightclub on my own.

    So I was supposed to deliver this 40,000 4W Argon laser system to the other end of the country, plumb in the water cooling, install 3 phase power at something ridiculous like 100Amps/phase, install the very heavy argon plasma laser head, lay in cables, setup/align dozens of target mirrors, fit a smoke/haze machine, produce the safety document with all the PM19 equations proving nothing was above a milliwatt per cmsq, measure & record these beam irradiance levels. Oh, and also attend the local government Health & Safety Executive inspector whilst he/she verified it all.

    They wanted all this done in a day, as they didn't want the expense of putting me up at a hotel.

    But it was the most interesting job I had ever had! I was paid to play with high power laser displays all day.

    I was bitten by the bug & its stayed with me ever since. Only a few years ago I learnt of high power solid state lasers, & that a Watt or so of D.P.S.S 532nm green laser would be equivalent to the 4W Argons I used to use.

    So now prices a such that I can actually afford to design/make my own system. I intend to setup a small company providing laser displays, as its really all I have ever wanted to do since I was 16.

    Do you have any drawings/circa diagrams of any of the Laser Systems equipment? I have a large A2 circuit of the galvanometer drive circuits if you are interested.

    Thanks,

    Simon B.

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