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Thread: Jumping into the self-build fray

  1. #1
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    Default Jumping into the self-build fray

    Here we go... *gulp*

    Not that my current laser is bad, but as I've pushed it and asked more delicate things of it I can see it's limitations now. It still has a place but where's the fun in "that'll do?" (is that one of the site mottos?)

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    One set of DTR's single mode RGB bundle with G2 lenses - and TTL driver briefly while I clumsy my way through how this all fits together.
    Anamorphic prism pairs with AR coating (400-700nm iirc) from Lasertack
    15mm Dichros and mounts from Stanwax - beautiful and solid though adding a couple of thin o-rings to help the dichros sit flat and still engage with the nylon locks
    ILDA board from Stanwax - there's a DZ colour board too but that's in the wings in case it's not needed because...
    LD-TEC-4500 drivers from Lasertack - kindly upgraded beyond requirement after a comms screwup and worth mentioning they're beautiful. The wiring supplied is all 1mm and every space on the boards full of ground plane. The remote mosfet will make heatsinking more pleasant too I think. I've left it's pre-made up wires and the thermocouple out as well, they're nice. Don't think I'll need the TEC option though!

    Just waiting on the ally plate to get marking and drilling and the fun starts - assuming eyemagic will actually take my money eventually. Already been playing - the colours are gorgeous, and can get it to a pin sharp focus with the G2 lens but the near-parallel focus gives more like R: 1.5x3 G: 2x5mm B: 2x7mm - playing with the anamorphic prisms and found i can get all the beams to 2x2 or a little finer and very low divergence. Will wait for more permanent fixings to set up some planters style bounce mirrors and try it at 10/15m and plan on some RGB spatial filtering with achromatics to get it all as clean and straight as can be.

    What fun though! RGB bundle vastly brighter than expected - safety goggles on the way as while this is fine with chipboard and totally matte walls to bounce off it's definitely a scary idea when there'll be more metal surfaces around, and it's a total arse trying to adjust things while looking the other way.

    I suspect I'm making things more complicated for myself than they need to be, it is my way, but it's a fun/science/learning/pretty all together so the long way around might be good. Any pointers and warnings about dead-ends much appreciated
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

  2. #2
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    Its great that you are willing to jump into learning about how to build a projector. Although they are rather cheap these days, you'll still be able to get a build just the way you want it by doing it yourself. Plus you'll learn lots along the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by frostypaw View Post
    I suspect I'm making things more complicated for myself than they need to be
    You are for at least a couple items. For single mode diodes, nothing more than your collimating lenses are required. You only need those prism pairs to help turn a significant rectangle from a multi-mode diode into a square beam. You also don't need to do any spacial filtering with single mode builds unless you are VERY picky.

    The DZ colour board isn't required for all-diode builds either. Assuming your drivers have a bias/threshold setting and a gain setting, you shouldn't need that board. The DZ board's primary purpose is to make the response of diode modules the same. This is handy when one or more is slower to respond than others (i.e. 532nm or 473 dpss modules). Even if your drivers didn't have an adjustable gain and/or bias setting, you'll be able to get around this with most laser software packages.

    The only thing I'd question regarding your parts are TTL drivers. This would limit you to 7 colors as TTL is either on and off. Analog drivers from Lasershowparts, BBE, Innolasers, and others are inexpensive and allow you to have a virtually unlimited number of colors by controlling the relative 'brightness' of each of your diodes. That said, I believe those drivers you mentioned are analog, not TTL. They also have TEC control, which should not be required for single mode diodes unless you are truly attempting to push them to their far limits. I'd suggest avoiding TEC and just use a fan blowing over/under your optical plate instead.

    What about your scanners and PSUs?

    I hope you have great fun with your build!

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

  3. #3
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    I'm seconding everything David said above. Definitely look at analog for your drivers and scrap the color correction board as it's not necessary for this particular build.
    PM Sent...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies - the TTL drivers are only while I'm setting up to be honest, i've not got a bench power supply so the simpler control was appealing. As I said I've got the Lasertack analog drivers, but that's a next step after I get a white beam out at the right height and direction at all!

    However now I *do* have a bench power supply on the way as I've just found out the max voltage for the PL450B may be 7v and the X-boost 7v but the supply max is actually 4.5v need to be more careful. The others are 7v on the 520nm and 12v on the 638nm for anyone else who couldn't find that info on the bundle's page.


    The beam correction stuff is being picky to make it more fun. I used to do a lot of graphic design stuff professionally, I notice all the spill and halos and different size beams so I'll appreciate it in my home projector even if noone else does Not planning on TEC at all, I didn't order those drivers they just upgraded them from the lower spec ones to make up for causing me a bit of a panic with their email going down.

    I wondered about the DZ board.... I'll hang onto it for now.

    Cheers! More pics once i get some bits fixed together
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

  5. #5
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    making a spatial filter would probably solve your beam halo / spill problems. i would go for that over using prisms on single mode diodes.

    Quote Originally Posted by frostypaw View Post
    Thanks for the replies - the TTL drivers are only while I'm setting up to be honest, i've not got a bench power supply so the simpler control was appealing. As I said I've got the Lasertack analog drivers, but that's a next step after I get a white beam out at the right height and direction at all!

    However now I *do* have a bench power supply on the way as I've just found out the max voltage for the PL450B may be 7v and the X-boost 7v but the supply max is actually 4.5v need to be more careful. The others are 7v on the 520nm and 12v on the 638nm for anyone else who couldn't find that info on the bundle's page.


    The beam correction stuff is being picky to make it more fun. I used to do a lot of graphic design stuff professionally, I notice all the spill and halos and different size beams so I'll appreciate it in my home projector even if noone else does Not planning on TEC at all, I didn't order those drivers they just upgraded them from the lower spec ones to make up for causing me a bit of a panic with their email going down.

    I wondered about the DZ board.... I'll hang onto it for now.

    Cheers! More pics once i get some bits fixed together
    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.

  6. #6
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    Spatial filter is fully planned, especially after seeing planters' most excellent video on the razor blading trick. I knew there'd be a use for the random neo magnets i got in an xmas present a few years back tech-hoarding win.

    Noted on the prisms. Maybe I need to spend more time playing with the focuses. I was trying to set the beams waist (? is that right - the crossing point) as far away as possible without the beam starting to visibly diverge to give an as parallel sided beam as possible, that seemed to result in rectangular beams though
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

  7. #7
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is offline Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    what we typically do for builds is just focus at infinity.

    find the farthest distance that it's practical to project onto (or use some high quality bounce mirrors) and use a spotting scope (make sure you have the power turned down or are projecting on a matte surface) and focus at that distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by frostypaw View Post
    Spatial filter is fully planned, especially after seeing planters' most excellent video on the razor blading trick. I knew there'd be a use for the random neo magnets i got in an xmas present a few years back tech-hoarding win.

    Noted on the prisms. Maybe I need to spend more time playing with the focuses. I was trying to set the beams waist (? is that right - the crossing point) as far away as possible without the beam starting to visibly diverge to give an as parallel sided beam as possible, that seemed to result in rectangular beams though
    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.

  8. #8
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    That's what I was trying to do - focus it as far away as possible
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

  9. #9
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    Morning fun now all semi-fixing with drops of pva - excluding the crappy lens that was there to make the output dot less 'exciting' after a few incidents of lots of light splash when glancing off the mirrors wrong (i checked the lens alignment to be sure I wasn't screwing up my aim)

    Need to do a little fine tuning and cleaning before it's worth a picture but have a beautiful symmetrical spot
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

  10. #10
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    Dirty beam spot up close, hoping a clean of the optics will get rid of a lot of the random scatter as there's been a fair bit of haze around aiming up
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    Last edited by frostypaw; 12-12-2015 at 15:30. Reason: failed image link
    Dynamics/EasyLase LC/FD820/RGB 400mW Homebrew w/EMS4ks

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