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Thread: Stand alone laser control help

  1. #1
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    Default Stand alone laser control help

    I've got two projects I would like to start working on but I think on of them is going to prove more difficult than expected. My goal is to build a stand alone 405nm projector to use with glow in the dark paint. I've done something similar with a lumia box which turned out great but now I want to get the same effect with more intricate abstracts. Most of the parts I'm going to use are from a scrap chinese projector, unfortunately I have no intention of controlling it with Beyond since I only have one FB3 and will be doing a separate show with it. I would like to just have this second projector set up elsewhere and let it run a couple abstracts on repeat. I was hoping to be able to modify it to run off of a SD card but so far my research has turned up very little regarding how to go about doing it. Does anyone have any experience rigging a projector with a SD card reader? I was hoping perhaps Stanwax would have some handy add on board but no luck. I was hoping to keep this project to a bare bones budget since I have everything to make a working projector already just no way to control it (the projector currently accepts ILDA and DMX but i wont be using ILDA and i have never worked with DMX before). I think I may still have an old iShow DAC lying around somewhere but I'm not sure how to go about implementing it. I'm not very good with the software side of things so I don't know where to begin in understanding how to get an SD card or even the iShow DAC to communicate with things they weren't intended to. Any advice, thoughts, ideas, or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


    cheers,
    Luke
    LASERS!!

    1x Homemade 500mW 405nm Projector
    1x Homemade 1.2W RGB Projector
    1x Lightspace Color Ray Series 6W RGB
    2x Lightspace Venus 2W RGB

    ZPL Lighting www.zpllighting.com

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Goldenstar sells SD card reader board, its the one that comes with their disco series projector. I think its TTL only. Email them for one.
    For analog there's Moncha.NET but its about $350. Moncha has a newer board with micro SD slot but I don't know about the cost. Site claims its the world's cheapest laser controller but I wouldn't bet on it. http://www.showtacle.com/

  4. #4
    swamidog's Avatar
    swamidog is online now Jr. Woodchuckington Janitor III, Esq.
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    etherdream DAC has a built in card reader and only costs 200$..

    you can pair it with LSX for creating amazing abstracts and effects, then export the ilda stream and dump them on a card for standalone playback later.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroPoint View Post
    I've got two projects I would like to start working on but I think on of them is going to prove more difficult than expected. My goal is to build a stand alone 405nm projector to use with glow in the dark paint. I've done something similar with a lumia box which turned out great but now I want to get the same effect with more intricate abstracts. Most of the parts I'm going to use are from a scrap chinese projector, unfortunately I have no intention of controlling it with Beyond since I only have one FB3 and will be doing a separate show with it. I would like to just have this second projector set up elsewhere and let it run a couple abstracts on repeat. I was hoping to be able to modify it to run off of a SD card but so far my research has turned up very little regarding how to go about doing it. Does anyone have any experience rigging a projector with a SD card reader? I was hoping perhaps Stanwax would have some handy add on board but no luck. I was hoping to keep this project to a bare bones budget since I have everything to make a working projector already just no way to control it (the projector currently accepts ILDA and DMX but i wont be using ILDA and i have never worked with DMX before). I think I may still have an old iShow DAC lying around somewhere but I'm not sure how to go about implementing it. I'm not very good with the software side of things so I don't know where to begin in understanding how to get an SD card or even the iShow DAC to communicate with things they weren't intended to. Any advice, thoughts, ideas, or suggestions are greatly appreciated.


    cheers,
    Luke
    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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    Thanks for the replies all, but I think I may have jumped the gun buying the board from Goldenstar. Not that I won't be able to use it in the future but I'm second guessing its capability of fulfilling my current need. The idea was to load up some frames created in Beyond onto to the SD card and let it play but after doing some reading it doesn't sound like Pangolin software allows that since they use their own unique file format. As much as I understand their intention here in doing this, I find it a bit aggravating that one can spend $1500 on professional grade software that doesn't even support the standard file format, regardless of how dated that format may be. I can also understand them trying to protect their own created cues but to limit the end users own creations to their software and hardware is a bit selfish in my opinion. Is there really no way to run a cue that was created with Pangolin software on a laser that is not running an FB3 or 4?
    LASERS!!

    1x Homemade 500mW 405nm Projector
    1x Homemade 1.2W RGB Projector
    1x Lightspace Color Ray Series 6W RGB
    2x Lightspace Venus 2W RGB

    ZPL Lighting www.zpllighting.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroPoint View Post
    As much as I understand their intention here in doing this, I find it a bit aggravating that one can spend $1500 on professional grade software that doesn't even support the standard file format, regardless of how dated that format may be. I can also understand them trying to protect their own created cues but to limit the end users own creations to their software and hardware is a bit selfish in my opinion.
    In 2016 it's more than selfish, it's obnoxious. From a developer's standpoint there are many more ways to protect content which comes with the software from being copied. But other software we use in venues don't seem to care either way, because they make good software you'll want to use because of its features, not how many stock effects they have. The reason I don't use Pangolin is because of this stuck with us business practice which limits your artistic freedom, not the cost of their products. If you'll contact them they will probably say something like why would you ever need to use something else, we are the best. Sorry for the rant, but yeah it's not just you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroPoint View Post
    Thanks for the replies all, but I think I may have jumped the gun buying the board from Goldenstar. Not that I won't be able to use it in the future but I'm second guessing its capability of fulfilling my current need. The idea was to load up some frames created in Beyond onto to the SD card and let it play but after doing some reading it doesn't sound like Pangolin software allows that since they use their own unique file format. As much as I understand their intention here in doing this, I find it a bit aggravating that one can spend $1500 on professional grade software that doesn't even support the standard file format, regardless of how dated that format may be. I can also understand them trying to protect their own created cues but to limit the end users own creations to their software and hardware is a bit selfish in my opinion. Is there really no way to run a cue that was created with Pangolin software on a laser that is not running an FB3 or 4?
    Yeah, this is a point shared by many people on this forum. On the other hand, I would find the long history of stolen Pangolin content (from when it did export to ILDA format) aggravating to say the least.

    In regards to your original question though, I pursued the path of initiating SD saved shows via DMX without Pangolin hardware to no avail. The other solutions that were out there were limited (e.g. TTL, poor quality projection, buggy, etc). You can use a variety of laser software packages (Medialas, Pangolin, LSX, Phoenix, etc.) to output DMX signals. This can then be used to control devices that can switch your ILDA output signal amongst multiple projectors. Two such solutions include the Advanced Laser Router http://www.aldebaran-systems.com/ALR.htm created by members DZ and EKeefe on this forum. The ALR is an awesome piece of feature-rich engineering.

    Alternatively you can make your own 'feature-poor' version from a variety of sources. I made a couple DMX controlled 1 input to 4 output "Simple Laser Routers" using three of these boards http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-...08.0.56.ESdVvr Total cost was about $250/unit and a weekend's worth of my time. I use these to switch to my dedicated glow-in-the-dark projectors whenever I want to draw on my walls. This was an early test run:

    If you want to stick with the SD card approach, you just need to use another software package that can output to ILDA format. LSX is one such package that is inexpensive and feature-rich. Such a package could be used to supplement your Pangolin efforts for as little as $129. See http://innolasers.com/ebay/laser_diode/LSX.php for more information.

    Please be sure to post your results as you progress.

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

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