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Thread: Fresh meat trying to decide between two similar products for home use.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Fresh meat trying to decide between two similar products for home use.

    Hello all!
    47 year old mechanical engineer, Inspector and laser noob here.

    I have been looking to buy an RGB projector for home/personal use and came across the same two recommendations over and over in my search here.

    Essentially, the recommended units for the home user looking to have a few nice lumia effects and a proper ILDA port comes down to either the LaserKing LK-PD3, or the Laserworld Pro Series.

    Laserworld, from what I can tell is more expensive, but higher quality?

    But, I cant help but notice that the Laserking has considerably higher output vs the Laserworld despite being less expensive.

    The Laserking LK-PD3 specs:
    http://www.laserking.com.hk/products_show.asp?proid=412

    R: 300mw | 638nm
    G: 200mw | 532nm
    B: 500mw | 450nm

    The Laserworld Pro 800 (which is more expensive, but appears to have approx less than half the beam strength for double the money?)
    https://www.laserworld.com/shop/lase...proline-series

    R: 120mw | 637nm
    G: 120mw | 532nm
    B: 460mw | 1.3

    The Laserworld Pro 1600 comes closest to the LK-PD3 spec wise, but is 3 times as expensive unit over the LaserKing!

    I will be the first to admit, I don't know my ass from my elbow when it comes to lasers.
    Am I comparing these units properly?
    Any other unit recommendations?

    "Any" insight would be greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by Vectorfire; 08-06-2018 at 10:39.

  2. #2
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    Default

    The LaserKing is likely absolute junk. Some of the Chinese stuff these days is decent, but that one certainly doesnt appear to be one of the decent ones. I'm sure you'll be thoroughly disappointed with it shortly after using it. I doubt it will output what they advertise after the optics. Also illegal to import into the USA whether or not for private use. It will likely be smuggled through customs as a "stage light". If it gets confiscated, you lose, dont expect any help from the seller.

    The Laserworld is arguably better quality but not what I would call "good". Please ask the seller "Is this varianced by the FDA for use in the United States" before buying. Also, they try to be sly with 40kpps @ 4 degrees. Scan Speeds should be measured at 8 degrees, the traditional industry standard

    Industry standard is 30kpps @ 8 degrees. Even the Chinese consider this to be the minimum for a decent projector these days. This is also required to get decent looking images/graphics from a laser projector. Anything less will flicker and look like hell no matter what software you use.

    This really is a 'get what you pay for' industry. At least make sure whatever you buy is 30K at 8 degrees, and varianced for use in the USA!
    Sincerely,
    Ryan Smith
    ScannerMAX Mechanical Engineer
    ryan {at} scannermax.com

  3. #3
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    Eek.
    I don't mind paying for quality.(within the limits of sanity) I've been a musician for 30+ years and the same mantra applies there as well.

    The problem seems to be finding a quality manufactured product.

    I'm just being honest with myself in knowing that if I start down the project road I will inevitably hemorrhage cash and likely never finish.
    Buying a turnkey solution seems the best route, I just cant seem to find one that's not a POS.
    Last edited by Vectorfire; 08-06-2018 at 13:38.

  4. #4
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    THE FOLLOWING ARE MY OPINIONS AND NOT THOSE OF MY EMPLOYER:

    Lightspace and GoldenStar tend to be on the higher end of the Chinese projectors. A lot of bang for your buck there. They do have some issues, but for typical hobbyist use, they are usually satisfactory. If you are touring or doing high end professional shows, you'll likely want something better. I believe they are also varienced for US use.

    We represent Kvant (Europe manufactured), but understand that these tend to be a bit out of the price range of hobbyists or entry level laserists. Most professional traveling/touring companies either use projectors they make themselves, or Kvant projectors. Gets back to the 'Get What You Pay For' thing.

    Pangolin also represents some X-Laser USA projectors. Some made here in the USA and others made in China. Another solid choice. They have representatives on this forum and I'm sure will chime in soon. Many of the hobbyists on this forum are very happy with the quality of the projector and also support they get from X-Laser.

    If cost is the big driver, GoldenStar and LightSpace are probably good choices. I'd tend to stay away from many of the other Chinese manufacturers, especially if they aren't varianced. If you are looking more for quality (do it once and do it right), Look at the Kvant ClubMax and XLaser SkyWriter series.

    https://lasershowprojector.com/
    Sincerely,
    Ryan Smith
    ScannerMAX Mechanical Engineer
    ryan {at} scannermax.com

  5. #5
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    .... go to LPF and search LaserKing-- lots to read and from different members and opinions.
    Whoever did the LUMIA on the LK PDs (2 & 3-only the more powerful PD 3 is now being sold (afaik))-- was NO LUMIA Expert Its totally lame until you add DMX--and slow it down.

    we can debate forever the 'legality' of PJs I our own private homes IMHO I don't need anyone interfering with my rights inside MY home-- however some have 'dogs in that fight' including me. So break out those grains of salt.

    Until you see a LK PD working its 5 efx wheels-- its hard to compare with others because AFAIK.. LKs are the only PJs with them. I know some pros wanted Linna at LK (a member here) to sell just that part, but IIRC she was not able to do that. Another VET has modded his with Pango scanners and upgraded w/ more powerful RGB-- IIRC he uses that one only in his home & due to its small size-- for Demos.

    LK will not pay for return shipping for warranty work --so most do their own repairs or have another fix.. But do a better than average communication.

    They have upgraded over the last few years with more of what is needed to become 'legit' but have a long way to go before that is totally 'in line'.

    At least 20 forum(both) members own one or more LK PJs.

    hope this helps...hak
    BEYOND-FB3/APC40Mamba Black(clone & currently on loan) 2X 5paghetti & 2 I-Show 2X KGB 1000mW 532 DT40K (pair)XFX 1300 RGB full color RGB 30K DIY 3.5WRGB work in progress et al..assorted ttl chi-jectors--LOTS of LUMIA DIY pjs-
    Powered by Pangolin & ILDA Member

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for the input, all very illuminating information!
    I can handle making my own lumia wheel, I just need a quality projector.

    Buying from a US/European manufacturer with an actual warranty and support line where someone might actually answer the phone would be a huge plus for me. Based on all of your comments, I think I am going to avoid an import at all costs.

    I am a quality assurance manager for a manufacturer of light/ion and electron microscopes. My anal retentive nature will tear a substandard product a new asshole as well as drive me crazy in the process. I would much rather pay a pretty penny up front and be done with it.

    I want to be impressed, not frustrated!

    So it looks like Kvant, XLaser, Pangolin are where I need to focus my search.

    From what I've learned I need:

    analog modulation for a broader color pallete.
    30k minimum scanning speed to avoid flickering

    Any other requisites that I should be keeping an eye out for?

    And again, thank you all for the info and the save on a potentially poor quality purchase.
    Last edited by Vectorfire; 08-07-2018 at 04:50.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vectorfire View Post
    Thank you all for the input, all very illuminating information!

    Buying from a US/European manufacturer with an actual warranty and support line where someone might actually answer the phone would be a huge plus for me. Based on all of your comments, I think I am going to avoid an import at all costs.

    I am a quality assurance manager for a manufacturer of light/ion and electron microscopes. My anal retentive nature will tear a substandard product a new asshole as well as drive me crazy in the process. I would much rather pay a pretty penny up front and be done with it.

    I want to be impressed, not frustrated!

    So it looks like Kvant, XLaser, Pangolin are where I need to focus my search.

    From what I've learned I need:

    analog modulation for a broader color pallete.
    30k minimum scanning speed to avoid flickering

    Any other requisites that I should be keeping an eye out for?

    And again, thank you all for the info and the save on a potentially poor quality purchase.
    I am wondering what type of content you are going to run on your laser. If you are going to play shows from your computer then you will need a DAC and some software to interface with the DAC. If you are going to run old school analog system (function generators and analog signal processing) then you will not need a DAC.

    If you plan is to use a DAC and you only plan to have beams overhead then you can go with less than 30Kpps. As soon as you say I may run graphics one day then you might as well get 30kpps or higher so you only buy once. Buying a DAC is a whole other converation but the companies you have narrowed down to offer options. There are also other DAC options like Etherdreams and other software like LSX. I will let you do some investigation.
    When it comes to customer service X-laser can not be beat (Sorry Pangolin).

    With the companies left on your short list I don't think any of them offer a Lumia solution so you will need to still find that if it is important to you. Lumia wheels do not necessarily need a DAC to make beautiful laser art. Just having one simple slow moving wheel in front of your laser will make great ambiance.

    Overall keep asking questions. We will help you the best we can so you don't waste your money. We have made all the mistakes for you.
    Watching Lasers Since 1981

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaltyRobot View Post
    I am wondering what type of content you are going to run on your laser. If you are going to play shows from your computer then you will need a DAC and some software to interface with the DAC. If you are going to run old school analog system (function generators and analog signal processing) then you will not need a DAC.

    If you plan is to use a DAC and you only plan to have beams overhead then you can go with less than 30Kpps. As soon as you say I may run graphics one day then you might as well get 30kpps or higher so you only buy once. Buying a DAC is a whole other converation but the companies you have narrowed down to offer options. There are also other DAC options like Etherdreams and other software like LSX. I will let you do some investigation.
    When it comes to customer service X-laser can not be beat (Sorry Pangolin).

    With the companies left on your short list I don't think any of them offer a Lumia solution so you will need to still find that if it is important to you. Lumia wheels do not necessarily need a DAC to make beautiful laser art. Just having one simple slow moving wheel in front of your laser will make great ambiance.

    Overall keep asking questions. We will help you the best we can so you don't waste your money. We have made all the mistakes for you.

    I am competent enough to control a motor with an Arduino/RaspPi to make my own lumia wheel. So, I'm not terribly worried that is not an option with any of the real contenders. Its more important that all the other important functions/options are there. (and that I understand what those are!)

    My initial goals don't include graphics, but I prefer to be "one and done" and have the option moving forward.
    This project is going into my home recording studio, so being able to interface/interpolate with an audio stream is definitely a goal.

    Time to go information binge on DAC's!

    Xlaser Skywriter HPX is looking like a strong contender for a well rounded feature set.
    Last edited by Vectorfire; 08-07-2018 at 06:54.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vectorfire View Post
    I am competent enough to control a motor with an Arduino/RaspPi to make my own lumia wheel. So, I'm not terribly worried that is not an option with any of the real contenders. Its more important that all the other important functions/options are there. (and that I understand what those are!)

    My initial goals don't include graphics, but I prefer to be "one and done" and have the option moving forward.
    This project is going into my home recording studio, so being able to interface/interpolate with an audio stream is definitely a goal.

    time to go information binge on DACs now!

    Xlaser Skywriter HPX is looking like a strong contender for a well rounded feature set.
    For DAC/Software if you want easy to use with limited features Quickshow (Software) with FB3 (DAC) is a great choice but the limitation hits pretty quickly. The software can be upgraded to Beyond (Software) when you budget deems fit and the DAC will work with both. If you are looking for something a little more economical but a steeper learning curve then LSX (Software) with an Etherdream 2 (DAC) is a great option. LSX also works with other DACs but does not work with FB3. There are several people including my self using LSX and we are always willing to help anyone get started. This can help with that learning curve.

    If you are going to use this to make beams in the air then I would probably go with Quick show. You will have immediate gratification.

    When it come to simple Lumia if you can use a microcontroller to make three 0-5VDC analog signals and a PWM for the speed of the motor you will be pretty good to go.
    Watching Lasers Since 1981

  10. #10
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    I am a bit of a newb when it comes to projectors.

    So - From perpective of a hobbyist, not a professional

    After considering lots of projectors and considering attempting a home build - A couple years ago, I went with Kvant.

    They are very pricey, but best output, IMHO.

    Haven't used it much, but i don't regret it.

    At SELEM you get to see lots of projectors Including some beautiful Ion Laser Systems.

    The bad part is that it has made me very picky about output color and flicker.

    I totally agree that you get what you pay for.

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