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Thread: Can i add ILDA to my laser unit?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    19

    Default Can i add ILDA to my laser unit?

    Hi Guys,
    NEWB here, i bought a laser that does animations etc that is made by Light Emotion, its a green laser 100mw.
    Question is it has an ilda port on the back but it is not hooked up, can you buy a ILDA module to add ilda?


    sorry for the dumb question!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,500

    Cool

    Hi Nicko;

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon. Your question is a bit confusing; allow me to clarify.

    The ilda port is a 25-pin connector that carries certain signals used to control the scanners and the laser(s) inside the projector. If you purchase a laser show controller that supports the ilda standard, then you can connect it directly to your projector and use it to control the projector via a computer. But remember that ilda is just a standard for sending certain signals on certain pins. The "ilda module" you refered to will actually end up being a computer with a laser show controller board installed. (Actually, ilda stands for the International Laser Display Association, which is the group that developed the ilda standard for laser projectors.)

    There are several different controllers to choose from. Some are PCI cards that you install in your computer, while others are external boards that connect to your computer via a USB cable, or even a parallel cable in some cases. The software on the computer sends data to the controller board, and the controller converts those digital signals to analog signals and then sends those analog signals to the projector via the ilda port.

    So, to connect your projector to a computer you will need a controller and the software that goes with it, along with a 25-pin cable to connect the ilda port on your projector with the ilda output port on whatever controller you buy. (Actually, some controllers also allow you to control them via DMX signals from a DMX-capable lighting board, but that's another discussion entirely...)

    Some examples of software/controller packages are the Pangolin QM-2000, the Pangolin Flashback 3, the Medialase USB (w/ Mamba Black), the Alphalite XC Pro, Norm's laser show, Zion lasershow, and Full Auto, to name just a few.

    Some packages have free software and will work with controllers that you can build yourself, while others come as a package of software and hardware that you have to buy. Some software will work with more than one type of controller, and likewise there are controllers that are compatibile with more than one software package.

    Lots of people here like Pangolin , and it is the acknowledged industry leader when it comes to lasershows. While the QM-2000 system is a tad pricey, it's the cat's meow when it comes to shows. On the other hand, their new Flashback 3 controller is quite inexpensive, and is a good fit for the budding hobbyist on a budget. Several folks here are also running the Mamba Black / Easylase combination, and it too is very nice. But it's more expensive than the Flashback 3. The Alphalite is an inexpensive starter system that offers a lot of cool features, but has some serious limitations as well. (No music syncronization, for one.)

    You'll need to decide what your needs are and how much you want to spend before you can make a good decision about which software package and controller you'll want. Ask yourself if you really want to build a custom show, sync'ed to music, that once you build it you hit one button and it plays all the way through, or would you rather just be able to "play along" with the music, selecting animations and effects in real time. (Or do you want to do both?) Then do some searching (see the search menu at the top of the forum screen) through the messages here on PhotonLexicon and read up on the strengths and weaknesses of the controllers listed above. (And remember that there's probably several others out there that I forgot to mention.)

    Finally, where are you located? If you are anywhere near the east coast, or if you don't mind a long drive (or flight...), you might consider attending SELEM 2007 in Newton, NC on August the 18th and 19th. We'll have multiple laser projectors and controllers set up and operating, and you'll be able to speak with the folks that put them together. Give you a chance to get some feedback from people that have been using the hardware and software... Give it some thought anyway. (Details can be found in the Lasers Meet and Greet sub forum. Look for SELEM threads.)

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    30

    Default

    I also have a laser projector it just has DMX512 control and no ILDA but i want to add a ILDA board to it but i dont know where to find one or build one, any clues

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,500

    Smile

    It's not as easy as simply "adding an ILDA board". You will need to re-wire the projector internals yourself. First you need to find the input connections for the scanner amps and the modulation inputs for the lasers. Then you need to install a DB-25 connector on the case and wire the appropriate pins from the DB-25 to the inputs for the lasers and scanners. Finally, you'll need an ILDA-compatible controller and some software to run it.

    It's a big enough job that you'd probably want some help with it, unless you are already experienced with electronics work. Post some pictures of the internals of your projector, and some members here may be able to offer futher suggestions.

    Adam

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