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Thread: New user

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    227

    Default New user

    Hello, Just to introduce myself. Located in the Highlands of Scotland here.
    Older in years (my 20 yr old son is a bit bemused by a 57 yr old playing with lasers!), but young at heart!
    I have been interested in anything that glows for many years, (Nixie tubes, LED's), and played with a small HE-Ne, then little red pointers until I bought an 11Mw green module frm Rob (Stanwax) a few years ago. I played with mirrors on motors, and some mirror assemblys from old Laserdisc players (Rob again!).
    All went quiet for a few years. Recently aquired 100Mw green, and 150Mw red(Andy - who also pointed me to Edmunds for a Dichro mirror) and a set of the little 10K Chinese scanners. I have now figured out TTL blanking, and am discovering the joys of trying to align two beams!
    Looking through some of the stuff on this forum makes me realise just how much I have to learn!
    One immediate question - how is analouge modulation achieved? Is is voltage control, or current, or some other - PWM?
    Regards, David.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    North West England
    Posts
    1,148

    Default

    Hi David,
    welcome to the forums, it's good to have another member from our side of the pond.
    One immediate question - how is analouge modulation achieved? Is is voltage control, or current, or some other - PWM?
    The diode is modulated by current, but the drivers are done by voltage (0-5v).

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Hi

    Hi Jim, Thank you for your welcome, and your very quick reply to my question!
    Regards, David.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,218

    Smile

    Hello David! Welcome to PhotonLexicon. Your history with lasers is very similar to a lot of the members here. Now that you're getting into scanners and such, I just need to tell you up front to ABANDON ALL HOPE of ever being financially solvent from this point on!

    Lasers are an addiction, no doubt about it. But at least we can get a lot of fun out of our expensive toys!

    What software are you using to control those 10K scanners of yours? (How about some pictures? We like pictures!)

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    227

    Default Software

    Hello Adam, Thanks for the welcome! Not using any software yet, just the built in routines and the sound activation that came with the scanner. Am I right in thinking that to use any software I would need a DAC? (any recomendations?). I will take some pics tonight, but really little to show as yet! Regards, David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    North West England
    Posts
    1,148

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by xntrix View Post
    Am I right in thinking that to use any software I would need a DAC? (any recomendations?). I will take some pics tonight, but really little to show as yet! Regards, David
    Yes, you are right.
    The cheapest is the Popelscan DAC, you can build it yourself or get a kit from ebay. That will work with the fre NLS software.
    There is a thread on here that lists most of the software/dac combinations and the cost of each of them.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,218

    Cool

    Here is the thread that Jimbo was talking about.

    There are a few free or low cost DAC's out there, but if you're looking to get a commercial controller, it's pretty hard to beat the Pangolin LA FREAK package that they're offering to the hobbyist community for just $500. See the thread above for details. (Near the end there are few links to screen shots of the software.)

    Adam

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Sheepsville, Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,372

    Default

    Hello again David

    like Adam said - beware the bottomless pit - a very satisfying pit I grant but bottomless it is.

    To fully answer your blanking question, analogue modulation is achieved by using a 0-5V output from the DAC (connected to the input of the laser) to control the Laser diode current. The ideal situation is to have the diode biased slightly so that as soon as the input voltage begins to rise the diode hops over the threshold level and then continues to increase all the way to 5V. In practice its never as linear as that - especially with DPSS but for most of us the effect is good enough. For a red diode one of Robins (member UK Laser) Die4Drives will do you a treat. For DPSS the driver you have will need to be converted - if your are electronically minded or replaced. Depending on the current requirements of the DPSS pump you may also getaway with a D4D though you will almost certainly need to bolt it to a heatsink.
    If you want to see a little bit of info about alignment you may get the basic idea from my vid clip on youtube that shows my home made magnetic mounts.
    here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw0XLr4Bels
    I have been threatening to write a begginers guide to alignment & post it here for some time now (in fact its partly written up) - maybe now is a good time to finish and publish.
    Enjoy the Forum im sure you will find us a friendly bunch & hope you can make it in Feb to our meet.

    Rob
    If you need to ask the question 'whats so good about a laser' - you won't understand the answer.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laserists do it by the nanometre.

    Stanwax Laser is a Corporate Member of Ilda

    Stanwax Laser main distributor of First Contact in UK - like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FirstContactPolymerCleaner
    www.photoniccleaning.co.uk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,407

    Default YANA

    Hi David
    Welcome to PL , and great to see fellow Scottish laserist ! I am based in Glasgow , if you are ever down my way feel free to give me shout a you can come and see some different dacs and lasers in operation.

    Best VALUE dac you can buy nowadays is without doubt the Pango LASERFREAK KIT , rock solid quality at a fantastic price , buy direct from pangolin. If you have a bigger wallet :-) have a look at some of their other softwares .... withoot a doot theres many pango enthusasts here but for some good reason , all i can say is once you have worked with it comapred to others you understand.

    So what brings yuo to the laser light altar , the love of the technical challange , the love of the LIGHT , the excitement lasers can create in other people - that YOU feed off , the challanages of laser frame creation , or are you trying to create a laser light LOCH NESS MONSTER to encourage more amercians to our fair country :-)

    Catch ya Soon

    PAUL
    In the beginning there was none. Then came the light - #1 UKLEM - 2007
    BUY UK LEGAL LASER POINTER :: NEW - Blue 460nm Laser Pointers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    227

    Default

    Thanks to all for the warm welcome and answers to questions!
    I realise now that my priority is to get a decent base plate. Not quite so easy up here (not exactly a Metalsupermarkt round the corner), but I am sure I will get something.
    I have attatched a couple of pics of things so far. It really is just to get the feel of things, understand blanking etc. Green is blanked, red not - and obviousy they are not aligned! I really hope to make the meet in Februry even if only to gawp at some pretty lasers! Regards, David
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