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Thread: Review of ScanPro 30 galvos from LaserShowParts.com

  1. #1
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    Post Review of ScanPro 30 galvos from LaserShowParts.com

    Hi guys;

    Well this is the review that I promised (back in July!) of the ScanPro 30 galvos that LaserShowParts.com sells. You'll recall that I posted a review of the ScanEco 20 galvos a while back; this is the second galvo review that I mentioned I was working on...

    As always, a disclaimer first: I am not employed with LaserShowParts.com, and I was not paid or otherwise compensated in any way to perform this review. All the tests were performed using my Pangolin QM-2000 intro board.

    Also, a bit of clarification here... The ScanPro 30 galvos are not the same units that Carmangary was selling earlier. Those other units have much smaller amps and do not perform as well as these "Pro" series units. (I managed to get my hands on a pair of those scanners that Carmangary had thanks to Dream Beamz.) The cheaper scanners that Carmangary found were actually similar to (if not identical to) the ScanEco 30 scanners that Dave and Aijii sell on E-bay from time to time. And while they were nice scanners for the price, the ScanPro 30 units are noticeably different, both in the size of the amps and the performance of the scanners themselves. (Of course, they're more expensive too.)

    Ok - on to the review: The mirrors that came with my set of ScanPro 30's were the same large-form-factor mirrors found on the ScanEco 20 galvos that I reviewed before (roughly 7 mm by 11 mm). However, Dave informed me that you can order the ScanPro 30's with the smaller octagonal-shaped mirrors if you want. Personally, I like the larger mirrors because it makes alignment easier and allows for larger beam diameters. (635 nm red, anyone?) Mirror efficiency was pretty consistent; 5% loss on each mirror. (Similar to the 6% loss I measured on the ScanEco 20's, and equal to the performance of the mirrors on my DT-40 scanners.)

    Also, like the ScanEco 20 set, I found that the initial tuning right out of the box was not very good. I actually spoke with Dave about this, and he said that it's very uncommon to have to tune them. They're supposed to come from the factory already set to run. It may be that the repair that was performed on the mirror could have thrown the tuning off on this set. Or it was just my bad luck that I had to tune this set.

    Nevertheless, once I located the manual that identified the tuning pots (thanks Dave!), I was able to tune them quite easily. I was able to get the ILDA test pattern dialed in at 30Kpps at 10 degrees optical. That's pretty good, considering the standard is 8 degrees at 30Kpps... I did not try to tune them any higher, though I suspect they will go higher.

    After I got them dialed in, I let them scan the test pattern for about an hour or so and then ran some complex abstracts at full scan angle for another 30 min or so. During this time I took several temperature measurements, and I was surprised by the results. These scanners tend to run HOT! I measured just over 100 degrees F on the scanner block itself, and the heat sink on the amps got up to 135 degrees F. Bear in mind that everything was mounted on a 1/4 inch thick, 2 ft square aluminum plate just like before.

    Based on these measurements, I decided not to test them with the amps removed from the base plate. I believe this would have caused the amps to rapidly overheat. So consider adding heat sink and/or a fan for the amps when you mount these galvos in your projector. Wood is definitely out of the question when mounting these amps; they'll overheat for sure. They want to be mounted to a thick piece of metal.

    The power supply that comes with these galvos is a bit larger than the standard unit I've seen, but I didn't have any problems with it. The terminals were clearly labeled and easy to get to. The included cables come with some impressive metal connectors to link the scanners to the amps. While I did not screw them down, the holes (and sockets) are there if you want to do this. Actually, Dave suggested that they be screwed down, since apparently there is a chance of failure if a connector to a scanner becomes partially un-plugged while powered up.

    With the initial tuning and run-in tests completed, I checked the scanner's maximum scan angle... I measured 43 degrees, which is just slightly better than the manufacturer's spec of 40 degrees. Then I loaded up several frames and animations and put the scanners through their paces.

    I was very pleased with their performance. These scanners are much quieter than my DT-40's. They don't make much noise at all. In fact, they're downright quiet - possibly the quietest scanners I've ever used. The image quality was very stable, and I didn't notice any sample jitter. Overall I'd say that the image quality was comparable to what I get with my DT-40's. Considering that these scanners were swinging a mirror that was nearly double in size, I'd say that's pretty impressive.

    There are some pictures in my gallery of some of the common test patterns, and I've also put together a demo reel video to showcase what the scanners can do. Have a look and see for yourself. Everything is scanning at exactly 30Kpps. (And before you ask, the music in the video is Jan Hammer's "Too Far", from the "Beyond the Mind's Eye" soundtrack.)

    Overall, my impressions are that these scanners are quite well built, and seem to be comparable to other scanners in this price range. I was surprised at the large size of both the amps and the power supply, but then again, these scanners were moving a lot more mass with those large mirrors, so it makes sense that the amps are going to need more grunt. I expect that with the smaller mirrors attached, the amps would run a lot cooler too. But it's good to know that if you want to use a large diameter beam in your projector, you've got a scanner option that can still do a solid 30Kpps while not loosing half your beam off the edges of the scanner mirrors! Just be sure to provide adequate cooling for the amps and you'll be fine.

    Adam

    PS: If you're wondering what happened to the scanners - Dave and Aijii decided to DONATE them to SELEM 2007 as a door prize, just like they did with the ScanEco 20 galvos that I reviewed earlier. Steve Roberts (aka Mixed Gas) was the happy winner.

  2. #2
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    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    A very happy winner. The heat produced is similar to older cambridges, in other words, mount the mount on a 2"x2"x2" cube, direct to the baseplate,
    just like you do with 6800's per the Cambridge manual, and your fine. Bill Benner retuned these for me as he wanted to see a few things about the newer amp and larger mirrors, I'm getting 30K at 12' after the Benner retuning, there is a slight diagonal offset to some horizontal lines, but only a trained laserist woul ever notice it. I love em. a definate five star product.,

    Steve Roberts

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    Default Christmas special!

    As a Christmas special, we are dropping the price of these to

    $595AUD plus shipping - that works out to ~$520USD

    Cheers

    Dave
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    Thumbs up

    If I remember correctly, that is close to $100 off what I paid for my set. Definatly a good deal. After playing with the G120s for a couple of nights, I plan on putting these back in my projector tonight. All I need now is a greeny to get the white back.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

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    Smile

    Steve;

    Thanks for your input. Glad you like the scanners! Coming from a seasoned Cambridge user like yourself, I'd say your comments carry more weight than the entire review I posted! And yeah, they are nice scanners...
    Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
    As a Christmas special, we are dropping the price of these...<snip>... that works out to ~$520USD
    Holy shit! That's a deal! (That's cheaper than the DT-40 pros...)

    Adam

  6. #6
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Buffo;37028]Steve;

    Thanks for your input. Glad you like the scanners! Coming from a seasoned Cambridge user like yourself, I'd say your comments carry more weight than the entire review I posted! And yeah, they are nice scanners...

    I just wish I owned Cambridges too, Its nice to use/work on other people's systems, but I dont own em.

    right now, 2 pairs of eyemagics 1 pair Scanpro, about 15 G124s, 10 gm 20s, some g330s, a few r4s by MFE, and 1 g120DT

    Steve

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    Last edited by dave; 02-10-2008 at 03:08. Reason: add smiley at end ;)
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  8. #8

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    I'm excited about this scanner, I am having one put in a custom build being done by Rick. I'm after the arieal myself and 650nm Red Diode Laser so the mirror sound awesome! Great Review Buffo! I'm learning more and more everyday.

  9. #9
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    The scanpro 30 works pretty darn well. I put them into the prototype projector I built this winter and was impressed with the results. I don't have a lot to compare it with though. I'm putting a DT-40 in my next projector and I'll post some side-by-side comparisons.

    Mike

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