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Thread: DMX control of ilda.. what do I need

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Indiana
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    Default DMX control of ilda.. what do I need

    Ok, I have been reading everything I can find on the forum for a couple of days.

    I am still quite confused and now feel ok about asking what are probably stupid questions.

    I have a couple of 300mw green 30k units. I also have an rgb unit on the way. The units came with a package consisting of iShow software and usb interface. I am able to load files and play them on the laser using the iShow software, but I want to be able to select preset 'shows' using my dmx controller without the computer at the time.

    From reading, it sounds like the FB3 Evaluation kit is the way I need to go, but I am confused. Looking at the pictures, I don't see a 25 pin connector on the board to connect a cable to the ILDA port on my projector. I know it is meant to be mounted inside the projector... does it actually replace one of the boards inside my projector now? I was hoping to find a solution that took usb/dmx connector in, then ilda connector out, like the usb interface with the iShow software.

    The Riya USB controller looks more familiar to my current box, but with a dmx port... but I gather it is not as good as the FB3?

    Can anyone take pity on a clueless noob? I need advice/education.
    Fear Fair - Indiana's Scariest Haunted House
    www.FearFair.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN & Huntsville, AL, USA
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    Default

    The Pangolin FB3 is the only board I'm familiar with, so I can't compare it to the others. However, even though I haven't tried it out myself yet, I know it does support a LOT of DMX-controllability!

    The FB3 does include a standard ILDA 25-pin connector, although it may not be depicted in the documentation you may have seen for the FB3 - most of the documentation I've seen shows the "pinouts" of the various connections between the motherboard and various daughterboards for the FB3. You can search the forums here for some rather lengthy discussions concerning hooking up the FB3 to projectors, all pertaining to using it with the standard ILDA 25-pin connector, which IS included with the FB3.

    DMX functionality for the FB3 (which is provided by the DMX daughterboard, part of the Evaluation Kit) is designed to let you use the FB3 without being connected to a computer (In fact, if the FB3 is connected to a computer via the USB connection, DMX capability is temporarily disabled). DMX will give you complete control over all the cues that are pre-loaded into the FB3's onboard memory - up to 9 pages of 48 cues per page! Using the FB3 in DMX mode basically gives you the same controllability you would have if you were connected to a computer and using the Pangolin LiveQ software application that is designed for the FB3. DMX lets you control something like 15 different parameters, including cue selection, size, position, animation speed, fade, color, etc., etc. The DMX capability is covered quite well in the FB3 documentation.

    Using DMX to select complete "shows" with the FB3 would probably require you to use the "scene" capability of your DMX controller to pre-assign FB3 cues. True "show" capability with the FB3 would require computer control with a software package designed for creating laser shows. Note that when the FB3 is being controlled by a computer, you are not limited to displaying just the cues stored in the onboard memory - you would only be limited by the capabilites of the particular software you are using. By the way, if you purchase an FB3, you can get the LAStudio software package from Pangolin, FREE to registered owners! Here's a link: http://www.pangolin.com/LA_Studio/Showrider.htm

    The FB3 is the only controller card you need in your projector, and is ready to go, out of the box. It will require a 5VDC power source, and includes outputs to control a pair of scanners, analog modulation for up to 3 lasers (RGB), and trigger signal for a beam shutter. It does NOT have DMX OUTPUT capability to control other DMX-equipped devices.

    Feel free to ask questions anytime - most of us learn something new everyday here, so there are no stupid questions on this forum

    Randy
    Last edited by Stuka; 04-27-2008 at 06:53.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    92

    Default

    Thanks for all the answers, that does help quite a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
    The FB3 is the only controller card you need in your projector, and is ready to go, out of the box. It will require a 5VDC power source, and includes outputs to control a pair of scanners, analog modulation for up to 3 lasers (RGB), and trigger signal for a beam shutter.
    This is the part that was confusing me. I am still a little fuzzy. Are you saying the FB3 can connect either using a 25 pin cable to the ilda connector on the laser or take the place of the scanner board by connecting directly to the scanners and diodes?

    Let me ask this way, could a complete rgb projector be assembled using only the diodes, scanners, power supply and FB3?

    Although, in my application, my plan is to connect to the ILDA connector on my already complete projectors. So it will be usb from the computer to the FB3 and 25 pin cable from the FB3 to the ILDA connector on the back of the projector?
    Fear Fair - Indiana's Scariest Haunted House
    www.FearFair.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    2,147,489,116

    Cool

    Hey FearFair! Fill out your profile so we know where you are...

    Ok - looking at your sig, I'm guessing you're in Indiana. Welcome to PhotonLexicon, by the way!

    If you're interested in seeing what these different controllers can do, I *strongly* urge you to mark out August 15th, 16th, and 17th on your calender right now. That's the weekend that we'll be holding the 2nd annual South Eastern Laser Enthusiast's Meeting (SELEM 2008) in Newton, North Carolina.

    Friday is the pre-SELEM dinner party, while Saturday and Sunday are the main event. You'll see quite a few members from PhotonLexicon there, plus at least a couple representatives from the industry. Lots of laser projectors on display and operating, lots of music, lots of fun! So if you're free that weekend, make it a road trip!

    As for the FB3, I can't really add much to Randy's excellent post above. The FB3 does indeed support DMX input as well as computer control via the USB port. It does *not* have DMX output, however.

    There will be a few projectors at SELEM that will be running on FB3's. There will also be several projectors running the Pangolin QM-2000 board, which is *really* cool to see. There will also be a smattering of other controllers represented, including Full Auto, and likely the Mamba Black / Easylase USB combination as well. So it's a great way to compare features and capabilities. (Though I'll warn you right now - once you see a QM-2000 board in operation, you'll want one for yourself.)

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN & Huntsville, AL, USA
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    Default

    Whether it is built into the projector and connected directly to the components, OR used externally and connected via the ILDA connector (either would work), the FB3 would be the ONLY controller card you would need. The FB3 would be replacing any other controller card you are now using. You'll need to supply 5VDC power through the power connector on the FB3 regardless of the way you connect it to the rest of your projector.

    If your projector is ILDA-ready, you should be able to connect the FB3 to it via the ILDA connector. To add DMX capability (if you get the FB3 with the DMX daughterboard), your DMX controller would connect to the FB3 via the DMX connector that is included with the FB3.

    Computer control is provided via the USB connector & cable that is included with the FB3. If you go that route, be sure to install the software (LiveQ, at a minimum) and drivers supplied by Pangolin - I'm not sure how well other manufacturer's software function with Pangolin hardware.

    And, like Buffo said, the Pangilin QM-2000 and LD2000 hardware / software system is SWEET from what I've seen - although for us hobbyists just starting out, it sometimes becomes a toss-up between REALLY kick-ass software/controller combinations, or more laser power! (Round 1 for me - more laser power...but I'm saving up for the QM-2000 for the "upgrade" version)

    Having said that - the Pangolin FB3 is still one kick-ass controller, especially when you consider it's price along with the capabilities of the FREE LAStudio software package!
    Last edited by Stuka; 04-27-2008 at 07:49. Reason: frickin' typos....
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

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