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Thread: SCANPRO20K + DMX board from lasershowparts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    93

    Default SCANPRO20K + DMX board from lasershowparts

    Introduction

    I first want to say that I just started with laser projectors as a hobby.
    I was always fascinated by laser shows but I always thought that it was
    out of reach for me. This review is written for anyone who is interested in
    starting a laser show hobby, but hasnít decided yet where to start and
    what to buy. I am not a professional laserist, so this review is from a guy
    who browsed laser forums for months and finally decided to start building
    something.
    All the pictures are as attachments. I also included the pdf version where
    the pictures are embedded in the text.

    The Order

    At a certain point in time (April 24th), I noticed that Lasershowparts.com
    presented a nice deal. A SCANPRO20K system and a DMX board for almost
    half the price. This instantly made me grab my credit card. About 4 days
    later, the package arrived.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Opening my present

    Everything was packaged in bubble wrap, foam and anti static bags.
    Important when you send stuff half around the world!

    Here is a picture of all that was included:
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    From the upper left to the upper right: 2 Amplifiers, the DMX board,
    the switched power supply and the galvo mounting block.
    From the lower left to the right you see the manual, various DMX cables
    and connectors, two galvos and galvo connection cables.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For persons who are also new at this, a DMX board is a small circuit board
    that contains a variety of preprogrammed patterns. These patterns can be
    selected and manipulated via a DMX protocol. If you donít have a DMX
    controller like me, then the circuit board can also ďplayĒ random patterns by
    setting some dipswitches. There is a microphone included with the DMX
    board tries to switch patterns on the beat of the music. A DMX board also
    comes in handy for those who havenít got a DAC and computer interface,
    but still want to enjoy a laser show.

    Lasershowparts claim that the galvo amplifiers are factory tuned to a higher
    standard then their ECO series. I canít wait to see my first galvos in action.
    The blue potentiometers on the amplifiers are fixed with a little glue so you
    canít accidentally un-tune them.

    Assembly

    I connected everything according to the supplied manuals. The manual was
    printed in color, so it is hard to make a mistake somewhere with the
    different wire colors.
    I do have to say that on the DMX board, the galvo wires that I had to
    connect were not of the right male/female type. So while you can still
    connect them, they do not Ďclickí together if you know what I mean.
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    The first time I put power on it all, I saw that all my images where upside
    down. I didnít want to risk any damage by switching + and Ė on the galvo
    cables so I emailed Dave from lasershowparts.com. The same evening I
    received a reply saying that there was a jumper pair that could be turned
    90 degrees to invert the axis. It is nice to know that these Amps have this
    capability. If you ever want to back project on a screen, you want to be
    able to invert the x-axis.
    I also found out that these scanners have a feedback output (2 pads next
    to PR3 marked FD) that can be used by safety equipment to block the
    beam if the galvo would fail for whatever reason.

    The galvos have 6x12mm front coated mirrors on them, so with some
    precise alignment, they can take a big fat red beam.

    On the picture, you also see that I use a cheap 50mw green laser module
    with TTL blanking for this review.

    Showtime

    I took some pictures of random patterns with a 1/20 shutter speed and
    with the camera steady on the table. Notice that I use a cheap green
    50mw laser that doesnít blank very well. That is why you see dim retrace
    lines sometimes.
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    This Chinese text (whatever it means) did not even flicker.
    I noticed a little bit of flicker on this ďThank youĒ text. If I would take a
    guess, the refresh rate was between 15 and 20 Hz. The real image is better
    then this picture. The lines were not as thick, and the text was clearer.
    You can also see my blanking problem in this picture (retrace lines between
    the letters). I definitely need a new green laser!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The corners of the text were all nice and sharp. Now you know what they
    mean when they say they are factory tuned to a high standard.

    I calculated the scan angle for the largest pattern in the DMX board which
    was a big square. With a projection distance of 1.3m, and a 1.0m width of
    the square, the scan angle was 42degrees. This is not the maximum scan
    angle of the galvos themselves. I assume that the mechanical limit is even
    +50 degrees
    The scanners ran for about 20 minutes during this whole test, and the
    galvos and amplifiers where only a bit warmer then ambient temperature.
    The DMX board had a very hot resistor. However, this was normal after
    confirming with lasershowparts.

    Conclusion

    These are very good scanners for anyone who is interested in beam shows
    and moderate graphics. The DMX board is good for standalone mode if you
    donít want to invest in a DAC and software.
    These probably are one of the best scanners, price/quality wise that I have
    found on the internet. They only need to update the manual about those
    jumpers and feedback loop connections.
    EDIT1: Dave updated the manuals the day after this review was posted. Nice one!
    EDIT2: I found out how to put the picture throughout the text
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails LASERSHOWPARTS SCANPRO20K Galvo Review_.pdf  

    Last edited by highvolt; 05-20-2008 at 01:30.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Sherbrooke, QC
    Posts
    17

    Default

    About the DMX board: how is the variety of effects it comes with?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Here is a link to the manual of the DMX board:
    http://www.lasershowparts.com/files/...NPRO/20KPB.pdf

    I would say it's about 70% beamshow effects, and 30% drawings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    3,702

    Default

    I just added a reference to the 2 jumpers and feedback output in the manual.. Have been meaning to do this for a while, and the review just gave it a push along
    KVANT Australian projector sales
    https://www.facebook.com/kvantaus/

    Lasershowparts- Laser Parts at great prices
    https://www.facebook.com/lasershowparts/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    232

    Default Scanpro20 DMX board problem

    Hi,
    Finally got around to powering up the scanners and DMX board.
    All seems fine except:
    It goes straight into what I assume is self test mode - displays a variety of shapes, numbers and messages.
    It will do this with or without the ribbon with the dip switches on.
    The LED is not powered up when plugged in.
    Any suggestions? I'm dying to see what else it can do!
    Regards,
    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    93

    Default

    Set the dip switches like in the manual.. Without a real DMX signal, you can only do the selftest mode, or the sound activated mode.

    Sound active is dipswitch at 0000001110 I believe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Hi,
    Thanks for the reply, but my point was that the dipswitches appear to be doing nothing. It goes into sef test whether the dipswitch assembly is plugged in or not. Also, shouldn't the red LED on the dipswitch panel be lit?

    Thanks, David.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    7,067

    Question

    Hey dave, what is the difference between this DMX board and the one that came with the scanco20s that were one of the door prizes at SELEM?
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Scottish Highlands
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Hi Allthat...
    I don't really know! The board I have is the one shown in the pics by highvolt, as I am in the UK I don't know what flavour of DMX board was given away at SELEM - sorry!
    Regards, David

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    7,067

    Thumbs up

    Thanks man. I was actually asking dave from Laser Show Parts. I plan on hooking a set of scanpro20s up to the DMX board I got with the scanco20s I won at SELEM. I am just curious about the different features of each board. I'll see if I can post some pics when I get home tonight.

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