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Thread: Alphalite problems.

  1. #1
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    Default Alphalite problems.

    Hi ,
    I have just hooked up an Alphalite DAC to my Scanpro20 scanners.
    Everything works fine when working from the DMX pcb.
    When DAC plugged in I have 2 problems:-
    1) I can't see the scanner setup and calibration menu ie to set scanner speed. (seems to be running very slow by default).
    Tried removing and re-installing software, but still can't see it.
    2 Everything is inverted, up - down, x - y, and even colour!

    Apart from that, its working OK.

    I have a two colour sytem.

    This is my first attempt at connecting a DAC.

    Probably doing something daft - any ideas?

    Thanks, David

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi David

    Scan spped is set on the first tab "MAIN" - it seems to be called drawspeed rather than scanspeed

    To invert things ( TOP LEFT ) OPTIONS , XY tab will let you move things about.

    I used to use Alpha regular and it has its issues but overall i still think its a good peice of software tied together with many many fanctions in the one interface .............. you should have fun learning all the myriad of functions built in and hopefully it didnt cost you too much to get on the DAC ladder ........... the one thing , i found , in my experience about Alpha ....and i didnt realise it until i bought Pangolin is that it has "tremor" issues , and slight image issues , the second i plugged in FB3 all these issues dissappeared so if you dont have a Perfect image dont spend too much time stressing !

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

  3. #3
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    Default

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your help.
    My confusion is that in the manual (dated 2004) on the CD it shows in the "MAIN" window settings for various scanner speeds and a calibrate button, as in pic Alpha 1.
    The "MAIN" window in the software (Ver2.9) is different with no scanner speed settings or calibrate button.
    Maybe there is no need for this in this version of the software, I don't know - it just seems that on some files it is hopelessley slow (the Viking for instance).
    Anyway, if 45.00 is a good price, then yes I am doing well.
    The 5 volt regulator runs very hot, think I might put a small H/S on it.
    Regards, David
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Alpha1.jpg  

    Alpha2.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Cool

    You got your Alpahlite for a little less than 1/3 of retail. At that price I'd say it's worth it just to be able to play with the abstract generator...

    Yeah, Alphalite has issues, but they're common to most parallel port controllers. For the price you paid though, I'd say it was a good deal.

    The new version of the software has changed significantly since Rick last updated the manual. To change the speed you need to first click on the "main" tab in the upper right. Then you can select the draw speed slider and move it around. There are also buttons for global settings as well as file-specific settings. Click on the info button to the right to learn more about the changes to the draw speed algorithm that have been incorporated into version 2.9

    Adam

  5. #5
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    David

    havin fun ? your first DAC , ooohhh exciting !

    Maybe there is no need for this in this version of the software, ............. what version of software are you running ...last i heard it was 29A


    I don't know - it just seems that on some files it is hopelessley slow (the Viking for instance).......... whats the symptoms ? you can see dots instead of image ..if so then scan speed is too low ....thats not a particulary easy image to project ...........if its some other issue like too much flicker then thats your galvos not working fast enough ..nowt to do with ALPHA
    Anyway, if 45.00 is a good price, cool you might even make money on it when you sell it on on ebay to buy an FB3 ... you will eventually !! yes you will !!

    The 5 volt regulator runs very hot, think I might put a small H/S on it.
    Do you know it needs AC power ..not DC? you will likely need to buy a special AC regulated power supply from maplin ..theres goes 18 quid !!


    Also never hesitate to email Rick the programmer thru his website hes very helpful


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

  6. #6
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    Default

    Hi Paul,
    Both Badger 1666 (who I got the Dac from) and Rick at Laser Illusions have been very helpfull.
    I origonally had a blue power led hooked up to a point on the PCB that I found 5V on - but it turns out this is not good - when I measured the voltage at this point it was dragging it down to about 4.5V. I reconnected it to the output of the regulator, and it has improved the speed a lot - even the Viking is not bad now, but quite a bit of flicker - but as you say, not the fault of Alpha.
    I was also using a standard 25 way cable to connect PC to DAC. I made a new ne with just the lines actually needed, and now the regulator stays quite cool too! Yes, it is powered from an AC adaptor.
    Have to be away from home till next tuesday, so all on hold till then
    All the best,

    David

  7. #7
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    Hey Entrix,

    I am having similer problms with my new alpha system... (first control rig)

    Did you ever solve your issues? if so, what did the trick? I also noticed low output voltage?.?.?.

    Any info would rock!
    Thanks much,
    pete s

  8. #8
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    Smile

    How are you measuring the output voltage? And are you talking about the voltage on the modulation lines or the X and Y signals?

    The only way to get an accurate measurement on the modulation lines is to use an oscilloscope. The voltage *will* drop to zero for all blanked points, and even if all you're displaying is a circle, the laser will still blank in-between frames, so you need the oscilloscope to measure the peaks. (A multimeter will give you an average voltage reading that will end up being lower.)

    Also, the Viking animation he mentions has a *lot* of points in each frame, so it's going to flicker a bit - even at 30K.

    Adam

  9. #9
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    Default

    Hi Pete,
    It is quite a while since I have used my Alphalite DAC.
    All my problems semed to dissapear when I used a 25 way connecting lead that only hsd the connections actually needed by the DAC.
    The low voltage problem was my fault, connecting an LED in an innapropriate place on the PCB.
    Sorry to not be of more help, I hope you have sucess!
    Regards, David.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Hi pete

    i had my first alphalite ( or GWS as it was known then ) system from Rick in late 1999 and found him a very helpfull guy... any problem i had he was able to sort out ... see if you can contact him he will certainly try to help.

    if i rember correctly you must use the orriginal wall plug PSU as it had an AC output ( not DC like most you find ) this was because the alphalite DAC had a voltage splitter that derived a split rail +V 0V -V from a single ac supply .... if you dont have the correct wall PSU these conditions wont be met and will affect the output ....

    hope this helps .... karl

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