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Thread: ScanPro40 scanners from LaserShowParts.com

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up ScanPro40 scanners from LaserShowParts.com

    Thanks to Dave and Aijii at LaserShowParts.com, I had the opportunity to review a set of their newly re-designed ScanPro40 galvos. The scanners are going to be given away at SELEM 2008 as door prizes, but I had the opportunity to test them beforehand to see how they performed. What follows is my review of the new scanners.

    As I unboxed everything I noticed that they package the scanners quite well. Each scanner has a protective plastic sleve over the shaft and mirror. The scanners were also individually wraped in bubble wrap, then boxed, and finally packed in foam. Likewise, the scanner amps were enclosed in an anti-static bag, then boxed and wrapped in foam. The scanner block was in the same box with the cables - again all contained with foam, and finally the amp power supply was boxed separately and wrapped with foam. All this was then enclosed inside yet another box, with more foam around it! I feel certain that I could have drop-kicked the box across the street and not harmed the contents.

    The scanners themselves now have a nickel-chrome plating on the outer shaft that slides into the scanner mounting block. I don't know if this is designed to increase heat transfer or to prevent rust; possibly both. The cable connections to the scanners have also been changed; they're plastic connectors now. (The cable connector on the amp is still the same "D" shaped metal hood connector.) The new plastic connectors are mounted at a 90 degree angle to the main shaft, making it easy to connect the cable even if the connector is pointed downward. (This used to be a problem with the old connectors; I'm glad to see they've changed this.)

    The mirrors are the standard "stretched octagon" shape, and they measure about 6 mm by 11 mm. The reflectance of the scanner mirrors is very good - much better than previous mirrors I've tested. I measured just under 1% loss on the X mirror, and 1.5% loss on the Y mirror. It appears that the mirrors are slightly thicker than the ones I reviewed last year, though I can't be certain of that.

    The new scanner amps are very small. They measure just 3.25 inches wide by 2.75 inches deep by 1.5 inches tall. The board is quite compact, but you can still access the tuning pots fairly easily. I understand that they are starting to use this new amp design for other scanner models, so you may see it on the ScanPro30's in the future.

    Once I had everything unpacked and set up, I ran the scanners for about 90 minutes at 40Kpps and 8 degrees optical scan angle. I had them displaying the ILDA test pattern during this time. I used a laser thermometer to take some temperature readings at the end of this "warm up" period. I measured 90 degrees fahrenheit on the scanner body, 82 degrees on the aluminum baseplate (essentially ambient temperature), and 105 degrees on the scanner amp heat sink (where it attaches to the baseplate). Here is a picture of the scanners with the standard factory tuning, running at 40K, displaying the ILDA test pattern.



    I played around with the tuning at 40K for a while, and I was able to increase the scan angle to 9 degrees while keeping the test pattern looking perfect. Scaner temperature and amp temperature were unchanged. I then ran a few shows and recorded some video of the scanners in operation.

    I wanted to see how these scanners would compare to a set of standard 30K galvos, so I re-tuned them for 30K. I noticed that the scanner temperature dropped by a few degrees when I did this, and the amp temperature dropped to around 100 degrees. (Note that this represents a significant improvement over the old ScanPro30 amp design, which reached 135 degrees when I reviewed it last year.) With the scanners re-tuned for 30K, I was able to run the ILDA test pattern at 13 degrees optical with no distortion. (Here's a picture of the test pattern at 30K and 13 degrees optical.)



    The maximum scan angle that I was able to obtain at 30K speeds was 41 degrees, but obviously this only works for very simple ILDA files. (Fans, beams, and tunnels) Another fact worth mentioning is that these scanners are noticably quieter than other scanners I've used. In fact, they are among the quietest scanners I've ever heard. (Yes, they are much more quiet than even the ScanPro30 scanners I reviewed last year.) Even when scanning complex abstracts, you could not hear the scanners unless you were within a few feet of them. (That's quiet!)

    Have a look at the pictures I've placed in the gallery. And take a look at the demo reel video that's available on Google video. That video was shot at 40K. Notice that there's a lot less flicker in that video than in other demo reels I've posted. That's what 40K speeds will get you!

    Based on my tests, I've come to the conclusion that these scanners are significantly better than the DT-40 PRO's that I've been using for the past few years. In fact, after testing these units, I decided to remove the DT-40's from my projector! Yeah, they were good enough to motivate me to upgrade! (And you know how slow I am to change things...)

    Don't get me wrong, the DT-40's are still nice scanners... But these newly re-designed ScanPro40 scanners are quieter, they run cooler, they have a wider scan angle, they have *much* better mirrors, and the image quality is noticeably better. And all that for a very small increase in price over the DT-40's. So yeah, I'm sold! It's time to upgrade.

    If you're thinking about getting a set of scanners to do graphics, and you're on the fence between a set of 30K units (or maybe the DT-40 Pro's) and the new ScanPro40's, I *strongly* recommend these new ScanPro40's. They offer a large improvement over either the ScanPro30's or the DT-40's for just a little more money. True, they may be more than you need if you only want to do beamshows, but you never know when you'll want to do abstracts and graphics. These scanners can certainly handle whatever you throw at them.

    Adam

  2. #2
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    great review!!

    thank you!!
    -Josh

  3. #3
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    How am I going to break the news to my ScanPro20's?......

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up

    Nice write up Adam! Those mirrors look like the prize on them to me. They'd get more of this nasty red I got out of the projector.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  5. #5
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    Smile

    Hehe... Well, next on my to-do list is to complete the review for the ScanPro20's!

    But seriously, comparing the 20's to the 40's is a bit unfair. They're really aimed at two completely different markets. The 20's are great for entry-level work and work best for beam shows. The 40's on the other hand, while still very affordable, are aimed at higher end graphics and complex abstract shows.

    Adam

  6. #6
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    With an FB3 in the post I think I'll have to hold off on any scanner upgrade for a while. Nice review Adam thanks.

  7. #7
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    Cool

    Helium;

    Yeah, it's an expensive hobby we share, that's for sure!

    Aaron;

    The mirrors were one of the big surprises. I was shocked at how much better they were vs. the DT-40's, or even vs. the ScanPro30's I reviewed last year. Looks like they found a new company to supply the mirrors!

    Adam

  8. #8
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    Now if we can get him to make a nice, true 60K set {8Deg Optical} at a good price....if you ever see them in action....everything else is just a a scanner set. Great write up on them....I have a set of the new mirrors installed on my DT pros and noted a massive increase in output through the aperture myself.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by MechEng3 View Post
    Now if we can get them to make a nice, true 60K set {8Deg Optical} at a good price....
    ahem... Well, I'm not supposed to say anything yet, but I *can* tell you that at SELEM 2008 you'll be able to preview a new product that LaserShowParts.com will be selling in the near future... (hint-hint!) It will be installed in my projector...

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Adam ...... I dont want to hear this if it is what I think it is !!!

    Nah anyway a Rolls Royce will always be a Rolls Royce no matter who wants to copy it...hell ! a copy is a copy !!
    Say it enough and I will convince myself.......

    Ray

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