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Thread: Review of ScanPro20 scanners from LaserShowParts.com

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Review of ScanPro20 scanners from LaserShowParts.com

    Hi folks!

    Well, here's the other review I promised you. Dave an Aijii from LaserShowParts.com sent two sets of scanners for me to review. They will both be given away as door prizes at SELEM 2008. The first review was for the ScanPro40's. This review is for the new ScanPro 20's.

    Like the ScanPro40's I reviewed earlier, the ScanPro20's come packaged in lots of bubble wrap and foam so they won't be damaged during shipment. Some differences are immediately apparent upon unpacking them, however.

    First, you'll notice that the scanner mounting block is quite different for the ScanPro20's. In fact, it's unlike any scanner block I've ever seen before, and initially I was a little concerned that it would not be able to efficiently conduct the heat away from the scanners. However, as you'll see below, heat is not a problem with these scanners.

    Here's a picture of the scanner block:



    I got the scanners installed in the block without any trouble. Like the ScanPro40's, the cables that connect to the scanners use a 90 degree angle plug. This makes it easy to get the cable connected no matter which way the scanner is mounted in the block. The cable connectors are plastic on both ends.

    The new amps are smaller than the one's that come with the ScanEco20 scanners. The power supply is also considerably smaller. (Smaller than a deck of cards even!) When you're ready to connect the power and input signal cables to the amps, you'll need to cut the connectors off one end of each of the supplied cables. They come with plastic connectors on both ends, but the power supply doesn't have any sockets to plug them into, and of course the signal input cables need to be soldered to your ILDA connector. The signal cables and the power cables are identical in every way, so it may be helpful to label them first, before you start hooking everything up.

    Here's a picture of the new power supply for the scanner amps:



    With everything connected, I fired up the test bench and let the scanners run for a good hour at 20Kpps. (I had them scanning the ILDA test pattern.) Right away I was surprised at how good the pattern looked - especially for a set of 20K scanners. I only tweaked the tuning slightly. Straight out of the box, the scanners were tuned a little fast... At 22Kpps the circle on the ILDA test pattern was right on the square, but when I backed the speed down to 20K, the circle was too large and reached beyond the square. I dialed them back in at 20K, and then ran several different shows just to get a feel for the scanners.

    After another couple hours I started taking temperature readings. Wow! What a surprise! Baseplate temperature was 82 degrees fahrenheit (essentially ambient), but the scanners were only reading 83 degrees! The amps weren't much hotter - they registered 87 degrees. This was after a good 3 hours or more of continuous operation. Based on these tests, I have to say that this is the first set of scanners that I would feel comfortable mounting on wood or plastic without a fan. I'm confident that they wouldn't overheat even if mounted this way.

    I also tested the reflective efficiency of the scanner mirrors. Like the ScanPro40's, the new ScanPro20's have *very* nice mirrors. I measured 1.5% loss on the X mirror, and just over 2% loss on the Y mirror. The mirrors are the same size and shape as the ScanPro40's. (about 6mm by 11 mm, in a "stretched octagon" shape) To put that in perspective, I loose nearly 4% across *each* mirror on my DT-40 pro scanners...

    The scanners aren't especially noisy. They're normally rather quiet, but when you push them hard (wider scan angle) they start to chip a little. I'd say that they're about as loud as the ScanPro30's I reviewed last year, which is to say they're not that loud.

    Ok - on to scan angle measurements. Initially I was getting around 11 degrees optical out of them. (Any more than that and the center circle on the ILDA test pattern started to degrade.) However, after I tweaked the tuning a bit I was able to get 13 degrees out of them (still running at 20K). I measured a maximum scan angle of 36 degrees for simple beam patterns. (Note that the input gain on the amps was not maxed out, so this setting could be increased to give you an even wider scan angle.)

    One thing about the tuning: remember that these are 20K scanners. Yeah, I know that ILDA doesn't have a "20K" standard, but in the interest of having something common to compare scanners with, I used the ILDA test pattern and ran it at 20K. My theory is that if you can get the essential elements of the pattern to display correctly at a given scan speed and at least 8 degrees of optical scan angle, then that scanner is justified in being rated for that scan speed.

    Also, while the ILDA test pattern looked pretty good, the astute observer will notice that the Laser Media test pattern has a retrace line showing on one of the diagonals, indicating that the scanners are not running at exactly the same speed. This is as close as I could get them while still keeping everything else looking good. It's not perfect, of course, but it's still pretty good when you consider the low price of these scanners.

    I posted several pictures of the scanners, along with shots of the test patterns, in the gallery. I also shot some video (Google Video) of these scanners in operation, if you'd like to have a look. For basic beams, they are more than adequate, but surprisingly they are pretty good for graphics as well. You'll get some flicker on complex frames, of course, but for most of the shows I watched, the results were acceptable. Watch the video and see for yourself.

    So if you're on a budget, these scanners are are a great way to get started for a lot less money than you might think. And if all you ever run are beams, fans, and tunnels, then these scanners may be all you'll ever need.

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Lightbulb

    I think both these reviews bother me... I want those mirrors...

    I wanted to comment on the mounting block that comes with these. the set I have came with the same block. I was also concerned that they wouldn't disperse the heat from the scanners well, but I have not had any problems with the set I got a few months ago. To be honest, I don't think any of the scanners I have had have ever gotten their mounting blosck even warm. Mine didn't have them mirrors on them though...
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  3. #3
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    Default

    Who is that little man who keeps getting out of the way of that laser?

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carmangary View Post
    Who is that little man who keeps getting out of the way of that laser?
    I have no idea. I snagged it off the wiki .

  5. #5
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    Default

    Oh man you don't know!!

    That is none other than Tay Zonday!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA

    chad


    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.


  6. #6
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    Smile

    Aaron;

    Seriously, you didn't know that your Avitar was the Chocolate Rain dude? Come on, you've got to be trolling! He's as famous as Tron guy. Maybe more so... He even did a commercial for Dr Pepper. (Cherry Chocolate Rain.)

    As for the mirrors, yeah, they're damn nice. I think Dave and Aijii will sell you replacement mirrors though, if you want to swap yours out. I haven't done it myself, but I watched Bill Benner do it at SELEM last year. Didn't seem too hard. (You'll need to re-tune once you're done of course.)

    Mike (MechEng3) bought some of those mirrors from LaserShowParts.com a while back, and he loves them. I think it's pretty cool that they're including these top-notch mirrors with a bargan set of scanners.

    Also glad to hear that others have used that same scanner mounting block without problems. It looked really strange when I first saw it, but it works just fine.

    Adam

  7. #7
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    Hi Adam.
    A question, please
    What the blue wire are connected for?
    Is it a main 220V ground? (I see it is connected together at black wires=common ground for differential +15V. and -15V.) or it is coming from ILDA (ground = pin 25)?
    Thanks.

    Steve
    my webpage
    http://stevemilani.jimdo.com
    Skype ID: stevemilani957

    my RGB analogue projectors:
    3.9 W (640/532/445) 30kpps
    2.6 W (655/532/450) 30kpps
    2.5 W (638/532/450) 30kpps
    0.7 W (test unit)(635/532/473) 18kpps

  8. #8
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    Cool

    Hi Steve;

    The blue wire you see in the picture of the power supply is indeed ILDA ground (PIN 25). It's connected to the ground on the DC output side of the scanner amp power supply.

    Adam

  9. #9
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    Talking

    Thanks Adam.

    At that moment, when I saw the color of that wire (blue) I thought bad.
    I thought it had been the "neutral" (N) wire of main 220V..........
    Wheeeewwww!!!

    Colors! Why don't use standard colors for connection wires?

    Greets!

    Steve
    my webpage
    http://stevemilani.jimdo.com
    Skype ID: stevemilani957

    my RGB analogue projectors:
    3.9 W (640/532/445) 30kpps
    2.6 W (655/532/450) 30kpps
    2.5 W (638/532/450) 30kpps
    0.7 W (test unit)(635/532/473) 18kpps

  10. #10
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    Question

    Haw many standards do you see used in China?

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