View Poll Results: Do u think a simple well explained step by step guide for new builders would be good?

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  • Yes, it can prevent dangerous and expensive mistakes and help the build

    29 72.50%
  • No, laser building should remain a mystery and the danger to eyes is part of the fun

    11 27.50%
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Thread: How to build thread

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottaluvlasers View Post
    my suggestion (and most everybody elses probably) will be to do as much research here on your own. not becasue we dont want to help you. in fact we all love helping as much as we can. but one of the most valuable tools you will gain from this forum is the vast knowledge of information and details involved in these pages.

    -Marc
    Whereas I can't disagree with knowledge and information contained in these pages, pulling it together can be hard to do especially when you don't have a clue how to start. eg. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable about lasers generally, but when it comes to building what do I know, you need a laser diode, scanners, case with fans and then ???? For anyone who hasn't built before it really is a mystery as to what actually goes in there.

    Also, you make the assumption that everyone has time to dig through every back post ever made on here, unfortunately life isn't always that kind.

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Aww hell. I may as well 'fess up to it now, because all you have to do is search the forums and you'll find the thread where I admitted it. And yeah, it hurts every bit as much as you might think... Worse, even.
    Well that kind of proves my point. You obviously got away with your mistakes. Someone in the future might not be so lucky, a reflection from a scanner mirror and a lifetime of blindness is a high price to pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    There are several different layouts to choose from, different power supply schemes, different optics... Hell, each and every one of the projectors we had at SELEM was slightly different.

    And still would only cover *one* specific layout.
    Well wouldn't a guide be a good opportunity to cover all the possible layouts and explain the advantages / disavantages of each? Ultimately only the most common or best single design need be taken through to a step by step conclusion but the space could be used to explain about every design option and the relative merits / demerits of each.

    As I see it the knowledge burried in the posts on here is great for trouble shooting but not so great as a building guide given its diffuse nature.
    Last edited by White-Light; 08-20-2008 at 06:09.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGBLaserFan View Post
    wouldn't a guide be a good opportunity to cover all the possible layouts and explain the advantages / disavantages of each?
    Do you have any idea how large that post would have to be? You're talking about a *huge* amount of effort!

    I don't mind helping out, mind you, and I already post quite a bit around here. But you're asking us to write up an entire laser projector encyclopedia, and that's way more than I'm willing to commit to right now.

    Have a look at the LaserFX website, and in particular the "backstage" area. There is some good information in there, but even so it's woefully incomplete. Now recognize that the site represents years worth of work to get it to the point where it is now, and yet it hasn't been updated for the last 5 years or so because the owner didn't have any more time to devote to the site.
    Ultimately only the most common or best design need be taken through to a conclusion but the space could be used to explain about every design and the relative merits / demerits of each.
    There's no such thing as the "best" design. Your needs may be completely different from mine. That's why it's best to research the issue first... You need to decide what *you* want.

    I suggest you have a look at the large collection of pictures in the PL user gallery. You'll see various projector layouts, and get at least some idea about how to put everything together. Then start asking questions.

    Were you able to attend the last UKLEM? Those meetings are another great way to learn about projectors.

    Bottom line, I can detail the process that I used to build my projector, but that may not be nearly as usefull to you as you might think. Your projector might end up being very different than mine. (Or, indeed, very different from anyone else's.)

    Adam

    PS: As for the wire stripping incident, no post here on the forum would have prevented that. I have worked around electricity long enough to know better. But we all make stupid mistakes nonetheless.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Have a look at the LaserFX website, and in particular the "backstage" area. There is some good information in there, but even so it's woefully incomplete. Now recognize that the site represents years worth of work to get it to the point where it is now, and yet it hasn't been updated for the last 5 years or so because the owner didn't have any more time to devote to the site.
    On a side note, the site has been updated recently

  4. #14
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    Question

    This thread comes at a great time for me...

    I've got all the pieces for my projector. BUT - I'm not sure of the ideal way to set it up as far as dichro choice goes. I've already got 1 set, which determines what layout I'll have to go with. However, I've seen several other layouts that I like better (like the one in the attachment). I'm sure, however, that there are some of you that would tell me that that layout is crap and I should use something else.

    Currently, there is a thread about dichro loss and diameter. My dichros are 15mm. I'd like the 1" version. So - I'm probably going to buy a new set. Which set I buy will be determined by layout...

    So - what do y'all projector gurus have to say?

    Thanks!

    Tim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Proj.jpg  


  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGBLaserFan View Post
    Also, you make the assumption that everyone has time to dig through every back post ever made on here
    Whoa... Steady on Al. That's sure as hell one quick way to seriously p*ss people off on the forum (particularly Buffo who I think has been incredibly restrained during this conversation, he's one of the most helpful guys here and will move heaven and earth to help newbies when they're stuck). These are the very people who will be there at your side to help when you have problems, it pays to be nice . You HAVE to try and help yourself here, this forum has ALL the information you'll need to begin to put your project together, but why should everyone just drop everything to help you out when you've indicated that you can't be bothered to do a bit of searching. To be quite honest if you aren't able to spend a bit of time searching the forum you're going to struggle to find the time to build a projector. Perhaps you may be better buying an 'off the shelf' one after all.


    Well that kind of proves my point. You obviously got away with your mistakes. Someone in the future might not be so lucky, a reflection from a scanner mirror and a lifetime of blindness is a high price to pay.
    Again, there's a wealth of information within the past posts on laser safety.

    As I see it the knowledge burried in the posts on here is great for trouble shooting but not so great as a building guide given its diffuse nature.
    Not true, you REALLY need to try and find some time to search a little and all will become clear

    Above all, be polite, do some research and THEN ask questions, we do want to help you out - honest

    Jem
    Last edited by Jem; 08-20-2008 at 07:34.
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    Whoa... Steady on Al. That's sure as hell one quick way to seriously p*ss people off on the forum (particularly Buffo who I think has been incredibly restrained during this conversation, he's one of the most helpful guys here and will move heaven and earth to help newbies when they're stuck). These are the very people who will be there at your side to help when you have problems, it pays to be nice . Jem
    I didn't mean to offend anyone. I was just saying there's an implied assumption in there that its possible to spend hundreds of hours searching through the forums to find out everything thats needed. All I was saying is that one of the reasons a guide would be a good idea would be because not everyone has that time.

    I have no doubt Buffo is a very nice guy and I do appreciate the time he's taken to post a reply.

    Just to veer slightly off topic - as for off the shelf, at the moment its really my only option. I don't have the knowledge to build and don't want to risk my eyesight with mistakes. With a total budget I can throw at the project of around 200-250, I doubt I could buy the parts for anything 1/2 decent.

    My aim at the moment personally is to go down the mid power RGY route - something between 200-400mw RGY and preferably with ILDA for future use, although I could live with sound to light at the moment provided it made a good job of it. My main concern with off the shelf RGY, is that some yellows are poor on some projectors and also they seem to vary in brightness a lot and not necessarily in proportion to the power. Something made even more difficult to assess by the number of people on places such as Youtube who saturate videos to make them look better. Sure it makes them look great, but it also makes it very difficult to compare projectors. This is one of the best I've seen for beam clarity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXpI7ezv3lA which looking at the blue box on the table, doesn't look like its been saturated a lot (although looks could be deceiving). Its also very bright for a semi dark room. That said, it looks susiciously like a sound to light only laser to me.

    As for what I want a projector for, something you asked me earlier jem, I want it really for private BBQ's and parties. Outside it might be 20-30 feet away although a lack of fogging means a low pwoered laser isn't probably going to be bright enough. If used inside, something I'd rarely do and have to think very carefully about due to safety, I doubt I could manage more than 6ft from the nearest person and then only by ensuring I placed it where furniture is an obstruction.
    Last edited by White-Light; 08-20-2008 at 08:08.

  7. #17
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    100's of hours of reading would be good for you my friend!!
    That is a small amount compared to people WHO have spent thousands of hours studying, researching and building!

  8. #18
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    trwalters (tim)

    i prefer (and this is just MY opinion) the layout i used for the last RGB i built for a club.

    SEE PIC

    i think it is MUCH easier to have the red shoot down at 90 degrees to the reflect RED dichro. (where the green shoots through.)

    in my opinion it is MUCH easier for alignment and upkeep in a nightclub atmosphere for re-alignment.

    i personally think the bigger dichros are MUCH better also (25mm) we all know that the red beams are enormous, so with the bigger dichros it is more forgiving for aiming and aligning purposes.

    let me know if you would like to purchase the 25mm LW dichros. i'd be glad to take care of ya on the purchase of them!

    -Marc
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  9. #19
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    Lightbulb

    If I had it all to do over... and the cash sitting in front of me, all that I have spent. I'd buy a turn key, off the shelf. Or atleast a down payment on an Arctos system.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasernerd View Post
    100's of hours of reading would be good for you my friend!! That is a small amount compared to people WHO have spent thousands of hours studying, researching and building!
    Or posting, even!
    Quote Originally Posted by RGBLaserFan View Post
    I didn't mean to offend anyone. I was just saying there's an implied assumption in there that its possible to spend hundreds of hours searching through the forums to find out everything thats needed.
    I'm not offended, Al. But you have to realize that *all* of us are under time costraints. It just sounded a little bit selfish to say that you didn't have time to search the forums.

    But no matter. I understand where you're coming from, and admittedly it would be nice to have a post or two that contained links to some helpful threads. Perhaps that's something we can work on.
    I don't have the knowledge to build and don't want to risk my eyesight with mistakes.
    You have a healthy safety outlook! You will probably do just fine if you keep that mindset. Having said that, if you can follow a few simple rules, you don't need to risk your eyesight. We've all been playing with lasers for a long time now, and I don't know of any of us that are blind. (But I do know a few people that have blind spots - mostly because they took a direct shot from a multi-watt ion laser or a large Yag.) The danger is there, but it can be managed.
    With a total budget I can throw at the project of around 200-250, I doubt I could buy the parts for anything 1/2 decent. My aim at the moment personally is to go down the mid power RGY route - something between 200-400mw RGY and preferably with ILDA for future use,
    That's a tall order for your budget. You may be able to find a cheap Chinese projector that will work, but it's going to be low power and have slow scanners. Computer control will be dicey at best.

    On the other hand, even if you build it yourself to save money, you're going to need to factor in the time it will take you to build it. Sure, some of the members here may be able to work a deal with you on components, but your time is also worth something. Keep that in mind.
    As for what I want a projector for, something you asked me earlier jem, I want it really for private BBQ's and parties. Outside it might be 20-30 feet away although a lack of fogging means a low pwoered laser isn't probably going to be bright enough.
    Well, your budget will not allow for a projector that will work well outside. For example, I can push just over 600 mw of balanced white light out of my projector, and it is still *way* too dim for outdoor use. I've tried it several times, and you just can't see the beams - even with my Antari 1200Z fogger running wide open. The wind carries the fog away too fast! Also, my projector costs an order of magnitude more than you're budgeting.

    True, you can project graphics shows outside, and they don't need nearly as much power, but even with my projector they look pretty lame on the side of a house. (And they're not very bright either.)

    Bottom line, forget about outdoor beam shows unless you want to spend many thousands of pounds. (Even outdoor graphics shows are going to require a budget of at least two thousand pounds.)
    If used inside, something I'd rarely do and have to think very carefully about due to safety, I doubt I could manage more than 6ft from the nearest person and then only by ensuring I placed it where furniture is an obstruction.
    Actually, indoor shows are not that difficult. The key is that when you do a show indoors, you can control the light level. A 100 mw projector may look very lame outside, but in a completely dark room with some fog in the air, it looks AWESOME. True, there is still a danger of getting a beam in the eye, so you need to be cautious, but it's a heck of a lot safer than playing with a 2-3 watt projector outside. Most people start with indoor shows because you're dealing with a lot less power. That makes it cheaper, and in most cases safer as well. (To a point... Nothing is going to protect you from doing something stupid.)

    Still, don't let the safety aspect scare you away. After all, gasoline is poisonous, cacinogenic, and highly flammible, yet we routinely allow teenagers to drive around in cars powered by the stuff, and most of us have re-filled a lawnmower once or twice - even when we were very young. Lasers are no more dangerous than gasoline is (I would submit that they're actually less dangerous). You just need to learn how to work with them safely. And this forum can help you with that.

    Adam

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