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Thread: Review of ScanPro50 Scanners from LaserShowParts.com

  1. #1
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    Cool Review of ScanPro50 Scanners from LaserShowParts.com

    I promised you guys a review of the new ScanPro50 galvos from LaserShowParts.com, and though it has taken me a lot longer that I expected to put this together, I think the wait is worth it. So without further delay, here it is:

    These new ScanPro50 scanners represent the best of the ScanPro line. They use a different mounting block than all of the other ScanPro series. It's an angled mount that places the mirrors much closer together. (Note: Cambridge uses a mount similar to this for their 6215 scanners.) Also, the long shaft of the scanner body is plated in a chrome-nickel alloy, just like the newly-redesigned ScanPro40's. I don't know if this was done to improve thermal performance, or simply to limit the effects of corrosion, but it makes the scanners stand out among others. Also, an astute observer will notice that the mirrors are slightly thicker than the old ScanPro mirrors. As you'll see below, the reflective efficiency of these new mirrors has been improved significantly.

    The amps are identical to the new ScanPro40 amps, with one important difference: The heat sink on the back is *huge*! It's easily 4 times heavier than the amp itself, and is the most visible change. I honestly believe these large heat sinks are overkill, as the new amps do not run very hot to begin with. But I left them in place for all my tests. (Note: unlike previous tests, I did *not* mount the back of the amps to a baseplate. Instead, I simply hung them in place with the large heat sinks attached.)

    Ok - on to the tests: The scanners were tuned to 50K right out of the box. I ran them at 50K for about an hour to take some temperature readings. (All temps in degrees Fahrenheit.)

    Temps at 8 degrees optical and stock tuning at 50K:
    Baseplate 82
    X scanner 100
    Y scanner 96
    X amp 110
    Y amp 102

    I should point out that the performance at 8 degrees wasn't all that great. The circle on the ILDA test pattern was deformed and well within the square, and the LaserMedia test pattern showed that the scanners were running at different speeds.

    Then I tried to tune the scanners to 50K. Although I was successful in cleaning up the pattern, I was not able to get a full 8 degrees out of the scanners. The best I could do was 6.5 degrees. However, at that angle the test patterns looked pretty good.

    Temps after tuning - max angle is 6.5 degrees (still 50K speed)
    Baseplate 82
    X scanner 91
    Y scanner 86
    X amp 101
    Y amp 94

    So, based on these tests, it's really not fair to call these "50K" scanners. In my opinion, if you're going to claim a given speed, you need to be able to run the ILDA test pattern at a full 8 degrees at that speed with no artifacts. These scanners are close, but they don't quite make it.

    However, thermal performance is excellent. Even when running them hard at 50K and 8 degrees optical (which really was beyond their capability), they never got overly warm. I've had scanners get up to 130 degrees when running the ILDA test pattern for long periods of time. Not so with these babies!

    Now, since most of us run our projectors at 30Kpps and not 50, I went back and re-tuned the scanners for 30K. *WOW*!!! What a difference! Now I was getting 18.5 degrees scan angle out of the scanners. 18.5 degrees! To give you some idea of how huge that is, it means that if you're shooting across your living room (lets say it's 25 feet long), the ILDA test pattern will fill the far wall from floor to ceiling! (Assuming a standard 8 ft ceiling.)

    That's just the test pattern, mind you... You can scan a hell of a lot wider than that. I've only been able to get up to around 40 degrees or so, because any more than that and the beams can't make it out of my projector aperture! (I either need to cut a larger hole or move the optical table closer to the front...) I expect you'll have no trouble getting the full rated travel of 60 degrees out of these scanners, assuming your projector has a large enough opening to let the beams out at such a wide angle.

    Ok - on to other tests. First, though it's not a very scientific test, the scanners are very quiet. Not quite as quiet as the ScanPro40's, (which are the quietest I've ever heard), but close. Also, when they are pushed hard, they don't screech like other scanners sometimes do.

    Finally, the mirrors. I told you they had improved them. The reflectance is a lot better. How much better? Better than 98 percent on each one! In fact, I measured just 1.6% loss on the X mirror, and 1.3% loss on the Y. (At 532nm) That's a lot better than the 4 to 5% loss I was getting on each of my old DT-40 Pro mirrors! And from what I understand, these mirrors are now standard throughout the entire ScanPro line. (Cool!)

    So - to sum it all up: These are not really 50K scanners, as they can only manage 6.5 degrees on the ILDA test pattern at 50K speed. But re-tune them for 30K speed and you've got some powerhouse scanners that will *really* perform - even if you push them to wider scan angles than normal. Remember - 18.5 degrees on the ILDA test pattern at 30K! The best I've *ever* seen on the ILDA test pattern up to this point has been between 13 and 14 degrees. So this is a *significant* improvement.

    Also, as a result of all the new changes to the ScanPro line, I have finally removed my DT-40 Pro's from my projector. (You know how I hate to change things! It had to be a big jump for me to go through all the hassle.) Initially I was going to go with the ScanPro40's, but then I got my hands on these ScanPro50's and decided that I liked them even better. The switch was made shortly before SELEM 2008, and since then I've been *extremely* pleased with them. I probably have close to 70 hours run time on them now, with no problems whatsoever.

    If you'd like to see what they can do at 30K, I've posted a demo video on Google Video. The scanners are running at 30K, so the frame rate is close to that of the camera. That causes flicker, which otherwise would not be visible to the human eye. But trust me when I say that it looks awesome in real life. (The video was shot on the popcorn-textured ceiling in my living room.) If you saw any of the video from SELEM 2008, then you already know how good these scanners look!

    Also, all the pictures linked to above are in my gallery, in an album called "ScanPro50 Review". Have a look!

    Adam

  2. #2
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    Nice review Adam!!!!!

    Nice scanners but now is not the time for us to buy.
    LSP had to raise the price by more than 250 AUS dollar because of "economical/currencey" changes.

    It makes a nice product i little less attractive (But still a steal if you see what the Cambridge counterparts cost)



    ps: demo video is not working for me

  3. #3
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    Smile

    Did you check to see what the price is in your local currency? You might be surprised! The Australian dollar has really taken a beating lately. In fact, even though the US dollar is in free-fall, these scanners are still *cheaper* to buy using US dollars now verses the price they were selling at back in August. Yeah, even with the price increase on the LaserShowParts.com website, they're still cheaper to buy in US dollars now! (Guess the Australian dollar got hammered even harder than the dollar did...)

    Check the exchange rate for your currency against the Australian dollar and see what you come up with...

    Adam

  4. #4
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    video is working now.

    is that another pango ld2k show?

  5. #5
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    Smile

    Yeah - it's a new Pangolin show.

    Video might take a while to propagate through the various google video servers. It was working on the one I uploaded to, but I guess it took a few minutes longer for the upload status to spread throughout Google's web...

    What about the currency conversion? I just checked, and the price on LaserShowParts.com works out to around 525 euros... That any help?

    Adam

  6. #6
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    according to x-rates.com they only cost $702 usd

    thats not bad at all
    -Josh

  7. #7
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    Smile

    Hi Josh;

    Yeah, when I first got my hands on these scanners back in August, they were selling for around $775 US. Now they're down to near $700!

    So even though the price in *Australian* dollars now is more expensive than it was back then, the price in US dollars is still cheaper! (Same thing for the Euro too...)

    Like I said, the Australian economy must be getting hammered even worse than ours... While that sucks for the Australians (sorry guys), it makes buying stuff from them cheaper for the rest of us!

    Adam

  8. #8
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    if you ask me that is a damn steal!

    i will for sure be buying a set of these in the future and then making a secondary scanner with the DT40's
    -Josh

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    Hi Josh;

    Like I said, the Australian economy must be getting hammered even worse than ours... While that sucks for the Australians (sorry guys), it makes buying stuff from them cheaper for the rest of us!

    Adam
    Not from the UK it doesnt. We are hitting a recession

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