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Thread: Helping a noob building a scanner (15k RG)

  1. #1
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    Red face Helping a noob building a scanner (15k RG)

    Hey Guys.

    Since all the reading made my eyes bleed. I am now asking for professional help!

    Ok... this may sound a bit asked too much... but... is there someone out there who would have the patience in

    A.) Providing me a List with all the Parts neccessary for my project
    B.) Talking me through the whole thing

    Maybe some of you could send me some offers for the parts i need to build my scanner. That would be brilliant.
    I don't need high end components, i came across dave's website, but 400$+ for a 100mw lab green is too much for my budget.

    Maybe someone replys if i am lucky

  2. #2
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    Well, as you have probably figured out by now, this tends to be a rather expensive hobby!
    I'm sure you'll find plenty of folks here willing to give advice, so you could help us to help you, by letting us know a few things:

    * What equipment do you already have?

    * What is your budget?

    * What are your technical abilities (electronics, metal working, etc.)?

    * Where are you located?
    (this will probably be MUCH easier if you happen to be close by to someone who already has a projector. Actually seeing how one is built goes well beyond just reading about it on this forum!)

    Welcome to the craziness!!
    Last edited by Stuka; 10-20-2008 at 07:28.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  3. #3
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    craziness sounds true

    Equipment already at hand: NONE
    Budget: "?" first of all i need an estimation, then i decide if it's too expensive for me
    Skills: Metal working - no problem, Wood - no problem, Electronics - absolut noob
    Location: Germany, near Cologne

    All i know is that i WANT a scanner. I'm lasercrazy !! Money will be earned and questions will be answered somehow ... maybe i'll even end up with a ready made scanner of the internet

    It's i challenge thats for sure !!!!

  4. #4
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    i saw you post over at lpf and now here so welcome, this forum is more based on projectors as lpf is more towards pointers and hand helds. so i think you have found the right place

    if you are trying to stay as low as possible in price you could easily make a 1 color laser for under 800

    heres a quick list of the parts you would need

    scanners-the 2 mirrors that make all the shapes
    laser-a 100mw green would be plenty if you are planning on sticking to indoors and dont want a massive beam show.
    dac-digital to analog converte, its the piece of harware that send the signal from your computer to the laser and scanners

    those are the only main pieces you need, of course you would need some wire hopefully something good to mount it onto. aluminum is the most popular since it also acts as a great heat sink and it very sturdy but also light.

    i would recommend you check out the gallery to see some pictures of other peoples builds.

    also you said something about red and green so you would need a dichro that would combine the two colors. its a optic that reflects one color and lets the other color pass.

    some parts i may recommend would be-

    scanners-scanpro20s
    lasers-laser wave
    dac-sound card dac and some of the free software out there to use it with. (laserboy and spaghetti are the two most common)
    -Josh

  5. #5
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    Cool

    Hello Pococino!

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon. I think you'll find plenty of answers to your questions here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pococino View Post
    I don't need high end components, i came across dave's website, but 400$+ for a 100mw lab green is too much for my budget.
    You do realise that the prices on the LaserShowParts.com website are listed in *Australian* dollars, right? The price works out to around 220 Euros for a 100 mw CNI green laser. And remeber that CNI lasers frequently make well over their rated power. They are a good value for the money. (Though the Laser-Wave lasers that Josh recommended are also known to make more than their rated power.)

    Josh's post is a good start. You'll need a set of scanners, a laser, a controller, and a housing of some sort to install everything in. And yeah, if you want to go with a Red, Yellow, and Green system, then you'll need the extra laser, the dichroic mirror to mix the two beams, and an adjustable mount for the dichro. You will probably also want to purchase a fog machine. (Without some fog in the air, you won't be able to see the beam.)

    Adam

  6. #6
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    add to the list the following

    patients
    a soldering iron
    flux
    random wires
    lots of PL members phone numbers
    more patients

  7. #7
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    Cool

    Just thought of another suggestion: Since you're in Germany, you might want to check out the "LaserFreak" meetings that they have over there from time to time. Germany has a very active hobbyist community, and I'm sure they would be willing to help you get started with your projector.

    Adam

  8. #8
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    Here's a VERY generic idea of what you're looking at:

    For a few hundred dollars and something bought off the Internet (unless you just happen across a REALLY good deal), you might be able to get a low-powered projector that basically displays pre-set patterns, triggered by audio, DMX, or random program. Something in this price range is probably going to be a single-color, indoor use only. A few folks on this forum have gone that route, but anyone that gets serious about the hobby usually upgrades pretty quick!

    Most of the folks on this forum are building some variation of a "conventional" laser projector, designed to be controlled, at least to some extent, by a computer-based controller that meets ILDA (International Laser Display Association) wiring standards. This type of projector is the type that gives you complete control of the patterns, beams, graphics, and colors being produced.

    Here's some of the major laser projector components you'll see discussed on this forum:

    LASERS - typically, most of the projectors here use solid-state laser modules, with a projector based around either: a single color laser; two lasers (red & green, typically); or 3 lasers (Red, green, and blue, commonly referred to as "RGB"). The 3-color laser projector gives the most color options, and of course, the highest price tag! Depending on the power, individual "Kit" lasers based on the lower-power diodes from DVD recorders could be built for under $100, while high-power lab-style lasers from manufactures could cost from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on the laser power.

    SCANNERS - these are the VERY specialized computer-controlled motors w/ mirrors, amplifier circuits, and power supplies that actually direct the laser beams to create the graphics, beams, etc. Depending on the speed, features, etc., these usually run from at least a couple hundred dollars on up.

    DICHROS - dichroic filters; specialized mirrors & mounts that are used to reflect & combine the different specific laser colors. 2 laser colors requires 1 dichro; 3 laser colors requires 2 dichros. Plan on at least $150 and up for a entry-level set for building a RGB projector.

    DAC - digital to analog controller, the "black box" link between the computer and your projector that controls the scanner positions AND varies the intensities of the individual lasers, which CAN provide, depending on your hardware, virtually every known color from just 3 laser colors! Each controller will have its own specific software requirements, compatibilities, and capabilities. The LEAST expensive route is to use one of the modification kits available that allow you to adapt a computer sound card to control the projector, and use one of the freeware applications (Laserboy, Spaghetti, etc.) that you see discussed on these forums. On the high end, you can easily spend well over $1000 for a professional-level controller and software package, plus get a lot of professionall-produced shows and graphics files as part of the package. In-between the two extremes, there are several USB-connected controllers and software packages thay could be purchased new for several hundred dollars on up.

    As you can see, to REALLY get into this hobby and be equipped with equipment where you really have control of the graphics, beams, etc., you'll need to plan on spending some money. Even if you go with a modified sound card approach for your controller, anything other than a single-color low-power projector can get expensive in a hurry, due to the cost of the lasers and required optics! Also, note that we just discussed the basic equipment required for home, non-commercial use; once you start going public with your laser projector, that opens open a whole new list of considerations & expenses!!
    Last edited by Stuka; 10-20-2008 at 16:13.
    RR

    Metrologic HeNe 3.3mw Modulated laser, 2 Radio Shack motors, and a broken mirror.
    1979.
    Sweet.....

  9. #9
    soforene's Avatar
    soforene is offline The Troll formerly known as Herbert Von Poople-Futtocks
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by keeperx View Post
    add to the list the following

    patients
    ....
    more patients
    Will a hospital visit really be necessary?
    Or dost thou perchance mean Patience?

  10. #10
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    WOW Guys ... plenty of feedback ... NICE !!!
    I think i found the right place !!

    Ok things i've already ordered / got at home:

    - Patience
    - Soldering Iron
    - Flux
    - random wires (cross-section?)

    I thought somehow that this will not be the cheapest hobby but when it once gets you it's hard to let go again.
    (Just so you know... sometimes when i'm around the clubs and the party is not really going even though the music is good, i just grab a drink or two, get pissed and stand infront of the lasershow just watching).

    Anyway ... things on my shopping list next month ... 532nm or 635nm laser ! -maybe even this month if i can find a good deal

    - things in focus to get for free: Aluminium base (but what size?) + all the housing stuff

    Good question ... how big will this thing be when it's finished and how heavy will it be?

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