Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: What kind of show can be built for under $10k

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    3

    Default What kind of show can be built for under $10k

    Hello all.

    Some years ago back when I was in high school (actually several decade's ago but I'm in denial about hitting 40) I saw one of the first laser shows put on by Steve Monistere in the mid-80's and needless to say I was bit by the photon bug. I started by reading everything I could find about lasers and spent many a study hall day-dreaming about having my very own laser show.

    But as they say.... life happens.

    And so I had to put those thoughts aside to finish school and start working my way through adult life (growing up sucks ). Anyway I'm finally at a point where I have some time (& money) to invest in things other than the usual day to day annoyances and distractions we have to oblige in. Recently while at a store looking at some binoculars I discovered a 10mw green laser sitting on an adjacent shelf, after it was placed in my hand to fondle it took all of 5 seconds to plunk down my fifty bucks and fall back into the day dreams of 10th grade study hall.

    Soon after I hit the net to start searching out the twenty years latter and about all I can say is wow, INFORMATION OVERLOAD! I'm spending as much time as I can trying to take it all in, relearn the old, learn the new, and have recently discovered this forum & the great heaps of information contained within (thanks for pissing-off Mrs. Farmer Ted BTW ).

    So now on to my questions.
    -If you had a budget of say $5-8k where would you begin?
    -What equipment, hardware, software would you invest in to create the most bang for the buck?
    -Is it possible to create a full color show in this cost range?
    -Build it yourself vs off the shelf?
    -Any other good sources of information?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire UK
    Posts
    1,064

    Default

    Welcome to PL Farmer Ted. It's always good to see new members joining this great informative forum. As with all new forum members we here at PL would like it for you to fill in you location details. It don't need to be to specific, just enough for us to let you know were the nearest Laser meet is for you.

    As for the Bang for Buck question, for $5 - 8k you should be able to self build a decent full RGB system with 30k+ scanners and some form of software from Pangolin to run it all. There are a good number of members on this forum who can sell you the equipment you will need.

    Carl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,478

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer Ted View Post
    So now on to my questions.
    -If you had a budget of say $5-8k where would you begin?
    -What equipment, hardware, software would you invest in to create the most bang for the buck?
    -Is it possible to create a full color show in this cost range?
    -Build it yourself vs off the shelf?
    -Any other good sources of information?
    Thanks
    HEY FARMER TED!!!! welcome!!

    1. $5k-$8k is a GREAT budget for a nice RGB projector. that can easily get you into the Watt class range of RGB i think. (depending on your blue laser)

    2. as far as equipment...i am not here to just push my own products. i think at this point, LaserWave speaks for itself. so i would rather give you honest and unbiased advice..

    as far as lasers-

    obviously laserwave ( i can help ya with that). i think any member here would vouch on our services and our quality of components.
    CNI also makes great lasers. you will spend more, and quality is about the exact same. if you are on a more limited budget or willing to sacrifice quality, lasever seems to be getting some of its reputation back. (you may want to do some research here on the forum on some concerns members have with them.) Viasho seems to be doing pretty well also with a few members here.

    most members building "higher end" or "better quality" systems are sticking with LaserWave and CNI mostly though.


    software/hardware- Pangolin!!! gotta go pangolin!!!! stick with the FB3 kit. it is an EXTREMELY well made software/hardware control. and comes with AMAZING other software packages. contact bill on here (the president of pangolin) he is a very active member here and a great guy!!! this kit is VERY affordable for the "hobby" laserist. of course, if you have a bigger budget, go with a FULL pangolin system. LD2000 intro, basic or pro. a few of the guys here have those systems. and they will tell you using the pangolin system is better than having sex!!

    there are a few members here who also made their own software/hardware packages. they are quite useable and do a great job also! PM james lehman here. he created "laserboy." lots of members are using it and seem to having GREAT responses from it.

    off the shelf or build it....???

    BUILD IT YOURSELF!!!!!! 110% BUILD IT YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!! especially with the budget you have set for yourself!! if you had a $1000 budget, possibly a different story. but, you have REAL working and tangible funds for a GOOD projector!!

    good sources of information.....???

    RIGHT HERE BUDDY!!!!!!!!!!!!! you found the "Mecca" for laser geeks!!! ask as many questions as you want! everyone here is friendly and tries to help when/where they can!! search as much as you can though first! dont be lazy!! lol.

    -Marc
    http://www.laserist.org/images/ildalogos/ILDA-logo_colored-beams_Corporate_150w.jpg

    ILDA- U.S. Laser Regulatory Committee

    Authorized Dealer for:

    • Pangolin Laser Software and Hardware
    • KVANT Laser Modules & Laser Systems
    • X-Laser USA
    • CNI Lasers
    • Cambridge Technology & Eye Magic Professional Scanning Systems

    FDA/CDRH Certified Professional LuminanceRGB Laser Light Show Systems


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,489,071

    Smile

    Greetings, Farmer Ted! Welcome to PhotonLexicon. You have indeed found the place to indulge your passion for lasers. Hope you like it here.

    As Carl already suggested, please tell us where you are located. Frequently the members here get together and hold "Laser Enthusiast's Meetings". With a little luck, one might be held near you in the next few months. Attending one of these meets would be a *great* way to see how the state of the art has evolved since your high school days. (You'll also get to meet a very friendly bunch of folks!)

    You have a sizable budget in mind for your first projector. Larger than most people's first efforts, that's for sure! That will allow you to do some very amazing things right away. Certainly a full-color analog projector of at least 600 mw total output is doable for that price. (Including the cost of the lasers, the scanners, the optics, the controller, and the software.) Depending on how much do-it-yourself work you want to get into, you might be able to stretch your budget even more.

    As far as specific hardware options, I encourage you to meet with other members first and get a chance to play with their gear to see what is out there before you start buying things. However, I will second Marc's recommendation re: the suggestion to use Pangolin's hardware controllers and software to run everything. They really are the cat's meow, and have to be seen to be believed.

    The LD-2000 system in particular, is flat-out awesome. I've worked through several different controllers through the years, always trying to get a little bit more performance, and after several years (and 4 different controllers) I now have the LD-2000 system. But if I had the chance to do it all over again, I could have saved a lot of time and money by going with the LD-2000 right out of the gate. Still, before you buy anything (even a Pangolin controller), see if you can test drive it at a Laser Enthusiast's Meeting first.

    If you're anywhere near the southeast coast of the US, let me know and we'll get together.

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,120

    Default

    Prices taken from lasershowparts.com
    All CNI modules.

    green-200mw - 675$
    blue-200mw - 3025$
    red-500mw - 2695$
    30k galvos - 650$


    7,045.00 AUD

    =

    4,465.42 USD

    Pangolin Basic - $2495 USD

    TOTAL = $6960.42USD

    Add 200$ for aluminum.

    You can save a few hundred $ if you go with laserwave. They are also good reliable laser modules.

    PS. and yes build it yourself. You will get a toooooons of experience. Will understand how everything works and will know what is exactly inside your projector.
    I hired an Italian guy to do my wires. Now they look like spaghetti!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the info thus far everyone

    I'm not sure why it would even surprise me but I would say the art has much more than "evolved" since the 80's Pink Floyd shows, I'm continually blown away by what I'm finding and not just with the tech but the shear creativity. One such instance I found is in the linked YouTube video, the multi-color fan effects just blew me away (along with everything else).

    It appears to me that the show uses multiple projectors so it's way out of my budget range but can a system in my range at least produce fan/color effects such as that?
    And just for grins what would you folks guess the investment was to create that show? (I can still dream can't I?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFdmNom9xmE

    As for building myself I would definitely be open to it especially if I can build better for my given budget. I'm waaaay behind the curve technology wise but I love to learn and am a cobbler at heart, hopefully my smoking hardware wont cut too deep into my budget

    Speaking of budget I should have clarified that mine would be about $10k in total, my $5-8k figure was not including a laptop to run everything, smoke generator, scrim , other misc/unknown support items, band-aids or happy meals. So my hard ceiling for everything including support equipment is $10k firm.

    I'm here in the southwest (NM) and my net searching has turned up little in my immediate area. This may or may not be a good thing depending on how you look at it, my interest at this point is mostly for my own entertainment and desire to learn but I have already had coworkers express interest in a "hire" for entertainment. If I could accomplish my goals and make a few bucks to defray costs/upgrade then all the better.

    ETA: Speaking of YouBoob, does anyone here have any vids up of shows created with equipment in my price range? It seems as if most of the videos I have found so far appear to be really high end shows and club set ups, I would love to see what folks are creating on a < $10k budget.

    Thanks again
    Last edited by Farmer Ted; 11-23-2008 at 14:15.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire UK
    Posts
    1,064

    Default

    With a budget like yours if you do go down the self build road then the hardware you could buy with that would be well suited for pro laser shows and if you go with Pangolin's QM2000.net and LD2000 software you won't need to ever upgrade your control equipment again. You would have no problem doing any of the effect's from the centre projector you've seen on that youtube vid.

    Carl

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    Welcome to the forum! As Marc said, this is the "Mecca" for laser enthusiasts. I swear I learn something new on a daily basis here.

    I will second the Laserwave idea. They are said to have better beam specs than most other brands and, of course, you have Marc right here and he's good people.

    Definitely check out the other brands too before you decide.

    I bet you've already decided to do it yourself, but I'll just encourage this anyway. Definitely do it yourself! Ready-made RGB systems are SPENDY. You'll get a lot more bang for your buck the other way.

    -Jonathan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN & Huntsville, AL, USA
    Posts
    3,137

    Default

    A projector equipped with RGB (red, green, and blue) lasers, at least a 30k set of scanners, and a good controller can create virtually any beam effect and graphic! If you go wih analog modulated lasers, you'll have virtually every color of the rainbow - and then some - available to you!

    If you're planning on using a laptop, I DEFINITELY recommend you give some thought to the Pangolin QM2000.net laptop-friendly enclosure:

    http://www.pangolin.com/LD2000/QM2000NET.htm

    Combine this with whichever LD2000 package you are interested in buying, and you wind up with a very powerful, versatile, and portable controller package that could be used with just about any computer! (I made the switch to that this summer - wow!!). Another nice thing about the QM2000.net - the Pangolin software licenses are tied to a specific controller, not a specific computer. SO, going this route, you could install the LD2000 software on multiple computers, and just hookup the QM2000.net to whichever computer is most convenient.

    Also, the Pangolin gear really doesn't require a lot of computing power to run, so you don't necessarily need a high-end computer to make it all work - just about any desktop or laptop with a network port capable of running Windows XP will work just fine!

    If you start with the Pangolin LD2000 system (with or without the QM2000.net enclosure), you are already using what is considered by most to be THE flagship laser controller package available anywhere!

    As far as what you can do with our home-made rigs, check out this link:

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...4&postcount=20

    Multiple, home-built RGB projectors runnning simultaneously at the SELEM 2008 meet in August!
    Most every projector that was projecting toward the audience was a Pangolin-equipped, RGB rig that could probably be built within your budget!!
    Last edited by Stuka; 11-23-2008 at 13:55.
    RR

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

  10. #10
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    A lab with some dripping water on the floor.
    Posts
    9,349

    Default

    Ever get to Phoenix AZ, or San Marcos TX? I have professional friends there that could spend half a day with you and get you a masters level education. There is much more in life then a single scan head and RGB , which is de rigeur for the hobbyists around here, but you may have budget to do better.

    Steve Roberts

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •