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Old 05-20-2007, 08:18 PM #1
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Default Hello, guys...

Well, a lot of you may recognize me from CPL. My name is Chuck Knight, and I am trying to do something special with LASERS for my Church's Vacation Bible School. I've got more than a few ideas, especially since I have been a LASER and optics geek since I was kid.

My current plan is to use a simple spirograph generator for this year, and build a full multi-colored X-Y scanner (stepper based) with blanking for next year. But, I'm having some trouble finding programming software that will work with the parallel port. Unlike I usually do, I'm trying to get started EARLY, this time.

-- Chuck Knight


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Old 05-20-2007, 09:58 PM #2
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Sounds like a great idea, takes lots of photos and let me know how it goes!
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:36 PM #3
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

There has GOT to be someone on here that knows something about the lasershow type software....
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Old 05-21-2007, 03:29 AM #4
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Thanks for the warm welcome, guys. I appreciate it.

Always nice to see that others approve of my plans. BUT, it would be nice if anyone knew how to program a LASER show. If you could share some tips with me, it would be greatly appreciated. Never done it, before...and I haven't even built the hardware, yet.

What specs should the motors have? I mean, how many degrees of movement, and at what rate of speed? My intention is to use 3.5" floppy steppers, since they have a built in controller board. I literally need to feed them step and direction information, and they'll do their thing.

-- Chuck Knight
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:47 PM #5
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Ooooo - Chuck - have you been over to photonlexicon.com yet ? Tehy are REALLY into shows there....
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:44 PM #6
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Hello,

First off, I wish you good luck.

Secondly, I would try and get in touch with the people who created laser pong. I am not sure if that was on here, or CPF, but they made a pong game that you could play on a blackboard, for instance, with a laser projector.

Someone will have the link...I don't know where to find it.
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:39 AM #7
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Yeah, I just want to do something relatively special for the kids at Vacation Bible School. Wowing my preacher and the parents is just an added benefit! :-)

I figure that kids raised on CMT and MTV aren't going to be wowed by crepe paper and felt...gotta' do something a bit more fun. And, since this year's theme is a circus theme...well, LASERs, fireworks, etc are appropriate!

Thanks for the encouragement!

-- Chuck Knight
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:42 AM #8
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Welcome to the forum Chuck
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:06 PM #9
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

Glad you made it over here, Chuck ! I hope someone here can help out !
Guys (and gals) this is a neat project he has come up with - I will be sebding him a 5mw Greenie (My FIRST green laser ever !) to assist him along his path - If he needs mirrors, whatever else I can toss his way to help out - he's good peeps in my book for doing this for kids...SO, with that being said - if anyone can help him out - knowledge, some equipment (when WAS the last time I messed with that 5mw laser, anyways ?) or advice - chip in and help this guy out !

Greg
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Old 05-23-2007, 03:18 PM #10
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

I'm all for helping out too so anything you need from the UK just send me a message
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Old 05-23-2007, 04:40 PM #11
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

try

hxxp://spt06.chez-alice.fr/00/lasers.htm

hxxp://lasershs.com/

hxxp://hackaday.com/2007/05/14/fun-with-lasers/

google pangolin

the first link will probably be all you need

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Old 05-24-2007, 04:14 AM #12
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

That second one...the spirograph -- case fans and front surfaced mirrors, is exactly what I've got in the works.

Next year (yes, I plan at least 2 years in advance) I intend to introduce a full X-Y scanner, PC control, etc. But, this year, I'm keeping it simpler.

Unless, of course, anyone has a nice set of galvos just lying around. ;-)

Seriously, I have several floppy steppers (the stepper interface and driver is taken care of by the floppy's electronics) and I'm going to try the X-Y thing. If it works, it'll be a great effect...if not, it'll be a fun experiment. My primary concern is the programming, as only 1 or 2 programs support parallel port output, and usually to a parallel interfaced DAC. I was just going to hard code movements, based on steps.

Does this sound like a reasonable approach (Church budget, but I'm a creative and somewhat ambitious lighting/set designer) for me to take?

-- Chuck Knight
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Old 05-26-2007, 03:18 PM #13
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Default Re: Hello, guys...

I htink it is reasonable - but for the full on scanner effects, you may have to plan two years out....that stuff is NOT cheap ! I am donating whatever I can think of that you will need, but I do not have any galvos at all, much less any I could give away. I am kinda stuck in the same boat as you - but times will change, I am positive we will see some good things come out of your project. You had BETTER post up any pics and vids you can get of your shows - no matter HOW cheesy you may think it is...I wanna see it ! And make sure to have someone "pan" the crowd, too....I wanna see the little faces of hte all the kids light up brighter than your laser show ! 8-)
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