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Old 11-13-2009, 10:59 PM #1
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Default Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Hey there,

I'm about to enter the market looking for a Green only Laser Scanner for use at outdoor dance parties, with a budget of around $1000-$1200 Australian, thats around $1100 US for the full build.

My knowledge on lasers is going to be rediculously limited comapred to some of the users on this forum, so I'm looking for 'Dummies' advice.

MY NEEDS ARE:
Reliability and build quality for outdoor use and hanging on trusses
DMX Controllable
Sound Active option when not running under DMX
Green only Laser
Wide scan angle


I suppose the advice I'm looking for is: What should my basic expectations be in this price bracket with regards MW of the laser, KPPS, scan angle, # DMX slots etc?????

How much variance is there in quality of sound active modules for a device of this type? What should I expect?

Other things I might not be aware of but should know?

I've exchanged a few emails with a guy from this forum with regards having something custom built and he assures me that $ for $ I'll get a better unit by having it built by an enthusiast than going for a commercial unit.
I'm sure this depends on the individual, their experience and skills, but would others on here assume the same?

Any advice on the best way to ascertain someones credibility when comissioning a unit like this?
Anyone I should contact in Australia who might want to take on a project like this?
Although I'd like to offer first right of refusal to the person I've already been in contact with, as he's already helped in terms of where to start with this project.

And lastly, any suggestions in the above price bracket for a commercial unit fitting my needs criteria, if it turns out I feel more comfortable going down that path.

Basically, I'm just looking for a good quality, reliable Laser Scanning unit for use at outdoor dance parties.

Any help would be much appreciated.


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Old 11-13-2009, 11:34 PM #2
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Things or diachi could do it AFAIK, try contacting them
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:00 AM #3
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

For $1,352 you could get a >500mw RGB with 30k scanners and analog modulation.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:44 AM #4
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Hey there, thanks for that..... RE: the RGB

Thing is, I have no interest at all in a Red laser.
So I'd be wasting $ on a laser module that I'd always have switched off through DMX.

I'd rather have the most powerful / versatile Green laser fixture possible for the price.

Some time in the future, I'll be interested in a blue laser, but I'd thought it would be better to have it built into a seperate fixture so that I mount and direct them seperately and increase my layout options.
Someone let me know if this isn't the case.

Another question is, how will DMX controller software recognise a custom built Laser Scanner?
Will it be as simple as assigning the Scanner a DMX address, seeing as the unit will not conform to any unit in a harware/software profile database?

Thanks again

Last edited by SilentBoB; 11-14-2009 at 12:46 AM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:49 AM #5
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

One thing about a RGB scanner is that with analog modulation you can achieve over 16 million colors, not just red, green, or blue like you would have with a single color laser.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentBoB View Post
Another question is, how will DMX controller software recognise a custom built Laser Scanner?
Will it be as simple as assigning the Scanner a DMX address, seeing as the unit will not conform to any unit in a harware/software profile database?

Thanks again
What software do you use? I use lightjockey and is was easy to make a custom fixture profile.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:42 AM #6
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

a 500mw projector outside is pointless, it would be like shining a little 3v led into the sky.

for any kina of effect outside you want a min of 1watt of green
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:24 AM #7
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

min of 1watt
Even with hazing????

I presume what your saying 500mw Green is about what I should expect in the price range?

All else being equal, background light etc......what makes projecting outside any different to indoors? So long as the hazing creates the appropriate medium for it to cut through?

There's always a limit to what you can expect in terms of output for the dollars your willing, or capable, of spending...... I suppose if I had 50 grand to play with on a single fixture I could give us both an 'erection', but that just isn't the case.

Thanks for the input though, is it the general opinion here that I'm wasting my time if I don't outlay for a min 1watt Green laser???

I'm not talking about setting forests on fire here........ but I want something that's going to do the job.
I would have thought good hazing would be as important as the laser itself, correct me if I'm wrong?

and in terms of laser lighting fixtures specifically, remember I'm learning some of the terminology and go..... so be gentle... :P
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:27 PM #8
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

I've seen an outdoor show done with a full-color RGB system as described above. Every time the breeze would kick up, all the hase would disappear and as long as there was a breeze, any new haze just blew away too. While you could see the laser, it wasn't too bright.

The same system indoors with a bunch of fog, on the other hand, works great in smaller rooms up to about 2500-3000 max.. I have one and I love it, although ultimately I'll be tearing mine down and rebuilding it in a different case with better optics and mounts..

As andy said above, a minimum of 1W green for outdoor (more if you can afford it).. the same is true of full-color lasers. Always buy the absolute maximum power you can afford.

The good news is that if you are on a budget, a green scanner is quite simple to build yourself compared to a full-color RGB system.

To determine how much a system like this will cost, look at the pricing at www.lasershowparts.com and www.ctlasers.com. Look at CNI and Laser-wave brand laser modules.

Look for scanner (or galvo) sets. (google works well for this)..

Check out this thread here on this site:
new to scanners

and while there is a bunch of great info here in the laser whow section, if you really want the absolute best advice about this from the pros, post this same question in the help section on photonlexicon.com.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:12 AM #9
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

I think that getting a forum member to build you a laser projector is a terrible idea.

Last edited by carmangary; 11-15-2009 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:05 PM #10
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Quote:
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I think that if you getting a forum member to build you a laser projector is a terrible idea.
Why do you say that?
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:42 PM #11
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

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Why do you say that?
From experience building my own scanner and from hearing the stories and seeing pictures of the scanners people are building on here. Best case is that you end up with some frankenstein hackjob. Worst case you end up with your money taken from you and you receive nothing at all or a box full of crappy parts shoehorned together. What about a warranty or customer service? You won't get that because whoever builds your projector is not going to agree to redo the work or replace parts at no cost. Fabricating a projector case is not easy. It isn't like building a computer where you can just buy a case and the parts and they all fit in there perfectly. With a projector you have to do a lot of work to get things aligned and to fit without just wasting space. Also, there is air filtration and heat removal to think about. Most builders here just slap some heat sink and some fans in there and call it a day without having a clue if it is adequate or if it is huge waste of space. Or they just let dirty air blow on the optics.

If you do decice to get someone on here to build your projector then make sure you work out the details. Get pictures of others they have built as well as referals. Sign a contract of some sort. In other words, cover your butt so that when 5 months have gone by and they are still working on your projector you can get your money back.

PS - Read the LaserBen thread on PL if you don't believe me. And who is LaserBen? He is just a kid - a high schooler... but since he posted a lot of the forum and acted like he knew what he was doing people believed him. Would you really pay $1000 to a highschooler to build a projector? I know that even in this thread, one of the recommended people is still in grade school.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:24 PM #12
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

^I would generally agree with carmangary on this. There are only two people I would recommend if you're looking to have a scanner built for yourself, and neither one of them are here on LPF. Go to photonlexicon.com and speak with "gottaluvlasers" or "daedal" (Marc (gottaluvlasers) is the best that I know, with Daedal being second.)..

Marc can supply you with a CDRH certified projector that will allow you to get a variance from the FDA so that you can do professional shows legally. These projectors will be first-rate quality, but will cost a bit.

The next best idea is to build it yourself or buy from a company like Kvant.

Both of the guys I just mentioned are top folks with a history of doing good business.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:46 AM #13
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Quote:
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^I would generally agree with carmangary on this. There are only two people I would recommend if you're looking to have a scanner built for yourself, and neither one of them are here on LPF. Go to photonlexicon.com and speak with "gottaluvlasers" or "daedal" (Marc (gottaluvlasers) is the best that I know, with Daedal being second.)..

Marc can supply you with a CDRH certified projector that will allow you to get a variance from the FDA so that you can do professional shows legally. These projectors will be first-rate quality, but will cost a bit.

The next best idea is to build it yourself or buy from a company like Kvant.

Both of the guys I just mentioned are top folks with a history of doing good business.
If he is using Australian currency, chances are he is in Australia, so he doesn't need any of the variance stuff, we have no laws here regarding laser scanners (yet).

Whereabouts in AU are you? I could help you out with components if needed (Check my sig).

As for your requirements, a FB3 would be the ideal DAC, as it has DMX control, the only problem would be audio control.

Almost any scanners are capable of a fairly wide angle, as long as you run them a fair bit slower than they are rated for at 8 degree's (ILDA standard).

The FB3 can be had from pangolin.com, as DAC's arent usually part of a pre-built package.

If you are willing to do a little work, you can probably get a nice little projector going for $1200AUD.

I would offer to build one for you, but I am busy for the next few weeks and don't have any enclosures on hand. After shipping, it would probably be cheaper to make it yourself

Last edited by Things; 11-16-2009 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:11 AM #14
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

Missed the type of currency. While you are right that if the OP is in Australia he won't need a CDRH certified projector legally, the designs and safety features in such a machine are very good, second to none in fact. gottaluvlasers wouldn't be a good choice, though, because of distance. SilentBob would want a manufacturer closer to him, since shipping a projector can be very costly. All signs are pointing to a DIY rig for optimum cost-effectiveness.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:49 AM #15
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Default Re: Advice / custom built $1000-1200 Laser Scanner

You are going to be extremely disappointed with anything less than 5w outdoor!

I did a show outside with just on 2w of green on the weekend, and more power would have really helped..

Forget about using a hazer outdoors! Just not enough output.. Think a really big smoke machine and a industrial fan to spread the smoke where you want it.

Shoot me a PM SilentBoB, especially if you want good hire deals in Australia.... Green up to 55w
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