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Old 10-29-2009, 02:59 AM #1
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Default building first scanner, need help

i want to put together a laser scanner unit, the scanners that im considering buying are these:

SCANLSP-20 20k Scanner Laser Show Galvo for DPSS Argon - eBay (item 350262590543 end time Nov-07-09 04:39:12 PST)

it says that all you need is a laser and your ready to go. also it says it comes with a DMX show board with ILDA in/out. does that mean that i dont need a dac? or would i still need a dac to connect it to the computer? also in the listing it says that it includes a multi voltage switch mode power supply, is that a actual power supply that plugs into the wall? if there is something that im forgetting please let me know.


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Old 10-29-2009, 03:11 AM #2
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

Those galvos will work, but I think I already gave you a link to the same set for nearly the same price with free shipping.. of course it's up to you if you want to save the shipping or not.

A DMX board is a controller with built in programs that the projector plays. If you want full computer control and the ability to use and create a nearly limitless number of graphic and beam shows, then you need a DAC. You can either buy a DAC or build a DAC, it's up to you. Once you use a DAC, you'll never go back to a DMX board, so really you can just ignore that completely if you want..

That power supply will be connected to wall voltage, yes. there will most likely also be another power supply for your laser(s).
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:14 AM #3
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

so if i dont get that, then how do i connect the galvos to the dac? so basically im just confused how the galvos would connect to the dac

Last edited by canonfx1; 10-29-2009 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:22 AM #4
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

You connect them directly to the galvo outputs of the DAC. On the back of your scanner there will be a DB-25 connector for connecting it to a DAC (you'll come across that info as you read here in the forum while building). You just wire the galvo inputs directly to the DB-25 connector pins (google "ILDA pinout" hit the first link). You can also use a DB-25 breakout board (search ebay).. The same aplies to the laser modulation input.

The process of building your own scanner is not a trivial task if you've never done it before. It will require a lot of reading here on the forum and on photonlexicon.com, and a bit of patience. Do some research and come back and ask some more questions. It's how you'll learn.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:29 AM #5
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

so i will hook up the galvos to this?

DB25 Breakout Board Adapter for CNC Stepper Motor New - eBay (item 310177599732 end time Nov-02-09 18:55:47 PST)

how do i know what wires go into where?

and on the dac what is that ILDA cable going to connect to?
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:35 AM #6
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

This would work.. all you need is the little board: http://cgi.ebay.com/CNC-stepper-moto...item4cea20399e

On the DAC you'll use a female version: CNC stepper motor Breakout Board Adapter db25 FEMALE - eBay (item 330341864728 end time Oct-30-09 08:58:15 PDT)

That way you just use a standard male-femal DB-25 printer cable to connect the two.

A quick search of google using the term "ILDA pinout" will yield a pinout diagram that will tell you which pins do what..
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 10-29-2009 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:42 AM #7
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

if i understand this corectly all i need to do is connect the wires from the galvos to the sound card dac. and then i plug it into the computer with the usb. so i dont even need to get the DB-25 breakout board. right? so all i need is the galvos u told me to get and this?

http://cgi.ebay.com/6-Channel-PCI-Ex...item518daf820e

besides a case and a laser. anything else i need let me know

Last edited by canonfx1; 10-29-2009 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:47 AM #8
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

You can also do that.. I always build a DAC as a separate unit from the scanner since then you can use the same DAC with other scanners you might build later. But yes, you can build the DAC right into the scanner in place of the DMX board.
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 10-29-2009 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:54 AM #9
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

ok i seem to be good with that now. the only thing that im confused on is i was unsure how to connect the galvos to the dac. i looked at the tutorial u posted and im still confused.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:58 AM #10
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

You can see in the tutorial that there are 6 outputs on the correction amp board.. There are two pins for each channel, signal and ground. If you wire it up just like in the pictures, channels 1 and 2 will be X and Y respectively.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:05 AM #11
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

sorry lol, i still dont understand, u think u can upload some new pics of it labeled for what wires i need to connect to.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:11 AM #12
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

It's hard to see in those pics and mine isn't handy ATM, but if you look at the last photo of the finished DAC in the tutorial there is a row of pins on the opposite side of the correction amp board from where the sound card wires are plugged in. The first four pins from the left in that row are channels 1 and 2.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:15 AM #13
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

ok im sure ill figure it out, if not ill ask u, so as far as software goes i know i can get ********* for about 50 dollars. do you know of any free software that is decent?
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:18 AM #14
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

LFI Laser Player is quite good, but it is much harder to get working right. I would recommend starting with ********* to get an idea of how this all goes together. LFI is free from sourceforge, but can be frustrating.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:20 AM #15
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

as far as it being confusing do u mean as far as the inference, its hard? or getting i to work with the scanner?
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:24 AM #16
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Default Re: building first scanner, need help

All of the above. It's interface can be a little tough, as well as getting all the fine settings down. You'll need to tune various settings in any software to get it to communicate with the laser(s) and galvos properly and produce a clean image. Adjusting these settings in LFI can be a challenge. Designing shows in LFI is also difficult, in fact I have only used it to play back existing shows.
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Sam's Laser FAQ (The Laser Bible)

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