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Old 04-02-2009, 06:48 PM #1
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Default Lost and in need of help

Now I did read the FAQ about building a laser show system but I'm still confused and in need of help.

First off, I am not a young kid looking to goof around but an older man who runs a DJ business on the weekends *and would like to add something none of the other local DJ services provide. *A laser show option.

Now I'm a computer geek, so technology isn't something I am afraid of. *That said, I also have 14-15 computers from PIII's to a Dual 64bit Quad-Core *system that I can use to run any software needed in this (and more music than is reasonable). *I would like a multi-color setup that isn't overkill for something like a 50 person business party/get-together but would get the kids excited at some high school dance that I may be asked to play.

I've seen a few kits and such but I'm not experienced in this and since I work in the computer field, I can appreciate when a newbie is honest about their lack of knowledge and asks questions instead of just diving in and hoping for the best. *In that, I am here asking (after doing a LOT of reading) for help building a non-burning laser show setup. *Something that has multi-colors, will allow 2-3 separate screen displays and a few static 'see in the air' displays. Having the ability to sync up with the music (and particularly the bass frequencies) and also to be able to run off of pre-programmed patterns is a must. I have smoke machines so even if I can't get/afford the powerful 'see in the air' lasers, I can at least have the ability to put up a smoke layer for the lower powered lasers to be seen.

I'd like to keep this under $1000 if possible so DIY is something I'd be willing to go with.

Can anyone help me?


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Old 04-02-2009, 08:28 PM #2
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

I'm not sure I understand.

Last edited by carmangary; 10-10-2011 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:11 PM #3
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

Talk to MarioMaster, hes real good at making scanner systems, with a 1000 budget im sure he could make you one. 8-)
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:38 PM #4
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmangary
For weekend DJ use I'd recommend looking into one of those ebay RGY units. *
Weekend DJ, yes I am, as I have a very good career right now and DJing could never make up for what I make now, even if I went full time and had to hire up 4-5 other guys. However I do treat it like a second job and only would like to use better (if not the best) equipment than the average full-time DJ would use. I'm not sure if those ebay units are worth the $300 they want for them. While I am not hurting for money, I don't want to throw it away on a unit that is cheep or of shoddy building. I take pride in giving my clients the very best show/party I can using the best equipment I can buy (with in reason) so I would like to have a very nice mid level (high end would probably be the professional lasers that major entertainers would use) set.

If I am wrong and those ebay RGY units are something that any one of the normal users of this forum would happily buy for their own use, then I apologize and would think about looking at them. However, if you would not buy one of those or any of the veterans of these forums would laugh at these units, then no...I'm looking for something better.


Quote:
Talk to MarioMaster, hes real good at making scanner systems, with a 1000 budget im sure he could make you one
I figured that a system I am looking for would run $1000, but I'm not looking to be taken either so if I can get by on a very good quality, multi-laser scanner system for $400-$500 I'm all for that.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:11 PM #5
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Day
Talk to MarioMaster, hes real good at making scanner systems, with a 1000 budget im sure he could make you one. 8-)

PMed him per your suggestion. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:29 PM #6
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

I've been running quite a few (26, in fact) lasers at our DJ/KJ/Production shows for a couple of years, and a lot depends on the venues you are playing (not just size, either) ... Laser displays are finicky as to how visible they will be in any given situation, 1) they are really only impressive and visible from about 30-40degrees of straight ahead (not so impressive from the sides) unless you are running 300mW+ greens, which cost quite a bit more than the aforementioned $300, 2) The RGY units really only are applicable in darker venues, almost any ambient light will wash them out quickly (including neon, etc) - again, unless you are in the neighborhood of 300+mW, 3) Red laser displays are almost entirely useless unless you are running 250mW or more per head, and even then, will be overcome and upstaged by as little as 50mW of green (I have 2 dual red displays that I refitted with LOC diodes and drivers at 250mW each, and they are the lowest power red I would waste my time with),

And the biggest rule of thumb IMHO - Without fog, aerial displays are entirely useless. Period. point them at the ground or a wall, because the only light you'll see out of them without fog is the light trails on the walls.

Let's also not forget safety - you NEED to position and program your lasers correctly to avoid ANY audience scanning over 50mW, this means high stands (and of course the prerequisite high ceilings) and specific, individual DMX or ILDA scene and chase programming to each venue you play...

That said, here are my personal favorites display-wise that we incorporate into the shows, I am basing this opinion on a venue size of 1500-2000 square feet (small-med wedding hall or large bar dancefloor/room) with primary use as aerial displays (tunnels, skies, etc) and ease of incorporation into a standard DMX-controlled show:

SHINP DL33G - (2) 100mW green, XY steppers
SHINP AL660RGY (an exception to my dislike for RGY) - 200mW Green, 500mW Red, mixed Yellow
Laserworld RS500RGB - 300mW red, 75mW green, 75mW Blue (excellent optics, seems 2X brighter per mW)

For smaller "bar" shows and most private parties, our standard racks consist of (2) SHINP SL7/200's (200mW Green each), (2) SHINP CL26RGY (60mW green, 200mW red, mixed yellow, good colors but lower intensity), and (1) SHINP DL22RR refitted with dual 250mW red LOC diodes, along with (2) Chauvet Kintas (good 'ol halogen 600w, no LED's please), (4) ADJ Rotopod 250's (white), (2) ADJ Rotopod 250's (magenta gels) and (4) Chauvet Intimidators ... With stands I've got about $2400 into each of them (with some savvy shopping) but they do a nice job of blowing away most of the patrons who see them in action. I have nothing but good things to say about SHINP products, they tend to be under-spec as far as power but they are easy to program and can stand up to our 4-5 night a week schedule.

Hope this all helped, wow, I need another cup of coffee now .... PM me if I can be of any assistance helping you source these items or send you pics or videos from the shows, etc.
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Been out of the "Laser Loop" for several years - WHY didn't anyone TELL me we now had Green and real BLUE diodes, especially measured in WATTS !?!?!?!

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Old 04-03-2009, 04:03 PM #7
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewCityMusic
I've been running quite a few (26, in fact) lasers at our DJ/KJ/Production shows for a couple of years, and a lot depends on the venues you are playing (not just size, either) ... (snip)
Wow. That's absolutely amazing. I would be very interested to see your work sometime (do you have a link to a Youtube video of your work by chance?).

I'm probably not looking to spend more than $1000-$1500 on this setup mainly because most of the gigs I do get are less than 100 people for a wedding reception, high school dance, rave, and the occasional business party. All the gigs I have taken have been inside, with minimal lighting (for my can lights to work effectively) and are usually are in a small to medium sized room.

I'd like a Red-Green-Yellow-Blue (or Violet) setup but as I keep thinking about safety and the fact that many of the venues I play at have 8-10 foot ceilings, I'm starting to wonder if this isn't the best idea (and perhaps that is why the normal, everyday DJs do not use them?)


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Old 04-03-2009, 05:58 PM #8
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Default Re: Lost and in need of help

I'm glad to see you're thinking safety as well as the "Wow" factor - for gigs the size you are talking about, I would say a nice, cost-effective way to add some serious "WOW" would be start out with a pair of DL33's or possibly a pair of SL-7/100's (Both by SHINP) ... The DL33's are dual 50mW and green is the most visible wavelength so you would be adding (4) "heads" to your show and would be relatively OK with audience contact as they would all be a diffused 50mW. The SL7's are 100mW each so you would have to use more caution, but would give you more flexibility for somewhat larger shows...

Our site is being rebuilt currently with a re-release on or around Easter (that's the goal, anyway) so I'll PM you when the new site with vids, etc is back up, in the meantime I thought maybe this pic would help give you an idea or two, the green 2-head in the center is a DL33 (dual 50mW) and the outboard units are custom CL26's with 60mW green and 140mW Blu-Ray, mainly though the pic lets you compare the brightness of the 50mW against the (2) magenta rotopod 250's also in the scene (those are standare 250w halogen moonflowers, btw) - as you can see, with light fogging they are really a nice addition to our smaller shows and Karaoke nights, you should be able to pick up a pair of DL33's for under $500, or a pair of SL7's in 50mW for $350-ish or 100mW for $550-600 shipped.

(If you have a tax ID, etc I can hook you up with my rep at SHINP so you could buy direct and save a bunch, you'd have to set up an account though and the minimum order is $500, but that would allow you to stretch your $$$ even further - PM me if you want the info)

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Been out of the "Laser Loop" for several years - WHY didn't anyone TELL me we now had Green and real BLUE diodes, especially measured in WATTS !?!?!?!

Starting over, still have my Kryton BDR Build at 401mW and one of the first Eghamus hosts with an O-like module that has faded from 151mW to about 45mW at TEM01 over the years, LOL - still have my LaserBee 1 though
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