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Old 12-08-2010, 06:46 AM #1
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Default RGB Scanner Proposal

(This thread is more directed towards paulzimm since I am interested in his project, but anyone else is free to join in)

Hello my name is Chad and I am an electrical/computer engineer at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. For some reason I ran across flecom’s 5W RGB laser projector on YouTube while just surfing around (Video: YouTube - Melody Beam Show 5W Laser), and ever since I have been looking into building my own RGB projector. I just join the forums today, but I have been reading and searching the both laserpointerforums.com and photonlexicon.com since the beginning of November, so I think I know what I am getting into now. I am very interested in building a 1W-2W RGB laser projector and I have been watching your RGB laser projector unfold over the last month, which is why I am reaching out to you for some help to get started. I read on one post that you have been keeping a parts/price list and build log of your 2W RGB laser projector (Video: YouTube - 2 Watt RGB Laser Projector), and if so would you be willing to share it?

My budget is $1000-1500, but of course the lower the price the better. My goal is to first build just a green laser projector and slowly continue to improve it. I am mainly interested in beam shows especially creating liquid sky, but I am sure later that I will also be interested in the projections also.

Initial proposed parts list:
+ Gavlos: PT-30K or PT-40K (http://www.spacelas.com)
+ ILDA/DMX Connector: PT-ITRUST (http://www.spacelas.com)
+ Green laser: 150mW (read that it outputs about 400mW) DPSS Green Laser (http://stores.ebay.com/triAngle-lights)
+ Controller: Sound card DAC (Sound card DAC tutorial)
+ Safey Glasses: Protection from 190nm to 540nm (http://www.focalprice.com/LP076X/Pro..._Glassess.html)
+ Laser Power Meter: ???

Future proposed parts list:
+ Red laser: no clue (guessing one pulled from a dvd burner or one bought from a GB with a flexmod?)
+ Blue laser: no clue (guessing one bought from a GB with a flexmod?)
+ Controller: QuickShow with Flashback 3 (http://www.pangolin.com)
+ Optics: Dichros and Mounts

Some questions I have:
1. What is the difference between a DPSS laser and a diode laser (such as one in a dvd burner or blu-ray)?
2. What parts are needed to get a laser diode to work? (Such as heat sink, power supply, lens, etc. I keep reading about a website called http://www.modwerx.com, which sells some of these parts. Also, these are terms I keep on reading about Flexdrive, Aixiz lens, and Aixiz modules but do not understand.)
3. Is this 445nm ~1W laser diode for $49.99 to good to be true or can this be used as a blue laser for a RGB laser projector? (5.6mm 445nm ~1W laser diode [445nm] - $49.99 : Modwerx Shop )
4. Should I get the PT-30K or PT-40K? Will I see a big difference in projection show quality? How do I determine or change the deflection angle? (I want big angles for liquid sky effects and know how to calculate the pps)
5. How much customization can you do with LFI laser player (https://sourceforge.net/projects/lfiplayer3d/) For example, can I make my own liquid sky effects easily?
6. Where can I buy a laser power meter for a good price?
7. Where can I buy the laser optics: dichros and mounts for a good price?



Last edited by djpsych; 12-08-2010 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:57 AM #2
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Hi, welcome to LPF! You might also want to check out photonlexicon.com, they specialize in show lasers.


1. DPSS lasers use crystals pumped by an infrared diode to produce the beam, this results in less stability, higher latency and IR leakage in comparison to diode lasers. But they often have good beam quality, while high-powered diode lasers can have a flat beam or very high divergence.

2. Adequate heatsink, module w/ lens (f.ex an aixiz module), driver. And if you want it in a projector, you need an adapter to transfer mains into about 9-12V, f.ex a laptop charger

3. Yes, that diode is truly a godsend. But it has a flat beam and high divergence, so you might want to use an aspheric lens to correct the beam. People at photonlexicon sells kits that contains everything you need to make a 1W blue module for about $200 if I remember correctly.
445nm provides a very deep and cool color. It is perfect for RGB projectors.

4. You won't notice much difference in beam shows, but graphics will look nicer.

5. I'm not too good with LFI player, but there are thousands of free ILDA frames online, so don't worry about that.
Look at photonlexicons FTP server:
ftp.photonlexicon.com
username: plftp
password can be found at http://photonlexicon.com/ftp.html

6. Radiant Electronics - Home

7. Laserwave for example.



I reccommend you get a better software than just LFI player. ********* is a cheap show program that lets you make shows and ilda frames. It costs a lot, $125 I think, but it's still the cheapest show software around.
Look at hingednewt.com
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:09 AM #3
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by djpsych View Post
(This thread is more directed towards paulzimm since I am interested in his project, but anyone else is free to join in)

Hello my name is Chad and I am an electrical/computer engineer at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. For some reason I ran across flecomís 5W RGB laser projector on YouTube while just surfing around (Video: YouTube - Melody Beam Show 5W Laser), and ever since I have been looking into building my own RGB projector. I just join the forums today, but I have been reading and searching the both laserpointerforums.com and photonlexicon.com since the beginning of November, so I think I know what I am getting into now. I am very interested in building a 1W-2W RGB laser projector and I have been watching your RGB laser projector unfold over the last month, which is why I am reaching out to you for some help to get started. I read on one post that you have been keeping a parts/price list and build log of your 2W RGB laser projector (Video: YouTube - 2 Watt RGB Laser Projector), and if so would you be willing to share it?

My budget is $1000-1500, but of course the lower the price the better. My goal is to first build just a green laser projector and slowly continue to improve it. I am mainly interested in beam shows especially creating liquid sky, but I am sure later that I will also be interested in the projections also.

Initial proposed parts list:
+ Gavlos: PT-30K or PT-40K (http://www.spacelas.com)
+ ILDA/DMX Connector: PT-ITRUST (http://www.spacelas.com)
+ Green laser: 150mW (read that it outputs about 400mW) DPSS Green Laser (http://stores.ebay.com/triAngle-lights)
+ Controller: Sound card DAC (http://laserpointerforums.com/f47/sound-card-dac-tutorial-40569.html)
+ Safey Glasses: Protection from 190nm to 540nm (http://www.focalprice.com/LP076X/Professional_Anti_Green_Laser_Glassess.html)
+ Laser Power Meter: ???

Future proposed parts list:
+ Red laser: no clue (guessing one pulled from a dvd burner or one bought from a GB with a flexmod?)
+ Blue laser: no clue (guessing one bought from a GB with a flexmod?)
+ Controller: QuickShow with Flashback 3 (http://www.pangolin.com)
+ Optics: Dichros and Mounts

Some questions I have:
1. What is the difference between a DPSS laser and a diode laser (such as one in a dvd burner or blu-ray)?
2. What parts are needed to get a laser diode to work? (Such as heat sink, power supply, lens, etc. I keep reading about a website called http://www.modwerx.com, which sells some of these parts. Also, these are terms I keep on reading about Flexdrive, Aixiz lens, and Aixiz modules but do not understand.)
3. Is this 445nm ~1W laser diode for $49.99 to good to be true or can this be used as a blue laser for a RGB laser projector? (5.6mm 445nm ~1W laser diode [445nm] - $49.99 : Modwerx Shop )
4. Should I get the PT-30K or PT-40K? Will I see a big difference in projection show quality? How do I determine or change the deflection angle? (I want big angles for liquid sky effects and know how to calculate the pps)
5. How much customization can you do with LFI laser player (https://sourceforge.net/projects/lfiplayer3d/) For example, can I make my own liquid sky effects easily?
6. Where can I buy a laser power meter for a good price?
7. Where can I buy the laser optics: dichros and mounts for a good price?
Just a quick note about the TriLights analog modules- their analog performance is nothing short of shocking.

Their TTL units are fine, but I'd avoid their analog units. Irregular modulation linearality seems to be their main problem.

However, having said that, not a single one has turned up underspec.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:16 AM #4
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Couldn't you just replace the trilights driver with a flexmod? that should improve the analogue modulation.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:09 PM #5
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

The trilights are about 200mW green and lots of IR afaik. Not good when I want scanning to be as safe as possible.
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:41 PM #6
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

You will only be able to run 'EzAudDAC" compatible software with the Sound Card DAC and I personally use ********* for my shows. I have a license for both my home computer ($120) and an extra license for my laptop ($50) for when I go on the road.

I used the following green laser:
http://cgi.ebay.com/150MW-Green-Lase...-/230514268394
* Analog sucks with this laser so I set it to use TTL mode in the ********* software.

I used the following correction amps board:
http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_d...ection_Amp.php
* See my parts list in the Sound Card DAC Tutorial

C-Media CM106 USB 2.0 External Sound Card Box:
DealExtreme: $17.16 C-Media CM106 USB 2.0 External Sound Card Box with 7.1-Speaker SPDIF Optical Output
* Order now, takes a long time to deliver!

SpaceLas PT-30K Galvo: [sales@spacelas.com]
Galvo(scanning) system ILDA30K Max50k for Laser systems - eBay (item 290474375854 end time Oct-11-10 05:49:50 PDT)

Heatsinks / AR Coated glass lenses for red & blue diodes:
Modwerx.com

FlexMod P3 Driver ANALOG Laser driver for red & blue:
http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_diode/FlexModP3.php
http://hacylon.case.edu/laser/FlexMo...dP3_Manual.pdf

I will PM you my number and you are welcome to call to ask me questions.

I have also uploaded some photos of my build...

Start at the bottom to see how I contructed the board:
Zimmtech.com Laser Projector - PHOTOS!
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:11 PM #7
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
The trilights are about 200mW green and lots of IR afaik. Not good when I want scanning to be as safe as possible.
Actually, the internal optics of an RGB projector will eliminate the IR.. most galvo mirrors are less reflective in the infrared range, so even in a single-color projector the IR will often be reduced by a significant amount.

@the OP: Stay away from the ITRUST controller. Use either a soundcard DAC or one of the commercial options such as Quickshow (from Pangolin) or EasyLase.

vk2fro: That is definitely an option, but you'll need to retain the original driver for TEC control.
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 12-08-2010 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:41 PM #8
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
3. Yes, that diode is truly a godsend. But it has a flat beam and high divergence, so you might want to use an aspheric lens to correct the beam. People at photonlexicon sells kits that contains everything you need to make a 1W blue module for about $200 if I remember correctly.
445nm provides a very deep and cool color. It is perfect for RGB projectors.
Do you have a link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
7. Laserwave for example.
Is the only distributer of Laserwave products in the US: Connecticut Lasers | Laser Light Shows and Laser Light Show Equipment and Installations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
The trilights are about 200mW green and lots of IR afaik. Not good when I want scanning to be as safe as possible.
Is the DPSS green laser (TTL unit) safe just as it is or is it emitting unsafe amounts of IR light? Or are you stating that if you take it apart and remove the diode and use it then it is unsafe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzimm View Post
Heatsinks / AR Coated glass lenses for red & blue diodes:
Modwerx.com
What parts would I need to exactly buy to create my own red diode laser and blue diode laser? I mentioned above a possible blue laser diode, but where can I find a red/green(seems like I never see these)/blue laser diodes at a good price?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
Stay away from the ITRUST controller. Use either a soundcard DAC or one of the commercial options such as Quickshow (from Pangolin) or EasyLase.
I though you need an ITRUST controller or something similar to read the input ILDA protocol and output it to the gavlos. Can you connect the wires for the ILDA protocol directly to the gavlos?

Last edited by djpsych; 12-08-2010 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 12-08-2010, 04:03 PM #9
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

No. What you need to for the ILDA software to control the projector is a DAC. The I-TRUST is a type of DAC, but it is the worst excuse for a DAC that I've ever seen. Go with the options I've mentioned or any of the other commercially available options.. you won't regret it.

Also, regarding Laser-wave lasers, there are more and more issues cropping up with their products. See here before you buy Laser-wave: http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...213#post174213

Personally I recommend either CNI or DHOM for inexpensive Chinese laser heads.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:10 PM #10
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
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Do you have a link?
I couldn't find exactly the kit I was thinking about, sorry. But O-like also sells a complete module. It's only TTL though.

Real 1W 445nm laser module/focusable/TTL [OL-445-1W] - $186.00 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
No. What you need to for the ILDA software to control the projector is a DAC. The I-TRUST is a type of DAC, but it is the worst excuse for a DAC that I've ever seen. Go with the options I've mentioned or any of the other commercially available options.. you won't regret it.
How is the I-trust a DAC? Isn't it just a motherboard that links all the components together and handles built-in frames? I have an internal I-trust board in my spacelas projector, I still have to use a DAC to connect the projector to my PC. I haven't noticed any problems with it at all, either.


Also, thanks for the info regarding projector optics and IR. I didn't know that
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:29 PM #11
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

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It's only TTL though.
Is only being TTL bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
How is the I-trust a DAC? Isn't it just a motherboard that links all the components together and handles built-in frames? I have an internal I-trust board in my spacelas projector, I still have to use a DAC to connect the projector to my PC. I haven't noticed any problems with it at all, either.
That's what I was thought also.
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:45 PM #12
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Ahh, apologies. I had thought that the I-trust was simply an Ishow dongle under a different name. If it's just a DMX board you should be OK, but I still recommend buying a proper DAC.

TTL modulation allows for up to 7 colors including white, whereas analog modulation allows for up to 16.7 million colors. You won't find analog modulation on DMX boards though.. or at least I have yet to see one.
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Old 12-08-2010, 08:04 PM #13
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Lots of info I and many others are looking for!!!
Big Thank You to all!!!

I thought lazors were addicting, but its galvo projectors that are the hardest to stay away from once you look intlo them.. One re-occurring thing I see is GO ANALOGUE even for just a one color--- but since i already have an AixiZ 445 moddule with only TTl that will be my first simple projector anyway-- +rep to the OP!!!


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Old 12-09-2010, 08:24 AM #14
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by vk2fro View Post
Couldn't you just replace the trilights driver with a flexmod? that should improve the analogue modulation.
No, that would make absolutely no difference at all.

The problem doesn't lie with the fact that the driver can't modulate properly- it delivers a perfectly proportional current to the diode depending on the modulation input.

The only problem here is, the DPSS process isn't proportional. As a result, you won't get a given amount of green out for a modulation input current.

That's why everyone hates the analog ones- it's more like a stepped curve than a true curve.

Higher quality lasers have a driver with active feedback that compensates for this, and drives the pump diode to acheive a given output, instead of driving the diode at a current proportional to the input.

The TTL lasers don't have this problem- they're simply on or off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grix View Post
The trilights are about 200mW green and lots of IR afaik. Not good when I want scanning to be as safe as possible.
$3 for an IR filter can easily fix that. Why are the most obvious solutions always overlooked?

You're getting $300+ of laser for a little under $150 shipped. Would adding an IR filter be too much to ask?
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:19 AM #15
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by goninanbl00d View Post
$3 for an IR filter can easily fix that. Why are the most obvious solutions always overlooked?

You're getting $300+ of laser for a little under $150 shipped. Would adding an IR filter be too much to ask?
It would reduce green power too though.. And you won't get $300 worth, you will get $150 worth of laser! You get what you pay for you know :P
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:44 AM #16
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Default Re: RGB Scanner Proposal

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Originally Posted by Grix View Post
It would reduce green power too though.. And you won't get $300 worth, you will get $150 worth of laser! You get what you pay for you know :P
I was only speaking metaphorically :P

Considering how much they're overspec even a 10% drop is acceptable. Most IR filters have anywhere from a 8 to 4% drop, so it'd be fine.

It's also extremely stable once it's warmed up, even though it doesn't have full cavity stabilisation. Look around, and see how much a 150/200mW green labby with TTL modulation costs. You'd be surprised.
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