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Old 10-02-2013, 01:22 PM #1
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Default The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Hello all!

New poster, LONG time lurker.

I have a question that I am hoping some of you awesome folks might be able to help me out with.

I have 5 Showwx+ laser projectors. I LOVE the way Microvision direct draws the image (LBS) rather than a white laser LCOS backlit light source.

Of course the downside to LBS right now is the scan lines and speckle. (I have taken care of the speckle issue by 90% already, a feat I haven't seen reproduced by anyone yet that I am aware of.)
But The issue of dimness (15 lumens) and the scan 'draw' lines can be distracting.

Hurdle #1 I need a way to make my showwx+ brighter.
Hurdle #2 To get rid of the scan lines as much as possible.

Now I know I can't just pop out the diodes in the showwx+ and replace it with higher mW diodes. BUT I did have the idea of knocking out 2 birds with one stone.

To eliminate the scan lines as much as possible I am going to combine all 5 of my LBS pico projectors so the will overlap the scan lines of all 5 projectors, (Thus more pleasing to the eye) and increase brightness dramatically for home theater use at night.

I have thought of several ways to do this and wanted to run them past you guys.

There are only two ways that I have theorized that might work.

1.) To use the optical element in a 3 CCD camera to use the beam splitter to combine the beam rather than split it up. Each of the 3 regions of the optics are for the CCD sensors for picking up red, green and blue light. By taking 3 of my Showwx+ picos and 'mounting' them to where the CCD sensors go would provide a way for me to 'combine' the beams so that the may be aligned and overlap each other. Thus projecting a 45 lumen image with overlapping scan lines hooked up to one video source split to a triple head to go VGA splitter.

(Possible problems to solution number 1)
If the optical light path in used in the 3 CCD camera has a reflective coating that only allows blue light from the blue laser, red from red and green from green, then the lumen output might just stay at 15 lumens because each optical path would be blocking the other 2 primary colors. Thus destroying my plans for a brighter LBS projector.

2.) A set up similar to the PS3 sled and RGB white light lasers MIGHT work as well if the above fails to pan out. Still not sure.


So any idea if this will work or does anyone else have a better solution? I am all ears.

Tao


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Old 10-03-2013, 02:36 PM #2
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

The main hurdle to overcome is you have divergent light sources. That is, the beam expands as it gets farther away from the source. So each projector must be the same distance from the screen or else there will be blurring that will get worse farther out from center.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:52 PM #3
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Lightning Stalker View Post
The main hurdle to overcome is you have divergent light sources. That is, the beam expands as it gets farther away from the source. So each projector must be the same distance from the screen or else there will be blurring that will get worse farther out from center.

Yes I am aware of that fact. All the projectors and optics will be transferred to a large project enclosure box, and everything will be exact as far as making all images overlap PERFECTLY. I am just worried about how to tackle the optics in my head.

But thank you for the advice anyway Lighting Stalker!

Anyone else wanna chime in as well to help me with my specific issue?


Tao

Last edited by tao; 10-03-2013 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 10-04-2013, 04:03 PM #4
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Soooooo....no one can help me?
Really? At LPF?
No one?

Okay...
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:40 PM #5
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

May have to dismantle it and see if you can simply remove the r, g, b sources and maybe just shoot beams from more powerful lab style lasers into those spots, maybe that would work. Would only need one projector, which would mean you don't have to align outputs, which would only work in one direction, either vertical or horizontal. The edges would not be aligned if the center is aligned, if you just point two showwx units at the same place.

I don't know about the optical system in the showwx, and doubt that it will have room for this, but if the image forming optics are not polarization dependant, you could use 3 PBS cubes to "inject" more power into each color's respective beam.

These options would either work okay, or brick some nice pico projectors. Maybe sell off a few and use the proceeds to buy a normal projector, and keep the showwx for when you want to project something on the go.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:07 PM #6
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Quote:
Originally Posted by BShanahan14rulz View Post
May have to dismantle it and see if you can simply remove the r, g, b sources and maybe just shoot beams from more powerful lab style lasers into those spots, maybe that would work.
I would love to do that, but don't think that's possible with the safety features Microvision set in place to shut the laser down if its tampered with. (I wish though.)


I am looking for an optic to combine 3 projectors in 1 super bright output. The optic/lightpipe/splitter/combiner must not be coated to block the other 2 primary colors or else my project will fail in making it brighter.

Any ideas?

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Old 10-05-2013, 01:52 AM #7
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

I have found that mounting a few of them together in a permanent fixture and
aligning them to overlap gives good results. Its a quick adjustment if you need
them closer or further away from the projection surface, but no biggie.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:09 AM #8
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

If the light is polarized in only one direction from each projector you might be able to use a polarized beam cube to combine, but I doubt this will be the case.

Otherwise, if you can't open up the projector and provide some other light source, you'll have to just resort to taping them together and trying to aim them at the same location. That's about all there is you can do.

Also, even if you get the projectors open without them malfunctioning, the image forming optics on your pico projectors may also not be able to withstand power levels of high-powered light sources.
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:41 AM #9
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLSE View Post
I have found that mounting a few of them together in a permanent fixture and
aligning them to overlap gives good results. Its a quick adjustment if you need
them closer or further away from the projection surface, but no biggie.

Quick note, each pico puts out approx 60mW on the startup screen.

Hey JLSE, how did you overlap yours perfectly?
I can get it pretty close but not perfect. Thats why I am trying to overlap the images PERFECTLY with optics so my resolution test card cross and grids to check resolution doesn't look 'off' from one projector to the next.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:33 AM #10
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

I think your best bet is going to be just having them as close together, and angling each one to overlap the others. This means it'll need to be re-adjusted on each projection surface as JLSE said, and some software geometric correction, but there's really no other way to do it. There's no magic optic that is going to pass all the light from each projector.

Replacing the diodes is also not going to work, at least not without some serious engineering. For a start you need an insanely quick analog driver.

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Old 10-05-2013, 01:14 PM #11
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

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Originally Posted by Things View Post
I think your best bet is going to be just having them as close together, and angling each one to overlap the others. This means it'll need to be re-adjusted on each projection surface as JLSE said, and some software geometric correction, but there's really no other way to do it. There's no magic optic that is going to pass all the light from each projector.

Replacing the diodes is also not going to work, at least not without some serious engineering. For a start you need an insanely quick analog driver.
Ah, I was afraid of that...
I THINK there is a SDK software or onboard calibration tool in the hardware of the Showwx+ that can let me off set the image in several way & directions without the use of 3rd party video warping software. I never thought to use that to see if it would work.

I'd love to just dump more power into the projectors but fear my lasers have too much coherence for such a project as my lasers are set up for holography and not pico laser projection which needs short coherence for the low speckle effect. (And like you said, I don't have a quick enough analog driver.)

On the plus side, this way I can use all 5 projectors instead of 3 for a total of 75 lumens instead of 15!

OK back to the drawing board... lol
Thanks guys!

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Old 10-07-2013, 06:25 PM #12
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Random thought: from a purely optical standpoint, the closer you can mount the projectors to each other, the better. If you mount them in a vertical stack, you might even be able to get by with using the built-in keystoning modifier (if that is an option on these projectors).
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:28 PM #13
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

I know the original showwx didn't support any onboard geometric correction, I thought it would be a feature in the + model.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:50 PM #14
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Geometric warping in the SDK for the Showwx+

PicoP_ALC_SetupWarp() Sets up the input and destination size for Warp
PicoP_ALC_GetWarpSetup( ) Gets warp set up.
PicoP_ALC_WarpImage( ) Applies a warp operation to the image.
PicoP_ALC_GetWarpParameter( ) Gets the warp settings.
PicoP_ALC_SetWarpState() Enables or Disables the warp operation
PicoP_ALC_GetWarpState() Returns the current warp state of output display.

PicoP_ALC_CorrectKeystone( ) Apply symmetrical keystone correction operation to the output display.

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Old 10-08-2013, 01:01 AM #15
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Uhh guys. I just noticed one of my 5 showwx+ projectors has different laser colors and throw.
The laser nm specs are different too on the yellow sticker and to the eye. hmmm

One showwx+ reads
450nm 530nm 638nm and has kinda a 'widescreen ratio' Manufactured in Nov 2010


My other four showwx+'s read
442nm 532nm 642nm manufactured in March 2011, april 2011, feb 2011, april 2011

All are coming in at 15 lumens. (?!?)

I don't own a 1st gen showwx or a showx+hdmi, so I am at a loss why the different throw, aspect ratio and laser choices in the same model of showwx+.
(All have the same gamma, brightness, and color vibrant settings.)

They are all showwx+ and have the same firmware. So what the hell is up with this weird one?

Edit: Ok according to this article :http://www.picopros.com/article/micr...ap-picop%C2%AE
Friday, Nov/12/2010
"Current red laser diodes used in Microvision’s PicoP® display engine lase at 642nm. By moving toward a shorter wavelength ,even by a mere 4 nm – the human eye perceives this red light as being much brighter. In this case, at a fixed brightness, red light at 638nm appears about 33% brighter than the same light output at 642nm. Similarly, the blue laser diode being used in Microvision’s current product emits light at 442nm. By increasing that wavelength, perceived brightness would also increase. The initial solid-state green laser diodes will likely emit light below the current 532nm of the synthetic variety. However, the efficiencies of going from a synthetic to a solid-state laser more than make up for the loss in perceived brightness. Over time, companies will develop solid-state green laser diodes that lase closer to the current 532nm.

So the oldest model of showwx+ in my batch (2010) has the new lasers wavelength but my newer ones (2011) don't?!

WTF is this wizardry?!

Pics taken from 2 ebay listings of same model showWX+ as example


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Old 10-08-2013, 07:42 AM #16
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Default Re: The brighter Showwx+ pico laser projector project

Just found out the Gen 2 (720p HD) PicoP device uses the following wavelengths:

Red 638nm, Green 516nm, Blue 450nm lasers

One of my Showwx+
Red 638nm, Green 530nm, Blue 450nm lasers

Four other Showwx+
Red 642nm, Green 532nm, Blue 442nm lasers

(I know that the 530 is a much better color than the 516 for video. I wonder if I should transplant my 532 to the 638 & 450 one. Probably would get better color mixing and yellows with the advantages of the perceived brightness of the 638 & 450.)

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