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Meierlight 200mW Green + 300EVIL's correction amp for sDAC

Grix

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This is a review on my first projector and the AudioLase correction amp which 300EVIL sells. Since this is both my first projector and dac, I can't really compare the setup to anything and I don't know how helpful this review will be, but I'll just talk about the things I like and dislike. :)


Before this projector I have only owned pointers under $100, and there was no way I would've considered buying anything laser related at much above that price. But then me and my friends planned to host a LAN-party with a large budget, and we decided that a lasershow would be a great addition. More on that here. Originally we planned to buy an RGB, but you guys convinced me to get a high-powered green only instead. I still kind of wish we had gone for a RGB because full color still looks so much cooler than green on video, even though the green was very bright and awesome in real life. I think I'll buy or build a RGB soon (I've been bitten by the bug.. again! Projectors are so much better than pointers :D).

The laser was, as said, very bright, with smoke it was almost overkill in a hall of 10*20 meters. I imagine this laser could cover half a soccer field no problem. The only problem with the beams was the divergence. I don't know what is normal for projectors, but at 20m the beams were like two inches wide, which damaged the visibility.
The power of the laser is definately up-to- or at least very close the the claimed 200mW. It's noticably brighter than my 150mW pen from O-like.com, as you can see in this picture:

I measured no IR at all but a few decimals of a milliwatt, so the module is IR-filtered. I also measured a solid 230mW of green! Very happy with the module in this one!

(The lower dot is the projector)


The laser looks cool, with a matte black finish. The mirrors on the galvos are tiny. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. The laser has two DMX ports and two ILDA ports (in and out). It also has two safety features, a keyswitch and remote lock (a DB9 dongle must be plugged in for the laser to work). However the key switch is not working perfectly: If one sets the laser to sound active mode and then turns off the key switch, the laser will still lase a single beam for about 20 seconds..




The galvos are pretty good for beamshows at least, the are claimed to be 20kpps, but I have my doubts since the 12k ILDA test image will flicker and the circle in the middle are warped. They also need warm-up time. When you first turn on the laser even the built-in animations will flicker, then after about 5-10 minutes they will run smoothly. Here is some images:

At 20k:




At 12k:


At 30k:


I had big problems setting up the DAC and configuring it correctly, as seen in this thread. Fortunately I managed to fix everything with the help of you guys (And Gary who made spaghetti). The problems were
1. a faulty cable
2. The laser does not use the green channel as laser input, but rather the blue. So I had to map all colors to blue in spaghetti for it to work.

I ordered the prebuilt DAC from 300EVIL, and he offered to also tune it for me for no extra charge. :) 300EVIL was very easy and friendly to deal with, he also helped me a lot in the thread linked above. He didn't manage to ship the correction amp before the show though, but that was not his fault, the 12VDC converter was out of stock. He sent me easy instructions on how to solder the sound card to the DAC in PM. The solder joints on the card are very smooth and professional. I have not yet had any obvious problems with it. A+ seller! :)



Here is a random beamshot pic with little smoke in the air:



Here is a video of the show at the LAN-party. The projector runs in sound mode. The beams are much brighter in real life (crappy camera):

YouTube - Askøylan Laser Show

The projector can be bought here:

200mw Green DMX512 ILDA dj Laser stage light lasershow - eBay (item 170465173418 end time Apr-26-10 08:07:16 PDT)
 
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ElektroFreak

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Lookin' good dude! Good job seeing this project through to conclusion.. many others might have been too frustrated and quit.

Also, the middle circle will never be without some distortion.. I was told it's because of certain blanking optimizations.
 
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Grix

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Thanks!

Btw, do you know what's up with photonlexicon? I tried posting this there also, but I couldn't. I only get an error message when trying to post.
 

ElektroFreak

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I've been having that problem off and on all day.. I have no idea what's causing it.
 

Grix

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UPDATE!

Just got my new LPM (thanks jerry :san: ) and the measurements are very good!

1. The module is IR-filtered, I could neither measure any IR but a few decimals of a milliwatt, and my camera couldn't pick up any IR either!

2. So we know IR can't be a factor in the power, still I measured a solid 230 mW of green :) VERY good for a cheap chinese projector :)
 




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