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Review of the Casa CTL-CM Projector

Guyfromhe

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Casa CTL-CM RGY Stage Show Projector
Manufactured by CASA Electronic Co., Ltd

Click Front / Back images for a high res picture.








I am currently looking to sell mine because I have purchased a full color projector so if anyone likes what they see check out the B,S,T section :)

What is it?
The Casa CTL-CM is a laser projector designed to generate kaleidoscopic effects and patterns on your walls as well as create a dynamic beam show with the use of a fog machine.

It's base as an aluminum shell with a hanging bracket for your lighting rack and features a 100 mW red and 50 mW green laser (mfgr spec) which are combined and directed at two mirrors attached to high precision stepper motors.

The unit is capable of creating Red, Green and Yellow (by mixing red and green)

The unit features 4 main modes: Sound, Auto, Master/Slave and DMX512

The power supply is capable of running off 120 or 240v and uses a standard PC power cable and draws 30 Watts.

It's dimensions are approximately 12" long x 7" deep x 4" tall.

As for controls and indicators it has a power switch and LED and DMX status LED, a bank of dip switches, a mic, a dial for setting the sound sensitivity, and DMX in and DMX out

Inside it looks very sturdy as well, everything is neatly zip-tied and glued or screwed down there is nothing left loose or hanging. The system is powered by a Chinese WinBond brand chip and most of the electronics seem fairly custom. There seemed to be several open jacks on the control board but nothing was labeled. There are two pots on the laser driver board which I assume will adjust the power to the red and green lasers however I did not touch anything inside the unit. The transformer is labeled as 110v, 12v and 7v which leads me to believe it may not work on 240 as the manual states. The dichro seems securely glued (or screwed) in place and is not adjustable. You can clearly see the X and Y stepper motors just behind the metal shielding.

How to use?
It can be hung from a lighting rack or placed on a tall shelf somewhere. It should be above the heads of spectators as the beam should not be allowed to enter the eyes of anyone observing the unit.

It takes a standard IEC power cord (the same as a PC uses to plug into the wall) and flip the units power switch to on.. The fan will come on and the unit will center it's stepper motors to prepare for operation.

Depending on the mode the unit will perform differently. (Modes are set by changing dip switch settings)

It comes set to Sound mode out of the box and will only display patterns if it picks up sounds (laser turns off 8 seconds after sounds stop). If the units sensitivity is set to full it will always project patterns.
The system does a decent job of matching the pattern speed to the music and changing patterns at the appropriate time.

If the unit is set to Auto mode it will turn on and go through it's patterns in a random order. There is no sound detection or control in Auto mode and no automatic disabling of the laser.

Maser/Slave mode allows you to link 2 or more units together with XLR cable via the DMX ports to allow one unit to run in sound active mode and get other slave units to follow along.

DMX512 mode is the most powerful mode requiring a DMX control panel or PC USB to DMX box such as the Enttec OpenDMX or other.
The unit uses 9 DMX channels allowing control of Mode, Pattern, Color, X, Y, Scan Speed, Size, Animation playback speed and Segment color.

The unit features 52 static patterns and 52 animated patterns and can apply various effects to these patterns as they are being displayed. (it does not have any actual graphics all animations are shapes such as spinning lines, circles, point shots, etc) It is capable of modulating the lasers to create multicolored shapes and effects.

It's projections can easily cover 40 feet by 50 feet with a bright dynamic light show. It works best with added effects such as fog and star projectors.

The mfgr states that the unit should not be ran for more than 4 hours at a time to preserve the life of the unit and the laser diodes.

The laser aperture is left open to air and not covered in any way so it's possible for the mirrors to get dusty and for someone to put their fingers in the unit which could damage the unit itself. It does leave for easy cleaning however.

The scanning system is although not the quickest in the world and does not use actual galvos but high speed stepper motors is quite capable of doing it's job. The geometric patterns it comes programmed with very well suit the scanner and flicker is not bad for smaller patterns and shapes however once you reach the max size limit of the system you will notice some flicker but it's not unreasonable.

The red seems quite a bit dimmer than the green it's probably a little under balanced with this unit however it shows up fine on most surfaces.

As with most cheap Chinese systems the dicros are not perfectly lined up you will get a very nice yellow in the beam show about a foot out from the projector but once you pass that distance the green and red diverge and you end up with about 1/4 of an inch separation by 30 feet away.

Again the unit should not be directed at people as it has the possibility of causing eye damage.

I don't have any testing equipment so I can't give you power readings or wavelengths of lasers but I can say it gets a 100 Watts of cool rating from me :)

If you don't have a projector already and don't want to spend a lot of money but want something for a party or a small venue this would be a great choice IMHO.

Videos:
On it's own:


With Fog:


With other effects:


Scanner:


PROS:
Metal case very well put together
Makes an attempt at creating 3 unique colors
Has very powerful DMX control
Relatively small size and portable
Long duty cycle
Bright enough to work outside
Lots of patterns to choose from
Inexpensive

CONS:
Can get flickery when projecting largest size
Yellow does not go very far due to poor alignment
Projections can sometimes be too big

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MANUFACTURER: Casa Electronic Co., Ltd
PRODUCT TYPE: Sound-activated laser show projector
LAMP TYPE: Laser
No. OF LAMPS: 2 (1 red, 1 green)
CASE MATERIAL: Aluminum
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 30W
WATER RESISTANT: No
SUBMERSIBLE: No
ACCESSORIES: AC cord, Manual
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China
WARRANTY: 12 months




PRODUCT RATING:
* * * * (4 Stars) Can't beat it for this price.
 
Last edited:

lasersbee

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Heads up...

Your Pic should be 800 X 600 pixels...
The Pic as is takes up almost 2 of my computer screens
and makes it near impossible to read your text..


Jerry
 

Guyfromhe

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Is it any better now?
I re-sized the picture to 640x480 and linked to full size version.
 




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