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Thread: Open Laser Show DAC (USB)

  1. #61
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    I didn't realize you had continued work on the OLSD project, Chris! Cool...

    I agree that Rob's "ILDA-Jem" is a great product, but Hank's desire for a portable unit that could also display actual test patterns is something I've often wished for as well. Of course, doing this adds a great deal of complexity, which is probably why Rob never went down that path.

    Ed's bench project looks intriguing! I wonder what the estimated cost is though.?. 16-bit resolution is ideal, but honestly the 12-bit resolution of the OLSD would probably have been good enough for a portable "check" device like we're discussing.

    The main problem is that the OLSD still needs something to control it. Ed's board is a stand-alone, which is the real goal for the sort of "updated ILDA-Jem" that Hank was talking about.

    So Ed - how much?

    Adam

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    The main problem is that the OLSD still needs something to control it. Ed's board is a stand-alone, which is the real goal for the sort of "updated ILDA-Jem" that Hank was talking about.

    So Ed - how much?
    Maybe I'm not seeing it correctly, but don't both OLSD and Ed's unit use an Arduino for control, and a separate DAC for connecting to ILDA?

    My dream device is a little more compact, uses an Arduino mini, Feather, or RPi, and a very small DAC in the size of the ILDA-GEM Pocket. I don't know if such a device is possible, but like I said, it looks like LaserDock is 90% there and 200% the target price.

    Anyone ever crack open a LaserDock? What's the platform and is it hackable?

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    I didn't realize you had continued work on the OLSD project, Chris! Cool...

    I agree that Rob's "ILDA-Jem" is a great product, but Hank's desire for a portable unit that could also display actual test patterns is something I've often wished for as well. Of course, doing this adds a great deal of complexity, which is probably why Rob never went down that path.

    Ed's bench project looks intriguing! I wonder what the estimated cost is though.?. 16-bit resolution is ideal, but honestly the 12-bit resolution of the OLSD would probably have been good enough for a portable "check" device like we're discussing.

    The main problem is that the OLSD still needs something to control it. Ed's board is a stand-alone, which is the real goal for the sort of "updated ILDA-Jem" that Hank was talking about.

    So Ed - how much?

    Adam
    Yes... I have been twiddling around with it for a while. Mostly just supporting people around the globe who build their own. That pretty much serves the initial mission. Lately I have been going back and forth with a fellow in the Netherlands who is contemplating using it for driving a SLA 3d printer.

    The OLSD doesn't really need anything to control it to do test patterns. It has a bunch of patterns built in. Just supply it with power either through the barrel jack or through the USB port, connect it to a projector, and press the button on the OLSD board. It cycles through the test patterns at 12k color, 12k monochrome, 30k color, 30k monochrome.

    I like the options on the ILDA-Jem product, it just needs more test patterns.

    Of course everything is better at higher resolution however as in a lot of cases we need just enough to get the job done.

    As it sits now the whole package could be reduced to about 2 x the size of the DB25 connector. I just used an Arduino board because it is convenient and lets people use a large array of different controllers if they want.

    I think rewriting things to use a microcontroller with built in dual 12 bit DACs would be best for size. Then just use TTL color and it could be reduced to 2 to 3 ICs and a DC to DC converter.

    Most of my questions though are about user interface and what would be the minimum functionality to be useful.

  4. #64
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    Hello,

    The device I'm working on is self contained. Is uses an on-board microcontroller to generate the patterns and is, in effect, a complete DAC.

    When complete, it will be handheld. You plug it into a projector's ILDA connector, turn it on, press the 'enable output' button and a pattern is projected. User will be able to select different patterns and scan rate. Testing of the shutter and interlock will also be included.

    It has adjustments for the X/Y gain of the device's output.

    No external controller, PC or other hardware is needed.

    Not sure what cost will be until I have it done. I'm working to keep the circuit cost as low as possible. The most expensive part of a device like this is usually the enclosure and human interface stuff (Encoders, buttons, potentiometers, battery holder and displays). Once I have the device working like I want, I'll design the enclosure.

    I hope this was helpful.

    ED

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekeefe View Post
    Hello,

    The device I'm working on is self contained. Is uses an on-board microcontroller to generate the patterns and is, in effect, a complete DAC.

    When complete, it will be handheld. You plug it into a projector's ILDA connector, turn it on, press the 'enable output' button and a pattern is projected. User will be able to select different patterns and scan rate. Testing of the shutter and interlock will also be included.

    It has adjustments for the X/Y gain of the device's output.

    No external controller, PC or other hardware is needed.

    Not sure what cost will be until I have it done. I'm working to keep the circuit cost as low as possible. The most expensive part of a device like this is usually the enclosure and human interface stuff (Encoders, buttons, potentiometers, battery holder and displays). Once I have the device working like I want, I'll design the enclosure.

    I hope this was helpful.

    ED
    Cool! Keep us posted on your progress. I am very interested to see it completed. I am not sure how you feel about open source things or collaboration however if you get stuck or have questions feel free to PM me. Have you thought about starting a thread about your project?

  6. #66
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    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekeefe View Post
    Hello,

    The device I'm working on is self contained. Is uses an on-board microcontroller to generate the patterns and is, in effect, a complete DAC.

    When complete, it will be handheld. You plug it into a projector's ILDA connector, turn it on, press the 'enable output' button and a pattern is projected. User will be able to select different patterns and scan rate. Testing of the shutter and interlock will also be included.

    It has adjustments for the X/Y gain of the device's output.

    No external controller, PC or other hardware is needed.

    Not sure what cost will be until I have it done. I'm working to keep the circuit cost as low as possible. The most expensive part of a device like this is usually the enclosure and human interface stuff (Encoders, buttons, potentiometers, battery holder and displays). Once I have the device working like I want, I'll design the enclosure.

    I hope this was helpful.
    Very helpful, thanks Ed!

    Well, looks like my job is done here.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    10

    Default New arduinos

    Hi guys, first of all, thank you for this DAC, I really appreciate the work went in to this design.

    I've built one (V4B) and it works fine hardware wise, I mean I can see the built in test patterns and its all good, but I cant seem to be able to use it with any software, probably due to the new usb to serial interface they use in the UNO models. Do you think if there is a workaround for this?

    Thank you!

  8. #68
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    Mar 2015
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    Do you mean software as in the SDK? The only change to the Arduino's serial interface is the use of different USB to serial adapter chips, you just need to have the correct driver installed in the PC.

  9. #69
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    Jan 2019
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    No, I mean like the lasershowgen, for example. When you hit the "search for dacs" button, its not showing up as a selectable device, only the soundcard dac. Also, the provided test software can't see it either. (olsd test.exe)
    I do have all the drivers properly installed because I can use the arduino for other purposes, I can open serial monitor and communicate with the arduino if I upload my own sketches ect...

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by aszasza View Post
    Hi guys, first of all, thank you for this DAC, I really appreciate the work went in to this design.

    I've built one (V4B) and it works fine hardware wise, I mean I can see the built in test patterns and its all good, but I cant seem to be able to use it with any software, probably due to the new usb to serial interface they use in the UNO models. Do you think if there is a workaround for this?

    Thank you!
    Hi aszasza,

    The OLSD driver/software was written to work with a FTDI USB to Serial chip. Those were on the earlier Arudino's. There are still some newer Arduino derivatives that have them. That being said I have been working on a replacement driver that uses a regular serial port. What USB to Serial chip does your Arduino use? The only other requirement is that the USB to Serial chip have a flow control input (CTS I think). If you have one of the UNO knock offs with the CH340 that should work. I haven't been putting a lot of time into it (I do not have much hobby time) however I think I have some test code that you can try. Get back to me with your USB to Serial chip type and I will look for my code. I will try to find it today/this evening. I have been also trying to organize my code (it got really messy on computer... lots of versions) and get it onto GitHub. Thanks for building the OLSD DAC.

    Chris Favreau

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