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Thread: USB/DMX... Pangolin vs ?

  1. #1
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    Default USB/DMX... Pangolin vs ?

    I own a very old 10w Spektronica copper bromide laser that includes a mirror scanning system controlled by 3-pin DMX. I am looking for a cost effective USB to DMX interface and software control to create simple sweeping sheets, cones etc.

    Is Pangolin the best way to go? Tips? Suggestions?

    Sorry if this has been discussed...

  2. #2
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    What you can do with the laser via DMX will depend on the capabilities of the built-in DMX control. While Beyond (and QuickShow?) can do DMX output, that's not really their main focus, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you're already using Beyond/QS for laser control.

    For dedicated DMX control, the cheapest option is probably QLC+, which is free, and can be used with low-cost DMX interfaces like the Enttec Open DMX (or any other simple FTDI-based USB to DMX interfaces). QLC is good for very basic control and simple testing, but rather clunky, and if you want to do any real programming, you want real control software.

    The next step up would be either Elation Onyx or Chamsys MagicQ. Both give you several universes of output for free as long as you have a suitable DMX interface. With Onyx, you get four universes via Art-Net or sACN, or one universe via an Enttec USB interface. Chamsys gives you 64 universes via Art-Net/sACN, and I think it also supports the Enttec USB interfaces. (Note that Enttec has both the low-cost Open DMX and the more expensive DMX pro interfaces, I'm not sure if Onyx/Chamsys support the Open DMX interfaces.)

    These are both real, pro-grade lighting control systems, so they're going to be more complicated to learn and are really going to be overkill for a single laser with basic DMX control, but you'll have a ton of control and a good platform to add additional lighting or laser systems to later on.

    If you're willing to spend a bit more money, lots of other options open up. For <$1000 you can be up and running with just about any lighting control platform on PC, from the musician-oriented DMXIS to the other pro brands like Avolites, Hog, ETC (not MA though, they're in the ~$2k range for their OnPC hardware). Most will give you Art-Net or sACN output, but you only get DMX via USB with their proprietary interfaces.

  3. #3
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    I just bought Entec's DMXIS box for my place of Worship, as we have led strips all over the place for special holiday services, and the odd superbowl party.

    I've had VERY bad experiences with their under 100$ products, but I can tell you that DMXIS is very good for an intro system and quite flexible.

    https://www.enttec.com/product/contr...oftware/dmxis/

    The whole purpose of buying it, is that it is designed for musicians, not superstar lighting professionals.

    Our other sound guys and the musicians spent five minutes with me learning it, and the reply was "We don't need you anymore", which after being the sole lighting volunteer for three years, was in some ways bittersweet, but also good that others wanted to learn. They wanted NOTHING to do with my traditional slider based consoles.

    The support forum by the coder of the software is quite good too...

    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

  4. #4
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    Not to dispute anyone here but I find the DMX features of Beyond and Quickshow very capable. I use Beyond exclusively for controlling my Halloween display ever year. DMX sequences can be programed with as many steps as you want, block changes between the steps or gradual. These sequences can be saved to cues and the cues can be plugged into a timeline with music and other and other cues. You can then stretch the cues along the timeline which will repeat the sequence until the end of stretched cue or will change the speed of steps in the sequence to match the length of the stretched cue.

    As far as DMX, both Beyond and Quickshow are identical. Not a cheap route to go but it is very capable in its simplicity. If you want a cheaper route... Enttec with Venue Magic. Large online community and an extensive YouTube library of training videos that are broken down by lesson if you're only looking to learn one portion of the software.

  5. #5
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    Hi, all!
    Here you can watch QuickShow https://youtu.be/AbZEhoewUi4 and Beyond https://youtu.be/doUGE2BSfik video tutorials

  6. #6
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    Default testing with qlc+

    Fantastic help. Thank you very much. Greatly appreciated.

    So far I have a DMXKing 3-pin DMX to USB adapter plugged into my Mac laptop using QLC+ to test.

    Everything seems to work ok but I am not clear what I am really looking at until I get a beam going.
    I will relocate to a safe location in a week or so before I fire it up and test further.

    Anyone have/know an existing "profile" for this beast?

    Here is a link for discussion. any input would be great.
    https://youtu.be/eizdeVYnxAQ
    Last edited by idk; 06-27-2019 at 20:24.

  7. #7
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    Those are some satisfying sounds! What vintage is the scanning/effect system?

    If you don't have a manual for it, then you can probably figure out the personality by fiddling with the channels. The basic operation is probably fairly simple, although it's possible that there is more sophisticated functionality that would be hard to figure out. Some systems use macro sequences (like, channel 1 to 128, channel 2 to 255, wait five seconds, channel 2 to 0) to do certain things (like lamp strike/off on discharge fixtures). I don't know if your system would have anything like that, you'd really need a manual to know.

  8. #8
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    My take on your video based on edumakated 49 second view (is that a word>?) guesses.
    ~

    Video time stamp:
    0:04 Master Shutter
    0:08 pick off yellow only dichroic filter
    0:10 Spinning linear diffraction grating, produces a flat array of beams that spin.
    0:12 Tilted spinning mirror is a "Cone Scanner" or "Down Cone"
    0:49 XY scanner using the stepper motors.
    ~

    Methinks you have a split yellow / green dual horizontal scan system you have not figured out how to command yet.

    I also think I see XY scan size and offset on sliders 1&2 when the XY scanner is enabled.
    ~

    Aberry, very late 90s early 2000s , I knew the guy who specified it. I've scanned images with a version of this with different galvos. But I never saw this version of the CVL Projector in person.
    `

    I'm guessing the Galvo is a later Selwyn Lissack Design, similar to that in US Patent 5105139A or US4316648A aka a "Laserworks" galvo.

    I can't find Selwyn's old web site so maybe he has left the market.
    EDIT: Selwyn: http://www.dalihologram.com/moreaboutsel.html


    Steve
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CVL projector.png  

    Last edited by mixedgas; 06-28-2019 at 09:42.
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
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  9. #9
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    You guys are awesome.

    Next I have questions about finding replacement mirrors (some are loosing coatings around edges) and how to set the set point temp without a manual. But I will post that in a new thread.

  10. #10
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    slow galvo in question:
    Click image for larger version. 

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