A revolution is taking place in the laser entertainment industry, as more and more clients begin to shift to complete network setups, using Pangolin’s proprietary FB4 Network-based Laser Control Hardware, which acts as a media server for laser and multimedia shows.
For many years, the laser industry has used the common “ILDA” cable, as the standard connection for setting up and controlling laser shows. In reality, an “ILDA cable” is nothing more than a DB-25 male to female cable, featuring a 25-pin connection (commonly used in the printing industry). While this means for sending a signal from control software and hardware to a laser has sufficed, it has also presented substantial limiting factors for many clients, making it harder and harder to do larger scale, more sophisticated laser displays.
Some of the challenges when working with ILDA cables include:
- Short cable runs – When using ILDA cable, you are generally limited to a maximum run of around 150ft (50M). When extending the cables further, you may notice a loss in the signal or quality of output. And for large scale productions, stadium shows, and festival shows, this has proven to be a severe limiting factor.
- ILDA cables are a nightmare to run, especially through trussing. The bulky “heads” on ILDA cables easily get tangled, and make it quite challenging to work with.
- ILDA cables are very sensitive, and the pins on them can easily bend and break. When this occurs, you have a loss in signal running to the laser, that can lead to distortion in the laser effects and shows that are being displayed, or, in even worse case situations, it can impede the safety of the laser projector as a whole.
- When using ILDA cables, you can only drive some many lasers from a single control position. Making it it hard to drive large scale shows, where multiple projectors are used.
A better approach – The Advantages of using Lasers with FB4
FB4 is a new network control hardware from Pangolin, that acts as a media server for laser and multimedia shows. FB4 can be integrated directly inside of a laser projector, so that you no longer have to use the outdated ILDA cable. Instead, all of your laser shows and displays, can be controlled entirely in a network setup.
When working with FB4, you have a variety of control solutions to choose from, allowing you as the artist to decide what control configuration is best for your needs. Common control configurations include:
Streaming Mode – Where you simply run a network cable from your PC running Pangolin software (QuickShow or BEYOND) to the projector, and you are setup and done.
Lighting Console Mode – Just program the desired laser effects and shows you want in Pangolin software, and save this to FB4’s memory. Then, run DMX or ArtNet from your console to the back of the laser, and you are setup and done. No PC is required, when actually running the shows (unless you want to use one).
Auto-Mode – With our auto-mode feature, you can design any laser effects or shows you want in Pangolin software, and save them to the proprietary memory on FB4. FB4 has a built in clock, which you can then set to a specified date and time, and this will then run your content back automatically, without the need for a PC in the show setup, or at the control station. And, if you need to change or update content, you can do this over a network cable, without having to physically “go to” the laser.
FB4 is currently available in four different versions, including FB4 Standard, FB4 ILDA, FB4 DMX and FB4 MAX. A detailed page discussing FB4, and the various configurations and control setups that are possible, can be found by Clicking Here.
We also have a full line of lasers available, featuring integrated FB4 hardware standard. And these are available at great rates, through the Pangolin Projector Referral Network. Find out more, see pricing, and place an order, by Clicking Here.