Laser Show Control – BEYOND, GrandMAX, FB4 and ClubMAX Laser Projector

Laser show control from a lighting console is a popular topic right now as more and more lighting designers are entering the laser scene. At the recent Serpent Festival in Australia, Lighting Designer Greg Ellis of Pretty Lights performed a stunning laser light show, controlling the new ClubMAX 3000 lasers with FB4, from a GrandMA 2 console. Effect programming was done entirely using the Pangolin BEYOND software, and then run from the GrandMA 2 console. The team at Lumina Visual Production (Australia) provided the ClubMAX-FB4 3000 laser systems, for the event.

 


Show Tech

The new Pangolin FB4 hardware makes control of lasers from a lighting console easier than ever, with advanced support for all major lighting protocols, including DMX, ArtNET, Network and OSC, as well as common laser protocols including the standard “ILDA” connection.

Creating and controlling content for use with a lighting console, is very easy to do. Simply design your desired effects (using our popular QuickShow or BEYOND laser show software programs) and then save that content to the on-board memory, that comes standard with all FB4 hardware. Install one of our profiles for the lighting console of your choice (we support all major consoles) and then you can control the content you create in real-time. And this can also be done, with NO PC used, during the show performance.

On the laser projector side of things, all you will need a laser show system with Pangolin’s FB4 Network Hardware integrated. We at Pangolin provide a wide-variety of FB4 compatible lasers, that work in perfect harmony with both BEYOND or QuickShow laser show software, as well as with popular lighting consoles. You can see our lineup of FB4 compatible laser systems online, by Clicking Here.

When you use a laser with FB4, you also open up a lot more control possibilities as well. As these new lasers can be entirely controlled via DMX, ArtNet or Network. They also support the ILDA connection, if desired or required for your show. You can learn more about FB4, and see the various control possibilities available with this hardware, by Clicking Here.

Laser Show Projectors – How to make them last longer

Have you ever wondered…

Why did my laser projector fail?
Why is my laser projector less bright?
Why are my laser projector’s colors different? 

If you have asked yourself questions like these, don’t feel bad – You are not alone! Every day people around the world experience this very same issue, and have the unpleasant experience of having to deal with a broken or unusable laser show projector, that is the result of premature laser diode failure. And premature laser diode failure is caused in many cases, by electro-static discharge (ESD) and power surges. Thankfully, there is a solution, and it’s called LASORB!

THE PROBLEM WITH LASER DIODES
Nearly all laser show projectors, have laser modules inside. And inside most laser modules, are laser diodes. A laser diode is a small semiconductor device that produces coherent radiation. A diagram is shown below, illustrating what a standard professional laser show projector looks like. The picture next to this, shows you inside of the laser projector, so you can see what a typical laser module looks like. And next to that, you see inside the laser module, where the sensitive laser diodes live.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 5.58.57 PM

Laser diodes are very fast devices that react rapidly to changing voltage and current. And scientific evidence suggests that many laser diodes fail long before their life expectancy, in many cases, because of ESD and power surges that are generated during power on/off cycles. Voltage spikes are often produced at these times, and their cumulative effect on laser diodes is highly detrimental. Even a small ESD event or power surge, can substantially harm a laser diode to the point where it is noticeably less powerful, or in a worse case scenario, entirely unusable.  So if you have ever wondered “Why did my laser projector fail?, Why is my laser projector less bright?  or Why are my laser projector’s colors different? …  Chances are, an ESD related event or power surge, was the culprit.

WHAT IS NEEDED TO PROTECT A LASER DIODE
Based on our extensive testing and evaluation, we developed and patented a new method of protecting laser diodes — a hybrid component called LASORB, that keeps ESD and power surge spikes from exceeding the diode’s normal operating voltage. LASORB also absorbs high energy in the circuit until ESD and power surges subside, as current is shunted away from the diode. Thus, protecting your sensitive laser diodes, and ultimately, your valuable laser show projector.

HOW LASORB PROECTS LASER DIODES
LASORB’s primary means of protection is a slew-rate detector that monitors the voltage across the pins of the laser diode. If there is a fast change-of-voltage condition detected, this triggers LASORB to aggressively conduct the voltage (and thus current) away from the laser diode. The conduction is initiated very rapidly – in some cases less than one nanosecond. The conduction can last from several microseconds, to tens of microseconds.

THE SOLUTION

Next time you go to purchase a laser show projector, make sure to ask the manufacturer if LASORB is installed, on the laser diodes used within the unit. This is a sure-fire way, to get an idea of the quality of the system. LASORB is very inexpensive, and can cost as little as $2 for manufacturers to integrate. So if your provider is not using LASORB, ask them why! Think of it as an insurance policy for your laser projector, which will protect it from ESD and power surges. You can also integrate LASORB into your existing system, or you can browse Pangolin’s line of professional laser projectors, all of which feature the LASORB component, on each and every singe laser diode used. You can see our complete lineup of systems, at http://www.getalaser.com.

SEEING IS BELIEVING
Below you can watch a live video (shot with an iPhone, and not fancy editing) that shows LASORB in action, protecting the popular 520nm GREEN laser diodes, so commonly used across the laser show industry.