SpectraScan II Laser Entertainment System Configuration & Pricing

Holo-Spectra designs and configures all entertainment systems custom to the purchaser’s needs. We do not feel laser entertainment systems are commodity items and when they are provided that way it is to the customer’s disadvantage.

This configuration guide will lead the purchaser through the options available in each choice subdivision and provide helpful perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of the different options. Our division of systems starts with Laser Choice, references the Optics Projector Head (which attaches to the Laser) next, and continues with Control & Software Elements, Remote Effects, and Optional Special Effects.

We encourage the use of our laser glossary and the specification sheets for the LD Software. This will strengthen your overall understanding of laser entertainment systems..

Choosing the Laser Source

The choice of the laser or lasers to use in a system is a most important one in determining the system’s function and cost. Important categories of choice are laser type or gas fill type, output power, cooling type, and condition (that is whether the system is new or partly refurbished). These choices and the function the system will be used for will determine choices in the other categories.

Until recently, only gas lasers were used in laser entertainment. The earliest systems and currently those of hobbyists used the air cooled Helium-Neon gas filled lasers for red output. These lasers are low output (never more than 100mw) and typically around 5 mw. In the low power range, they are suitable for show and image design work and editing in preparation for shows or presentations. From 15 mw and higher, they can be used for graphic scanning on surfaces 3-4 foot square when viewed in darkened environments. For beamwork or volumetric display, they are barely acceptable in totally darkened smoke filled smaller areas. The beams are only clearly seen when they are coming right at you.

15 mw Refurbished He-Ne and supply $975

The gas ion lasers are the primary lasers of choice for laser entertainment. Argon lasers emit the blue and green colors and krypton have these color lines as well as yellow and red. It is important to understand that these two laser types look exactly the same and the differences in their design (besides the gas filling of the tube) is small. However, the total light output of the two gases is very different. For the same beam quality, an argon will output more than four times as much power as a pure krypton laser. In the past, krypton lasers were chosen and used only for red and yellow output and the argons were used for stronger output in the primary blue-green. Today, the most popular ion laser is the mixed gas or whitelight laser. Argon and krypton gases are mixed giving a laser that has less power than the same size argon but outputs the total range of colors which when seen in the mixed state appears slightly pinkish white. The mixed gas laser is also more expensive than the same size argon because of a more expensive tube and optics.

The smallest lowest cost ion laser is the air cooled argon. There are also air cooled mixed gas lasers available. Power can range from 10 mw up to a full watt. These lasers are also suitable for editing and design consoles and are used in many small clubs with low budgets. They can be very effective graphic display lasers and in smaller spaces enjoyable beam lasers. For new systems, we are recommending the youngest company to offer air cooled lasers, Laser Physics. Their units have good output power to cost ratios and are conveniently packaged with the power supply and air cooling all in one box.

Laser Physics Reliant 300M 300mw Argon $6900

Laser Physics Reliant 300WC 300mw Whitelight Mixed Gas $10,350

Laser Physics Reliant 1000M 1W Argon $9200

The standard installation ion laser is referred to as a small frame laser. This laser requires water cooling and typically will run on 240VAC three phase power. The water cooling can use either a custom closed-loop system, a manufactured water-recycling chiller system, or a continuous water flow system. Systems that need really bright beaming effects choose the argon ion laser for its higher total output power. Coherent’s modern Innova design of metal/ceramic tubes is the best choice in the world for new laser systems. The newest model is the Purelight Star II which features a whitelight system with automatic internal alignment system so you never need to clean or tune the optical cavity!

Coherent 5W Argon Skylight System $23,500

Coherent 3.5W Whitelight Purelight Standard System $27,500

Coherent 3.5W Whitelight Purelight Star II System $30,500

Both the Coherent and Laser Physics lasers have one-year warranties with repairs to be made in the US. You have the option from Coherent for an additional $3500 for an international warranty transfer where any necessary repair or replacement will be made by an engineer stationed in your area of the world. (Coherent still charges for travel expenses however!) This would give the fastest service.

Holo-Spectra is famous for our refurbished laser systems. These are newly built or rebuilt tubes with new optics inside of refurbished laser heads and with refurbished power supplies. They are very clean systems and outstanding relative bargains for the cost-conscious. They also include our complete one-year warranty. Note how you can save $10,000 on a system with a new tube and the same warranty!

Coherent 5W Argon CR-4 Refurbished System $9800

SpectraPhysics 5W Argon Md. 164/168 Refurbished System $11,000

SpectraPhysics 3.5W Whitelight 164 Colorshot w/ New Tube $15,200

For outdoor installations or very large indoor facilities, large frame lasers are used. These systems are longer versions of the small frame systems with much higher output powers. They use 440VAC at three phase.

New Coherent Skylight Star SL 400A 20W Argon $68,500

New Coherent Purelight Star PL 400A 10W Mixed Gas $68,500

SpectraPhysics 20W+ Md 171 Argon Refurbished $24,000

SpectraPhysics 15W 171 Whitelight Refurb w/new SP tube $34,000

The newest lasers to be used in laser entertainment are the diode and solid state family. For a very small graphics projection system, you can use a diode-pumped doubled YAG. These lasers are small, air-cooled, and very reliable and long lived. Their cost is rapidly overtaking air-cooled argon lasers on a per milliwatt basis. Output is a single color lime-green. There are also pulsed YAG systems for outdoor use with very high power. These cost around $60,000.  We really love these new diode-pumped solid-state doubled lasers.  Our units are small, TTL modulatable, and very BRIGHT!

HS-DPSSG 5 mW Green $465

HS-DPSSG 10 mW Green $750

Choosing Optics Head/Table

To design a lower cost system with high quality, a key decision you can make is to only use a scan head without additional beam pick-offs or effects. Because today’s scan heads and electronics are so accurate, you can use the scan head to launch your beam bounces and patterns with little loss of accuracy. The limitations are that all the beam launches must be within the pattern of the scan cone which is 30 degrees and if you have long beam runs with multiple mirror bounces, you will need to realign the beam hit often.

All our scan heads use Cambridge 6800 family high speed scanners. These are the fastest scanners manufactured in the world. The basic scan head has an X and a Y scanner moving orthogonally under computer synchronization. To this you must add the blanking function which will turn on and off or break the beam also at high speed. In a professional system today, this blanking is part of the color control PCAOM. In other words, the same part that selects colors also turns the whole laser beam on and off. In an economy system that is not using a multicolor laser, money can be saved by using scanner blanking even a slower model G124 scanner. Also, in lower cost systems that use the newer diode lasers or solid-state lasers, you can modulate the laser electronically to accomplish the blanking function.

Our Most Popular Laser Graphics Engine: SpectraScan Cambridge Scan Head w/ integral PCAOM system & Electronics $7100

Newest high-speed high-performance scanners with ceramic bearings, 8-channel PCAOM with easy to align mount, and elegant brushed aluminum cabinet (rackmountable) with multicolor winkie on front panel to report all is well. You can also have scanner fuses front panel mounted for fast emergency changes. Just add software from below for professional graphics display.

Economy Configurations:

new!rotate.gif (12646 bytes)    Catweazle XY Scan Engine, includes drivers and feedback scanners with mirrors    $995      WOW!

Use diodes or a solid state laser for modulation blanking or add a PCAOM and an ion laser.  Look at the fantastic package we have built around this scan engine:    Cat's Meow


Cambridge Scan Head w/ G124 blanking & Electronics $4100

Cambridge Scan Head w/ G124 blanking, 2-Color Flag Insertion (for Argon) & Electronics $4900


Beam Actuators and Projection Tables

STP 8X Integrated Beam Actuators, includes arm, mirror, mount, and driver  $75 in single quantity, $68 in quantity

You can have a small table launch setup in which the scanner sends beams to a few pick-offs placed on the outside edge of the scan cone. This is a medial economy solution where you have to launch effects that go outside of the normal scan cone limits.

4 Launcher Relay Points on Optics Base $700

Professional systems of course use solenoid pickoff arms and have the scan head as one port of many. Table systems are the most common and versatile but rail systems are efficient, use less space, and cost less. Here are examples of two basic projector assemblies.


  10-Port Table Projector 



LitePipe LP-2

Compact Rail Projector

The Control System

The essential control element of SpectraScan II systems is the LD (LaserDesigner) software which runs under Win95 on a standard PC and includes a QuadMod32 (QM32) board in the LD Pro configuration. This board is like a laser computer inside your computer as it has its own microprocessor, memory, and output conversion electronics. The LD Pro software creates and edits images, animations, 3D rotations, abstracts, sheets, cones, beam launches, and complete music-synchronized shows. It can be used for playback and performance of your created elements. The drag-and-drop ShowTime module is also part of the LD software package. Three versions are available: LD Pro, LD Basic, and LD Playback Only.

Holo-Spectra’s SpectraScan II BeamWizard software can be used for live beamshows with sequences, realtime graphic playback effects, animations, ShowTime shows, and 10 pre-made scrolling text messages. It can run with the LD Playback card where shows are premade and the site is only interested in playing these shows without editing or changes. Of course, the software packages include thousands of images. One of our most powerful programs is the Graphic Converter which can take PC vector clipart and fonts from all Windows supported alphabets and turn them into laser viewable images.

LasershowDesigner2000 Pro w/ 16-bit QM2000 $6995

LasershowDesigner2000 Basic  $3795

LasershowDesigner2000 Intro or  Playback Board   $1995

Outstanding Powerful Introductory System

For clubs and discos that want a large library of world-class laser imagery to play for their clients and need little creation capability, this combination system is easily the best and most affordable in the world!

Wizard2000 Live Beam & Graphic Play, Animations, & Scrolling Text--Thousands of Images & more than 40 Shows w/ LD2000 Intro and QuadMod board $2495

Other SpectraScan Software

LD Graphic Converter Image Creation, Conversion, & Editing $ 775

SpectraScan FxWizard Table & Hardware Effects Control $ 625

The SpectraBeam Tables and Rails can be controlled from EffectsWizard or with SMPTE synchronization from LD ShowTime. If you prefer external hardware controls, we use the Leprecon lighting board controller.

Leprecon LM-850 Computer Assisted Lighting Controller Board $1225

Remote Effects

The most common remote effect is the bounce mirror. A front surface mirror must be used for laser light efficiency and dielectric enhanced is an added quality increase. We use enhanced mirrors from the largest US manufacturer. The mirrors should be mounted on plates and yokes allowing fine and coarse position adjustment. The yokes can be directly mounted or held on theatrical G-clamps. We produce holographic diffraction grating effects from our masters in electroless nickel tanks. They are very high efficiency in both cross and straight patterns and have vacuum deposited chrome overcoat

4" square mirrors on positioning yokes $70

8" square mirrors on positioning yokes $135

4" square metal diffraction effect reflectors on positioning yokes $175

new!rotate.gif (12646 bytes) RoboLase DMX-triggered Programmable Positionable Bounce Mirror    $379

Cone generators are a standard effect seen in product presentations and disco environments. They are a combination of a rotating positionable mirror on an effects yoke.

Remote mounted Cone Effect Module $725

Sheet scanners are larger scan motors with a big mirror mounted on an effect plate with positioning yoke. By placing them far from the primary projector point and launching a beam toward it, you can create a sense of laser energy coming from a new location and do so for far less cost and trouble than a fiber delivery system. The scanner and amp can use an electronic signal source or PC generated signals or software control from our EffectsWizard and BeamWizard programs..

Single Axis Sheet Scanner on Effect Plate with Amp $1450

Effect Signal Source w/ Multiple Oscillator $2150

Fiber delivery systems are the most professional approach for creating satellite laser sources remote from your laser and projector location. Usually these remote sites will have a full X-Y scan head for graphics and atmospheric effects.

Fiber input and output subsystem and 100’ high quality fiber $1450

Optional Special Effects

If you have a projector rail or table, you can launch or mount other effects on it other than bounce beams or X-Y scanners. For example, you can send beams to mirror balls or cone generators or remote single axis scanners. You can also have table-mounted diffraction and lumia effects. The most popular and most beautiful effect is the 180 degree fiber-grating effect which generates a plane of dense multicolor beams. Lumia wheels give a continuously evolving stellar web of color strands. For rotating multitudes of individual multicolored points, dual motorized diffraction wheels are stunning effects.

Machida Fiber-Grating Effect $795

Digital Motorized Lumia Wheel $720

Digital Dual Motorized Diffraction Wheel $795

Rhinestone Motor Wheel $635

[Dividing Line Image]

[Home][What's New][Products & Services][Contents][Feedback][Search]

Send mail to bill@lasershs.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2002 Holo-Spectra Inc.
Last modified: January 06, 2000