Projector Table: Also
known as the Optical Table, this comprises the heart
of one type of laser effects system. The projector
integrates one or two lasers, provides for beam
combining and color modulation, as well as high speed
switching of the laser light to the various effects.
Both lasers are securely mounted to the projector
chassis, so the critical alignment necessary to
accomplish accurate beam positioning can be achieved.
The beams from both lasers are blended and sent
through a subtractive color select unit in the back
or lower half (if it is side-by-side or over/under
configuration) of the laser projector. The beam is
cleaned up by being passed through an aperture, and
then it emerges into the front or upper portion of
the laser projector. The front or upper portion is
essentially a large optical table, with 1/4-20 tapped
holes on a 1 inch square grid. This allows tremendous
flexibility of the projector components for whatever
configuration is needed. This projection system is
most useful in applications where the optical
components will be needed to be reconfigured
Projector Rail: This is a highly useful alternative
to the Projection Table. The projector integrates one
or two lasers, provides for beam combining and color
modulation, as well as high speed switching of the
laser light to the various effects, just as the table
does. Again, both lasers are securely mounted to the
projector chassis, so the critical alignment
necessary to accomplish accurate beam positioning can
be achieved. The beams from both lasers are blended
and sent through a subtractive color select unit in
the back half of the laser projector. The beam is
cleaned up by being passed through an aperture, but
here is where the difference between the table and
the rail becomes pronounced. In the Projection Table,
the laser beam travels across the top of the table,
parallel to its surface as it is switched to various
optical components. In the Projection Rail, the laser
beam stays within a light tight 4 inch square
extruded metal enclosure, within which all switching
is done. The beam for each port, when selected, is
reflected 90 degrees upward and emerges into one of
the several turrets mounted across the top of the
extruded housing. These turrets hold directable
mirrors, diffraction gratings, or motorized effects.
The rail is much smaller and easier to maintain than
the table, but not quite as flexible in component
layout. It is most useful in permanent applications.
or Galvo: This is a limited rotation
galvanometer. Scan mirrors or pick-off arms can be
placed on the shafts, to rotate
through approximately +/- 25 degrees for picking off
light or scanning the beam in one or 2 axes.
Head: This is the device that produces X/Y
or X/Y/Z (or X/Y/I , X/Y/B, or X/Y with blanking,
its all the same item) scanning of the laser
beam, usually for graphics. It includes 2 or 3
scanners (usually the feed-back variety) with scan
mirrors, the bracket that holds them, and whatever
other optical components are needed to direct the
beam through the device and out.
Scan Head: This is the device that does the
actual drawing of computer graphics, as well as
mid-air scanning effects. It is interfaced to the
QM32 board in your PC computer to run the LDPro Laser
Graphics Package via amplifiers. Often the signals
going to the amplifiers are conditioned for longer
runs with differential line drivers as a solution to
Amplifier: This is
an amplifier, usually with feed-back control, that
provides the drive current for the scanner
galvanometers. It may refer to only the P.C.
amplifier, or a package complete with gain and offset
controls and power supplies. It is used to translate
the low current signal to drive the scanners for
PCAOM: Crystal device that independently
varies intensity of red, blue, and green laser light
simultaneously in a single device. Allows simpler and
efficient high speed control of color changes for
thousands of color combinations. Also functions as an
extremely fast blanking device with full extinction
capability. This is one of the most important of
recent technological innovations for laser
Card or Board: This
is the low frequency amplifier that drives actuators
with mirror pick-off arms on them (for projector
pick-off positions). They differ from the scan amps
in that they dont have the capability for
feedback control of the galvo and they are usually
expected to perform an "ON/OFF" function.
Color Select: This
is accomplished by placing dichroic filters in the
beam paths, utilizing the same devices employed for
beam pick-off stations. Speeds of modulation of
approximately 20 Hz can be achieved. This technique
with argon and krypton lasers can give 7 discrete
are devices that will couple laser light into a fiber
optic cable, so the laser beam can be directed
elsewhere. They can be used with satellite
projectors, remote effects or remote X/Y scan heads.
This is exactly what the name implies; from one
pick-off position, 2 laser beams can be launched out
into the house to become part of an intricate
spider-web beam matrix, or to be directed to some
This is identical to the above dual positioner,
except 4 beams are launched instead of 2.
Matrix: One of the
main applications of the dual and quad beam
positioners when used in conjunction with remote
bounce mirrors is to create intricate spider web
matrices of laser beams throughout the house. The
bounce mirrors are placed through-out the viewing
area, above everyones heads. They are set such
that an individual laser beam from the main projector
would strike one mirror, then another mirror, finally
with the laser beam going onto a terminating
location. The zigzag patterns of the individual beams
of the matrix is especially useful in getting
everyone to look all around themselves because no one
is ever quite sure where the beams are coming from.
If a primary bounce mirror is place at the back of
the audience area, then its secondary one placed
somewhere in the front, each beam looks like 3 beams
(one from and to each mirror). With a dual positioner
the effect looks like 6 beams, with a quad
positioner, the effect looks like 12 beams!
reflective dielectric-overcoated front surface
mirrors mounted to aluminum plates on adjustable
yokes that mount to theatrical G-clamps. Holo-Spectra
also manufactures holographic diffraction gratings
used by many of the industrys laser companies.
Mirrors are 4 or 8 inch square depending on how many
bounces are used.
Wheel Effect: This
effect utilizes Austrian crystal rhinestones to
create hundreds of beams of various intensities, hues
and moving pathways. It is quite dramatic; when the
beams fall upon a surface, it looks like a 3-D
effect will project onto a surface several
multi-colored swirling clouds of light. It is
especially useful as a contrast to the dynamic,
forceful look of multiple laser beams shooting about.
This effect is much more fluid and languid.
is the finest 180 degree high transmittance
diffraction grating effect, capable of placing a
canopy of light over the entire audience area, made
up of hundreds of multi-colored beams sharing a
precise common 2 dimensional plane. For the first
time in laser entertainment systems, EffectsWizard
can control this device digitally as a stepper
position, in rotation, or in an automated jump mode
with color changes!
Scanner: A single
axis scanner with a larger than usual mirror is able
to provide several different scanned looks from
"Star Wars" laser battles to solid sheets
of colored light with shimmering hot spots within.
Often placed remotely from the projector and hit by a
bounce beam or fed by a fiber. With our
EffectsWizard, they are controlled digitally from
software with 3 oscillators capable of sine or square
wave and popcorn effects.
A 2-axis diffraction grating is placed onto a motor
shaft, and a pattern of hundreds of individually
colored lights are sent splashing out over the
viewing area. The motors are direction/speed
controllable. With our EffectsWizard, they are
controlled digitally from software.
Cone: An angled
mirror is placed onto a motor shaft and the rotation
of the laser beam produces a circular expanding cone.
This is usually used in a down-pour mode from above.
The motors are direction and speed controllable. With
our EffectsWizard, they are controlled digitally from