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LASERMAX Amiga Laser Shareware

Version 1.20 4-Sep-97 - Copyright 1997 by Anthony Barrett

Created and written by Anthony Barrett

 

UPDATE 12 Dec 2002: Anthony Barrett writes. "I am no longer supporting the Amiga LASERMAX software and therefore it would not be right to accept anymore shareware fees. If I remember correctly I did not include the manual for the software in an effort to encourage people to support the project and send in their shareware fee (well that didn't work!). Therefore I have attached the original manual (Word format) to distribute along with the software."

PLEASE NOTE: LASERMAX laser controller will ONLY run on 68020+ processors and Amiga OS v2.0 or higher. This archive may be freely distributed as long as this archive remains in its original form i.e. do not delete, add or change this archive in any way.

USE THIS PROGRAM AT YOUR OWN RISK. I DO NOT, AND WILL NOT, ACCEPT ANY RESPONSIBILITY IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM FOR ANY/ALL DAMAGES TO PERSONS, PROPERTY, EQUIPMENT, EYES OR HEALTH THAT MAY RESULT FROM ANY USE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

 

Introduction

LASERMAX LASER controller was original written for my own use. The software started as a laser hobby. I started with slow open loop scanners and wrote a quick program to generate lissajous patterns on my Amiga to drive them.
I then built up a cheap close loop scanner kit (see below) and proceeded to added text and graphics to this program. I later bought a pair of CT6800HP scanners and continued adding to this program until it is what you see now.
I think you will agree that this program has become professional quality.

I have now decided to release this software as SHAREWARE for other hobbyist/laserist to use and enjoy. The shareware fee is a mere $30 US$! So please, if you like this program and decide to use it, then show your support by paying the shareware fee. Depending on YOUR response I will keep developing this software and make updates available on the Internet through www.LaserFX.com.
You will also get the full manual and latest update e-mailed to you after you have paid the shareware fee. The manual contains important information on how to modify your Amiga and circuit diagrams for building the DC bi-polar amp and interface for driving CT6800HP and other Professional closed-loop scanners, colour and effects control.

This program may work with existing modifications done to your Amiga (e.g. for LSD1000) but first measure the output signal to check that it is no greater than 10 volts p-p BEFORE connecting to your scanners. Use the frame called "FullSizeBox2" as this will give the maximum peak to peak output signal.

You can also visit the Budget Laser graphics page which describes how to build the lowest cost possible laser graphics system that will produce entertainment quality [12K] graphics.

A summary of all the LASERMAX LASER controller commands can be found in the file called: LASERMAXCommands.text

 

Features

Version 1.10

  • 1. Lissajous pattern generator for low speed (open loop) scanner support - no modification required on the Amiga to run these scanners.
  • 2. Automatic beam sequence generation (record mode) which can be edited in your favourite text editor for fine tuning.
  • 3. Real time rotations, 3D spins and morph effects (can be done all at the same time!).
  • 4. Full featured frame creator/editor, with easy draw tools.
  • 5. Over a hundred on screen gadgets for real time show control.
  • 6. Real time scope display for show creation without a laser attached.
  • 7. Can import FireFly, ScanPlus, Aquarius, LSD1000, and ILDA frames. With heaps more to come...
  • 8. Limited TTL parallel port colour and effects control support. Full colour control on a standard Amiga is on the way...
  • 9. Serial port control support.
  • 10. Can sync two Amiga's together via the serial port to drive twin scanner head LASER systems.
  • 11. Runs on an Amiga 68020+ and OS 2.0 or higher.
  • 12. Written in assembler so it's fast and small!
  • 13. Works with already modified LSD1000 Amigas.

 

Installation

Installation is simple. Just copy all the files and directories to any directory on your hard drive and assign "LASERMAX:" to it. I recommend making a directory call "DH0:LASERMAX" and copy all files and directories into it. Then use your favourite text editor to add the following line into your "S:Startup-sequence":

Assign LASERMAX: DH0:LASERMAX

If you do not already have the "reqtools.library" in your "Libs:" directory then you will also need to copy the one supplied with this archive into your "Libs:" directory.
This software comes with all my own beam sequences and frames which I have used for shows.
Note: In Australia audience scanning is allowed (so there!). Therefore the beam sequences supplied may not be appropriate to your local safety regulations. Be sure to check the sequences and frames in your studio before using them at a show especially if your are using lasers over 100 mW.

 

Future improvements

The future of this software depends on YOU and your support! I would like to add the following features to this software:

  • 1) 16 bit output: I have reach the limit of the Amiga's 8 bit sound channels and now need to consider what to do next. The Amiga technology is fast becoming old and unless Gateway 2000 brings out an Amiga with 16 bit sound channels soon, I may have to change to the IBM PC and start from scratch. Or I could design a 16 bit DAC plug in board. Feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.
  • 2) Full colour support with blanking: Although this software supports parallel port TTL colour and effects control, I still need to sync this with the sound channels. This is not an easy job with standard Amiga hardware but it is possible by using interrupts (and a fast processor!). Also, I am a poor hobbyist and can not afford a white light LASER and PCAOM for testing. So this one depends on your support!
  • 3) MUI support
  • 4) Effects control panel
  • 5) Mark, cut and paste options
  • 6) Beam Sequence banks
  • 7) Multiple tracks for independent rotation effects etc
  • 8) Import LD pro frames (if I can work out their file format)
  • 9) Scrolling text
  • 10) DMX-512 support
  • 11) (Add your wish list here...)

 

DOWNLOAD the LASERMAX software archive [272Kb .LHA file]

DOWNLOAD the Manual as a zipped .doc file [38 KB]

 

DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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