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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Digest

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First quarter 2003

Items removed from the Newsletter section of the Backstage Area originally posted during the first quarter [January, February, March] 2003.

NOTE: Links on destination sites are often changed.  We provide the digest pages for archival purposes and the links to external sites were working when the material was originally published but may no longer be working.

What's New

New products and services of interest to laserists. Submit your new product information and images in .gif or .jpg format to our E-mail or contact us.

Box Laser RT16 Controller System Introduced

The Box Laser RT16 is a system for controlling industry standard ILDA laser projectors, with a focus on use in a live environment, at a cost of less than half of the nearest competitor in its class.
The Box RT16 laser show system consists of the Box Producer stand-alone 16 bit laser controller unit and the Box Performer show design/live performance software.

Box Performer - A Windows software package

Box Producer - An external interface that connects to an ILDA spec laser projector. It controls high-speed X/Y scanners at 16 bit resolution and 8 TTL outputs.

Box Producer R/T Features:

  • Parallel Port Interface

  • 16bit High Resolution X/Y Scanner output

  • 8 TTL outputs

  • Small External Footprint

Box Performer - A Windows software package that can produce and edit live shows in real time. Box Performer uses a sequencer style control system that mirrors the design of popular drum machines, allowing the user a high level of control over a performance. Box Performer also allows the user to play single animations directly from the console, including adding built in effects like strobe, rotation and zoom.
In addition, Box Performer includes assignable projection areas, a real time abstracts engine with dual oscillators and algorithms, an effects editor, a comprehensive beam editor, a TTL sequencer, and real time animation effects.

Info: http://www.boxlaser.com/Products/products.html or info@boxlaser.com

LD2000 Update available from Pangolin

The latest update for LD2000 (version 2.50) is available for download from the Pangolin web site. This is a major update with the following additions:

  • Latest versions of LD2000, Showtime and Autoplay with new features, enhancements and bug fixes

  • A new Enhanced Reality Preview window which gives a near-perfect rendition of graphics and beams (check it out!!)

  • VST2002 real time video tracing system -- a dramatic update to the award-winning VST program from MediaLas

  • Winamp AVS/Laser plug-in for real time interactive music visualizations

  • Two new shows from the award-winning laserist Johannes Coppes

  • A new show specifically designed for Live and Lasershow Performer

We have worked very hard on this update and I am sure that all users of LD2000 will enjoy the new features, programs and shows.

Info: http://www.pangolin.com/Downloads-LD2000_updates.html

6.5 Watt Red solid state laser from CTA

It is finally here! CTA of San Francisco announces 6.5 watts of RED! from 110 volts , air cooled, and the box is only two feet by one foot, with a ROUND BEAM! So far, the laser industry has not produced anything in the 650 wavelength in this much power with a round collimated beam. This laser gives a one inch beam at 100 feet and 2 inches at 200 feet and not much more. Just like many ion lasers.

 6.5 watt Red solid state laser in action

So here is the idea. We will offer this laser for rent or lease to test the market first, so for all your green shows so you can mix it with green and give the appearance of many colors along with yellow. Tired of just green? E-mail CTA at lasers@inreach.com or call 415 566 9100. Ever stand next to 5watts of red? It is very bright!"

Info: lasers@inreach.com or call 415 566 9100    

World Scan

News items about laser show technology, installations and special events/shows from around the world as well as social items relating to laserists. Our "Pluses" items cover laser items from the mainstream media.

Pangolin Prize Winners

The Annual Pangolin Meeting took placer in Orlando Florida on Saturday 23 November 2002 with around 40 people in attendance.  Over an hour of show material was presented for judging in the Annual Pangolin Prize contest . The group of shows being judged this year were all outstanding, but the best works as judged by the 40 people present were:


  • 1st Place:   "Zoo Nites" from Laser Force

  • 2nd Place:  "Fish Heads" from Laser Fantasy

  • 3rd Place:   "Music" from Audio Visual Imagineering


  • 1st Place:    "Hyper" from HB Laser Komponenten

  • 2nd Place:   "La Luna" from DTL

  • 3rd Place:   "Summer" from Johannes Coppes/ Laser Presentations

The First Place winners will receive $500 in cash and a $500 credit towards any Pangolin products. Second Place winners will receive $250 in cash and a $250 credit towards any Pangolin products. And Third Place winners will receive $125 in cash and $125 credit towards any Pangolin products.


Laser Fantasy Sold

Laser Fantasy International has been purchased by Robert Baldridge. Bob brings over 30 years of management and operations experience to our company. He is positioning LFI for growth and a larger global presence.
Floyd Rollefstad is now the Vice President of Technology and Development. He will concentrate on technology advances, new products and major projects. Together, with the entire LFI team, we plan to bring state-of-the-art products, new concepts and exciting innovations to the international marketplace.

Personal notes on ILDA 2002
By William Benner, Jr.

Just a few brief notes about ILDA 2002. These notes represent my own personal perspective, and do not reflect any official ILDA or Pangolin capacity. Although I do not often write "on a personal level", I am excited about a few things and I want to share them with you.
This year's annual ILDA meeting was very good. You will read some of the day-by-day details below.

The first official day of ILDA there was mainly the ATW. This year there were 13 presentations including some new scanners, lasers, software and other accessories, and I am pleased to say that everyone who signed up to present, was present to present. However, Greg Makhov was not able to make his presentations due to his being very busy with continual hosting duties.

During the second day we had some committee meetings, including the Technical Committee meeting. The Technical Committee Meeting this year was historic in that we made significant movement in three areas:

  • A) The adoption of a Terminology and alpha-numeric code for gratings;

  • B) Clarification of wording with respect to the ISP standard document ;

  • C) The addition of a new method to put 24-bit color into the ILDA Data interchange file format. I am particularly excited about this because, as many of you might recall, all three of these were championed by myself several weeks before the meeting. It was an amazing task to bring all three significant points to a close in such a short time.

After the committee meetings there were the Business Meetings, which were actually recently renamed the "Membership meetings". During the membership meetings there was a tremendous zeal for the industry. Lots of people made valuable contributions and it was a very positively-charged and passionate meeting and the first time that pretty much all ILDA attendees were present, and left happy. The meeting ran around an hour or so over schedule. Nevertheless, significant progress was made in many areas. I will leave the details for some official post from ILDA, but I will say that a new "MASCOM" committee was formed to look at opportunities in Marketing, Advertising and Synergy.

 During the meeting, the two open director seats were voted on and both myself and Jim Hardaway were voted in as directors, replacing Craig Nelson and Tony Zmorenski. A few minutes later, Steve Heminover was voted as president, and this was especially aided by Jim Hardaway and my campaign
speech . Although we were both honored to be nominated for the presidency, we also both recognize the huge responsibility that this is and neither one of us were ready to serve as President.

As an aside, I am very excited to be working with Jim Hardaway. Jim and I have historically seen eye-to-eye on many issues. Although he may come across very strongly from time-to-time, I do believe that his political skills are ever increasing.

During the evening of the second day, there was the LaseOff. This was the first time that members got to see, first hand, the awesome effort put on by the hosts and in particular, LSDI. The room was the perfect size and the perfect layout with a large central screen for laser graphics, a smaller screen on the left and right for video, and lots of mirrors and beam projectors. In all, I think there were a total of six projectors doing beams and graphics. The buffet-style dinner was excellent and there were enough food choices to appease even a picky guy like myself. And of course, all of the laser shows presented were excellent quality.

During the third and final day, there was another Technical Committee meeting in the morning. During this meeting, the technical committee collectively decided that my efforts are best applied to director responsibilities and therefore Michael Sollinger was selected as the new Technical Committee Chair. During the meeting, Michael pledged that he would do his best and I wish him well. In addition, Matt Pollack has replaced Walt Simmons as a voting member. Back in January of 2002, Walt Simmons moved away and took a non-laser-related job.

Later that day, I gave a re-cap of my DMX seminar that I have given once before at ILDA in Stuttgart. I am happy to say that this year, my DMX seminar was not the highest-attended seminar. The reason I am happy about this are several fold. First, it shows that many people have already learned about and used DMX 512. Second, there were other important seminars running concurrently and I am glad to see that members seem to be expanding their interests into area that are not exclusively technical.

After my DMX seminar, Cory Simpson put on a seminar about the ILDA Jam. This was a very interesting project that Cory Simpson championed, along with significant contributions by Craig Nelson and Robert Mudryk. The seminar was awesome and it covered all aspects from the original idea to the logistics and planning, to the tools used, etc. I am skipping ahead a bit here, but later that evening, Cory was recognized with a special ILDA award and standing ovation for this effort.

The last seminar of the day (that I know of) was an "Introduction to doing Laser Shows with 3D Studio MAX" put on by Chuck Rau. Chuck said that he really didn't have much sleep the night before and, because of that, he felt that he really wasn't able to give it a 100% effort. Nevertheless, I believe that this was very well received, especially since so many of the Lase OFF pieces and ILDA Award winners in recent years have been made using 3D Studio MAX. As far as I could tell, Chuck's seminar was the highest attended seminar. This actually marks a significant shift because in my observation, the attendees seemed to be more technology oriented than art-oriented. I am happy to see this shift, although I recognize that a seminar involving 3D Studio can be both artistic and technical at the same time.

During the evening, many people attended the awards banquet. The real laser fun began with a powerful piece put together specifically for ILDA Awards by Rob DiAddezio. And, like the LaseOff, the awards had the same professionalism and excitement. Although there was some confusion as to who would MC the Awards, Steve Heminover once again entertained us with is quick wit and often misunderstood sense of humor...

All in all, it turned out to be a great conference. I know many people had some reservations about what it would be like, including myself, but this year the real difference was the attitude of the attendees. It seems that when times were economically great, people could afford to be arrogant,
self-centered and downright argumentative (especially during business meetings). But now, people are willing to set aside their differences, work together and get things done. And there are new people in the mix who are willing to step forward and head committees. As I think back, I can't remember a single negative sentiment expressed in the business meeting which is of course, in and of itself, historic. Everyone walked out with a renewed sense of zeal for the industry. People are expecting great things to happen. As a new board member, I am hoping to help fulfill that promise.

William Benner

Lowell Product Development gets it's knuckles rapped by CDRH

Lowell Products Development (LPD) of Marysville in Washington state, USA, has received a nastygram signed by Larry D. Spears, acting director of the office of compliance of the CDRH.  In the letter, the CDRH cites a number of violations that LPD is alleged to have made in manufacturing and variance procedures.  It also inform LPD that their variance will not be considered for renewal until corrective action has been taken.
You can  download a copy of the letter in .PDF format HERE


Call for papers and presentations at the 2002 ILDA ATW

You are invited to present a new product or interesting technology at the upcoming Advanced Technology Workshop of the International Laser Display Association (ILDA).
This invitation is extended to manufacturers of laser or lightshow-related products, research labs with innovative ideas for laser or lightshow-related technologies and other individuals who wish to assess the applicability of non-laser related technologies to the field of laser display.
The Advanced Technology Workshop, now in its tenth year, is a forum for technology development as well as a showcase of new products. Vital laser display products are developed and commercialized at the ATW, where technology and product manufacturers come together with laser display industry developers. Manufacturers can perform market-wide research and determine key direction and parameters, and ILDA members can learn about the latest technology developments. 
Paper presentations are typically 10 to 30 minutes in length. New product and interesting technology presentations are typically 5 to 15 minutes in length. There is an additional 3 to 5 minutes given at the end of each presentation for questions.

The ILDA conference is the annual meeting of the International Laser Display Association (ILDA). ILDA members participate in many aspects of laser display technology, with a strong focus on the laser entertainment and commercial information display industries.
The ATW is held as the first event of the ILDA conference and is open to all members, technical and non-technical alike. The tentative time for the ATW is Sunday, November 24, 09:30 - 12:30 and 14:30 - 16:00. There are other ILDA events which extend through the end of Tuesday, November 26.  You must be an ILDA member to attend this event.

There is no cost to present at the ATW, and ILDA membership is not required to be a presenter. However, if a presenter wishes to attend any other events associated with the ILDA conference, he/she must be an ILDA member.
In order to make sure that the ATW runs as smoothly as possible, and that it continues to carry a professional image:

  • Once you are accepted as a presenter, you are expected to be present at your designated time. The scheduling takes into account the amount of setup time required, as well as the requirements of other presenters, making it important that we strictly adhere to the schedule.

  • Any presenter wanting to withdraw his/her presentation must contact the ILDA Technical Committee Chairman in writing no later than Friday, September 20.

  • Last minute substitutions will not be accepted.

If you have a new product or interesting technology that you would like to present, please contact:
William R. Benner Jr. - ILDA Technical Committee Chairman
Phone: (407) 299-2088, Fax: (407) 299-6066
E-mail: William_Benner@email.msn.com

For more information about the ILDA conference, please visit the ILDA conference web site at www.laserdisplay.org or, contact the ILDA office at:
International Laser Display Association
Phone: +1 (321) 269-2081, Fax: +1 (321) 269-2087
E-mail: pagehoward@aol.com

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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