F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
08:45 to 09:45 -
Breakfast - Holidome
A breakfast with
orange juice, freshly baked "Belgian" waffles, Canadian maple
syrup, whipped cream, butter and fresh berries with Coffee, Tea or Milk was
the first thing on the agenda getting everyone off to a good start. The
first event of the day was the "What's New" Seminar.
|10:00 to 11:00
- Seminar 1A - What's New
The first half of the seminar was devoted to a
technical overview of new technologies and products in the market.
| Pangolin Laser Systems' Bill
Benner gave a presentation on the new LD2000 which uses a completely
re-designed PCI slot interface card. The card features fully ILDA
compatible DB25 output connector and a second DB9 connector which is
supplied with an adapter cable terminating in a 5 pin XLR connector
for DMX output.
Improvements to the software include a library of
"intelligent" lighting fixtures that can be dropped onto
the Showtime timelines and treated exactly like laser frames with
movement, colour changes, fades etc. This allows the LD2000 system
to control not only a full colour laser projector, but a DMX based
Bill also discussed the Lasershow Player model
CD2OOO playback device. This is a standalone CD player plus a QM2OOO
hardware board, nicely packaged with buttons and a 16 LED readout to
make playing laser shows as simple as playing audio CDs. One nice
feature is that because the Lasershow Player has a QM2OOO board, it
can offer full-quality laser outputs as well as full CD-quality
|| Dirk Baur of MediaLas in
Germany presented the new CatSafePro scan fail detector. Based on an
idea from L. Michael Roberts, this board incorporates all of the
safety features of the CatSafe board but in a new comprehensive and
easy to interface format. Colour information is output on a NEOS
compatible connector and the safety shut down of the colour is
internal to the board so that external circuitry is not required.
Dirk also showed and discussed the new MicroAmp
scanner drive board deigned to drive CTI galvos, the board has a
very small footprint making it idea for projectors where space is
O. Steven Roberts
talked about low cost actuators pulled from EEG systems that were suitable
for use in beam tables. He had brought a sample to show, but it was
unfortunately destroyed when it was reverse engineered by a group of
laserists just prior to the Open House.
11:00 to 12:00 -
Seminar 1B - Ask the Experts
Three noted experts on scanning systems, Dirk Baur of
MediaLas (CATWEAZLE scanners), Phil Barrows of Cambridge Technology
(CTI scanners) and Bill Benner of Pangolin Laser Systems (TurboTrack
and True 50K scanners) led an interactive discussion of scanning system
technology and issues. Moderated by L. Michael Roberts.
Scanner experts field
13:15- Seminar 2 - Creative Seminar
Alan Sticksel of Magic Fire Lasershows in Texas led an interactive
discussion on creative ideas and issues in laser show production and
planning. He discussed the use of fireworks to enhance laser shows
and his use of high power, colour changing, xenon lights to create
"layered" effects, or to substitute for audience scanning.
Kelly also showed one of the compact racks he
uses to control shows which include time code reading equipment to
synchronise the laser show and fireworks with the soundtrack.
13:30 to 14:45 -
Brunch in the Holidome
lavish buffet brunch with assorted chilled juices, sliced fresh seasonal
fruit, danish and muffins, croissants and banana bread, toasted bagels with
cream cheese, assorted cereals; decorated platters of turkey, ham roast beef
and salami; tossed baby greens, potato salad, pasta salad; carved roast top
sirloin of beef, beef stroganoff, fresh market vegetables, broad noodles and
a selection of deserts with coffee and tea left everyone satisfied!
16:30 - Seminar 3 - DMX for Dummies
Bill Benner of Pangolin Laser Systems, chair of the ILDA
tech-Com, and one of the drafters of the ILDA DMX standard, presented an
informative seminar. Bill covered all of the basics of what the DMX protocol
is and it's background, how the DMX protocol works, and how it can benefit
Bill was kind enough to allow us to publish the handout
he provided at the seminar. Click DMX
Seminar Handout to see the page.
17:00 - Milk and cookies break in the Holidome
Courtesy of FirstLight
Laser Productions, conference goers enjoyed a variety of delicious
freshly baked cookies complemented by white and chocolate milk.
|17:00 to 17:30
- Seminar 4 - Making Antimatter with Lasers
Professor Eric Hessels graduated with a PhD
from the University of Notre Dame in 1990 and is a professor in the
Department of Physics and Astronomy at York University.
He gave us a fascinating and entertaining explanation of his
experiments in which he uses Copper Vapour lasers in the process of
Recent advances have allowed researchers
at Harvard University to capture and cool large numbers of
antiprotons and antielectrons (positrons). It is the aim of
that group to combine these antiparticles to form antihydrogen.
Schemes for producing cold antihydrogen atoms out of the cold
antiparticles were discussed, including a scheme developed at York
University. The antihydrogen atoms could be trapped in a
magnetic field, which would allow them to be held for a long period
of time and would allow for precision study of the antiatoms.
On a humorous note, Prof. Hessels explained that he was attracted to
this line of research as it was extremely challenging and expensive
18:10 - Seminar 5A - Resonator walking and laser tuning
Derek Garbos of New Wave Lasers led this small group
workshop to cover the basics of finding beam and peaking the resonator for
maximum laser output.
17:40 to 18:10 -
Seminar 5B - CatWeazle Scanner Workshop
Dirk Baur of MediaLas led this small workshop on the inner
workings, tuning and maintenance of the CATWEAZLE scanners.
Quick Links to Report
In order to present as many pictures
as possible, we have broken this special report down into a number of pages
to speed access. Most of these are large pages with many images so please be
patient while they download.
F/X 2000 Report -
Introduction and background
19 May - Behind
20 May - The
Pangolin School and Open House
21 May A -
Seminar Handout -
By Bill Benner
21 May B -
22 May - Trade
Show and LaserFest
Camera - A
selection of 12 photos (very large page)
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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