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Laser Show Management | Mastering Control of Multiple Laser Show Systems

by Newfeel Lighting on Sep 13, 2023

Table of Contents
  • Two Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Execution of Laser Light Shows:
  • FB3QS - Independent control example
  • FB4 External - Independent control example
  • FB4 inside your laser - Independent control example
  • FB3QS - Demonstrating Shared Control
  • External FB4 - An Illustrative Shared Control Scenario
Two Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Execution of Laser Light Shows:w
How can I simultaneously manage multiple laser projectors?
How can I synchronize various laser displays to perform distinct actions concurrently?
The concepts elucidated herein are pertinent to the concurrent operation of laser shows, be it live control, pre-programmed sequences, or stand-alone laser presentations. These fundamental principles are universally applicable, encompassing QuickShow, BEYOND, and the entire range of NEWFEEL laser show systems.
To get started, it's essential to grasp the distinction between "independent control" and "shared control."
**Independent Control:** In this mode, each laser within your setup can execute distinct actions simultaneously. To achieve this, each laser projector requires its dedicated control hardware, enabling it to receive an independent control signal from your control station. Independent control is the prevailing configuration, especially when dealing with multiple laser projectors. It affords the flexibility to generate various laser effects and more intricate laser shows.
**Shared Control:** Shared control entails all lasers within your setup performing the same actions simultaneously by sharing a common control signal.
**Understanding Zones:** Zones are a crucial feature within laser control, allowing you to precisely designate the area where laser content will be projected. Each laser projector can be assigned multiple zones, permitting content projection in multiple areas. When managing multiple laser projectors in a performance, zones also aid in determining which laser projector displays specific content. This feature greatly enhances the quality of laser shows and effects you can create.
**Learn by Example:** To see these concepts in action, watch this informative tutorial video (created using QuickShow software and FB3QS hardware, but the principles apply universally). It provides a visual demonstration of these control modes and the effective use of zones in laser show design.
FB3QS - Independent control example
In this configuration, each laser is equipped with its dedicated FB3QS controller, enabling individual lasers to execute distinct tasks simultaneously. When utilizing the FB3QS, a personal computer (PC) is an essential component in the setup due to its USB-based hardware interface. However, you have the flexibility to manage the presentation from various control interfaces, including a PC, touchscreen, MIDI console, DMX console, or lighting console.
FB4 External - Independent control examples
In this configuration, every laser is equipped with its dedicated FB4 External controller, enabling each laser to execute distinct functions simultaneously. When utilizing the FB4 External controller, you have the flexibility to manage the performance via various interfaces such as a personal computer, touchscreen, MIDI console, DMX console, or lighting console (with or without the need for a personal computer, as mentioned earlier). Furthermore, due to the versatile compatibility of FB4 External with network, DMX, and ArtNet protocols, you have the option to select the appropriate control cable type based on your specific control setup requirements.
FB4 inside your laser - Independent control example
In this illustration, every laser unit is equipped with an integrated FB4, complete with a built-in switch. This ingenious configuration enables the utilization of a single network or ArtNet control feed, facilitating a seamless daisy-chaining process across all units. Given the presence of an FB4 within each unit, independent control of each laser is effortlessly achievable. Presently, this method represents the most streamlined approach to configuring a laser show, markedly diminishing the cable clutter. Your control hub can be a PC or any console that suits your preferences.
FB3QS - Demonstrating Shared Control
In this configuration, we employ three lasers while utilizing a single FB3QS unit. To achieve this, we employ an "ILDA daisy chain" to distribute the signal from the solitary FB3QS to the other lasers in the setup. Consequently, all lasers within this arrangement execute identical actions simultaneously, owing to their synchronization through the shared signal. For those equipped with advanced projectors, such as those available at Pangolin, the possibility arises to manipulate the X and Y axes to generate a "mirrored" effect.
When operating with the FB3QS, it is essential to have a PC incorporated into the setup, given its USB-based hardware. However, the show can be managed from various interfaces including a PC, touchscreen, MIDI console, DMX console, or lighting console.
External FB4 - An Illustrative Shared Control Scenario
In this configuration, we operate with a trio of lasers while employing only a solitary FB4 external device. Subsequently, we distribute this signal from the lone FB4 to the other lasers within the arrangement using an "ILDA daisy chain." Consequently, all the lasers within this arrangement will execute identical actions simultaneously due to the shared signal.
If you opt for a sophisticated laser projector, similar to the options provided here at Pangolin, each laser will be equipped with both ILDA-in and ILDA-out connections, facilitating this process. Furthermore, you have the liberty to innovate on the X and Y axes to create a "mirrored" effect.
"FB4 Integration within Your Laser - An Illustrative Case of Shared Control"
Occasionally, you may find yourself employing a blend of lasers, with certain lasers featuring an embedded FB4 system while others rely solely on ILDA technology. In this specific scenario, we establish a network connection or ArtNet control feed to the initial laser, subsequently linking it in a daisy chain fashion to projectors 2 and 3.
The ability to accomplish this is facilitated by the presence of both ILDA input and ILDA output connections on each laser.
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