laser scope

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Mon Mar 23 09:55:58 CDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:47 AM, Alexis <thrashbarg at> wrote:
> Yes, but the bandwidth of an LED laser is still pretty high. There are a few
> laser projectors on the net, but this one goes into the detail of making your
> own galvos.

I've looked at that project in the past - impressive.  Unfortunately,
I don't come close to the right tools to build one.  I can do all the
electronics and the mechanical support fabrication, but I don't have a
lathe to make the spindle and I don't have a water-cooled grinder to
shape the magnets.

I could probably find a friend locally to make the spindle - one
friend makes darts from billets, another makes table-top steam-engine
parts.  Magnet grinding, though, sounds a little esoteric.

Personally, I already have the Scientific American volume that's a
collection of Amateur Scientist columns on light and lasers.  Some of
the contents are obsolete for anything other than entertainment (how
to make a couple of gas lasers, a dye laser, etc), but there is also
an applications section for things to use your laser for - most
memorably is holograms and a laser projector.

The holograms bit is mostly about how to set up your own light bench
(mass and stability) and how to rig up a light path for the elements
for a monochrome laser-readback hologram.  With a good bench, it seems
simple.  The laser projector is the type made from speaker elements
and would be good for "Laser Floyd" type displays, not LaserMAME.

I almost made a laser projector last year, but I was having problems
sourcing mirror material at the South Pole.  One thought was gutting a
laser printer or a copier (ISTR there's a front-surface mirror in
there somewhere that's as wide as the paper path), but there was
nothing suitable scrapped while I was down there.  Now that I'm home,
I'm keeping an eye out for a cheap/free printer to scavenge.  I
already have the semiconductor laser, naturally - the grocery store
was selling laser levels for less than the cost of lunch.

If anyone gets far deep enough into the idea of a laser projector to
start making galvanometer servos and wants to trade parts, let me
know.  As I said, I can do the electronic bits and assembly but need
help with the shaping of the core parts.


More information about the cctalk mailing list