The dsPIC-Based Laser Light Show Controller – It’s Showtime!

If you always fancied about the laser light shows, but you’ve no ideas how to develop one for yourself, then you must pay attention on today’s topic, as it’s about the dsPIC-based Laser Light Show Controller!

This dsPIC-based Laser Light Show Controller can also be known as an arbitrary waveform generator (ARB). For your information, the controller will allow vector patterns to be stored in flash program memory or uploaded from a PC in a vector format. The analog output via two 14-bit DACs has being fed to a commercial analog driver board and two high-speed galvo scanners.

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For the project, you need to use a Microchip dsPICDEM starter demonstration board featuring a 30F6012 processor chip. The best things about this board is it already has a prototyping area which is populated with the DACs, two connectors, voltage regulators and basic I/O circuitry (an RS-232 interface), where it simplifies the construction of the system.

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Theoretically, in a basic laser light show, there will be a laser beam is deflected by two galvanometer scanner heads, where each of them moves a mirror to steer the beam in horizontal and vertical direction continuously.

The entire system is usually a PI or PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) control loop with the output fed to the galvos and feedback supplied via a capacitive sensor inside the galvo scanners. Furthermore, the driver or control loop is usually accepts analog signals.

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