Here's an overview of the requirements, so you can prepare for
your system's arrival in the next few days.
Pangolin provides you with the Lasershow Designer
2000 CD-ROM disc, a QM2000 board, two cable adapters and a 50-page
You must provide a laser
projector, and a Windows-compatible computer with at least one free PCI slot. There are two other tasks you should do before your system
You can run LD on just about any laser
projector. However, the recommended system uses high-speed scanners
that can display the ILDA test pattern at
30,000 points per second or more.
This includes General Scanning
G-120 scanners being driven by the TurboTrack scanner amp and Cambridge
Technology 6800 or 6210 scanners using Cambridge scanner amps.
For blanking and color control,
we recommend a polychromatic acousto-optic modulator (PCAOM) such as those
made by NEOS Technology, A+A, or MVM Electronics. It may be possible to
use a Laser Media-style "color box" system using a hardware
interface, but then you are limited by the speed at which the actuators
can change colors.
The minimum computer requirement is any PC
(IBM-compatible) with at least one PCI slot. The QM2000 board must be
installed in order for the software to operate. This is because the
software constantly communicates with and uses the power of the QM2000 board.
The computer operating
system can be either Microsoft Windows
95/98 or Windows 2000.
Because LD2000 comes with its own
computer, the QM2000 board, your system will run at the same speed no matter how fast or slow your
computer runs. You
might want to use such an older computer when LD2000 is used to
merely playback a show.
However, for creating shows we
highly recommend a fast computer with multimedia (CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, sound
card), extra memory, and 800 x 600 or higher-resolution video. This is
because Windows itself can be slow; the extra speed will make windows and
graphics draw much faster.
LD2000 will fit onto a VGA (640 x
400) screen. This works fine for playback. However, it is much easier to
create frames and shows when running in SVGA (800 x 600) or XVGA (1024 x
768) resolutions. If you use SVGA or XVGA, be sure to select your video
driver's "Small fonts" option. Using large fonts changes the
text spacing in LD2000's windows.
The computer must have at least
one PCI slot available, for the QM2000 master card. If you
will be running additional slave cards (to drive multiple scanner pairs),
you will need one additional PCI slot per slave card. The maximum number
of QM2000 cards is four -- one LD2000 Pro master, and three slaves. Click
here for more information on running
multiple QM2000 boards in a single computer.
You can use a notebook as long
as it has a docking station. Click here for
more information on running LD2000 on a notebook.
The current version of LD2000 takes up roughly 80,000,000
bytes (80 megabytes). Because each file requires additional hard drive
overhead space, systems using Windows 95 OSR A may actually
require 100 MB or more to store this data.
As you use LD2000, you'll need
additional space to accommodate your work. Very roughly, you can assume
about 2 Mb for every five minutes of show time.
LD2000 uses less hard drive space
than other DOS or Windows laser programs, because of its real-time
capability. For example, to do a rotation, most other programs
pre-calculate and store many slightly different views of an object. LD2000
merely stores a single frame and at run time calculates all the different
views. The real-time technique can save up to 30 times the space needed
for pre-calculated shows.
Digitizing tablet. LD2000 does not require use
of a digitizing tablet. However, this is nice to have, and it is
essential if you will be digitizing paper drawings.
You can use any tablet
which has a "Wintab" driver. We recommend the Wacom ArtPad
and Intuos series, since their drivers are better written
than most other brands.
SMPTE/MIDI board. If you must synchronize
to SMPTE or MIDI timecode, you can use any standard board such as an
MQX-32M, 2PortSE or 8PortSE (from Opcode Systems) or the
Portman (from MIDIMan).
For professional use, we
highly recommend the Aquila SMPTE reader/writer from East Coast
Control Systems (814/857-5420). It is more expensive than board-only
products, but it also is more robust for demanding applications.
Other hardware. Because
LD2000 can autotrace
and rasterize bitmaps (pictures), you may want to purchase hardware to
get pictures onto your computer. This includes flatbed scanners such
as the Hewlett-Packard ScanJet, video digitizers such as the Minolta
Snappy, or one of the many video input boards available.
Painting and photo manipulation.
such as Adobes Photoshop or JASCs Paint Shop Pro is necessary to
clean up any scanned-in artwork. For example, when you scan a picture,
there can be thousands of colors in the resulting bitmap, Before you
autotrace or rasterize in LD, you may want to reduce the number of colors. Photo manipulation programs allow you to do this.
To install the QM2000 master board, turn off power to
your computer. Open the case and plug the board into any available PCI slot. Be sure to securely tighten the screw on the L-shaped bracket.
(If you have additional QM2000 boards, do not install them yet. Get
LD2000 operating with the master
board first. Later, open up the QM2000 Board help file for instructions
on installing and using multiple boards.)
The QM2000's output is an
ILDA-standard DB-25F connector. If you have an ILDA-compatible projector,
you can use a standard 25-pin parallel extension cable to connect the QM2000 to the projector. If you have a Pangolin-style projector (for our
older QM32 board), we provide a QM2000-to-Pangolin adapter cable. For all
other projectors, you will
need to make an adapter to go from the QM2000's DB-25F connector to
your particular projector. Click here for the
For additional information
on connecting to your projector, see the QM2000 Board help file after
you have installed the software.
LD2000 is professional-level software that is designed to get the most out of
your projector. Ultra-high-quality shows around the world use LD2000 daily.
If you do not see the results
you expect, the problem is most likely in the settings. You will need to
adjust some of the parameters in the software, such as output speed, line
drawing density and color palette, to be optimized for your projector's
capabilities. The LD2000 Installation Manual describes these adjustments in