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Flashback 3 low-cost OEM and USB laser controller


  Inside or outside the projector
  Creating the shows
  Playing the shows
  High-quality images
  Power requirements
  Choosing between SE or QS

  Flashback 3 overview PDF
  Flashback 3 online Forum
  Flashback 3 software updates
  Download FB3-SE Manual




Flashback 3 has been honored as the 2006 “Hardware Product of the Year” from the International Laser Display Association.


  The Flashback 3 is the smallest, easiest and most economical way to add high-quality graphics and beams to a stand-alone laser projector. In fact, the Flashback 3 is so impressive, that it won the ILDA Hardware Product Of The Year Award in 2006.
     This credit-card sized wonder can play laser graphics, beams and even complete Pangolin-quality shows. No extra computer hardware is needed – the tiny Flashback 3 has everything you need to control your laser projector.

Inside or outside the projector

The Flashback 3 is currently available in two forms:
FB3-SE - A board-level product, ready to be installed inside a projector or on your custom control box.
FB3-QS - A convenient and rugged black box that connects to a PC via USB. No external power supply is needed.

Creating the shows

To create Flashback 3 laser images, you can use Pangolin’s best-selling Lasershow Designer 2000 to create complete laser shows and download them to the FB3. Alternatively, you can use our award-winning QuickShow software included free with the Flashback 3. You can also import any ILDA-format laser files you happen to have, or acquire online.

If you need more power, LivePRO can also be used. And thanks to the similar user interface shared by both QuickShow and LivePRO, the learning curve is reduced.

Set up hundreds of laser cues; each cue can be a word, logo, graphic, animation, beam effect or even a complete show. On the FB3-SE, the images and cue data are then stored on a removable memory card. A 128MB card holds up to 20 minutes of laser graphics, animations and beams. Of course, because it is solid-state, there’s nothing to wear out or break or get jammed.

Playing the shows

Using the board-level FB3-SE, playback and control can be accomplished in a number of ways:

  • DMX control: Frames or animations are loaded into memory and played on demand using the DMX-512 lighting standard. In addition to being able to select the frame or animation, DMX can also control Image size, Position, Rotation angle, Playback speed, Scan rate, Brightness, Color, and Write/Erase.
  • RS 232 serial: The FB3-SE offers similar control capability through RS-232 as are provided through DMX-512.
  • TTL: The FB3-SE provides several options to control the playing, pausing and stopping of a select number of cues via TTL. (Note that TTL can only be used to control the FB3 if USB is not being used.)
  • USB: Pangolin's QuickShow is an application that you can use to create and edit frames and animations, upload files to the removable memory card, add geometric correction to the projected image, and then perform shows Live if desired.
  • Automatic playback: Using LiveQUICK, you can specify a cue or sequence of cues to start playing automatically upon power-up. The cue or sequence can play once or continuously.

Using the FB3-QS, playback and control can be accomplished using QuickShow or LivePRO

High-quality images

Flashback 3 laser images look the same as from full-fledged Pangolin systems. That’s because Flashback 3 outputs high-quality projector signals: two 12-bit channels for X and Y scanner signals, and up to eight 8-bit color/intensity channels, typically used to control red, green, blue and intensity signals.

Small size and low power requirements

As shown above, the Flashback 3 is very small -- the same rectangular size as a credit card. And the Flashback 3 SE only requires a single +5V power supply and consumes only 100-300mA of current. Because of this, the Flashback 3 SE can easily be integrated into a laser projector with minimal cost.


The Flashback3 SE is a base board with 2 optional daughter boards add-ons, the DMX and USB. These daughter boards can be purchased separately to reduce costs on applications that do not require the extra features. (The Flashback 3 SE includes the base board, plus the DMX and USB daughter boards.) And for special applications, Pangolin can provide additional functionality either through client-specific firmware or even custom-designed add-on daughter-boards.

Choosing between the FB3-SE and FB3-QS

Below is a chart that shows some of the similarities and differences between the FB3-SE and FB3-QS.
Note that the FB3-SE is sold only as an OEM board-level component, intended to be embedded within a laser projector, while the FB3-QS is a more user-friendly package that can be connected to a PC using the USB port.





Flashback 3 laser controller - Click for larger picture

Form factor Credit-card sized board 4x2x1 inch metal box
Show storage media SmartMedia memory card or XD Picture Card No removable memory -- uses PC memory
Suggested use Build into OEM laser projector Connect to a PC for live or preprogrammed shows
Outputs Two 12-bit for X & Y (single-ended - differential optional)
Four 8-bit for color
Optional TTL outputs
Two 12-bit for X & Y (differential)
Eight 8-bit for color
How playback is controlled DMX
Serial, USB, or TTL
QuickShow or LiveQUICK utility program
DMX with QS, using optional DMX to USB adaptor
QuickShow utility program
Playback parameters Play cues (up to 432 in memory, or thousands in QS)
Image size
Rotation angle
Playback speed
and many other show-performance-related parameters...
Play cues (thousands in QS)
Image size
Rotation angle
Playback speed
and many other show-performance-related parameters...
Power requirements Single +5V DC power supply USB powered


  This page last updated: Wednesday, Januari 29, 2020

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