A week or so ago – I found one of these at Value Village for $2.

If it’s not obvious – it’s a little laser show toy. It projects a laser on the wall which moves with sound / music. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be reliably sold anymore (at least this particular model).

It actually includes X and Y “galvos.” Galvanometers are devices that produce a change in angle in response to a given voltage. Laser show systems use them to aim mirrors.

So – I hacked it. I managed to get a moderate amount of control over the laser. I was able to draw a pretty good square – but when I got as complex as a star – things started falling apart.

I suspected the weak link was the galvos. So – I decided to try making my own out of speakers from the local thrift store.

The first test came out pretty well:

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/nz-TctpHFz4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Yup – this is seeming like a new “project” – here are the goals:

– Migrate code to arduino
– Advance the hardware / software so it could hypothetically render 6-7 alpha characters
– Code will be able to direct XY scanner via coordinates and turn laser on / off
– Leaving character sets / animation / other cool stuff for others to figure out
– Publish full project details via youtube / instructables.com / nothinglabs.com

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