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drive lasers with a multi-channel audio interface
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README.md

DAC_ILDA Adaptor

v 0.1 // Download PDF

Abstract

This tutorial walks you through building a simple DAC_ILDA adaptor for converting audio signals sent from a multi-channel DAC (Digital Analog Converter) to an ILDA Interface (International Laser Display Association standard used for laser light systems) to control the XY-axis, RGB and intensity of the beam.

Warning: This is an amateur guide for interfacing an audio DAC with IDLA. Use at your own (+ laser) risk – each laser spec may have an custom requirements for voltage/frequency limiting needs. Be careful.

Wiring Diagram

dac_ilda_adaptor_diagram

Requirements

Adaptor

  • ILDA female connector (DB25)
  • 6x 1/4" balanced (TRS) female jacks
  • 6x 1/4" balanced (TRS) cables
  • 1x toggle switch (on/off)
  • Various colored wires (jumper cables)
  • Project box
  • Soldering iron + wire
  • Wirecutters

Setup

  • RGB Laser with ILDA interface
  • ILDA cable
  • DAC (multi-channel, balanced, ideally DC-Coupled outputs)
  • Computer for producing audio signals

Instructions

1 – Prep

Grab 2x jumper cables per 6x different colors (12x total). Cut them all in half and wirestrip the cut ends. Separate into two piles of female/male, using one for the connector and one for the jacks.

dac_ilda_jumpers

Drill/cut holes in project box for 6x 1/4" jacks on the top, ILDA connector and toggle switch on the sides.

dac_ilda_box

2 – ILDA Interface

Feature Pins Comment
X-Axis + / - 1 / 14 Horizontal movement, 10V
Y-Axis + / - 2 / 15 Vertical movement, 10V
Blanking + / - 3 / 16 Beam intensity, 5V
Interlock A / B 4 / 17 Enables output when joined
Red + / - 5 / 18 Red mixture, 5V
Green + / - 6 / 19 Green mixture, 5V
Blue + / - 7 / 20 Blue mixture, 5V
Ground 25 Connected to all jacks sleeve
Z-Axis 11 / 24 For DMX? See Blanking.

ILDA Pin-Out Diagram ILDA Pinout Source

Soldering paired color jumper cables to pins:

dac_ilda_connector

Notes

Diagram shows female ILDA connector from front, so flip pins horizontally when soldering to the back! I've already made that mistake for you...

Use different colored jumper cables per feature (8 total) to the diagram for easily identifying and patching the jacks to pins.

I wired jumpers to the Z-Axis pins (11/24), but not yet sure if they're needed.

Interlock A / B is a safety mechanism that only allows the laser to work if they're connected. I recommend using a basic toggle switch between these two pins.

3 – Jacks

Solder the opposite end of your jumper cables to the balanced 1/4" jacks, one on the tip and one on the ring. Leave the sleeve (ground) empty for now.

dac_ilda_jacks

Mount jacks into the box 2 at a time, soldering a common ground wire between all of the sleeves. Eventually connect a jumper cable to this for linking to the ILDA connectors ground pin.

dac_ilda_jacks_final

4 – Switch

Solder 2x jumper cables to the toggle switch, so in the on position they're joined.

dac_ilda_switch

5 – Patch

Feed the ILDA connector and jumper cables into it's cutout slot until snug. Connect the jumper cables, using + (top) of ILDA connector cables to the Tip soldered cable of the jacks.

Attach the two switch jumpers to Interlock (4 / 17).

Common sleeve jumper to Ground (25)

dac_ilda_finalpatch

Hook up your DAC » jacks + ILDA » laser and away you go!

dac_ilda_finalsetup

Software

There are plenty of tools for generating a stereo X-Y audio signal from vector graphics, however not all are ready (yet) for all 6 channels of audio (XY + RGB + blanking). Here's a few to check out:

Tool Environment Comment
XYscope Processing Laser functions pending
Vector Synthesis PureData Laser patch planned
ReWereHere Max/MSP
OsciStudio Application

Notes

References

Acknowledgements

In conversation with Joseph Hyde + Derek Holzer.

Contribute

Something missing? Create an issue on Github source.

Author

cc teddavis.org 2018

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