ScanMaster3 - board revision 2.4

System Features

  • Two analog X/Y/Color ports and two digital X/Y/Color ports. One additional high-speed digital link for application specific use.
  • Two independent, simultaneous working processing engines with flexible output routing, ready for dual-head operation.
  • Capable of managing multiple output windows with each pair of scanners. Each window can receive its own frame rate from the client.
  • Fully supports StageNet's multi-client concept. Multiple clients can connect to the unit and exchange data. ScanMaster3 synchronizes the output transparenty.
  • Realtime interpolation of curves and vectors. This includes color transformation and color morphing.
  • Geometry correction, power equalization and color line tweaking.
  • Frame rate limiter for safety issues and dimmer ramp for power matching.
  • Choice of multiple data sources:
    • StageNet protocol over ethernet (TCP/IP)
    • CompactFlash 1
    • DMX512 1
  • Builtin http server for easy configuration using web-browsers 1
  • Fully implementd ISP output (through adaper board).
  • Fully implementd ISP input option (through adaper board). The input can be used for easier migration of existing analog systems.
  • Advanced, redundant hardware-safety concept with interlock, shutter and blanking outputs. Monitored by a seperate watchdog circuit.
  • All safety relevant signals can be enabled by a single external signal, which is monitored by the CPU to notify the user of the occurence.
  • 3-CPU system with a total processing power of approx. 470 MIPS.
  • 256MByte SDRAM and 32MByte flash ROM system memory
  • high-speed parallel and serial data link between processor subsystems
  • 2 FPGAs for output assistence and interface.
  • Jumper free and fanless operation
  • single +5V power supply
  • clean and stabilized power supply for all analog circuits
  • 100x160mm form factor, 4 layer, height: 4HP (~20mm)

PowerPC/CPM Subsystem Features

  • 10/100MBit twisted pair ethernet with autonegotiation
  • DMX512 input and output
  • IC System expansion bus for communication inside the projector
  • RS232 monitor for basic setup through terminal software
  • Fully implemented aux serial port for use with other external devices
  • 2/4 LEDs for simple diagnostics
  • Up to 10(CPU) + 16(FPGA) digital user I/O's

DSP Subsystem Features

  • powerful 160MHz DSP with 256KByte of 0-wait high speed RAM
  • 2x2x16Bit DAC (X1,Y1), (X2,Y2)
  • 2x2x14Bit ADC (X1,Y1), (X2,Y2)
  • 2x4x10Bit DAC (Color, Brush, ...)
  • 2x14Bit ADC (Beampower)
  • up to 12(CPU) + 5(FPGA) digital user I/O's
  • The outputs can be set up for use as ISP output.
  • Optionally fully implemented ISP (ILDA Standard Projector) input through adapter board with X, Y, R, G, B, Intensity, User1-4 (10x16Bit differential, 60kHz or 30kHz sampling frequency), Interlock, Shutter. DMX512 handled by the PowerPC subsystem.
1 Advanced feature.


The ScanMaster3 laser projector control board is an easy-to-use embedded system which connects an entire laser projection system to client computer systems via standard ethernet using TCP/IP. The board itself can be mounted directly into the projector, be run in a standalone adapter box, or be used in recording and playback systems. Project specific software can be added easily for stand-alone systems and projectors with specialized features such as measurement systems and other industrially used projectors.

The board comes with fully implemented outputs and inputs for galvo positioning and monitoring, 8 color outputs, and several digital I/Os connected to a powerful 160MHz DSP subsystem. The user has the choice of multiple data sources:

  • StageNet's SDCP/SMXP protocols via ethernet and TCP, UDP, IP. See for more information.
  • ISP option (ILDA Standard Projector), an analog signal input specified by ILDA.
  • DMX512, where the projector can emulate moving lights, with scan frames replacing ordinary gobos.
  • CompactFlash - A stand-alone mode where a series of user-supplied frames can be played back continuously from switch-on to switch-off.

Some of these data sources can be combined. ScanMaster3 exposes all its interfaces through StageNet such that any client can open virtual sessions and exchange data within this context. For management functionality a reliable TCP stream is used, for the realtime data stream UDP (or slower TCP for sensitive apps) is used.

The ease of use, the scalability through 10/100MBit ethernet, the versatile usage, its rich feature set, and its tiny size make this boad unique in the whole laser industry. The space needed for the controller board shrinks down to a minimum, far less than the required space for the optics.


Unlike most other systems ScanMaster3 does point calulation in realtime, on the fly. Coming from the network, lines and curves contained in the frame are transformed according to the window settings and color space conversion is done. Now, interpolation runs over the vectors and calculates color morphing and line styles at the galvos maximum step increment. On the interpolated points, an optimizer cares for sharp edges and maximum velocity through variable timing calculation. Following this, for safety issues, power processing takes place. Then, after running through the geometry processor the points are output to the appropriate converter.

The main software consists of 2 logical code blocks. The operating system along with the protocol handlers and the ScanEngine located on the PowerPC and realtime processing code located on the DSP. Both are connected using a high speed 40MBit/s serial data link and a 20MByte/s parallel control link. A separate protocol isolates this communication from the protocol used on the network.


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