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ILDA laser control


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Hi, I'm just getting started with ILDA laser contol. Though I'm familiar with DMX, addressing, etc, I'm not so certain how ILDA works.

I have the Phoenix Live software/DAC which is capable of handling 8 separate lasers, so I presume there's some sort of addressing in the ILDA cable; I can see it's not daisy-chained like DMX, but with splitters like the MatILDA ones.


Also, what's the best method to get the ILDA signal from my laptop/DAC and lighting desk (forward of the audience) to the stage, and any maximum cable length.


Many thanks for bearing with me,


Marcus :)

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Not an area I have huge experience in, but I know ILDA have defined a standard set of control signals which are essentially differential plus or minus 10V and which get plugged in through a 25 pin D type connector. As the signals a differential, then twisted pair cable is the best stuff to go for.


A quick google gave me pinouts and notes (PDF)

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Sparkymark - sorry, but you can't address individual laser projectors via ILDA. The part that the software can address individually is the DAC - so if you want to have 8 projectors doing different things, you need 8 separate DACs.


However, if the projectors have both ILDA-in and ILDA-out sockets, they can be daisy-chained from one DAC, but they will then all have the same output. If you have an ILDA splitter, you can get the same result and don't need ILDA-out sockets on the projectors.


One way around this restriction, if you want to run 2 projectors from one DAC, is to add the facility to invert the X-axis and/or the Y-axis signal on one of the projectors, preferably remotely, as this will let you run a more varied show.


Cable length will depend on the DAC, but 25 metres is quite feasible. Computer serial cables with 25-pin connectors are the way to go.

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I use 60m+ ILDA cable runs, and then daisy chained links a further 20m or so with no problems.

You can always use an ILDA buffer stageside if you experience problems, the MatILDA board you mentioned is precisely that, not 'just' a splitter.

You can buy DACs or DAC housings that enable ethernet use. E.g. Pangolin do a .NET box for their QM controller, and will shortly (so I'm told) have an FB3.NET enclosure available for the FB3 DAC. Medialas and Fiesta also have their own flavours too.


As you've discovered Stanwax laser already for the MatILDA, check out his little Cat5 extension boxes. Not ethernet, but they allow you take a pair Cat5 cables and run your ILDA signal down them, all nicely terminated into a box with DB25 on it.

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