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:
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