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Norm's DAC

Norm in Canada started out with a hobbyist level DAC that connected to the parallel port of an IBM PC compatible computer and was controlled by software for Windows that he wrote.

This DAC could easily be built at home, and the software gave decent control over a laser projector on a very low budget from the IBM PC. The software, known as Norm's Laser Show was possibly the first free hobbyist Windows laser show software that was widespread. It was mainly an ILDA file playback utility with the ability to do some text.

A kit was sold for around $25 that the end user would solder together. This was a big deal, as laser diodes were starting to become affordable and the kit offered modulation with the need for a PCAOM and ion laser.

Norm's website is still active. He also brought to market a low cost galvo kit, as well as a later kit known as the Framestreamer Xpress. The Framestreamer Xpress was a bit more expensive but offered direct USB connectivity to the host as well as an onboard DC-DC converter that generated the -15/+15 volts needed. It was highly impressive for it's time but unfortunately the software never evolved to timeline editing or real ability to create a full on show (as far as I know.)

Norm's website is still active! Norms Homemade Laser Show

The pictures below are of my DAC kit. I fed power to it via the green cable that hooked to my projector at the time. I fed the -15/+15 from the PSU that fed the galvo amps that was in the projector.

dacs/norms_dac.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/19 21:48 by telmnstr