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Re: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

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  • Jack Dunn
    Karrie hit a lot of the really important points. Too often potential buyers of planetarium equipment only ask about a few specs and miss that there are many
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 13, 2010
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      Karrie hit a lot of the really important points.
      Too often potential buyers of planetarium equipment only
      ask about a few specs and miss that there are many different
      fine systems, but what will work best for you and your theater
      may vary. It is most important to know what you want to do
      in the type of programs to be presented and also what kind of
      people will be operating the planetarium. A theater with a staff
      of technicians is a quite different operation from a single-person
      presenter situation. The good news is that today's projectors
      just keep getting better and our options increase. The best way
      to chose is to see a system in operation, not run by a vendor but by
      one of the users. And I'd visit several places. Just
      like in buying anything else, take a look at what is out there.
      Ok, so we aren't making this an easy answer - but that's the
      way it should be.
      --

      Clear DARK Skies


      Jack Dunn - Mueller Planetarium
    • Charles T
      I too must identify myself as a vendor of Cosmodome Mirror Systems. We have recently installed our mirror system into a 9 meter dome using a single Optima 1080
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 15, 2010
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        I too must identify myself as a vendor of Cosmodome Mirror Systems.
        We have recently installed our mirror system into a 9 meter dome using a single Optima 1080 projector at around US$4000.

        We and the customer are extremely pleased with the result. Unfortunatly Optima have now withdrawn that model, and whilst there may be a replacement, we are currently recommending the Dell 7609WU.

        You may want to spend much more than this, but in our view the drive to greater HD resolution has been more to the benefit of projector suppliers than to a noticable increase in the "wow" factor.

        Obviously, the Lumen range from 3000 to 4000 is important for this sized dome, but in choosing for mirror projection one of the main projector parameters is the ability to focus on the mirror in the correct ratio within an acceptable distance between the Projector and the mirror. ( Our Mirage Stand allows for a maximum of 1.5 meters.) We do not recommend double reflection as this reduces the brilliance output. A choice of lens may solve this factor.

        Incidentally, while assisting with recommendations, we suggest our International clients purchase their computers and projectors from a local supplier, for reasons of service and warranty.

        Probably one of your highest cost items will be in new seating. With mirror projection, the audience orientation is mono-directional, meaning higher numbers without space for equipment in the centre. I will send you seating arrangements for various sized domes.

        Good luck with your project !

        Charles Treleaven
        Cosmodome Australasia Pty.Ltd.
        cosmodome@...


        --- In fulldome@yahoogroups.com, "koos502002" <gieskes@...> wrote:

        > I want to start a discussion about the alternatives for a 30 foot planetarium dome. We are starting the process of replacing a 50 year old mechanical solution with a digital one. I am attracted by the rear projectors with the mirrors, since that would free up space for more seats, but am unsure if that is a solution that will have the quality and wow factor that we are looking for.

        > The criteria would be:
        > content,
        > resolution,
        > brightness,
        > reliability,
        > maintainability,
        > easy of operation,
        > and whatever else you all can think of.

        > Our budget is around $100,000

        > Any help in this selection process is appreciated.
      • gieskes@uic.com
        Thanks for your prompt reaction and good advise. I have tried to answer your questions below: From: jdunn@spacelaser.com To:
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 15, 2010
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          Thanks for your prompt reaction and good advise. I have tried to answer
          your questions below:

          From: jdunn@...
          To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
          Date: 08/13/2010 02:01 PM
          Subject: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

          Quoting koos502002 <gieskes@...>:

          > I want to start a discussion about the alternatives for a 30 foot
          > planetarium dome. We are starting the process of replacing a 50 year
          > old mechanical solution with a digital one. I am attracted by the
          > rear projectors with the mirrors, since that would free up space for
          > more seats, but am unsure if that is a solution that will have the
          > quality and wow factor that we are looking for.

          > The criteria would be:
          > content,
          > resolution,
          > brightness,
          > reliability,
          > maintainability,
          > easy of operation,
          > and whatever else you all can think of.

          > Our budget is around $100,000

          > Any help in this selection process is appreciated.

          Understand that in asking to this group you are going to get
          all sorts of answers from vendors.

          I am trying to learn as much as I can, and reactions from vendors are
          certainly also helpful for me.

          There are more factors than what you have mentioned.
          Is this a school planetarium?
          Would the audiences mostly be students in classes?
          Or, is it a Museum type operation with sizable public
          audience?

          It is a museum planetarium, but the main groups that visit it currently a
          school groups. Perhaps if we can do more than what is possible with our
          star ball, we could do more shows for other audiences.
          Why do you want to replace your mechanical projector?
          Is this a necessity? One can have both mechanical
          and digital. I do and am quite happy with them.
          The main reason to replace the star ball is that it has become almost
          impossible to maintain. It is in operation since the 1960s and we often
          have failures, also during shows, which is unacceptable.
          Who will be operating the planetarium?
          Would it be a regular staff or are you thinking about
          teachers and students?
          It is a small, but very motivated team of regular staff, that performs
          small miracles to keep the old equipment up and running and do a good job
          educating class after class of kids about the night sky...

          I would urge you to actually see examples of the different
          projectors and systems on your dome. Then you can
          judge on your own.

          I agree. We need to see different systems and preferably in our own dome.
          Feedback from other users and vendors is very welcome. This is an important
          choice for us and not getting it right would be a missed opportunity to
          make the entire museum more attractive...
        • GrandRapidsMark
          I represent ASH Enterprises and we market a mirror dome projector which we call Warped Media. For a 30 foot dome the cost of our system is $34,500 and comes
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 16, 2010
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            I represent ASH Enterprises and we market a mirror dome projector which we call
            Warped Media. For a 30 foot dome the cost of our system is $34,500 and comes
            with a program of your choice from Loch Ness as well as the full dome Theater
            Suite from Software Bisque. We do not advertise our system as a "planetarium
            projector" although it will produce star fields that is not its real intent but
            rather to present full dome "shows". Our system is based on Cannon LCOS
            projectors with a brightness of 4000+ lumens and LCD panels capable of 1.4x1k
            resolution. We have sold or 20th system in the USA and would suggest you go
            view one of our projectors. Please feel free to contact me directly and I could
            suggest a facility you might want to visit.

            Mark Perkins
            ASHMichigan@...
            ASH Enterprises
          • Timo Rahunen
            In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000 lumens,
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 17, 2010
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              In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000 lumens, 1920x1200 pixels and the price is about 12.500 euros. It is an excellent projector for our purposes.

              Timo Rahunen
              Director
              Tampere Planetarium
              Finland
            • Andy Dolph
              I m curious - are you using that one projector for everything including star fields? or are you using it for fulldome movies with an optomechnical star
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 18, 2010
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                I'm curious - are you using that one projector for everything including star
                fields? or are you using it for fulldome movies with an optomechnical star
                machine?

                On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 3:49 AM, Timo Rahunen
                <Timo.Rahunen@...>wrote:

                > In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a
                > spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000
                > lumens, 1920x1200 pixels and the price is about 12.500 euros. It is an
                > excellent projector for our purposes.
              • gieskes@uic.com
                Hi Timo, thanks for your input. Does this setup give you sufficient focus across the surface of the dome, or do you have a noticeable area on the dome where
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 18, 2010
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                  Hi Timo, thanks for your input. Does this setup give you sufficient focus
                  across the surface of the dome, or do you have a noticeable area on the
                  dome where the focus is sharper than the rest?
                  Do you use the 2 mirror setup, or does the projector special optics to not
                  need to be placed far from the spherical mirror?
                  I like the resolution and the light intensity especially for the money!
                  I wish we could actually see a setup like yours somewhere in the North East
                  USA...
                  Thanks again,
                  Koen.

                  From: Timo Rahunen <Timo.Rahunen@...>
                  To: "fulldome@yahoogroups.com" <fulldome@yahoogroups.com>
                  Date: 08/18/2010 05:08 PM
                  Subject: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

                  In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a
                  spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000
                  lumens, 1920x1200 pixels and the price is about 12.500 euros. It is an
                  excellent projector for our purposes.

                  Timo Rahunen
                  Director
                  Tampere Planetarium
                  Finland
                • Discovery Dome - Gary
                  The North Museum in Lancaster, PA has a 40 planetarium and they are use a spherical mirror projection system with a single projector. Gary Paczosa
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 19, 2010
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                    The North Museum in Lancaster, PA has a 40' planetarium and they are use
                    a spherical mirror projection system with a single projector.

                    Gary Paczosa
                    e-Planetarium
                    Director of Sales
                    281.300.9807

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: fulldome@yahoogroups.com [mailto:fulldome@yahoogroups.com] On
                    Behalf Of gieskes@...
                    Sent: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 7:39 PM
                    To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

                    Hi Timo, thanks for your input. Does this setup give you sufficient focus
                    across the surface of the dome, or do you have a noticeable area on the
                    dome where the focus is sharper than the rest?
                    Do you use the 2 mirror setup, or does the projector special optics to
                    not need to be placed far from the spherical mirror?
                    I like the resolution and the light intensity especially for the money!
                    I wish we could actually see a setup like yours somewhere in the North
                    East USA...
                    Thanks again,
                    Koen.

                    From: Timo Rahunen <Timo.Rahunen@...
                    <mailto:Timo.Rahunen%40sarkanniemi.fi> >
                    To: "fulldome@yahoogroups.com <mailto:fulldome%40yahoogroups.com> "
                    <fulldome@yahoogroups.com <mailto:fulldome%40yahoogroups.com> >
                    Date: 08/18/2010 05:08 PM
                    Subject: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

                    In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a
                    spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000
                    lumens, 1920x1200 pixels and the price is about 12.500 euros. It is an
                    excellent projector for our purposes.

                    Timo Rahunen
                    Director
                    Tampere Planetarium
                    Finland
                  • Timo Rahunen
                    We use one mirror setup and the projector has a standard zoom lens. The distance between the lens and the mirror is about 50 cm. The focus is very good
                    Message 9 of 12 , Aug 20, 2010
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                      We use one mirror setup and the projector has a standard zoom lens. The distance between the lens and the mirror is about 50 cm. The focus is very good everywhere except at the back of the dome.

                      Timo

                      Hi Timo, thanks for your input. Does this setup give you sufficient focus
                      across the surface of the dome, or do you have a noticeable area on the
                      dome where the focus is sharper than the rest?
                      Do you use the 2 mirror setup, or does the projector special optics to not
                      need to be placed far from the spherical mirror?
                      I like the resolution and the light intensity especially for the money!
                      I wish we could actually see a setup like yours somewhere in the North East
                      USA...
                      Thanks again,
                      Koen.

                      From: Timo Rahunen
                      To: fulldome@yahoogroups.com
                      Date: 08/18/2010 05:08 PM
                      Subject: [fulldome] Re: What is the best projector for a 30 foot dome?

                      In Tampere Planetarium we have a Panasonic PT-DZ6700E projector and a
                      spherical mirror system in our 13m (40 foot) dome. The projector has 6.000
                      lumens, 1920x1200 pixels and the price is about 12.500 euros. It is an
                      excellent projector for our purposes.

                      Timo Rahunen
                      Director
                      Tampere Planetarium
                      Finland
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