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Helios Laser DAC


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Helios is a USB powered and driven DAC for laser projectors. It is open source, low cost, and provides good performance.

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Helios Laser DAC Maximize


This is a new DAC for which native support is being added to commercial software.  Currently is is supported via OLSC simulation by following the instructions below.

Specifications and features:

  • Max sampling rate: 65535 points per second.
  • X/Y resolution: 12 bit (4095x4095)
  • Color and intensity resolution: 8 bit (16 million colors not including intensity)
  • Max frame size: 4095 points
  • Low noise and distortion
  • Shutter signal control
  • Custom, persistent naming of DACs, perfect for multi-projector configurations
  • Open source hardware, firmware and drivers
  • Easy firmware updating over USB
  • Drivers are OLSC compatible: Works with several existing programs
  • Platform portable: libusb supports Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, OpenBSD, etc.
  • Based on ATSAM4S2B ARM microcontroller, 112MHz and 64KB RAM
  • Plug and play: Drivers automatically installed on Windows 8 or newer
  • Black aluminium enclosure
  • Connectivity: USB B female in, DB25 (ILDA) female out
  • Two indication LEDs
  • Dimensions: 75 * 70 * 25 mm
  • Power consumption: ~150mA

User guide

On Windows 8 or newer, drivers should automatically install when plugging the device in for the first time. No further action is needed, software should be able to detect and use the DAC right away. On older versions of Windows, you may need to manually install drivers for the DAC to work. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Download and run Zadig:
  2. In the dropdown list, find "Helios Laser DAC".
  3. Select WINUSB (should be default) as driver and click "Install Driver"
  4. You're done, Helios should now be detectable and usable.

On Mac, like newer versions of Windows, you don't need to install any drivers, the device should work right away if there is no existing kernel extension installed for the device.

To use the device without root privilege, you probably need to set up udev rules. See this page for more information: libusb FAQ on github

Using Helios with software that supports the OLSC API.
On some programs that support the OLSC API, such as ILD SOS, you can enable Helios functionality by replacing a library file. The file can be found in the github repo here, as "HeliosLaserDAC.dll":
Rename HeliosLaserDAC.dll to OLSC.dll or OLSD.dll depending on what the program use, and replace the file in the program's installation folder. The program should now be able to detect the Helios. If the program hasn't implemented the name property of the OLSC API, the DAC might show up as "OLSD" or something similar. 
  • Input Voltage 5 V
  • DAC Control Ports USB
  • DAC Power Port USB Connector
  • DAC Max Point Rate 60 kpps

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Helios Laser DAC

Helios Laser DAC

Helios is a USB powered and driven DAC for laser projectors. It is open source, low cost, and provides good performance.

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