Interesting idea. I might give this a try with a set of old speakers I have laying around. I think I would use a more powerful laser though so that it is a bit brighter.
“Bryan was telling us over dinner how in school his science teacher setup a laser light show. Bryan has a laser level, so we decided to do it. The concept is so simple. Basically, the idea to put a mirror on a large speaker and bounce a laser off the mirror onto a wall. Playing music through the speaker causes the mirror to bounce around.”
“Materials: laser (you can get a laser pointer at Radio Shack or an office store for $10 or $20; Bryan happened to have a laser level), a very small mirror (we pried a small mirror out of a makeup thing, see the picture), good stereo with good speakers), plus tape and books and stuff to act as shims. Bryan aims and aligns the laser level, using high tech shims like a book and a mini-stapler.”
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My father (Lee M Harris) patented this very same thing, back in the late 70′s – early 80′s.
In fact, he and a partner manufactured and sold a small number of these, complete with a HeNe laser, under the name “Dynalaser”.
I grew up watching the dynalaser project patterns onto the ceiling of our living room..strange seeing it in another incarnation.
As for using speakers with chromed caps, it doesn’t work very well…the beam tends to become fuzzy and you end up with a dancing fuzzy light.
Changing the angle at which the laser beam coincides with the mirror surface only affects the angle of the beam bouncing off of the mirror.
Using a 5mW HeNe laser gives the best results, IMHO, as the human eye causes you to see a purplish “halo” around the beam (when used in a totally dark room).
The best way to do something like this is to make two loops out of scotch tape and connect them perpendicular to each other (so that, looking down on top of the loops, you see a + shape) and then using a dab of superglue to mount the mirror piece onto the apex of the “spring” you get much more interesting patterns with this method than by just mounting a mirror to a speaker, plus using scotch tape means that you don’t have to ruin your speakers, as it’s easy enough to remove.
Dichroic mirror also works well for this project.
Anyway, i just thought that I’d reply..given the personal nature of this project.
[...] dark and shows the dramatic results. The principle is the same as some other projects that we have seen here in the past. It uses a similar principal to my Hard Drive Laser Oscilloscope project but uses the [...]
If you use strings to sorta let the mirror dangle in front of the speaker (play around with different patterns of string, or use just one from above), you can use smaller and cheaper speakers for good results.
I didn’t have a mirror lying around, so I used an old button cell battery… funny thing is… that reacts to the electromagnetic field of the speaker.
so the next step will be to get that battery lined up just right, instead of the membrane Have fun