Proper power management for lasers


I'm curious about the best way to handle safely powering down lasers when they are not in use. Right now I have 2 Unity Elite 5 Pro lasers, and both are around 13' up and not physically accessible. I've been disconnecting their power run each night as a way to power them down, which seems to work, but I'm curious if there is a recommended procedure.

Last night the lasers were left connected to power as we needed that distro line for other hardware that was being worked on overnight. Neither was receiving data or active but still connected to power. I came into the studio today and discovered that both projectors are extremely laggy and freezing occasionally. I power-cycled them to see if that would address the issue, and it did not. So for now I've powered them down hoping that they just need time to cool down, but I'm very concerned. Hoping one night of being connected to power was not enough to cause permanent damage.

It's possible it's not the projectors, but BEYOND that was lagging a bit after the system booted and other background activity was happening. The PC I'm using is shut down after every test session, and freshly booted before seeing these issues. I did leave the lasers unplugged for around an hour just in case, but we are still seeing a lot of laggy behavior. It is also worth noting that in over a week of testing this is the first time we've seen this issue. Restarting BEYOND has not addressed the issue.

Task Manager is not showing any unusual or excessive activity for CPU, GPU, RAM, or Network. I've attached an image here showing system activity during a period of time where the stuttering happened 4-5 times. Nothing too notable, though sometimes a minor CPU spike of a couple of % is noticed during the stutters, less activity than you would normally see alt-tabbing between applications.


Here is a video showing the 2 projectors mapped to the same space. Normally they remain fully in sync for long periods of time with no stuttering, but today they are stuttering very frequently.

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With further testing, I can confirm that both lasers have the stutter/freeze issue. I'm not sure if it's a software or hardware issue. Feels more like it's software. A full day of looking for solutions has yielded no results, other than a lost day of progress on a big project. We may have to cancel a big tech demo on Saturday if we can't find and address the source of the issue. Rebooting the PC and restarting BEYOND have not helped.
I wanted to check here before filing a ticket.

I’m on the latest build. When you mentioned I should update to address the issue where the projector status in the bottom right turns red I checked, and I have always been on the latest build. Only installed around 2 weeks ago. Clicked to check for updates yesterday and there were none.

I’ll file a ticket today once I’m at the studio. The performance has not been getting better and we are staring to get extremely worried. The software and lasers were stable for a couple weeks and suddenly this freezing stutter issue happens a few times a minute.
This morning we did a bit more troubleshooting and discovered the issue is network related. I'm reading now to see if we can better configure our show LAN to address the laser freezing issue.

For reference, and in case it helps others with this issue, here is our current show LAN configuration:

Mikrotik CRS328-24P-4S+RM 24 port Gigabit Ethernet router/switch (managed, factory settings + DHCP enabled)
  • DMX King eDMX 4 MAX
  • Macbook Pro running Resolume and Pro DJ Link
  • Pioneer CDJ
  • Pioneer DJM-A9
  • Razer Pro Laptop running BEYOND
  • 2 Unity Elite 5 Pro lasers (in series)

If we run the switch with just the lasers and the BEYOND laptop, the issue happens very infrequently (once a minute or two per laser), and with the Pioneer devices connected the issue happens 6+ times a minute. With the lasers connected directly to the laptop, the issue does not happen at all.

Glad we've identified the nature of the issue. Time to read all the docs now.
As I was reading through, I was thinking network problems - restart switch. Glad it was that.

I always try to leave the lasers on if it's just overnight unless you know all power will be turned off. It's also normal practice to unplug them at the rack if you need.

As for your freezing issue without the Pioneer stuff, managed switches can be a problem in my experience, if you can, try a cheap Netgear switch. Try a new cable from laptop to switch and make sure it's no longer than 80m. Go to System - performance tuning and set it to maximum cpu and network and try using the new turbo streaming. But it really sounds like it's a switch issue.

You should put the Pioneer stuff on a separate network entirely.
Yeah, I was super glad to figure out it was just network-related. I was worried I did something dumb and damaged the lasers, or that my laser control laptop was having some kind of strange software or hardware issue.

How do you turn on turbo streaming? I've watched the video mentioning it, and read an article from Pangolin on it, but for the life of me I can't find out how to turn it on. It's not in network settings, and the icon they show in the bottom left in screenshots ([]=turbo) is not there for me. I have the latest build of 5.5, downloaded just a couple of weeks ago.

The freezing issue was really bad for 2 14-hour days, and then late last night and all day today the issue was gone. Nothing changed on the network, no devices were added or removed, and no configuration settings changed on the routers or in BEYOND. Very strange stuff... but that's networking for you!

One option might be to set up an isolated subnet on the switch only for the lasers, and then add a USB NIC to the laser laptop. That way I still have the main NIC for ArtNet, NDI, etc. At some point we'll be building a rolling rack mount system for laser control, but not until the dust settles.

We also plan on following the static IP standard outlined here ([]=network) but we are doing some pretty intense R&D right now that involves switching hardware frequently.
Yeah, that description matches what their website shows. Sadly it's just not in the software for me. Is there some hidden menu to enable it perhaps? Or do you have to download some secret beta version? I'm on v5.5 ultimate, build 1939, and when I click to check for updates, there are no updates.