I'm working on passion project that would allow me to control laser and mirror galvanometer (galvo in further text) using Arduino board.

Laser and galvo that I've bought are encased in plastic housing unit and galvo can direct laser beam only horizontally, it was spare part from laser printer and came without any wires.

Photo album of galvo in question: https://photos.app.goo.gl/yYuCsytvfRXX8Vnv8

Since I don’t have experience with electronics I need help figuring some things out.

  1. What kind of wires (input jacks) do I need to buy for laser and galvo circuit boards (designated in the images above)?
  2. What kind of power supply do I need?
  3. What kind of Arduino board do I need?
  4. Any additional equipment?

It should be taken into consideration that I plan to add camera so I can manipulate laser through optics instead sight, after I finish this first part of the project.

Thank you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That looks to me like a polygonal scanner with 4 facets and not a galvanometer. A polygonal scanner is basically a motor that spins at a constant velocity in one direction. A galvanometer is a mirror that rotates through a fixed angle at a non-constant velocity. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 4:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user1850479 Thanks for clarification, I was trying to find laser galvo scanner that can direct laser beam horizontally and vertically but found only this and assumed it's similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bengall
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


What kind of wires (input jacks) do I need to buy for laser and galvo circuit boards (designated in the images above)?

A quick Google search turns up a few guides to wiring up that board, or at least one that looks just like it. I suggest taking a look at one of those. But in general, assuming that is actually a polygonal scanner and not a galvo, it is going to take a DC voltage (probably 12, 15 or 24v), and a clock signal, which the driver will use to synchronize the motor rotation rate to. The clock signal is used to let you synchronize the beam scanning to another axis (for 2D scanning) or to a power modulator (if you are drawing something with the beam). There is probably a feedback signal as well that indicates the true phase of the mirror so you can figure out if it is locked to the clock and/or detect error conditions.

Since you don't know how many clock edges corresponds to one revolution, I would start by trying to get the motor spinning at a relatively low speed and then use a laser and a photodiode to measure how many times per second the beam scans. Since the mirror scans 720 degrees per revolution and looks to have 4 faces, from that you can calculate how many clock cycles there are per revolution.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you tell me what kind of Arduino board should I get? \$\endgroup\$
    – Bengall
    Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bengall I don't know very much about Arduino. However, the only signal that board takes from a microcontroller is the clock, so anything that can generate the clock signal will work. The other requirements of whatever you are building will probably drive the selection of the microcontroller. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks for help. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bengall
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 19:36

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