Has anyone modified an lcd display to use sun light for the backlight?

I'd like to use a 4" lcd display outdoors. Would it work to remove the backlight and use a mirror to direct sunlight to the back of the lcd (in conjunction with a shade for the front)? Would a sheet of white plastic work for a diffuser?

Something similar to this old pocket tv system:

Thanks in advance for comments and suggestions.

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shastalore5 years ago
I plan to have one up and working, just in time run green educational video clips, at the Berkeley Earth Day Festival, April 21, 2012.

I just picked up Panasonic PT-L104P LCD Overhead Projection Panel, 8.25" x 6.25" (= 10.5" diagonal), and will mount a diagonal upward-facing mirror behind it, with a horizontal milky-white translucent glass skylight panel mounted over the mirror. The finished rig will be tripod mounted, at viewing level, with a large, wide-angle sun shade.

Running off a 12 Volt battery, and taking RCA video and mono sound plugs, it seems to be perfect for the task. But we'll soon find out.

Like Bob, I was really inspired by the 1980's miniature pocket lcd television design, although I have rearranged the components to a different configuration.

I also have a Palm m515 PDA, and while interesting, a trans-reflective display will not attract and hold the interest of casual passerbys, in a public event. The quality is just not there.

Stay posted, as I'll work out the details and upload photos and the details soon.
Mondan7 years ago
A vary good idea,
beackmaniax8 years ago
No, but it is a good idea for an Instructable, some one should do it.
MattGyver928 years ago
An LCD is basiacally an ever-changing "stain glass window" made of colored pixels with a light source behind it. They are transparent. It will still fuction just fine without the cold cathode bulbs and with the sun or a projector (old school projector) to light it up. You could even hook it up to your window! But unless you want to see outside as well as what's on the screen, diffuse the light behind it.
klee27x8 years ago
That wouldn't accomplish anything that a reflective LCD doesn't already do way better. They are less common, but they exist. The original GBA used that kind of LCD. It looked great in bright light, but it was hard to see with average indoor lighting.
Kasm279 klee27x8 years ago
the GBC and the phat DS also used the trans-reflective displays, and i have a PDA (Palm m515) that has one
frollard8 years ago
Either a diffused mirror behind, or a diffused direct view with sun backlight would work - experiment!