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1950's Leica Slide Projector LCD conversion for under $30

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Picture of 1950's Leica Slide Projector LCD conversion for under $30
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In this Instructable I will show the steps to turn a vintage slide projector into a modern LCD projector without damaging the original projector so that it still can be used for slides. All that is needed is a "keychain" LCD player and a vintage projector (and some bits and pieces from your junk drawer).

Just for fun I wanted to make this "add-on" look as if it belonged to the original projector by painting the LCD package with metallic "hammered texture" paint. I also framed the LCD screen with an original vintage "Kodak Kodachrome" slide holder.

Parts:
  • Vintage Leica Slide Projector (Free)
  • LCD Key ring - $19.99
  • Spray paint - $7.99
  • Light Switch Plates - $1.99
Total cost under $30.

This projector  is what the A/V crew back in public school only could dream about! so....   
 
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Step 1: The Projector...

Picture of The Projector...
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Over Christmas I was rummaging through my parents basement when this brown case caught my eye. Not that it looked very special except for the word "Leica" in old green brass on the side. Hoping for a box of old cameras I opened the case and found a 1950's model Leica slide projector. While not a windfall that an old M1 Leica camera would be it was still cool. I pulled it out and plugged it in and to my amazement it was still functioning with the bulb shining brightly!

The original slide attachment slid onto the projector on two metal rails. The piece that held the attachments was removable so I could use it to hold my new LCD conversion.

ar_caver12 days ago

You did a good job with this, and you managed to preserve a bit of photographic history, keeping it out of the landfill. The Leica projectors do not have the collectors value that other Leica equipment have, yet they are still desirable to collectors and users of vintage equipment. I feel that with a higher quality LCD you would actually increase the value of the projector for many people like myself who prefer to use vintage equipment.

Do you have any problem with the incandescent light bulb overheating the electronics?

Gabse1 year ago
i would use the display of a iPod nano,so You can also play video clips
Wesley6661 year ago
Ahh, if I am correct, old Lieca stuff like this is worth quite a bit of money. Like a lot. Old Lieca stuff is the only cameras anyone wants really to collect. Some are worth hundreds of thousand of dollars, one even sold for $2.8 million. I hear Lieca stuff from the 50's is worth around $1000. Just so you know, you possibly modified a $1000 antique.
vanweb (author)  Wesley6661 year ago
Slide projectors do not have the same value as their cameras and if you look closely at my project I did not actually modify anything on the original projector. I just created a new attachement. If I pull off my lcd the projector can still fully function as it was intended to.
Good stuff then. I saw Lieca and 1950's together and I know that there old stuff can be worth $$$. Just seems like most people don't know Lieca is collectible and most other cameras aren't, (Not a big market?) but just thought I would let you know in case you had an old Lieca Camera as well. I have heard of people using $1 million bowls for ash trays and not realizing what they had. I wasn't sure about the projector, I haven't ever heard of or seen a Lieca projector so I thought it could still be worth something.

The only other question I have, where did you get Hammer-Tone paint in a can?! Never ever heard of it. I know Hammer-Tone is usually made by adding a little acetone? to paint. (I think its acetone, I know they add something like it). Never seen canned stuff though.
vanweb (author)  Wesley6661 year ago
Lots of companies make it.. here is one from Rust-olium found it at my local hardware store: http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-223782-Plastic-Hammered-12-Ounce/dp/B001766NI4/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1365002332&sr=8-12&keywords=hammered+spray+paint
crazyg2 years ago
Good job, i was nice of you to be sympathetic to the projector ,i have a similar style one that i did not want to alter, had to replace its rotary switch because it was turning to dust it used to blow glowing embers out the top.your light switch mount thing is a great match as well.
vanweb (author)  crazyg2 years ago
Thanks! I love restoring old things but since this projector was in such good shape I wanted to update it without modifying it at all. But I wanted the "new" piece not to look out of place.

Sometimes the only way to rescure things is to update them...  here are two rescue projects I have done:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Vintage-Tricycle-Resurrection-with-Modern-Technolo/ http://www.instructables.com/id/Retrofitting-a-Retro-Rocking-Horse/