Picture of Awsome $50 diy projector (well for me)
I been searching the internet on the vast subject of "DIY Projectors" I I finally built a "successful" one. Here is a quick list of supplies I used.
1- portable DVD player w/ input (free broken laser eye hence the "input")
1- photo copier lens ($5 on surplusstore.com)
3- page magnifiers ($1 x 3 = $3 local dollar store)
1- piece of tempered glass (spare form old spot light)
1- 500w halogen light setup ($10- $15 at harbor freight)
1- soup ladle ($1 dollar store)
2- sheets of MDF wood ($8 x 2 = $16 home depot)
3- pc fans (free, I build computers so I have some to spare)
1- black heat paint ($3 home depot)
1- condenser lens ($? I got mine out of a collection of lenses)
I Think thats about it.... page 2

Step 1: Gather the supplies

Picture of Gather the supplies
by this time you should be looking for a portable dvd player mine was free but you can get one at Radioshack *NEW* for about $70 but you can check Ebay ect for used or broken ones. When I say broken I mean the laser eye is bad but it still has a input to connect dvd player, xbox, ps2,or Dreamcast (cause it rocks) . FYI the better the resolution the lcd panel is the better the picture will be. Dont ask me specs on my lcd cause "I DO NOT KNOW" all I know is I'm getting an awesome picture. Sorry I dont have any pictures "in the process" but I only have the "end results" pictures. but this is my lcd glued and ready to go.
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KevinM165 months ago

thinking about throwing one of these together I have everything minus the halogen lamp. and really that is the only part that gives me second thoughts.... the Halogen lamp used seems kind of dangerous with the heat they put out and the enclosure being wood I worry about fire or excess heat. So wonder if a 12v replacement could be used like an driving light or spot light????

rhelwig11 year ago

Hi all, don't know if anybody can help but I started working on one of these projectors recently. I took an LCD from a broken motherboard and got a driver off ebay. I plug in a video source and the picture comes on. Problem is as soon as I move the screen over top of the over head projector the video goes blank. if I put just a part of the screen over the OHP just that section goes out. The video wont come back until I turn the LCD off and then back on. Anyone have any idea as to why a light source could stop the screen from working?

hemant.cdy2 years ago
can you tell where i can get the lcd and the projecor lense from
profundis3 years ago
thanks for doing this tutorial. I've been wanting to use video projection for a halloween project, but projectors are so expensive, even on ebay. Replacement bulbs often cost as much as the projector. So, this project you did gives me some ideas.

I was wondering if you could clarify something - does the light pass thru the LCD or does the image somehow just get reflected from the LCD and reflected. I guess I'm not understanding the exact physics of what is happening here. It looks like the LCD is simple glued to a piece of hardboard, in which case light would not be able to pass thru it so it must be being reflected. Please explain.

This is a great design for an on the cheap DIY projector, I have been building a bigger version of these for awhile, Those that are looking for in depth detail in regards to the physics of the projector and how to build a 1080p version of this projector that honestly rivals the really expensive projectors with bright bulbs that are $20 instead of $300 (commercial projector) should check out the site http://www.lumenlab.com, there is an entire community of people building projectors there.
http://lumenlab.com, sorry no www on the link
your link leads nowhere repost it .
ahahaha comon guys

Looks like Lumenlabs has gotten out of the projector biz.  Still some stuff to be found on their site, though:

Nice pdf guide here: Lumenlab_DIY_projector_guide_v2.0.pdf

Projector building forums here: LumenlabForums
The link has a comma at the end that is causing your problem.
Click here:  http://www.lumenlab.com
Abhineo5 years ago
does the 4.2" mp4 player lcd work?
But, how big is you're LCD?
It's kind of important!
slimguy379 (author)  CedricAnne975 years ago
shonray5 years ago
hey nice work ...must say .... but jst wanted to ask will a laptop lcd panel do for this project ??
xanxor5 years ago
that looks hard to extend the wires
i made one of them and i didnt use the second magnifier after the lcd i just went
light-Fresnel-lcd-magnified glass
TK3k5 years ago
it looks like you glued in the the lcd?
slimguy379 (author)  TK3k5 years ago
yeah a bit of epoxy will work wonders. the alternative is like screws which made me feel a little skeptical.
ScubaSteve5 years ago
could i possibly make a mini-projector with a battery-operated TV that has inputs?
slimguy379 (author)  ScubaSteve5 years ago
no you say tv as in CRT monitor not lcd. lcd is the only type of monitor used for this application.
No, its an LCD. Im sure i can do it, just scale evreything down.
slimguy379 (author)  ScubaSteve5 years ago
oh yeah sorry my bad. that will work.
GreenD5 years ago
Cool dude, I'm still confused - how do you use a broken dvd player, and also - what is the power supply to the LCD monitor? What is that hooked up to, just a wall plug? Thanks for the sweet project - Going to try and customize it for an xbox if you see where I'm goin with that.
the broken DVD player is the monitor..
slimguy379 (author)  GreenD5 years ago
its a portbale dvd player. research them its not just a regular dvdv player. usually the power supply is just a 12 or 9v plug in. and its just a regular 120v plug in the wall.
GreenD5 years ago
What do you mean the portable dvd player has an input?? Why does it not matter if the laser eye works or not?
slimguy379 (author)  GreenD5 years ago
the reason why you would want a dvd player with a broken eye is because there cheaper. with a dvd player without an input you can only play dvds through the actual dvd player, but with an input you can use it witha  out side source such as an xbox.
bombmaker25 years ago
firstly, awsum project im working on one now.
second, how big is your screen and the piece of wood you used
slimguy379 (author)  bombmaker25 years ago
the screen image is/was somewheres around 70" and as far as wood, idk. I know that i bought the MDF in sheets at homedepot fo $8. and they all come in one uniform size.
i meant how big was the lcd itself diagonally
InvaderDig5 years ago
Okay, last two questions (thanks for your patience) - How did you wire the PC fans into working? I've been thinking about drills ventilation holes because I know absolutely nothing about computer components and their wiring needs.

Did you notice any difference between a 500 Watt bulb and the 250 Watt when it came to picture quality?

slimguy379 (author)  InvaderDig5 years ago
the fan is simple you cut off the conetion of the pc fan so you have bare red and black wires.your red is  + and your black is a - or ground. you pc fan is run on 12v. so for me i used an old cell phone charger or any charger for that matter that knocks 120v to 12v. if you see any writing, engraving or stickers on the charger they should have a listing for "output" granted 10v to 13v will do but typically youll find 12v oututs. then just cutoff the end of the charger, strip the wires, and locate the wire with dashes on it compared to the other wire with no markings. the non marked wire is you -, or your black wire. so now obviously the marked wire is +. so just connect that to your red. solder the wires.cover them over with tape and plug it in. hopefully if done right she'll spin.

but yes  there was a difference in the image brightness, and over all quality. some guys upgrade to over head projector bulbs. or ever metal haloide.not sure if i spelled it right. Later on though i will try using a a mercury vapor bulb. just the brighter the better i guess. ik of guys who have use high power LEDs in arrays. i tried that but was a new kid on the block to LEDs, soldering, and arrays so i had no success. but it illustrates the idea that theres tons of light sources available, just a matter of what you can afford. hence why i used a cheap halogen light LOL
InvaderDig5 years ago
 How far away did you place your light source from the LCD screen? Also, surplusstore.com doesn't seem to be around anymore - do you know of any other surplus websites off hand?
slimguy379 (author)  InvaderDig5 years ago
http://www.surplusshed.com/pages/item/l3132.html idk seemed to work for me. but to a mockup and play with the components without a box, get it to optimum quality then measure everything out then build a box. my demensions wont surve a purpose since evryboys project will be different just to some messing around with it
Thanks mate! cheers! :D
InvaderDig5 years ago
so you're telling me that I can add back lighting to an LCD screen just by isolating the screen and throwing a light behind it?

and where do I place the page magnifiers? I'm a little confused where they go. Do you have a diagram available?
slimguy379 (author)  InvaderDig5 years ago
yeah you can when the backlight is taken away the LCD becomes transparent. but read step 4, the page magnifiers come before and after the LCD one to maginfy and spread the light as the other sharpens it so the lens can pick it up i do have a diagram which is in step 4 you have to put your cursor over the boxes to see what is what.
mcastles5 years ago
Nice projector.
mhkabir5 years ago
Any way how to increase the 'warmth' of the projected picture??
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