Introduction: Convert a 40 Years Old DIA Slide Projector to a Decent DIY Projector!

Picture of Convert a 40 Years Old DIA Slide Projector to a Decent DIY Projector!

This hack made in Cairo Hackerspace .

We needed a projector in the Hackerspace for The Internet of things build night and other workshops , courses and our Friday hacker movie night .

The problem is that we can't afford buying a real projector , so we made our last "Hacker Scouts event " a trip to the Egyptian second hand Friday market and we found a 40+ years old DIA projector Made in Western Germany!!!.

We bought it for 100 Egyptian Pounds = 14$ USD.

Step 1: Part List!

Picture of Part List!

This is the part list that I used in this hack:

*Any DIA projector should work.

*Any hackable display should work.

*Any device that can display data on the screen you are using will work fine.

Step 2: Hacking the Display.

Picture of Hacking the Display.

This step is not hard to do but it have a TRICKY parts ,BE CAREFUL.

Technical description :

All LCD/TFT displays are actually transparent !! Yes, your mobile,laptop,,tv screens are just a transparent piece glass that the data is displayed inside it.

What makes the screens not transparent when you look at , because it have some kind of housing consists of a multi-layer plastic lenses and metal cover installed at the back of every LCD screen in any device.

The lenses at the back of the screen reflects and concentrates the white led light coming from the bottom side of the screen to the whole surface of the screen , and that what makes the data displayed on the LCD visible and readable to the human eye.


Be very careful and gentle with the brown flex connector. (DO NOT DO ANY ADJUSTMENT)

Be very careful with screen itself , take care about hands pressure when hacking it.

Most of the things will start fall by its own after you open the metal back cover , Do not force anything.

The Steps:

  1. Investigate with your eye the front and the back of the screen to know where to start and if there a critical part.
  2. With a needle tip tool "I used de-soldering hand tools" start open the back metal cover.
  3. Open the metal back cover and carefully take it off and move it away.
  4. Turn the back of the screen to face down at all the extra things we don't want will fall by it's own "Usually it is not glued".
  5. The last plastic lens will not fall , but you can move it 180 degree , actually it is glued to the brown flex connector , DO NO TAKE IT OFF OR YOU WILL DESTROY THE SCREEN FOREVER.

Step 3: Connect and Test the Display.

Picture of Connect and Test the Display.

This display I used have NTSC/PAL television driver , It can be connected with the television video out connector "the yellow connector".

I used my composite video cable that work with my Nokia N900 smart phone and raspberry pi.

Connect the black and read wires to 12VDC and ground through an adapter .

When the display lights up and start displaying fine, make sure it is transparent and all the useless stuff from the back fall off.

Step 4: Prepare the DIA Projector.

Picture of Prepare the DIA Projector.

I was lucky because the projector halogen bulb was working fine and was bright .

Prepare the area that the screen will enter from and make sure there is a room for the screen,cables and the driver board.

Knowing the best place to put the screen is easy , just put it at the same place the old slides used to enter from.

Step 5: Put It All Together and Power On.

Picture of Put It All Together and Power On.

Start by entering the screen carefully in the slides hole.

Next connect the yellow video connector and after it the power.

After you done all the above steps power on the electricity and you should see the screen LED lens light up and you will see the data on the screen.

Step 6: Adjust and Enjoy ;)

Picture of Adjust and Enjoy ;)

Make sure that the screen is not flipped vertically or horizontally .

Adjust the brightness of the the LCD and the brightness of the projector's lamp.

Adjust the projectors lens focus to get the best results .

Adjust the screen size from the device .

NOTE: All these pictures were taken with room light on .


rilyas (author)2016-01-03

i have an old ipod so i am gonna try and make it.

lets see how it goes

yaly (author)2015-02-26

Nice work. I think you should disconnect the LCD's own backlight. I have a german projector and willing to do this project for a long time for your same reason. Greetings from Alexandria !

ccronkhite (author)yaly2015-12-03

Do NOT do that. I tried it, and it screwed it up. I'm assuming that the way the circuit is designed, it depends on the backlight to draw a certain amount of power, and without it, it screws up the rest of it. Mine worked fine before removing the backlight and after, it flickered so it must have messed up the refresh rate.

The author was not wrong when he said it will ruin the display

crowat (author)2015-09-21

Can I drive this off of a laptop? I'm hoping to show a DVD by slide projector. (If there's an overheating concern, do you know of any Instructables that address this, or commercial products?)

Alif shuk!

andy.knote (author)2014-12-17

Nice build, great work!

ToutHackAmon (author)andy.knote2014-12-18

Thanks :)

Eromanga (author)2014-12-02


ToutHackAmon (author)Eromanga2014-12-02

Thanks :)

greintsma (author)2014-12-01

Seems like you guys are a fun group! I'll have to stop by next time i'm in Ciaro if I may!

ToutHackAmon (author)greintsma2014-12-02

Thanks :) , sure you are welcome any time :)

vegvet (author)2014-11-27

I built one of these 20 years ago with an LCD screen from a small portable TV. Needed extra cooling as the projector lamp tended to heat it up causing a blanching of the colour.

ToutHackAmon (author)vegvet2014-11-29

same problem with me , you can change the back-light to a super bright LED or install a colling fan over the screen.

iam_maker_leo (author)2014-11-27

What a nice build....

I happy you liked it :)

Bverysharp (author)2014-11-28

Impressive, yet simple. Congratulations!

ToutHackAmon (author)Bverysharp2014-11-29

Thanks :)

stewkingjr (author)2014-11-28

Very thoughtful! Really nice, simple build!

ToutHackAmon (author)stewkingjr2014-11-29

Thanks :)

KROKKENOSTER (author)2014-11-27

And we are told to get rid of our old photographic or electronic stuff! I say you can never cook up something and for every bit do shopping! The fun comes in when that ancient apparatus come to life in some new applications! If the hacked component fails then no cry it would in any case landed in the dustbin!

You should visit us in Egypt , you will be amazed .

yaly (author)2014-11-26

Hey, I live in Alexandria, can you please tell me the address of Cairo Hackerspace ?

ToutHackAmon (author)yaly2014-11-26

gal-x-e (author)2014-11-25

I was looking for this for so long. tnx :-)

ToutHackAmon (author)gal-x-e2014-11-25

You welcome :) , tell me if you need help with your project ;)

gal-x-e (author)ToutHackAmon2014-11-25

well, i'm actually trying to build a mini projector, only because i've an old and useless HMD (thanks to google cardboard, which is BTW much better).
so i'm not really sure about the lenses and the backlight.

Thanks again

ToutHackAmon (author)gal-x-e2014-11-26

I have done it before with normal magnifying lenses , a shoes box and a bulb ,, you can start testing it with this basic stuff and then you change the back light with powerful led.

And remeber , you need a lens between the back light and the screen and another lense in front of the screen.

stechi (author)2014-11-23

Great stuff, I want to try this! Can you tell us any more about how to connect screens to other sources, I would like to use an old smartphone screen. I am not familiar with adafruit.

ToutHackAmon (author)stechi2014-11-25

Thanks, :) , I did this with a smartphone screen before , the easiest way to do this is use the smart phone itself and don't detach the screen , use the phone to display your data on its own screen and by carefully disassembling the back cover of the screen you can put it inside the projector .

Chuck Stephens (author)2014-11-23

Very cool and resourceful! I like your creative reuse of an obsolete item. I saw you on Hackaday- congratulations!

Thanks :)

rojecas (author)2014-11-22

Nice, really nice, congratulations. You found a good use for an old device. Maybe I has the materiales to make my own projector...

ToutHackAmon (author)rojecas2014-11-23

Thanks :)

About This Instructable




Bio: Hack like an Egyptian!
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