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Convert overhead projector to overhead/document camera

Picture of Convert overhead projector to overhead/document camera
Document camera or also called overhead camera, is a great tool to have in class
, to better display some small 3D objects or documents.

 But unfortunately they aren't so cheap!

Alternative to them is a old school Opaque projectoroverhead projector and but they are becoming rare, saving the projection to digital format is annoying (take a photo), and also the lamp generates quite a mount of heat.

USB cameras are now quite cheap (my "Canyon CNR-WCAM820HD" was around 30€)
so why not just build your overhead/document camera ?



Actually the build part is super simple, even more if you use for the base an old overhead projector, which makes this camera even better, because you can light the object underneath and possibly make some internal structures of the object visible.

The hardest part of this build was the software, because I couldn't find one that would fulfill my expectations:
- FREE
- NO BANNER
- WinXP x32 / Win7 x64 / Win8  compatible
- digital zoom compatibility
- full screen mode 
- save picture
- portable (no installer)


So I had to write my own software, (don't worry, I'll give it to you, for free)

Edit 1: The source code for my software is available on GitHub.

Still reading? Great! Let's start building.



 
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Step 1: Parts and Tool list

Parts needed:
1x USB Web-cam (best is if you can manually configure focus, it has to suport DirectShow protocol) 
1x Old Overhead projector (if you don't have one, build the camera base of old lamp,wood...)
2x screws & nuts
Scrap metall (from old computer case...)

Tools needed:
- Drill
- Screwdriver
- Hacksaw

- File



 

Step 2: Disasamble the head of the projector

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1. For easy work, take down the whole head assembly 
2. Unscrew the mirror 
3. Unscrew the lens (cerfuly it may fall out!)
4. Unscrew the "head" from the "neck"

Step 3: Mount the web-cam

1. Mark & Drill the holes for mounting the camera
2. From scrap metal make a holding grip for the camera
3. Mount the web-cam so that is facing perpendicular to the work area of the projector and near the center of old lens.
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