Instructables
Picture of Automotive Headlight Projector Mod V1.2
Modding your projector on the cheap!
With the simple use of a 12V Automotive headlight and a power supply.

The OEM replacement bulb for my projector cost ~$300! More than what I paid for the projector it self. And my power supply that powered the original bulb was almost toast. Using this guide you can use an automotive head light bulb for about $15 dollars.

If you like this mod please Digg It!

Please note: This project has been added to please check out my Halogen WORK LIGHT Projector Mod

WARNING: This mod involves modification of a power supply, projector, and a high power bulb if you are not comfortable with moding on this level, DO NOT attempt this mod. The writer is not responsible for any injuries resulting from these instructions.
 
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Step 1: Gathering parts and supplies

Picture of Gathering parts and supplies
For this mod you will need the head light ($7), power supply (old PC supplies work well $5), and some good gauge wire ($2), thin bare craft wire ($1), pliers and other tools. And oh yeah, one projector with a burned out bulb (E-bay).
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Machman28235 months ago

Viper, I have an identical projector, a Lightware MVP800, and I am wondering how you reset the bulb timer and or disabled the bulb sensor/power supply

charlieb0003 years ago
the computer power supply is 12v and the car one is 14v usually (as high as 16v), this may cause some dimming.... secondly the lamp in the projector i am looking at is 160w-130w (eco). car lamps can be 55w so you might have to get a trio for adequate brightness...
older cars are often around 13 v and i have even driven a 6 v vw van
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
arnookie3 years ago
You can now buy led projector bulbs from ebay.
£36.49 + postage from here is the cheapest I found.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HD-LED-Projector-EXTRA-REPLACEMENT-SPARE-BULB-LAMP-/150591650632?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item230ff63b48

Copy and past that link and you can see for yourself.
I was going to do the same thing, ie buy a used projector with no bulb and make my own, But I decided to buy one of the cheap Abis projectors off ebay.
I was very supprised how good these cheap projectors are.
But be very carefull. I purchased the Abis HDpro for £200 and it has two hdmi inputs, component, composite input, vga and tv tuner input. It handles 720p fine and 1080p with compression 4.3 to 16.9 aspec ratio in all formats. Some other makes don't have all these features. It saved me a lot of hassle trying to make one work the way you have.

But if you are trying leds I would look at the cheap led projector bulbs off ebay.
Lamp Life: UP TO 50,000 hours Total Watts: 96watts (32 High powered LEDs fused onto a cell Plate) and upto 2,500 lumens.
abadfart3 years ago
do you think a bulb from an overhead protector would work
Shorin6 years ago
Hey I hope you guys are still up on this topic - because I got questions!

Something about the power supply worries me quite a bit.

I don't want to burn my house down by drawing 20A with an ATX power supply. I know Ohm's law shows that that's not much wattage at 12v.... but I want to be absolutely sure I'm not running much risk running a 400W supply at 12v to power this thing. The math of that scares me: 30 A current to the bulb. That might actually blow it too.
I dunno if my understanding of lightbulbs and current are right....

... I guess I am probably just obsessing. I managed to dig up an entire post on just lightbulbs. The last few posts were what I needed to read... but it didn't entirely clear things up.

http://www.advancedphysics.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-2723.html

Anyways - I just want to know from somebody whether I'm running the risk of drawing too much current on my house circuit.
Shorin Shorin6 years ago
-- it works just fine FYI.... I did it already. However, I find the bulb to be dim.... I think maybe an FXL overhead bulb may be brighter or something.
lukevn Shorin4 years ago
Thanks for the information, I’m in the process of learning blog commenting myself. It has been hard work!
Shorin Shorin6 years ago
Yeah - I can't use it in the daylight. Maybe it's because my projector is a 3-LCD model. Most people are doing this with DLP projectors.
slimguy3796 years ago
HELP!!! S.O.S. well I got a Proxima ultralight ls1 off ebay for $50 but I am currently not able to watch anything because there is a led that appears if the appropriate is NOT in there (or not in at all) and then shuts off is there a bypass of this problem? the place needed to insert bulb is below
DSCN4595.JPG
On my projector, I forget which model at the moment, Sanyo brand I believe, I was able to remove the ballast entirely and bridged a 3-wire cable that was plugged into the ballast (Just soldered all 3 together). I got lucky, as I'm none too great with a multimeter, but it effectively disabled the bulb detector.

On a more personal note I had made the mistake of trying to use an external power source in conjunction with the ballast without properly bridging them..luckily the projector had a 4A fuse in it. Of course I didn't find this out until AFTER I had tossed it in the trash and pulled it out again a few days later. I'm using a Sylvania 9007XV with both filaments and it hardly provides enough light to see the picture. I looked up the spec sheet:

http://www.sylvania.com/ConsumerProducts/AutomotiveLighting/HighPerformance/Xtravision/ProductLine/

Its trying to pull 12-13 amps, so when I get home today I'll be removing the low-beam lead. Hopefully this will improve the brightness for me! :)

Thanks for this project, and thanks to lumenlabs as well!
Apparently the PSU I'm using supposedly supports 20A on the +12v...perhaps the 9007XV just doesn't cut it? I can hardly see the menus at ~8 feet with all the lights in the room turned off, at night. Adjusting the bulb position succeeds in removing light spots on the screen, but other than that this seems to be a complete bust...
Going to try reversing the flow on the bulb and reattaching the the low beam.
Nope, still no dice. Its a little brighter, but not really watchable. Going to borrow a lux meter from work and see just how dim this sucker is.
Next attempt will involve over-volting! yay! 19.8v laptop PSU aught to do the trick...
Apparently I tossed the laptop PSU, so wasn't able to do any testing. I'm about out of ideas for this one while using a 12V PSU. I might have to get my hands on a fistful of high lumen LEDs and see if I can't build a breadboard with a decent amount of light from that. I've seen people with minimal successes with this build, so why not?! :)
VIPER2475 (author)  slimguy3796 years ago
Xeniczone has about the best idea. You'll have to use a large resistor that can take some current! If you don't know how to approach this I would get some one with Electrical Engineering experience to help. Be careful! your dealing with high voltages, have a fire extinguisher handy. Also make sure your projector would work with a good bulb. Also if the projector was $50 how much is a real bulb? My projector cost like $300 and came operational, Bulbs can be obtained for ~$200. Perhaps their cheaper for your projector?
DUDE calm down its 120v if you have read ANY of my instructables you would realize I DO have engineering skills, but I don't know I think I'm going with the other idea (halogen) and those run on stock 120v -130v.
also my bulbs are $400 - 500 and like I said I paid $50 so I rather chuck it the spend that money (remember I'm only 16 and currently unemployed )
Still a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy. Like Viper2475 said. Because i have had a few resisters blow up on me and it's not pretty. Age has nothing to do with knowledge. Many people who are extremely smart in engineering are only teens. I'm only 17. Another problem with Halogens, other then they create more heat, they also tend to release a yellow light rather then a white light. There are other sources of light that would work better then Car Halogen Bulbs. I would try set of LEDs or Florescent. BTW, A car bulb probably needs more then a 100watt power supply aka old PC power supply. Though it seems to work for you but that is just my recommendation.
I will try to make a led panel (I have to run to Radio Shack soon) below are pictures of my MANY LEDs that I was stripping off the pcb to re- use also I can't get a straight answer as far as the resistor size because this site (http://www.dannyg.com/javascript/res2/resistor.htm) will calculate everything but the max volt is 32v instead of 120v (try it out you'll understand) but soon maybe I'll make a instructable on this idea!?!
DSCN4801.JPGDSCN4802.JPGDSCN4803.JPG
you could try something like this (cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll) they put out 3000 Lumens and run at 50 Watts. they still need some heat sinks but i reckon they would be a great idea. they also have smaller rating modules that may suit better. just ebay search it.
looks interesting but they will need to be clumped together more. Even overlapping in order to work. Now that I think about it the resistor would probably be a bad idea. After reading up on it the projector actually checks to see if the lamp strikes or not. If the lamp strikes it continues to run. If the lamp doesn't strike then the projector shuts down to protect itself. What you need to do is take your projector apart and find the return line from the High Voltage power supply. The return line will generally be small compared to the power cables. Once you find the return line ground it. and it will trick the projector into thinking that the bulb always strikes. See the problem with using a resistor or say a voltmeter like someone else said. Is that when you turn the projector on the lamp strikes. This striking isn't 120volts. It's probably something much higher then that. A guess is 20,000 volts.
if the volts used is near 20,00v why can I connect my halogen 150w and have it run? (btw the 1st picture is an OLD pcb, I'm NOT using!) also what would the "return line" look like?
It's only the striking volt. It's what is use to start the light to begin with. After the light is started it will continue to run at a lower voltage. It's like a match. Once you strike it you don't have to keep striking it to keep it alive. Couldn't be sure. Follow the Lamp's wires back to the high voltage power supply and tell me what wires come off it.
VIPER2475 (author)  slimguy3796 years ago
Halogen does produce more heat. However if you have active cooling you'll be fine. My projector still runs a little cooler than with the stock bulb.
I figured out how to trick the ls series. If you take the top cover off the  projector, and look at the top left side of the board near the small fan. There is a small 3 pin plug about 2 inches right and up to the edge. If you bridge the far right pin and the middle pin of that connector it tricks it.
Have you tried putting a resistor in the place that the lamp used to connect to? This would put a load on the circuit and maybe trick the projector into thinking that it has a lamp in it.
Instead of putting the headlight bulb in the projector, you should put the projector in your headlight! Portable movie theater!
siggibahama4 years ago
hi,  I am geared up and ready to do this instructable, I am quite exited and cant wait to pop some corn and have a movie night,  I am having a problem though that maybe you can help me with.

I am using an acer pd100 projector, but it does not power up unless there is a working bulb in it, now I have to trick it into thinking that there is a bulb in by using a resistor but i have no clue wich one to use.

I have looked up the bulb  but cant seem to find how much power it uses,  that is if its 12 volt or 220 (I am in europe) 

the bulb:
http://www.oztion.com.au/buy/auction.aspx?itemid=9673891

any ideas as to what strength resistor I should use?
vistal4 years ago
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400099100452&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&afsrc=1

Should try something like this . It would last years.
VIPER2475 (author)  vistal4 years ago
Yes, thats not a bad idea! LEDs were not quite avaiable in this form when I first did this Mod. Perhaps Ill get one and try this out.
vistal4 years ago
Well 2 bulbs just blew up in my face . I am trying to remove the bulb from the plastic case and POP blew glass all over.
vistal vistal4 years ago
So whats a Safe way to remove the automotive bulb form its case?
VIPER2475 (author)  vistal4 years ago
If you think your bulb will break I would suggest using safety goggles. and DO NOT hold it near your face. I crushed the plastic base with vice grips. and remove the thin metal braces with side cutters. Patience is KEY here. the bulb is delicate. It also helps to take a quick break if your hands are getting tired so you dont put too much pressure on the glass.
nicknewbie4 years ago
i am planning to do this with a Samsung dlp tv my ? is what wire(s) need shorted or modified to make the DMD run the tv properly i have the five wire ballast wire any help is appreciated
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