Introduction: Super Sleek IPod or Other Device Video Projector

Picture of Super Sleek IPod or Other Device Video Projector

In this Instructable I will show you step to step how to Make a Super Sleek Video Projector for your iPod, Zen, Zune, DS, or Other Media or Gaming device. It Requires no Power to Function and you Do not Have to Disassemble your device; it will sit on a Basing above the Mirror.

Step 1: Lets Get Fetching!

Picture of Lets Get Fetching!

For this Project you will need to Find the Following Items:

>A Shoe Box
>A Sheet of Mirror (Preferably PVC or Acrylic)
>A Projector Lens (Slide Projector ones Work Well)
>Spare Cardboard
>Glue Sticks

And the Following tools:

>A Stanley Knife
>A Straight Edge
>A Ruler in MM
>A Marker Pen

>A Basic Scale Drawing Ability.


Step 2: Cut the Lens Barrel Hole

Picture of Cut the Lens Barrel Hole

Firstly, Draw A Line from one Corner to the Opposite Corner on the other side.
E.G. Top Left to Bottom Right and Bottom Left to Top Right.
Where the lines Meet give you your Center. Measure the Radius of the inside of your Barrel and Cut your hole from the Center accordingly.

Step 3: Marking the Mirror Angle

Picture of Marking the Mirror Angle

To do this you need to Firstly measure the Depth of your Box. My one was 12cm.

Next Draw A 12x12 cm Square

If you are on the left of your box draw from The Top right to the bottom left.

Then from the right draw from the Top Left to the bottom right.
On the inside you will need to draw the lines for positioning the mirror.

Step 4: Cut the Screen Hole

Picture of Cut the Screen Hole

1. Draw a Line 12cm from the top along the width of your box if your box is 12cm deep.

Depth = Line Distance from Top.

2. Draw a Line 4cm from the top of the box.

3. Draw a line 8cm from the top of your line drawn in step 1 as if to meet the line drawn in step 2.

4. Draw lines going from the left to right sides at the level of the lines Drawn in steps 2 and 3.

5. Work out the area of your screen on your device;


Half your X and Y Axis values and mark a point for each and join the lines. Work from your center line and mark measuring half of each value on each side.

6. Then Stanley the Hole out neatly tidying the edges.

Step 5: Finalising

Picture of Finalising

Measure your Diagonal line for your 45 Degrees and Mark This on an area or the mirror. Then measure the width of your box and join this to the Existing line on the mirror.

Get your Straight edge and put it along the line and score a couple of times with the Stanley, Continue this as Necessary then Snap the mirror out along the Lines.

Finally Put the Mirror into the Box with the edges along your pre-marked lines. When you are Happy with the Positioning simply glue gun the mirror in Place.

Step 6: Showtime!

Picture of Showtime!

Put your device over the Hole in the top and position the Projector so that it has a Projection surface, Preferably a White Wall. Focus the Image by Rotating the lens on its Barrel Thread and Changing the Position of the Projector.

The images Below do Not do the Actual Projection much Justice, you would have to see for yourself the actual quality and brightness.

My Projector Can Project from a 1.5 Inch (Very Bright) to a 3 Foot (Watchable) image.


GameNox (author)2011-01-17

Cool! Why dosen't Apple come up with this stuff!?

BobS (author)2009-04-29

A nice projector lens can be made from binoculars. one, or 2 objective lenses put together can project a nice image. A better, and sometimes even cheaper solution is to use a lens found inside copy machines. These lenses cost almost nothing, as the technology has gone trough many changes, and many machines are obsolete.. You might find one at the roadside, don't forget your tools! These lenses are designed to reproduce A4 - letter format! Another source is a slide projector, but only for small LCD sizes. Same story for old camera objectives: only for small LCDs. Enlarger objectives can work, but have a small aperture. The very best option is an areal camera objective lens, designed for very large film sizes, and very well corrected. Not always available, but often rather cheap at surplus stores.

zack247 (author)BobS2010-07-28

the objective lens is the big one right? or is it the smaller lens?

DreadFred (author)2010-03-16

Is that Codemonkeys i see?  Awesome.

deebs101 (author)2009-12-08

So you only used one lens? the projector I salvaged parts from had three...the one in front like yours, and then two rounded glass ones. I tried to make it with all three, but should I just try it with the front one???

trlgal (author)2008-10-05

wow. can i use this for physics exhibit? how much does the projector lens cost and where can i get one?

z50j (author)trlgal2008-12-19

I think you you can just get a magnifying glass in national bookstore it'd be way cheaper though not that good quality

Sytner (author)trlgal2008-10-05

I guess you could. You can get a lens off of eBay for around £10.00

trlgal (author)Sytner2008-10-05

wow, that's a lot of money for me. I'm from the Philippines, I hope that my parents will allow my budget. £1 is equivalent to P80-90 (pesos)

Sytner (author)trlgal2008-10-05

If you look on eBay Phillipines you should get one for a much more reasonable price.

JellyWoo (author)2008-07-07

can you use a magnifying glass instead of a lens?

Sytner (author)JellyWoo2008-07-12

Yeah it should work because that is all a lens is.

JellyWoo (author)Sytner2008-07-12

i tried and the video was flipped. how do i fix this?

Sytner (author)JellyWoo2008-07-16

Is there a Mirror used in the setup?

JellyWoo (author)Sytner2008-07-16

ummm, actually no.

Sytner (author)JellyWoo2008-07-17

If you use a mirror that should fix it. ;)

JellyWoo (author)Sytner2008-07-18

thanks, it works but the picture is less bright and i can't get it focused right.

Sytner (author)JellyWoo2008-07-19

How far from the wall does it have to be before you get a blurry however somewhat of an image? It could be that if you are using a large aperture (Size of Lens) lens the aspect ratio (the Image x Projection Ratio) could be wrong for your distance and screen size.

JellyWoo (author)Sytner2008-07-19

about a foot

Sytner (author)JellyWoo2008-08-06

And it will not get any better? Is the lens totally clean; e.g no fingerprints grease etc? Try mucking about with the distance between the Device with the screen and the lens. Also is your mirror clean and moving that might fix it.

JellyWoo (author)Sytner2008-08-06

okay, thanks

flip it upside down

redneckobsessed (author)JellyWoo2008-07-13

flip the projector lol

i tried this with just my hands my psp and my magnifing glass, the image flips because of the shape of the glass, try useing 2

Sytner (author)redneckobsessed2008-07-16

You need the mirror for the image invertion and if it is upside down potate the PSP 180°.

Sytner (author)Sytner2008-07-16

Whoops! Rotate***

JoeShmo1 (author)2008-06-12

how big is, and where did you get your lens?

Sytner (author)JoeShmo12008-06-17

The lens is An inch circumference and I bought it off of eBay for £9.50 Delivered.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-04-07

How's the quality of it, because I might do it for my brother's Zen and or my iPod Video, which works, but I can't upload anything onto it...

Sytner (author)GorillazMiko2008-04-08

The Quality is So good that On the Big Screen Setup you can see every individual pixel if you sit close up.

Tomcat94 (author)Sytner2008-04-09

Is your camera cheap, then? because the pictures of the actual screen look REALLY blurry...

Sytner (author)Tomcat942008-04-11

The Camera cost £160 however my Photography Skills are Compromised! :O

Awesome Possum (author)Sytner2008-05-17

So, compared to watching the movie on the iPod itself, how good is the quality?

Sytner (author)Awesome Possum2008-06-06

Properly focused it is as sharp as the image on the ipod however this would have to be used as a front position projector for clarity. The only loss of quality is the brightness; even with it at full on the ipod.

keegancin (author)2008-04-29

Could you please clarify which is the top of the box?

Sytner (author)keegancin2008-04-30

The top of the box is the surface you cut the hole in for the ipod's screen to sit on.

PKM (author)2008-04-07

The backlight on an ipod video screen is bright enough to do this? I'm surprised, but then I guess if you have a dark enough room then it would work ok. Please note that when breaking glass, you should a) only score as much as necessary, "sawing" at the glass can create tiny sharp fragments and doesn't necessarily lead to a cleaner break b) break the glass by snapping it over a thin hard object like a pencil, with the scored line on top, and preferably holding the glass in a folded up towel and wearing gloves- ruin a mirror or slice your hands up is usually an easy choice. A carbide glass wheel (like a pizza wheel but 1" diameter uber-hardened steel) is also a very useful thing to have if you plan on cutting a lot of glass.

mossDboss (author)PKM2008-04-08

You are right about questioning whether the backlight is bright enough. If one is watching Snoopy, Family Guy, or some other brightly coloured carton, then yes the back light is bright enough. If one is watching say, Season 2 episode 3 of "The IT Crowd" then no the back light on the highest setting is not not bright enough. Brilliant idea, made one myself a few months ago. Broke the wifes 3g video nano, and am hoping to take it all apart and make a proper projector out of it.

Sytner (author)mossDboss2008-04-09

The Screen in a Modded Slide Projector I Guess?

Sytner (author)PKM2008-04-08

Good Point about the Glass. However I Used PVC with Mirror Film on it. The Backlight Makes for Adequate Brightness however on the Big Screen it needs to be Completely Dark really.

trustmefada (author)2008-04-07

These ipod projectors seem so pointless. Low qualtiy resolution and low light equals strain on the eyes and a lack luster experience. What about audio...just use the headphones i am guessing?

Sytner (author)trustmefada2008-04-08

I usually use Computer Speakers since the lights on it are Powered by Mains AC.

LinuxH4x0r (author)2008-04-07

Ugh, another?

Sytner (author)LinuxH4x0r2008-04-08


About This Instructable




More by Sytner:Super Sleek iPod or Other Device Video ProjectorEasy Picture Resizing for XP and VistaDIY iPod Video Projector - Requires no Power or Disassembly of the iPod
Add instructable to: