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

About: Hack like an Egyptian!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ;)

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 .