Introduction: How to Make a Small DIY LED Projector

About: Always loved electronics. I like to reuse parts or componets and I Love to be part of the Instructable community.
I been working on this for about some time. I like to do thins that are not to expensive but does the job of something a lot more expensive. I think in this web page you can find lots of people doing the same, and that is REALLY helpful for all of us.

See more cool projects in my blog

 Now you can find everywhere led projectors, some of them are really good, but also so expensive. You can buy a led projector here in Uk for about 100 pounds, but there are not to good, they need to be in a dark room and the size of the screen they project is about 21" witch is not really impressive.

So I thought i could try to make something similar, and if possible a bit better, and obviously a lot cheaper.

Here is the result, using 80 led of 13000mcd. I'm still not to happy about the result, because the light is not even, thats is because the angle of the LEDs do not allow them to be so close to the screen, so i decide to buy one of the new high power led and use it with a condenser lens.

I don't think i have pictures of the whole project but I'll try to gather as much inf and pictures i can to add it here.

Please keep in mind me english sucks and this is my first instructable.

In this video you can see the projector working, but in real life you can see the screen a lot brighter.


In this other video you can see the LEDs i'm using at the moment. (80pc 5mm led, 13000mcd) but soon i'll receive the 20w 1000lm high power led from hong kong. I'll post some videos as soon as i get it an try it.

And in this las video you can see briefly the led projector again, I'll try to make better videos and post them.

Thank you for reading and watching, I'll post the making of this projector step by step couse i'm a bit busy

Step 1: All That You Need.

Ok, we just see it working, lets see if i can tell you step by step how i done it.

This is all what you need:

-MP4 player with a screen of about 2" (the better the quality of the screen the better the projection will be) Try to get it with AV in, mine does. The price of this may vary depending on the quality. about $60

-Project box. (or any other box you will lite to use, i like this project box because they are strong and they have slots to hold things in place) $5

-An old slide projector lens. $1

-Small fan, i used a 50mm fan (Maybe you don't need the fan, depending on how hot the circuit with the LEDs gets, i put mine because the resistors that came with the leds are not very good and they get hot.)--- i took this from an old pc processor cooler.

-Small switch.--- I took mine from an old PSU (power supply unit) easy to find.

-Power connector.---Just take it from any electronic device that you don't use, or buy one that is gonna cost about $1

-Some cables.---Any cables, you could use cables from the same old PSU

-Fresnel lens (magnified lens)--$1

-LEDs, this one has 80pc, 13000 mcd 5mm--$20

Not a bad projector for under $100 , I spend a little less because i had the MP4 player hanging around.

Now the tools you'll use:

-Soldering gun.

-Dremel rotary tool. (with cutting disk, and sanding bit)

-Some screws to hold the fan in place.

-Hot glue gun.

And that its all what you need to start this project.


Step 2: With the High Power Led 20W 1000lm

I finaly fit the 20w 1000lm high power led that got today in the post.

Here's the video of the result.. I recommend to use this one because it's more simple to install and the output it's a lot better.


Step 3: Let's Start.

Ok, the first thing to do, is to take the Mp4 apart. and carefully separate the LCD from the circuit.

Then you have to separate the LCD from its casing and remove the backlight. But keep the casing once it's empty of everything but the LCD itself. ( I didn't take many pictures from the process so i took the pictures now when everything is fitted, but if u don't understand, or i don't explain it properly just make a comment and i'll answer asap)

Now you have to cut a piece of anything rigid where the lcd is goin to be, so its straight. I'll make a drawing.

Step 4: The LED Bit

To do the LED driver, just read how to do it in this instructable, if any doubts just ask the author Artificial Intelligence, he is really helpful.

I know i don't do it all the way right, but i didn't use a LED driver because the 12V power suply i used is a 1,25A and the LED works between 1,4A and 1,8A, and it works between 13.5V and 15V.
So if you really want to make sure you use this LED right I suggest u use a high power LED driver like the one in the intructable i already mentioned. The down bit of using the LED driver is the drop of 3V, in which case you need a power suply of about 18V and then from that step down to 12v for the fan and 5v for the MP4. But all that is doable.

When fitting the LED to its heatsink, try to add some heatsink paste. Just make 2 small holes with a drill (it's best if u make the hole with a drill bit a bit smaller than the screw you are going to use)

In the next step you'll see how to wire the cables.

Step 5: Wiring

Here is the wiring, with the LED driver, and without the LED driver.

Step 6: Measurements

Well Done! if you got this far let me tell you something... U CAN DO IT!

This step is very important, now u have to try to get the LED (with it's heatsink), the condensor lens, the fresnel lens, the LCD and the slide projector lens, in line. Pay good atention to the center of everything. and play with the distances between them until you happy with the output.

Once u have the distances 1, 2, 3 and 4 u can calculate the size of the box you'll be looking for.

To calculate the distance 4, try to project the screen size you want. And if u have enuf space it'll be nice if you can retract the lens all the way in without touching the LCD.

Note: Don't worry if u don't have the LCD connected and working, u don't need it working for this step as u will be able to see the dots of the screen in the projected image. Just make sure when fiting the LCD, that the image it shown upsidedown, so the projected image will be straight. what i usualy do is write on the LCD a word (like "hello") when u have it working. that way you make sure the LCD is in the right position without having to connect it all the time to make sure it's right. Just write with something u can erase later.

Note 2: If you're taking a bit of time to do this, have the fan working to avoid overheating the LED.

Step 7: Daylight Test

I posted a video here with a daylight test of the projector. Also i posted a few pictures, some of the portable battery unit i made for it, so I can project anywhere and some pictures of the new High Power LED i got today from Hong Kong, this one is rated 1800lm and i will be making another projector with it, this time with a 3.5" LCD, a bit bigger but a lot more pixels so hopefully the quality will be better. I will keep you all posted. Thank you for rate an comments.

My second LED projector is finished! You can see here.