Awsome $50 Diy Projector (well for Me)




I been searching the internet on the vast subject of "DIY Projectors" I I finally built a "successful" one. Here is a quick list of supplies I used.
1- portable DVD player w/ input (free broken laser eye hence the "input")
1- photo copier lens ($5 on
3- page magnifiers ($1 x 3 = $3 local dollar store)
1- piece of tempered glass (spare form old spot light)
1- 500w halogen light setup ($10- $15 at harbor freight)
1- soup ladle ($1 dollar store)
2- sheets of MDF wood ($8 x 2 = $16 home depot)
3- pc fans (free, I build computers so I have some to spare)
1- black heat paint ($3 home depot)
1- condenser lens ($? I got mine out of a collection of lenses)
I Think thats about it.... page 2

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Step 1: Gather the Supplies

by this time you should be looking for a portable dvd player mine was free but you can get one at Radioshack *NEW* for about $70 but you can check Ebay ect for used or broken ones. When I say broken I mean the laser eye is bad but it still has a input to connect dvd player, xbox, ps2,or Dreamcast (cause it rocks) . FYI the better the resolution the lcd panel is the better the picture will be. Dont ask me specs on my lcd cause "I DO NOT KNOW" all I know is I'm getting an awesome picture. Sorry I dont have any pictures "in the process" but I only have the "end results" pictures. but this is my lcd glued and ready to go.

Step 2: Projector Designs

the picture shown here is my design. very simple design the size width and height all depend on the size of your components such as light fixture, lcd size, and lens all you need to do is be able to fit the components shown in the 2nd picture in a "wooden box". now you can see where the pc fans come into play the back 2 suck hot air and the 3rd towards the front blow cool air on the lcd.

"Thundercats!?! I love them how ever did you know? :)

Step 3: Da Light

I used a 500w halogen light which put me back a few bucks, not much. I felt that the original reflector was weak as far as a spread of light. so this is where the soup ladle comes into play I use it as a "modified reflector" all you have to do is cut the sides so the bulb fits *see the picture* also to make the spread of light even better the condenser lens is in front of that which makes the picture even brighter!

Step 4: Page Magnifiers (Fresnels)

As I said I got my page magnifiers at the dollar store. you may have to shop around. Try stores such as dollar tree, yankee dollar, family dollar, big lots, and staples. I was hoping to find hard plastic magnifiers but only found sheet like magnifier, but they work great!! the way it works is you have one in back and 2 in front. (I put 2 in the front because it will 2x the narrowing power see picture). I an K are fresnels they bend the light the way it is needed to get optimum brightness!!

Step 5: In Conclusion

well all and all it was a fun project. it is one of those projects that can always be better or worked on. the 1st picture is me and a scene from the tansformers movie the picture is at least 70" the 2nd is star wars because I love boba fett (just thought it was needed) so now you can go pop some popo corn and watch your favorite geeky movie FYI is my kind of movie!!! in the picture the corners look dull or black but really aren't as bad as they appear in the pictures.

Step 6: More Pictures

people are talking not just on this site but other sites and I wanted to shut them up. I have new pic with a cartoon in (star wars clone wars volumes 1 & 2) maybe last time the camera was screwy, also I took the condenser lens out to show you that you DON'T NEED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't stress that enough. some guy on a site said well we all don't have lenses lying around well the only lens needed is the first one and I told you where you can buy it ( ) also take into account I'm only 16 and that the reason for building this is for a projector on the cheap. (consdering I'm saving for a car so I dont have A. a job and B. money floating around!!!) so for everybody else who wasn't a jerk enjoy!!! thanks

Step 7: Even More Pictures!!

I was looking through some old SD cards and found some old pictures of older designs and thought it would serve a purpose here so with out a further a do:

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    165 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 2


    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    thinking about throwing one of these together I have everything minus the halogen lamp. and really that is the only part that gives me second thoughts.... the Halogen lamp used seems kind of dangerous with the heat they put out and the enclosure being wood I worry about fire or excess heat. So wonder if a 12v replacement could be used like an driving light or spot light????


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Hi all, don't know if anybody can help but I started working on one of these projectors recently. I took an LCD from a broken motherboard and got a driver off ebay. I plug in a video source and the picture comes on. Problem is as soon as I move the screen over top of the over head projector the video goes blank. if I put just a part of the screen over the OHP just that section goes out. The video wont come back until I turn the LCD off and then back on. Anyone have any idea as to why a light source could stop the screen from working?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    can you tell where i can get the lcd and the projecor lense from


    7 years ago on Introduction

    thanks for doing this tutorial. I've been wanting to use video projection for a halloween project, but projectors are so expensive, even on ebay. Replacement bulbs often cost as much as the projector. So, this project you did gives me some ideas.

    I was wondering if you could clarify something - does the light pass thru the LCD or does the image somehow just get reflected from the LCD and reflected. I guess I'm not understanding the exact physics of what is happening here. It looks like the LCD is simple glued to a piece of hardboard, in which case light would not be able to pass thru it so it must be being reflected. Please explain.



    10 years ago on Step 6

    This is a great design for an on the cheap DIY projector, I have been building a bigger version of these for awhile, Those that are looking for in depth detail in regards to the physics of the projector and how to build a 1080p version of this projector that honestly rivals the really expensive projectors with bright bulbs that are $20 instead of $300 (commercial projector) should check out the site, there is an entire community of people building projectors there.

    5 replies

    9 years ago on Step 1

    does the 4.2" mp4 player lcd work?


    9 years ago on Step 1

    hey nice work ...must say .... but jst wanted to ask will a laptop lcd panel do for this project ??


    9 years ago on Step 4

    i made one of them and i didnt use the second magnifier after the lcd i just went
    light-Fresnel-lcd-magnified glass


    Reply 9 years ago on Step 1

    yeah a bit of epoxy will work wonders. the alternative is like screws which made me feel a little skeptical.