Introduction: Bigger Boob Tube
Have an tiny old TV laying around? Why not follow this instructable and create your own personal movie theater with it? Through these simple steps you can project an image of this television screen onto your wall that can be up to 70" across.
1 Small (preferably under 15") TV
1 Mirror at least size of TV screen
1 Cardboard Box of similar dimensions to TV
1 Magnifying Glass
1 Roll of Black Tape (preferably duct tape)
1 Speaker w/ speaker wire
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Step 1: Measure Your TV and Locate a Suitable Box
You want to measure the perimeter of the TV, not just the screen. My TV was 10.25 X 11 inches, and my box was 10.75 X 12 inches. You want the TV to snugly fit inside the box, allowing as little light to escape as possible. But don't worry if its not a perfect fit, thats what duct tape is for. The box should be roughly twice as long as the TV because you control the focus of your image by moving the TV back and forth. After you find an ideal position you can shorten the box for spatial issues.
Step 2: *Optional Step*
In this step you will be replacing the internal speaker in your TV with an external one. Don't attempt this if you feel uncomfortable taking things apart. I take no responsibility if you butcher your TV. With that said lets begin. Since your TV is going to be inside a box the sound could become muffled, but if you don't mind this then you may skip this step as it is non-essential. First thing to do make sure your TV is unplugged. I learned the hard way, don't repeat my simpleton mistakes, unless your into the electrical shock thing. Most TVs will have a case that is split into two sections, one part surrounding the front and another part covering the rear. You want to remove the back panel, I've circled the three screw locations on my TV in red. Your TV will most likely be different. Now you should see the innards of your TV. Don't be intimidated by the mess of circuitry and wires, you're only concern is to locate the speaker within the case. There should be a red and white wire running from the back of the speaker, you need to snip it and strip it. Be careful not to cut any other wires, as you can see from the pictures I went a little scissor happy and ended up killing the IR receiver (the blue and white wires), rendering the remote control useless. Now feed the wire you snipped through a hole in the case. Mine had vents on the bottom wide enough to slip the wire through. Now attach the speaker wire to the wire from the TV (red to red, white to white [or black depending on your wire]), and wrap it in electrical tape just to be safe. You don't wanna have to go back into the case because the wire came loose. Good job, now stitch your patient back up. Carefully place the case back onto the TV making sure the screw holes all line up correctly.
Step 3: Preparing the Box
Grab the box that you sized up, and find a box cutter or some kind of knife. First thing to do is cut one end of the box off, real simple. Just make sure not to completely mangle the box. Minor tears are acceptable (lets have a round of applause for duct tape). Now is the tricky part. You must cut a square hole onto the side of the box you want the image to come out of. The cut must be in the correct spot or else you TV image is going to bounce off the mirror and miss the hole. I made my cut 5" from the top edge of the box. This lined up almost perfectly with the 13 X 13" mirror sitting at a 45 degree angle within the box. Don't worry I've included a rough diagram of what you are supposed to be getting at. Make the hole small to start with, you can always make it bigger easily but making it smaller if you cut too big is not so easy. So now you have one end of the box completely open, and one side with a small hole about 5" from the top edge of the box. Now you want to make a space to insert your mirror. Draw a line down both sides of the box at an angle of 45 degrees. You can measure this easily with a protractor... but if you don't have one handy you can take a piece of paper and fold it to make a triangle, carefully matching the edges up. Use this as a guide for drawing your 45 degree line. Now use your knife and cut along the lines you drew. Be sure that these two cuts line up with each other; if the mirror is tilted to one side your image will be distorted. After making the cut take some sandpaper and smooth the cuts over to the mirror will easily slide into place when the time comes. Your box is now ready.
Step 4: Slide Your Mirror Into Place
In this step you will be sliding the mirror into place and sealing up any light leaks with duct tape. I found it surprisingly difficult to get the mirror all the way in the box, sand paper was a huge help. All I can say is don't break your mirror trying to do it. Remember, the mirror should face the open end of the box where the TV will be and the hole we made on the side. Ignore the hole you see in my pictures. Now that the mirror is correctly seated in the box, tape up the sides so it doesn't slide out of place. Now tape your magnifying glass over the hole you cut in the side. Compare your finished box to the one in my pictures. If you look into the open end you should be able to see right out through the magnifying glass.
Step 5: Focus the Image
The downside to this project is the fact that the CRT is not very bright. Most likely you will only be able to see the image at night, or in a room with no windows. You should turn the brightness setting in your TV all the way up. Some CRTs have screen and focus knobs within the case that you can twiddle. Physically moving the TV back and forth through the box can make the most difference, similar to the way you can use a magnifying glass to burn things. If you find just the right spot you will get the best results. If you have a white wall thats the best spot to project the image onto. I have mine set up so it projects directly onto the ceiling, and I lay in bed as I watch TV. I tried to take a picture of the image but it was too dark to be captured correctly. When I tried to up the exposure time the image became blurry to the point where it was pretty much just a square of light on my ceiling. So sorry no pictures :( Well I hope you enjoyed my very first instructable. If you have any improvements, comments, or questions I implore you to post them.