The DIY Projector Alternative

Have you been to those other DIY Projector guides and wishing that you could make one, but you don't have the resources, such as a overhead projector? Well here is the DIY Projector Alternative!

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Step 1: Getin Your Resources

Basically the idea behind it is, you make a overhead projector as a backlight then magnify the monitor picture.

So here is the resources:

2x Boxes, one a little bigger than the monitor and one that sits on top of it
1x Page Magnifier
1x +300W Light, Garden ones are good for the job
1x Mirror, At least the size of the monitor
1x Old Lcd monitor preferably 15" (doesn't really matter as long as you can get the boxes for it)
Loads Of Duct Tape (black preferably)
1x Cooling Fan, Bigger The Light, Bigger The Fan


1x Tv Box

1x Screwdriver

Step 2: Opening the Monitor

So to start you want to get the monitor opened up and ready, so take your screwdriver and start opening the monitor, if there is any speakers in it you can keep them if you want but I advise to remove them. When you reach the inner insides you want to remove the cable attaching it to the motherboard. Then get a phillips screwdriver and gouge open the metal casing at the joints. your aiming to get to a glass like transparent object that has as smaller motherboard and cable and remove it. after removing this then remove the main motherboard, make sure you cut the earthing cable because if it touches the metal while your messing around it will electrocute you. after this you should have a motherboard with a vga/dvi port or cable and a power input. sorry i didn't take pictures :( if you can then take out the mounting plate for the monitor and attach the motherboard to it

The picture below is what the tranparent object looks like

Step 3: Setting Up Your Light

After you have dettached the mon get the light and place it in the box facing up, make a little incision in the box and pass the cable through it its a short step :P

Step 4: Attaching Your Monitor

after placing the light take your monitor front plate and place it over your box top, then place the glass object and the motherboard with the mount on the side of the box. after this place cardboard on top of the motherboard. secure everthing using duct tape

the gray part is my monitors front plate

Step 5: Attaching Your Mirror

get your second box and place your mirror on a 45 degree angle in the top of the box. after this put a hole in the box on the side that the mirror is facing. try and cut down the box a bit so that the mirror is about 20 cm from the monitor also put the magnifier on the hole. now place the box on top of the monitor and test it

Step 6: Focusing Your Magnifier

if you don't get a good picture then take the magnifier and move it to and from the hold back and forth, after this find the perfect spot. then attach it there.

Step 7: Finishing Up!

after you have a good picture your gonna notice that it will get hot so its time to attach the fan. cut a hole in the bottom of the box and put the fan there, if you don't have a power supply then you can use batteries or one of those output selector adapters, and select the voltage. after this your pretty much done, if you have a tv box it would be a good idea to use it since the monitor can really only be used for a computer without the tv box.

here is some finishing photos of me watching survivor :P dont worry its not my projector its the camera flash >.>

if you have any problems send me a email at

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    9 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Why can't we use CFL bulbs for the Project. I found out that 13w one has at least 840 lumens

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    hmm when i wrote this, it was a loooong time ago, and i dont use it too much anymore, but sure if you can find a lamp that is bright enough then go for it, only problem is, it losses ALOT of brightness from the lamp to the screen so your end product might not be what you expected.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I like the project. Someone with a fair amount of space could really do this as a nice wooden projector. I am curios, because of the size, could you use several compact flourescent lights as a source and cut down on the watts and heat? I know the commercial ones do not because they are working at making them super small. Your arrangement is perfect for trying more energy friendly options. You have me thinking about my next project now. : )

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Another thought. If you are doing this up as a really nice finished piece of furniture, it could be a coffee table or snack cart in a bonus room and be totally discrete. Hmmmmm.......


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    You might be able to find a CCFL 300W replacement lamp but it's going to be expensive.  A better solution is probably to look into LED projection lamps.  Phillips makes a line of LEDs so powerful that they need heat sinks, and in fact are often used in projectors.  Luxeon Rebel I believe they're called.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    yeah the thing is with the watts is that when you have to little you can't use it in the day, and i tried not to go to hot because other peoples designs use 1000w and i think that i would have a expensive bill for it, so 300w does the trick and a fan will keep it cool, it runs at around 27c so its pretty cool, but yeah stay between 500 and 300 if possible ;)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    yeah do u no the light before you take a picture? well that was on and i had the low shutter speed on, anyways it works well but i have a crappy magnifier. when i use my tv box i play ps2 on it