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Old 7th December, 2004, 10:15 AM
Chernobyl's Avatar
Chernobyl Chernobyl is offline
Projector Wizard
Join Date: November 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 594

Home made projector!

Hi Guys
I've been wanting to make a home made projector for some time after trying out a cheap TV projector on my PC a few years ago (amazing fun).
TomsHardware recently made an article on exactly what I wanted to do and provided confirmation that it works well.
This proof was enough to make my buying finger itchy so I got a 15" LCD from Ebay to start the project.
A BenQ FP567s V2 came, total cost including VAT and shipping was £135.

Minimum of 400:1 and max 600:1 contrast ratio (depending where you read)
At best it has a 16ms refresh (worst figures are not stated anywhere). Its perfect for gaming, I've been using it for the last few days.
Resolution is 1024x768
Colours and brightness are top class

The next parts are the OHP and screen:

After researching I found that prices of OHPs in the UK are much higher than the US and shipping costs prohibit getting one shipped over as they are so heavy. Many models arent available in the UK too (ie 3M 1650 400W).
If buying a US model a power convert is required too.

I settled for a fantastic UK bargain, the 3M 1750. Ordered it from here:
(sorry, link removed, I just read the rules!)
Much cheaper than anywhere else I've found, £166 +vat (shipping free).
Its a 400W twin lamp (for failover), has low power mode for 50% longer life and puts out over 4000 Lumens! For improved clarity it has a Triplet lense.
I read in one place that it allows you to change the light colour tone . I will confirm this.
10 bulbs cost from £63 + post and last 180 hours each on full power. This is much cheaper to run than a 'real' projector.
The OHP isnt here yet, hopefully today

For a screen I will be using a big white sheet (my walls are dark wood sadly). This will be washed in a brightening agent and will suffice until I can afford something better. The projector should be powerful enough to produce a bright image.
To remove wrinkles from the sheet it can be carefully ironed or use a steamer. I'll try the steamer first to see how effective it is.
I intend to wrap the screen on a long pole. The screen will be suspended from the ceiling (in front of my telly) and drawn up and down on a pulley system.

I did read a long time ago that one way to improve the luminosity is to glue a certain type of white sand to to the viewing surface. I may try this, could be messy and the screen would have to be permanently mounted.

Some issues being looked at:
1) Prevent light escaping from the OHP into the room
2) Keeping the LCD cool (whilst not looking like a Blue Peter project )
This is essential and cannot fail! I may use 2 fans with independant power sources as overkill in case one fails. Its not expensive to do and could save the LCD screen.
3) Keeping the OHP as quiet and cool as possible. This may mean fittiing different fan(s) and modifying the OHP to give no restrictions to airflow. It may be quiet enough, I'll know soon.
4) How much is a nice round piece of wood 10 feet (ish) long?
5) cant think of 5 yet but I'm sure its coming.

Price so far:
£135 -1024x768 LCD
£195 -400W Projector

Still need:
Big sheet
Big piece of wood
Pulley bits
Luminous wash
Cooling things for LCD and maybe to quieten projector
Black material to prevent light escaping

I'm hoping this will give a 15ft diagonal picture, hehe.
If you have any ideas on making this project even better (on an unhealthy budget), please can you mention here. Thanks.

Pictures are coming after the OHP arrives.
I cant wait

for first time readers, the projector has developed greatly and now uses a Metal Halide lamp with glass beaded 3 metre screen,
It is soon to be made into a High Definition projector, all details will be documented here.
My room is also a lot tidier
2.9m DIY home made LCD PC projector !
Venice 3000+ (1.8GHz) @ 2.7GHz, 1.4V
Stock air cooler
X1800XT clocked to PE

Last edited by Chernobyl; 15th July, 2006 at 01:35 AM.
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