A Projector is Born

During my daily browsing random nothings, I happened to stumble into this diagram and the idea of a homemade projector.

DIY Projector Sketch

At the now defunct lumenlab.com, one could find dozens of project logs, listing LCD’s used, lamp and reflector design, as well as fresnel and triplet configurations. With a full all-nighter of studying the forums under my belt, I set out to build my own.

I first had to find a monitor to sacrifice. Fortunately I had a native 1280×1024 LCD sitting around (good enough for 720p, I figured). After removing the framing and guts of the LCD, I removed the anti-glare layer on the screen using moist paper towels laid upon it until the adhesion weakened and I was able to peel it off.

Fast forward a few weeks later, I’d assembled most of a working projector, along with a ghetto cooling system and height adjust system.

Projector with ghetto cooling, mount solution

LCD from front

Rear inside projector, improvised light source

With a bulb still on the way, I improvised with a pitifully low lumen lantern to test functionality. Here one can see the inside rear of the projector enclosure. Visible is the bulb socket (connected to a big ballast mounted on the outside rear), the reflector, and a temperature monitor controlling a 120mm exhaust fan to continue running after use until a set temperature is reached. One can also see the fresnel-LCD-fresnel sandwich and LCD control board, as well as a piece of Lexan attached to the rearmost fresnel to serve as a heat shield.

This is the result of the improvised setup viewed from the front of the projector:

It's Alive!

It works! The LCD lives! A view from the front of the box (through the triplet):

What a bad light source looks like through the triplet

I hold on to hope that things will improve with a decent light source.

Continued here: Preliminary Projector Results

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