I converted my 15" LCD into a projector

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by iBookG4user, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #1
    So I had decided to turn my 15" LCD into an overhead projector a couple months ago and finally got myself to do it. Let me just say that taking apart LCDs is not fun... I'm sorry I don't have pictures of me doing it, it didn't come to my mind, and it probably would've made you even more surprised that it still works :p.

    The first thing that I did was to open the LCD, obviously. I used a Compaq 1501 LCD, it was actually very simple to do it, there were two slots at the bottom of the LCD (After you unscrew the bottom stand) where you insert a flat screwdriver and pry it open. After that you go through unscrewing millions of screws and by millions I mean over fifty. The hardest part was when two screws refused to come out, so lets just say that I cut a bit of metal with an exacto knife (Only thing I had on hand, and it took over an hour to do that). After unscrewing all the screws I came to all the circuitry which I carefully took out (really, I did do it carefully) and placed next to the LCD while the backlight was still in place. Next I took apart the metal that was holding the backlight to the LCD and took out the LCD. I then took the metal without the backlight in it and placed the LCD in a position where it would not be scratched and reassembled the circuitry to the LCD and placed on the overhead projector I own. I turned it on and it works, which is very surprising considering this is my first mod and it was fairly complicated considering that I had never done anything like it before. It does work very well and does not overheat (I've had it one for about 3 and a half hours and it's been fine), there is a 20" box-fan on high cooling the LCD down. I took some pictures of the end product using my cameraphone. (The first picture shows the size comparison between the original 15" casing and the size of the screen I'm using with it now, the casing is in the lower right.)

    The mod took about four hours, which mostly went to taking the LCD apart. The cost of the components was as follows:
    15" LCD - Free (Relative upgraded to a 19" and gave their old one to me)
    LCD Power Brick - $20 (Unfortunetly it did not come with the power brick)
    Overhead Projector - Free (My dad is a teacher and they upgraded to a better overhead projector. I still want to get a better one though, it's a bit dark.)
    4 hours of my time - priceless (Come on, it was asking to be said :p)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #2
    Props to you. That looks like a fun project and I wouldn't have expected it to work. That's sweet!
     
  3. The Stig macrumors 6502a

    The Stig

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    On the track
    #3
    that is pretty sweet.

    How is the image quality?

    The Stig
     
  4. NickD macrumors 6502a

    NickD

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    Neat idea. I can't wait for some better photos (cameraphone?). Please post some new pics soon!
     
  5. iBookG4user thread starter macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    The overhead projector I'm using isn't very good, so it's actually not very good image quality, but it's fine for watching video, which is what I'm going to use it for. I'll eventually get a better overhead projector for it, but for now it's fine. The text is not very legible in the one darkish area that you can see in the picture, but it's fine for the rest of it.

    Yeah, it's my Samsung Cameraphone that was used to take the pictures. I'll see if I can use my parent's digital camera tomorrow to take more pictures.


    I forgot to say that the screen is projecting it at 101 inches, so it is about an 8 foot 5 inch screen right now.
     
  6. drake macrumors 6502a

    drake

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
  7. iBookG4user thread starter macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #7
    I borrowed my mom's digital camera and took some pictures of the projector today. I couldn't take any of the actual projected image though, as I don't know how to turn off the flash. (I scaled them down to 800 x 600, because 5MP pictures would get complaints as being too big.)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. iBookG4user thread starter macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #8
    I reassembled the LCD Casing minus the Panel, electronics and the metal part the Panel and the Backlight were attached to, so I could post step by step instructions on how I took apart the LCD (From memory, so if I made a mistake I'm sorry). (Some of the pictures are links so as to not go over the 10 image limit)

    First I unscrewed all the screws on the bottom stand and took the bottom stand off.

    [​IMG]

    Next there were two slight gaps in the bottom of the LCD casing where I inserted a flathead screwdriver and pried it open.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After that I lifted off the back part of the LCD Casing and I was left with the metal inners of the Case. I unscrewed all of the screws attaching the lighter metal casing to the heavier metal casing. (Two of the screws stuck so I used some wire cutters and an exacto knife to cut around them so I could disassemble it). There were some electronic boards attached to the lighter metal casing, so I unscrewed all of them to take apart the casing. (Be sure to unscrew the two VGA screws)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I unscrewed the screws attaching the heavier metal casing to the front plastic.

    [​IMG]

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/4344/pict0043oh8.jpg

    http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/3170/pict0044uc9.jpg

    http://img151.imageshack.us/img151/3233/pict0045ga4.jpg

    With the heavier metal casing disassembled I unscrewed several screws on the side of the heavier metal casing which attached it to the metal holding the backlight and panel together. And then I unscrewed the screws holding the metal holding the backlight and panel together.(Sorry I couldn't get a good shot of this.)

    [​IMG]

    http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/1156/pict0047kl9.jpg

    After that I carefully lifted the Panel from the backlight and set it back on the metal that was holding the Panel and Backlight together in a position where it would not be scratched. After that I reassembled the circuitry that makes the LCD work and set all that on the overhead projector that I have (Mine is an Apollo AL-1000).

    [​IMG]

    http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/7347/pict0051kb9.jpg

    There are three problems with the projector though. One of the problems is that the projector does not project all of the 15" LCD, only part of it. (Albeit the major majority of it) Secondly is that the circuitry has to hang over the Panel in order for it to work so it obstructs the projector from projecting a bit more of the LCD. And Third is that the overhead projector itself has a spot where it is darker than the rest of it and it gets annoying when you are looking at light backgrounds and even during normal usage.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (The silver line shows how much of the LCD should be shown and what is obstructed by the circuitry)
    http://img187.imageshack.us/img187/4471/pict0055td7.jpg

    http://img139.imageshack.us/img139/5705/pict0056wm5.jpg
     
  9. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    Wow that is too cool! I really like it! :eek:

    How much did it cost? Any supplies you needed to buy?
     
  10. iBookG4user thread starter macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #10
    I got the LCD for free and the projector for free, so the only thing I needed to buy was the power adapter for the LCD which cost me $20. I have good connections :p.
     
  11. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #11
    Head on over to lumenlab if you really want to find a way to spend money on it :) - that community has been doing this (and several steps further) for some time now...
     
  12. iBookG4user thread starter macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    No thanks, I don't like to follow directions to get something to work, it doesn't feel as good as just doing it yourself and planning out what you want to do on your own. I didn't have to look at directions to get this mod to work and my next mod I don't want to look at directions either.
     
  13. mkaake macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #13
    Not so much directions as folks who can point you in the right direction as far as taking care of common issues, like vignetting and contrast.

    I can certainly appreciate wanting to figure it our yourself though :). If you ever decide to take it a few steps further, they've got the supplies to make it a full blown LCD projector.

    Good times, good times...
     
  14. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #14
    I was planning to try this last summer (DIY projector), but after adding up the cost, I just bought a used projector. I did TONS of research on different models...you can find some really good (but hard to find) projector models for cheap that take common bulbs and such, but project great pictures. You just have to look around. ;)
     
  15. cmccarten macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #15
    oh man...that projector brings back memories of high school.

    i remember a science teacher once tripping over the cord of one and sending it catastrophically crashing to the floor.
     
  16. robPOD macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Location:
    NZ
    #16
    check out lumenlabs.com if you want to do this and also this site http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=12 and also If you want to do this without taking apart an LCD moniter there is something called a projection panel which was made for exactly this purpose. A projection panel is basically just an LCD screen in a case with inputs that sits on top of an OHPs glass. Just search projection panel in ebay and you should be able to pick up one for under $40, just be aware of the projection panels resoultion ( should be above 640 x 480 minimum) and colour. This is a guide http://www.freewebs.com/v1d9uy/ohppanelspecslist.htm to what specifications of different projection panels are. I have made my own projector using a Nview spectra c projection panel and an 2500 lumen elmo ohp, I had pretty good results, I have over 100" projected image and my setups pretty good for watching movies. But I strongly reccomend using a very bright OHP, over 4000 lumens (brightness rating) for best results.
     

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