Being hackers, sometimes we just want to hack something together, not engineer it. This projector is a great example. Made mostly out of cardboard and duct tape (or duck tape if you prefer). He picked up a 12v LED array, a cheap fresnel lens, an LCD from a “back up monitor” and a focusing lens taken from a magnifying glass. Sure, we’ve seen better, much better. But seeing an evenings worth of feverish wire twisting and taping is always pleasant. It may look pretty dim in the video, it may be as well, but keep in mind that it is common for them to appear much brighter in person or if shot with a night setting on a digital camera.
[Newtonn2] dropped a tip in our inbox this morning that made us quite happy. This is a step by step build of a small form factor LED based projector. While the size may not get some of you too excited at first, those of us who have built projectors before know that home made ones are usually quite large. This one is roughly the size of the small office projectors you would see in a large retailer. He’s using a 30 watt LEd for the light and we didn’t notice a lumen measurement anywhere, but it looks bright enough to be watchable. Pictures usually turn out dark, so in person, the projection probably looks more bright and crisp. Now he just needs to find a high definition LCD that size.
[j] sent in this nice writeup on how to revive a dead projector. he managed to pick one up for $20 that had a broken bulb. While the prices of bulbs have come down considerably, they can still be a couple hundred dollars. Being resourceful, he decide to just use a halogen bulb that he picked up at his local big box shop. In the photos, he’s using a 50w mr16 bulb. The results really aren’t too bad. Especially considering that his cost for the entire project is now roughly $25. He does, however suggest that a 100 watt bulb wouldn’t be a bad investment. His projector seems to need some cleaning and adjustment in the lenses as well, but for $25 it isn’t too shabby. We’ve had this submission for a bit, but it didn’t have any pictures of the projector actually working. During our conversation, we may have possibly suggested a picture we’d like to see. You can find it after the break.
We did cover a very similar one last year, which had the driver integrated into a custom bracket, but the project page seems to be gone. There is also the possibility that the projector you get doesn’t just have a bulb problem. Sometimes it is the polarizer that needs replaced.
[Patrick] directed us to his project for alternate realism. The final goal is to be able to walk around in a space wearing a head mounted display, exploring a virtual representation of that space. This virtual representation could be altered, stylized, augmented and modified in countless ways. It is an exploration in perception, similar to enjoying different styles of painting, we could enjoy different styles of viewing a real space. Currently, it isn’t quite real time. He has to scan a room with a somewhat bulky device, then plug into his display to explore it. Being able to scan quickly and reliably enough shouldn’t be far off. [Patrick] notes that others have done almost real time scans at home already.
[Pyrofer] sent in his stereoscopic game project and we are just giddy with excitement. He has hacked apart an old TomyTronic 3D handheld viewer and put new guts in. He’s using a PIC micro to push stereoscopic imagery to twin LCDs. He wrote all code from scratch including the 3d library, wii nunchuck driver, and LCD driver. This thing even has bluetooth so he can play multiplayer if he ever makes a second one. The whole unit is kept alive via a lithium polymer battery so you don’t have to worry about any cords other than the wii nunchuck. This thing is awesome, we would love to play with one. You can see a video after the break.
[banzai] wasn’t happy with the performance he was getting out of his Samsung netbook. He decided it was time to do something about it. He noticed that Dell and HP both sell an optional HD decoder card for their netbooks. After a short search, he found one on ebay for only $24. He had to give up his internal wireless, but he doesn’t mind using a USB wireless dongle. Sure this isn’t horribly complicated, but he has information here that might help smooth out the process.
Western Digital recently released a media player that attaches to your TV and allows you to play HD media straight from an external USB drive to the television. With a price point of about $100, it’s strange that the device hasn’t made more of a stir in the consumer electronics market. Of course, if it exists, someone will hack it, though. Clever hardware and software hackers have already managed to get an alternative firmware running on the device, allowing for packages like a web server, RSS reader, Apple trailer viewer, and other linux-based packages. It’s good to see a device with so many software mods so early into production.