Quieting a Cheap LCD Projector

There’s an old saying along the lines of “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. That’s true of technology, too, but a good hacker can sometimes teach an old monkey new tricks. [Heye] bought an LCD projector for $60 off AliExpress, and it turned out to be rather noisy: the air fan that sucked in air to cool the LED light source made a whooshing noise.

No surprise there, but rather than give up, he decided to see what he could do about the noise. So, he took the projector apart. After some excavation, he realized that the main source of noise was the input fan, which  was small and partly covered. That’s a recipe for noise, so he cut out the plastic grille over it and mounted a larger, quieter fan on the outside. He also designed and 3D printed an external hood for this larger fan. The result, he says, is much quieter than the original, and still keeps the LED light source fairly cool. It’s a neat hack that shows how a few hours and a bit of ingenuity can sometimes make a cheap device better.

Projector hacks are a staple here. And our favorite? Swapping out the light source for a candle.

21 thoughts on “Quieting a Cheap LCD Projector

    1. Personally, I *like* these little ‘I had a problem, so this is how I quickly and easily fixed it’ articles. Only having ‘good’ (i.e. huge/difficult/expensive/etc.) hacks can be intimidating. Having regular folk solving regular (small) problems encourages the ‘Hey! I can do that!’ mindset.

  1. Sorry think it’s a bad hack. Did not need to do all that cutting out on the side. Think it looks horrible with a fan sticking out like that. Could of just made a better heatsink to help and got a better fan to help. Looks a mess to me. Bad hack of the week is what I call that. Sorry to put it down.

    1. Yes it looks horrible, but it works. But if the original fan an air ducting is too loud, you have to replace it. Improving a heatsink would not make a loud fan more quiet. Although I would not have chosen bright red and blue colors for that job.

      1. The original fan was likely also loud because it was cheap. You see this with computer fans, the cheap ones are obnoxious-poorly made and not optimized for efficiency, airflow, pressure, or noise levels. At that low of a cost they aren’t going to put in a nice and quiet fan with equivalent or greater airflow, it would cost too much.

    1. As the main complain I see is the light output and the sharpness of the image. I don’t think that is a good idea, as those are your most important qualities for a resin printer.

  2. If one must commit the aesthetic cardinal sin of sticking a fan prominantly on the outside, one should really go all-out and use those Marathon brand 120mm enlobal (magnetically suspended) case fans with the appropriate 3d printed ductwork. I had to do something like that with one of those common cheap 12V/30A power supplies.
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1792256
    https://cdn.thingiverse.com/renders/88/7f/bb/ad/d7/d2b5ca33bd970f64a6301fa75ae2eb22_preview_featured.jpg

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