5000 Lumen LED Projector? Naw, How About a Whopping 1 Candela?

1 candle projector

One of our readers recently found a ASK Proxima C170 (also sold as the InFocus LP600) in the waste bin, thrown away because it stopped working — He snatched it up and decided to try tinkering with it. A visual inspection quickly found the problem, a 100uF cap had blown!

He replaced the capacitor and got the projector to turn on again without much difficulty. Not wanting to pay a few hundred dollars for a bulb he’s ordered a 5000lm 50W LED array from China to give it new life as an LED projector, because as it turns out it’s a fairly simple hack to trick the projector into thinking it has an official lamp in it. It’s just a matter of shorting a few leads on some of the photo-couplers!

In fact, once this hack is done, you can use any kind of light source you want! So just for kicks he decided to try using a tea light candle. It actually managed to project an image on the wall thanks to the optics of the projector! Functional? Not really, but it’s a cool way to prove a successful hack towards an even cooler end project though!

For other fun projector hacks, check out this roundup we did a few years ago.

[Thanks thefamoushat!]

Fail of the Week: Projector LED Retrofit

fotw-projector-repair

That’s a deal for a project, how hard could it be to fix it up?

If you’re a real hacker we’d wager you’ve fallen for this type of thought process before. [Luft] bought this used Sharp XR-10X-L projector about a year back and planned to retrofit it with an LED bulb. He gathered all the parts and got to work, successfully testing and installing the modifications. But as luck would have it, the project is stuck in some type of boot loop.

This fail is certainly not for lack of preparation. The first post documenting his adventure shows that the hack has been done before, he acquired the service manual for this particular hardware, and he did his homework when ordering the parts. Success requires circumventing some sensors which ensure the case and internals are in place, and making sure the electronic status of the ballast is reported correctly event though it’s not needed for the LED source. Power-on gets as far as illuminating all the indicator lights in green as it should, but is then followed closely by a reboot sequence.

He tried watching the serial port to see if he can get any status info there but no dice. In keeping with the nature of this column, let’s see if we can provide any constructive troubleshooting advice in the comments.


2013-09-05-Hackaday-Fail-tips-tileFail of the Week is a Hackaday column which runs every Wednesday. Help keep the fun rolling by writing about your past failures and sending us a link to the story — or sending in links to fail write ups you find in your Internet travels.

Make an HD Projector for Next to Nothing!

Need a high definition projector? Don’t have a thousand bucks sitting around? Then this hack is for you! [TheJinxster] threw together this awesome HD projector, and it cost him absolutely nothing to build!

He started by picking up an old overhead projector off of Freecycle. Freecycle is a great grassroots network, kind of like Kijiji or Craigslist — but everything is free. It’s all about reuse and keeping useful things out of the landfills. Anyway, he also had an old LCD monitor sitting around gathering dust…

Putting two and two together he took apart the LCD, laid the bare screen on top of the glass and, well, that’s it! It’s seriously that simple. The hardest part was taking apart the monitor — the overhead projector and mounted lens took care of the rest. The beauty with a system like this is you can get high definition out of a relatively small and cheap LCD panel! The only thing is it won’t last forever — LCDs (especially monitor LCDs) aren’t designed to pass through that much light.

Don’t believe us? Check out the following video.

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DIY 3D Projector from an LCD

We’ve shared many home made projectors in the past, but we think this might just be the first home made 3D projector!

[Nicholas] has created a wonderful write up on this project on his blog, and in an Instructable, and even more details are available on the original forum post (in French though).

To sum it up though, he’s using an old LCD from a broken laptop, split into two halves. By using a Fresnel lens and two separate optical lenses that are adjustable he can combine the two images (top and bottom of the LCD) on the wall. Then by adding a polarization filter to each lens, he can reuse the cheap 3D goggles from the cinema for his own setup to see in 3D! This style of passive 3D does require a special projector screen to keep the polarization intact — he’s using a Da-Lite Silverlight screen, whose metallic surface ensures the polarization is kept the same.

It’s a great project and is definitely worth checking out. If you’re in the mood for a smaller form factor projector, it’d be worth checking out this one we covered quite a few years ago!

Hackaday Logo Projector from a single LED

Here’s another Trinket Contest entry that was interesting enough for its own feature. [Adam] made his own Hackaday version of the Bat signal. It’s not nearly as big, but the concept is the same. Using this single modified LED he’s able to project a 12″ image that seems quite well-defined (more pictures below).

The LED is one he pulled from an old flashlight. After sanding the dome flat he made a jig which positioned it inside of his laser cutter. From there he etched the 0.1″ logo and filled the negative space with some ink. The remaining surface was polished to help the light shine through, then positioned in front of a jeweler’s loupe to magnify the image.

There’s just a couple of hours left before the Trinket Contest draws to a close. Get your entry in for a chance to win!

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Epson projector LED mod

Projector bulbs can be incredibly expensive to replace. Sometimes it’s more cost efficient to just buy a whole new projector instead of a new bulb. [Shawn] recently found a nice deal on an ‘as is’ Epson EMP-S4 on eBay and decided to take a chance. He assumed it probably worked with the exception of the missing lamp the seller mentioned. His suspicions were correct, and one custom LED mod later, his projector was up and rolling.

Without a stock lamp installed, the projector would give an error message and shut itself off. So, the first step was to wire up a little bypass. Once that was taken care of, [Shawn] installed a 30W 2000 lumen LED and custom fit an old Pentium CPU heatsink to keep the LEDs temperature down. He also wired up the heatsink fan in parallel with the stock exhaust fan for good measure.  Optical lenses help focus the light, and some custom wiring makes the LED turn on and off just like the stock lamp would.

In the end, his first experiment was a success, but [Shawn] wants to try an 8000 lumen 100W LED to make it about as bright as the stock lamp was. Check out a little video walkthrough after the break.

[Thanks Shawn]

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Playing MAME Games on a RGB Laser Projector

MAME Laser Projector

Vector based displays were used for arcade games in the ’70s and ’80s. A typical CRT uses raster graphics, which are displayed by deflecting a beam in a grid pattern onto a phosphor. A vector display deflects the beam in lines rather than a full grid, drawing only the needed vectors. Perhaps the best known vector game is the original Asteroids.

[Jeremy] built up a RGB laser projector, and wanted to run some classic arcade titles on it. He started off by using the XMAME emulator, but had to modify it to communicate with the laser and reduce flicker on the display.

To control the laser, a modified version of OpenLase was used. This had to be enhanced to support RGB color. The modified sources for both the MAME emulator and OpenLase are available on Github.

[Jeremy]’s friend, [Steve], even got a vector based game that he wrote working on the system. “World War vi” is a shoot-em-up battle about the vi and emacs text editors.

The results of the build are shown in a series of videos after the break.

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