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DIY High-Quality XGA Projector for ~$300

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the impress-the-ladies dept.

Hardware Hacking 172

ranrub writes "Tom's Hardware Guide posted a guide to building your own XGA LCD projector from parts costing under $300. Major components are an overhead projector and a used 15" LCD screen. They even have a movie of the whole project on site! It's quite bigger and noisier than a standard projector, but most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?"

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I want one! (-1, Troll)

Peale (9155) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813667)

But still can't afford $300.

First post?

Re:I want one! (2, Interesting)

golfsportila (760666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813686)

I can't afford 300 either :( I wish I had a little over 600 and I'd buy an infocus x1 projector though. - []

Re:I want one! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813713)

(Watching Empire Strikes Back)

"Luke, I am-" *pop* Oops! Bulb went out!

Hope you can afford $600 plus $300 plus $300 plus $300 plus $300...

Re:I want one! (1)

mistermark (646060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814431)

Well, I couldn't either (and/or wouldn't), so I got myself a EUR 50(about $55) Sony Projection System, and that included the screen. So, no DIY-ing (except the tuning)... what on earth can beat that? -4 .jpg

Only downside was tuning these: g ...but I actually enjoyed that(is that strange?) ;-)

Re:I want one! (1)

mistermark (646060) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814465)

again, the links (I'm sorry, I should've used the preview button, doh!)

pic 1 []

pic 2 []

pic 3 []

Only downside was tuning these:

pic 4 []

...but I actually enjoyed that(is that odd?) ;-)

Re:I want one! (1)

Peale (9155) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814028)

Aw, come on, this isn't a troll. Technically, I *did* get first post. And my first comment is true! I don't have $300. If anything it should be rated offtopic, or overrated.

Here's something on topic-ish: have a friend who did something similar, but instead of using a LCD monitor (which is an interesting hack) used one of those LCD overlays. Displays only @ 640x480, but that's a fine resolution for just watching TV and movies. Total cost was ~$75, including the projector.

2nd post? (0)

ANTRat (751579) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813670)

i actually read this last night, looks extremely ghetto, but i may make one

Funk that Jim (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813677)

I think I'll spend the 300 hundreds and mod my PC case to dispense ice cold Bawls.

TCO (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813679)

Sure, its only $300 but let's look at the total cost of ownership here.

Parts & Labor : $300
Never getting laid again : Priceless

I think I'll stick with something that doesnt alienate the dripping hot sluts always coming on to me here in my swinging bachelor pad.

Re:TCO (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813850)

Well you mean:

I think with something that doesn't alienate the mythical dripping hot sluts that I always pretend are coming on to me in my parents basement which I pretend is my swinging bachelor pad.

Lets put it another way:

Well a homemade projector isn't going to get you laid, but NOT having a homemade projector isn't going to get you laid either.

Your screwed (not in a good way) either way.

Re:TCO (4, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813976)

Back in the days when there wasn't any video recorders, TiVO, home PC's or even console systems, the only form of home made video entertainment for our family and our friends was the home projector. During a party, the lights would be dimmed and everyone's favourite photographs were converted into slides and displayed. Anything and everything, from hiking trips across the mountains, sunsets, trips to national parks, the nightlife of the metro, would be displayed as a 10 foot high image on the nearest white wall. Panoramic views across valleys were my favourite, as you could walk right up to the wall and see the smallest detail - smoke rising up from the chimney of a cottage, miles away.

It would be fun to do that with digital photographs or movies.

Re:TCO (2, Funny)

peculiarmethod (301094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814259)

And somehow you managed to make this post even more boring in 1/100th the time it took those events to occur.

Re:TCO (1, Redundant)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814449)

Back in the days when there wasn't any video recorders...

You mean video tape recorders. 50 years ago was not so different than 2000, except you used film rather than magnetic tape.

I had this dialog with a friend not too long ago. He was planning a presentation for his wedding and was considering renting a LCD projector. I highly recommended going slides due to its low cost high quality. Unfortunately he wanted to do a Power Point presentation, which would include silly animation. While one could convert Power Point to film using a good easel and movie camera 8mm isn't exactly decent quality, 16mm isn't made anymore, and 35mm would be cost prohibitive.

In 50 years we've gained convenience of not having to pay to develop film, but we have lost a good deal of quality.

Re:TCO (2, Funny)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814796)

Hmm. If I use a projector and walk up to the wall, all I see is a shadow.

I keed! I keed!

Re:TCO (2, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814075)

You really need a lesson in spin.

My geekiness has gotten me laid on multiple occasions.

Once you pass about 25 years old, women dig smart guys.

I think I'll stick with something that doesnt alienate the dripping hot sluts always coming on to me here in my swinging bachelor pad.

Dripping hot? Sluts?

That's called "gonorrhea." []


Re:TCO (0)

LordMyren (15499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814232)

i found there was nothing that said sexxy like a overhead projector hanging on its side from my dorm room's sprinkler.

Re:TCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814478)

hmm... couldn't you fandangle the projector in some way to output from a vid camera? So that way instead of producing pictures of peoples vacations, you could project those hawt sluts on the wall... naked... and dripping...

Re:TCO (0, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814547)

It is amazing that someone waisted a mod point on this and what is even more rediculous is it was modded flaimbait. At the least it should be funny but more likely it should be informative.

You see sometime geeks do need a reminder of why it is so hard to get laid. Somethign like this is likley to impress here so much she would watch the movie instead of putting out. Of course this all rests on the asumption that he can actually get a chick into his pad without it being some kind of bird.

I think it is a great mod and any girl that didn't recognize the cool factor in this project isn't worthy of my time. I'll take quality in a woman over quanity anyday.

Not quite the same... (5, Informative)

xchino (591175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813685)

The image is a bit blurry and usually darker than those expensive multimedia projectors. But the bulbs are cheaper to replace, and it's suitable for watching movies with your friends on walls and such. I'd recommend forgoing the overhead lamp and getting yourself a much more high powered light source, and a top quality fresnel lense, it will still probably be cheaper than the overhead projector, and having a brighter light source means a bigger or brighter picture. Couple one of these with a low powered am/fm transmitter and you're ready to host a Guerilla Drive in []

Re:Not quite the same... (1)

sglane81 (230749) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813795)

After reading the article, I was left wondering. Why not use LEDs? They have a much better lumen/heat ratio than regular bulbs, from what I understand.

Re:Not quite the same... (2, Interesting)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813832)

White LEDs with high lumens ratings are pretty expensive. But why not use 10 or so 100 Watt incadescent bulbs with or without a diffuser? An extra fan or two should take care of the heat - if that - and replacement cost is next to nil.

Re:Not quite the same... (0, Troll)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813797)

Normal multimedia projectors are a LOT cheaper now and are quieter, smaller and likely accept a broader range of inputs. Mine can accept component video even at HD resolutions (it is downscaled to native though), RGB, newer ones accept DVI.

You can get a decent XGA projector for around $1000 now.

While overhead projectors have cheaper bulbs, IIRC, those bulbs die a lot quicker too. Some multimedia projectors have bulbs that go as many as 5000 hours, making the operational cost only around a dime per hour.

Forget noise police, what about IP laws? (1)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813798)

Can you legally show a film to a group without paying a licensing fee? I know that at universities, it is not permitted in classrooms because of the possible legal fallout. Moviehouses pay to show their films to large audiences. Why hasn't the MPAA cracked down on this? I'd have thought this would be a prime target, being a progressive group of people. *sarcasm*Who knows, maybe they're doing other terrible things to help their country!*/sarcasm* What's the scoop on this?

Re:Forget noise police, what about IP laws? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813812)

I am sure that there are IP issues because outdoor presentations are likely to be classified as public, and not private. Fortunately for those that do guerilla drive-ins, they are still somewhat under the radar, filesharing is a bigger boogieman for the ??AAs.

Post-Box Office Movie Experience (2, Informative)

LighthouseJ (453757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813851)

I help my school show movies to the general public so I can authoritatively say No. Our school pays between $250 for well-out-of-box-office movies upwards to $800 for popular just-out-of-box-office movies. You pay for not only the right to show the movies publicly but also for to right to show the movie before it comes out on home video. For instance, our school is going to show Ray about a month before it comes out on video next semester and it'll cost us $800 but we don't charge at the door (money comes from students anyway but through the budget from tuition).

There's actually a release timeline for movies and movie availability for us falls right after availability for airlines. We also only get movies in VHS format because we can't handle the 16mm or 35mm films, and they won't send us DVD's because of piracy. yeah, I know you can record off of VHS but it's cumbersome, plus the distributor inserts their tag in the movie.

As for the MPAA, I figure it just hasn't become a "phenomena" yet. Also, when say a movie is shown like Team America: World Police that is out of theaters but not on video, people might see it for free but they don't get to walk away with a copy just by seeing it. However, seeing movies for free over the internet, the people do get to keep a copy because that's the method of distribution, making another copy, so they do perceive that as a loss of a sale. I guess they will get off their laurels when they claim they are losing billions to the guerilla drive-in's.

Re:Forget noise police, what about IP laws? (0, Troll)

rolocroz (625853) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814010)

who gives a fuck

Let's all look at the happy troller so he shuts up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814162)

The parent post was written by a career troller. Let's give him lots of attention, everybody. Ready? This is what he wants! Stare at him while he bangs his pots and pans!

Re:Not quite the same... (1)

mikejz84 (771717) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813805)

I thought a lot about building one actually. There is a section of dedicated to DIY projectors. I started out with taking my old pocket LCD TV and taking it apart and putting the panel into a slide projector--It actually worked rather well! The only problem was that the screen-door effect was massive, the pixels where the size of golf-balls. I kept planning on building my own projectors, until I got a few good deals on projectors. I started out with a 640x480 Telex P170v that I got on ebay for $170, then upgraded to a $600 Davis DL-450 DLP and spent a good amount of time and money modding it for a better picture. Finally, I got the offer I could not refuse. A Sony 1271q CRT projector with 650 hours for $500. It blows away any LCD or DLP out there and was a bargain. After a lot of talk on a general consensuses emerged, which was that buying a used CRT projector was often a better choice then building your own (many people have broken there LCD panels In the process of making there projectors) Quick note about lumens: The 3500 Lumens is the overhead rating, an LCD panel often reduces brightness by as much as 95%.

Re:Not quite the same... (1)

SavingPrivateNawak (563767) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814033)

Yes the overhead projector's bulbs are cheaper but according to several sites, they seem to only last 50 hours vs several thousands for the multimedia projectors' bulbs.

All in all, it seems that the price per hour remains very high...

Re:Not quite the same... (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814483)

That is the smaller problem.

Casual LCDs will survive under 300 hours while being illuminated at those intensities.

Just ask IBM - there used to be Stinkpad models which could have their LCD detached to be used for this exact purpose. I cannot recall off the top of my head, but they were not the only ones to do so.

No more. Guess why...

Fun (5, Informative)

xpurple (1227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813692)

I did this years ago, and kept running into problems with cooling. Even with a fan in there the screen became washed out after a few hours of use.

Part of this might have been due to the fact that I was using a DSTN screen.

Re:Fun (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813769)

How was the noise? what I renember from these classic projectors the teacher had to talk really loud to be heard over the high speed turbine turbine cooling fans.

Does anybody think there is a water cooling solution? If you can pipe that heat into the ceeling and cool it from there or if it sits on the ground just make the whole base a 5' cooling tower.

Re:Fun (1)

c0defiant (763041) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813814)

Fun indeed, sure does bring back some old memories...

I remember building something similar on instructions off of the old Acidwarp [] eye candy. Maybe common stuff now but made for a great party prop at the time.

Re:Fun; Use cooler bulb? (1)

UnapprovedThought (814205) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813847)

I did this years ago, and kept running into problems with cooling

Maybe in order to get enough lumens you were using a halogen bulb, which runs really hot?

Why not try something cooler? Specifically, has anyone tried using an LED bulb?

You need a point source.. (1)

khrtt (701691) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814128) get a good focus. Single LEDs are just not powerfull enough for a projector. The reason is cooling - the LED chip melts at about above 100mA current, even when mounted in a specially designed case. 100mA x 3.6V = 360mW electrical power, which is, taking into account the LED's higher efficiency, equivalent to a 2W incandescent bulb at most. Or something. I'm sure I got the efficiency numbers wrong, please correct me if you would.

LCDs don't like heat (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814063)

Even with a fan in there the screen became washed out after a few hours of use.

That's because the LCD panel overheats and stops functioning. Yes, even with the fan, the internal temperature of the LCD at the layer where all the magic happens gets too hot.

I remember this was a problem with the LCD panels our teachers used with DOS PCs, Apple IIGS's, and very early Macintoshes...they'd have to be given a few minutes cool down time after just 15 minutes. Pretty sad considering they probably cost the schools a fortune at the time.

Spyware! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813694)

Slashdot has been gathering stats on reader's living rooms and selling them to advertisers. Worse, they're giving the data away free to some users! I expect they'll mod this down to hid the truth.

JUNKyard? (4, Funny)

xThinkx (680615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813699)

JUNK!!!, I resent that! All of my scrap is functional.

Now where'd I put that 486 laptop with the broken screen and half working keyboard

Re:JUNKyard? (1)

imthatguy (772683) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813796)

but most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they

I'll have you know, Sir, that I resemble that remark!

Re:JUNKyard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813825)

I think my parent's basement is a retirement home (was about to say graveyard) for all the old now-useless crap we had. We had stuff exactly like you mentioned. We had a 386 B&W VGA laptop with a case that was cracked in several places, a 486 laptop (barely VGA) with a useless amount of HD space (about 100 MB) and a docking station that was bent to hell when we moved. We also have a P133 that basically works but won't boot into Windows (booting off of a HD from another computer screwed it up permanatly somehow). I believe my brother's old 486-DX2 133 MB that went with the aforementioned killer HD still works. The 386 case it was once in (was hard to find anything else in AT form factor even in '96) is probably still around and half-working even though it's also responsible for the death of a hand-me-down Pentium 200 I got due to a frayed live wire striking the motherboard.

Oh well, I was able to bring my parents' P3-450 MB back to life when their Duron 800 died (something some crappy computer repair shop coaxed them into buying just because the offboard PCI Ultra66 drive controller on it died, it could have been easily removed and the HDs plugged into the MB's IDE controller)

Re:JUNKyard? (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814034)

Now where'd I put that 486 laptop with the broken screen and half working keyboard

DNS for the LAN? Mines behind the TV.

Re:JUNKyard? (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814358)

Man, you're making me tempted to pull out my 486/50Mhz (170 meg hard drive, I think?) IBM Thinkpad with the cool "Butterfly" keyboard and see if it still works. :D

sony vs BYO (0, Redundant)

nxs212 (303580) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813701)

Sony has a $70k projector that is PERFECT.
But for those of us who cannot afford something like that or even $1k projector, this is perfect.
Now what nerd doesn't have a stack of old laptops that couldn't be used for anything...until now.
15" TFT LCD can be had for less than $300.
keep checking - they just had a 15" lcd for less than $200. Or check ebay.

3500 lumens? (5, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813709)

They claim 3500 lumens, but later in the article, they mention that's the lamp spec. Looking at the picture, how much of that is actually projected onto the wall and how much is diffused away right at the projector?

Re:3500 lumens? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813830)

You have a very good point. IIRC, a lot of 10,000 lumen bulbs are used in multimedia projectors rated 1000 lumens or so, so the video projector manufacturers are at least being honest that the rated light is the output, and not the input. I would think that an overhead panel + overhead machine wouldn't get better efficiency.

1750 lumens (2, Insightful)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813996)

It looks like the 3500 lumens is part of the projector spec [] -- but they are still missing something major. LCDs use polarized light [] , so, at most, they'll transmit half of incoming (unpolarized) light. I'd rate this projector at 1750 lumens, max. That number puts it in the company of a lot of other projectors. []

Re:1750 lumens (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814027)

Also the liquid crystals only rotate the polarization of a small fraction of the light so it can get through the second polarizer. All told, about 5% of the incident light gets through. Also, laptops seem quite happy to use flourescent lights that are much more efficient. That would help with both the power consumption and cooling [and fan noise].

Randy F.

Re:3500 lumens? (1)

superlime (454738) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814544)

I was looking into this for a few years and from what I found most LCDs block between 9/10 and 19/20 of the light coming through them.. So your 3500 lumen lamp is going to be at best a 350 lumen projected image. I was looking in to using a grow light (~140k lumens) to result in a whopping 14k lumen projected image. Never got around to it though.. I ended up just snagging a burly 3000 lumen 400:1 contrast ratio LCD projector on ebay for ~$1400.

summary: "buy one used and yoiu will save money" (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813710)

An old or used flatscreen LCD is ideal for the display; these can be picked up for prices starting at around $100.

Please TELL ME WHERE I can get a flatscreen LCD for $100, and overhead projector for $200.

they might as well have said "Buy a used projector on ebay for $300. PRESTO $300 projector!"

Would this mean that... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813723)

By a few modifications I could build my own Astral Projector?!


maybe yours does (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813740)

most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?

Umm, no.

Re:maybe yours does (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813824)

most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?

Umm, no.

I've gotta gree with you there. My AV components don't look like they've been cobbled together out of scrap pieces.

More on-topic, can anyone chime in on the group of multi-media projectors and how they compare to 'real' projection TVs? I've noticed they've slipped to below $2K CDN and falling, which is less than a rear projection screen.

Are the refresh rates and image quality of a DLP mult-media projector up to the task of DVD quality FMV display? Or is it more suitable for power-point presentations?

I don't see HD being anything I need soon, since all of the programming I watch isn't available there yet anyway. However, a front projector that can do good video quality might be a good bridging technology.

Re:maybe yours does (1)

leathered (780018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813828)

You must live with a woman. Your geek license is revoked with immediate effect.

Re:maybe yours does (1)

SonicBurst (546373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814398)

Well, if "immediate effect" = "getting laid" , then I'd say he did pretty well.

Re:maybe yours does (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814263)

Mine DID. Then I started living with another human. She does not appreciate the electronic junkyard look. SO now its all condensed into the spare room. I know there's a bed under there somewhere...

It's been done (4, Insightful)

myov (177946) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813777)

Before LCD projectors came out, a few companies made LCD panels designed to be placed on an overhead projector. You were stuck at 640, and the image quality was poor and dark.
There's a reason why projector lamps are expensive (and bright!)

I have one... (3, Informative)

lxt (724570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813788)

Indeed, I have one lying around somewhere. It was a 640x480 LCD mounted in a metal casing about the size of an A4 sheet of paper, and around 3 inches thick. It would sit on top of the projector, but had a tendancy to overheat (the OHP light heating up everything inside the casing as well...).

Re:It's been done (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813842)

I remember my professor using something like that to project the screen of a TI-83 onto the wall. Memories!

Re:It's been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813954)

Mine were using such a device last school year (last time I actually saw it used in class was about a year ago, so I suspect they're still using it when needed.

Re:It's been done (1)

wizatcomputer (798648) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814805)

Some teachers still do that today. It's great when half the class needs their hand held just to figure out how to do plot something. However, they seem to be poorly designed, as it alwasy smells like something is burning whenver the screen is in use.

It's BIG (1)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813793)

Nice DYI stuff but it's a really big contraption isn't it? Our living room for instance is crammed with stuff including computers and toys. And while wall projection for us would be perfect (we have white walls in the living room) I don't think I would put up with such a HUGE projector. Might as well buy a nice and small Dell projector or some such. Costs more but the space savings more than make up for that IMHO (also ditched my hifi installation in favor of an iPod - small is beautiful :) ).

Been there, done that (1)

menscher (597856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813810)

I was going to try it for a talk I was giving from my laptop, but didn't have the LCD projector. So I removed the LCD from my laptop and laid it down on an overhead projector. Problem is the image is rather dark. Basic problem of the way LCDs work: white is actually 50% gray due to the polarizing filters. And the overhead projectors just aren't bright enough. Might be ok in a very dark room, but otherwise I wouldn't recommend it.

Re:Been there, done that (1)

mOoZik (698544) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813912)

If you took the time to read the article, you'd have seen that it's still passable in light. :)

Bunny Lust (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813813)

by Tippy Turtle

Ted and David make their living as syncronized swimming instructors.
Ted and Dave like animals. You could even say they love animals. In their
spare time, Ted and Dave express their immense love for animals in their own
"special" way. In this first episode our two characters (mad with desire) have
broken into a local hospital where they find their first victim.

Ted and David made their way into the lab where the animal experiments
were conducted. A cute, fuzzy rabbit had caught their eye...

The evil duo quickly subdued the little lab rabbit. They strapped the now
helpless animal's head to the sex table with hot leather. David had they urge,
and removed his pants, which were now buldging. After slipping off his briefs,
David tightly fastened the leather straps and was ready to begin.......
David began to "grease up". Shoving endless amounts of vaseline and baby
oil all around the rabbit's ass, he slid his purple head firmly into the
rabbit's tight asshole. Even though the rabbit was slightly unconscious,
screams of pain were constanly being emmited. Ted reached for the chain whip
and smacked the rabbit's soft nose until its face was soaked with blood. Now,
with the rabbits head drooped over the edge of the table, David continued his
sex hunt. His now tingling cock was pushed deeper and deeper through the thick
layers of skin which covered the bowel tract. Five, six, seven, then finally
all eight and 3/4 inches were plunged deep within the animal's love canal.
David's manhood tingled with every slight movement of the now half alive
rabbit. He began rhythmically sliding in and out, moaning with pleasure on
every thrust. David worked himself into a hot orgasm. The blood, now coming
steadily out of the rabbit's ass with every thrust of David's pelvis, could be
heard dripping on the floor. David's rate increased and with a final push, he
spurted creamy white love gel far up into the rabbit's bleeding ass.
The blood and cum mixed together on the floor, which had now accumulated a
large puddle. Unknown to David, the semen had acted as a powerful enemma for
the rabbit and out ushered the contents of its intestine. The stool was loose
and soft. It fell to the ground with a soft thud and broke into small pieces.
The obnoxious smell caught David's attention, and no sooner had he fallen to
the ground and began licking the large puddle of blood, sperm, and stool.
Exited at David's enthusiasm, Ted dropped to his knees and also began to slurp
the foul mixture.
After cleaning the floor with their tongues, David and Ted checked on the
battered lab rabbit. It was barely able to hold its head up, as it had lost
control of most of its motor fuctions. Feeling no pity for this sexually
mistreated animal, they unstrapped it and tossed it across the room, only to
make a loud and deep thud against the wall. Its blood soaked fur left spatters
of red stains everywhere it touched. Ted reached for his chain whip, while
David grabbed a pair of rusty hedge clippers (one of the many torture devices
carried around for "convenience"). They made their way over to the rabbit.
The rabbit was struggling for every last bit of air it could, just gasping and
"Awwwww. Poor little thing," Ted maniacally laughed. He raised his arm
and thrust the cold metal whip down, exposing the rabbit's bloody flesh.
He kept whacking and whacking at the furry bag of blood. Then, when Ted
stopped to catch his breath, David stepped over with his rusty hedge clippers.
He knelt over the rabbit who was knocking loudly on death's door. David took a
quick glance at the clippers, grinned, and then thrust them deep into the body
of the rabbit, obviously hitting many arteries. As the blood squirted into
David's face he moved the clippers around in hopes to find a thick bone to
crunch. "Aha! The femur!" he yelled out with excitement. David wedged the
clippers against the bone. He opened them wide......then closed down on them
with all his might. The bone could be heard deep inside the rabbit, being
mutilated. Death had glazed the bunny's eyes.
The rabbit lay dead, a bloody mess on the floor. Its bodily fluids freely
surged across the tiled floor. Then with a look of extreme satisfaction, both
David and Ted lit up some smokes, gathered their belongings and quietly left
the hospital grounds, knowing with confidence that they would strike again,
somewhere, soon.

Bulb Cost Still an Issue (5, Interesting)

DumbRedGuy (218259) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813820)

I think these things are really cool, but what still stops me is the bulb cost.

They say the bulbs cost $20-$30 and I can afford that, but how long do the bulbs last? When I searched for Overhead Projector replacement bulbs, I got figures from 30-75 hours. Best case, that's ($20/75hours)= $.26 per hour.

The bulbs for the X1 projector are $299 and last for up to 4000 hours ( That is like $.07 per hour.

To me, this really doesn't seem any better off in the long run. Am I missing something?

Re:Bulb Cost Still an Issue (1)

mart459 (240857) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813897)

They misled you on the price - that $20 is list. I have been purchasing mine directly from a distributer and not through office supply store. My cost is under $7 - and I have had the bulbs last closer to 100 hours. I have not however gotten a decent overhead for $50 - more like $75.

A setup like this is great for the kid's gamecube, and in my situation, for watching TV while swimming. I have one in the bomb shelter (nintendo) and one in the pool room so that we can watch TV and swim.

No no no no! (1)

wiresquire (457486) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813925)

You've got it all wrong!

Now if the bulb is included with the price of the projector due to a 'distribution' agreement, you don't have to pay for it at all!

Another benefit is that you'll find that the up front costs of the bulb are far outweighed by the cheaper costs of the maintenance people you could hire to change that bulb. Forget the fact that having the projector burn out every week or so will leave you with nothing!

What you are talking about is Total Cost of Ownership. This has proven to be irrelevant time and time again in corporations, so why would you worry about it?

carbon arc lamp (1)

gantrep (627089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813952)

Build a carbon arc lamp, fool!

Talk about heat dispersal though....

Saving up vs run out and get one (1)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813969)

It's much easier to blow $20 every once in awhile than have to blow $300. That's nearly a car payment + insurance. You don't need to plan ahead for a $20 expense but you do have to plan ahead for a $300 expense.


Re:Saving up vs run out and get one (1)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814663)

You don't need to plan ahead for a $20 expense but you do have to plan ahead for a $300 expense.

Speak for your self. As long as I'm in college, that $300 might be easier. Christmas is coming, y'know.

Re:Bulb Cost Still an Issue (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814050)

If you can afford to put up the money for the X1 projector, then no, you aren't missing anything. However, if you only have $300 to blow, then I would go with the overhead projector get-up.

Re:Bulb Cost Still an Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814102)

Yaa you're missing something...the G (as in geek) factor. You can't wow your nerd friends and turn away women in disgust with a store bought projector.

Junkyard (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813822)

most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?

No, our girlfriends keep that from hap--

Oh wait...

I love this stuff (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813841)

I built one of these myself a few years ago an it's been running great ever since. I went for a bit sturdier construction so the thing would be portable and I've never had a single problem with it.

more pictures []

The whole thing set me back $500 but I'll bet that's mainly due to higher prices back then.

Re:I love this stuff (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813949)

Cool. It looks like you're just using a piece of regular fabric for a screen, though. Have you ever tried using it with regular screen material? It's much more reflective and would probably improve your image quality substantially.

As a developer, I have to ask: it is really useful for editing code, or do you primarily use it just for movies? I've always wanted a wall-sized screen for working on projects (I once read a story that referred to a "mural graphics system") and still wonder if it would be usable or if I'm just dreaming.

Re:I love this stuff (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813992)

I've never used an actual screen, but now days I just use a painted white wall and it's great. The bed sheet was a really bad idea, and if you looked behind it there was actually enough light passing through to put an image on the wall behind it. On my living room wall the picture does look much crisper.

As for code editing, it's definitely a lot of fun but you MUST have a desk to set your keyboard and mouse on. Using the armrest on the couch as a mousepad and having the keyboard on your lap just doesn't cut it.

BTW, for everyone wondering about bulb price and heat issues: bulbs are ~$12 each (@ 100hr life) and with the two PC fans blowing across the top there are no heat problems whatsoever.

Laptop monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813858)

Anyone know any limitions in trying to do this with a decent laptop display?

Uhhh .. (1)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813874)

" It's quite bigger and noisier than a standard projector, but most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?"

I don't have a living room you insentive clod !

Honey, please stop posting here... (5, Funny)

THESuperShawn (764971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813905)

"but most of our living rooms look like electronic junkyards anyway, don't they?"

We have been over this sooo many times. It's not "junk", it's my work, my life. How do you think we can afford the 75 pairs of shoes you have in the closet? What about the 17 gallons of makeup in the bathroom? I mean come-on, bathrooms are for manly noises and piles of out-dated Maxim-PC and Computer-Shopper. And I mean the real, phone book size Computer Shopper of yesteryear, not that wimpy little thing they print now. What's with that 1/2 film of hairspray all over the counter?

Please, let me have my slashdot. You son't see me posting on your US Weekly forum do you?

Everything old is new again (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813910)

Laying an LCD panel on an overhead projector used to be the only way to do projection. Our company threw away a dozen or so 640x480 panels intended for use with an overhead, about 8 years ago.

Did This Too - 2 Years Ago (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813968)

This was the rage a couple of years ago when 1000 lumen projectors were $2500. So I bought a flat screen monitor on sale at Best Buy, ripped it apart, got an overhead projector, set it all up and projected it on the whiteboard in my classroom. It works...but. Like previous posts, it's dark due to the LCD screens. I believe he has a 3500 lumen projector but the problem is you need that kind of brightness just to push through the LCD screen.

I went so far as to purchase a metal-halide light with a 250w bulb (actually a parking lot security light!) to drive it, because I really wanted it to work. It worked too...but. The heat.

Also not addressed in the article is the issue of the screen. You can't just use any ol' wall or whiteboard due to hot spots. So now you're out looking for a used Da-Lite screen or wallboard suitable for mounting.

These projects have been out on ebay for a while and the net has a bunch of info on how to do it. The original DIY Forum for this makes for a pretty good geek fix.

My students thought it was cool tho'. Right now, I use a 2000 lumen HP we got through a grant and project onto an 8' Da-Lite screen. Sweet. The wide-screen version of Blade Runner looks and sounds awesome especially with the Bose 151 outdoor speakers on either side of the screen.

Riiiiight... (1)

Nightreaver (695006) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813972)

The homemade projector can also be used for presentations; given the right settings, customers will be amazed!

... of your l33t junk assembling skills? Which company wouldn't?

diy projectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813973)

most of the projector projects i've seen start here.. not all DIY projectors are as big as toms 3548cff8095fb76feede9ad32dab91af&forumid=12 []

also my own DIY projector, build with a 7 inch automotive roofmount LCD, its certainly not XGA, but it gets the job done []
probably cost around ~300 CND dollars

The $100 question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10813977)

How can I use my old I-Opener lcd to do this project???

Seriously....I am cheap and I want to know.

Great (1)

wertarbyte (811674) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813984)

I posted this story about a week ago to slashdot, back then only a german website was available. There goes my karma :-

I can't wait to hook my GBA up to it! (1)

THESuperShawn (764971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10813993)

Can you imagine using this for a GameBoy???? :P

Re:I can't wait to hook my GBA up to it! (1)

JimmehAH (817552) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814280)

Pixels as big as yer fist!

Re:I can't wait to hook my GBA up to it! (1)

THESuperShawn (764971) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814353)

You're right.

But TETRIS sure will look trippy!!!!!

Re:I can't wait to hook my GBA up to it! (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814511)

Well, yeah - one GameCube + GBPlayer, connected to video input (or TV tuner card on PC)...

I haven't done anything like that myself (mostly because I don't have GB Player), but I tried playing Gameboy Advance games once with a car stereo and portable-CD-to-cassette-player adapter thingy (you know, one that looks like a cassette but has a cable with headphone jack and some mysterious electronics that make the cassette player play whatever comes in the cable).

Same old screen, but really damn good stereo sound =) I should try this sometime with my 4.1 computer speakers =)

Just get a used projector... (0, Troll)

evilviper (135110) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814006)

Doing this project at the $300 price point, first off, requires you to be able to get this equipment cheaply.

So, realistically, you would be better off just looking around for an older, used projector in the first place.

Not only would you be able to get it nearly a cheaply, but you'd also have an actual projector, not some wired-together mess. Extra inputs, proper bulbs, etc.

Fine for a project (assuming you have an LCD just lying around that you can destroy) if you want to build one yourself, but certainly not practical for those just looking to save some money.

Old Slashdot article on same topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814012)

Here's an old /. article, "Homebrewed LCD Projectors [] " from about 2-1/2 years ago. Of course, the prices have since come down, and the quality has gone up... but it looks like people have been doing this for a while now.

this thing is about as rough as it gets (4, Insightful)

chadamir (665725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814021)

I suggest if anyone here is serious they check out . Yeah the plans are a bit more than free on tomshardware, but really strapping an lcd panel to an ohp is not really brain surgery. If you want a better projector which includes plans for a 17 inch lcd for higher resolution and a 7" lcd for portability then check that site out. The irc and message board support are infinitely valuable as well.

Apple made one (1)

jedkiwi (825683) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814083)

Heh, I remember how Apple made panels for overhead projectors once, back in like 1995. We had one at our school and I got to use it several times. Great display back then, I could only wonder how good it is now.

Re:Apple made one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10814220)

Uh, no they didn't. Go ahead, find a link. I dare you.

Or get an old Thinkpad... (2, Interesting)

stungod (137601) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814115)

I used to have an IBM 755CD laptop (P75, baby!) that had a removable back on the LCD screen. It was made so you could set the laptop on an overhead projector and use it for presentations. It was a nice concept, but a practical nightmare. The image was dark, it was hard to focus, and the screen was only 640X480. The biggest problem was that if you wanted to center the screen on the projector the body of the laptop hung over the edge and would fall off unless you supported it with something.

As for the state of my living room, I've found that having a wife or GF kind of precludes the mess. I can have all the technology I want in the living room, but it's either hidden in a cupboard or made otherwise stealthy. It works for all concerned that way.

3500 overhead lumens != 3500 DIY lcd lumens (5, Interesting)

cpoch (673846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814120)

The overhead projector they used in the article is 3500 lumens, but I can speak from their experience that their output isn't that high. LCD panels take a lot of light pushed through them to project a bright image, because the panel is relatively opaque. Overhead projectors are almost completely transparent, so take very little light to produce a bright image. I have a 1991 Proxima Ovation A822C 640x480 data + video LCD overhead projector panel and a 3500 lumen 3M 9200 overhead projector. Showing transparencies, the projector produces a nice bright white color, which looks about the same as a 3500 lumen LCD projector. Throw my LCD panel on it, and the light output drops to under half of the 650 lumen LCD projector that I frequently borrow. I'd guess that the OHP + LCD panel is about equivalent to a 250 lumen LCD projector.

The projector they built looks a lot brighter than mine, probably due to a newer LCD, and not having two layers of protective glass over it, like my LCD panel. However, to make their panel look bright, they tweaked the driver settings. That just changes the color gradients, and doesn't actually make the projector brighter. Even with their tweaks, I doubt that their output breaks 1000 lumens. It would be interesting to get it measured and see what it actually produces. Maybe someone with a lumen meter can fill us all in.

Imagine a Beowolf cluster of these... (1)

eyepeepackets (33477) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814139)

...and Powerpoint presenters spontaneously combusting. *egrin*


LordMyren (15499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814254)

THE OFFICIAL THREAD [] on Diy Projectors.

I still love mine.

Not the Same? (4, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814657)

This project really held my interest. Not only could I get a great image for less than 1/3 of the price of a 'real' projector. And I could have more control over it anyway!

It wasn't until the last picture on the last page [] that I started to lose interest. Notice how the center of the image is far brighter than the edges?

That's entirely expected, if you think about how the overhead projector works. By comparison, I've never seen this on a 'real' projector. Still a nifty idea, but I think I'll splurge on a real one.

Would a flood light get a brighter image? (1)

phillip0101 (813107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10814856)

I have been reading about the probs with dim images on some site and wondered if you could just get an OHP and stick a massive flood light in the bottom? thats gotta give you a bright image right? has anyone tried this? Assume your gonna need some better cooling :o)
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