Projects: DIY LCD Projector


Many of us preferred watching their favorite movie on screens wider than their usual television set. One solution might be is to buy an LCD projector but most of us cannot afford those heavily priced commercial LCD Projectors. I was among those who wished I could so I decided to build one for myself.

Building the LCD Projector is a great experience but never was easy. If this is not taken seriously, you might end up with a dead LCD module and lost a couple of bucks just like me.

Monitor Dismantled

The principle behind the DIY LCD Projector is fairly simple. If you could remember the days when you’re using the overhead projector for your school reporting, well, the LCD Projector work very much like that same principle. The only difference is instead of using the acetate to project images, on the DIY LCD Projector, you’ll be using an LCD screen. LCD screen can then be connected to a computer to project anything you want.

I got my LCD years ago from Tipidpc.com at around Php1500 (that time LCD monitor still cost around 10 to 15K). The seller mentioned that the displays are OK but are very dim on some parts. I quickly figured out that the problem might be with its backlighting (cold cathode). This is not a problem for my project because I won’t be using any backlight.

Inside the LCD monitor is a control board that converts VGA input signal into a protocol compatible with most LCD modules (LVDI protocol). There are also a few buttons for controlling the brightness, color, contrast, and also for power.

LCD Back Assembly

An inverter (below, left) is also an important module inside the LCD monitor. This produces high output voltage enough to drive the small fluorescent tube also called cold cathode (below, right) inside the LCD Module.

 Inverter Cold Cathode

Not all LCD modules can be transformed into LCD Projector. Some modules have very rigid connection of its vertical and horizontal drivers that prevents us to open the back portion to be made suitable for projection.

I learned that when I tried it first time. My first attempt was a total failure and I ended up with a damaged LCD Module. The flexible PCB connecting the horizontal drivers got torn apart rendering my LCD Module useless.

LCD Panel Filter Removed 2

The good thing is I still have my control board that I can use on other compatible LCD Module.

Assembly of VGA Protocol Translator 

I got my new LCD Module salvaged from an old Sager Laptop I bought for Php2000 (whole laptop)

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  It is an LCD module produced by LG Philips (Model : LP141X7-C1TO) and I was very lucky that it is compatible with my LCD control board and initial test displayed my desktop image on it.

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  I carefully dismantled the assembly of the LCD Module starting from the right side then removed the tape at the bottom.

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After all the tapes are gone, I carefully lifted the module off its metal frame and continued dismantling it. It can be easily observed that the LG Philips LCD Module has no flexible PCB that connects the vertical drivers to the horizontal driver circuits which made it ideal for DIY LCD Projector project.

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  There are a couple of layers you’ll see after you completely dismantled everything. Starting from the back top there is the plastic frame that secures the back portion and at the same time housed the LCD Module main board. Next to it are the white plastic that reflects the light forward onto the LCD screen. There are two diffuser that sandwiched an acrylic sheet. Well, none of these elements are important because it’s only the LCD screen we’re gonna use.

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I ran a few test just to make sure my setup is still working after I did all dismantling stuffs and the picture below shows how it is look like.

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I housed the main control board inside an Alexan enclosure.

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The DIY LCD Projector worked perfectly fine especially under a dimmed light condition.

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  I added some box and fan to allow heat to circulate below the LCD screen because the project gets hell hot when operated continuously.

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What happened next? I got my DIY LCD Projector working for 15mins  but too bad when I needed to fix something I have to disassemble everything and when I powered the setup again I got the LCD Module to main control board connection inverted. This damaged my 2nd LCD and taught me another hard lesson.

For those who would like to try building this one, please be very careful so you wont suffer the same fate I had. Happy hacking….

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~ by glutnix_neo on January 24, 2010.

4 Responses to “Projects: DIY LCD Projector”

  1. good work and experience,the same with me until i finally completed my 15 inch and 7 inch projector.if you want to see my project just email me for sure that you received my comment then i can help you too about starting how will you set up nicely the same also how will you incorporate audio section…im happy with mine but sad to say my expenses is up to 60k coz some tweakings many lcd too i experience problems from blowing up and tearing of ribbon cable but its ok im happy now . i got my final projector very clear and the set up is so easy….thanks lito from philippines angeles city.

    • thanks for sharing your experiences, I’m putting this project on hold since there are many dirt cheap projectors available at CD-R King these days.

  2. AGAIN I MAY ADD A FEW TRICKS WHICH I FIWD VERY HELPFUL TO ALL WHO ARE VERY MUCH ENGAGE IN THIS PROJECTS.THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THE AIRFLOW,THE PLACEMENT OF INTAKE AND OUTLET OF AIR I FOUND IT VERY NICE FOR THIS SET UP AND GUARANTEED THE COOLING SYSTEM WORKS WELL WITH THE LCD AND THE BULBS FOR 250 OR 400WATTS MHQ EVEN IF YOU ADD THE BALLAST INSIDE THE BOX THEN ALSO YOU CAN ADD YOUR AUDIO SECTION FROM 20 TO 50 WATTS.PER CHANNEL, AGAIN THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SEE MY PROJECT EMAIL ME ANDWILL HELP YOU HOW TO AVOID DAMAGES AND LOST OF MONEY WHICH I EXPERIENCE BEFORE WHEN I STARTED THIS PROJECTOR PROJECT…THANKS

  3. nice work.

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