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How To Build Your Own Projector – Today’s project will show how you can convert your laptop, smartphone or tablet into a makeshift projector – just in time for March Madness! It’s super cheap to build and can add a little creative fun to your next sports party.
This DIY is primarily aimed at college students looking for a way to turn devices they already have into a projector for sporting events or parties.
How To Build Your Own Projector
It’s more of a novelty than anything practical, but in my experience the image can be seen and the idea will hopefully be enjoyed. If anything, it’s a party trick you can pull off for your next get-together with friends.
Space Slide Projector
Please note that the image projected on the wall will be “mirrored” or “flipped horizontally” from the original image. This will cause any text or numbers to appear backwards.
Likewise, the light from the laptop, smartphone or tablet is the only light source, so as the image is made larger, the intensity of the light on the screen becomes weaker until the image eventually becomes invisible.
Apart from already owning a laptop, smartphone or tablet, you need 3 things to make this projector:
Cardboard: I got my cardboard box at a Walmart. I just walked into the photo lab and asked if they had any boxes I could use for a project. They had more than they cared for! I chose one that was a few feet long and the front was just bigger than my iPad.
A Diagram Showing How To Build A Projector That Will Allow Safe Viewing Of The Sun Stock Photo
Tape: For tape, I got black duck tape (also from Walmart), but even packing tape or masking tape can work great!
Fresnel lens: I found my Fresnel lens on eBay for about $4. Since then I’ve seen them as low as $3. The size is somewhere around 8×10 inches. These are typically used as full-page magnifying glasses for reading small text.
Ideally, we want a hole in the front of the box that is about 1/2″ smaller than the lens. I used the lens itself as a template to trace around the edges, then drew another rectangle 1/2″ inside the first . It is this inner rectangle that we will cut out and it should leave a 1/2″ ledge that we can tape the lens to.
You can also use something like a credit card or hotel key to trace a rectangle in the middle.
How To Build And Hang A Projector Screen
When it’s all cut out, you should have a piece left over, as seen in the picture, and you might like to hang on to that.
NOTE: The grooved part of the lens should face into the box and the flat smooth side should face out.
Once the lens is set, you can open the box to give it stability. Your tablet or smartphone goes in and projects out through the lens.
I gave mine a quick paint job to spruce it up a bit and made a projection screen with a piece of 0.02″ Hi-Impact Styrene I got from a sign supply company for just over $2.00. It’s 4 feet wide and the black duct tape made a nice edge cut on the plastic sheet I had just enough tape left over to put it up on the wall and set up a makeshift home theater.
How To Make A Diy Smartphone Projector
When using a laptop, this configuration will be too small. I found that a hole could be cut in the back of another box and the laptop flipped upside down and slid into place. This is by far the fastest and easiest setup and the laptop gives the best results because the screen is the biggest and brightest!
The image projected on the screen is flipped horizontally and upside down. You can make it right side up by turning your tablet, smartphone or laptop upside down in the projector.
If you’re using a tablet like an iPad, you’ll also need to go into the settings menu and make sure to lock the screen rotation so it’s sideways. Otherwise, the image will not remain upside down when you turn it over.
Regardless of which device you use, you should also bring the brightness up to maximum to get the most light possible. If your phone doesn’t have the ability to lock the screen, you may need to download an app.
Diy Projector With Flashlight
To hold the device in the projector, you’ll probably want to find something sturdy like a couple of textbooks or a sturdy box. I used a box of tomato puree that was the size of an iPad.
Using a couple of rubber bands to secure the unit in an “upside down” position, it’s now ready to go into the projector and play your movie!
Note that the image must be flipped right side up, but it will still be flipped horizontally. This means that any words or numbers on the screen will still be backwards._
I found that using a laptop works best because the screen is bigger to begin with and it can be turned up quite sharply. This is good because as the image is enlarged, the intensity of the light on the screen decreases.
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A 50″ image is very watchable on a laptop, as well as an iPad-sized tablet. The closer you bring the projector to the screen, the smaller the image will be, but the brighter and more focused it will be.
I found that if you cover all your windows and close all the doors to make sure the room is completely dark, this will help the image appear crisper and brighter.
Because the Fresnel lens is made flat, there are some optical disadvantages that appear in the image. For example, the edges of the screen may be slightly blurred while the center is in focus.
To solve this problem, a shroud can be added to the lens with a rectangular hole in the center about the size of a credit card. This will reduce the aperture and improve focus dramatically. The trade-off is that less light will be emitted from the projector, so the image on the screen will be dimmed.
It Had To Be Done!made My Own Ust Projection Cabinet!
A smartphone works the same way, but the screen size can’t go much over 20″ or the image won’t be visible. 15″ worked well and 20″ was okay.
Since the scattering of light reduces the brightness of the screen, it is more of a novelty than anything practical, but in my experience the image can be seen and the idea will hopefully be enjoyed.
If you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s not too late. See it here! And if you like this project, you might like some of my others. Check them out at thekingofrandom.com.
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K Cinema At Home
This is a fun easy project that anyone can do in about 15-20 minutes. The whole project only cost me a dollar and works well enough for me to enjoy an entire movie on it. The way it works is that the light from your phone or iPod goes through the magnifying glass and is magnified onto the wall. The whole project is very easy to make and easy to understand.
You will need a few household items to make your projector. Any supplies that you don’t have, you can buy very cheaply. I did the whole project for a dollar and the cheapest iPod/iPhone projector I could find online was $90. For this project you will need:
The first thing you need to do is cover any holes in your box to prevent light from leaving your box or entering by doing this you will increase the quality of your projector. Cover all the holes on the outside of the box with duct tape, then cover them on the inside so none of the sticky tape is exposed. Cover all sides so that no light escapes.
We use a magnifying glass as any size lens will work for this. Start by finding the center of the box and mark it. Then place your magnifying glass on the box and carefully draw around it with your marker. Once you have a cleanly drawn circle, take out your knife. The best kind of knife for this would be an X-Acto knife, but since I didn’t have one, I just used a sharp pocket knife with a very sharp tip. Any knife will do, but one with a sharp point is ideal. Slowly cut out the circle you just drew on the box, being careful to keep the edges clean for best results. After cutting the circle, cut some holes in the back for speakers and a charging cord so you don’t run out of batteries while using your projector. I covered all rough edges