Cheap if it works, expensive if it doesn't.
History of The Homemade Projector
I'd always wanted a projector. I'm a huge movie nut. Obviously. That's why I'm an RTFmajor. But I didn't really have the money to buy a brand new projector (although they're pretty cheap these days). So I'm browsing the internet and I discovered that people actuallymake their own projectors. This is an amazing idea. My friend Jonah had already built hisown homemade DVR using a standard pc computer, Linux, and software fromMythTV.org so I figured why not build your own projector.I ended up doing a ton of research. Here are some of the original cost breakdowns:$190 - LiquidVideo 15" LCD Monitor $14 - Reflective Bowl$137 - Fresnels$67 - Electric Ballast$20 - Computer Fan$17.10 - 2 other fans$20 - LumenLab Guide$2.92 - Screws$19.01 - Wood$25.21 - Home Depot$56.76 - Home Depot$8.39 - Home Depot= ~~$577So for $500 I was going to have a 1024x768 projector. My friend Terry and I were going tosplit the cost (cause who the hell knows if something you find on the internet is actuallygoing to work) and work on the projector together. Which we did. Until we broke one of thecables on the monitor. $190 down the drain. At that point, we were both sick of the projectand decided to finish out school. My friend Jonah decided to buy our wrecked projector. Wehad bought all the parts and even finished building the housing, but at that point we were sick of it. Jonah scored a sweet deal though as we gave him a pretty nice discount.
Weird Science to the rescue!
Months went by. The unfinished projector just sat there doing nothing. Jonah just never quitegot around to finishing it, and frankly, who could blame him considering how much troublethe damn thing was. Well, along came Weird Science and so I thought to myself, "Wow, this project's pretty crazy." Plus, it gave Jonah the added motivation of a deadline. So Jonah bought a 15.4" wide screen, 1280x800 monitor off of ebay for $120. This was an awesomeupgrade because it meant that if the projector worked, we would actually have a projector capable of displaying full, uncompressed 720P HDTV.We still needed to do the wiring (no small task since we knew nothing about wiring), figureout a way to secure the fresnels, handle any temperature issues that might arise, secure the ballast, and lot of other things. Here are some pics of our handiwork: