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DIY Projector Build


Having recently purchased my first house I am now overwhelmed with ideas and new projects that I could undertake. At the top of the list is a home theater to rival anything any of my buddies have! At the center of any home theater worth it's salt is an excellent visual experience. To that end, I have decided the only option for the greatest optical spectacle must be a projector. Of course, no regular old PJ will do, mine will be full 1080p high definition. As most commercial projectors capable of 1080p usually range in price from $2,000 to some where just beyond ludicrous. Therefore, I shall attempt to build my own hi-def PJ that hopefully will give those high priced beamers a run for their money. And so it begins.


-12 June 2008-

It just so happened to be that I had an LCD panel just laying around from a dead laptop that I tore apart. This thing had been laying around for nearly a year with no purpose since it's so hard to find lcd controllers. Well, I finally found it a new purpose in life: guinea pig. Here's the test subject now.

All dressed up, and no place to go.

Undressed and ready to tear apart.

Notice the high gloss reflection? Ya, I'll come back to that and why this could have saved me some trouble later on.

Here it is with the backlight removed. Don't worry the tear down of my WUXGA LCD will have even more detailed, boring, step-by-step pictures!

This is my attempt to get a shot of the different layers at the corner, ya not much to see but it kind of gives you an idea of how thin these layers are.

Next was to cut up some paper towel to fit the LCD. You want to cut these several millimeters short of the AG edge so that they end up within a millimeter or two of the AG edge once they have soaked. They are cut a little extra short because the paper towel will expand when wet and you really don't want it going over the edge.

Now here's where some of that precision craftsmanship comes into play. See, you want to get the paper towel right up to the edge of the anti glare coating, but not over it. See, you want to get the AG covered right up to the edge without going over, because the next step is to soak the paper towel in distilled water and lay them out over the panel. Water and electronics, yeah!!


-13 June 2008-

After a good 12 hour soak the AG coating lifted right off along with the paper towel. The plastic bag was placed over the paper towels to help cut down on evaporation. In retrospect I think this was a bad idea as it put weight on the water and, along with the wicking effect of the draped plastic, drew the water out and over the edge of the LCD and ended up causing me problems down the road.

Here's the layer lifting off with ease, but notice how the plastic layer looks shiny and smooth? Ya, come to find out after it was all said and done that wasn't the AG layer. In fact, this panel didn't even have an AG layer, instead it had a super smooth, high gloss layer. Something that didn't need to be removed at all. Oops! Oh well, live and learn.

Ok, so the next thing I learned was a bit more important of a lesson to learn, "What happens when the water spills over the edge and goes where it shouldn't?" Bad things start to happen. The main cause of this, I believe, was from that plastic bag causing the water to wick over the edge. I will not being using that technique for my WUXGA panel.

This tinted layer is what is underneath the AG layer and is known as the polarizer. This is what gives you a picture on the screen. Since it is tinted it would be nice if we could remove it, as it would give us great deal more light but from what I've been told that's about all you would get, a bright light but no picture. Not that I know from first hand experience, this is just what I've been told and I have no intention of finding out if it's true. So it's not a good thing that this started to come up but it's not too bad. You would probably have a slightly dimmer corner here, but in the end it doesn't really matter since this was practice anyway! Alright, that's all I got for now so get outta here!

In the next fun and action-packed episode I'll go into what my design plans are looking like, and then into the tear down of my WUXGA panel. Sounds like fun, huh, kids? You bet it does! :)

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