Australian Sources

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G'day all,
Well thanks to all you genius' here in this forum I have now well and truely been bitten by the DIY Projector bug, and I am keen to get started on my own basic first projector using an OHP.

A few weeks ago I had no idea a community like this existed or even that it was possible build these things, so very cool.

I'm not going to ask for anyone to walk me through it step by step, I can search and read these forums on my own for that.

What I am going to ask is if any of you australians know of any local sources for parts, in particular Projection Panels and the OHP's themselves. I'm finding it extremely differcult to track down places that sell them locally (Brisbane / Gold Coast) especially the panels.

Any help here would appreciated.


The best place to find OHP are probably High Schools, these days they use alot of video projectors so they would have alot of OHP sitting around in store rooms, so try contacting some. The other place would be to look under A/V repair companies in the phone book, I know of some here in WA so I assume the same sort of thing is true for the Gold Coast. The projection pannels are probably a bit harder to come by, but again try some schools, I used to own a Sharp LCD pannel but I have sold it. If you are going to go the Metal Halide setup you can buy lamps and their control gear from Farnells. I am going to build a projector using the optics from my OHP, a stripped LCD and a 400watt MH lamp.
Hey Fiat1, thanks for the tips there, as you say the LCD panels are hard to come by here in oz, so much so that I am contemplating on whether I should just buy one from somewhere overseas, or maybe just go with the LCD monitor option for my forst PJ. What are these panels like physically? should I have concerns about having one posted from OS?
I could not see a problem, just need to be well packed. The only difference will be the power adapter, but it will just be a normal regulated supply. I think my Sharp one used a 12volt DC regulated supply. I would go with the LCD monitor option, its not that much more expensive by the time you find a LCD from OS to post over. I got a price on a stripable Benq for $318, so a much better contrast ratio and unless you find a high end pannel much better resoultion!
15 inch LCD Monitor might be the way to go I think, they are a little hard to find around here though.

I just scored myself a half decent OHP, a Kindermann Famulus 575, cant find much info on the net about this baby, but the guy that had it for sale assured me it had a 575 watt 9000 lumens metal halogen lamp in it with keystone correction. It was in very good condition too so I'm pretty stoked.
Hope the OHP goes well. 15inch monitors are easy to find. Just make sure its on the list that is stripable. Just look around the net at the model you want, go to a computer shop and say you want that model, and they get it in. Normally on that same day for most things!
Do you know if anyone has used one of these as their LCD? (or something similar)

8 inch LCD
Built in TV tuner
Resolution: 1440(H) x 234(V)
Response Speed (ms): R:20 / F:40
Brightness: 300cd / m2
Contrast: 150: 1

Exterior Jack:
15-needle head of the VGA Jack for computer use, External Antenna Jack , Earphone Jack , Audio / Video (AV) input Jack , 12V DC input Jack

I may be new to this but just by looking at the design of this monitor I'm guessing most of the control boards would be out of the way of the LCD panel, correct me if I'm wrong.

I really like the idea of having the TV tuner and AV input right there without the need for a VGA box for an xbox or dvd player. And not to mention the smaller projected screen size, would fit a whole lot better on my apartment wall.
Could someone clear something up for me:
The OHP I have is a German made unit (hard to find info on it and it didn't come with a manual), it says on the side it uses a Metal Halogen lamp, this is the type of bulb that is sitting in the OHP:

the above bulb is a Phillips MSR 400 watt, the one in my OHP looks exactly the same but is 575 watt.
Is this a Halogen lamp or a Metal Halide lamp?
I ask this because (a) I'm new to this and (b) the life expectancy is apparently 1000 hrs for these bulbs.
I have opted for the cheaper and more fool proof method to getting my projector up and running, found someone local selling a Sharp 1500 Proj Panel and grabbed it. Although this thing is only 640x480 it will do just fine for what I'll be using it for (dvd, xbox). I gave it a test run and the picture quality is quite exceptable. With the right enclosure and screen this might just work.

Excitedly (foolishly) I thought I'd give it a proper test run and watch a whole dvd, before I'd even checked the heat the OHP was producing. Anyway about 40 minutes into the flick some smoke starts coming out of the air vent of the OHP (not good), I pulled the plug and let it cool down before checking if there was any damage... nothing, everything still works fine.

I'm hoping it was just dust buildup that was burning but it seemed a bit excessive for just dust, besides I'm not willing to take that risk, I've drawn up some very rough plans for a possible solution to my overheating problem and at the same time a possible solution to light leakage and general aesthetics. Using of all things a set of bedside draws :D

If any of you more experienced DIYers are still roaming this forum I'd be very interested in your opinions on whether this kind of setup work actually work.
An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

It turns out my OHP uses a Metal Halide lamp so I'm pretty happy about that, but also confused as to why I would be having this heat problem, arent these lamps supposed to be the cooler of the two options.

FYI If anyone in Melbourne Australia is looking for an OHP there is a guy selling his extra Kindermann Famulus 575 on ebay right now LINK HERE
Spent a few days building an enclosure using the above design , so far it has worked extremely well and kept things at a reasonable temperature. The overall size of the unit is big compared to other DIY projects in here, but once I finish staining the timber black it won't look bad at all sitting in the lounge room.

Also built a timber framed screen with blackout cloth stretched over the frame and second black frame placed on top, looks extremely cool and brightens the projected image quite well.

One thing is for sure though, I will be needing a better projection panel, although the sharp 1500 will do the job temporarily, the contrast ratio and resolution just won't cut it in the long run.
been searching for an LCD panel smaller than 15" for a week or so now, there just does not seem to be anywhere to get such items at a reasonable price. Ebay have some small LCDs from hongkong, but they are 2 iffy.

Ill prob end up just uing a 15" LCD monitor, however even they are hard to get at a reaonable price 2nd hand (under $200).
Ebay have some small LCDs from hongkong, but they are 2 iffy

Dunno where your looking on EBay mate, but there are
Many Many MANY Lilliputs for sale on EBay you wont get them anywhere near as cheap in Australia. Everything available locally have inferior resolution compared to the XGA Lilliputs and they cost twice as much in OZ. I have bought them from Electronic Boutique in Hong Kong (thru their EBay store) and they are delivered to my doorstep in 4 days.

I can't see why you say they are "iffy" the majority of the PJ's you see on this forum use the Lilliput monitors...if they dont they are using ones very similar that have same Hitachi LCD screens in them.
Thanks HiLLBiLLY :)
I didnt know they were called lilliputs :).
The selection and size looks nice, and if u say many people here are using them, they must be as easy to take apart as a standard monitor yeah :)?

Only problem is tho, most of them have low/weird resolutions. I cant find any with 1024x768.
I found this: which says "Maximum resolution: 1024 x 768(VGA)", however above it says "Incredible resolution 1,152,000 pixels (2400 x 480 dots)" which is weird, and I can only assume is for wide screen (leading me to believe its native res may not be 1024x768 at all)

Cheers for ur input mate, any more light u can shed here is much appreciated :)
sure is :)
yeah my 400W metal halide lamp and ballast arrived :) (it seems to be working good - left me with a huge white spot when i closed my eyes for about 20mins lol). Its a bit shoddy tho with the insulation as the wires going from the ballast to the lamp are thin and not well protected, so they will get hot, and they could easily be breached making something else become active :S

My OHP arrived today so ill open that and take a look later :).

If you can find a 7 inch screen in Australia with a pixel count higher than 300k "ish" I would be surprised, I admit I haven't looked in the last 8 months but when I did all that was available were screens for 400 bucks with 336k or so pixels for memory.

Have a read through this forum there are loads of builds with lilliputs and descusions on stripping them, FFC issues (mainly breaking them, myself included LoL) The resolution of them etc etc etc All the information you need to know is here.

Have a look at this site might give you some more ideas on which way you want to go with your design (im afraid its not in English but the pictures are good)

Most of all though read read read :) I have a website myself and threads on this forum if you search with builds of my projectors, I have a section on my site for suppliers here in Australia that maybe helpful. Anything made my I_Eat_flowers and especially Ace_3000 is worth a read. These guys ain't newbies and have been doing this PJ stuff for awhile and know their stuff.

Goodluck with it anyways mate, I can assure you the time spent researching is WELL worth it when you finally sit back and crank up your DIY Projector and play a little BF2, need for speed. Halo or watch a movie on etc etc etc
This is an old digital camera so the quality isn't great.

The enclosure, following the dodgy plans I posted a while ago with a few tweaks. Yeah its big but ..meh. That thing on the side is an exhaust directing the hot air up and away from who ever is sitting next to. There are two fans sucking cool air into the enclosure and one fan directly under the OHP blowing that cool straight into the unit and across the lamp (it gets damn hot here in summer so didn't want to take any risks with overheating).
An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

Front door to enclosure for easy access and removal of OHP if nessessary:
An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

My DIY screen, its ~6 and half foot diagonal and cost ~$40. I'm thinking of coating it with a light grey to try and improve the contrast, the blacks aren't great on the Sharp QA2500.
An externally hosted image should be here but it was not working when we last tested it.

Unfortunately this camera takes miserable night shots so I'm not even going to bother posting results. I am satisfied with it for a first DIY projector.

Took ~2 Days to build and cost me ~$500au
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