Hacking Your Projector: 9000 Lumens for $600!

Hacking Your Projector: 9000 Lumens for $600!
March 31, 2015 Rajinder Sodhi

What an awesome hack from Elliot Woods. In summary:

“The ‘Black and Bright’ projector hack removes the colour filters from a low cost video projector to double the brightness of its output, whilst removing its ability to represent colour (all images become grayscale, hence “Black and Bright”). The hack is usually destructive, and a replacement part needs to be ordered to restore the original functionality of the projector.

The hack is really simple to execute (no soldering or electronics knowledge is required).”

What you need:
1. Projector: A single chip DLP projector (e.g., Acer P1387W)
2. Screwdrivers to open the projector
3. Pliers to snap the color wheel
4. Courage (you might destroy your projector)

Steps:
1. Open the projector.

openProjector

openProjector2

2. Locate and remove the color wheel.

removeColorWheel

removeColorWheel2

removeColorWheel3

3. Snap the filters off the color wheel.

snapcolorhweel

snapcolorwheel2

4. Put everything back together.
5. Turn on the projector.

turnOn

Projector Measurements
To measure the increase in brightness, they used a lux meter. Depending on projectors, they saw results ranging from 1.4x to 2.2x increases in brightness (based on variations on color settings, measuring equipment, manufacturer differences in color wheel).

proj

Model: OPTOMA EW 400
Brightness in lumens: 4000 lumens (advertised)
Bulb Wattage: ie 240W
Throw ratio: 1.28 – 1.54:1
native resolution: ie: 1280 x 800
full specs link: ie: http://www.optomaeurope.com/projectordetails.aspx?PTypeDB=Business&PC=EW400

Luxmeter reading of 9 points, on a 1m wide image, inspired by the official ANSI lumens test.

proj1_results

at 1.28:1 throw ratio. (1m x 0.625m = 0.625 m2)
Brightness before hack (9 points):

2900 3800 2900
3100 3750 3050
3200 3500 2350

average: 3172 lux.
3172 lux x 0.625 = 1982 lux per square/m = 1982 lumens.

Brightness after hack:

4550 5750 3550
4950 5800 4550
5100 5500 3700

average: 4827 lux.
3017 lux per square/m = 3017 lumens.

AVERAGE INCREASE 1.52

Check out the full tutorial here!

[Source: Hackpad]

  • Igor Keel

    They did not say which project had an increase of brightness by x2.2, two the projectors they mentioned had an average brightness increase of 1.47, which in my opinion is not worth hacking a $600 projector.

    • Enna

      And you lose the ability to project anything that isn’t grayscale :S yeah not really worth it.