Saturday, June 20, 2015

DIY 2k (2560x1440) beam projector (4th DIY projector)

Updated :The drawing file is here
It had been made long time ago, so I do not remember whether this file is final version or not.
Hi, all.

I like to start google blogger to share my DIY stuffs.

There are many results of my DIYs in my Korean blog (, but the articles are all written in Korean.

Anyway, I would like to share the recent result of my DIY.

I have made 2k beam project of which resolution is 2560x1440 :)
As far as i know, very high resolution commercial beam projectors (more than 2k, DLP-type) are way toooooooo expensive.
BUT! This DIY 2k projector (LCD-type) costs less than 1000 USD.

The original post is in my naver blog :

Let me start !

Actually, this is my 4th DIY beam projector.
1st one is FHD beam projector with water cooling, but had lots of issues.
So, I've made 2nd beam projector based on 1st one, and it is the same with 1st one except the cooling method. 
This one has been used in my room with 120 inch screen :)

The third one "was" 2k beam projector, but it has lots of issues. In addition, the LCD was broken during experiments to fix the issues ㅠ.ㅠ
After around one month, I had decided to re-make the 2k beam projector.

The specifications of 4th DIY beam projector are
  • LCD & LCD hdmi board : 5.98", 2560 x 1440 resolution from, I used the hdmi board from my 3rd baby, and reordered only the LCD  (around 200 USD)
  • Case : black arcryl with lazer cut, and one side is sanded in advance ( I hate to use spray ! )
  • Air circulation : This is the most important part. If the air is not circulated well, your LCD will be dead with black spots. I will install small blower fans to cool down the air near the LCD.
  • Lens : use F120/F185 fresnel lens, F190 (or F200 is ok) projection lens, and square(?) condenser lens to increase brightness
  • LCD holder : this LCD has very small inactive area (less than 1mm each side)... But I could measure dimensions exactly from the dead LCD, so could make a holder made by arcryl. I will explain the method to hold the LCD later.
  • LED light : 150W with heatpipe (there are many products in aliexpress or taobao)
  • ETC : No soldering (cause my soldering tip is broken)

Since the post is rather long, I upload the final shots first.
The side view moves my heart.. hehe


As you can see, there are AC socket, lock switches, fan controller, and digital thermometer to watch LED temperature.

This is the front view. Looks like a turtle..

On the other side, there is a big hole for a blower fan to feed fresh air inside the case.
There is a hdmi port, and the hdmi board doesnot have any useful features like flip/invert rotate...
So the signal must be sourced from a PC. You cannot use a blueray or DVD player.

The backside has two fans, and dust filters are attached.

Let me start the build log.

I start from the LCD holder.
You should be very careful to make the holder, or you will end up with many light leakage.
First of all, I ordered arcryl parts based on the exact measurment from the dead LCD.
I always buy arcryls from "hanaarcryl" :
Since the arcryl is cut by lazer, the resolution is not perfect. (0.x mm)
If you want a perfect cut, you must use CNC.
Luckly, the resolution was ok for my usage.

The below figure shows how the LCD is held.
Two parts are combined by nuts and bolts, then the red area can support the inactive area of the LCD.
Thanks to my dead LCD :)

Let me check whether it works as I intend.
It is perfect!! Yeah!
After checking, strong double-sided tape was used to hold LCD temporarlly.
I like to use the "TESA" double-sided tape bought from 

After then, the above part is removed, and combined with another part.That part covers inactive areas, and play a role to hold LCD.
The LED light can penetrate the red active area only, so there would be no light leakage.

This is the light leakage example from the 3rd DIY beam projector (dead one)

Nust and bolts are tightend to hold LCD permanantly.

This is the front view in which the LED light comes.
A protective film was attached to prevent dirts until other parts are complete.

A big burden is gone.
Let's order other parts after AutoCAD drawing.
This figure shows other parts.
All arctryl parts were cut by lazer.

And electric wiring will be done with the help of connecting parts (?).
I do not know the terminology, but anyhow I bought them cause it was cheap :)

But!!!! In my drawing, there were mistakes!!!!!
So I could not assemble them ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ What a stupid man.....

Anyway, I'd reordered them after I had corrected the drawings.
This picture shows the holder for the fresnel lens and the LCD.
On the right hand side, there are parts to install small blower fans to cool down hot air near the LCD.
The arcryl parts are glued with "chloroform".

This is the bottom of the case.
There is a guide line for the holder.

The sides of case are combined together temporally by the below parts, and choloroform is used to glue them permanantly.
And there is 3 Pi screw hole to hold the top cover.

So, they are combined like this...

Then, combined with the bottom.

The shape looks like this.
Choloroform is injected on the edges of the case.

It will look like this if you enclose it by the top cover.

Fresnel lens are held by some arcryl parts like the LCD holder.
If you look at the cut-side of arcyl by lazer, it is rather reflective (shinny).
This will lead to light reflection, and it will result in poor image quality.
So, you should sand those sides.

But! I do not want to sand something anymore.
So, I bought a micro sanded paper(?). Cut the paper,

Then, just stick it on the shinny side.

If I compared the shinny side to the sanded paper, it looks like this.

After then, the fresnel lens are held by these parts.
I forgot to take a picture..

Now, wiring time comes.
The fan controller comes from in very cheap price, but it is quite strange...
The red line should be + line, but it it not... 
And there is no rule, some red line is +, some is not. :(
I should check one by one. Anyway it works.. amazing China. haha
Anyway, the AC socket,  digital thermometer, fan controller, and lock switches are placed.

?? I do not know why I took this picture??

Two 90 mm by 90 mm fans are attached on the back side.
The air comes in from one fan and goes out through another fan.
So, the basic idea of air flow is that the fresh air comes in, LCD is cooled down, and the air cools down the heat pipe for LED.
One blower fan is also used to pull in fresh air.

Ah! To attach the LCD hdmi board, I need 2 PI screw holes.
And I should make the holes by myself using hand tap (?).
Usually, we have one at home :)

Install a dust filter to prevent from dirts.

like this

And one more!

As I have an experience to kill the LCD from the 3rd beam projector, I am crazy to cool down the LCD.

This might be an exaggeration.
Four small blower fans are installed in the right hand side, and three small fans are installed in the left hand side.
And the LCD will be placed in the position as shown in the picture.

So, the air comes in via the blower fans,

and comes out through the small fans on the other side.
Maybe too much? but better not to burn the LCD.

The dizzy wirings are rearranged by shirink tubes (?, 수축튜브).
I do not have a heat gun, so I used a dryer.
It is quite interesting that the tube is shirinking by heat!

And the connectors are combined with wires by a sqeezer (?압착기).

This is a parallel connection of USB power and LED driver power lines.

It is too difficult to make it neat.

The LCD hdmi board are fed by USB power, and the signal comes by hdmi port.

I had not considered the USB power supply volume...
It is rather big, and I just attached it by a 3M double-sided tape.
Next time, better to buy small sized USB PS.

I tried to make wiring neat ! but, dizzy!

Before installing fresnel lens and LCD, I had tested the LED and fans.The controller works well, and the LED is turned on.
One of fans is somehow broken, so it make strange sound during the test... It is not breaking wind :(

Now, almost done.
It is too shinny inside of the top cover.
So, I stick the micro-sanded black paper on the side.
This part is not seen, so you can stick the paper ugly.
And there are air holes, and dirts can come in through those holes.
So, let's install dirt filter.

I found a useful tool during web surfing.
This is a bug filter (? please let me know a proper term). And it is very cheap.

The bug filter is combined with the following dirt filter.

Tada! Nice dust filter is completed.

The outer part looks like this.

It looks like a commercial dust filter, right?

Now, the LCD and the fresnel lens are installed.
As you can see, I've used F120/F185 combination, and it works well with 5.98" LCD.

Almost done!

You can see the parts I used.
Ah! You might be wanna know the spacing between lens.
  1. LED light to back fresnel lens is around 120 mm
  2. Back fresnel lens to LCD is around 20 mm
  3. LCD to front fresnel lens is around 20 mm
  4. Front fresnel lens to projection lens is around 210 mm
Rule of thumb, there is no reference guide on spacing, since the optics is not perfect.
You should adjust it manually.

After covering the top cover, DONE!

Beautiful front view..!


My photo is not beautiful, but it is beautiful in reality.

Neat back side :)

And crazy dizzy room.


Let's test !
Check the resolution first.
Yeah it is 2k, yes it is 2k.
I have plan on a 4k projector also. (Maybe soon!)

Let me check the focus.
The focus is good in all area. (Be careful! It is good enough, but not perfect. Cannot see every pixels at the same time.)
Due to my room size, the image size is around 100 inch out of 120 inch screen.

I took several pictures.
20 th century bla bla..

A horse with wings...

And the famous goddess from sony company....
It is 2k, but my photo is 720p :p

I do not have 2k source.
But youtube has :)

It was amazing that youtube has lots of 2k sources.

I took two videos of 2k trailers.
Due to limitation of my cell phone, the quality may look poor.
But it is really damn good!!
This is the hobit 3 trailer.

And avengers 2(3?) trailer.

I am very satisfied with the result except the screen size.
So, I will make a tool for extending the throwing distance using a front coated mirror.
I drew the simple basic idea.
But, if I install a mirror, the image will be fliped in a mirror way, so I might need to install two mirrors? No idea yet.

If you can access to China market (aliexpress or taobao), the total price would be around 600 USD.
And it is way too cheap compared to commercial 2k or 4k projectors.
Of course they are using DLP technology which is much better than old technology used in DIY projectors.
Anyway, if u r interested in this, you can make it!

See you! I will bring other DIY stuffs later!


  1. Excellent work, does the projector still perform well?

    Also, do you notice any blurring in the corners of the picture from using LED's?

    And another question, how does it compare to a commercial projector in terms of brightness and quality?

    Well done its a really cool projector!

    1. I am very sorry that I haven't check the reply upto NOW!!
      I have no idea how I can check the reply from people..
      Anyhow, very thx.
      Yes I found out that at the corner there is (very) little blurring area as the light emitting area is not point source, but it is acceptable in my opinion.
      In addition, I found a very powerful LED light source from Luminus company. I may adopt it for my next projector.
      To be honest, the brightness is really frustrating compared to commercial one. But the image quality is very competitive.
      Ah, the brightness is very ok when lights are turned off and night.

    2. Want to update this reply.
      I've tested my 2k projector in my new house.
      And the blurry is not "very little", I cannot see every pixels at the same time.
      It is just acceptable level.
      But good news is that once the LED is chagned, it became perfect. Look at the my reply below.

  2. Sorry, I am too late to reply.
    Yeah, I have also tried 9.6" 4k screen. As you mentioned, there is no stock at all in the world.
    The company never reply back to my email :(
    At this moment, I am planning to use 15.6" 4k display for my next projector.
    However, I have many thoughts to select light source and optics as it is big screen.
    At this time, I will try with LED but from different company.
    I may try with CBT-140 (it consumes 21A current!!), if it can run at more 100 W power. The official wesite says it runs withing the range from 50W to 75W.
    Keystone can be adjustable through tilting the angle of fresenl lens (near projection lens). However, I do not recommend as the optics is not perfect.

  3. Same for me!
    I have tried to search how to drive MIPI based panel!
    For someone like me (dummy at panels & electronics), there is no way to make PCB board driving that kind of panel.
    The only way is to way until some Chineses make it...
    I think that will be available at the end of this year??
    That's why i am planning to make 4k projector with 15.6" panel.
    I've just ordered LTN156FL02 panel with a driving board for it.
    Luckly some Chinese made it. But not sure whether it is true or not.
    I will test it within this month.

  4. I'm pleasantly surprised to see your project as I'll be building a projector using the same screen :)
    I've seen them (TF60010A) on Alibaba for $50-$100 on average, getting even as little as $25 here: - do you think these are legit sources? Not sure if they include the driver, will query the vendor soon.
    Besides, what made you decide to keep the case so high? I plan for it to be 80mm max, just slightly above the height of the display.

    Best! :)

    1. I didn't optimize the case size. I just made it big enough, in case.
      No specific reason :)
      By the way, the price seems toooooo chip. Not sure whether it is legit. But, worthwhile to try.

    2. Yeah, I've already contacted the sellers since then, it's $150/$200 for 1080p/2K, dunno about shipping (possibly free).
      The option I've mentioned above (hackaday MIPI/DSI module by TWl) is by far the most affordable option for portable 1080p displays for DIY PJs (around $100 w/driver I'd say), but Topfoison's solution is best for scalability (in case of a hypothetical crowdfunding campaign) + the prices fall a lot as you order in bulk, I've already queried them for that, so first-hand info.

  5. There's a great ongoing open project on hackaday with a working DSI-HDMI driver:
    They recently issued a commercial version of it for $99, available at

    It's currently limited to a few displays, but they're 1080p mostly (HTC Droid DNA and LG Optimus e980). I wanted to use it until I've stumbled upon Topfoison's display.

  6. One more question - does the Topfoison's driver scale screen properly for resolutions below 2k?

  7. Oh good news.
    Recently, I have changed my 4k projector plan.
    I found a seller in China who can provide me a 10.1" 4k screen with a driver board. (Unfortunately, it is not available now. I was lucky to get one sample) The screen is in my hand, but the driver board is ongoing. It will be available in a month, i guess.
    If it works, I will make the 4k projector with 10.1" 4k panel.

  8. That sounds amazing, would love to see updates on that. Also, I've heard there are some issues with the evenness of lighting of the cheap 100W LED arrays. Could you elaborate on that?

  9. Sorry for late reply.
    I don't feel any unevenness of my cheap LED from China.
    Anyway, it has large light emitting area, so it is not good for fancy focus as it is far away from a point source.
    Recently, I've found a good LED light source with the keywork "medical LED".
    Go for CBT-140 from Luminus. It has very small emitting area around 14mm^2, and it runs at around 100 watt (though it is not powerful).
    I've test this LED with my 2k DIY projector, and I can see all the small pixels with perfect focus!!
    Don't go for the conventional cheap LED arrays from China.
    I will use CBT-140 for my future 4k projector.
    I regret that I couldn't find this kind of LED before!
    It is perfect solution for DIY projectors.

  10. Sorry for late reply.
    I don't feel any unevenness of my cheap LED from China.
    Anyway, it has large light emitting area, so it is not good for fancy focus as it is far away from a point source.
    Recently, I've found a good LED light source with the keywork "medical LED".
    Go for CBT-140 from Luminus. It has very small emitting area around 14mm^2, and it runs at around 100 watt (though it is not powerful).
    I've test this LED with my 2k DIY projector, and I can see all the small pixels with perfect focus!!
    Don't go for the conventional cheap LED arrays from China.
    I will use CBT-140 for my future 4k projector.
    I regret that I couldn't find this kind of LED before!
    It is perfect solution for DIY projectors.

  11. Hello I'm looking at upgrading my diy builds to 4k as well. I've got a full build from scratch with a 15.4 1200p old school and a ask960 retrofitted with a 10.1 768p . Now as soon as you've got further info on 4k panel and controller let me know. AFAIK problem would be driving the controller....not sure if hmi will be capable of that bandwidth far I found a cheap controller capable of driving ipad mini but only in display port. ...

    1. I've just finished it with 10.1" UHD LCD.
      I will post it here very soon. Or you can see the pics in my Korean blog first (

  12. Funny enough, I've read about these lamps a while ago right here - focusing on Cree's products, though. Good to hear they give promising results. The problem is the price. Am I correct to say that it's $5 vs $150 for no-name vs Luminus/CREE products?

    Currently I see two options:
    1) CHEAP. Optimizing expenses. DSI/MIPI driver + HTC screen (linked in another comment) + cheap 100W LED array = ~$110 so far for a 1080p pj, compromising focus a bit.
    2) QUALITY. Optimizing picture quality. Topfoison TF60010A + Luminus CBT-140 = $350 for 2k pj with great focus

    I still haven't researched lenses and the triplet, so if you have any suggestions, would be great. Interesting that we work on the same product.

    There's also 3) 3x LCDs + a custom image processing driver + a dichroic prism to emulate a commercial 3LCD pj and see differences between 1)/2) & 3). Though that's definitely not something I wanna try for rev. 1 :)

  13. By the way, what's the heat emission of CBT-140 as compared to the cheap one?

  14. Very Interesting work... I am also working on DIY Projector, Co-incidently I also choose topfusion display.

    I have couple of question... Does this display work with non-Windows machine? and general HDMI (TV) input?

    Second Question: does it require to remove the silver layer(Not Backlight) on Screen along with polarised layer on the front?

    Thanks in Advance!

    1. Sorry. I am tooooo late.
      1 : Somebody reported it doesnot work on non-windows machines. It must have HDCP compliant issues.
      2 : Yes, you should remove it.

  15. I spoke with topfoil, he said that the resolution is inverted, do you use only the pc (probably changing the settings) or there is some trick to use sky/ps4 input?

  16. Hi Again, very very great project ! I wonder, do you have any update about the 4k version lcd ?
    I migh go for a fujitsu laptop screen of 14in, but don't know if there's any flat cable problem at the back..

    1. Hi, very very sorry for late reply!!
      Actually, I've just made a 4k beamer few days ago, but haven't posted here.
      You can briefly look at the pictures via my Korean blog.
      I will post here very soon.

  17. Hi I want to build one or 2 to and line them up to project same image. :) 2 x 5k lum.
    Could we use this screen here?
    scroll down and look at the 4K 5.5" in Product linup?

    1. Ah, I know JDI. But they don't sell sample LCDs or board to a normal person.
      They require bulk order I guess.

  18. the "bug filter" is a window screen/screen door patch kit. Its for fixing holes in door and window screens.

    1. Very thx, I will use the correct term from now on. Thx again!

  19. Any news about uhd strippable screens?

    1. Yes yes yes.
      I've just finished it with 10.1" UHD LCD.
      I will post it here very soon. Or you can see the pics in my Korean blog first (

  20. Hi, excellent DIY write up . Can you please share drawing for enclosure fabrication ??

  21. Hi , can you please share drawing for the enclosure box ??

  22. Need to know where you sourced lcd and controller board. Can you share with us the source?