How to turn a projector into an SLM

We hacked a Canon SX50 projector to use it as a cheap SLM. The LCOS chip is the same as any you can buy for ~$12k, and once you take the lamp out, you can resell it for almost the price of the projector itself. The idea came from here.


Step 1: tear the thing apart, to see what’s inside and try to figure out what it all does, because Canon will NEVER give you a circuit diagram…


Here’s the main pieces:

Lens: remove

Lamp: remove

Power supply: you can remove this entirely. Here’s a closeup:

LCOS chips are in a bundle with beamsplitters, one chip for each color RGB.

Here’s a close-up:

Be VERY careful when dealing with the power supply, as it takes very high voltage and has some huge capacitors in there. Which is why you want it out of the box.

The first trick is to find this switch near the front center and tape it always shut, so that you can remove the lamp without causing an error:

The only other not-obvious part was to tape one wire from the board down to ground in order to trick the projector into thinking the power supply is connected and working, so it doesn’t throw interlock errors. Here’s a picture:

The projector also throws a fault if you remove any fans or sensors. I’m sure you can trick it out of this too, but we were lazy. The lamp can now be sold on ebay for almost what you paid for the whole projector (maybe), so you get a 3-color SLM for almost no cost!

Tape this shut!

Temperature sensor, do not disconnect!