Ultimate Old Laptop Recycle Kit

This kit can turn any old laptop into a water-cooled LED-projector with built-in media center and wireless streaming.

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The consumer electronics market changes tremendously fast. In particular laptops turn obsolete and outdated before they are broken. After discovering an increasing pile of old laptops in the attic, I started looking for cheap feasible projects to make something useful from them. I decided to turn one of them into a media center with streaming capabilities based on the project referred to in the links. A second dusty laptop was to be rebuilt into a LED projector. 

I soon realised I could combine the two projects into one by creating a LED-projector with built-in media center. The downside to this idea was the fact that the older laptops had low resolution screens and were not capable of handling high quality multimedia. Moreover, this project would turn only one laptop into something very useful. My current laptop is going to be outdated in a year of two and I would have to rebuild the entire project to upgrade to this higher resolution, higher powered laptop. 

The solution is to build a kit, capable of easy swapping of laptops so that this projector/media center would upgrade with every new laptop turning obsolete!

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  • Status update: first prototype

    Tom_VdE08/17/2015 at 13:19 0 comments

    In between working on other personal and school projects, I've been able to build a first prototype. For this build I focused on keeping production and parts costs to a minimum. Have a look at my progress

    • View of the exterior (lens retracted)

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  • Concerning the case

    Tom_VdE08/19/2014 at 16:27 0 comments

    When building this kit, a case with a minimum length of 60 cm is needed as the focal point of the two fresnel lenses is 30 cm. Building a rectangular box obviously was the easiest option. But the entire point of this kit is to be usefull for a long time, as it is compatible with almost all laptops. Therefore investing some more time into a beautifull case is worth the extra time. 

    I opted for using an old Fairchild 930d I found in a dumpster. This super 8 mm 'projector' adds a nostalgic look to the kit. Because it's only about 40 cm long, I decided to a flexible bellow for the extra 20 cm. This bellow resembles that of an old box camera, also very suitable for a projector kit. By making this bellow retractable the entire kit becomes more portable when not using it. 

    Fairchild 930d

    Model of the Fairchild 930d with added bellow

  • Added 3D projecting to the design

    Tom_VdE08/19/2014 at 16:11 0 comments

    Due to the modular design of this kit, the objective part can be swapped out easily. Therefore 2D and 3D imaging can be exchanged. 2D imaging could also be optained with a 3D projector by only using one of the two images channels, but this would decrease the resolution by half. By swapping out the 3D objective for a 2D counterpart, maximum resolution imaging is obtained in both situations! More information and schematics concerning this upgrade coming soon!

  • System-level diagram uploaded!

    Tom_VdE08/19/2014 at 15:59 0 comments

    Here's my system-level diagram:

  • The Hackaday Prize Entry Video #1 now online!

    Tom_VdE08/18/2014 at 19:54 0 comments

    The first required 2-minute video for the 20th of August deadline is now online! Let me know what you think!

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