View Full Version : overhead projector question

Alistair Hosie
12-07-2003, 07:57 PM
I know an overhead projector usually works with cellular material which is transparent. Could one be converted to work with denser material such as books etc. I have a few of them here in my store and would like to convert one to show fine print from books up onto a larger surface such as a wall as my wife has trouble with her eyes. Anyone done this let me know I feel with a modification and the use of extra mirrors etc this could be done. Alistair

Al Messer
12-07-2003, 08:15 PM
Contact your local chapter of the Lions' Club International and ask them about getting a "READER" machine as it essentially does what you want to do. Then take a good look at it and see what modifications, if any, you may need to make.

12-07-2003, 08:18 PM
There are projectors called "Projector Scopes" www.leevalley.com (http://www.leevalley.com) sells them their sku 27K07.76 (69.50 CDN$) 100W can magnify a 5" square area to 48"x48"

I have seen very large ones at the University that can enlarge a page to a theatre screen - don't know who makes them though, but this should put you in the right direction laddie.

12-07-2003, 08:22 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 03-08-2004).]

12-07-2003, 08:31 PM
Yes, projector scopes. Big old Brown things.

But, check your Lions club, as suggested. They helped a dear friend of mine years back with a print reader.

12-07-2003, 09:20 PM
Alistair. One type of overhead projector uses lighting from above, with a reflective base. This would work to some extent. Adding light from above will work with an overhead projector. However, it must be quite bright, since the projected image will have lower brightness due to both optical losses and the magnification. You'd also want to encase the whole thing to avoid glare. Finally, "opaque projector" is the term for the instruments designed for this task (used by signmakers, artists, etc. to blow up a small image to be copied larger). I have one, a large bulky affair made by Buhl. Overall, Al's idea might be best -- good luck.

charlie coghill
12-07-2003, 11:41 PM
Here is the address of the Lions Club International. Ask them for the nearest Lions Club to you.
I have been involved with the Lions for 22 years now.
There is also a magnifling glass that can be hung from the shoulders and the book is held under the glass as normal.


[This message has been edited by charlie coghill (edited 12-07-2003).]

12-08-2003, 12:04 AM
Hello Alistair
This is very coincidental. Last week I ordered a projector from "Lee Valley" for
the same purpose. My wife has macular degeneration. I have purchased a pull down
screen from "Viking Office supplies" which
I will recieve on the 17th. I plan to take a
22"x22" sheet of double thickness glass and
make a wood frame around it so that I can
insert the reading material under the framed
glass. Then slide the projector on top of the glass and project onto the wall mounted pull down screen. The 100watt bulb generates considerable heat and the boxed glass to slide the projector on should help.
I'm also considering installing a cooling fan in the projector. Rubber mounts under the wood frame so it won't slide on the table.Screens were expensive at the first places I tried but "Viking " had them for
85.00. which was reasonable. I'll let you know how it turns out.

12-08-2003, 12:16 AM

The type of projector that works with books and such is known as an "opaque projector". They used to be commonly available. Check with the school district or library.

12-08-2003, 12:18 AM
Hello Again
The projector that Thrud descibed is the
same one I purchased from the same source.
The name the projector is "APCO" their company name is Affordable Prodiucts
33366 Croatian Way
Union City,CA 94587-2020
Phone 1-510-489-9624
Fax: 1-510-489-6785
Their projector is designed to project
whatever is placed under it. It will enlarge
a 4"x4" to 4'x4' the lens on front focuses
the projection.The best results are obtained 32"to 94" from the screen.

Weston Bye
12-08-2003, 02:11 PM
I set up a small video camera mounted on a stand and connected to the video input of a TV set for examining small parts. Such cameras are available here in the States for less than $100US. Just space the lens farther away from the CCD and move the camera closer to the surface of the object. A similar setup would easily work for reading, indeed such setups are commercially available.


Even less expensive might be to alter a cheap(<$30)webcam and use your PC.


Alistair Hosie
12-08-2003, 07:28 PM
that's agood idea dear friend if you are sure they would be powerful enough well done I can get one of these for £28.00 about $40+ so these are a good option thanks Alistair

12-08-2003, 09:48 PM
i think my senior year in highschool was the year they got rid of the last "opaque projector", and yes, it was a big brown thing that melted stuff if left in there too long.

anyway, at work we use a video setup like Wes mentioned. it is basically a small white table (maybe 14x14) with two lights on the sides that illuminate whatever is on the table, and a small video camera mounted about 20" overhead. i'm sure these things cost $2000 or some crazy amount, but using a web cam or an old camcorder and running it to your TV should work. i guess you'd need a LCD projector if you wanted to display it on a large screen or white wall.

andy b.

Alistair Hosie
12-09-2003, 02:21 PM
Andy as said you can now buy from your home depot type store a small camera which is designed to act as a burglar deterent which hooks up to your T V or computer screen very reasonably priced. Alistair