Replacement 8mm projector bulb from super bright LED and old cellphone charger.
One of my other hobbies is small-format film. Showing them, making them, etc. By small-format, I mean 8mm, Super 8, and 16mm movie film.
It started with a $25 8mm projector from a flea market and grew into a small of obsession from there. I bought a few cameras and some films off of Ebay. I had some fun one Halloween showing a bunch of horror shorts to some friends.
One of my better finds was this 8mm-super 8 projector. That’s right. It plays both 8mm *and* super 8 film! If you don’t know the difference, I invite you to skim through [this Wikipedia page.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8mm_film)
I don’t think there’s anything “magical” about watching something on real film. I find it somewhat comforting that my brain is being tricked by having successive images reflected into my eyes at 16 frames per second and *that’s it*. That’s as far as the illusion goes. It is literally one image coming right after another. Don’t get me wrong. LCD screens and even CRTs are fucking cool. But film is simple and almost primordial. And what illusion there is is fragile. If the film gets jammed it will burn a hole in the frame. Learning to switch reels is a dance considerably more athletic than learning a new UI. It’s like being an auto mechanic, but instead of just fixing cars, you’re presenting a work of art.
And, yes. “I was a Teenage Frankenstein” is art. I don’t care what you say.
Unfortunately, these old projectors use incandescent bulbs that get *really* hot and occasionally explode. That’s what happened to this poor guy. What’s worse is that nobody makes these bulbs any more. You can find them for sale, but they are pretty damn expensive and in very limited supply. So, in my attempt to keep film alive, I bought [this fella](https://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_null_2096851_-1) from Jameco Electronics and opened up an old cellphone charger. This is what happened:
You might notice that this LED comes attached to it’s own heat sink. Regardless of the voltage applied, this thing generates enough heat to burn itself out. It’s a good thing the projector has a built-in fan to keep that old monster of a bulb cooled down.
A couple cool things about cellphone chargers: they usually take in 110-120VAC and put out 3-5VDC (perfect for this LED) and they use [PWM](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-width_modulation), which makes them really small and light.
Luckily the operating voltage for the projector bulb is 120VAC, so I won’t need to do any modifications. All I have to do now is fit a square peg into a round hole.
Basically, I just need to make a nice case for this so it doesn’t hit anything conductive and short out. Those two squares of solder on the bottom left of the circuit board are the AC in, so I need to get . Pretty soon this is going to be a pretty satisfying hack!