Pocket-size projectors are a great way to carry around a large screen in a compact package. You may have seen them being sold as smartphone accessories, but they can also be used with an SBC (single-board computer) like the Raspberry Pi. That can be difficult, however, if the projector doesn’t have an HDMI input. YouTuber MickMake has a more streamlined solution that utilizes the Raspberry Pi Zero W’s GPIO pins to build a self-contained pocket projector.
The actual projector MickMake used for this project is the DLP2000 from Texas Instruments, which is only $99 thanks to the unique design. Unlike a traditional digital projector that shines a bright light through an LCD, the DLP2000 uses an array of microscopic mirrors to reflect color-filtered light. It has a slower refresh rate than an LCD, but it’s affordable and very compact. It comes on a PCB that’s designed to fit a BeagleBone, so the other major part you’ll need is the adapter PCB from MickMake’s Tindie store, but that’s only $4 (plus another $4.50 if you need headers).
Once you have all of your parts, just solder on the headers and stack the Raspberry Pi Zero W, the adapter board, and the DLP2000. Add a jumper wire to pass power form the DLP2000’s barrel jack to the Raspberry PI, and your hardware is all ready to go. You’ll need to make a couple of small changes to the Raspberry Pi’s configuration, but they’re quick and easy. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got a Raspberry Pi with it’s own projector all packed into a single small package!