Video monitor for DSLR – Portable LCD Screen

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So here it is – a multi purpose monitor. Because this DSLR video monitor supports HDMI port it can be used with any video device that is available these days. The idea behind using a battery powered screen was mainly for portability. The DSLR camera comes with its own battery. It would be a pain if I was to find a power source just for this video monitor. Another advantage to this DSLR video monitor is that if the internal battery runs out you can continue powering this monitor with your battery pack. This truly a versatile monitor.

DSLR Video monitor – DIY (Watch Video)

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lcd screen of film monitor

This is the LCD screen that I bought online. It has a HDMI port and 2 USB ports. One for the power and the other for the capacitive touch. The screen is compatible for Raspberry Pi versions.

dc stepup booster for film monitor

This is the boost convert which will power the LCD screen and here is the charging circuit which will charge the battery.

Here is the parts list for DSLR video monitor

DC Boost Step UP Power Supply Module: Ebay Link
TP4056 charger: Shop on Ebay
18650 Lithium Battery: Shop on Ebay
5inch LCD Display: Buy from Aliexpress

circuit diagram for film monitor

Here is the schematic diagram of the circuit. The four batteries are connected in parallel so the voltage will be 3.7 volts. Each battery is of 2200mAmps. In a parallel connection the Amps of each battery gets added up. So these batteries can deliver a total of 8800mAmps. The charging circuit TP4056 is the main component here. It has discharge protection and over charge protection. So the charging circuit manages the output from the batteries along with charging it. The maximum charging current is 1amps. So to charge all these batteries it may take a while but this IC can perform it. These two terminals connect to the battery and these two give the output. The output from the TP4056 is connected to the boost converter through a switch. The boost convert can step up from .9v to 5volts and gives a stable output. From the USB I will use a micro USB cable to connect it to the LCD screen. And yes the LCD screen runs of just 5 volts. So this set up is enough to power up the LCD screen for a very long time.

18650 batteries for film monitor

The batteries I chose needed more testing. So I chose another four batteries all of these had around 3.5v. Which means that these are really healthy batteries.

cleaning lithium batteries for film monitor

Because these batteries came from an old laptop their terminals where factory soldered. I trip them first then give it a good filing and sanding to make the surface rough.

soldering 18650 batteries for film monitor

Solder adheres well to rough surfaces. By clamping two batteries at a time I apply some solder on the terminals first.

connecting negative terminal of batteries

To make parallel connections I take a copper wire and straighten it out. Then solder all the negative sides first.

connecting positive terminal of batteries

For the positive side I use insulated wire to avoid short circuit. If it was exposed wire it may touch the sides of the battery which are also part of the negative terminal. Lithium ion batteries need to be handled with care as they can explode if handled incorrectly.

testing circuit of film monitor

Then I hook up my temporary circuit to check if all is working fine. The blinking LED when I flip the switch at the boost converter confirms this.

powering lcd of film monitor

Time to power up the LCD screen to see if these batteries can provide enough juice. I connected my Mac to the screen via HDMI to perform the testing. And yes it works. Here is the YouTube page of my channel. Btw have you subscribed yet?

cutting acrylic for film monitor

Now to make the housing for the DSLR video monitor I start by ripping some acrylic sheets. I know the screen size is 5 inches. So I cut the width accordingly.

determining depth of film monitor

To determine the depth of the box I stack the screen on the batteries to measure. Then based on those measurements I rip the sides from some more acrylic sheet.

measuring lcd of film monitor

On one side I have to cut an opening to fit the screen. So I take the measurements and transfer it to the acrylic.

cut opening for film monitor

By measuring the width and height of viewable area I made a rectangle and this is the area that needs to be cut.

cutting with jigsaw for film monitor

I start by drilling four holes on the corner for the jigsaw blade. Then with a thin blade I slowly cut along the line to make the opening for the screen.

test fit lcd of film monitor

The screen fits like this.

gluing sides of film monitor

Now to construct the housing for the batteries I set the sides in place and fix it with acrylic glue. This sets in just minutes so I can continue working.

fixing the lcd to film monitor

To mount the screen to the acrylic I first mark where the holes need to be drilled. Then once the holes are drilled I insert some nuts with spacers to attach the screen to the side. I set the top temporarily to see if it fits.

measuring switch of film monitor

For the sides which allow access to the ports I measure them first. Here I am measuring the space required to fit a switch.

drill holes on acrylic sheet

Then to create the opening I drill holes first.

cutting using dremel

For bigger slots I used the Dremel tool to make cut out the material.

cleaning acrylic cut with chisel

Then using the chisel I cleanup of the cuts.

cleaning cuts with file

The make the openings perfect I used a file to bring it to correct dimensions.

gluing side of film monitor

Then attached the side using glue. I repeated this step for the other side too.

removing SMD led of booster

Next is the circuits. I remove the SMD LEDs from the boost convertor with a cutter.

soldering wire in place of smd

Then soldered wires in its place. Later I will connect 3mm leds to this. I did the same for both the boost convertors.

soldering wire to battery

Now I can attach the wire to the battery before dropping it into the box.

gluing the batteries

With lots of hot glue I attach the battery to the base. I apply some more glue to the sides and in between the batteries too. These batteries are not going anywhere.

gluing the booster of film monitor

I connect both the boost convertors in parallel so both can share the output from the battery. Then these get secured to the base with more hot glue one after the other.

connecting charger to switch

I finish the circuitry by soldering the battery to the charging circuit and the output of the charging circuit to the switch. The charging circuit also gets hot glued to the base.

gluing the leds

Next are the LEDs. I fix them with hot glue and connect it to the boost convertors wire that I soldered earlier.

film monitor circuit works fine

When I connect the micro USB from a mobile charger to the charging circuit I can see the charging LED light up. And when I turn on the switch the boost convertor LEDs turn up. This means all the connections are correct. The DSLR video monitor is almost nearing completion.

araldite epoxy the hot shoe

To attach this video monitor to a DSLR camera I am going to use a HOT Shoe. I secure the 5/32 nut using Araldite two components epoxy. This set quickly and is very strong.

attach the screen to box of film monitor

To connect the screen to the box I drilled four holes. The by setting it on the box and checking the depth of the drill bit made a mark at the bottom by drilling slowly.

drilling hole in acrylic case

Then drilled all the way through in the base. By doing it this way I can be sure that the drill holes in the top side match with the ones in the bottom.

tightening the screws of film monitor

After counter sinking I used 2 inch screws and nut to secure the top the bottom.

film monitor works fine

By connecting a micro USB cable between one boost convertor and the LCD screen I checked if all worked well.

spray painting screws of film monitor

And yes it was a success. I did not like the steel look of the screws. So I painted them black before reattaching them.

film monitor fixed on canon 5d mark 3

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