Update: Want to see a video of this build with updated parts list and the word cheap spelled correctly? Here it is.

I don’t normally put together how to guides, but this one seems very handy and well worth a little bit of work. If you can’t afford to pay $200 for a Lilliput HDMI monitor, then how does $28 sound?  Here is what a $28 dollar field monitor will get you.

It’s not a very large monitor but for this price what do you really expect?  You’ll want to pick up a few items to build this. First you’ll want to . You’ll also want to pick up a little . When I ordered both of these a few weeks ago I paid $23 for the monitor and $5.97 for the cold shoe adapter. It looks like there are a few different models to choose from so you might end up spend a few dollars less/more on this project.

Once all your parts show up here is what you’ll need to do:

First remove the 4 screws circled in red.

Then Remove the base from the kick stand. It is only held in by a dab of glue and little bit of pressure.

Then remove 2 small screws on the inside of the black plate and pop out the small kick stand shaft.

Remove the nut from this little Cold shoe adapter.

Then use a Dremel tool to remove about a half inch of plastic from the point were the kick stand mount was located.

Take the nut you removed from the cold shoe adapter and glue it to the inside of the Dremel area.  Be sure you don’t get any glue in the threads or you might have trouble using it.  Also make sure that the nut lays flat with the plastic around it. The glue isn’t mandatory, but it does provide a stronger attachment point. You might also consider some other kind of bonding agent.

Once the glue has set thread your male end into the back of the monitor as shown.

Then place some packing tape over the exposed metal parts to protect the circuit board and components from shorting out. Once you’ve done that, simply fit the cover back on the monitor and reattach the 4 mounting screws.

For battery power I used 1 of the I have for my Lilliput monitor. But these batteries are the same physical size as the monitor itself. I ran a quick test and it looks like you could power this little guy from a 9 volt battery if you really wanted to (but I don’t know how long it would last). Or if you feel like turning this into a $40 project you can pick up an . I left the monitor on my 6800 mAh battery over night and came down to check on it the next day. The monitor was still running after 12 hours. So 1800 mAh battery should work just fine for a day worth of filming.

The monitor is Standard Definition, but that shouldn’t really be a problem since the Canon t2i, 60d, and 5d mark II only output Standard Definition when in record mode. If you need to check focus with this little guy, just use the 5x and 10x screen zoom for that.

In the end I wanted a small monitor for my t2i and I think this will work out great.

For more great DIY projects check out our friends over at thefrugalfilmmaker.com.

Update: Did you want to add headphones and volume control to your Dirt cheap monitor project? Here is the solution.

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