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Modifying the 3D Vision Glasses to Show 2D Left or Right Frame Only

August 1st, 2010 · 24 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

I’ve been thinking about the idea of modifying the 3D Vision active shutter glasses so that both of their lenses can show only the left or only the right image from stereo 3D content being displayed on a 120Hz LCD monitor. The reason for such modification is to have a pair of 3D Vision active shutter glasses that can be used to watch in 2D when the display is actually showing 3D content, thus allowing some people to see the 3D content and others to see the same content, but in 2D… all at the same time. On the demo video above you can see a demonstration showing what I was able to achieve after a few hours spent to learn how the 3D Vision glasses function and to modify them. And the same modification should be possible to just about any other pair of active shutter glasses, for example a pair of shutter glasses that is used with a 3D-capable HDTV…

As you know some people are not feeling comfortable when watching stereoscopic 3D content, or do not see the 3D effect at all because of having some issue with their eyes, however at the moment nobody is offering 2D shutter glasses for these people to enjoy the same content with their family or friends in 2D while others are using 3D glasses and seeing in stereo 3D. When displaying stereo 3D content on the screen that is intended to be watched with shutter glasses, you cannot watch it without glasses and with the glasses it is in stereo 3D. This is why you need the glasses to show only the left or the right frame at the same time through both shutters and blocking the other view, so that you will be actually seeing 2D content, but the only way to do that currently is by physically modifying the glasses (loosing the warranty of course).

The next interesting possibility by having two pairs of modified 3D Vision shutter glasses – one to show the left and the other to show the right frames only, is to allow the sharing of a single 120Hz LCD monitor between two users watching different content. Of course both users will be able to watch different 2D content with 60Hz each, like two different movies for example, or a movie and a game, even two different games at the same time, although this becomes harder on the software side. However this possibility should not be neglected as it can be quite useful, especially since it will not be that hard to also have different audio for the two users depending on what content they are watching. But here I’m just talking about a possible future perspective that may or may not be exploited…

Now to the point on how you can actually modify a pair of 3D Vision active shutter glasses should you decided to do so because of various reasons, some of which I’ve already mentioned above or for something else. Just a reminder that doing the following modification will void your warranty and it also requires some soldering skills etc., so if you are not sure in your abilities please do not try this modification as there is risk of damaging the glasses!

This is not my first time opening the 3D Vision shutter glasses, so it was an easy task for me, however you should be careful when doing that. There is just one screw hidden under the nosepiece and the rest is just separating the different plastic elements from each other, carefully not to brake them, although the plastic used for the glasses is quite strong. After opening the glasses you need to disconnect the control board (in the left side of the glasses) as you need to work with the flexible connector cable that goes to the IR receiver, both shutters and the battery on the right. On the photo above you can see which two pins are used for the left (L) and for the right (R) shutter – two separate circuits that we need to bridge together so that both shutters will be open or closed at the same time and not change state one after another.

We need to bridge both shutters in a single loop using the left or right signaling line only depending on whether we want them to show only the left or only the right frame (left is usually used for watching in 2D). A good place to solder a wire is at the bottom part of the shutters where we can peel off a bit of the plastic covering the reveal the metal connection pad where we can solder the connecting cable.

Using a thin 30 AWG Kynar insulated wire does a great job in connecting both shutters with each other at their bottom parts so now the triggering electricity will go from the first to the second shutter and trigger them together. But we need to do one more bridge in order for the modification to work – we need to close the bridge between the two other lines used by both shutters in order for them to function as we with them to.

We need to bridge the 6th and 10th pins together by using an even thinner cable or alternatively you can use some conductive paint etc. After that we need to cover some of the pins so that they will not have contact with the electrical circuit inside the glasses depending on the left or right frame we want to be visible through the glasses from the stereo 3D content being displayed on the monitor.

Covering the 4th to 6th pins (the 5th pin is not used for anything) with a small piece of tape and preventing the pins for the right shutter to have contact with the control board we route the electricity sent to trigger the left frame through both shutters and thus we only see the left frame of the stereo 3D content being displayed.

If we cover the 10th to 12th pins (the 11th is not used for anything) with a piece of tape we prevent the contact of the pins used for the left shutter and thus both shutters are powered through the electricity triggering the right shutter only. The result as expected is that the viewer wearing the glasses only sees the right frame from the stereo 3D content being shown on the display.

You should not cover both the pins for the left and right eye, not you should leave both of them to have full contact in the electrical circuit after applying this modification as the glasses will not function either way and there is even a possibility of actually damaging then this way! So you should leave either the left or the right set of pins to have contact with the control board depending if you want the glasses to show only the left or only the right frame from the stereo 3D content being displayed. And again a word of warning as this modification will void the warranty of the 3D Vision glasses as well as it might lead to damage to them if you are not careful enough, so you should be extra careful if you decide to go and modify the glasses this way.

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