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Projector In Gymnasium

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by Kdula, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Kdula

    Kdula Member

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    Hello all,
    We are currently looking to hang a projector in a School "Cafetorium" (AKA Gym converted to Cafeteria.) Our only mounting options are the steel beams on the ceiling. Does anyone have any suggestions on vendors or suppliers of enclosures or brackets to hang a project like this?

    Also, what are the best options of providing a source to a projector of that height? We have some wireless projectors, but they are not performing very well wirelessly.


    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    Some manufacturers sell mounting brackets for their projectors as an accessory. Those available through the manufacturer are usually made for specific models, so if you look at the brand of projector you are mounting, the company may have one for you.

    At my school, a levy was passed for purchasing IT equipment a couple years ago and the IT department bought an epson classroom projector for each classroom and used a ceiling mount (bought through epson) for mounting each projector.

    I would have to think about the cabling for the projector a little more...wireless can be very tricky in school buildings!
     
  3. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    Well, you're going to have to run power to it anyway... so maybe just run a second conduit right away. Our college has Epson equipment with ELMOs that can remotely control the projector through a phone-style cord, along with special software installed on the computer. My high school, on the other hand, bought an Acer projector which means that you have to use the remote or very long pole to start it and turn it off. Kind of a pain.
     
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    At that height, most projector manufacturers will not have a sufficient mount. They rarely are extendable and are intended for ceiling mount in smaller rooms. Chief or Display Devices are two reputable companies for projector flyware. It should go without saying that only a qualified person should hang the projector.

    As for signal, I would recommend using Cat-5 with a balun. You will get the least signal loss over that distance(fiber is better but more pricey, less signal loss and no interferrence). While you're at it, pull a second Cat-5 if you can control your projector via Ethernet.

    Speaking of which, what type of projector are you mounting? What is the size of the screen and the distance to the screen?
     
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  5. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    How tall is the cafeteria and how far down does the projector need to come? This would just help to find a good solution.
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Now we're getting somewhere! And keep in mind that even with a commercial mount for the projector you might have to first build a submount from unistrut or similar between the beams or trusses to which the actual projector mount attaches. Also think about whether you need some type of enclosure for protection. Also consider access, you should clean the filter every month or so and will have to change the lamp(s) at some point. If you're going to be flying a projector 20' or 30' over people, I would really think about hiring a professional firm to do that, one that has the appropriate experience and liability coverage.

    As far as cabling, what signals are going to the projector and where are they coming from? Having just one source or using a switcher/scaler for source switching so you have just one signal to the projector might lead to a different solution than if you have several different sources or signals going direct to the projector. So might if the cable run length is 20' or 200' or has to be plenum cable.
     
  7. codered11343

    codered11343 Member

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    What I would do with the hanging on the projector is buy a celling mount and either attach a I-Beam clamp to the end of the mount or weld it to the end.

    Of course, use safety cable for everything and if you can secure the projector directly into the cable, then I believe that to be safe.

    Is the data input into the projector VGA? If so, get a few lengths of 50' or 100' and use a repeater in the middle to boost the signal. Or if VGA cable is too price, then their are VGA to CAT-5 converters so you could run CAT-5 instead of VGA.

    If I think on a better way to mount the projector the a I-Beam, I'll pass it along.
    Good Luck!
     
  8. Kdula

    Kdula Member

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    Thanks for all the input.

    We are talking 20-30' from an I-Beam and going to throw it about 20' to a screen. With this distance, and for keystoning purposes, would it be better to do a motorized projector lift or stationary mounting?

    Apparently there is already electric outlets available up there.

    Chief Manufacturing has I-Beam brackets.

    And as for signal, we have yet to even pick out a projector.
     
  9. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    You probably could just go with the stationary mount as long as it keeps the projector safely out of reach of people in the cafeteria. You could probably save yourself some money by going with the stationary mount too, unless money isn't a problem.
    If you do get the motorized projector mount, you just have to remember that if you are dropping down 20-30' (do they make motorized mounts that long?) that you will always have to stop it at the same place to get the projector image to sit on the screen. Also, you are running cable(s) to the projector too, which could create problems with the motorized part of the mount. I haven't really played around with these motorized mounts so I am not sure how the cabling would be run.
     
  10. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    It is all about the relationship between the image on the screen and the projector. Where is the image vertically and where does the projector need to be relative to that? Can the projector support the desired image size with a 20' throw distance from projector to screen? The answers to these questions are going to be dependent upon the image size and location and the projector. You can fix all the dimensions and locations and then try to find a projector that works, which may require a projector with image shift and/or an optional lens. Or you can pick a projector and image size and location and adjust the projector location to fit.

    For example, whether you have a 6'x8' image starting at 4' above the floor like a typical classroom might or a 16'x9' image starting at 10' above the floor to account for a raised stage and someone standing in front of the screen could make a huge difference in the resulting projector location and requirements.

    A lift is nice for such applications and many models will support storage, show and service positions. However, lifts are typically not inexpensive and are more difficult to install.
     
  11. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I wouldn't recommend a mototized mount unless you need to get the projector out of the way. One less thing to maintain.

    Since you say that you don't have a projector yet, does that mean you haven't picked out a screen? As stated previously, that can greatly affect your choice of projector.

    As for a projector, I recommend going with DLP since it has a sealed light engine (dust is your enemy). Though it is probably outside your budget, Panasonic makes some nice projectors that have this nifty self cleaning filter (won't do well in situations with fog/haze, just good for dust).

    As for the electricity already being there, just make sure it's clean power. The other issue you may run into is if your source is not sharing a ground with your projector you may get hum bars (which can be eliminated, just something to think about).
     
  12. wadeace

    wadeace Member

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    I seriously would suggest a professional installer to help you they would have the experience to calculate throw distances to choose the right projector, and mounting distance, and the right cable options.

    However if you really want to diy it here are some things to consider.

    Mount companies offer options that allow you to use any standard metal pip to custom cut the height off the roof. The mount attaches to the pipe by being threaded around, like a coupling. This is not subjected for an active gym where flying balls could knock the projector out of alignment.

    Another option would be to mount the projector on an opposite wall, which is what I suggest for gyms. By using the right lens choice for your projector you can achieve some super long throw distances. You might also consider directly mounting the projector to the ceiling and key stoning the image to reduce cost, and keep the projector height off the ground to avoid balls.

    as far as cabling, I would sudgest using the bulans if you’re going over 150', however composite, component and vga I have been able to achieve good quality picture on high quality cables over distances of 300' however that’s pushing it.

    I would suggest cat5 for control, or an ir blaster.
     

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