Have I mentioned I love this job? Basically I get to take years of learned knowledge and help people use it. I LOVE IT. Thank you Kentucky Adult Ed and KET for this opportunity.
Question from the field:
We are finalizing our orders for the year and we are thinking about mounting light projectors to the ceiling to use with our mimio and ipads. I don’t know the first thing about such a thing. I’ve seen them mounted in schools, but I haven’t the foggiest how to even go about it here. Can you help me out?
Anica Smith, Calloway Co. Adult Education
Here is my answer for this Kentucky program:
I’m trying to remember specifics about your center’s ceiling and here is what comes to mind: the center has two spaces – one is a large, common, space with a high ceiling that is flat, and the other part of the building has a suspended ceiling.
For the space that is a standard ceiling (e.g., you could find a supporting wood beam and mount something to it) you can use this mount http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1644445&CatId=626. The mount can be screwed directly through the drywall into a supporting beam. In so doing the weight of the projector and mount will be held in wood and not the drywall.
In spaces with a suspended ceiling you would use that mount along with a ceiling plate http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1057500&CatId=626. The ceiling plate will allow you to join the mount to it. Further it will have wire for the plate to attach to the ceiling above the suspended tiles so that the weight of the projector, mount, and ceiling plate are not on the suspended ceiling, and, similar to the statement above, distribute the weight in a more load bearing substance.
Depending on the angle of the image of the projector and the height of your ceiling you may need an extension pole, http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1460233&CatId=626. In the menu settings of the projector are “Keystone” settings. These keystone setting can mitigate the need for an extension pole. So far I have not been in a space where I needed to use an extension pole to mount the projector.
Then you will also need to consider how you will get electric, audio and video to the projector.
Electric is serious stuff and can cost serious money, I’d recommend seeing if your fiscal agent has an electrician they can loan you for this project or find an ideal volunteer.
As for an audio/video cable that is long enough to run from your computer to your projector you can find those at Monoprice.com for cheap. Remember when I was at your site the HDMI cable carries both audio and video – therefore if you have a projector with an HDMI input all you will need is an HDMI cable of the length you want. If your projector only has VGA and Audio support then look for cables of the length you want similar to this http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10201&cs_id=1020105&p_id=3340&seq=1&format=2.
I am not concerned by exposed wires, but the product does look more finished with them covered. Monoprice also has “Cable Management Covers” http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10520&cs_id=1052005. Although, if a local business does volunteer to help you with the project it may be worth purchasing what you need of this from them as a “thank-you.”
Also, with it being this time of year it might be worth looking at strategies of purchase. What do you need to finish FY13, and what can wait for beginning of FY14. Thinking of this you could hold off on the purchase of an extension pole and see if you really need it. Equally you could spend money on an electrician and some items this FY, while saving other expenses for the new FY. Typically when spending money on services I check to ensure the cost is in line with granted monies – and typically it is.
That is the basics of mounting projectors. Coming soon: I will find videos online and add them to this blog.