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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings. I sure hope this group can help me, because so far, neither 3M's web site nor the rest of the 'net have...


This is long-winded, so I apologize up front. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Here's the setup. Our church currently meets in a movie theatre. Varies between 250-350 seats, depending on anticipated turnout. We setup starting at 7 AM for a 9:30 service. 5-8 person band, light board, 24 channel sound board, a laptop with PowerPoint and a VCR or DV video playback via S-video, the last two connected to a 3M MP8745 projector. We set this up and break it down every week, so things are never the same from one week to the other.


We have a wireless remote for said projector. But, tech is set up about 40 feet behind the projector, in the last row of the theatre. The remote just can't handle the distance when people stand up! So, we tried the x10 Powermid IR->RF triangles. They're great in rehearsal, but only 75% reliable in service, again mostly failing when the room is crowded, 10 rows of people between tech and the projector. It sucks to have to send someone to the fifth row, past 12 people, just to change the input on the projector...


The MP8745 has a serial input for control, and the users manual shows the pinouts for the cable, and the command codes, but I don't have the time (and only some of the knowledge) to write software for it.


We considered disecting the remote (or getting a cheap programming remote and taking it apart), and essentially running a 50 foot cable in the existing snake to the projector, slapping an IR emmitter on the end. But that's not very eloquent.


We'd like to find a wired serial solution, either with an external control box, or into the laptop and control from there. Our problem with the laptop is, we're running powerpoint for presentation, and we're worried about switching between programs to switch sources on the projector. Probably just a timing issue.


Our eventual goal is to find a video source mixer (another forum http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif ) to mix s-video and XGA/SVGA, then just send one signal to the projector. But that's more money than we have now... athough I'm really itching to go that route.


So, finally, the question(s):


Is there a wired remote out there for the projector?

Is there a 3rd party wired solution? I.e., cables (I can make those), or maybe just software?

The biggie: can anyone recommend a s-video/rgb/dv (wishful thinking) video switcher? http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Thanks in advance...


And please, ask me for more specifics if need be!


-- RL



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"Television - a medium, so called because it is neither

rare nor well done." -- Ernie Kovacs
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
/bump/


Actually, a follow-up.


We contacted 3M again. And, as much as I hate to say it, they're useless. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/mad.gif


They don't provide the needed cable for this project. They outsource it to a cable manufacturer, who only makes it in a maximum 10 foot length. No big deal, it's easy to solder 3 wires to two connectors. We need 50 feet... my concern is the viability of a +5V signal over that great a length...


Okay, I can get past that problem. The issue I have with them is, they provide a serial control port on this projector, and talk about the ability to control it via computer, but they don't have any software! Gah. Not cool.


(Yeah, I know... get a 3rd party control box and skip the PC... that's pretty much where its aimed...)


I've been searching the 'net for just such a program, and they exist for other company's projectors -- and I've seen one written for the Palm Pilot! -- but nothing for a 3M.


So, do I write one? If so, which language? Where do I even begin? I haven't worked with serial control libraries before, and its been eons since I've touched C++ or VB.


Gah.


My kingdom for a wired remote.


So, if anyone has any ideas, no matter how small, please let me know!


-- RL



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"Television - a medium, so called because it is neither

rare nor well done." -- Ernie Kovacs
 

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If you haven't, take a look at Girder . This is FREE PC based control software. It can take hotkeys, IR remote control button presses or a multitude of other inputs and turn them into a series of commands and control streams. I use it to control my projector at home.


There is a serial plugin that might be able to be scripted to do what you want. If you have the serial control protocol for the projector (what bytes and bits go where in the stream, what speed, number of data bits, etc.), someone in Girder's forums could probably build a SW solution FOR you. I didn't build mine, I downloaded it from the site.


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Huck
 

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The hardwired IR repeater systems are typically much more reliable than the IR->RF systems. These are VERY common in home theater installations where the equipment to be controlled is completely out of view of the remote. This could also be helpful if you ever decide to use a wireless IR keyboard with the computer. All you need is a IR sensor, connecting block, and emitter.


Xantech is probably the most common supplier of this kind of equipment. However, don't be surprised if the IR sensor costs $50-$80 alone.



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DVI/HDCP makes your HDTV not ready
 

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Here's a couple of links to a very simple hardwired solution for what you're doing. You'll be able to turn the projector on and off, and switch between computer, video and s-video via RS-232, which will solve the problems common to IR remotes. You won't need the volume up/down control since you're going into a soundboard. I've already confirmed that the RS-232 codes are available for the MP8745 to work with this system. If you need pricing, e-mail me and I'll do the best I can.


EZTrol-300 EZTrol-100


[email protected]
 

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FYI: I can't get the above EZTrol links to work (Internal server error), but I found the products on the Eiki site under presentation products - Control.


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Huck
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've considered the hardwired option, but didn't know the costs involved. It's steep for the organization, so I'll first give Girder a try, keeping the hardwire as a backup option.


Thanks for the suggestions! I wouldn't have found girder otherwise...


-- RL



------------------

"Television - a medium, so called because it is neither

rare nor well done." -- Ernie Kovacs
 
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