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Discussion Starter #1
The finished product



There have been a couple of other threads that have covered this topic, but each DIY is different and I wanted to keep a log of my progress in case others wanted ideas. Also, most of the other lift projects had tons of space in their ceiling to put steam engines or whatever else they wanted up there. I don't! I have to clear a 10" soffit to the screen, and I only have the joist space to work with. That's 16" OC with an 8" depth.


If I don't put the lift in, I would hit my head on the projector because I'm tall (6' 2").


I have a plan! I am posting it here, and pending any changes from your feedback, I will order the parts, build, and report as I go.

My crude design



I adapted the design from here:
http://www.firgelliauto.com/home-aut...n-projects.php

Parts!

Drawer Slides: http://www.amazon.com/Drawer-Slide-E.../dp/B000972K8Y

Linear Actuator: http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...roducts_id=112

The Switch: http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...8d5badc353942e

Black partially threaded rod: http://www.amazon.com/TE-CO-Black-Th...476124&sr=1-17

Threaded clamp for rods: http://www.amazon.com/Ruland-TCL-8-1...6842686&sr=1-1

Power: I found an AC transformer here that's 12vdc 4amp. If that doesn't work out, I'll buy this one. http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...roducts_id=103 or find one similar on Amazon.

The rest: I will build the box from wood and stain it. I will probably trim it out nicely.


As I progress I will update with pictures.


I know stuff falling from the sky is a concern, especially with avoiding the replacement cost of my projector and my desire to keep my family's lack of head wounds at an all time high. I have in place, three things that would prevent a falling projector. First, the line tied to the actuator. Second, the safety stop blocks. Finally, the four slide rails have stops on them.


Anyone have any concerns, questions, or feedback?


My room layout is in my build thread below, if you're curious.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Lesson #1: Expect to buy extra parts. I am just starting as a DIYer, and I don't have a great assortment of spare nuts, bolts, trim, screws, brushes, etc. I have probably bought hardware enough for 4 lift projects at this point, but I'm having fun.


I'm done with building the woodwork, save for a couple of holes for mounting and cabling. I've also mounted the actuator, pulley, and cables.


You'll see in the pictures below that I took the area where the projector is going and cleaned up the space in the joists.


Lesson #2: Ripping anything accurately with a circular saw is a pain. I hope I can get into a band saw or table saw soon!


So here are some pictures of my progress. I will try to take more as I'm getting close to finishing. I am just waiting on my drawer slides coming today. I needed 10"er's, but I had ordered 12"er's. Another example of having extra! This is what an experienced builder would be able to avoid...


The space before cleaning up



Cleaned up and blocked in for the PJ lift box



You can see the location in my room where the cables hang down



Here's the box that will sit against the ceiling, made from 3/4" hardwood plywood from HD.



Spay painted the washers with rustoleum ultra flat black



The box trimmed and stained



The joined platforms that slide down from inside the box



Here's a view from what you might actually once it's mounted. I will spray the nuts holding the hook black so they don't stand out so much.



Here are a couple pictures of the 1/2" nuts and bots on my threaded rod. It's WAY overkill structurally, but I liked the aesthetic of the 1/2" rods.




That it for now! Some of the pictures were taking with my BB Bold, others with a Nikkon DSLR. Sorry about the former.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wanted to mention the reason I'm doing this. Below you can see I have a beam running across the room. I want to lower the projector to clear this when in use. I also want it out of the way so I don't hit my head on the projector when it's lowered down.


Without the lift, mounted normally, I would have hit my head!

 

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Nice little project you've got going there.


I see two main issues.


1) When automating something with slides, they always want to get ****-eyed on you. Mount the slides as far apart from each other as possible to minimize the impact. Don't be surprised if you need to replace the slides you bought with higher quality, tighter tolerance slides.


2) What are you doing for cable management while this moves up and down? A heavy gauge, long run, in-wall rated HDMI cable tends to be thick and hard to bend. Further, the actual HDMI connection is really poorly designed even for static cables, let alone cables that will be flexing continuously. I would add a port saver strain release adaptor between the PJ and the in-wall cable and physically restrain the connection between the in-wall cable and the port saver to the part of the lift that the PJ is sitting on.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Even then, allow for plenty of space for the cables to flex unless you plan to replace them often.


Where is your PJ in relation to your seats? I have my PJ mounted easily within forehead range in my theater (it is a Panasonic and the lens needs to be at least as low as the top of the screen to use the zoom memory function properly) but I located it so that it sits right above the backrest of one of the chairs. So even though it looks like it is in the way and you would run into it when moving about the room, the chair is there and you don't get close to it unless you try.


-Suntan
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/21650040


Nice little project you’ve got going there.


I see two main issues.


1) When automating something with slides, they always want to get ****-eyed on you. Mount the slides as far apart from each other as possible to minimize the impact. Don’t be surprised if you need to replace the slides you bought with higher quality, tighter tolerance slides.


2) What are you doing for cable management while this moves up and down? A heavy gauge, long run, in-wall rated HDMI cable tends to be thick and hard to bend. Further, the actual HDMI connection is really poorly designed even for static cables, let alone cables that will be flexing continuously. I would add a port saver strain release adaptor between the PJ and the in-wall cable and physically restrain the connection between the in-wall cable and the port saver to the part of the lift that the PJ is sitting on.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Even then, allow for plenty of space for the cables to flex unless you plan to replace them often.


Where is your PJ in relation to your seats? I have my PJ mounted easily within forehead range in my theater (it is a Panasonic and the lens needs to be at least as low as the top of the screen to use the zoom memory function properly) but I located it so that it sits right above the backrest of one of the chairs. So even though it looks like it is in the way and you would run into it when moving about the room, the chair is there and you don’t get close to it unless you try.


-Suntan

Thanks for your feedback! Initially, I won't have seating beneath the projector. The back row is phase 2; I have sectionals for the front and only row. Once I add a back row, I think I will try to have it like you have it!


1. I had planned to mount them at the corners or near them for this reason. Also, they are not bearing any weight, so shifting should be minimized. I hope I don't have the issue you mention, but I think I'm in the best scenario possible. If I have to buy better slides, then so be it.



2. My plan is to get the cable through a hole to the PJ. Above the holes, I clip it down so the movement of the cable is limited to the space between the top plate and the ceiling. Then I was going to apply a mild 90 degree crease in the middle to allow the cables to bend properly. If this is too wild, I would strap them to a 1by2 with hinges, like you see on slide out server racks.


EDIT: By the way, you're totally right that my HDMI cable is very stiff and the end is not that great. I will need to be careful getting this connected safely to the projector. Do you think it would be a problem using that cable savor since the gauge is so much lower than my 25' cable?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Last night I got a chance to install the drawer slides since they came in. The 10" slides fit very well and were so close to being too big or small. For example, once installed, the top of the rail was less than 1/8" from the ceiling. I'm very grateful it worked out!


Here are some pictures and a quick vid of the slides' movement.


The slides installed



Before I put the last screw in, I aligned it to the rails



Here's the box before I put it up



Here's the box installed on the ceiling



Here's a vid of the slide movement. I hope I win dullest video posted for the year...
 

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Great project! I'm anxious to follow your progress. I finished my theater 5 years ago, but my projector is still sitting on a make-shift drop-down box attached to my ceiling. I have limited space just like you. I keep telling myself that someday I want to figure out how to build an automated projector lift, but I've never done it. I'm excited to see someone else tackling this!
 

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Well, I am finished for now. There are a couple of steps left, but they'll have to wait until the room is more complete. I need to add trim to the box. Also, there is a slight wobble when the lift stops in the open position. I don't think it matters, but it can adjusted simply by balancing the projector on the platform. If that doesn't work permanently, I'll make some custom shims and place them between the platform and the edge of the box.


Pictures!


Here is the power supply and remote control receiver mounted next to the actuator



Here's how I mounted the actuator



The box right before I added the lift platforms



The box after the lift platform is mounted



The lift descending...



The lift down!



Here's my dog, Bones, expressing the level of interest I imagine you're experiencing right this minute.




But wait, there's more...


Here are a couple videos of the lift.



Another vid which shows the actuator running


That's it for now. I will update the thread with answers if you have any questions and I'll post pictures after the room is done for the final trimmed out pj lift.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
This is the device I bought from Firgelli Automation. It works great. You can switch it from "Press & Hold" to operate, or what I have set to, "Press & Forget" where it takes the lift down or up with just one click. You just then need to click it twice to stop it midway if you like.



http://www.firgelliauto.com/product_...products_id=18
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_P_A /forum/post/21687582


Wow. I was skeptical when you started this, but A+! That turned out to be really cool!


How accurate is it? Will it put your PJ in the right spot every time?

It seems to from what I've tested. I'll know for sure once I have my screen up and I can detect it with pixel perfection on the edge. I will update at that point.


EDIT: Thanks for the compliment!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_pilgrim /forum/post/21687704


Nice work. Videos need the 2001 music playing.
I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/21650040


2) What are you doing for cable management while this moves up and down? A heavy gauge, long run, in-wall rated HDMI cable tends to be thick and hard to bend. Further, the actual HDMI connection is really poorly designed even for static cables, let alone cables that will be flexing continuously. I would add a port saver strain release adaptor between the PJ and the in-wall cable and physically restrain the connection between the in-wall cable and the port saver to the part of the lift that the PJ is sitting on.
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

Even then, allow for plenty of space for the cables to flex unless you plan to replace them often.

Suntan,

I wanted to you and others know that those cable saver 8" extension cables were perfect. I never would have been able to do it without them. The 25' cables were just too this to make the turn in my tight space. I also orderered the 90 degree turn adapters, but they did not fit because of the way JVC's case sticks out at the top over the HDMI plug.
 

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+1 on the kudos, love this DIY stuff, you did a supberb job!

I've bookmarked this thread for future reference.....


What I like is there is probably enough "slop" in those drawer slides to absorb any mis-alignment.

Pillow block bearings on linear slides may have been "fun" to align....


Glad those drawer slides worked well, if not then possibly this product line may be cost effective enough.

We've used them at my work for low speed sliding tools/jigs instead of pillow blocks.

Using 30x30 alum sq profile, and the slide.
http://www13.boschrexroth-us.com/Fra...category=11202




[edit]

May I suggest you post into this thread also, it may help others in the PJ forum
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1330500
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone for the compliments. I spent so many hours researching getting the right bolts, buts, slides, ETC that it's nice to get some encouragement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex /forum/post/21692322


+1 on the kudos, love this DIY stuff, you did a supberb job!

I've bookmarked this thread for future reference.....


What I like is there is probably enough "slop" in those drawer slides to absorb any mis-alignment.

Pillow block bearings on linear slides may have been "fun" to align....


Glad those drawer slides worked well, if not then possibly this product line may be cost effective enough.

We've used them at my work for low speed sliding tools/jigs instead of pillow blocks.

Using 30x30 alum sq profile, and the slide.
http://www13.boschrexroth-us.com/Fra...category=11202

You're absolutely right. I was worried about the slides sticking if the platform swayed left or right too much, but they have enough give that it just keeps going and doesn't catch.


The items you linked to are great looking. I hadn't run into those during my research, but I certainly would have considered them. They would require more precision, which is a hassle at first, but pays off in the long run. My only concern would be having to re-align if the wood expands or contracts anywhere. If you're not using a wood frame like me, that wouldn't be an issue.
 
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