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Retractable mount?

848 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  budwich
Do any relatively low-cost mounts allow you to raise the projector a foot or two when not in use? I've got a situation where I can't mount on the back wall and where the projector position is fine when viewing but not a good location otherwise. I'm really looking for something basic, not an expensive lift, but just a mount with some means of manually lowering/raising.

If such a mount exists, I'm assuming this would be preferable to keystone correction?

Although I'm not 100% decided, I think this mount will be for the BenQ 7800.


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Just hoping someone sees this and has a some ideas...


I was just looking in the Parts Express catalog, and they sell a hydraulic lift that can be used for TV lifts, gates, etc. It costs about $80. Part #329-300.

Maybe you could use this to build a DIY retractable mount?
There's an idea, and with 1300lb capacity that should do it. ;)

Definitely looks like a possibility, but boy I wish there were something simple, clean and manual out there.

Good find, thanks!


I made a wooden platform, suspended by brass chains. The projector is on the platform. I have hooks which allow me to raise the platform up against the ceiling if I want the projector out of the way.

If you have a low ceiling, it works pretty well.

I am looking for something similar for a ceiling mount PJ.

Something like this could work if it supports the weight -

it only gives a few inches of adjustment, but maybe there are similar nounts with more adjustment.

Let us know if you find something else.
I have the same wish. You'd think it would be pretty easy to put a hinge at either end of the extension rod for the mount, so that the projector could just swing up and out of the way. Have a little hook that grabs the rod when you want it up, releases when you want it down. Suppose I could have made one if I had the time, but I went pre-fabbed with mine.
I was just checking out the Draper website yesterday, and found this sort of stufff (didn't know they had them). They have a couple such items that make a proj disappear into the ceiling, etc. They're at www.draperinc.com, and the stuff is on the "Lifts, Mounts and Brackets" page.
Nice find on the Draper site. But they don't list the price.

I always figured that if I wanted to do what Eric was asking about, I would have to DIY. I can't see a "retractable mount" being an affordable product. It just sounds like something that would be marketed to businesses, or something billed as a luxury item.

You're right. Eric did ask for "relatively low-cost", and the Draper isn't likely to fit that bill.
I think your best option, cost-wise, is probably DIY. "Simple" design taken from the manufacturer's "ideas" (ie. Draper and others). Depending on your DIY capabilities, it should turn out fine... but note I haven't tried it my self. Take four lengths of 1in wide "perforated" steel stock (1/16 in thick? with holes for 1/4 in bolts "per drilled" thru out length)... Home Depot sells the stuff. The length would be approximate drop length that you want / need... e.g. 1.5 ft. Take two lengths of "perforated" angle iron / steel.... same stuff as above but has two sides of hole at right angle. Bolt these angle rails to your ceiling / ceiling plate (DIY hardwood plate used between joists) so that they run parallel to each other just wider than your projector. Bolt the four lengths of straight "perf" steel to these "rails".... so they hang like "legs".... table legs... you are probably getting the idea.... I hope. Make a shelf for your projector that it can either sit on or under. Down the two sides of the shelf, bolt two lengths of "perf" angle steel (same stuff as used on the ceiling... same length) that run parallel to the two rails on the ceiling. Bolt the other ends of the four "legs" to these lower rails. If you understand the description, you can see that you will be able to "swing" your projector and shelf assembly in what ever direction you have made the "parallel rail sides".... ie. if they align in a front to back direction, then your projector / shelf assembly can be swung forward and into the roof or backward. If you chose a side to side alignment, then your projector / shelf assembly can be swung to the right or left. Note... you can't readily have the choice of all four direction at one time once you have done your installation, only two... understand? Then using "J" hooks or equivalent... gate latch "eye hooks" for instance, you can "lock" your projector in position and out of the way. I figure I could do the whole project for under $20... maybe a bit more depending on paint requirements and wood plate / shelf availability. Use locking nuts (plastic inserts) to hold the nuts from turning during the many "up/down" uses that you are planning. Using "perf'ed" steel means that you can also select your lower holes that you ultimately hang your shelf to... so you don't really need to have the exact drop length correct... its "semi-adjustable". Hope you get the idea and hope it helps.
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That definitely helps and if I don't find something soon I'm heading to HomeDepot! Although I might have a question or two for you. ;)

I did run across this, is this wishful thinking or does this look like it can adjust?


Thanks to all,

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I don't see a problem with that mount in the link other than cost... your "low cost" and my "low cost" are pretty different but as usual its all relative. The one thing that I noticed on the "manufacturered" mount was that the adjust locks are situated on the highend. I think it would have been "better" to have them on the lower end instead for "reachability"....I think it looks like the outside "sleeve" slides on an internal "tube".... perhaps you can "flip" them are... or maybe I am not seeing things right from picture. The spec appears to indicate that it can be adjusted about 20 in (23->43)... it also looks like it has some angular adjustment capabilities but again maybe I am seeing things. I think in general this is a good site for these things... lots of different ones... but again my "low cost" would not be in this range of things.

Just a comment about my DIY "design" ... you will also need a few "washer / spacers" so the one "leg" (vertical bar) can "pass by" the other if you want the mount to swing up "flush" to the ceiling... this would assume you are mounting the projector underneath your shelf member. Hopefully, you understand what I am trying to convey.

On a similar "design thought" to the linked design... I think you might be able to use "mesh fencing" material (galvanized steel tubes) to fashion a similar mount.... one tube inside another with "thumb knob bolts" or regular bolts inserted thru drilled holes in the tubes. You would have to DIY mounts at each end... but that probably wouldn't be too hard. Again, HD would be my source of materials.... and probably about the same range $20-30.

The difference in the designs is that with extensions, the projector will always be hanging a minimun distance (~ 1/2 the overall extension) while on the "swing up" design you can get it so that the projector is almost flush with the ceiling. Ultimately, its what your needs are that will dictate your choices. Hope that helps a bit more.
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Thanks Budwich,

Yea I should have said what was "low cost". I guess I was thinking $200 or under, as for high cost I was thinking of the very expensive scissor type electric mounts (these are in the low thousands right?).

Of course it is less than $100 or $50 with some of my own labor I'm all for that!

I like the DIY extension idea. I have viga ceilings (adobe style house) and there is really no way to have the projector rotate up flush with the ceiling. If an extension pole can be moved between ~24" (storage position) and ~36" (in use position) that would work quite well for me. Budwich, would you have time to elaborate on your 2nd design idea? Also, what kind of actual "mount" in a DIY plan would I need to attach to the projector itself? Do I still need to buy some kind of universal mount?

I'll call about the Bretford mount and see what the story is, I too noticed the adjustments (if that is what they are) were unfortunately at the top of the mount. :( I'll post a followup.

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As for low cost... as a canadian, I am at more of disadvantage cause of the dollar... so that $200 would probably be about $350 by the time I get it here... that's way too much for my "low cost" for value versus material / functionality.

I am a hobbyist wood worker... so I tend to rely on hardwoods to make things out of ... cause its easy and I have most of the tools but in general most people can also do things easier with wood than metal. Having said that, my "2nd design" with extension piping would probably use a combination of wood "adapters" / plates and metal for strength and attaching between the pipes and end materials (ie. ceiling on one end and projector body / mounting plate on the other). Basically, if you go to a biulding materials store (eg. HD), I think they usually carry galvanized piping / posts for "frost fencing" (that's what we call it up here)... wire mesh screen with those X patterns. Anyways, the posts / x-members come in various diameters from 1in to 1.5 and bigger. You could "easily" buy a 6 foot length of 1in diameter ($5) and a 6 foot length of 1.25in or 1.5 in diameter ($6). The post material is easy to cut... actually up here is already painted either white or brown. As you can readily see, I hope, you could "slide" the small post inside the larger one... presto... you have your extension design much like that in the link. You only need to cut the pipes to provide the drop that you want (eg. 23in for the outside and slightly longer for the inside one ...say 30... to give a little bit of end to work with and also to keep some of the sliding pipe inside the "sleeve pipe". From there, take a drill and "strategically" drill 1/4 holes thru each pipe (completely thru the diameter) so that you can use 1/4 bolts to "lock" the pipes in place. The hole would be at the bottom on the outside "sleeve" pipe and at both ends of the inside slide pipe.... that way you would lock the slide pipe at the lower position for deployment and slide it up / in and lock it up for "storage". Is this word description understandable? For "stability", you might have to have a second bolt... slightly higher up (1 in) at right angles to the first one so that you are "locking" in both two "planes". Attaching "adapter plates" won't be hard... I don't think. For instance, you could use a 1 sq ft of plastic (1/4 in thick)... a sandwich of two sheets.... this is what I used for my DIY mount on my X1. Bolt your projector to one sheet (heads are hidden by the second sheet of the sandwich) and have bolts sticking up thru the second sheet... heads buried by the other sheet... so that they don't intefere with your projector case. The bolts stick up receive small 1.5 in right angle brackets (four) in a square / "circle" that form a "recepticle" for the end of the inner sliding pipe (ie. 1 in square). Drill a set of "cross holes" thru the pipe end to receive "self threading" bolts that that will then attach your "plate assembly" / projector to the bottom end of the inner sliding pipe.... note the bolts don't go right thru the pipe (ie. are say 1/2 in long)... if they go thru (which is alright), then you would have to offset the cross a bit so they don't interfere with each other... you might have to use longer right angle brackets... say 2 in ... ie. 2 at 1.5 and 2 at 2in long. A similar technique can be used for the top "adapter" to your ceiling. You can also use 3/4 hardwood or 1/8 aluminum plate among other things for the plates... what ever you can get your hands on or like to work with.... actually I used some left over laminate flooring... the 1/4 in type that come in 4 ft by 6 or 8 in wide "fake wood" patterns... its plenty strong enough (two sheet in a sandwich) depending on how you "seat" your bolts. Hope it is understandable. Its pretty straight forward and doesn't require much other than a drill (press would be useful for "perfect right angle / straight holes... but not really necessary) / some bits, maybe a file and maybe some countersinks.... hack saw / grinder to cut the posts.

As far as a "universal mount", it might help for adjustment / alignment, but it is not absolutely required as some people have use a similar method as I described with longer bolts / spacers / washers / wing nuts that they "adjust a bit" (one time) to help with alignment. Universal mounts typically give you more flexible adjustable that you can do any time and as often as you want.

As for the Bret mount design, if the adjustments are as they appear, it would probably mean that the outside sleeve slides down on an inside pipe / tube and hence why the locking mechanism is the way it is. Again, perhaps you might be able to just "flip" the thing so that the "ceiling end" is now the projector end and vise versa at the other end.... not sure from the picture but I am sure a handy guy like you could do it .... :)
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