Very timely question, I just did this yesterday. I rented a Genie Material Lift. They come in 8'-20' heights. I only needed the 8-foot lift. Its nice and compact and handles up to 400 pounds. It was only $20 for a half day and $30 for a full day. Worth every d*mn penny! When you call around to rental stores specify the Genie Material Lift otherwise they will always quote the scissor lifts that are electric, big and expensive. Brian
If you keep an eye on EBAY you can look for a used Chief Electronic Lift. These are rated to 250lbs lift capacity and sell for about $350.00 US Used. More expensive then renting the Genie Lift but also more convenient. The unit attaches right the the back of the PJ with a mount.
I use the chief lift for my xg852 which i bought used off ebay for less than $300. I honestly do not know what i would do without it with the amount of times I raise and lower my projector (trying to achieve visual zen). I would also suggest not buying the attachment for your specific projector(connects proj with lift) and rather build you own using unistrut this will save another $100.
My HT is on the first floor with attic space above and it was a simple matter to install 2 sets of 3 pulleys and use 3 aircraft cables that run to a manual winch in an adjacent room. The three aircraft cables attach to a frame that has the projector bracket mounted on it.
I raise and lower it by myself.
If I need to lower the projector, I unscrew the positioning screws that only serve to keep the projector stable while it's on the ceiling and lower it onto several large cushions on the floor. Then I unhook the projector from it's bracket, raise the frame, and flip the projector onto it's feet.
On my Sony 1292 (225 pounds), I have six pieces of all-thread connecting the ceilng (three pieces of unistrut parallel to the screen, one per joist) and projector (two pieces of unistrut parallel to the projector which support two pieces of 1/8" thick 2x1/2" c-section bolted to the projector top) halves of my unistrut mount.
For lifting, I replaced the short pieces of all-thread with 90" chunks that stop 6" off the ground, lined the projector's CG up with the middle pair, and threaded on nuts + fender washers.
After that, I found that the best technique was to lift one corner a few inches and then spin the nuts up to match. Using gear wrenches on the middle bolts and spinning the rest up worked OK but was a lot slower.
Once up, I replaced each long piece of all-thread with its shorter counterpart (one at a time).
I haven't moved it down more than a few inches, although it seems like the reverse would work.
4 long threaded rods, 4 short threaded rods, a piece of plywood and up it went... lifting a corner at a time and spinning the nuts upward. My projector only weighed about 165 lbs but the technique made the task very safe and easy, even if you don't have four friends with strong backs.
I used a $20 hand crank winch. It has a worm drive, so it does not allow the load to fall when the handle is released. It is compact and I think it has a 2000# capacity. I ran a piece of unistrut across the upper part of the mount and attached the winch to it. I then attached the Sony 1270 to the winch hook via plastic coated steel cable. I removed the handle of the winch and added two nuts (to lock together), which I drove with a cordless drill and socket. I raised the projector to the ceiling using the drill in less than 1 minute, attached the projector to the unistrut, and removed the winch/cable. Total cost was ~$24, and I have the winch for other uses.
All I do is flip my house upside down, bolt the projector to the now floor, flip the house back right side up, and Viola! Projector is neatly mounted on the ceiling. This also helps with the HT budget funds by dislodging loose change from the sofa crevices.
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