Tutorial - Ceiling-mounting projectors

Mounting AV components to the structure of a building is a critical aspect of the AV technician’s job. These devices can weigh more than 50kg in the case of a projector or plasma display, and often hang over the heads of audiences, creating a significant safety issue. Installers should understand, what structures can support a system component and how to safely mount components to them.

The following are the general steps required to successfully and safely ceiling mount a video projector. The example used is of a typical installation with a suspended false ceiling.

A. Determine the exact positioning of the projector with respect to the projection screen. Using the information supplied by the manufacturer, discover where you should locate the projector. The information will invariably include some measurement from the projection surface to a spot on the projector. Most projectors have a zoom lens that will provide you with a range, from nearest to furthest distance to the screen to place the projector. Industry best practice dictates that you should attempt to place the projector in the centre of that range.

B. Familiarise yourself with the manufactured mount, how it connects to the projector, and the mounting structure you will create. Identify the centre point of the manufactured mount, preparing to transfer that point to the ceiling. Read and follow all manufacturers’ mounting instructions.

C. Analyse the feasibility of mounting the projector in the identified position.

1. Carefully remove the ceiling tiles for visibility – use a torch.
2. Decide on an appropriate mounting method by examining the structure to which the bracket will be attached. (This example includes a ceiling plate and pipe connecting the manufactured mount to the ceiling.)
3. Verify the integrity of the structure you expect to support the projector and bracket.
4. Determine the routing of signal cabling and electrical power up to the projector
5. Consider the serviceability of the installation; how could a service technician gain access to the device for periodic maintenance.

D. Install the bracket

1. Make clear, erasable pencil marks indicating the centre point location of the mounting assembly identified previously. NOTE: Do not confuse this with the projection throw-distance calculation reference point (Figure D).
2. Following industry best practice, construct and install an adjustable bracket or support structure centred on the location calculated previously (Figure E).
3. Fasten a manufactured ceiling plate/pipe flange to the adjustable mounting support, centred on the marks.
4. Using a plumb bob, locate the spot on the ceiling tile directly below the centre point of the pipe flange.
5. Cut a circular hole in the ceiling for the pipe to pass through (Figure F).

E. Install the projector!
1. Select an appropriate pipe that is suited to your specific situation. Insert the pipe through the ceiling tile, threading it into the pipe flange. Tighten securely. Use a set screw in the pipe to maintain the threaded position.
2. Align the pipe threads with the manufactured projector mount. Thread the mount onto the pipe until it is hand tight.
3. Locate the front of the mount and rotate opposite direction until the front of the mount is parallel to screen surface.
4. Tighten the set screw onto the threads of the pipe to prevent turning (Figure G).
5. Connect the projector adapter bracket to the projector. CAUTION: Do not use screws or bolts that will protrude too far into the projector, as this will damage the product.
6. Place the projector with the adapter into the secured mount assembly.

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