Introduction: Media Cart Setup and Operation
These instructions will teach you how to set up and use a media cart that includes a projector, a laptop, and speakers. Correctly setting up a media cart allows you to utilize all of the functions of each component. These will enhance your oral and visual presentations, making them more engaging for your audience. Your presentations will run smoothly if you understand how to operate and set up each component. Regardless of your level of technological expertise, these instructions should guide you through the set up of a media cart in under 30 minutes.
Step 1: Gather Equipment
Gather the following items:
- LCD projector
- Power cord for computer
- Power cord for speakers
- Power cord for projector
- Power strip
- Extension cord (optional)
- VGA cable
- Display Port Adapter (for Mac users)
- 1/8in cable
Step 2: Getting Organized
Gather all the equipment listed in Step 1.
Place the equipment on the media cart.
Suggestions for equipment organization:
- Place the speakers, facing outward, on the edge of the cart that will be facing your audience.
- Place the projector on another edge of the cart. Angle it appropriately so it will project in the direction you would like.
- Place the laptop on a remaining edge of the cart. Position it so that you will have clear access to it during your presentation.
Step 3: Powering Up
1. Connect the devices' power cords to their respective devices.
2. Plug each device's power cord into the power strip.
3. Plug the power strip directly into a wall outlet.
Note: If desired, an extension cord may be used to allow greater movement of the media cart. Instead of plugging the power strip directly into a wall outlet, plug it into an extension cord. Then, plug the extension cord into a wall outlet.
Step 4: Setting Up the Projector
1. Plug the VGA cable into the slot labeled "Computer Input" on the projector. In the attached image, this input is labeled "COMPUTER IN."
2. Turn on the projector by pressing the power button, shown in the red circle in the attached image.
Note: The projector needs to be turned on before continuing setup. This will make laptop setup easier because the computer will detect an incoming signal from the projector.
3. Remove the lens cap. There should be an image projected on the wall or projector screen in front of the media cart.
Important: Place the lens cap next to the projector for safekeeping. You will need it later when disassembling the media cart.
4. Adjust the zoom to resize the image onto the wall or projector screen, using the dial shown in the yellow box in the attached image.
5. Adjust the focus if the projected image is blurry, using the dial shown in the blue box in the attached image.
6. Press the source/input button, shown in the green circle in the attached image, until "Computer" is highlighted. This will be shown on the top left of the projection.
Step 5: Connecting Speakers
Note: Most speakers have a built in 1/8 in cable (pictured below). If your speakers fit this description, skip this step and proceed to Step 6. If your speakers have a detached 1/8 in cable, continue with this step.
1. Take either end of the 1/8 in cable and plug it into the back of the speaker set.
2. Turn on the speakers by pressing the power button, circled in red in the image below.
3. Adjust the volume by turning the volume dial, shown in the yellow circle in the image below.
Note: Volume can be adjusted to personal preference. Turn the dial clockwise to increase the volume and counterclockwise to decrease the volume.
Step 6: Setting Up Laptop
1. Plug the other end of the 1/8 in speaker cable into the headphone jack on the laptop. This jack will be labeled with a headphone graphic, as pictured below.
Note: This action connects the speakers to your laptop, enhancing the volume of sounds from your laptop.
2. Turn on the laptop by pressing the power button. It will have a symbol like the one shown below.
3. Continue setup. To complete set up with a Mac, please continue to Step 7. To complete set up with a Windows 8 operation system, please jump to Step 8.
Step 7: Setup With a Mac
1. Plug VGA into the Display port adapter as seen in the attatched image.
Note: This will make the VGA cable compatible with your Mac laptop.
2. Plug the Display port adapter into the display port on the Mac. This will be located on the left hand side of the laptop and is marked by the graphic shown in the image below.
3. After plugging in the Display port adapter to the laptop, you will project the screen by clicking the apple on the top left of the screen and selecting "System Preferences".
4. Click on "Displays", then click "Arrangement".
Note: There are two main settings here.
5. Select the "Mirrored" check box. In doing this, the screen projected will be the same screen duplicated from the laptop.
Note: If this is not the setting you wish to select, uncheck "Mirrored" and continue to number 6.
6.One computer will operate this setting. The mouse will be able to move all the way to the left and it will appear on the projected screen. The projector screen acts as an extension to your destop, and items are able to be dragged over it to be projected.
Step 8: Setup With Windows 8
1. Plug the VGA cable into the laptop. This cable, and its input on the laptop (circled in blue), are shown below.
2. Project the computer screen by doing the following:
-Move the mouse to the top right of the screen then down the right edge.
-Click on the option "Devices."
-Select "Second screen."
Note: The second and third images provide a visual guide to completing (2).
3. Select how you would like the computer projected. There are two main settings that work best for most presentations:
-PC screen only: This shows an image on the computer screen only, and nothing will be shown through the projector.
-Duplicate: This shows identical images through the projector and on the computer screen, duplicating the image.
Step 9: Congratulations!
You have successfully connected the devices on your media cart. You should now be able to project computer images to an audience.
If you experience problems or difficulties during setup or use, please consult the troubleshooting in the next step.
Step 10: Troubleshooting
Below are some common problems that may occur during the setup and use of a media cart, along with their possible solutions.
- Check to make sure the blue VGA cable is securely plugged into both the computer and the projector.
- Make sure the projector is powered on.
- Make sure you have selected the correct source using the source/input button shown in Step 4.
- Refer to Step 7 (Mac) or Step 8 (Windows 8) to make sure the computer has been set up correctly.
- Check to make sure you have removed the lens cap.
- Adjust the focus dial, shown in Step 4, back and forth until the image looks clear.
No sound from speakers
- Check to make sure the 1/8 in cable is securely connected to both the speaker set and the computer.
- Make sure the speaker system is powered on.
- Check that the volume is turned up on the speakers and on the computer.
"Computer" does not appear as a source option after pressing the source/input button on the projector
Look at where the VGA cable is plugged into the projector. That input will have a label. That label is the name of the source you want to select. Press the source button until that labeled source is highlighted.