Introduction: Projector Mount and VGA Cat5 Cable Extension for Home Theater

Picture of Projector Mount and VGA Cat5 Cable Extension for Home Theater

For the past few years I've gradually added new solutions to my home theater setup. I started years ago by making audio cables for a digital music station and then later purchased my first LED TV and attached it to the computer. With advances in digital TV and movies I decided to get rid of cable TV and only purchase internet. Currently, all of my media needs come from the computer and internet alone. 

About a year ago I bought a projector and would set it on a coffee table linked through a 20' VGA cable to project across the room. In order to have sound with the projector I realized I needed to build an amplifier (might post another instructable for my modified lm386 amp some day). I got tired of stringing the VGA cable across the room and setting up the amp every time I had movie night, so I finally broke down and made a projector ceiling mount. 

My original intention was to go wireless and purchase a wireless presentation system, but soon realized that these can cost anywhere between $100-$300. I did a little research and ended up spending about 45$ on a composite wireless transmitter and VGA to Composite converter for the computer. This did not work very well and with other tests with composite DVD players, even when it did work, the 2.4ghz signal had tons of interference.  After pulling my hair out for a couple of days and some research on Instructables, I came across an Instructable for producing a cheap VGA cable for long distances. I figured I would give this a shot and ended up making this work very well. The following Instructable will document the process I went through to produce this projector mount and cable. 

Step 1: The Mount

Picture of The Mount

For the projector mount build, I just used some scrap 2x4 and plywood laying around from other projects. I can't give you dimensions for the build since my projector is tiny so you will have to alter your build to fit your projector. One of the issues I ran into with the mount is that my apartment isn't very far across, so the mount would have to be at an angle (keystone adjustment required). This is why the front plate is so tall. The reason there are so many gaps in the enclosure of the mount, is because I needed ample ventilation to disperse the heat from the projector. 

Materials and tools needed for this build:

2x4
plywood
cordless drill
storage chest hinges (only had 3, 4 is better)
screws
drill bits
ban saw (saw-zaw works too!)
circular saw
spray paint
HD-15 VGA male connectors x 2
Needed length of Cat5-Cat7 cable (5e will work fine)

As you can see from the picture, I started by measuring out the projector and cutting out the pieces from the ban saw. Then, I painted everything and screwed the mounting pieces and the face plate to the base of the mount. Next I attached the adjustable hinges. I found 3 of these at Menards for around $3.00. They are used for hinges on cedar chests and similar storage chests.

Step 2: Putting the Mount on the Ceiling

Picture of Putting the Mount on the Ceiling

Next, I made the appropriate holes for the mount on the ceiling, pre-drilled, and put in drywall mounting screws. The mounting screws are often plastic, but I found some aluminum ones that hold very firmly and can be removed easily and still fill in nicely later on. I just used the hinge hardware screws included to drill into these to mount the projector. Below is a picture with the mounting screws sticking out so you know what I'm talking about.

Step 3: 35 Foot VGA Cable

Picture of 35 Foot VGA Cable

The next thing that I did is measure out the distance for soldering together my own VGA cable. I ended up needing 35' to make it from the computer, along the wall and ceiling over to the projector. I purchased two male hd-15 VGA connectors and housings from Radioshack along with some cat5 cable (Cat5-7 cable on Newegg is much cheaper, i'm impatient though).

Instructions for building this cable can be found on the user: mlandgraaf's Instructable at:  

https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-VGA-cord-of-CAT5-cable/

I would like to thank mlandgraaf for his instructable; couldn't have done it without him.

Next I strung the cable and tacked it to the corners of the wall with small fencing/wire staples and plugged it into the computer. I'm currently working on making a double VGA adapter so that I can keep the LCD and the projector connected at the same time so all I have to do is turn the projector on with the remote rather than disconnecting the LCD and connecting the projector cable.

I tried to find similar builds on Instructables but just couldn't find them. I hope that if you are looking for a similar solution, that this build will help to accomplish your home theater needs, as it did mine. Questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome. Happy building!

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