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Hiding ceiling projector Answered

UPDATE! made some progress and have it all set up, its in the finishing touches area now. :)

Items used-

-12 in AC linear actuator
-3 way switch
- 4x draw slides
- ceiling tile
- various sizes of wood for frame for the actuator.


I have an idea for my ceiling mounted projector to hide in the ceiling tile and then lower down when a button is pressed. however I have no idea how to execute it.

in theory I would need a motor to pull up and lower down the tile that the projector is mounted to and then run the cables down the wall to a switch.

but I turn to you instructables to tell me how to make the motor stop when the tile is low enough on the cable and when it rises back into place with the other tiles.

Sort of like an automatic window on a car. with the push of a button it goes into place and when the button is pushed again it rises back.?



6 years ago


here is a video of it in action,

not near complete yet but I have the actuator and everything mounted. I just need to make it balanced so that it goes up and down with out getting hungup and wobbling.

I think I will use 4 draw slides on all the corners so that it has to track in one direction because the actuator spends freely if there is not resistance on it.


6 years ago

made some progress


Can you tip the tile down at an angle, low enough to get the image on the screen, or will you have to lower it horizontally ?

Doing it with a press of a button isn't too hard. Either a latching relay, or a transistor (the relay would be "cut off"" at the end of the actuator's traveling distance and a transistor could just be turned off by a pulse bias). You could then wire up a second button on the same hand held controller to raise the projector again.

Could it be done all by a photocell that is placed inside the projector to lower the projector when it goes on and raise it when it goes off?

I apologize as I am a bit new to the electronics side of things I am more of a wood person.

If I purchase the twelve inch Linear actuator what else would I need besides a pushbutton switch. is it as simple as positive to positive... and it will travel up and down, or will the reversing require more work?

You asked:   Could it be done all by a photocell that is placed inside the projector to lower the projector when it goes on and raise it when it goes off?

Answer:  Yes :-)   Light going to the photocell (like a phototransitor or CDS cell for instance) will increase resistance and could be used to bias a transistor as a switch.   Then the light goes out, it could be wired to send the required signal to reverse.   Some circuitry engineering is needed before buying parts I would think.

If you can do that, you make the mechanics a lot easier, and you could do it with an old car window winder mechanism, which is naturally a scissor lift action.....


And a lot cheaper. I wonder if has enough stregnth

I'm thinking this would work
Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHRYSLER-2004-98-WINDOW-MOTOR-REGULATOR-ASSEMBLY-FRONT-RIGHT-2004-98-CONCOR-/190599331858

ny thoughts?

Sure- personally I'd head down to the auto-salvage yard and get digging ;-)

Each would have it's individual problems, eh? If at an angle, the projector will need be mounted at an angle opposite that of the drop, and if keeping it horizontal one drops it without the angle, we have a lot more "involved" mechanically, I would think.

Yeah, you're in the realm of a cunning 4 bar linkage or somesuch.


Or just mount it solidly at that angle on the tile and just move the tile :-)

Any chance your knowledgeable self could help me with that and tell me what to buy. I just finished building the box that the projector will sit in mounted to the tile.

I borrowed this picture of a schematic that is "along the lines" of what you are looking to do. This will not do the job however, you will need to adjust it for whatever parameters you happen to be working with (voltages, etc).


just found this and would it work?


Your arrow points to a variable capacitor of unknown value. Does your motor run off of AC or DC current? I don't quite understand how that circuit would work.

Use a servo that "goes only so var". OR you can have a worm gear that lowers the tile to a certain position by having it activate a physical or electronic switch at the proper moment. The reversable servo would be the easiest however.

or a linear actuator of sufficient strength. perhaps one with adjustable limit switches already build in.


6 years ago

Thought about it some more and I have decided to use a light weight box with the projector in it, mounted to the tile.

then use and linear actuator to lower it and raise it. it should just take one. my projector is pretty darn light.

now my problem is how to get a press of a button to lower the actuator,

and with another push of the button raise the actuator.

I could even go real crazy and have a light sensor in there to detect the projector being turned on and lower it accordingly. and maybe even raise it. when the light goes off.


6 years ago

It could move at an angle. That might be easier as it would only require to move half the tile up and down. The projector is not that heavy.

Here is one for 2000. it should not cost anywhere near that. to make one my self.


True, that is probably what I had in mind anyways :-)