Author Options:

How to build a wireless switch to control a projector lift and electric projector screen!? Answered

This is for a home theatre  setup. The projector is installed on a motorized lift that hangs in the ceiling. The screen is motorized. They are both 110v AC motors, and they both have seperate up / down leads to control the respective operation.

The screen motor is 110v 0.7 amp and the projector lift is 110v 0.8 amp. The screen takes approx. 20 seconds to lower and has no apparent calibration to stop at any particular point (I would like the controller to be able to have this capability). The lift motor has a 'up' stop and a 'down' stop adjustment that cuts power on its own when it reachs these points so the controller just has to provide power for the length of time it takes the motor to get there which is about 12 seconds.

Both devices have optional add-on hardware to make them infrared controllable but it costs approx $400 each to go that route. My hope is that I can control them with my universal remote along with having a manually controlled switch in case of remote failure.

I want to build this as my first project for contribution to Instructables and the Home Theatre community. Is this do-able for less than $50? Please help.

Thank you all for your help in advance.


Does your remote have X10 support ? I'd go with X10 switches, which might come in at your budget.

Where are you in the world ? That affects the answer !


I am in the USA. I didn't think X10 had anything that could do what I need. Does X10 have a power controller that can be programmed to accept a single ir command and then operate a AC 110v motor for a specified amount of time of lets say, precisely 22seconds? Thanks for the response. P.s. Extra details: The screen is a Elite Screen and the lift is made by Draper. There is currently a manual control (three position switch supplying the hot lead to the up and down sends) connected to each motor.

I'd still say X10, but I'd have to add limit switches to the screen - it seems pretty dumb to me for it NOT to have been supplied with limitswitches - I wonder how many have been damaged by them not being fitted !

Also.... How would you add limit switches to a tubular motor that does not already have them? If I can do this then it would eleminate the timing portion of this mess.

Reflective IR is one way, there are mechanical limit switches that can do it, if you have a decent workshop.... Steve

I've worked out a scheme that will work for your problem - if you can attach a little unit on the end of the roller.

Hi, Either PM me some pictures or post them here, and I'll help you work SOMEthing out !

Does the screen have a black border round it ? I'm thinking of an interlock with a reflective IR switch on the corners, one at the top, one at the bottom.

I'd arrange a single X10 in latching mode for the up down - press it once, it goes up, hits the limit, and stops. Press it again, it goes down until it hits the limit.


I just went completely through the x10, Xantech and INSTEON sites and cannot locate anything that can accomplish this task in a simple fashion. First, in order to control the devices properly I would have to use at least two (I'll use X10 terminology) appliance modules to control each the up and down lines respectively, plus the transeiver module and a ir to X10 converter box. All those devices in operation still gives no calibrated control to screen position. This would require programming some kind of 'off' time for the same sppliance module. That programming would mean either setting a macro in the remote to delay a determined amount of time and then to send the stop, but this macro would complete if the user executes some other task. So that is out. The other option would be to use some sort of X10 style timer, but the only non-PC controlled device doesn't appear to do on/off intervals of less than 1 minute or am I wrong? The only other aspect that draws ,e away from the X10 appliance modules is the fact of having to use 4 of them to accomplish this. Even though the equipment cabinet is closed and people will not typically see the mess, it will still be a cabling mess with this scenario. I still think the option of building a small controller with timing capabilities (maybe with a 555 timer) would be cheapest, cleanest, and easiest. Yes?