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Electricity supply to projector


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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   David Mullins

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Posted July 24 2011 - 09:42 PM

Hi folks. I just joined the forum and am looking for some advice as I plan my theater. Bear with me, I know very little about home electricity. I will soon be purchasing an Optoma HD20, and will ceiling mount it in my basement. The location I am going to use is probably where I currently have a ceiling fan (the center of the room, of course), about 11 feet from my viewing wall. I plan on removing the ceiling fan. 2 light switches on the wall control the lights (both to the fan and to the 6 pot lights around the room - I am ok with losing the fan lighting, but not the rest of them) and the fan blades. Do you think I can use the wiring to the fan (for the blades) for the projector? or will there be power supply issues? If this is a bad idea, I can probably run an extension cord through the ceiling (I will be running HDMI and VGA cords there anyway). I think I read somewhere that using an extention cord to a projector is a bad idea, but I can certainly invest in a good quality one if that helps. Thanks in advance for your suggestions. DM

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   David Mullins

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Posted July 25 2011 - 08:33 AM

Upon further examination of my room, it turns out the ceiling fan is centered in the room, but my projection wall has doors on either end that are not exactly symmetric from the adjacent wall. In other words, the center of my projection may not necessarily be the center of the room. Therefor, I may mount the projector a little back and to the right of the fan and keep the fan. So, never mind my question about "borrowing" my electricity from the fan, at least for now. However, I still will need to run power to it, I assume from a jack. My question about using an extention cord still stands. Is it OK? Finally, and this is a total newbie question: By moving my projector back a couple of feet, it has really increased my projection size (according to the calculator at projectorcentral.com), almost too big. With an Optoma HD20, do I have to use the projected size, or can you make the screen smaller after it is mounted? Thanks again.

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted July 25 2011 - 08:51 AM

I would not run an extension cord in the ceiling.  I don't think that's ever to code, so I don't know that you'll find anyone who would publicly recommend doing such a thing.


Light electrical work like adding a receptacle to an existing line is relatively simple DIY stuff.  As long as you know it's a circuit that isn't already taxed with a lot of devices that are on concurrently, and it's properly grounded you should be fine.


You definitely don't want the receptacle to be on a switch - immediately cutting the power to a projector is a big no-no.  The bulb needs time to cool and all projectors go through a "cool down" process after you switch it "off" that can last a couple minutes or longer.  That's also the main reason some folks add a UPS for their projector - one that gives the unit just enough time to properly cool down.  Not everyone does this, but if you're in an area prone to sudden power outages, it may be something worth considering.


As for the screen size, are you aware that the projectorcentral calculator has a zoom setting for each projector?  It's the vertical slider on the left side of the application.  For the HD20 it looks like it has a zoom range of 1.00 to 1.2, so that should give you some wiggle room on the screen size for a specific throw distance.


Good luck.


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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   David Mullins

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Posted July 25 2011 - 11:40 AM

Thank you, Jason! I posted a lengthy reply, but I don't see it on the thread yet. Before I type it again, I'll wait a bit to see if it posts. If not, I will re-respond soon.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   David Mullins

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Posted July 25 2011 - 12:06 PM

Well, looks like my initial response has been lost somewhere in the ether, so I'll attempt to type it again. If the first one shows up, sorry for the repeat. I absolutely understand your concern about running extention cords behind closed drywall, but here's my situation: My ceiling down there is a little unique. I have a tray ceiling, where about 7 feet in from the perimeter, the ceiling goes up about 10 inches. The upper level is where I plan to mount the projector. The room adjacent (behind) my wall of projection is unfinished, so I can literally see the space above the first part of the ceiling, before it goes up as the "tray". (I hope I am describing this clearly). My overall plan is actually to have all of my A/V equipment (except for the projector, of course) on fixed shelving in that other room with a paneled cut out to the theater room for the front of the components, covered with screen, of course. So, I can run the power, HDMI, and VGA cables up to the ceiling, through the unfinished visible area, then cut a hole in the drywall into the tray (ugh!), running the wires along the angle of the tray ceiling and eventually to the projector. Of course, I plan to cover those wires once everything is run, but they won't be hidden in the drywall (for good or bad...). As for the zoom option for the screen size calculator, I had not looked at that. Thanks for that advice! As for your advice about having the projector on a "switch" circuit, I hear you loud and clear. I will absolutely avoid that at all costs. Thanks.