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Projection mapping installations are cool. Here’s a DIY method for automating your own…
The sun goes down, the lights come on, and voila, you can make anything happen. But not all projectors have a built-in schedule or RS232 port to deliver a controlled shutdown and give the bulb time to cool off. But, this shouldn’t stop you from making an eye-catching installation. With some simple tools and tricks, you can set up an automated system that will give you control from wherever you are (Wifi required).
Not all projectors support built-in scheduling. Or if they do, they may not support times for individual days of the week. Most do offer “Direct Power” listed as an On/Off function. Direct power means the projector will automatically start up when it receives power. Additionally, most projector’s have an auto power off timer. i.e., After some minutes, the projector will shut down when no sources are detected (HDMI, VGA, S-Video, RCA, etc.). Taking those two factors into account let’s look at how you can use these two built-in functions to automate your installation.
We need a projector and a playback device to drive our content. In this example, I am using MadMapper’s MiniMad, but you can also use a PocketVJ, iOS, Amazon or Android Device, or even a simple media player with pre-mapped content rendered out. Anything that will auto-play when it’s plugged in.
(Note: the most cost-effective way that I’ve found of building a looping media player is a raspberry Pi Zero ($5), using omxplayer command line loop parameters. Here’s the bit of code: @ProjectileObjects.com
We’ll use two AC on/off switches to regulate the powering to both the Projector and Media player.
Here’s video from a dual projector installation using this same tech.
My personal favorite is a 7-day timer that you can get on the internet for about $10. Here’s a two pack ( I like this one because each timer has two 3-prong outlets w/Ground, no unfortunately not, they cannot be individually scheduled.) These can be a little cumbersome to program, but they are solid even if the power drops out for a few days.
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