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DIY Project Ceiling Mount

January 20, 2009

When I first picked up my projector, I just slapped a shelf up on the wall at about the right height and left it at that. Pretty ugly, but worked great.  After we moved into the new house, a shelf wasn’t an option.  Quality mounts run $100 – $300… ouch.  So I ordered a cheap $15 mount from Monoprice while I figured out plan B.

The Monoprice mount worked okay, but:

  1. it was a pain to adjust
  2. shook the projector when people walked around above
  3. sagged so I had to realign it all the time.

Time for that “Plan B”… so I spent some time with my white board, SketchUp, and looking at other mounts to see what they were doing.

Most mounts have only one point of support and articulation, which doesn’t even line up with the projector’s CG (center of gravity).  This means you’ll always have some image shake if there ‘s any up-down movement.  And the alignment system for almost all mounts I saw were of the “Line it up, tighten it down, and hope it doesn’t shift or you’ll have to repeat the guessing game” variety.

I knew I wanted something solid that I could line up nearly pixel-perfect and wouldn’t ever sag, so I went for a “tripod” support scheme. Two turnbuckles at the front for adjustment, and a solid “leg” at the back for the third point (you could make this a turnbuckle as well if you need more adjustment room).  This would give very controlled pitch and roll adjustment for the projector, and since everything is perfectly balanced, there’s nothing to tighten down or sag over time.  The other upside is that it’s a piece of cake to detach the projector; just unscrew the rear coupling nut, and then lift it off the turnbuckle hooks. No second person or tools needed, which means much less chance of dropping your ‘spensive projector in the process.

Anyway, enough talk – here’s what I came up with:

Plan B

Plan B

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My old hardwood + acrylic watercooled PC case

September 19, 2008

My second custom wood case, this one was designed specifically around my watercooling rig at the time.   It was pretty compact, especially considering everything that was packed into it (Dual 120mm radiator, pump, water reservoir, 3 HDDs, full ATX motherboard).  With all that water, 3/4 oak case, and a 1/4 steel plate HDD mounting bracket; it weighed roughly a metric ton…

These photos were taken just before I sold it.  I still kick myself for not taking any good pictures when it was in its prime; the red acrylic sandwiched front & back is UV reactive, as was the dye in the coolant. All the coolant hoses, drive data cables, and decals all glowed a nice, molten red through the cover… it was pretty sweet looking. Hard to describe, but it was very different from other case lighting mods.

Not present in these shots is a  matching cover for the drive bay, which made the drive completely invisible.  Still possibly the cleanest-looking case I’ve ever seen.

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Somebody snapped a corner of the smoked acrylic cover at a Lan party, which you can see above… almost cried over that one.

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