Implementing Your Interactive Projector
By Deb Pierson
So- you’re in charge of implementing interactive projectors in your school or office. Need help? Here are some considerations that will hopefully make your implementation smoother for you and your team.
Interactive projectors are by design, sensitive to the projection surface. The finger or pen being used to touch the projection surface is interpreted by the projector in three-dimensional space. The dry erase board or wall being projected on must be “plumb” without variations in order for the best success of using the interactive features. For example, dry erase boards that are bowed or warped in any way tend to cause enough disruption toeither make the interactive features unusable, or frustrating for the instructor. Older buildings with chalk or dry erase boards that have trim of significant depth can also be an issue. Occasionally trim can be cut away, but sometimes it must be removed completely, occasionally causing issues with wall repair prior to implementation being able to move forward. When installing new dry erase boards for projection surfaces, the Pierson team recommends that metal boards such as those provided by Epson, 3M and others are used to prevent moisture or other conditions warping the boards.
In traditional construction, power outlets are located between 12 and 18” off the floor. In many buildings with existing boards, they are located directly below the board. Many facilities do not have the budget to move the power above the board near the projector location. Ideally the power should be moved, but if this is not possible, the Pierson team recommends a 25’ power cable or power extension cable that fits your model of projector, to allow the plug below the board or near the presenter’s station to be used. We use surface raceway to prevent this cable from dangling down the wall, and work with our customer to determine the most attractive means to accomplish this depending on the room configuration.
Connection to Your Device
It would seem that the cables that come with your projector might be sufficient for your needs.
For example, the Epson 695wi projector comes with:
• 15’ power cable
• 5m (16’) USB cable
• 5m (16’) USB extender cable
While you can display both images, project sound and control the projector with the USB cable from supported computer systems, you may want to use other devices for projection of video and sound and therefore have HDMI, 3.5mm, VGA or RCA cables available as well. We recommend that cables be ordered in at least 25’ lengths if the presentation station is in the front of the room. If the presentation station is further away longer cables may be needed.
Cable length needs to account for:
1. Connection to the projector and feeding through the projector mount (2-3’)
2. Extension through the wall or surface raceway to the ceiling (2-4’)
3. Across the ceiling to the location of the presentation station (6-10’)
4. Down the wall in surface raceway to the presentation station location (6’-8’)
A cable length of 25’ will provide for most installations, but not all. In rooms with higher ceilings, these cables may need even more length. Should the ceiling not be accessible, the cable can be run across the wall and then down to the presentation station.
At Pierson, we use high quality surface raceway which is fastened to the wall using mechanical fasteners such as screws, rather than just using the double-sided tape that is often the standard. Our raceway will accommodate multiple cables and has a separate cover that will stay closed over time, not pop open because of insufficient quality on the closure.
A faceplate, such as the one shown to the right, allows for the cables to be installed in a neat fashion and used as needed without dangling. Faceplates come in a variety of colors and configurations depending on the cables you are using and if you want a single or double sized box to be used.