How to Stop the Shaking of a Mounted Projector
By John Machay
When it comes to commandeering a client’s attention, there are few things more effective than a multimedia presentation – unless, of course, your multimedia projector is showing a jittery image. Vibration issues are just as common among multimedia projectors as they are unavoidable. In most cases, they’re caused by the vibrations of the structures they’re attached to – which are nearly undetectable until they’re projected on a big screen. To cash in on the widespread problem, a number of companies manufacture various accessories like vibration isolating ceiling plates, spring-loaded ceiling mounts, rubber bracket buffers and pads made from foam rubber, silicone and cork. But before sinking more of your department’s budget into your presentation setup, there are a few quick fixes you can try to take the jitters out of your next presentation.
Place a stepladder or ladder on a smooth, flat area of the floor beneath your mounted projector. Climb high enough so your line of sight is parallel with the projector.
Place one hand underneath the mounted projector and gently attempt to move it from left to right, and then up and down. If you’re able to move it, it likely needs to be more tightly secured to the mounting bracket. Remember, even the slightest instability could translate to a lot of onscreen movement.
Tighten the projector’s mounting apparatus screws or bolts with a Phillips screwdriver or ratchet wrench, depending on your projector’s model.
Install Shock Absorbers
Obtain padding material to cushion the connections between the ceiling mount and the projector. While there are several different types of vibration-absorbing accessories made specifically for this purpose, other suitable items include thick, rubber washers or the foam discs used as ammunition in some children’s toy guns.
Detach the projector’s power and audio cables.
Partially unscrew the screws or bolts that secure the projector to the mount’s lower bracket with a Phillips screwdriver or a ratchet wrench, depending on the model you own. Leave just enough space between the projector and the lower bracket to fit the tip of your index finger.
Remove one screw or bolt. Slide a rubber washer or foam disc into the area between the projector and lower bracket, lining it up with the hole in the bracket.
Slip a rubber washer or foam disc over the screw or bolt and slide it up the length of the metal until it's flush with the head. Re-insert the screw or bolt into the hole through the top of the bracket. It should pass through the hole in the bracket, through the shock absorbent ring and into the projector. Hand-tighten the screw or bolt to the same depth as you did the others.
Repeat Step 5 for each additional screw or bolt.
Fully secure the projector to the bracket by fully tightening all the screws or bolts.
Determine whether an outside source is causing the projector to shake. For example, if the image gets jittery whenever the air conditioner turns on, the projector is likely mounted too close to your office's central air conditioning unit. If it wobbles whenever there's a loud noise in the video that's being shown, the projector is probably mounted too close to the sound system's sub woofer.
Disconnect the projector from the lower mounting bracket with a Phillips screwdriver or ratchet wrench. Remove the mounting hardware from the ceiling.
Locate a new location for the projector, as far away from the source of the vibration as possible. Re-install the mounting hardware to the ceiling and re-attach the projector to the lower mounting bracket.
Items you will need
Phillips screwdriver or ratchet wrench
Small, vibration-absorbent padding
If your projector is exceptionally shaky, use two or three vibration absorbers on each side of the lower bracket.
To reduce the risk of accidentally dropping your projector when installing shock absorbers, don’t fully remove all the screws or bolts at once.
Never touch your projector immediately after using it; allow it time to cool first.
If you relocate your mounted projector, follow the mounting hardware manufacturer's instructions for re-attaching it to the ceiling. An improperly mounted projector could fall and cause serious injury.
John Machay began writing professionally in 1984. Since then, his work has surfaced in the "West Valley View," "The Sean Hannity Show," "Scam Dunk" and in his own book, "Knuckleheads In the News." His efforts have earned him the Ottoway News Award and Billboard magazine honors for five straight years. Machay studied creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago.