Archive for the ‘Kid’s Church Construction Projects’ Category

In one of my previous posts, I went through the process of building a DIY projector screen.  I’m going through the process again.  I’m adding a second projector to the right hand side of our kid’s church room.

I’m planning to have it so it can show the same video as the main projector or have an independent image.  During worship and bumper-type videos, the images will be the same on both.  But during games, I’ll have ScoreKeep (from Digital Stache) up on one screen and whatever video is needed on the other.  Probably something like a Minute to Win It timer or something.

I’ll update this post with the progress in the next few weeks.

I’m considering using this VGA Matrix switcher to control which video goes to which monitor.  I’m not sure how well it will work, but for the price, it is hard to go wrong.


Update as of 07/25/13:  I haven’t had a lot of time to post lately because of VBS.  But we did get this solution in place.  Now we have two projectors/screens.  We use the Matrix VGA switcher from Monoprice.  Here’s a couple of pictures:

This picture shows the screens with the projectors off


This image shows the screens with the projectors on.  Both projectors are throwing the same image.  Notice the difference in image quality.  Even though they are pretty much the same projector, the newness of one is a big jump over the other.   We played with the brightness and whiteness quite a bit, but weren’t able to get it any closer.  I guess that’s one downside to using cheap projectors.


Unless there’s a lot of white in the background, they looks pretty much identical.



This image shows the front of the Matrix switcher.  The left button contols the left projector.  The right button the right projector.  You press the button to select source 1, source 2, or nothing.



This image shows the back of the VGA Matrix switcher.  There are two sources (both computers) and two outputs (both projectors).



The only issue we’ve seen is that the Matrix switcher isn’t an instant switch.  It takes a bit for the image to change.  This caused two issues.  One the projector would think the image dropped and display its logo.  To fix this, we changed the projector settings to only display a black screen and not the logo.  The second issue was that during the change, the projector would begin searching for a signal.  Again, we simply turned this off in the projector settings.  No big deal.

Soon I want to make a quick video showing how everything works.



Earlier this year, my wife took over as Children’s Pastor at our church.  I handle the technical side of the ministry for her.

We had a few challenges before us.  The equipment had been purchased 8 to 10 years earlier.  The lamp was pretty much dead on the projector.  We could only see the images on the screen by turning off the light.  And the screen itself was just painted on the wall.  We had decided to flip the room around so now we didn’t even have the painted area to project on.  So we had put paper on the wall.

We ended up purchasing a Benq MS500 from B&H Photo Video for $249.  It is a 2500 Lumen projector.  That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it works fine for the size room we have.  Even with the lights on Full, the screen is bright and colorful.  We actually loved the projector so much, we replaced our sanctuary projectors with the XGA models of the same projector.  I think we paid about $330 or so for those.  That was less than the price of new lamps for our older “high-end” projectors.

So at this point, we had a new projector, but we needed somewhere to project the image.  After reading numerous posts online, I decided to make my own screen.  Here’s one of the posts I looked at:

I bought 1″ x 4″ boards.  Cut them to size.   And used my Kreg jig to make pocked holes together.  You don’t have to do it this way.  Most of the people I saw online just used metal brackets.


I used the Epson Distance Calculator, to get my exact sizes for the screen itself.

The calculator does much more than just calculating the size of a scree, but thats what I used it for.  Just be sure to select your correct apect ration (4:3 or 16:9 or 16:10) based on the native resolution of your projector.  We are using 4:3 becuase that’s the cheapest projector we could purchase at the time.

Once you get the frame put together, the next step is to cover it with a cloth that will reflect the image.  We used “blackout cloth”.  It is the thick fabric that you put over windows to block out the sunlihgt.  We bought it from Joann’s Fabric.  Look around for a coupon.  I think we had a 40% off coupon when we went.


We just used a stapler to attach the fabric to the frame.

At this point we added a second frame around the screen.  We covered the second frame in black cloth (I think it was like sweatshirt type material).

We used metal brackets to hold the frames together.  We then used Metal French Cleats from home Depot to attach the screen to the wall.  But it can easily be removed.   We actually took it down and moved it to our sanctuary for VBS this summer.

The above image is where it is currently sitting.  You can see part of the logo on the wall next to it.

Over all, I think we paid about $300 for a new projector and screen.  It is a night and day difference.