Controlling both a projector and a screen with a Raspberry Pi


Earlier this year the co-working space we are located in (DIGS) mounted a projector in the ceiling. At the same time they also got a motorized projection screen. This introduced some unforeseen challenges.

How do we turn the projector on/off? We don’t have any remote! And it’s mounted to high to reach… And is it possible to automate the projector screen?

controlling-both-a-projector-and-a-screen-with-a-raspberry-pi

This room was the same week fully booked with events every night. So there was no time to order any remote, and we needed a solution asap.  Since this is a “public” event room, it’s highly desired with something that is easy to use, and works every time. It’s also highly appreciated to minimize the number of remotes.

KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid

From earlier experiences I know that many projectors have the option to be controlled over RS-232. But the drawback with RS-232 is that you need to make some kind of long RS-232 cable (not impossible, but…) and an interface in the other end. It could work, but it’s not as simple as I wanted.

The projector has among all the different connectors an Ethernet port, and a brief look in the manual confirmed that it is possible to control it over Ethernet.

As always, a Raspberry Pi were casually laying on one of my desks, and the following sketch where made:

controlling-both-a-projector-and-a-screen-with-a-raspberry-pi1

Since I’m not that familiar with Python, I saw a great opportunity to get some more experience with it. Before I started making the hardware, I wanted to make sure I could control the projector over Ethernet. To control the projector you can send it a properly formatted TCP or UDP packet. Google and a good friend of me helped out with the projector communication.

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