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Author Topic: Problems erecting large projection screen  (Read 937 times)

Joe Mirabile

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Problems erecting large projection screen
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:21:29 am »

A civic organization has a 150" diagonal manual projection screen (140" case length) which they would like to erect wherever and whenever needed. I did not find a stand specifically made for such a large pull-down screen, so I bought (2) Odyssey LTP2 stage lighting tripods. I picked them for their heavy duty construction and ability to go up 12' (so the bottom of the screen is 5' above the floor).

My intention was to hang each of the two ends of the screen to a tripod. I removed the top cross pieces and cut them to one foot long and have them pointing forward with an eye bolt near the front, to which I can hang the carabiners on the ends of the screen. This works fine when tested on the floor.

My problem is being able to put the screen up. I tried laying the whole assembly on the floor and standing it up with two people gradually erecting it from bottom to top. The problem there is the legs get in the way. They each come out 2'. I am also concerned about the stress I am putting on the legs. The other problem is even if we are 6' tall, it might not be enough to get it up all the way (not sure about that). We can't use ladders because they only have one.

Next idea was to keep the legs folded until it's upright. Then we don't have a way to open them. The assembly is too heavy to lift from the floor and keep upright to pull the legs out.

Next idea was to stand the two tripods up and try to carry the screen to the top to hook it. Again, there is only one ladder, so I had a person hold one end on his shoulder while standing on the floor, while I hooked one end, then he handed me the other and I hooked it. When I did this, I had to keep the top section of the tripod collapsed so I could reach the top and be able to lift the screen that high. Then I could not raise the top section because it was too heavy to raise and tighten at the same time. So we left the screen lower on the stand than desired; only a few feet above the floor instead of five. The event was about to begin.

I am wondering what the pros would do in this situation. Is there some kind of jig I can make to make this easy enough for a max of two people and one 10' ladder? Sorry for the long-winded story but I thought the context was necessary.

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Erik Jerde

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2018, 09:39:18 am »

Pros use fast food screens designed for temporary event work not install screens.

If you want to continue down the path you’re on my gut says you need something to bridge across the tripods.  Hanging the screen as you’re describing seems likely to tip the stands in towards the middle unless you’ve got significant ballast on the tripod bases holding them in place.

Before continuing down this path seriously assess if you’ve got adequate liability insurance to protect yourself should this assembly crash to the ground and injure someone.
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Brian Larson

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2018, 10:13:34 am »

Look into screens designed for temporary use by DaLite, Stumpfl, Draper etc. These are designed for the type of use you described and don’t require a ladder to get setup but are not cheap.


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Scott Hofmann

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 10:57:58 am »

In addition to the previous comments, the tripod stands you've purchased are really inexpensive and not up to the task.
If you can't get the group to invest in a proper portable screen system, I would at least investigate crank-up tripod stands so you could attach the screen to them while standing on the ground and then crank the two masts up simultaneously.
Still a danger in things tipping over.
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Scott Hofmann

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2018, 12:17:32 pm »

Once you have the tipping issue solved, you could attach a couple of pulleys to the tripods and pull up the screen with some rope.
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Joe Mirabile

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2018, 08:42:02 pm »

Thanks for the replies. I contemplated bridging across the tripods with a crossbar at the top but decided it is not needed because the screen itself is rigid steel. It's a pull-down screen inside a cylindrical case. I don't see any way the tripods could tip toward the middle with the screen spanning the space. Tipping toward the front, yes, that could happen, crashing into the audience. But each leg comes out 2' (they are not out all the way in stock photos). I pointed one of the legs toward the audience and the other two against the back wall. These stands are sturdy even though they were inexpensive. They are each rated for 80 lbs, and the screen is only 36. Maybe for constant use by pros they would not hold up (pun intended), but they will only be used twice per year here.

Buying a new screen is not an option. The crank-up tripod and the pulley suggestions sound interesting. I will investigate. Thanks for your insights.

PS  I have notifications turned on for this topic but did not receive any emails. I did not know there were replies sitting here.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2018, 04:48:15 am »

Thanks for the replies. I contemplated bridging across the tripods with a crossbar at the top but decided it is not needed because the screen itself is rigid steel. It's a pull-down screen inside a cylindrical case. I don't see any way the tripods could tip toward the middle with the screen spanning the space. Tipping toward the front, yes, that could happen, crashing into the audience. But each leg comes out 2' (they are not out all the way in stock photos). I pointed one of the legs toward the audience and the other two against the back wall. These stands are sturdy even though they were inexpensive. They are each rated for 80 lbs, and the screen is only 36. Maybe for constant use by pros they would not hold up (pun intended), but they will only be used twice per year here.

Buying a new screen is not an option. The crank-up tripod and the pulley suggestions sound interesting. I will investigate. Thanks for your insights.

PS  I have notifications turned on for this topic but did not receive any emails. I did not know there were replies sitting here.
If you only need it twice a year rent a proper fast fold.  This contraption will never make you happy and can't be aesthetically pleasing.

If it was not a busy day I would rent you a nice fast fold and dress kit.  I can put one up myself and I am a broken down old fat guy.

My other guess is that you are trying to use a consumer or confrence room grade projector.

You can't imagine how pretty a nice 6500 lumen projector looks on a screen that size.

Just to give,you idea I have a 120" Stewart screen in my home theater and run a 3000 lumen JVC ilda projector.

Guests pay more attention to good production.

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Joe Mirabile

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2018, 08:57:16 am »

If you only need it twice a year rent a proper fast fold.  This contraption will never make you happy and can't be aesthetically pleasing.

If it was not a busy day I would rent you a nice fast fold and dress kit.  I can put one up myself and I am a broken down old fat guy.

My other guess is that you are trying to use a consumer or confrence room grade projector.

You can't imagine how pretty a nice 6500 lumen projector looks on a screen that size.

Just to give,you idea I have a 120" Stewart screen in my home theater and run a 3000 lumen JVC ilda projector.

Guests pay more attention to good production.


I dunno, the guests always marvel at this screen and projector. It's a 150-inch Dalite screen and a JVC DLA-HD1. We have been using it for Superbowl for several years, hanging the screen from permanent brackets at one end of a ballroom. The reason for the new stands is they want to be able to set this up anywhere.

Maybe I didn't make it clear that there is no money to spend. We already have the screen and projector and I eeked out buying the two stands for a gala they had last week. Renting or replacing things is out. Also, the aesthetics of the "contraption" last week were exceptional. You can hardly even see the tripods. The extra couple of feet off the floor was only an issue for me, thinking about the future.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2018, 09:09:48 am »

They are each rated for 80 lbs, and the screen is only 36.

Just as an aside, simply staying within a given product’s Safe Working Load doesn’t automatically make it safe.  Tipping due to a lateral force is far more likely than driving the stand to mechanical failure due to overloading.  What you’re essentially doing here is making a sail between two light-duty tripods.  When you distribute even a trivial force over such a large area it’s quite easy to make things tip over.  A 2ft outrigger is nothing.  Even for indoor use you should be using substantial ballast.  If by “set this up anywhere” you mean outdoors, I think you have a major liability on your hands.  Good luck!
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Joe Mirabile

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Re: Problems erecting large projection screen
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2018, 09:46:42 am »

No, it will never be outdoors. I was referring to the ballrooms that split up into sections, which by my count gives 15 possible locations for the screen including walls and corners.

Even though I am not in the business, I am mechanically inclined and have always had a good feel for balance. I don't understand what you are envisioning WRT tipping. In what direction? There is bracing in all directions. Or do you mean the legs could actually break?
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