As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve decided to take the plunge to buy a projector for use in projecting my RPG maps onto the game table from my laptop. I was planning to use Sean Pecor’s design for the rig to hold the projector above the table, but then I thought about a word that my bowling buddy (who works with projectors and other video equipment for a living) used when I described the setup to him:
Could it really be that simple? Could I really just build a tripod to suspend the projector above the game table, rather than building a massive cube?
Well, given that a tripod would be cheap, simple and highly portable, I think it’s at least worth a shot.
I began by doing some sketching of what a tripod for this setup might look like, then swung by the hardware store on my lunch break. I picked up two eight-foot long pine boards (1.5 inches wide, 3/4″ thick), some small hinges and some screw eyes. I already have some scrap plywood at home. The general idea is that there will be some type of triangular platform at the top with a hole in it that the projector will point downward through (along with something to hold the projector in place). Attached to each side of the triangle will be a hinge with a wooden leg attached. Each leg will have a screw eye on it (not too far down from the platform), and some leather rope will connect the three screw eyes together to hold the tripod up properly. There will be some adjustable feet on the bottom of the legs, preferably rubber-tipped. The whole thing will sit on some type of battle mat (I like Sean’s idea of a dry-erase surface).
What am I missing? Will the legs get in the players’ way? Will it be too unsteady? What is the drawback to the cheap, light, portable tripod approach? I plan to build a quick and dirty version to test it out. If it works, I’ll build a nice one.