Utah State University - Overhead Projector Controls

Introduction: Utah State University - Overhead Projector Controls

The purpose of this instructable is to instruct the basic walkthrough of a Utah State Overheard Projector control panel.  It is important to understand how these control panels work, as a student or instructor as you may be put into a situation that requires you to use the projector.

If you can use a TV remote control, then you will be able to use the projector controls.  It should take you only seconds to get the projector working, once you have read through these instructions.  Being able to control and fix the projector in your class will make you an invaluable resource.

Please note that the projector control screens vary between classrooms, however all work exactly the same.

Step 1: Check to See If the Projector Is Currently Set to ON.

If the Projector is set to off, push the Projector On button and go to Step 2.  If the projector IS set to on, DO NOT SWITCH IT TO OFF.  Switching it to off and then on again will only cause the projector to cool down completely before starting back up again.  This may take up to 5 minutes.

Step 2: Check to See If the Projector Is Set to PC, Laptop, or Polycom Depending on Which You Are Using.

If using a Laptop go to Step Three.  If you will be using the Polycom (printed document projector) go to Step Four.  If using the PC go to Step Five.

Step 3: Using a Laptop?

If using a Laptop you must first attach your laptop to the connection cord which is almost always attached to the control panel.  If using a Mac you will need the extra connector cable.  (You will have to have brought your own as no classroom has them lying around due to their price.  But you’re probably used to this.)

Step 4: Using the Printed Document Projector?

The Polycom selection controls the use of the printed document projector.  If the classroom you are in has one, it will be located on the same table as the projector control panel.

Using the printed document projector will allow you to project your printed documents on the screen.  Select the Polycom button, not to be mistaken with the ‘Polycom Input Sel’ button.

Step 5: Using the PC?

If using the PC select the PC button.  If the button is already selected, selecting it again, will refresh the system.  It’s advised to do this, to curb issues in future steps.

Step 6: Projector Mute

If the projector is still not on at this point, there is one other option to check.  Make sure the Projector ‘Mute’ button has been switched off.  There are usually two sets of Mute buttons on the control panels.  The one found under the volume control, controls the volume only and is covered in Step Nine. 

The second Mute button may either be set as a single button or two buttons, one listed as ‘Proj Mute On’ and the other ‘Proj Mute Off’.  The projector mute button will not only mute the sounds coming from the selected device but will also shut the projection off while leaving the projector itself on.

Note* This should be the way you shut the projection off each time you are finished using the projector in any classroom at USU.  The Projector will eventually shut itself off after a programmed amount of time of un-use.

Step 7: Projector Really ON?

If the projector is still not projecting onto the screen at this time, check to see if the projector has turned on.  It may sound silly that you would wait till Step Seven to check to see if the projector has actually turned on.  However, in most cases, this is the last step as most of the time it is Step Six that is the actual issue.

If the light on the bottom of the projector is Red, then the projector has shut itself down, probably from non-use.  This would be the only time turning the projector to Off then On again is ever a good idea.  If the light on the bottom of the projector is Green, then the projector is on and may only require another moment to warm up the light bulb inside the projector and start projecting.  If it has been over a minute with still no projection, proceed to Step Eight.

Step 8: Still Not Working? Try Refreshing the System.

If it has been over a minute with still no projection and you have followed all the prior steps, refreshing the system may be required.  Switching between the PC/Laptop/Polycom buttons will force refresh the machine.  

Step 9: Sound Settings

The volume controls are always found on either side of the control panel on the main screen.  Make sure the volume level is at or below the half way line before un-muting the volume.  The mute button located with the volume controls only controls the volume settings and does not control the projection settings.  See Step Six for clarification.

Step 10: Polycom Source Select

The Polycom Source Select selection controls the use of the VHS, DVD, and Aux hookups.  Depending on the control panel, these options may also be found on the main screen.  It is recommended to use the buttons on the Main Screen.

Step 11: DVD Control

Some classrooms may have a DVD player built into the desk which you can use to play DVD’s.  However, as they will also have a computer with a DVD player built in, it is highly recommended to use the computer over the DVD player.

Step 12: VHS Control

Some classrooms may have a DVD/VHS player built into the desk which you can use to play your VHS tapes.  However, as there is also a computer with internet access hooked up, it is suggested that you find your video or clip from your video you wish to show, on YouTube and show that.

Note* If you are showing a clip of something educational that can only be found via VHS tape, the information is probably wrong or no longer valid.  Reconsider your choice. 

Step 13: You're Now an Expert.

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