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New and improved video projector for my super cheap, but great planetarium

If you've followed this blog for the past several years, you may remember that I have a planetarium where I teach. It was built in 1987, from equipment made in 1961. In 87, that made sense. There were no big developments in projection, so an old, quirky Spitz Nova III with a massive Spitz A3P console and soundboard (I have no idea why. I think Spitz just wanted to get rid of it) worked fine. Fast forward to the 21st Century, and we have kids that are no longer impressed with little white dots on the ceiling, and all of the production companies went digital. In 1998, when I took over, the amount of work that went into maintaining the equipment, creating, setting up, and putting on a show, was daunting.

     Over the years, I became a pretty good engineer, rigger, welder, and scavenger. But, the kids were no longer impressed, and if you're a teacher, you know that there has to be some level of entertainment. The cost of cool, however, was too much. I looked for options, and I found one. An LCD projector bouncing off a $25 curved security mirror. The results were a little underwhelming, but acceptable. Using Stellarium, and Celestia brought astronomy back to life in an old, obsolete planetarium.

     I was okay with what I had, but a VGA projector does an okay job, but the new 4K, and soon 8K projectors will certainly rock the house. For now, I will settle with my new HD NEC

All of the following images are cellphone captures

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