Garage door opener used to automatically lower a game table top

[Lou] is at it again, and this time he wrote in to let us know about his automated ping pong table topper. With no good spot to stash an entire extra table [Lou] decided to take a two in one game table approach and fit the top of the ping pong table to his pool table. A ping pong table top is no small thing though and it turns out the best (or maybe coolest) place to store it is above the ceiling! At the flip of a switch a garage door opener pulls away a section of ceiling tiles and a winch motor lowers the table top into place with two cables.

The system works very smoothly using some pretty easy to find parts. [Lou's] instructional video (embedded after the break) shows the system in action and explains the concepts behind the automation. We aren’t sure how the winch stops lowering the table, but the ceiling section uses a light switch and spring combo as its limit switch. The only thing really missing is the flashing red light, industrial klaxon, and fog machine needed to compliment the screeching nightmare-howl of that winch motor.

Comments

  1. doxin says:

    where’s the video?

  2. Juun says:
  3. Mac says:

    This guy’s man cave is… AWESOME!

  4. diredesire says:

    And with the push of a button, it returns whence from winch it came.

  5. Vinnie Vu says:

    I hope you can remove the cable when you do play ping pong. I’d hate to have the ball hit the line all the time :-)

  6. Mysterio says:

    In the video he says this was at his old house, and although he still has the parts it’s not hooked up anywhere anymore. Still a neat project, just kinda ironic that it’s in pieces now.

  7. howToLou says:

    I hated leaving my old house, but I didn’t want to leave the liability of a 700 pound winch with the new owner. I plan to install it at the new house someday when my wife is away for a week. :) She does not want me to tear up our totally finished game room.

    I left the cables attached. There were only two, right at the net, and they did not get hit very often. We just had a redo rule.

  8. Chris C. says:

    Love it! Lowering a table from cables running through holes in the ceiling would have been cool enough. Or even just spring tensioners attached to the ceiling, which I’ve done with my largest aquarium hood. But retracting the whole darn ceiling? Pure awesome.

    Though speaking practically, I wonder if building such a thing penetrating from the ceiling to the attic, might cause some hard to solve airflow/insulation issues.

    • n0lkk says:

      To me the finish ceiling appeared to be a suspended ceiling, and only a portion of it retracted In a basement, ground, or upper floors Sounded like the hardware would be hung from ceiling or floor joists,their should be any air flow issues.

  9. Hirudinea says:

    This would be a hell of a way to serve Thanksgiving dinner!

  10. addidis says:

    I really love this build. The lighting makes it I think. A few things for Lou incase he does it again:

    Insulate the wire used, firstly to make it not tear up the pipe it winds onto, secondly make it black for viability. Usually beers and mancaves go hand in hand and I could see running into the wires. Covering them will reduce the chances of them not being seen and lessen the injury when they are run into.

    Second, stick the winch motor in a sound proofing box. I kinda cringed a bit when it kicked on.

    Awesome build though, I love stuff like this.

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