DIY Gray Screen - AVS Forum
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DIY Screen Section > DIY Gray Screen
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:21 PM 02-19-2012
Just bought an Epson 8100 and wanting to replace my WA DW screen with a gain of 1.2.

I am wanting to improve black and enhance color depth and details. There are many DIY options out there, but I chose neutral gray for a few reasons.

1) Room conditions: I have a dedicated room, with dark colors, and total light control so i don't ready need the ambient light enhancement of other diy paint mixes.

2) Cost: I like do things on a limited budget, and if I screwed up it won't be such a heartbreak to discard and start over.

3) Simplicity: What's easier then buying a can of paint and roll?

So let's start.......


Materials

4x8 6mm white Komatex $44
1 quart of Sherwin Williams unique gray paint $20
2 Purdy white dove 1/4" roller $12
2 tray liner $2
4 yards of syfrabrics triple black velvet $33 (purchased from forum member)
2 12ft pine baseboard moulding for screen borders $33

net cost ~$145

smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:24 PM 02-19-2012
Komatex sheet cut to size and painted. Cut with brand new utility knife. Scored about 8-10 times with straight edge and snapped easily. Used 3M 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the cut edges.






smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:26 PM 02-19-2012
while waiting for paints to dry overnight. i worked on the screen borders. MM put together an exceptional tutorial on this. i really like the end results. needed to purchase a stapler from amazon for about $12.









smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:27 PM 02-19-2012
border trims attached and hanged on wall frame.






smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:28 PM 02-19-2012
a few shots of screen with room lights off and back lighting.








smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:29 PM 02-19-2012
and finally some shots of the screen in action. sorry, my point and shoot camera is not very good and i have absolutely zero skills with picture taking.









smokarz's Avatar smokarz 01:33 PM 02-19-2012
and there you have. a few days worth of work and a very decent screen for about $150. btw, screen size is 48x81 (88" diag).

the screen is definitely a touch darker than the the WA DW, but for my viewing habits (mostly blu-ray movies), i think it fits the bill quite well.

when i have a chance i am going to calibrate the pj and put up the left over piece of white Sintra (which have similar characteristics as the WA DW) for comparisons.

in the meantime i am going to enjoy a few movies and learn how to take better pictures with my Sony P&S camera as these pictures do not do justice to either the screen or the projector.
miahallen's Avatar miahallen 02:34 AM 02-22-2012
Looks fanatastic....but I'm most jealous of your speakers
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 06:37 AM 02-22-2012
thanks. i am quite proud of all them speakers. built them all myself, quite a bit of labor.
pb_maxxx's Avatar pb_maxxx 07:43 AM 02-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

thanks. i am quite proud of all them speakers. built them all myself, quite a bit of labor.

what subwoofers did you use. are they active or passive. what crossover and/or amp did you use?
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 08:08 AM 02-22-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

what subwoofers did you use. are they active or passive. what crossover and/or amp did you use?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

what subwoofers did you use. are they active or passive. what crossover and/or amp did you use?

they used the MFW-15" drivers.

3cf sealed boxes.

driven by an EP2500 power amp

crossed to my speakers at 90hz

build thread here.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1334025
MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 11:58 AM 02-22-2012
Gotta Love those Euro Powers !
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 12:05 PM 02-22-2012
them euros give you the best bang for the bucks.
dheflin83's Avatar dheflin83 09:38 PM 02-23-2012
Are those Econowave speakers? which version?
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 10:16 PM 02-23-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dheflin83 View Post

Are those Econowave speakers? which version?

this is a screen thread and yet people keep asking about speakers.

perhaps i should stick with building speakers.

those are CS-1 speakers from Bob Crites. Klipch Heresy clones.
Favelle's Avatar Favelle 11:45 PM 02-23-2012
Nice work man! Well done!
dheflin83's Avatar dheflin83 06:22 AM 02-24-2012
what kind of internal wiring do you use in your speakers? (jk)
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 07:20 AM 02-24-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dheflin83 View Post

what kind of internal wiring do you use in your speakers? (jk)

i used 16awg. no need for anything bigger.


smokarz's Avatar smokarz 10:03 PM 02-24-2012
some more action shots of the screen, so we can take some attention off of the speakers.











miahallen's Avatar miahallen 01:48 AM 02-25-2012
Did you use 7 or 11 ply Baltic Birch for those boxes (I'm kidding)

The screen looks great!
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 06:18 AM 02-25-2012
13 ply BB.
MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 10:11 AM 02-28-2012
You Sir, are not getting enough gain out of the Gray surface to allow the Camera to collect a decent amount of light. . Or....you are using too much Zoom and therein attenuating the light at the camera's iris..

Try stepping back to about 14', and using only enough Zoom (25% at most)to start. If it's still dim, then bump up the ISO setting to High (600-800) and still use the Zoom just a bit. Your first shots seem to have been done in that manner. When you take shots in complete darkness, distance and then Zooming is a must...but since you started out with a sub 1.0 Gain Gray, that would need to be accommodated for a bit more than with the Higher Gain applications.

In the end, some tinkering and experimentation should lead you to a point where what you see over the Top of the Camera should be represented in the Preview window...or at least in your PC's display.

There should never be an instance where someone has to post such dull shots. Especially when the clarity behind the dullness seems to be exceptionally good.
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 10:36 AM 02-28-2012
hey MM, thanks for the tips.

i am no good with a camera.

i'll try the 'night' mode next. it seems that many have pretty nice shots using night mode on their P&S cameras.
MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 01:07 PM 02-28-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

hey MM, thanks for the tips.

i am no good with a camera.

i'll try the 'night' mode next. it seems that many have pretty nice shots using night mode on their P&S cameras.

Awww....just try Full Auto and the suggestions I made first. Night Mode will probably wind up washing out the center of the image.
Now I may be making that judgment based on my more normal experience with positive gain'ed Screens, but really though, one thing you don't want to do is"Automatically" increase the aperture and exposure times via a special program. Will it work? It might. Chances for success? Not so much.

Straight up, the images we post must represent exactly what we can confirm that we see ourselves. While there may be variables...it the image provided is even close...it serves as a valid conformation of performance.
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 09:14 PM 02-28-2012
a few more shots. i think i am going to take a break from picture taking and actually go see some movies.

















MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 11:15 PM 02-28-2012
Nothing shabby about those gems. Almost too bright.

Did you use Auto w/High ISO and Zoom Framing together? "BIG" difference...but to show best Contrast, you need to find your Camera's best Focal length where employment of the Zoom frames the image, and only attenuates the incoming light by a small percentage.

Now get the PJ calibrated to that Gray shade, and see how deep your Black Levels can go without your losing too much of the rest of the image dynamics. Most likely, in Cinema 1 and Low lamp, you'll be at the lowest end of your lumen output. That should show you if you can employ that level of adjustment, or if and when reasonable limits on visual trade-offs occur.
pb_maxxx's Avatar pb_maxxx 01:33 AM 02-29-2012
yes, better than the rio pics.
just a bit over saturated on the reds thoughout though.
kong pics lack depth.
panda pics lack black levels.
like the rango pics.
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 07:44 AM 02-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post

Nothing shabby about those gems. Almost too bright.

Did you use Auto w/High ISO and Zoom Framing together? "BIG" difference...but to show best Contrast, you need to find your Camera's best Focal length where employment of the Zoom frames the image, and only attenuates the incoming light by a small percentage.

Now get the PJ calibrated to that Gray shade, and see how deep your Black Levels can go without your losing too much of the rest of the image dynamics. Most likely, in Cinema 1 and Low lamp, you'll be at the lowest end of your lumen output. That should show you if you can employ that level of adjustment, or if and when reasonable limits on visual trade-offs occur.

Those pics were taken with the Camera in 'Twiglight' mode.

It was late, I was tired and lazy. So decided to put it in night mode and call it a day.

Once I have my PJ properly calibrated to the screen, I will have to try your camera suggestions.
smokarz's Avatar smokarz 07:48 AM 02-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb_maxxx View Post

yes, better than the rio pics.
just a bit over saturated on the reds thoughout though.
kong pics lack depth.
panda pics lack black levels.
like the rango pics.

i agreed the red was oversaturated. in these pics, i applied another member's calibration digits and immediately realized that it has a bit too much of red/purple'ish push to it.

i am waiting on the updated HCFR program and will be purchasing an i1 colorimter to really set up the pj/screen properly.
MississippiMan's Avatar MississippiMan 07:50 AM 02-29-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

Those pics were taken with the Camera in 'Twiglight' mode.

It was late, I was tired and lazy. So decided to put it in night mode and call it a day.

Once I have my PJ properly calibrated to the screen, I will have to try your camera suggestions.


That explains why they look almost "Back Lit" in intensity.

Looking forward to seeing more....good work there, Bub!
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