DIY Spandex screen - How to mount? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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So I'm nearly set to build a 2.35:1 120" Spandex screen, to be used with a BenQ w1070. But I'm not sure how to mount/stand it up. Here's a flew special snowflake details...

We're only planning to stay in this house for 4 to 5 years, so I don't want to incur the expense of finishing the basement. I also don't want to half-ass any permanent framing just for this project that might affect resale down the road. So I'm thinking of placing this screen about 18" away from the concrete block basement wall, but I'm unsure how to stand it up vertically. I've considered hanging it from the ceiling, or building legs to the frame. It seems like that route would be cheaper/easier than framing up a 2x4 false wall that I'd have to tear down later on.

Speakers will be placed behind the screen, which is why I don't just mount to the existing wall. Maybe just moving speakers outside the screen would be easiest? Certainly not my dream setup though.

Any thoughts/ideas? Hopefully the description was clear enough. Thanks for the help!

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post #2 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 10:07 AM
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I hang my screen from the ceiling. I have been pretty happy with that. My room dictates that my screen is higher than optimum, so the top edge is within 4-6" of the ceiling. Paint the hangers flat black and they will not be too noticeable during playback.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 01:01 PM
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I have my 110" 16x9 spandex screen (frame made from 2x3 lumber) hanging from three eye hooks (screwed to the frame) and three lag screw hooks (in the ceiling joists). Hangs perfectly straight and I can swing it up to reach the back wall.

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post #4 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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NJPete, I was thinking about the eye hooks screwed into the frames, but couldnt think of a way to do it without screwing through the Spandex that is stretched around the frame. Do you have pic you can share?

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 07:09 PM
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Heat up a paper clip with a match to melt a hole through the spandex and seal the edges. Works great!

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post #6 of 12 Old 01-23-2014, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseyparsons View Post

NJPete, I was thinking about the eye hooks screwed into the frames, but couldnt think of a way to do it without screwing through the Spandex that is stretched around the frame. Do you have pic you can share?

Here's my thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1495911/new-spandex-at-screen-now-with-pics

The last pic shows the hooks. This was before I trimmed the excess fabric. Since the fabric on my screen is mounted to the front of the frame, I didn't need to put the screws through the fabric.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 11:19 AM
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Hello all,

 

I've just recently joined the forums and am pleased to see that others have caught on to the Spandex screen idea.  I got the idea to do this about 6 or 7 years ago and could find nothing online at the time to find help so I just went ahead. I'm a bit confused though about what people are referring to when they say "silver spandex". My wife used to work at a fabric store and I'm an amateur photographer and astronomy afficionado, so I had a pretty good sense of what I wanted to achieve. Acoustic transparency being secondary only to gain and contrast.

 

The material I used is referred to as Silver Lame', which is spandex with small metallic flakes adhered or woven in. Not all is created equal. The material my wife found had rather large square flakes on a black lycra that when stretched just enough to be taught, forms a mirror like surface. I then used the tightest weave of white silk available. The outcome was near perfect acoustic transparency and extremely high gain (I have no idea how to measure this). The gain is so high, that I had to darken all the walls and ceiling to keep reflected light from lowering contrast. This would never work if ambient light is an issue, so my basement man cave was perfect after I was done with the black paint and dark stains! :)  Also, because the top layer acts as a scrim, diffusing light both ways, (direct and reflected), the top layer is as important as the lame'. It must be ultra thin and flat or will soften the image from light reflected off axis (much like if you separate the two layers). My screen has always performed like a huge CRT. There is literally no light fall off for even extreme angle viewing.

 

But, given that I've been using this for seven years, I'd caution anyone building one from using permanent methods to secure the material to your frame. One dirty finger print can be as annoying as 100 dead pixels on an LED!  Make it removable for washing or easy replacement. Trying to spot clean is also difficult, because it often leaves moister marks and dust will eventually build up and grey the material. Believe it or not, duck tape worked fine for me! ;) 

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post #8 of 12 Old 02-28-2014, 01:24 PM
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Sounds intriguing...got any pics you can post?!
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-01-2014, 06:46 AM
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I didn't take any pictures during construction. I'll try and take a few to later this weekend to show how it looks.

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post #10 of 12 Old 03-05-2014, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renstar View Post

I didn't take any pictures during construction. I'll try and take a few to later this weekend to show how it looks.


Did you get a chance to take some pics of your screen and some screenshots?
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-05-2014, 03:35 PM
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Yes I did for what it's worth. I started with an 850 Lumen Optoma 480p projector which looked great with the room darkened. Then bought an HD66 720p which is 2500 Lumens and overkill for such a high gain screen, but I'm able to turn on a number of lights, which are all designed not to directly illuminate the screen. It now has over 3500 hrs and still has a satisfactory image.  Blacks are pretty so so with this projector, but I'm thinking of trying some grey silk for the outer layer when I replace the bulb. When I do this I'll likely take more photos of the materials and methods used.

 

 

 

 

 

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post #12 of 12 Old 03-06-2014, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renstar View Post

Yes I did for what it's worth. I started with an 850 Lumen Optoma 480p projector which looked great with the room darkened. Then bought an HD66 720p which is 2500 Lumens and overkill for such a high gain screen, but I'm able to turn on a number of lights, which are all designed not to directly illuminate the screen. It now has over 3500 hrs and still has a satisfactory image.  Blacks are pretty so so with this projector, but I'm thinking of trying some grey silk for the outer layer when I replace the bulb. When I do this I'll likely take more photos of the materials and methods used.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 











Looks very good. Curious to see this silver lame fabric. You are the first person that I have heard mention it! Thanks for posting the pics!!
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