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post #1 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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First projector looking for advice

I've come in to possession of an Epson 8350 It has a new bulb in it, however, I have come to understand that although this projector is rather bright it falls a bit short in black level. I was hoping to make a 140 inch 16:9 grey or silver screen because of the projector and room but didn't know which diy screen material would be best. However, being a collage student and a renter I'm a bit limited in what I can do to the room with what funds I have. The room is about 15.5 feet long and 12 wide, the floor is a polished cherry colored wood and the ceiling is white popcorn. I've uploaded a few pictures of the room to help everyone understand what I'm working with.

Thank you all in advance!
Sincerely
Henry
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCepero View Post
I've come in to possession of an Epson 8350 It has a new bulb in it, however, I have come to understand that although this projector is rather bright it falls a bit short in black level. I was hoping to make a 140 inch 16:9 grey or silver screen because of the projector and room but didn't know which diy screen material would be best. However, being a collage student and a renter I'm a bit limited in what I can do to the room with what funds I have. The room is about 15.5 feet long and 12 wide, the floor is a polished cherry colored wood and the ceiling is white popcorn. I've uploaded a few pictures of the room to help everyone understand what I'm working with.

Thank you all in advance!
Sincerely
Henry
A 140" screen is possible but will leave less than a foot of space to either side for speakers. With an AT screen made from spandex you could place speakers behind the screen, but without an AT screen you should go smaller. And while the 8350 is fairly bright in "Dynamic" mode with the projector mounted as close to the screen as possible, mounting it further away and using other modes like "Cinema" will make it pretty dim and not really capable of lighting a 140" screen. An AT screen is generally lower gain than other screens and gray screens will also make the image dimmer, so you may end up well under 140" -- maybe 110" even.

Renting a place with white popcorn ceilings is tough -- you really can't touch them without damaging them and their reflectance of the screen light backwashing onto the screen will hurt your contrast levels a lot. I would build a couple of 6'x6' panels like art canvases with a dark fabric stretched over them and suspend them from hooks in the ceiling, and even that will be tough to do without noticeable damage to the popcorn.

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post #3 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:16 PM
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Hi,

........and welcome aboard DIY Screens!

As someone with extensive experience with the 8350, I want to state that if you use Carl's Flexi-Grey you should have yourself the simplest possible solution.

But you'll need to scale back the screen size a little bit to 130" diagonal (64" x 113")and place the 8350 at a13' Throw to achieve 15 fl.

The Flexi Grey will afford you both the deeper Blacks your hoping for as well as a goodly degree of ambient light resistance, much of which will be coming as reflected screen brightness from the Ceiling above the screen..

The Flexi will be mounted on a relatively lightweight Frame, and the size involved will still allow for an easy bit of transportation later. Or...if you spend for a Kreg Jig, the Frame can be easily disassembled after you remove the Flexi off of it.

Now if 140" is absolutely as small as you will settle for, then Flexi-White (68" x 122") can be used with a Throw of 14' ...and you can just make that since the 8350 is 15.5" deep and you have 15'-6" of room depth. You'll get 16 fl of reflective brightness, but also realize that you will lose most all potential resistance to ambient light, both existing and reflective.

The height of your screen relative to the space between the Floor and ceiling and how /where you must mount the screen will determine just how much the Ceiling will affect performance. Bear in mind that performance that I...as well as other more critical users will accept will probably be more restrictive acceptance-wise that you. That said, with a 68" tall 16:9 screen, you only have 30" space to squeeze you screen between, and usually that means it will be positioned about 10" below the ceiling.

But since you mentioned a concern about Black levels (...I personally found them very good if ambient / reflective issues were addressed...) the use of the Flexi-Grey will effectively improve then for you...with the understanding that you'll need to either reduce your screen size, or watch content primarily in the dark because of reduced off-the-screen-brightness.

Just read Dreamer's post. Sadly, Spandex is out...you cannot afford the reduction in gain it would bring.
However, a non-painted reflective light damping solution as he suggested can really help you keep the size screen you aspire too.

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post #4 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:21 PM
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BTW, Lightweight Black Velvet held up with ThumbTacks is a quick and simply way to black out a 48" deep, wall-to-wall section of the Ceiling directly above the Screen.

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post #5 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MississippiMan View Post
Hi,

........and welcome aboard DIY Screens!

As someone with extensive experience with the 8350, I want to state that if you use Carl's Flexi-Grey you should have yourself the simplest possible solution.

But you'll need to scale back the screen size a little bit to 130" diagonal (64" x 113")and place the 8350 at a13' Throw to achieve 15 fl.

The Flexi Grey will afford you both the deeper Blacks your hoping for as well as a goodly degree of ambient light resistance, much of which will be coming as reflected screen brightness from the Ceiling above the screen..

The Flexi will be mounted on a relatively lightweight Frame, and the size involved will still allow for an easy bit of transportation later. Or...if you spend for a Kreg Jig, the Frame can be easily disassembled after you remove the Flexi off of it.

Now if 140" is absolutely as small as you will settle for, then Flexi-White (68" x 122") can be used with a Throw of 14' ...and you can just make that since the 8350 is 15.5" deep and you have 15'-6" of room depth. You'll get 16 fl of reflective brightness, but also realize that you will lose most all potential resistance to ambient light, both existing and reflective.

The height of your screen relative to the space between the Floor and ceiling and how /where you must mount the screen will determine just how much the Ceiling will affect performance. Bear in mind that performance that I...as well as other more critical users will accept will probably be more restrictive acceptance-wise that you. That said, with a 68" tall 16:9 screen, you only have 30" space to squeeze you screen between, and usually that means it will be positioned about 10" below the ceiling.

But since you mentioned a concern about Black levels (...I personally found them very good if ambient / reflective issues were addressed...) the use of the Flexi-Grey will effectively improve then for you...with the understanding that you'll need to either reduce your screen size, or watch content primarily in the dark because of reduced off-the-screen-brightness.

Just read Dreamer's post. Sadly, Spandex is out...you cannot afford the reduction in gain it would bring.
However, a non-painted reflective light damping solution as he suggested can really help you keep the size screen you aspire too.
I have the 8350 also. What I did was and I forget where I found the paint combo, was to use a white, a grey and a silver metallic paint from Michaels art store to make it more reflective. Mixed it up n painted 5 coats on a bare wall n then built a frame for it n painted it a jet black. 163 inch screen all for about 150 bux in materials n looks good too. Always pretty dark in the room with pretty dark grey paint on walls n room darkening shades. Easy way to go on the cheap. I don't have a money tree out back of my house so I did what I had to do on the cheap. Is it perfect by other people standards? Probably not, but is it good enough for me and do I enjoy it? YUP better than spending 5k on a screen that big like an idiot lol. All about what you can afford and a lot of times the DIY route is a lot cheaper. Im not RICHIE RICH, and im well aware of that lol.
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post #6 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your helpful input.
I suppose my concern with the black levels might be a result of the very high standards of those on this forum rubbing off a bit. In all honesty my cellphone probably has the best black level of any device I own lol. That being said I am not against a white screen at all I simply imagined it would be helpful do to what I had seen others write. Might a white screen combined with covering the roof be enough to help me reach the 140 inch size? I would be fine with a smaller screen if it is best. Especially having measured the height of the room at a scant 7.8 feet.

I have a friend that works at a local fabric shop that could sell me something that could cover the ceiling rather well. I also have some steal cable they sell at Ikea for hanging curtains that I could use to anchor the cloth from the walls at each end of the room.
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post #7 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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If thumbtacks are all I need even better. :P
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post #8 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 08:45 PM
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I myself would suggest painting a higher gain light Silver/Grey onto a Flexi-white substrate, but knowing that the OP is in College and renting, and has opted for what is a used 8350 w/spare lamp, I sense that the budget rules his roost as well.

That said, a quick, non paint solution seems best, and one good reason to go big with a Flexi-white (140") and perhaps save spraying on something good for later on down the road.

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post #9 of 39 Old 04-27-2015, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't think I would feel comfortable painting the wall as my landlord has been very kind in offering me a much lower rent then most for such a big house and he went on and on about how much he loves the colors he picked. The current price for a flexi-white kit is about 194 which I could manage and then save up money over the summer for further improvements. However, would it be cheaper to just buy the flexi-white material and build a frame for it?
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-28-2015, 04:39 AM
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I don't think I would feel comfortable painting the wall as my landlord has been very kind in offering me a much lower rent then most for such a big house and he went on and on about how much he loves the colors he picked. The current price for a flexi-white kit is about 194 which I could manage and then save up money over the summer for further improvements. However, would it be cheaper to just buy the flexi-white material and build a frame for it?
Absolutely it would be less expensive....and look better too since the DIY Kit from Carl's is geared more toward Outdoor use and Bungee Cord attachments. I put the cost at $150-160.00 at most.

There are a great many Screen frame builds to draw encouragement from on here, and also those who are willing to advise you every step of the way.

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post #11 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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My finals are over and in the time since I last posted I have had my order of 144 inch 16:9 flexi-white fabric come in. However, I'm not really sure how to go about building a frame for it. I've looked around the forums a bit but I don't really have much in the way of tools or money and most of the builds I have managed to find seem to require more expensive tools to get angles right. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good frame build to learn from?
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post #12 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 03:24 PM
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My finals are over and in the time since I last posted I have had my order of 144 inch 16:9 flexi-white fabric come in. However, I'm not really sure how to go about building a frame for it. I've looked around the forums a bit but I don't really have much in the way of tools or money and most of the builds I have managed to find seem to require more expensive tools to get angles right. Can anyone point me in the direction of a good frame build to learn from?
First, what tools do you have?

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post #13 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 05:34 PM
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First, what tools do you have?
Would a simple butt-joint, deep-not-thin (on edge not flat), 2-3 central support, poplar frame work with only pairs of corner brackets holding the joints together?

Should only require a cheapo drill to pre-drill the screw holes for the ~20 brackets..but that amounts to ziltch if the entire thing un-squares or falls apart.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.

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post #14 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 07:00 PM
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The thing is, with a butt Joined end that has "Straight Screws" and just one Brace on one side, the opposite side is more likely to twist. The Brace helps of course....but the Brace would have to be a very skinny one if the Frame was built "on edge", akin to being a Picture Frame Corner Brace just 1/2" to 3/4" wide x 3" long on each end and of very thin gauge metal. Not a very sturdy, rigid support.

One aspect of a Keg Joined But Corner is the fact that the joining pressure is distributed at an angle, so the two flat joined ends must have far more force applied to twist or bend the joint out of true.

I've tried hybrid corners, employing Mitered Corners, Triangular Corner Braces, and alternating Screws...and with all that effort did come more strength....but also more difficulty maintaining a squared corner because the more angles and edges that are applied, any slight differences can become cumulative.

That also applies to any other corner. Get two corners just a tiny bit "off" (1/8" out of square) and you can wind up with a 3/4" difference diagonally, or 1/2" of a twist. Or more....depending upon the size of the Frame, and which side the error exists on.

Nothing beats well picked Lumer, exacting straoght cuts, and correctly joined Butt Corners for simplicity and sturdiness.

A cautionary tale.

Back in the day when I was a "Roller" man, I fought like 'ell against the inequity of telling people that to get really great results, they had to use a HVLP rig. That is until I saw the difference using one made. Then I could never consider anything else. Yeah, my apps do demand thinner coats, so there was that to consider...but consistency time after time was another benefit that could not be overlooked.

Same thing went for spending money for some Infomercial kinda gimmick like a Kreg Jig. I felt I could easily do without it. That is until I added up the expense of Braces...and re-dosand saw one at Home Depot for $99.00. I reasoned that if it actually worked as claimed, I'd make that money back in just 2-3 Frames! (...and repair some Furniture along the way... )

What resulted was lighter weight frames, simpler corners, and straighter, truer frames that cost less.

Now everyone might not see things that way...some will insist that over-building a Frame is just as good. I once did.

But when one considers the few tools needed when using a Kreg Jig.
  • Cordless drill
  • Carpenter's Triangle
  • Skill Saw


.....and that's it, then almost anyone can get'ter dun right, right out of the gate.

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post #15 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 07:17 PM
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Lower black levels

Henry

At 140" diagonal and an untreated room taking into account typical ambient reflectance you will have roughly 2.7lx of light noise on the screen. With that you can achieve a 103.65:1 contrast ratio with the Epson after tuning with a new bulb. At 100hrs that contrast will be roughly 95.11:1 ratio. The largest issue is that you have a brightness of 48.47 fc on the screen at 100hr mark. This is significantly higher than the 16fc target. You need to lower the projector brightness to bring it into range by a factor of 0.3301. However you can't lower the bulb output only the LCD state on that model so you cannot effectively achieve it internally. You can use a photography trick because in the end light management in and out are the same physics ;-)
Buy a decent but photographic ND filter with a larger diameter than the lens and mount it in front of the projection lens. A 0.3 optical density (0.3 stop) or ND2 will get you closer to the goal and you'll end up at 24.2 fc which is better. An ND4 is the next step but that will have you at 12.11fc which is the very bottom end of in range. Great in a completely black room but your room is is not suitable. The ambient noise would cause havoc with the contrast ratio. A set of basic film based lee filters are only $26 bucks on line. So buy and try.
For a final adjustment use a gray paint to lower the screen gain. A 0.67 is ideal but a 0.8 will get you closer and the final effect will be a much closer to a theater with the lights out. Personally I find running near 20:1 more flexible for real life so an ND2 may be enough without a gray screen.

Good luck.
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post #16 of 39 Old 05-05-2015, 09:37 PM
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Would a simple butt-joint, deep-not-thin (on edge not flat), 2-3 central support, poplar frame work with only pairs of corner brackets holding the joints together?

Should only require a cheapo drill to pre-drill the screw holes for the ~20 brackets..but that amounts to ziltch if the entire thing un-squares or falls apart.
I think using large shelf-type brackets on the inside corners of an on-edge 1x3 frame would be very sturdy and twist-free.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bol...5254/202034279


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post #17 of 39 Old 05-06-2015, 12:09 AM
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I think using large shelf-type brackets on the inside corners of an on-edge 1x3 frame would be very sturdy and twist-free.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bol...5254/202034279
Perhaps the 5" x 6"size might also be the better choice, but everything would depend upon them being perfectly at 90 degrees. What might work OK for a 12" deep shelf might not be exactingly enough straight for a 7' x 4' wide frame.A smaller piece has a better chance at being more precise.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Crown-Bol...-202034285-_-N

The most telling issue being that only a 3/4" long Screw can be used to hold them in place.

Still, even so, the corners must start out straight and well joined. Such a Brace cannot do the most critical job at hand, only lend support.

A good find though.

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post #18 of 39 Old 05-06-2015, 03:13 AM
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Those shelf supports do look pretty attuned to the job, though I can definitely understand how they'd be more concerned with having a slight upward angle (to counteract sag) instead of aiming for a perfect 90°.

I was meaning to use 2 corner-brackets for each joint, both on the inside, one toward front and the other back to make sure it would resist twisting on the bracket as a fulcrum. ..but 20 brackets does add some weight (and about $20) and those screws would be limited to under 1inch.
Cheaper than a kreg, and I suppose the short screws are managing to hold fine on the hinged together screen..I could add up the weight and see if it's maybe only 5pounds which doesn't sound terrible.

Or I could take a trip to HomeDepot, take a long look at the kreg, then go home and try to build one for the specific purpose and ~3/4" 90° common depth.
:P
Sounds like a fun project to procrastinate.

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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post #19 of 39 Old 05-06-2015, 08:34 AM
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Or I could take a trip to HomeDepot, take a long look at the kreg, then go home and try to build one for the specific purpose and ~3/4" 90° common depth.
:P
Sounds like a fun project to procrastinate.
I too "procrastinated" until I found myself splitting wood at the corners (...even when Pre-Drilling...) because I needed to use shorter but bigger diameter Screws to effect a more solid hold.

While yes, I do these thing as a Living, making a living means not wasting money on unneeded Tools. Just the same, wasting money on Re-Dos is even more consternating.
Since the dawn of the Kreg era, I've yet to have a Frame related snafu.

Priceless.

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post #20 of 39 Old 05-06-2015, 01:59 PM
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I too "procrastinated" until I found myself splitting wood at the corners (...even when Pre-Drilling...) because I needed to use shorter but bigger diameter Screws to effect a more solid hold.

While yes, I do these thing as a Living, making a living means not wasting money on unneeded Tools. Just the same, wasting money on Re-Dos is even more consternating.
Since the dawn of the Kreg era, I've yet to have a Frame related snafu.

Priceless.
I'm trying to remember the build pictures and failing.
Do you use the kreg on the inner supports too, or are those just butted and drilled straight in from the top/bottom?

Simple <$250 dedicated black-fabric theater room, build in a day, takedown in an hour.
Easy $25-40 DIY black/dark-grey ambient-light rejecting screen, grab two things from a local store..mix..roll..done.
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post #21 of 39 Old 05-06-2015, 02:14 PM
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I'm trying to remember the build pictures and failing.
Do you use the kreg on the inner supports too, or are those just butted and drilled straight in from the top/bottom?
I use 'em on all joined pieces.

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post #22 of 39 Old 05-07-2015, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for all of your advice! I was speaking to a friend just yesterday and his father (a prop maker for Disney) offered to let me use his tools while he is at work. I am rather luckily no longer limited by a lack of tools. Now I just need to figure out which frame type is best to build. I would need it to ultimately be easily movable as my living situation will be semi stable while I am in school. I have a two year lease on the house I am in now but I will probably end up moving after that as roommates come and go.
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post #23 of 39 Old 05-07-2015, 03:08 PM
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No Frame / Screen will be lighter or stronger (per weight) than a Frame built from 1x3 Clear Poplar and Carl's Flexi-White (painted) or Carl's Flexi-Grey (as is)

If you go with Flexi...ask for it to come on a Roll (Tube) and keep that Tube in storage.

If you use a Kreg Jig w/Screws and no Glue, you can pull out the staples, un-screw the Screws, roll up the Flexi-and take the disassembled screen with you easily.

.....or simply carry it as is because it won't weigh over 20 lbs...if that much. It'll just be big.

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post #24 of 39 Old 05-07-2015, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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The tube of flexi-white I have is 144 inches 16:9 should I plan my screen to be that size or a bit smaller to allow a little extra to work with around the edges? Aslo, Should I pick up fabric for a black boarder or would some crown molding sprayed black work just as well?
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post #25 of 39 Old 05-07-2015, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCepero View Post
The tube of flexi-white I have is 144 inches 16:9 should I plan my screen to be that size or a bit smaller to allow a little extra to work with around the edges? Aslo, Should I pick up fabric for a black boarder or would some crown molding sprayed black work just as well?
The Flexi has sufficient stretch-ability to go onto a Frame at least 6" larger diagonally. If you build the Frame so that it has 2" extra on all sides. ( 75" x 130" ) and you get Carl's Black 2" Tape http://www.carlofet.com/black-felt-t...l#.VUwXd5P1hi0

Keep in mind your supposed to stretch the material somewhat to achieve a tight, taunt surface.

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post #26 of 39 Old 05-16-2015, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello again!

My parents being awesome as they are have agreed to help me buy a sony 40ES by combining the money from selling the Epson my uncle has given me with an outsized birthday gift for getting good grades.

Would it be possible to boost my screens gain to 1.3 and would the sony be able to light it up in its eco mode.

Last edited by HCepero; 05-16-2015 at 05:46 AM.
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post #27 of 39 Old 05-21-2015, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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My Sony HW 40ES should be arriving tomorrow and I decided this should be the frame I build for my screen ( unless anyone has a better suggestion). My only remaining questions would be about the spacing and number of supports I should put in considering the 150 inch size and if I should try to boost the screens gain at all with some silver fire 2.5?
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post #28 of 39 Old 05-21-2015, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCepero View Post
My Sony HW 40ES should be arriving tomorrow and I decided this should be the frame I build for my screen ( unless anyone has a better suggestion). My only remaining questions would be about the spacing and number of supports I should put in considering the 150 inch size and if I should try to boost the screens gain at all with some silver fire 2.5?
How are you going to hang the Screen? I suggest at minimum 3 interior supports...4 ideally if a French Cleat hanging system is used. Your screen is big...don't hedge your bets.

Gain is good. Go good.

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post #29 of 39 Old 05-22-2015, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Would a French cleat be the most secure way to hang it? My primary goal with this screen is to make something sturdy and future proof that I can maintain long term without much hassle. If an extra support and French cleats will give me the most long term survivability then I will more than happily put in the extra work. I would rather build it right once then over and over again because I cut corners.
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post #30 of 39 Old 05-22-2015, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCepero View Post
Would a French cleat be the most secure way to hang it? My primary goal with this screen is to make something sturdy and future proof that I can maintain long term without much hassle. If an extra support and French cleats will give me the most long term survivability then I will more than happily put in the extra work. I would rather build it right once then over and over again because I cut corners.
A hand built French Cleat is a very sturdy thing. And one part of it can also be part of the Frame allowing for it to aid in stiffening as well. Of course care must be taken in incorporating it into the Frame's design, but if one is doing a Frame "on Edge" it actually becomes a very simple thing to accomplish.

A store-bought Hang Man french cleat is also good, but they can get expensive when one needs to get the larger sizes and perhaps use 2-3 to get the job done.

To quote James T. Kirk;
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