Building electric roll down screen, here's some parts - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 252 Old 12-06-2006, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I am about to build an electric roll down screen. I found a motor from Torque Masters for 175.00. A tubular motor. It is a 65NM motor with crown and drive to fit roughly a 3.5 inch inside diameter aluminum tube. http://www.torquemastertubularmotors.com/id30.html I am using this company for an aluminum tube, http://www.globaltecheng.com/alutubing.htm You do not have to use as big of a tube or motor. I am using a large tube with a motor large enough in an attempt to eliminate waves. I will post back when I get the motor set up as to how noisy it is. The torquemaster motors are much more power full than what is need to raise the weight of screen material. I am hoping this makes for a quite motor. A comparable Somfy moter was around 600.00 with adapters at about 1/10 the power.

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post #2 of 252 Old 12-06-2006, 11:48 AM
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I use a 10 foot metal closet rod and electric screwdriver for my DIY electric screen. Seems to work just fine...

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post #3 of 252 Old 12-06-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

I use a 10 foot metal closet rod and electric screwdriver for my DIY electric screen. Seems to work just fine...

The closet rod would not work for me. I do not want any waves. Deflection appears too great on the rod. I think that is one source of the waves in you pics. I think you did somethng to reduce the waves? Waves are just completely unacceptable to me. I want absolutely no waves. Also my current screen has a Somfy motor that performs the job. The goal though is something much quieter. I have a screen that functions but my goal this time is much better performance. My current screen has a 2 inch 11 guage aluminum tube. That is still not giving me a completely wave free screen. From all I can gather, roller size, deflection and the attachment of the materail to the roller play the biggest role in the creation or reduction of waves. Steve, what material are using fo your screen? Would you please refresh me on what you did to reduce the waves? I remember your post but am a little foggy.

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post #4 of 252 Old 12-06-2006, 09:28 PM
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I actually have gone through several iterations. I think I have found a material that works really well. It is a vinyl fabric (vinyl on one side, fabric backing). I recently painted the material, and have a simple fiberglass rod through the bottom. I really don't suffer from waves at all. What I am concerned about is horizontal banding of the screen caused by screen memory after the screen has been rolled up for an extended period of time. Anyway, here are fresh pictures taken tonight:










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post #5 of 252 Old 12-07-2006, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Scherrer View Post

I. I really don't suffer from waves at all. What I am concerned about is horizontal banding of the screen caused by screen memory after the screen has been rolled up for an extended period of time. ]

You have done a great job and have made a successful screen. I think the bigger roller will cure the screen memory issue. Maybe the smaller roller is causing the material to be wound tighter on the roller and then increasing those memory effects? The material that I want to use needs the bigger roller to stay flat. I have spoken with the guy who sold me the screen that I have and has made several of these screens. He says that the bigger the roller, the flatter my material will be. I am using woven acoustically transparent materials. My motor is on the way. It is a two pole motor so I beieve that I can wire it to one of the Da-lite radio control set-ups and be able to retract the screen from a distance. I know the basic 12volt trigger module will work with this motor. I have wired a few Da-lite electric screens and they have the exact wiring as this motor. The problem with using a bigger roller is that you need a more powerful motor to rotate the roller.

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post #6 of 252 Old 12-07-2006, 04:32 PM
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You are probably right about the bigger roller being less susceptible to causing "memory" problems but the problem can also be associated with how you attach the material to the roller... the transistion has to be very "clean" with little or detectable different as the material rolls over top. In addition, it helps if you have a large section of border / margin that can wrap around the roller a "few times" before you get to your screen / viewing area. Also the type of material is important... vinyl based material tends "imprint" easier that fabric based materials. As for waves, I think that you can readily fashion your own tab tensioned system if you have seen a commercial one "up close". They are actually pretty straight forward. Since the material you are planning on using is woven it might be a bit stiffer that vinyl and as such you might get lucky and not need much help in avoiding waves with your "large roller" plan. If you can, I would leave a large amount of space / room at each end of your roller, just in case, you need some form of tensioning which could be added if there is room on the end of your roller.
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post #7 of 252 Old 12-07-2006, 07:09 PM
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I left the screen up overnight, and when I retracted, there was slight memory toward the bottom of the screen--right about the place where the screen, if not full retracted, hangs slight down from the roller. Where the transition point between the rolled part of the screen, and the little bit that hangs down--this is where the memory was. However, within two minutes, the screen was perfectly flat again. The vinyl may be soft, but any memory quickly falls out.

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post #8 of 252 Old 12-09-2006, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budwich View Post

You are probably right about the bigger roller being less susceptible to causing "memory" problems but the problem can also be associated with how you attach the material to the roller... the transistion has to be very "clean" with little or detectable different as the material rolls over top. In addition, it helps if you have a large section of border / margin that can wrap around the roller a "few times" before you get to your screen / viewing area. Also the type of material is important... vinyl based material tends "imprint" easier that fabric based materials. As for waves, I think that you can readily fashion your own tab tensioned system if you have seen a commercial one "up close". They are actually pretty straight forward. Since the material you are planning on using is woven it might be a bit stiffer that vinyl and as such you might get lucky and not need much help in avoiding waves with your "large roller" plan. If you can, I would leave a large amount of space / room at each end of your roller, just in case, you need some form of tensioning which could be added if there is room on the end of your roller.

I am planning on a large roller that will leave me room to expand to a larger screen at some future point when I get a brighter projector. My current material is 100 inches wide. At some point I plan to go 120 inches so I am thinking maybe a 130 inch roller? As "stiff" and as large as the roller I plan to use is going to be, I do not think I will have any sag or memory issues. My samples and motor should be in on Monday. The current screen material was mounted onto the roller by a blind company. I am not sure they did a good enough job. I am trying to decide it I want to let them do it again or try it myself.

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post #9 of 252 Old 12-10-2006, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Budwich what do you think is the best method of attaching the screen material to the roller? Also Steve, how did you attach yours?

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post #10 of 252 Old 12-10-2006, 11:42 AM
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I just used masking tape (2 plus inches wide). It gave me the opportunity to reposition it if I needed to without worrying about trying to get the glue material off. I used vinyl and was taped to cardboard based material (fabric tubes). On commercial screens, they appear to use some form of glue (vinyl on metal roller).... maybe a contact cement. I think the key is to get the material mounted as flush as possible, surface wise and then have a large amount of border / leader that can stay wound around the roller even when you have fully deployed your screen to its viewing position. This will give your tape some help in holding the material (like a "clamp") and also help with imprint reduction across any "seam surface" when there is a discontinuity between the metal and tape/ material. The edge that you are mounting to the roller has to be perfectly straight... a tough thing to achieve with vinyl as it easily stretches. Make sure it has been totally relaxed prior to mounting. I used two rolls during mounting. One taking up the entire screen in a loose but clean rollup fashion. The other was the final working roll. I ran a pencil line straight down the middle of the roller as a mount guide. The top border of material was then aligned with the mark and left to sit there for a while (relax). Then I ran a full length of 2 in masking tape along the whole "joint" trying not to pull or stretch either the tape or the material. It worked very well and on final rollup I did not get any "creep" where the material starts to move toward one end or the other. In general, I don't think there will be a problem as "gravity" and other forces will probably work in your favor (ie. it will tend to roll up fine). I think the biggest issue that you will come across is sag. Hopefully your use of a large diameter metal tube will help significant. Before you start your final mounting, put your tube across to pieces of wood (ie. one on each end) and check out the deflection (sag) when you put 5-10 lbs in the middle (this is probably the equivalent of a swath of screen material plus lower rail). If it sags too much (all relative as I don't know what the limits are), it is likely that you won't be readily successful in achieving a waveless screen without some help (ie. tensioning). But if the tube stays straight, then you may achieve your goals with woven / backed screen material which tends to be a bit stiffer than plain vinyl.
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post #11 of 252 Old 12-10-2006, 01:08 PM
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I wish I could say I was as careful with mine as Bud, but I pretty much eyeballed it across the top of my metal rod. I had been using tape, but as I am using a 54inch wide material, I don't have a lot to play with. In order to get enough material showing for my screen, I pretty much have to extend it fully, which adds a lot of stress to where the screen is attached to the rod. I have gone from tape, which worked for a while, to permanent adhesive (am now working on my second permanent set adhesive. I then reinforced the attachment by adding screws every foot across the top of the metal rod. So far so good, and it is perfectly straight with no waves or other issues.

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post #12 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budwich View Post

But if the tube stays straight, then you may achieve your goals with woven / backed screen material which tends to be a bit stiffer than plain vinyl.

With the tube I plan to use, sag is not going to be an issue. The weight of the material is not going to be nearly enough to deflect 1/4 wall pipe. The tube I plan to use is designed for conveyor belts. I know it's over-kill but that's me, MR. Overkill. Tube should weight about 36 pounds. I plan to attach the material as you described. I know the blind companies use a double sided tape to attach the material.

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post #13 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Going this route was easier for me. The motor has built in adjustments that will limit how high it will raise the screen and how low. I do not have to engineer any solutions this way. Just put the motor in the tube, mount the fabric on the tube, set the limits and wire the switch. I plan to wire a second motor for masking. I am going to have a second roller that will lower black masking to make the screen go from 16:9 to 2:35. Got my motor in a few mins. ago. This motor is over-kill. I would have saved 50.00 by going with a much lower powered motor but this motor is designed to go in the size tube that I want. Tiddler, I think we are at two opposite ends of the DIY electric screen thing. I am thinking masking and radio control. Da-lite pull downs are just too cheap for me to build a manual screen. I gave the last one I had away to a friend.

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post #14 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Going this route was easier for me. The motor has built in adjustments that will limit how high it will raise the screen and how low. I do not have to engineer any solutions this way. Just put the motor in the tube, mount the fabric on the tube, set the limits and wire the switch. I plan to wire a second motor for masking. I am going to have a second roller that will lower black masking to make the screen go from 16:9 to 2:35. Got my motor in a few mins. ago. This motor is over-kill. I would have saved 50.00 by going with a much lower powered motor but this motor is designed to go in the size tube that I want. Tiddler, I think we are at two opposite ends of the DIY electric screen thing. I am thinking masking and radio control. Da-lite pull downs are just too cheap for me to build a manual screen. I gave the last one I had away to a friend.

Good idea--about the limits. THis is something I struggle with. Right now, with my valence, I have just enough screen to come down and fit the image perfectly in the black border. Any further down will roll the screen too far and damage where I have the screen attached to the rod. I think what I really need to do is bring the border down a few inches or so so that I don't have to walk this fine line every time the screen comes down.

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post #15 of 252 Old 12-11-2006, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Wired the motor to the switch to make sure it worked and to see how noisy it was. Sounds about like the motor in the Da-lite Tensioned Electrol that I owned, not silent but not too objectionable. This motor is rather large compared to the small Somfy motor that my current screen uses. It is about 2.5 inches in diameter and 2 feet long. Weight is about 12 pounds. Rotation is also rather slow at about 15 revolutions per min. Should take about 1 min to raise 60 inches on 4 inch diameter tube? My tube samples have not gotten in yet. The motor did not come with a cap for the other end of the tube. I am purchasing a crown to put on that end from a Somfy dealer.

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post #16 of 252 Old 12-14-2006, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, I got my tube samples in. One tube is schedule 40 pipe and the other 16 gauge tubing. The difference between pipe and tubing is the way in which they are measured. Pipe is measured by the ID, inside diameter, where tube is measured by the OD, outside diameter. I stacked 4 pennies by the schedule 40 pipe to give an idea of wall thickness. The 16 gauge tube is about 1 penny thick. I believe the 16 gauge is too thin and would flex under the weight of screen material and the lower rod. The Schedule 40 pipe is heavy and over-kill but I am sure you would never have to worry about deflection causing waves. The Schedule 40 pipe though is much more expensive. I think that 11 gauge tube would likely be sufficient for a DIY electric screen and be a lot lighter in weight and cheaper as well. I am going forward with the heavy schedule 40 stuff because I believe there is likely very little chance that the pipe could be bent in transport. I am attaching two pictures of my tube samples. The large one is 4 inches outside diameter and 3.5 inches inside. The smaller tube is 16 gauge and about 3.35 inches inside diameter. In the second picture I have placed the motor between the tubes for reference. Also I have spoken with Somfy about some drives to go inside the pipe into which the end of the motor will make contact with to spin the tube. The parts are back ordered so this my delay my building of the screen. I may see what I can make myself to act as a drive. Really I was looking to use or modify manufactured parts to reduce labor time for this. You have to drill a small hole in the tube and then screw in a flat head screen into the drive and the crown to hold them in place. It is prety simple.
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post #17 of 252 Old 12-14-2006, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been asked about the housing size of the screen I plan to make. Basically what I am planning is to have two rollers behind a valance mounted to the ceiling. One roller is going to have the material come over the the top. This roller will have the screen material. I plan to mount a second roller close to the first with the material rolling down at the back. This will allow the masking to extend very close to the screen. Krylon makes a paint called Ultra-Flat Camouflage that is sold at Ace hardwares and Walmart that features Fusion tech for painting plastics. Right now I am thinking of using the SMX material painted black for masking. I figure if my lower boarder is also painted black with the same paint, that the masking will when extended seem more like part of the screen. Attached is a pic of how I have my existing screen mounted behind a valance.
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post #18 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 06:55 AM
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Hey Bulldogger.... it looks like your project is well on the way. Just a small comment about the "parts" that you are looking for to "connect" your motor to your roller. Perhaps you can "manufacturer" three pieces of hardwood that act as spacer to wedge between the rim of you motor and the walls of the roller... if I understand your picture correctly. With the three, you are likely to be successful in assuring that the motor will be centered. Just an idea. If you want to get really technical in terms of tolerance then you can make the spacers out of acrylic and gently heat them up to bend them to conform to the curve of your roller.
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post #19 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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The drive is only 6.95 from Somfy. So if it can work it will save me some trouble. I am ready to fabricate my own stuff. I am hoping, long shot, that I will be able to use pre-made parts to make this work. Likely I will have to modify at least some. I do not want to use wood because it can warp or the center can be worn out of round if I place a drive shaft in it. The larger pipe is heavy. I am having second thoughts about using it but likely will still go forward. I like the fact that there is no way that thick ass pipe is going to have deflection. The pipe weights about 3.15 pounds per foot. so that is going to give me a weight between say 32 pound and 38 pounds depending on how large I go. With the motor that is 50 pounds. Guess I'll have to call my two youngest brothers over to help me mount it . Youngest is 6 foot 10 inches and 325 pound, next one is 6 foot, one and 305 pounds , basketball player and foot ball player. Guess you can tell which is which . I think the baby boy can hold it on the ceiling without a ladder .

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post #20 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Decided to go BIG. That for me means a 120 inch wide screen. I ordered a 12 foot pipe at a cost of 118.20 for the 3.5 ID or 4.0 OD pipe.Shipping is going to cost MORE than the pipe! I was given a ballpark shipping quote of about 150.00 which could be as low as 125.00 or as high as 175.00. For a 120 inch screen with 2 inches of black border on each side I need 124 inches of material. I figure that I will leave 6 inches on each side of the pipe in case I ever need to try and add some type of tensioning to the screen. When I get the pipe I will cut it to 136 inches. Budwich, what do you think? Not about the price ? I know ouch?! Might as well put that big motor to use. Shipping would have been a lot less had I not exceeded the UPS limit. Once you go over that you have to ship freight. Shipping on an 8 foot pipe would have been 34.00.

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post #21 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I called back and ordered 12 feet of 2.25 guage tubing, 11 gauge. Price is 3.55 a foot. A motor for this should only be about 125.00. Because of how freigth works, it will not cost any more for shipping. If you wanted to build a screen with an 8 foot roller and this pipe, the cost would be around 200.00 for both pipe and motor. The pipe company only sells in whole feet.

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post #22 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 12:03 PM
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Hey Bulldogger there are some cheap alternatives to getting a good electric screen with out all that hassel .

http://cgi.videogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...908&class&3&4&
http://cgi.videogon.com/cgi-bin/cl.p...343&class&3&4&

The bay has a lot of sub 200 hundred dollar options as well, some with infrared remotes included.

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post #23 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 12:16 PM
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Monoprice has some $125 electric screens, then if you paint them using the paint schemes from Tiddler in the other thread, you would have a sub-200 screen.
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post #24 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 01:26 PM
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On my commercial tab tension draper (the replacement for my diy electric), the tabbing on each side takes up about 4-6 inch..... but you also have to allow for some black side border ... say 3 inches.... so you need about 7 in on each end .... so 120 inch viewing area plus 2*7 leaves you at about 134 in... I suspect you are about right in accommodating any future attempts at tab tensioning if you need "help". good luck... definitely a fun project.
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post #25 of 252 Old 12-15-2006, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Team speed and bruce can. I am aware of the cheap screen options. That is not my goal here. I am building an acoustically transparent screen. A Screen Research one with masking cost over 9k in this size. That is what I am trying to duplicate. This is going in a theater with over 70K in just electronics. So in relative terms, this is a very cheap screen. This is really an attempt for me to have some fun with DIY. If it does not work, I'll trash the whole thing and buy a professional screen. I really enjoy making things though. Saving money is cool too but I will not let that interfere with my performance goals.

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post #26 of 252 Old 12-16-2006, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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150.00 shipping is really a lot. For me, it works because I am in the New Orleans area and many businesses are out of business. The company that I would normally have checked for pioe is certainly out of business. If I were trying to find a pipe or tube to use, I think I would check local pipe supply companies first. Sure would save a lot on shipping.

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post #27 of 252 Old 12-16-2006, 08:34 AM
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Bulldogger,

Why not just buy these cheap electric screens; replace the screen material with acoustically transparent screen material? I think everyone would love the idea of buying cheap screen and then supercharging it with different material just like tiddler has proved that you can paint those.

TY
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post #28 of 252 Old 12-16-2006, 09:12 AM
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I think as bulldogger mentioned, the cheap screens are not just a screen material issue (in his a case non acoustic transparent) but also the size of the roller. In essence, all he would be getting would be a motor and one that wouldn't necessarily fit properly in a large diameter roller. So I don't think a cheap screen "retrofit" is what he is looking for.
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post #29 of 252 Old 12-16-2006, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nilk29 View Post

Bulldogger,

Why not just buy these cheap electric screens; replace the screen material with acoustically transparent screen material? I think everyone would love the idea of buying cheap screen and then supercharging it with different material just like tiddler has proved that you can paint those.

TY

What Budwich said. Also, with the cheaper screen I am going to get a smaller roller that means WAVES. That's the main issue with those screens. I am planning a 120 wide screen with masking. If I put a weaved non-tension material on that small roller, it will 100% sag in the middle. So the solution is a larger roller. With the larger roller, the motor in the cheap screen will not be able to turn the roller long term. I need about 65 foot pounds. I doubt the cheaper screen motor is doing over 12 foot pounds. I would just burn up the motor even if it worked. One thing that the cheap screen have in common are WAVEs and I am avoiding that like the plague. If the roller does not deflect, then the SMX720 material will not need to be tensioned. That is going to solve a lot of problems. Tiddler has what you are talking about covered, throughly. I am doing something else. If my plan goes correctly, I'll spend double the money but spend 0% in time trying to solve the wave issues . I know DIY is usually to save money. My main reason for doing this is because the screen that I want to buy does not exist. A 1.2 gain acoustically transparent electric screen. Sandman is working on one and will produce a solution. I just decided I wanted one like yesterday I am trying to make the point which I do not seem to be making well that cheap is not what this is about. Steve already did that one. Electric screw driver and a closet rod with no waves for less than 100 bucks!

Never become so involved with something that it blinds you.
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post #30 of 252 Old 12-16-2006, 05:43 PM
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Budwich/Bulldogger,

Thanks for clarification! I didn't realize that the tensioning/wave is major issue for you folks.

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