4-Way Acoustically Transparent Masking - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 835 Old 11-24-2007, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Final photos:





And finally, just to show what it looks like with the masking fully extended to its limits.
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post #32 of 835 Old 11-24-2007, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the ad-nausea detail, but it is the only way I thought I could adequately describe my setup.

As I said earlier, I hope to motorize it someday. It should be very easy to attach motors to the roller bars. The trick will be getting a controller system that allows for multiple pre-set stopping points with an IR remote.

 

 

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UPDATE January 1, 2013 -- It is now MOTORIZED too!
 

 

PLEASE NOTE: In the next several hundred posts there is a lot of talk about a ton of motorization options. It is a good read and you can learn a lot from a bunch of knowledgeable people who contributed. However, the initial motorization option I adopted used an antennae rotator module made by Eagle Aspen. In December 2012 I abandoned this solution because the Eagle Aspen developed a history of malfunctioning for several people that tried it and it finally malfunctioned for me as well.

 

For me I also found that the whole idea of having a bunch of memorized presets was not nearly as useful as I had originally thought (This is only my personal opinion. Some people really like presets). My current motorization solution is greatly simplified. It is IR controllable from my Harmony Universal remote, there are limit stops for the fully closed and open points, but there are no presets. I simply hold down a button on the remote until the mask opens or closes to the point I want and then I let go of the button - easy, simple, fast.

 


- Jump to THIS POST to see more information on the motorization.


- Or see a video of the motorization HERE.

 


 

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post #33 of 835 Old 11-24-2007, 09:34 PM
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Fantastic job.. Looks like something anyone of us can build.. or modify to fit in our theaters ..

Great job!

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post #34 of 835 Old 11-25-2007, 06:17 AM
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Thank you very much for the detailed pics... The horizontal project is what I was needing. I'm sure I'll be back with questions when I get into it but you did such a good job explaining it hopefully I won't have any. Thanks again for taking the time.

Mike

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

"Name?" Shropshire Slasher
"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #35 of 835 Old 11-25-2007, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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You're welcome. I think masking is a great enhancement. I hope the explanations help other AVSers consider building a system. Let me know if you have any questions.
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post #36 of 835 Old 11-25-2007, 11:16 AM
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Scott,

I have a question about the horizontal masking. Does the board sewn in the pocket ever sit in front of your mains? Or does the bar move outside the mains in 2.35 mode and inside when smaller? Is my question making sense?

Thanks,

Jeff
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post #37 of 835 Old 11-25-2007, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBamF16 View Post

I have a question about the horizontal masking. Does the board sewn in the pocket ever sit in front of your mains? Or does the bar move outside the mains in 2.35 mode and inside when smaller? Is my question making sense?

Your question makes sense. If you are referring to the vertical board that is sewn into the side masking, the answer is no, it never sits in front of the speakers. I placed the speakers so they are just inside the screen when it is in 2.35 mode. When I switch to 16:9 mode, the masking material (GOM) covers the speakers, but the board is passed the speakers.
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post #38 of 835 Old 11-25-2007, 08:06 PM
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Scott,

Thanks for the reply, that is exactly what I meant. Your system is awesome. If I had the room for a false wall, I would definitely give this some serious consideration and effort. Great job!

Jeff
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post #39 of 835 Old 11-28-2007, 09:05 AM
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I also wanted to say what a fantastic job you did. Probably the best engineering solution (concept and execution) I've seen (DIY or otherwise). I also think the overall look of the entire theater is very elegant and attractive. Thanks for providing detailed descriptions and photos of your design - very generous of you.
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post #40 of 835 Old 11-28-2007, 02:31 PM
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Yes thank you very much looks great. The weight of the steel and aluminum bars counter weigh each other to keep it in position? This makes me want to tear my wall apart to start building.

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post #41 of 835 Old 11-28-2007, 06:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasty N8 View Post

Yes thank you very much looks great. The weight of the steel and aluminum bars counter weigh each other to keep it in position?

Yes, exactly. Without the lower masking to act as a counter-balance, the top masking would just roll down due to the weight of the bar.

While we are talking about the bars, let me add that the bars for the lower masking gave me a lot of headaches before I got it working right. I first tried a 1/4" X 2" steel bar and did not use the side "U" channel. This didn't work at all. Steel is much heavier than aluminum and the steel would just bend in the middle out away from the screen and then fall forward.

Rather than the 1/4" aluminum, another option would have been to use a thicker material like 3/4" wood. This would have been a little more simple and cheaper, but I was a bit paranoid about keeping the masking very close to the screen. Using thicker material would have moved the side masking further away from the screen. My solution might be overkill.

If I were starting over on the masking I would probably put some more thought into trying to do the top and bottom masking more like I did my side masking. I think with a little bit of thought, one could come up with a solution where all four sides of the masking were built in the same way with the same roller bars, bearings, and cabling setup. I'm pretty sure it would be possible to come up with a system that could be surface mounted and would work for someone who does not have a false wall.
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post #42 of 835 Old 11-29-2007, 08:48 AM
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Like everyone else, I want to commend you on an excellent job, and thank you for sharing all the details.

Could you please provide an explanation of the steps you take when switching between the different aspect ratios? Do you move your lens out of the way for 16:9 and 4:3? Do you have to tell the projector to "unstretch" the image? Is any refocusing required? Thanks again.
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post #43 of 835 Old 11-29-2007, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry S View Post

Could you please provide an explanation of the steps you take when switching between the different aspect ratios? Do you move your lens out of the way for 16:9 and 4:3? Do you have to tell the projector to "unstretch" the image? Is any refocusing required?

I use a Prismasonic H-FE1500R anamorphic lens. This lens has a "pass through" mode. I just hit a button on my remote to change from stretch mode to pass-through mode. I also hit a button on my remote to change my Panasonic AE1000 projector from "virtical stretch" to 16:9 mode. That's it. No adjustments to focus or zoom.
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post #44 of 835 Old 11-29-2007, 09:24 PM
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I also find that your masking system is really outstanding. I tried putting something like that toguether too but I gave up half way as it was too time consuming.

I have a couple of question:

You could have run your cable to link the left to the right so that a pull from one side would have moved the other side in a symetrical way. Is there any reason why you did not synchronized the side masking?

How do you proceed to adjust the masking? Do you have marks to indicate where to stop for the various aspect ratios?
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post #45 of 835 Old 11-30-2007, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Singapore View Post

You could have run your cable to link the left to the right so that a pull from one side would have moved the other side in a symmetrical way. Is there any reason why you did not synchronized the side masking?

In my original plan, I did intend to put a cable between the two roller bars so that the masking was synchronized. I still may do this but just haven't yet. It will only take a couple minutes to do.

For anyone wondering how this would work, I will simply use the same vinyl aircraft cable that I used for the rest of the masking and loop it around each of the vertical rollers for the side masking. However, I will cross the cable between the rollers so that it is in a figure 8. This will cause the rollers to turn in opposite directions. (If this doesn't make sense, just try it by putting a rubber band around two pencils and then spin the pencils between your fingers to see how crossing the rubber band in a figure 8 changes the direction of the spin.) I will also put a turn-buckle bolt on the cable so I can easily adjust the tension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Singapore View Post

How do you proceed to adjust the masking? Do you have marks to indicate where to stop for the various aspect ratios?

I have a very LOW-tech method that I use . I display the picture first, and then just move the masking to the edge of the picture. If I ever motorize the system, I would like to find a motor control that has multiple pre-set stop positions. This would enable me to just push a button and have the masking move to the pre-determined stopping points.
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post #46 of 835 Old 12-04-2007, 03:16 AM
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Scott,
Absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to document and post all of this wonderful detail. Reading through this thread has been a ton of fun and informative as well. Your posts, IMHO, are representative of the very best posts of the very best forum in the world. Kudos.
-Pete
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post #47 of 835 Old 12-04-2007, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you Pete. I appreciate receiving the compliments from everyone. I have learned so much on this forum from other people. It is nice to be able to give back in a small way.
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post #48 of 835 Old 12-06-2007, 02:36 PM
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Scott;
Very impressive work. Congrats! Thanks also for your detailed descriptions. It is an excellent source for ideas and inspirations.
____
Axel

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post #49 of 835 Old 12-18-2007, 09:27 AM
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Great job, Scott. I'm going to shamelessly steal your design

Your "low tech" positioning method sparked a thought about motorization...
Everyone, commercial folks too, always talk about/use preset positioning to control the motors. Is there a such a thing as a light sensitive sensor that can sense the brightness of being "in the beam" of the projector? That way the system could be self positioning and not depend on preset locations.

To get a feel of what I mean, hold your hand against your screen at the black border and stick your finger just inside the edge of a projected image. See? Your finger is brighter than when it was out of the image. A sensor could detect that difference and stop the masking at that spot.

Just a thought anyways. Again, nice job, Scott!
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post #50 of 835 Old 12-18-2007, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Andy. I've read a couple of threads on other forums where people have toyed with photo sensors to sense the light and automatically position the masking to the light. The problem comes when there are dark scenes. You don't want your masking to try to reposition itself every time the screen goes dark during a movie. To get around this, people have added timers to the photo sensors so that the masking only moves when the photo sensor is dark for longer than say, 20 seconds.

This all gets WAY over my head in terms of electronics and motor control. I think I'll be happy if I can just figure out simple presets with flash memory and basic IR control.

You are welcome to "steal" any ideas you want. If you get started on the project, feel free to PM me if you would like and I'll be happy to discuss more detail or suggested alternatives.
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post #51 of 835 Old 12-19-2007, 07:19 AM
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Thanks for the info offer. I'm in the stage/screenwall contruction phase now and I'm sure I'll have more questions as I get closer to the masking system.

Cheers,
Andy
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post #52 of 835 Old 12-20-2007, 03:17 PM
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Scott...awesome job! This is definitely an inspiration and like Andy238 I am at the same stage of my HT and will make for provisions to add this at a later time as time and money is a big concern right now.
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post #53 of 835 Old 12-24-2007, 09:01 AM
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Scott: Nice job. Clever mechanical designs with off the shelf parts. I especially liked the way you got your horizontal masking coupled. Good idea. I also might borrow your ideas and make a motor controller for it. If I ever get time and do it, I'll fix you up with one. Thanks for taking the time to share the excellent work.

I wondered why you didn't use matching velvet on the maksing panels, too? Not (acoustically) transparent enough? Too (light) transparent? Velvet "crush" when rolled?

Cheers, Scott
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post #54 of 835 Old 12-24-2007, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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GetGray,

Thanks.... I didn't use the black velvet on the panels because I didn't think it would be acoustically transparent enough. The black Fidelio velvet is a lot thicker and denser and also has a backing material. It is also quite a bit more expensive than the GOM. I didn't do any acoustical testing though so the velvet may have been fine to use. I just based my decision on "gut feeling".

I wish I knew more about motors and motor controllers. If you ever make one, I'd be very interested in buying one from you! I've done a lot of looking at kits and online companies, but I don't know enough about electronics to fully understand what I need.
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post #55 of 835 Old 01-03-2008, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

Here is a diagram of the side masking rollers and cables. This diagram is the top view, looking down on the assembly.
I will post some photos next.


Hi Scott,
Wonderful creation you have crafted !
Are the two vert masks mechanisms connected in some way, so they will move together ? I see in your drawings the horiz masks move together, one up & the other down. Do you just pull on the edges to move the masks ? The screen shots showing the different ARs
was very helpful.
Thanks for the great drawings, photos & text.
Great job !

John
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post #56 of 835 Old 01-03-2008, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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John,
Right now the two sides are not connected. In my original design, I had planned on connecting them with another cable between the roller bars. However, it is so easy to move the panels by gently pulling or pushing on the edges, I never added the connection. When I add motorization, I will probably connect the two sides so they move together.
- Scott
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post #57 of 835 Old 01-03-2008, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

Sorry for the ad-nausea detail, but it is the only way I thought I could adequately describe my setup.

As I said earlier, I hope to motorize it someday. It should be very easy to attach motors to the roller bars. The trick will be getting a controller system that allows for multiple pre-set stopping points with an IR remote.


Scott, its me agin. I just ran across an option for motorizing masks on another thread here, from poster Gary Murrell at the link below:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=817776

He used a drapery motor from SmartHome that can be RF controlled. Nit sure, your drapes my be too heavy for this motor work with, but take alook & see what you think:

Motor: $100

http://www.smarthome.com/3142.html

RF Rmt: $25

http://www.smarthome.com/includes/sh...50side2big.jpg
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post #58 of 835 Old 01-04-2008, 09:14 AM
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Hey Guys,

I've also been thinking about using Scott's design and motorizing it. Here are some of my thoughts:

Motor:
I also saw the Add-a-Motor gadget and am planning on using that or something similar. The only thing I don't like about that particular motor is that you only have "open" and "close" stops. You can't have a third stop for say, 1.85. You've only got open (for 2.35) or close (for 1.78). Although, I suppose a second motor could be added with the stops set for 1.85 viewing.

Side masking:
I was also wondering about what happens when you reverse the motor and how the panels have to move. So I came up a counterweight system to move the panels when revering the motor. I had seen this idea before so I can't take credit it though.

Design change:
I did think about one design change though. Instead of an Al tube and bearings, I was thinking of using off the shelf roller shades from here http://www.blindsgalore.com/ProductList.asp.

I'd pick the cheapest shade since the actual shade doesn't matter as I'd replace it with black GOM anyway. They come with the needed brackets and a continuous loop cord that will fit right in with the motor. Easy automation! Since my screen is 50 inches high I'm planning on a 57 inch wide shade.

So here are some sketches of my implementation of Scott's design. Keep in mind I'm only concerned with side masking. The horizontal masking will be fixed and not adjustable.

What do ya think?

Andy
LL
LL
LL
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post #59 of 835 Old 01-04-2008, 10:10 AM
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Hi Scott,

Found your thread a few days ago, and I'd like to say thanks for taking the time to document this, as well as providing the very detailed diagrams!

I had been (slowly) working on an automated side masking system whilst constructing my cinema, unfortunately at the final stages where the masking material was fitted to the system, it didn't quite work as well as I'd hoped due to the material bunching up at the bottom. So, now having seen your design, I am going to attempt to build a version of it (but I only need side masking as I'm using CIH)!

For those talking of motorizing the masking system, the system that I designed uses automation to move the masking to ANY aspect ratio desired - fortunately, this part of my project was the part that actually worked properly!

In a nutshell, you pass the desired aspect ratio to the system as an integer between 1 and 2350 (or whatever your max aspect ratio is), and using an optical encoder it will move the masking to the correct point.

I have documented it here: http://www.willcoxonline.com/masking/ which I think would also work using your mechanism, but with a few mechanical modifications of course.
I would imagine that it would be possible to modify the add-a-motor drive unit to add an optical encoder in the same way, however I'm planning to look at alternative motors as I'd like to get the system as silent as possible and the one I've used is a little noisier than I want, and I understand the add-a-motor is a bit noisy also.

Thanks,
Ben
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post #60 of 835 Old 01-04-2008, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007 View Post

John,
Right now the two sides are not connected. In my original design, I had planned on connecting them with another cable between the roller bars. However, it is so easy to move the panels by gently pulling or pushing on the edges, I never added the connection. When I add motorization, I will probably connect the two sides so they move together.
- Scott

Thanks for the info Scott, good to hear how easily the masking panels move back & forth, prof of a design done right ! Please keep us posted when you do motorized your system. Your theater is amazing, you are blessed my friend !
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