The "Bacon Race" Theater / Patio / Bar Project - Page 64 - AVS Forum
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post #1891 of 2568 Old 06-14-2013, 10:55 AM
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No worries, Nick - thanks all for the advice!
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post #1892 of 2568 Old 06-14-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Patio Update : I have decided to use Underdeck Oasis as my under-deck drainage system. I will have to modify the sides of my deck slightly to add my LED lighting and to allow for the slope of the ceiling to not be visible through my side-arches, which are a good foot higher than the arches on the end of my deck. This will involve removing the trim on the outside-sides of my deck and lowering them to match the beam height across the front. This will give me a uniform base on the edge of my deck, as well as a platform to recess in these mini-LED lights.
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post #1893 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by damelon View Post

We initially screwed the 2x2s through the drywall into the channel. We had planned for this previously that the outside channel would line up with where we wanted the soffit go to along the sides. Along the back, there are several strips of channel and we made sure to measure where they would be, so we would know. Once those 2x2s were in place, we could screw the outside of the soffit (mdf) to the side of the 2x2s. When we put in the bottom of the soffit (the "ladder") we screwed it into the inside MDF and also into the wall studs.

Here is a link to the post where it starts: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1350179/making-the-bacon-race-theater/120#post_20844513

My house is being built now, sorry to bring up some old info smile.gif. So what you are saying here is that the ceiling 2x2's were screwed into the metal whisper channel on the ceiling and the 2x2 ladders you made screw into the studs on the wall, not the metal whisper channels. Is that assumption correct? Just trying to figure out placement of the metal channels. Any idea how far out the 2x2's on the ceiling are from the wall? Would you have changed the size of your sofit now that you have had it for awhile?
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post #1894 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diesel 48 View Post

My house is being built now, sorry to bring up some old info smile.gif. So what you are saying here is that the ceiling 2x2's were screwed into the metal whisper channel on the ceiling and the 2x2 ladders you made screw into the studs on the wall, not the metal whisper channels. Is that assumption correct? Just trying to figure out placement of the metal channels. Any idea how far out the 2x2's on the ceiling are from the wall? Would you have changed the size of your sofit now that you have had it for awhile?

Ok so I'll explain a little.

The room is completely de-coupled. So screwing into any of the room is ok from a soundproofing standpoint. We lined up the ceiling channel in advance, knowing where we were going to put the soffit, so we knew where we could screw into the ceiling. This gave us the ability to "Hang" the soffit. But the soffit isn't centered on those 2x2s, so it needs side-support, thus it needs to be glued and/or screwed into the side wall for support. In this case, I believe we did a little of both since of the total weight. The "Ladder" section, being the bottom face of the soffit, was screwed into the wall and the inside boards hanging from the ceiling. We knew where the wall studs were since we initially put tape on the concrete floor about 6" out from each stud before the drywall. That way we could look down and see where they were after the drywall was up without using a stud-finder. I'd have to go re-measure to check, but I believe we initially planned for the soffit to be 16" wide. So when we put up the channel we made sure that there were channels at the point where we would screw in the 2x2s. (16" - the 3/4" of MDF or whatever width we used). I think both sides had another row of channel a few inches from the wall also, so it wasn't the first row. BIG drew it all out on a paper somewhere, which I may still have since at one point I did save all of that, but I don't know if I threw it out since then.

As far as would I change the soffit size, there are different ways to look at it. For the looks of the room, and to fit the size HVAC ducting, it is perfect. (At least to me) I'm really happy we made it slightly smaller than we initially planned for (Even if it was only by 2" in height). Using that size soffit does pose problems as far as limiting your vertical space on the screen-wall, which in turn can impact how big of a screen you can put in, etc. The screen size is pretty much perfect during a widescreen movie, but it is a little small on a 16x9 movie.

If I retained a wide-screen format, I'd keep everything the same.

If I had a bunch of extra funds to use, I'd probably consider a much larger 16x9 screen with 4-way auto-masking. Sort of an IMAX style. With things like mini-LED lights and LED tape-lights, you need basically no room at all in a soffit for cans, since you wouldn't need to use them. The HVAC space is the only thing you would need to consider, but it doesn't need to run IN the soffit either. 4-way masking is expensive though, and you would need quite a light cannon to properly fill that space. I'm not sure I could find a projector that could fill something that size at that throw distance. If I had to re-do it today though, I know I'd consider it. I'd definitely replace all of my cans with those de-kor LED lights, and use LED tape lights all over the room for in-direct lighting. This would change the look of my room a lot.

The only reason I might not be able to change much on my soffit border is HVAC. Because my joists ran perpendicular to the direction of where the HVAC unit was, there would be no easy way to get the HVAC system above my ceiling. It would have to go through every joist, or I would have to put enough space between on the side of the room to fit a trunk between the walls. That would shrink my space in one way or another, and ceiling height is the one dimension you don't want to give up! So unless I put a mini-split in the room, my only other option to keep the dimensions of the room and shrink the soffit space would be to use a dead vent to the rec-room in the basment. Assuming I did one of those, then I would have the option of making my soffit any size I wanted. That would free up a lot of space in the room, but there is no reason I would need to do that unless I made my screen bigger. Keeping the same screen size, the look of the theater is great with the soffit as is, so I'd just change the lighting we used.

I know that is not a direct YES or NO answer to your question, but there are several variables which go into it. In my pie-in-the-sky scenario, I'd go almost full wall screen with masking, but then I'd want to lengthen the room too and put a bar behind the back row of seats too. hehe. As it is, I love my theater! For the money, it turned out excellent. I wouldn't really use it any more if I made it better, so you really have to decide how much you love movies. It is a LOT of money to drop on a single room, so I think I hit the sweet spot financially. Re-Doing parts of it would be very difficult at this point, and it's hard to change anything you put so much work into!
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post #1895 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 12:20 PM
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whoa. that was one seriously long post... wink.gif
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post #1896 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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whoa. that was one seriously long post... wink.gif

I either tend to talk very little, or way too much. Horrible social skills!
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post #1897 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 01:38 PM
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I either tend to talk very little, or way too much. Horrible social skills!

I wast just messing with you - this thread is referred to throughout the forum as one of the best references on how to build a home theater. you should be proud of that
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post #1898 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 01:39 PM
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Thanks for the info! The room I am building will not be decoupled. It will be a staggard stud construction wall. Since it is staggard stud construction it might be best for me to plan the height of one of the wall channels to match were the 2x2 ladder attach's to the wall. From a sound isolation point it would probably be best to hit the channel rather than the stud correct? How far is your projector from your screen, what kind of projector and are you happy with the brightness? I love the idea of putting one 4x8 sheet of wood where you mount the projector. Makes for an easy attachment and placement flexibility.
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post #1899 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Diesel 48 View Post

Thanks for the info! The room I am building will not be decoupled. It will be a staggard stud construction wall. Since it is staggard stud construction it might be best for me to plan the height of one of the wall channels to match were the 2x2 ladder attach's to the wall. From a sound isolation point it would probably be best to hit the channel rather than the stud correct? How far is your projector from your screen, what kind of projector and are you happy with the brightness? I love the idea of putting one 4x8 sheet of wood where you mount the projector. Makes for an easy attachment and placement flexibility.

Diesel_48, In my opinion, yes, screwing into the channel on the wall would be better than the stud. In that aspect, your room is de-coupled, just not your studs. They should be able to hold the weight, since the majority of the force is pulling down. It really only needs to be secured to the wall, there is very little force there, so you will be fine in that aspect. I think you are going down the right path. Someone like Ted White from soundproofing company would be the person to ask if you want a professional answer. But I think you are safe.

If you search the thread here, I do mention what the throw distance is somewhere, but I don't remember off of the top of my head. I'd have to search the thread myself to find out! smile.gif But I love my Sony projector. I'm very happy with the brightness (Keep in mind I have run the lamp on High from the beginning) and replacement lamps are pretty in-expensive for the Sony VW95ES. It is more expensive than most though. If cost is a problem, you might want to look at some others. The people at AV Science here know their stuff and could recommend one to you.
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post #1900 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Project of the Day - Network Organization!

Basically, my media panel was a jumbled mess. Not only that, my previous network switch had once suffered damage from lightning and had some ports not working, who knows what else. So I wanted to replace it. But all of the ones I wanted were too big for the small media cabinet. On top of that, my cables were horribly confusing and almost in knots!

Before:
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post #1901 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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So I decided to put all of my networking equipment in their own area, to the left of the media box there.

I started with some 3' 2x3s. I used a 3/16" hammer drill bit to drill into my foundation wall, and then used some nice concrete screws to secure them to the wall.


From there, I added a 2' x 3' piece of plywood over the top to mount equipment to. I connected it directly to the 2x3s


From there, I mounted a 24 port Cat6 patch panel
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post #1902 of 2568 Old 06-19-2013, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Now I skipped a few smaller steps, but basically I purchased a vertical wall-mount rack kit, and mounted my new 24 port Netgear smart switch to it. Below that, I mounted my router.

From there I punched down my cables, hooked up patch cables, and used some zip ties to make it pretty.


I had to look at the ends to all of the network cables because some of them were in A configuration, and some were B. Thankfully, there is a nice color wire chart on the back of the patch panel, so it was really easy to hook up.

In the end, the whole thing is much cleaner than before. I would have put the cover on that 4-gang outlet box too but I lost the one I had, Lowes didn't have one in stock with the old shaped outlets, so amazon is shipping one to me.
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post #1903 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for all of your help! I have pretty much read your entire thread. THANK YOU for all your help and willingness to answer my questions!
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post #1904 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your help! I have pretty much read your entire thread. THANK YOU for all your help and willingness to answer my questions!

Anytime. That's why we post all of this on here!
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post #1905 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I wast just messing with you - this thread is referred to throughout the forum as one of the best references on how to build a home theater. you should be proud of that

I am proud, but a lot of what went into this build and this thread is because of Sandman and BIG.

Sandman's thread was so helpful to me, and I wanted to make sure I described in detail every thing we discussed or did during our build as well. When I started this theater, I had every intention of copying his build almost exactly. That changed as soon as we got started though.

BIG does an excellent job of documenting his work step by step. Since we did this theater, he has worked on several builds, and his details on those threads were also equally amazing. The last 2 years have had some amazing build threads on this forum, each one with its own distinct features, which together should provide a builder with step by step instructions on every part of the build process. It doesn't make using tools any easier for an inexperienced person, but at least their planning should be a lot easier. This forum is the only place anyone should need to go now before they start a build.
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post #1906 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 07:46 AM
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I am proud, but a lot of what went into this build and this thread is because of Sandman and BIG.

Sandman's thread was so helpful to me, and I wanted to make sure I described in detail every thing we discussed or did during our build as well. When I started this theater, I had every intention of copying his build almost exactly. That changed as soon as we got started though.

BIG does an excellent job of documenting his work step by step. Since we did this theater, he has worked on several builds, and his details on those threads were also equally amazing. The last 2 years have had some amazing build threads on this forum, each one with its own distinct features, which together should provide a builder with step by step instructions on every part of the build process. It doesn't make using tools any easier for an inexperienced person, but at least their planning should be a lot easier. This forum is the only place anyone should need to go now before they start a build.

I couldn't agree more. The theaters that have been documented here over the past few years really have been incredible - and the bar has consistently been going higher and higher. Even more impressive is the incredible wealth of knowledge the members here have and their willingness to share their techniques and innovations. If it wasn't for the generous people here, I would still be on step one! And now I feel like I should start a GO AVS! chant in my office or something. smile.gif

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #1907 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I couldn't agree more. The theaters that have been documented here over the past few years really have been incredible - and the bar has consistently been going higher and higher. Even more impressive is the incredible wealth of knowledge the members here have and their willingness to share their techniques and innovations. If it wasn't for the generous people here, I would still be on step one! And now I feel like I should start a GO AVS! chant in my office or something. smile.gif

So if I also agree with you, am I agreeing with myself too? haha! I'm really amazed at the huge uptick in the quantity AND quality of builds recently. There is so much information on this forum now that not coming here before building a theater is just crazy. A lot of people have asked me since I built this theater, "What would you do differently?" But that is a question with an ever changing answer! I see so many new ideas and great examples every day. At the time I build this theater, Sandman's theater blew me away with its detail and design. Now there are many many examples of theaters like this. Who knows what design ideas I would like to use if I stumbled on this forum for the first time today? Can you imagine if you just logged in this morning? Tomorrow? If you only looked at recent posts you might miss some incredible theaters if you just started digging into a single thread. Not to mention there are people like BIG out there now who know almost all of the builds on this forum, and will travel to your house to help you with your build. What an awesome time to build a theater!

Look at when I joined this forum. 2007. This is when I built my first theater. (It was REALLY basic, there are even a few photos somewhere in this thread) The only thing I did on here then was ask a few questions about sound proofing and materials. I might have read some posts about equipment, but I don't remember much then. I probably posted 6-12 times at the most. I didn't even know WHAT to look for when I was looking! At the time of my first theater, I was able to find out enough about soundproofing to make decisions, and as a result, my room did a good job of blocking noise from the house. Even without using any de-coupling techniques... but I didn't really know anything about treatments, surfaces, or reflections. There were frequencies that died in certain places, the bass was overwhelming, and the vocals were poor. I just threw some random panels up on the walls and crossed my fingers. When I knew I was thinking of moving in late 2010, I knew any house we moved to would have a basement space for me to build and I started combing threads on here and started reading everything I could. I found out a lot of things I never did the first time, and now you can follow a single thread and find out information on all topics in great detail. It makes it a lot easier to not make mistakes.
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post #1908 of 2568 Old 06-20-2013, 10:28 AM
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Wow! I guess it is a slow day at the office to type all that ^. smile.gif

I'm starting on my first theater soon and hearing your accounts and seeing your build has really helped open my eyes. I just wanted to say thank you for all the effort you put into this thread and sharing your experience. Well done !

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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I'm starting on my first theater soon and hearing your accounts and seeing your build has really helped open my eyes. I just wanted to say thank you for all the effort you put into this thread and sharing your experience. Well done !

Glad to help! Good luck on your upcoming theater! How soon are you starting? Going to hire Dennis?
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post #1910 of 2568 Old 06-21-2013, 04:02 PM
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A lot of my HTPC components were sort of re-used parts from old systems and parts. My HTPC "Player" is right now in a tower case which right now has a big footprint. I'm considering buying a smaller case, and at the same time considering making it more quiet. So while I'm looking into this, I wanted to ask about the rest of the parts.

What I use it for : Flac Playback, Mp3 Playback, 1080p MKV playback with MPC-HC & XMBC.

All of my media (Other than 3D) is stored on my NAS.
Almost every movie in my library is from my Blu Ray / HDDVD collection, so they are all 1080p for the most part. I do very little upscaling, but it might be nice to have. Currently I also have not yet tried to put any 3D movies on my media server and play them through my Oppo. Due to this though, I have to keep my 3D library media accessible, while the rest of my library is tucked away.

Currently it has an i5-2500k, with a Z68 chipset and 4gb of 1600 ddr3 ram. The power supply is probably way over the top, like 750w. It also has a 60GB SSD for windows and player software, which seems to be plenty big since I still have about 25 gigs free and all of my media offloaded on my NAS. I think the CPU cooler I have to is a HUGE one, but I'd have to double-check. But if I have to buy a new CPU cooler, then I need to ask if it is worth it.. heh.

Should I consider upgrading the other parts when I do this or keep what I have? I know there are many reasons pro and con but that's why I'm asking.



i5 2500k is more than enough CPU even by todays standards. Unless you really wanted to push the envelope using SVP and MadVR+Reclock and wanted the max settings it's unlikely that your CPU would not be up to the duties demanded. I have a 3570k in my HTPC and it's more than enough. Adding a modern GPU like a 7790 or 7870 would make more sense than upgrading your CPU at this point. I'd say reuse the CPU for now.

What motherboard do you have? Z68 is fine even by todays standards so if the form factor is right you could keep it. If the form factor is ATX and your thinking you want a smaller M-ATX or ITX board/case then you could replace the motherboard for reason of wanting a smaller build footprint- but otherwise the Z68 is good even by today's standards.

I just upgraded my desktop from a Z68 and a 2600k to a Z87 / 4770k and I can't say I see a huge difference; given this I doubt you would see much difference from your 2500k, and you'd probably need to step up to a full Z87+ 4770k to even make the upgrade worthwhile.

I'd say keep the 2500K CPU and possibly replace the mobo only if you wanted smaller form factor- otherwise keep the mobo too.

Case- You can probably and should probably replace. I like the Silverstone cases for HTPC. Do you want a component style case? Sounds like your getting into a GPU so choose a case that can take a GPU card you might want.

If you have a PSU and it's 750watts- replacing that PSU with a smaller one just to gain efficiency won't make much sense. The extra cost of the new PSU would never be recouped in energy savings so unless you are going to use the 750 watt for another project I'd say just keep using it- even if is is overkill.

Most good HTPC cases like a Silverstone Grandia should take a PSU like that, and a Z68/2500K and also a GPU card. Probably even a larger cooler if you want to reuse it.

For GPU card: ASUS HD 7790 2GB is probably your best bet. You could even save a few bucks in the 1GB version. It should do all you want to do and it's quiet and reliable. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121772

If you really wanted a PSU ther Corsair Builder 500 watt is $29 on Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027
It would be acceptable to use in your rebuild for only $29 IMO. Otherwise-- Just keep your 750watt is ok and cheaper/

For a HTPC case-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100008308%2050002031&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&CompareItemList=690%7C11-163-205%5E11-163-205-TS%2C11-163-196%5E11-163-196-TS%2C11-163-229%5E11-163-229-TS%2C11-163-195%5E11-163-195-TS&percm=11-163-205%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B11-163-196%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B11-163-229%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24%3B11-163-195%3A%24%24%24%24%24%24%24

I would check out something like that. A Silverstone Grandia case is nice, and should hold plenty of hard drives, PSU... full ATX case etc. Pick your case based on what you want long term and make your rebuild fit that. If your ok with a larger case (Often a full performance HTPC needs a GPU) you can get a nice HTPC rebuild going. Add the GPU, The case- reuse what you have. Then when your ready for the next rebuild- your good on the case and GPU and only need a MOBO and CPU. It's likely a case today will get reused on the next generation of CPU and motherboards when you upgrade your 2500k

The last area is your SSD. Moving into a more modern larger 128GB would provide a small performance boost- and provide some storage headroom. But it sounds like your current SSD is also up for the task of getting transplanted so the choice is yours based on budget. You could leave that for the next refresh too.

I just upgraded to a Vector 128GB SSD and I actually noticed a difference from my old Sata 3 SSD. YMMV and the effect is small. Any SSD makes a big difference but the difference between SSD's is smaller. Samsung 840PRO or Vector take the top honors in SSD's these days. Vertex4 or 450 and Samsung 840 are the next step down. Plextor M5 Pro is nice. Then below them is the Plextor M5 and the Crucial M4. You probably would never notice much difference unless you made the jump to the top tier. Since you don't seem to need the space, I'd suggest either jump all the way to a Sammy PRO or Vector- or wait another generation and save your cash. You did not indicate a budget or how serious you want to go- so I am only speculating.

Hope that helps.

Edited* I figured I post it here too. Good luck on the HTPC rebuild.

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post #1911 of 2568 Old 06-21-2013, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by damelon View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm starting on my first theater soon and hearing your accounts and seeing your build has really helped open my eyes. I just wanted to say thank you for all the effort you put into this thread and sharing your experience. Well done !

Glad to help! Good luck on your upcoming theater! How soon are you starting? Going to hire Dennis?

I am considering some design help. Possibly some build help. I am from a DIY family and I've remodeled homes before, my dad is retired- and my budget is very limited. Wife has tons of other plans we can't afford it all.

My goal is to get the space first and foremost. That means spending on the dimensions- 10 foot ceiling versus 8ft if I can -(plus more since it will be peaked above a garage bonus room and I could go higher in the center for a star ceiling). Also making sure I get all the width and length I can. My thinking is- If I did rebuild a second time years in future or if the project went slow I'd never have a regret on that. That is something I can not go back and redo. I want a full size room to do it all.

The tight budget might dictate how much design or build help I can get right now. We have appointment with bank tomorrow. Once we get a budget- then I start real plans. I will probably first post the plans up for debate and critique by the members. If I am near where I should and get approval I might just plow forward. If I am way wrong- I'll consider more design help.

I think I owe it to myself to give it a shot and get a plan first before I can hire someone else. Plus- I need final room dimensions etc.. etc... I want to move quick with this project but I am early still. Very early.

I've wanted a theater since I joined AVS

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So excited it might actually happen.

Right now the room is planned 24ft wide by 32 feet long. (above 2 car garage) I'd really love 10 foot ceilings but wife does not want garage higher than the house- and the house is planned for 8 foot due to costs. I've already got a fight going eek.gif

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post #1912 of 2568 Old 06-22-2013, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I am considering some design help. Possibly some build help. I am from a DIY family and I've remodeled homes before, my dad is retired- and my budget is very limited. Wife has tons of other plans we can't afford it all.

My goal is to get the space first and foremost. That means spending on the dimensions- 10 foot ceiling versus 8ft if I can -(plus more since it will be peaked above a garage bonus room and I could go higher in the center for a star ceiling). Also making sure I get all the width and length I can. My thinking is- If I did rebuild a second time years in future or if the project went slow I'd never have a regret on that. That is something I can not go back and redo. I want a full size room to do it all.

The tight budget might dictate how much design or build help I can get right now. We have appointment with bank tomorrow. Once we get a budget- then I start real plans. I will probably first post the plans up for debate and critique by the members. If I am near where I should and get approval I might just plow forward. If I am way wrong- I'll consider more design help.

I think I owe it to myself to give it a shot and get a plan first before I can hire someone else. Plus- I need final room dimensions etc.. etc... I want to move quick with this project but I am early still. Very early.

I've wanted a theater since I joined AVS

<- - - Join date.

So excited it might actually happen.

Right now the room is planned 24ft wide by 32 feet long. (above 2 car garage) I'd really love 10 foot ceilings but wife does not want garage higher than the house- and the house is planned for 8 foot due to costs. I've already got a fight going eek.gif

Wow huge room size! If you get get 10 ft ceilings with that you are in a really big space. Opens up a ton of design options! I like your strategy. Try to get the space you want, and plan for the long haul, rather than quick and dirty
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post #1913 of 2568 Old 06-23-2013, 06:17 PM
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A lot of switches now autosense between A and B punchouts so you don't have to worry about that anymore. Of course, I'm using a 7 year old switch, but when I get my 10gigE switch, I'll look for that feature.
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post #1914 of 2568 Old 06-24-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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A lot of switches now autosense between A and B punchouts so you don't have to worry about that anymore. Of course, I'm using a 7 year old switch, but when I get my 10gigE switch, I'll look for that feature.

You mean if you do A at one side and B on the other of the same cable? Well, it wasn't that big of a deal, it took all of 5 seconds to look at the previous connector and determine if it was A or B. I thought for a few minutes if I wanted to just re-wire all of one or another to make them standard in my home, but once you hook it up, you never really need to care again. There was nothing I had to do on my switch to say if it was A or B though. Network throughput since the changeover is even better. My old 12 port netgear switch was also gigabit, but it was probably 6 years old. Maybe even 7 years old. I instantly noticed my PC->PC transfer speed improve after the changeover, though that wasn't the goal.

Patio Update : This weekend, I wired up 2 RCA keystone jacks to my basement office closet from my whole-house audio hub on the main level. Now my audio output from that system is synced into my new system so I can use the same source for my outdoor music as my indoor music. Also, the receiver (Pioneer) that I purchased to use for this, and for the future outdoor theater, has an awesome iPhone/iPad app that lets me adjust volume, EQ, source, etc from my phone over my home network. It worked perfectly and was flawless. That's a huge benefit for any outdoor parties I might have.

I also wired up the final outdoor power run from my external UV box (Where all of my LED controllers / transformers will be) to a waterproof switch, which goes to where the ceiling fan will be. That's all set, though I didn't connect the power cable to the source yet, since my ceiling fan can't be installed until the ceiling is in under the deck.

I have the first part of my under-deck work scheduled for July 3rd. On this day, I will be working with a contractor to make my deck trim a uniform height on the sides to the end. Right now, there are PVC Trim and boards around my deck. There are arches between every column. Except that on the end of the deck, the arches are a foot lower, due to the end support beam also being cased in PVC board/trim. When they build in a waterproof ceiling, it angles from the house, slightly downward, toward the end of the deck. This would cause the ceiling to be lower then the top area of the side arches. So I am having the trim lowered to be the same as the end of the deck, and adding some hollow faux-beams put into the side as well, to make it look like there is a thick beam along the entire edge of the deck (Sides and Front) This also gives me an area to install the mini-LED lights inside of this beam all the way around the deck, and before they put the ceiling in. I should be scheduling the ceiling install today or tomorrow likely.

Today, I plan to install my last security camera (Have 3 so far) and finish the wiring for speakers. I have 2 speakers mounted, but I won't be able to mount any more speakers until the next phase of the project, but I do need to have the wires run before the ceiling goes up, or I will have to pop out ceiling panels later. It's easier if I do it now, and just spool up the cable for now. I already have the HDMI run, but now that I'm thinking about it, I probably want to run a network jack out there too. All of these things I keep thinking of.



For the projector mount, I've considered a few things. Ideally, my projector would be about 7' out from the end of my deck, and high enough to be over people's heads. So I thought about mounting something like the picture below on the side of my deck and using a 6-7' pipe screwed into it, along with an elbow at the end, and mounting the projector with a standard ceiling mount. The only problem I worry about is that projector mount pipe is usually 1.5" NPT, and that is thick heavy pipe. I'd like to use something smaller, and then have the elbow convert it to 1.5". So I could mount this sideways, bolted into the beam with BIG screws, convert the pipe to something smaller for 7', and then use an elbow and convert it back to 1.5".... or I'll have to use 1.5" NPT the whole way, which would add a lot of weight, all pulling force down from the deck. I wonder what that plate could hold weight wise...
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post #1915 of 2568 Old 06-26-2013, 08:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Update : I finished with the cameras yesterday, getting my final security camera up and wired. Yes, I can use them to record motion and all of that jazz, but in reality they are more of a remote puppy cam, so i can watch my two dobermans from work. They are more of a security system than a few cameras would ever be!

Yesterday we also got a beautiful (Windmill) palm tree and 4 big Yucca plants put in, starting to fill in the planter area around the deck staircase. It looks gorgeous! I can't wait until the pool/patio is done so we can start landscaping. Should be incredible!

I also have the installation date for my under-deck set for July 8th. I've been trying to get all of the wiring done outside prior to this date, and am very close now. I only have one more network run (To go along with the HDMI cable) and 3 speaker wire runs. The hole I bored into my closet from the outside is filling up fast with cables, that's for sure. Right now 3 Cat6 runs, 1 HDMI, 2 speaker wire runs. I think it was only a 1" hole. There is room but getting additional cables in there will start to get tight. Cable Jumble! I will get photos of all of this soon, I promise!

I'm also going to start pointing out what is doing to take place for the deck so I can give before/after photos.
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post #1916 of 2568 Old 06-26-2013, 08:25 AM
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I love your work day updates smile.gif. You have too much free time at work. You must be the boss. smile.gif

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post #1917 of 2568 Old 06-26-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I love your work day updates smile.gif. You have too much free time at work. You must be the boss. smile.gif

No but I work on a project which is manned by just me. I have to do all of the development, documents, etc. It might seem like that means it would be more work, but that mostly means I don't have to do any collaboration, so a lot of the typical status meetings, discussions, etc are eliminated. It also helps that I've been on this same project for a couple of years, so I am very efficient and can do a lot of the work in my sleep. That's a lot less research time I have to take for new technology, product libraries, etc. I like software development. It's the engineer in me, I like to build things. So the dork in me likes to talk about the things I build too. We're between software release cycles at the moment, which means I'm mostly doing O&M work until the next cycle starts. There isn't a lot to do during times like this unless the system isn't working.... but of course that doesn't happen because I was the one who designed it!

I can only do little projects during the week when I get home, but the heat is pretty suffocating, so it is getting harder to do the work outside. Luckily, the work I have to do is almost done. Trying to think about all of the things I MIGHT need when this entire backyard project is done before they start pouring concrete everywhere is getting frustrating. I've already kicked myself for not pre-wiring a bunch of inputs/outputs directly into the bar area. It would have been much easier then.
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post #1918 of 2568 Old 06-28-2013, 07:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Update 6/28 - Outdoor Tape Light project : So yesterday I finally tackled the "tape light" portion of my patio project. We are almost done with phase 1 of our patio design, you can go back several pages to see the 3D renderings of the proposed total plan. In about a week and a half phase one will be done completely. So on the tape light project, my goal was to provide underside lighting to the large BBQ/Bar area under my deck. Due to the fact that there is no real material to screw or nail to, My first requirement was to find tape light that was very small and lightweight. I used this:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005EHHLD8/ref=pe_175190_21431760_3p_M3T1_ST1_dp_1

This is a "Daylight" colored LED strip. I calculated I would need 2 of these rolls to cover the whole border of my bar area. I also purchased a large transformer, some waterproof end caps, and some waterproof connectors to connect the pieces at the corners since they make 90 degree angles and the strip. Although flexible, LED tape does not bend in that direction. This would also be a an opportunity for me to take my first crack at soldering, since bulk LED tape light, though cheap, requires cutting and that requires soldering. Amazon had some examples of clip-on connectors, but they were flaky at best. If you want it done well, you need a permanent connection.

So the first problem I noticed when my tape arrived was that there were a few burnt out LEDs (they were an obvious brown before I ever even tested or plugged in the strip) and two places where the silicone waterproof cover was cracked or broken completely. This in the end was a non-issue since I could cut away the pieces, and based on where the issues were, I used the longest available lengths each time to make sure I could meet my goals. Fortunately I did. This allowed me to end up with 6 pieces, which would cover the two main outside edges of the bar, the 2 sides, and then two small wrap around areas on the inside up to the fridge and side-burner units.

This was the bar as it was yesterday



First, I cut all pieces of the tape light. From there I took all of the pieces to the garage. I wasn't able to take photos of myself soldering since it is very hot and requires both hands at all times. Basically, there are areas on the tape that have a line with a scissor icon where you can easily cut through. From there, there are 2 little copper circles, which are labeled + and - respectively. I took a razor-blade utility knife and carefully cut the piece of silicone weatherproofing off of the top of the strip. This leaves a paper thin piece of tape light with the 2 copper connection terminals. I then plugged in my soldering iron. The particular one I purchased has an on-off switch, and heats up very quickly, maybe 15 seconds. It has a LED light that turns green when it is ready to use. I touched the tip of the soldering iron to the copper circle at the edge of the tape light and held it there for a couple of seconds to heat up the surface material. From there I fed in some rosin-core electrical solder. This can sometimes bead up on the soldering iron itself, and it is very hot so you need to carefully rotate the iron when this happens to get a bead of solder on the copper terminal on the tape light. When you feed in solder, you want to feed it in under the tip of the iron, but it doesn't always work the way you want. It also solidifies quickly. Once I got both beads on the connector, I took my waterproof connector wires, which were labeled + and - also, and fed them into the bead. This required use of the soldering iron again since the beads already were solid. When the bead re-heated i could feed in the wire.



From there I added some silicone sealant and covered the connection with a waterproof connector by sliding it down the wires.



The particular transformer I purchased was an outdoor waterproof model which came with 1 input and 2 output wires. Unfortunately none of the wires had connectors on it, which I knew in advance, but it was a very good transformer. It was also made overseas, so the color-combinations were Green/Blue/Brown instead of the standard green/black/white we are used to in the US. I looked up the color-codes online, and found that green was still grown, blue was neutral, and brown was hot. So I cut off one of my hundreds of 3-prong computer power cables and made a pigtail like BIG did for me back when we were testing things in my theater. On the other end I wired a 3m long waterproof connector to the output end, which again was blue/brown. The connector wires were all black/red in this case to signify + and -. The transformer listed which was + and which was - where the wire came out, so that was easy. You need to make sure that + and - match up the entire length of the tape wire!

Once I had all of my connections soldered, I made sure to line them all up on top of my bar prior to taping to make sure they were all in the right place and that all of my connectors matched up. More than once, i needed to rotate them around to make sure that each wire had the proper male/female connectors in the same place.



I tested it to see if it worked, but pictures didn't show well during the day, so I came back at night. Keep in mind, the color isn't right in this photo. Daylight LEDs do almost seem to have a blue tint to the light, but this is over-corrected by the lens. It also appears brighter than it is in reality. Overall, it turned out perfect, and can see all of the individual colors of the stone and concrete beautifully.

One thing to note.. unfinished granite (the underside) did not stick well to my industrial outdoor tape I purchased at Lowes. It's ironic, since I purchased the high-stick tape because I didn't have faith in the 3M backing on the LED tape light. In the end, the 3M Strip on the LED light stuck to it well and the outdoor tape didn't, but from what I read, it wont stick long term. I am going to take some clear silicone caulk and run it along the sides of each piece of tape to keep it there just in case.



Also, here is a picture of the Windmill palm tree and Yucca plants we planted this week. It totally changes the look of the back yard, and that's just for this one small planter! We will be adding quite a lot of landscaping around the patio once the second and third phases of the project are completed in the next couple of years.

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post #1919 of 2568 Old 06-28-2013, 08:02 AM
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post #1920 of 2568 Old 06-28-2013, 08:27 AM
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looks great !

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