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post #271 of 405 Old 05-29-2012, 10:00 PM
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Great job aaustin! I cant wait to see the finished product!

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post #272 of 405 Old 05-30-2012, 05:41 AM
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Don't worry about the projector at this point. Make it the best you can. What you are proving to EVERYONE is that you need to build the room properly. The equipment can be upgraded easier than the room.

Keep up the good work!

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post #273 of 405 Old 05-30-2012, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiptouz View Post

Great job aaustin! I cant wait to see the finished product!

Thanks chiptouz! I can't wait either!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

Don't worry about the projector at this point. Make it the best you can. What you are proving to EVERYONE is that you need to build the room properly. The equipment can be upgraded easier than the room.

Keep up the good work!

Thanks Tom! That is an excellent point and something that I have been trying to live by during this build. It's much easier to connect a new projector then rebuild part of the room.

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post #274 of 405 Old 06-01-2012, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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So today I had a surprise waiting for me in the mailbox when I got home. The LED's arrived!!!

I was very pleased with how quickly they got here. Since they came from Hong Kong I didn't expect them until next week.

Here is everything that I ordered. It all came from ebay (thanks Iusteve!) and cost about $55 total.



That's two 5m lengths of 30 LED/m RGB strips, one 12V 6A power supply, an ir controller with five outputs (you can connect up to five strands), and a 44 button ir remote.

My original plan for tonight was to work on the screen, but after plugging those LED's in to test them out I just had to see them installed. It took one extra trip to Home Depot for some 14 gauge landscape wire but I got them all in and working great!










These are only some of the available colors. They also can flash between colors and do a slow fade.

I was able to extend the wire from the power supply and splice that into the romex going up to the soffit. Then the controller with five outputs made it pretty easy to run some more of the landscape wire to the beginning of the second run. Despite all the splices and other aspects of my "interesting" install, all of the lights are working beautifully. Once again thank you to everyone who helped me to figure out how to implement these LED strips in my theater! A big shout out to Mr. Tim especially for his invaluable advice!

I really couldn't be happier with how these look in the room. I always knew that I wanted to do some kind of lighting in crown molding, but the LED's add a whole new dimension to it. I can see it being one of those things that guests say "wow" over and remember when they leave.

Plus, it wasn't much more expensive than doing incandescent rope light. By the time I bought the rope light AND a dimmer switch to control them, the price would have been very close to the LED's. Just a thought for anyone trying to decide between the two.

I also swapped out the 4-gang switch box for a 3-gang and am now in the process of closing up the gap due to the larger hole.

Tomorrow will include finishing the hole around the box and building the screen. Then hopefully I can get started on my manual masking system built into the screen border (more info on that later. If it works it should be really cool. )

By the way, carpet will be installed on Monday!!

Thanks for following along!
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post #275 of 405 Old 06-02-2012, 07:49 AM
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Man those turned out great. Nicely done. Looking forward to seeing your masking system and your screen.

Now stop gawking at those LED's and get to work!

Regards,

RTROSE

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #276 of 405 Old 06-02-2012, 02:35 PM
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Man, if those lights look as good in real life as they do in the photos, who needs to watch a movie?!?

Now I am really jealous. My room is so straight forward...maybe I need to tear something out and make it fancier!

How come someone so young can be an inspiration to us old guys?? We are supposed to be inspiring him!
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post #277 of 405 Old 06-02-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Man those turned out great. Nicely done. Looking forward to seeing your masking system and your screen.

Now stop gawking at those LED's and get to work!

Regards,

RTROSE

Thanks RT!

Don't worry there is a ton of stuff getting done in the theater even though it is hard not to stare at the lights.

I'll post an update with pics when I get a chance.

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post #278 of 405 Old 06-02-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick in Manitou View Post

Man, if those lights look as good in real life as they do in the photos, who needs to watch a movie?!?

Now I am really jealous. My room is so straight forward...maybe I need to tear something out and make it fancier!

How come someone so young can be an inspiration to us old guys?? We are supposed to be inspiring him!

They look even better in real life! Plus, the photos can't capture the really cool effects that they can do. My favorite is the slow fade through all of the colors.

You could try and work them into your room somewhere Nick. I believe that you are using a flat screen right? Maybe you could try backlighting that? Or also adding some crown molding about 7" below the ceiling and put them in that?

I'm glad that I can inspire you guys! I've gotten so much inspiration from the wonderful people on this forum that it feels good to add to the community and give back.

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post #279 of 405 Old 06-02-2012, 05:49 PM
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Awesome lights! Now I have a reference who can talk me through the process when I get to that point.
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post #280 of 405 Old 06-03-2012, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome lights! Now I have a reference who can talk me through the process when I get to that point.

Thanks Vanice!!

I'll be here to give advice if you need it. I'm always happy to help!

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post #281 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Well to say that this weekend was busy would be an understatement. The theater is really starting to take shape.

Saturday began with some more touch-up painting. This was mostly around the trim and in the corners. I also rolled on one more coat of mouse ears on the screen wall since it got some scuffs while installing the molding. I am happy to report that the painting is finally perfect! All the lines are clean, the coverage is great, and it looks awesome!

Next I installed all of the outlets in the room.



It's amazing how nice having available outlets is. Now I don't have to run extension cords around everywhere.

The rest of Saturday was spent going between stores to pick up materials. This included Joann Fabrics, Michael's, Home Depot, Lowes, and Cold Stone Creamery.

Sunday began with the installation of the door stops, weatherstripping, and the black marble threshold (I still have to paint the door stops).



The marble turned out awesome. I'm really glad that I decided to use it over a wooden threshold.

Now that the door is sealed up I can say that the soundproofing was a success!! I put the radio on in the theater on full (at an uncomfortably loud level) and measured 85db with my phone's spl meter app. Right outside the closed door it read 40db and in my sister's bedroom adjacent from the theater with her door closed it read 25db. The noise is barely audible in her room when everything else is dead silent, and as soon as you introduce any kind of background noise it disappears. Inside the theater it's like you've been transported to another world. The door sounds like an airlock when you close it and then it is so quiet. I am very pleased!

Also, the airflow through the unpowered supply dead vent in the front of the room feels like it is just about equal to the air being drawn out in the back. That seems like pretty good reassurance that the room is sealed up tight!

Next came the screen!!

I spent a lot of time during my research period (before I even started building) trying to decide what I wanted to do for a screen. Since I don't have the room for a false wall, an AT screen wasn't necessary. I also decided that I wanted to go the DIY route and try to save some money. At my old house I just painted the wall with Behr Silverscreen. It looked good, but I never trusted that the wall was dead flat. This time I knew that I wanted to do something that would be hung on the wall. I contemplated many options, black-out cloth stretched on a frame and a painted substrate being only some.

Then one day while browsing the forum I came across the laminate screen thread. After a lot of reading, it seemed like the perfect option for me. The laminate is relatively cheap, it has been tested to perform as well or better than some more expensive "real" screens and perhaps the best trait for me, it's extremely durable and easy to clean. With three younger siblings and five dogs, the screen is bound to be touched and get dirty. The laminate is what is used on countertops, so it can stand up to that type of wear and is also a cinch to clean.

So I ordered my sheet of Wilsonart Designer White laminate and it waited patiently in it's box until today.

I began by laying it down and applying some weights on the ends to flatten it out.



During this time I also cut it to size. I used a utility knife to score and snap it. I ended up making it 47" tall and the accompanying 16:9 aspect ratio width (84") to give me the option of upgrading to a slightly larger screen if I get a different projector and want to reuse this one. For now I will use the screen border to cover up the extra area.

The laminate is not rigid enough to be mounted directly to the wall, so I decided to mount it to something more rigid. I had read about people building frames but decided that the best (and easiest) option would be to attach it to a 3/16" piece of hardboard. I left the hardboard at 48" wide and cut it to 86" long to allow for some overhang to screw it to the wall.



The best way to attach the two pieces is contact cement since that is what is normally used when resurfacing countertops. It bonds the two pieces over the entire surface, providing maximum adhesion. It's also nice because it eliminates the possibility of any "bumps" beneath the laminate from a thicker adhesive like liquid nails.

A DIY word of warning:

When the instructions say use in a "well ventilated area" they mean a WELL ventilated area. I thought I'd be all right with all the windows open in the basement and a fan running in the door of the theater but man does that stuff smell. Lets just say that I felt a little loopy for a few minutes and there was a 2 hour "airing out" period where nobody went in the basement after the two pieces were bonded.

I rolled the contact cement onto both surfaces and then let it dry for about 20 minutes until it felt "tacky".



Then my sister and I VERY CAREFULLY lifted the laminate and, starting in one corner, "rolled" it down onto the hardboard. I was very nervous because once those two surfaces touch they will not come apart. Then I used a scrap 2x4 covered with a towel to apply pressure working out from the middle to ensure that both surfaces made full contact.

It came out great!!



Success!!



Next I enlisted the help of the family to get the screen mounted to the wall. It is anchored and screwed around the perimeter.





It came out AWESOME!!!

I love the way the screen wash lights above it look too. It makes quite a statement when you walk in the room.

And finally, just for kicks and giggles, a screen shot.



Keep in mind that this was taken with my cheap little digital camera so it doesn't do it justice. Once the room is complete I'll try to get my grandpa's better camera and a tripod to take some final pics.

Needless to say, I am VERY PLEASED with the screen!

It's also nice to see the rest of the family finally getting into the theater. I think that they've thought that I was nuts (most likely true) throughout this whole project when I tried to explain this vision that I had in my head. Now that it's all coming together they are beginning to realize how awesome this room in their house is gong to be. My little sister is already planning movie parties with her friends.....

To finish up the night I primed all of the wallplates, outlets, and switch covers to be spray painted.

I've also been working on sealing up the gaps left from the 3-gang switch box, but unfortunately I couldn't get it finished and painted since the joint compound wouldn't dry quick enough.

Then I spent some time cleaning up because........... carpet goes in tomorrow!!

After carpet my next step is to build the screen border and masking system (I know that you're anxiously waiting RTROSE ). Then I've got to get the shelving in the equipment closet installed and wire everything up, bring down the seats and hook up the bass shakers, and finish some other odds and ends.

I've also got to figure out some kind of shelf for the center channel speaker. I'd like to go with a "hidden bracket" type, where the shelf slides onto the support which is attached to the wall, but I can't find one that is 11" deep to fit the speaker. I've got a few ideas on how to build my own but if anyone has done this before and has any recommendations I'd appreciate it.

My goal is still to have the premier night this Saturday. It's the final push to the finish!!

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post #282 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 06:00 AM
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That is a lot of progress, it looks fantastic - I love the LED's and I hadn't seen a laminate screen done before. Going to do a search to find that thread you referenced - I am in full "research" mode at this point...

Can you post a short video showing the fading in & out of the LED's?? Sounds like a pretty cool effect... again, great job!!

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post #283 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 06:20 AM
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Excellent progress. Looking forward to seeing the carpet pics!

Do you happen to have any more pics of the door seals? What did you go with for the bottom of the door (hard to tell in the one picture)?
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post #284 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dRwOOD73 View Post

That is a lot of progress, it looks fantastic - I love the LED's and I hadn't seen a laminate screen done before. Going to do a search to find that thread you referenced - I am in full "research" mode at this point...

Can you post a short video showing the fading in & out of the LED's?? Sounds like a pretty cool effect... again, great job!!

Thanks for ther kind words!!

This video actually shows the fade effect pretty well, though it is an exposed strip and not in crown molding.



This video uses the same remote and controller that I have and shows some of the cool "jumping" effects.


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post #285 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Excellent progress. Looking forward to seeing the carpet pics!

Do you happen to have any more pics of the door seals? What did you go with for the bottom of the door (hard to tell in the one picture)?

Thanks vanice!!

I can get you some pics of the seals a little later once I get home. On the top and sides I cut a slot in the door stops and inserted some kerfed vinyl weatherstripping.

The bottom is sealed right now with a cheap stick-on door sweep that I had lying around. It isn't horrible, but is most definitely the weak link and I'd like to work on something a little bit better. The gap between the bottom of the door and the marble threshold is 3/4", so my current plan is to cut a piece of 1/2" MDF to fit the bottom of the door and use some construction adhesive to attach it. Then I'll try the sweep again with the 1/4" gap. Hopefully with that small of a gap it will be sufficient. If not I'll look into getting an automatic door bottom, but I wanted to try and make something work with things that I had lying around first.

I'll keep you posted.

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post #286 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 11:57 AM
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aaustin......coming along GREAT bro! the paint and the lights in the soffit came out amazing! can't believe out quickly time passes!
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post #287 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 02:43 PM
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Those are some sexy rope lights!
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post #288 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 04:28 PM
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Well done, that is some great progress to say the least. It is a fantastic feeling when you start looking around and seeing that your vision is finally taking shape and coming together AND your family realizes that your not COMPLETELY nuts! It is amazing how those two things seem to coincide isn't it?

One LINK to some shelving options. This might get you close.

Keep it up and you should be done well ahead of your Saturday premier!

Regards,

RTROSE

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Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
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post #289 of 405 Old 06-04-2012, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azula View Post

aaustin......coming along GREAT bro! the paint and the lights in the soffit came out amazing! can't believe out quickly time passes!

Thanks azula! I'm VERY HAPPY with how it is all coming together!!!

Quote:
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Those are some sexy rope lights!

You can say that again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Well done, that is some great progress to say the least. It is a fantastic feeling when you start looking around and seeing that your vision is finally taking shape and coming together AND your family realizes that your not COMPLETELY nuts! It is amazing how those two things seem to coincide isn't it?

One LINK to some shelving options. This might get you close.

Keep it up and you should be done well ahead of your Saturday premier!

Regards,

RTROSE

Thanks RTROSE!

I know exactly what you mean about the feeling that you get when everything is taking shape, but I think I'm probably still nuts.

I like that shelf that you linked to, but wish that they had the 10" deep by 22.5" long one in black. I've got to do some more searching but that is definitely a good start.

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post #290 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Do you happen to have any more pics of the door seals?

Here's some more detailed pics of the door seals. You can see in this first one that I cut a slot in the door stop to accept the kerfed weather stripping.



Here is a close-up of the weatherstripping. The part that sticks out on the bottom is what goes into the slot.



And here it is once it is put in the slot.



I attached the weatherstripping to the stops before attaching them to the jamb. Then I closed the door and pushed them up tight to ensure a good seal before brad nailing them on.

I am very happy with how this kerfed vinyl weatherstripping performs. It seals everything up tight.

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post #291 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Today at around 11:30am the carpet installers showed up. It only took them about an hour to get everything in.







It looks AWESOME!!!

I absolutely love the checkerboard pattern and the way the lighter areas are also recessed down a little adds a really cool texture as well. It has a distinct feeling when you walk on it due to the different textures. The best way that I can describe it is like some showers with pebbled floors that feel a little "bumpy". But of course this is soft. It is better than I imagined it would be.

I am very glad that I went with the darker shade now that it is installed in the whole room. The small sample was rather deceiving and didn't show the pattern very well. Luckily I had damelon's and bzbase's rooms to use as examples!

The whole room just feels more "finished" now. This was the last big surface that needed to be transformed from a concrete basement to a theater. Now that it is done, I feel like the end is closer than ever.

It's also amazing how much it helped tame the echo in the room. I expect that the chairs will have a similar effect.

This afternoon I spent some time working on the screen border and masking system. I'll have pictures and more information on that once it is finished!

The forum is going down tomorrow at 9am, so I'm not sure when I'll hear from all of you again. Hopefully everything will run smoothly and we'll all be back quickly with an updated AVS!

Well.... see you on the other side!

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post #292 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 05:20 AM
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That carpet looks great! Your whole room looks great - you should be proud.
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post #293 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 05:33 AM
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The carpet looks perfect with the wall colors.. had to get a quick fix b4 the shutdown... see you on the other side!!

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post #294 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 05:38 AM
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Looks fantastic! And thanks for the door seal pics. Makes me feel better about the doors I'm planning to order.
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post #295 of 405 Old 06-05-2012, 05:49 AM
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Carpet looks great! Nice choice. I think the carpet IS what REALLY brings the room together. Keep at it!

Love the LEDs too. I'm still trying to decide what to put in my room and they are now at the top of my list.

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post #296 of 405 Old 06-06-2012, 03:15 AM
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Love the carpet Austin, everything is really coming together.
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post #297 of 405 Old 06-06-2012, 04:41 AM
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The carpet turned out great. More importantly, how do the skeptics like it? Is it comfortable enough for them?
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post #298 of 405 Old 06-06-2012, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by brausch View Post

That carpet looks great! Your whole room looks great - you should be proud.

Thank you for the kind words brausch!! It looks like our rooms are just about at the same place. Movie time is fast approaching!
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Originally Posted by dRwOOD73 View Post

The carpet looks perfect with the wall colors.. had to get a quick fix b4 the shutdown... see you on the other side!!

Thanks! I'm glad that you got in before the shutdown. It was strange yesterday not being able to check on the forum. I completely agree about the colors. It is perfect.
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Originally Posted by vanice View Post

Looks fantastic! And thanks for the door seal pics. Makes me feel better about the doors I'm planning to order.

Thanks vanice! No problem about the pics. I'm always happy to help.
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Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post

Carpet looks great! Nice choice. I think the carpet IS what REALLY brings the room together. Keep at it!


Love the LEDs too. I'm still trying to decide what to put in my room and they are now at the top of my list.

I agree Tom. It's so nice being able to go in there and not get dust all over my feet. As I've said before, I'd recommend the Leds to anyone. They are awesome!!
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Originally Posted by Chimera2345 View Post

Love the carpet Austin, everything is really coming together.

Thanks Chimera! It is very exciting!
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Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

The carpet turned out great. More importantly, how do the skeptics like it? Is it comfortable enough for them?

The whole family loves the carpet and I got a resounding "you were right" from everyone. They agree that it really adds to the look of the room and is very soft and comfortable. It's actually almost two kinds of carpet, with the darker squares being more plush and the lighter more of a berber. It is perfect.

The Austin Home Theater:
A DIY high school project (now complete and being enjoyed everyday)

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post #299 of 405 Old 06-06-2012, 11:01 AM
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Are those LEDs dimmable? Does your GE control them?
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post #300 of 405 Old 06-06-2012, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wraunch View Post

Are those LEDs dimmable? Does your GE control them?

Hi wraunch;

I'm going with standard dimmers instead of a Grafik Eye due to the cost. The LEDs, however, are controlled independently and require no actual dimmer switch. If you take a look at the picture from earlier in the thread with all of the components laid out on a table you'll see a little white box with lots of wires coming out of it. That is the controller and options are selected using the remote. All you have to do is plug it in. They are dimmable with the remote.

The Austin Home Theater:
A DIY high school project (now complete and being enjoyed everyday)

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