Dr. G's Humble HT aka "The Escape Pod" - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 147 Old 01-14-2016, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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One other area I'm a little discouraged over is the rope light.

I thought I'd just put an incandescent rope light in, but it's very dim. And it has these huge connectors at the ends that make it hard to fit, and I can't cut it to the exact length I want.

So I thought I'd go with LEDs, but I didn't make room for the transformers or anything at the back of the rope tray and all I did was run AC power to it. So I'll have to do something funky, like use the HVAC vent, to run low voltage wires to it, or cut a hole in the drywall at the back of the room to make a cavity for the transformers and stuff.

So that's a little discouraging, and I haven't really worked on that problem yet. Any suggestions there are welcome.

So here's my advice. If you want a rope light, make the tray as big as you can get away with! And run a conduit to the tray from your equipment closet so you can pull low voltage or other control/power wires to the rope light tray. I'll figure it out... just not for a while.

So for now my rope light tray is dark.

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post #122 of 147 Old 01-14-2016, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
Any suggestions on remote control are welcome though! Right now I just have a Xantech repeater so I don't have to point my remotes behind me at the rack...

Funny thing is, the Marantz, if I use the IR input on the back, still accepts IR from the front. But the Oppo, only accepts it in the back from Xantech if plugged in. So I have to point to the front of the room now for the Oppo.
I went with Simple Control (formerly Roomie Remote) running on a dedicated iPad Mini 2. I considered iRule but I didn't have the time to dedicate to getting it up and running. Simple Control was really easy to set up - I was able to get fully functional within about 45 minutes. Of course I spent a few more hours tweaking, but it's really easy. And, their program guide integration is amazing! I need to put in some screen shots in my build thread.

IP control is so much better than hassling with IR that I chose components that supported it. I do use RS232 for my projector, and will need to go with IR for my Xbox One. But, everything else is fully controllable via IP. One key is to assign static IP address to your components via your router.

I've read on the Simple Control thread that the Oppo Blu-ray players must be powered on via IR but can be controlled via IP.
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post #123 of 147 Old 01-14-2016, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
One other area I'm a little discouraged over is the rope light.

I thought I'd just put an incandescent rope light in, but it's very dim. And it has these huge connectors at the ends that make it hard to fit, and I can't cut it to the exact length I want.

So I thought I'd go with LEDs, but I didn't make room for the transformers or anything at the back of the rope tray and all I did was run AC power to it. So I'll have to do something funky, like use the HVAC vent, to run low voltage wires to it, or cut a hole in the drywall at the back of the room to make a cavity for the transformers and stuff.

So that's a little discouraging, and I haven't really worked on that problem yet. Any suggestions there are welcome.

So here's my advice. If you want a rope light, make the tray as big as you can get away with! And run a conduit to the tray from your equipment closet so you can pull low voltage or other control/power wires to the rope light tray. I'll figure it out... just not for a while.

So for now my rope light tray is dark.
Can you run add a circuit from one of your circuit breaker boxes straight up to your light tray (where you would add an outlet)? And, I know they sell 120VAC LED rope lighting and I've seen some LED tape at Costco.

If you need more room, you could replace your trim with something a little taller. I know, I know, the thought of removing trim is probably not terribly appealing.
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post #124 of 147 Old 01-19-2016, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ChadA View Post
Can you run add a circuit from one of your circuit breaker boxes straight up to your light tray (where you would add an outlet)? And, I know they sell 120VAC LED rope lighting and I've seen some LED tape at Costco.

If you need more room, you could replace your trim with something a little taller. I know, I know, the thought of removing trim is probably not terribly appealing.
I have some elaborate ideas in my head for the trim lighting. I have a 3 conductor w/ground wire running from a junction box I use for lighting control. The junction box has 2 circuits coming into it and has conduit to a bank of 4 gang boxes. The only problem is that the 3 conductor wire has one hot running to the rope light tray and the other hot running to the screen wash lights. So I can't "reprovision" the wire to the rope light as DC without messing up the screen wash lights. I know I should have run separate wires!

But all isn't lost, I have several ideas that might take some time to implement but will look good aesthetically. I have an HVAC vent to the back middle that I could run wires down and it runs right through the equipment closet, so I can use it to run low voltage or control wires to the rope light. Or I can go with A/C LED lights like you suggest - I'm must worried about trying to dim them with the Lutron Grafik Eye - I could get one and just try it out, in general the LEDs don't dim as well without an electronic dimmer. There's tons of different options since I put in the lighting junction box... and all of them are better than pulling the trim . The trim was pure pain to get installed well and it looks really nice. LED tape running along the back of it will look superb if I can just figure out how to drive it.

I was thinking I'd go with a 24VAC LED light tape strip. Those are versatile and bright. I might be able to mount the transformer in the back center on the soffit and it will look okay, being black like the trim... if not I'll find a way to hide it. Always seem to figure these things out

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post #125 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So I've been really bad at putting up pictures for the last few months. Pretty much ever since I started getting equipment in. So I'm going to post some posts about each of the latest few phases.

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post #126 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay - equipment. Getting the equipment was more of an ordeal than I thought it would be. I worked with a local dealer, but I think they had a harder time working with a hobbyist like me. I stayed loyal, auditioned stuff, but when it came time to buy, I knew what I wanted. I didn't need sales or help or discussion, just get it ordered. They kind of short circuited on that.

They'd keep offering advice and comments which would be great for someone coming in for the first time and would help make a decision, but I was thinking about much more nuanced stuff at that point. Eventually I got everything on order. I ordered the big stuff locally, the little stuff online.

Equipment:

Sony VPL-HW55ES projector

I wasn't even considering this projector before. When it was MSRP $3999. But when it dropped to $2999 right when I was buying equipment, I auditioned it, love it, and picked it over the Epson 5030UB I'd been looking at. I picked it over the Epson for 2 things: the fan noise - I didn't realize I was so susceptible but I watch my movies kind of quiet, and I watch a lot of quiet movies. So the fan noise turned out to be kind of big as I was auditioning. The other was the tighter pixel grid, less screen door - and I like to watch pretty close. Otherwise they were both really good. I am loving the picture. Except the bulb flickers on low mode. Trying to get that replaced but Sony customer support wasn't a pro, it was a con compared to Epson

I purchased some Xpand glasses kit that included an RF adapter, and after a few mods I have RF based 3-D too. Except I have more IR glasses right now so I'm still doing IR. But the RF works!
This is what I bought, plus an RJ45 cable and some terminal blocks to adapt it (so I didn't have to solder). http://www.amazon.com/EX105BT-Shutte...qid=1453673239 There are some forums on AVS that talk about how to do it.

Marantz SR7009 A/V Receiver

I'd been watching this receiver, and watching it. I thought about the SR6009, but I really wanted XT32 room correction. Then the x010 series came out. Drool. They added DTS:X, HDCP 2.2 for 4K, and that AVR was the "wave of the future". The SR7009 was a dead end for UltraHD. Plus, the SR6010 had XT32. So I was seriously considering the SR6010 for the price, and I wasn't doing any Atmos really yet.

Then the SR7009 went on sale, $800 off MSRP all over the place. I then thought - my Oppo doesn't do 4K. My projector doesn't do 4K, I don't have speakers wired for DTS:X or Atmos. I'm pretty much not jumping on that bandwagon. Plus 4K and DTS:X, this stuff is still all new. So, to save money and keep the hobby simple, I decided I didn't care about that stuff yet - and after that area had matured for 5 years or so, I'd do some upgrading if I wanted to. I mean, I haven't even experienced HD and 7.1 yet on a regular basis, so I figured I'd be blown away just fine (and I have been). Then, my dealer offered their floor model for even less than a new one, and I got to test it all out and try many many functions in the show room, and it was in very good condition. So that clinched the deal. Marantz SR7009 for less than half MSRP. I'll take it! And it sounds good. Really good.

Oppo BDP-103D Blu-Ray and Media Player

Everyone talks about it. The perfect companion to any higher end theater room. So I got it, pretty much based on reviews. I did audition it a little, but just noticed the picture looked great. I just had to try Darbee too, so I upgraded to that. Still, I wish it had more versatility - but I think much of that is the fault of the more locked down Blu-Ray format.

My two favorite DVD player features: I want to be able to zoom and pan. Zoom in, pan around with arrow buttons. Love pausing on a scene and exploring it that way.
I want to be able to fast play WITH audio. Up to 1.5x. Sometimes there's a boring part, or I'm wanting to go through the special features quickly, or a documentary. Oppo doesn't do that. Bummer.

Other than that, I love that it does Netflix, and has some other channels. Don't think its possible to add new channels, so that's why I purchased the next thing.

Roku 3 Media Player

I had the very first Roku. And I've been a loyal fan since. I have a number of paid streaming channels on the Roku, and know the platform well. I almost got a Roku 4 - but then decided to not bother with the 4K stuff until later so the Roku 3 was perfect

Dual SVS SB2000 Subwoofers

I bought one. And I liked it. Great clean clear bass. But just not enough oomph in my ~3000 cu. ft. room. It couldn't punch in the action movies. But I loved it for music. So I just got another one. Now I STILL love it for music, the bass is probably smoother throughout the room (although I can't tell and haven't played much with placement yet), and it definitely punches for movies now. It's like it hit critical mass and can now make the upstairs shake.

Bowers and Wilkins 683 S2 Left/Right Speakers

Since I listened to the original 683s a few years ago, I couldn't shake my love for their sound. I auditioned Monitor Audio, Paradigm, Klipsch, Axiom, Home Theater Direct (though the last two were a couple years ago). I wanted to audition KEF but couldn't find any. But I always came back to the B&W. Just what my ears like. These have been great and only getting better. I like the S2 versions quite a bit better than the S1, so I'm glad I didn't finish until after they came out.

Bowers and Wilkins HTM61 S2 Center Speaker

This is a great speaker. I never turn on the subtitles in the theater room, even when listening at very low levels. Great center. Love the tweeter over the midrange design. When they changed that with the S2 I was happy.

Axiom Audio QS4 Side Surround Speakers

I heard Axiom at a friend's house. He had QS8 speakers. I liked their diffusion. Some say they disappear into enveloping sound. Well, they don't. But they sounded more diffuse and spread the sound nicer than monopoles for the sides of my room, as narrow as it is. They blend quite well with the B&W, sometimes I'll hear sounds between the front speakers and sides when they pan, which is a nice effect.

The B&W surround speakers are weird to me. You can go monopole or dipole, but in dipole the tweeter isn't even on, and the frequency response specs show it. So if I did it in dipole I feel like I'm wasting my money on a tweeter I'll never use. And they weren't any better in dipole than the QS4s, in my opinion, in fact they weren't as nice to my ears. They seem like an afterthought to B&W.

Axiom Audio M2 Rear Surround Speakers

To match the sides for timbre, and to not spend the money on a couple 685s that are just doing rear duty when there's already Axioms on the side. I got some scratch and dent for a song from Axiom. Great bookshelves in their own right, also great rears.

??? Screen

Haven't decided on screen yet, just my DIY number (pics later). Probably a Carada. Have some samples but can't decide between Brilliant White and Cinema White.

I think that covers the major stuff.

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post #127 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, the "support equipment".

I installed a Middle Atlantic 5-29 rack when I was building the room. I am SO glad I did that. I've been loving the rack. And the little closet behind the rack where I can just tinker with the connections and stuff anytime I want? I love that too. I mean - LOVE it. Nothing I hate more than helping a neighbor or friend or family member and I can't see or access anything. Did I mention I love that little room and the rack? Well I do.

Pics later, but the rack is mostly just blank panels right now. Just the Marantz and the Oppo show out the front. Might get an XBox or Playstation later. But there's also stuff on the inside where it's blank on the outside, so I'm glad I got the bigger rack.

I did buy a 3U drawer for the rack and put it just below the BluRay player. Having that drawer there is super convenient. And it has a little passthru in the back for a charging cable for, say, 3D glasses or a remote control.

2x CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS 1500VA 900W PFC Compatible Mini-Tower - I bought one on a Black Friday deal. Through a very weird turn of events, I ended up with two. The first one was defective. Just "poof" the first time I turned it off and bad smell. I called Amazon to get a replacement, and they said they couldn't help me, they couldn't pay to ship it back due to some battery hazardous waste thing. They could ship it because it came from factory in a "fail safe" sort of mode, but couldn't ship it back. Sorry. Well, I raised a big fuss, and they just sent me a new one free of charge. Amazon's customer service is second to none. Wow! It might be the thousands I've spent there as a loyal customer for 18 years that helped

Anyhow, I didn't know how to get rid of it, and figured it could be made good and would be a terrible environmental waste to just take it to the dump electronic's recycler. So I called CyberPower to see if they'd take it back, probably just needed a quick repair. They said they couldn't take it back except on exchange due to how their "system works". The Amazon one had already shipped, so I just said okay. And I knew Amazon wouldn't take the replacement they'd shipped back because of the mail rules. Funny thing is that Cyberpower had no problem with paying to ship my defective unit back. Go figure. So I ended up with two good units!

I plugged my Marantz SR7009 into one of them, and my projector into the other, plus all the little control equipment like switches, IR repeater, etc.. I figured a 900W power backup, when the Marantz is rated max 710 W wouldn't limit its performance, and its the only thing plugged in. And most of the time it draws less than 200 watts. I hope its impulse response is okay, but that is one beefy backup power supply and it is the "pure sine-wave type". When the power isn't out, it just hooks to the supply anyway and passes the battery.

Tripp Lite 7 Outlet (6 Right Angle + 1 Transformer Outlet) Surge Protector Power Strip 4ft Cord (TLP74RB)

I used a couple of these surge strips for the rest of the stuff. One on each circuit in the equipment closet. The subs and Marantz run off one 20A circuit, everything else off the other 20A circuit.

Xantech DL85K IR Receiver Kit with 789-44 connecting block

This thing works great. Even still works (kind of - sometimes have to press a couple times) when the projector is blasting its IR for the 3-D glasses. Without 3-D running, it is awesome. One time that it doesn't work is when the halogen screen lights are dimmed to their lowest level. I think they put out a ton of IR when dimmed super low. But on 1/4 brightness or better, or off, they don't interfere.

Global Cache GC-100-6 Ethernet to Serial/IR Bridge

This is to translate Ethernet commands to Infrared commands, and/or Serial. The serial link will go to the projector, and the IR output will go into the Xantech. I haven't hooked it up yet. Actually all my devices can be controlled by Ethernet or Serial, but it's nice to have options for automation.

Lutron QSE-CI-NWK-E Controller Bridge

This device is used to control the Lutron equipment in the room over Ethernet - the wall pad, the Lutron Grafik Eye, and the Lutron Sivoia QS shade. I've toyed with it, but it isn't really hooked up full time yet. This will be for automation.

Lutron Pico Wireless Control

This is a wireless controller for the lights and shade. I still haven't programmed it up right but I can turn on and off the lights from my seat right now which is nice.

AC Infinity AI-ATC, Fan Thermostat and Speed Controller
AC Infinity MULTIFAN S5, Quiet Dual 80mm USB Fan

Got these on Amazon. This setup is awesome a digital thermostat and a couple super quiet fans to set on top of that hot-running Marantz. Works like a charm!

MiniDSP UMIK-1 calibration microphone and boom mike stand

Bought this calibration mike to toy with REW (Room Equalization Wizard). I made a couple measurements last night. Totally overwhelmed by all the graphs and charts. Plan to learn a lot in this area over the next while. Also wasn't too happy with my room response as measured. I'll be asking questions in the REW forums!

Bought a bunch of Monoprice cables and stuff to get it all going too. I love monoprice. Good cables, inexpensive, easy. Using one of those Redmere HDMI cables to the projector, and it works great. Purchased black cable sleeving and banana plugs and hooked all that up (pics later)

I also got some short 1' 3 prong extension plugs, which are great for the transformers and things, not having to plug them into the back of the surge strips / battery backups. Also got a one to 4 plug pigtail.

I can't think of anything else right now as far as little minutae.

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post #128 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Unboxings Receiver

Okay. Pictures! This post I'll put in some of my unboxing pictures. I have to admit, getting new stuff is cool. And it's fun to unbox and tinker with right away.

Here's me unboxing the receiver:





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post #129 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Unboxing Speakers

I didn't take pics of unboxing the Axiom Speakers. Or the SVS Subwoofer now that I think about it. But getting the Bowers and Wilkins I did!









It was actually quite a bit of work to get them out of the boxes. I hooked them up to my cheapie 25 year old Kenwood receiver to make sure they worked. Got a nice stereo image! Except when I did the center as the left channel to test it.
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post #130 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Unboxing Projector

I also took some pics of unboxing the projector. I'm loving the projector image quality.











I love watching this thing. The last couple pics was me projecting on a fitted sheet draped over my entertainment center the night I unboxed it, plugged into my Roku. In a dark room, the color and depth are outstanding, better than a TV in my opinion.

Extra credit if you can guess the movie:

Spoiler!


Except I'm mighty miffed that the bulb flickers on ECO mode. Have to run it on high power. Even after 100 hours, 70 of those on high, it still starts to flicker after 15-20 minutes on low bulb mode. So it runs hotter and louder and I have to turn the iris down anyway to get the brightness I had on low bulb. All because the bulb flickers. So Sony's claims that you can get 5000 hours in ECO mode? They tout that and then many have problems with flicker on ECO mode.
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post #131 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay - this post is about my DIY screen. I am using this screen to get an idea of how big I want the image to be, and to attach screen samples to. So I marked on it where 100", 106", 110", and 114" are. So far, I really am liking 110". I'm getting a 16:9 screen due to the narrow room. With a wider room I would have done CIH (Constant Image Height) setup with a 2.39:1 screen. I like my picture pretty big. 106" and less is too limiting on cinemascope, even though for 16:9 material I liked it fine.

I bought some "Carl's Blackout Cloth" off Amazon in a tube. Then, I went to the hardware store and purchased some 1x3x10 and 1x3x6 pieces of poplar and some brackets. I also purchased some rounded 1/4"x1/2" moulding.

First, I built a frame, a tiny bit less than 120", as big as could fit between the soffits on my screen wall. By the way, it was something like 40 degrees outside:







Note in this image - I put the molding around the edge (little nails and wood glue) to hold the screen away from the center frame members, so they wouldn't poke through and make crease marks in case the frame didn't hang perfectly flat. Worked like a charm!



I also wanted to experiment with height on the wall, and not have to drill into the wall at all to hang this temporary screen. so I built an "easel". I painted it the screen wall color so it's all but invisible with the lights down. I drilled holes in the legs of the easel and put bolts through some wood blocks. I literally adjust the blocks for height and set the screen on the easel like a painter puts his canvas on an easel. Works really well. I ended up picking a height I liked through and haven't really had to move it. Go figure.



Here's the final screen, with the blackout cloth stretched over it. I found a special stretch/staple/stretch/staple - rinse and repeat pattern that was supposed to get it nice and tight with no wrinkles. That worked great too. Tight as a drum.





The blackout material is lower than 1.0 gain. Maybe 0.9. This showed when I put screen materials against it. It also has some unevenness and texture. But it looks GREAT for movies. I can only imagine that the final screen will be even that much better
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post #132 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Initial Equipment Setup

So now I'll post some pictures from the initial equipment setup. In this you'll see the DIY screen against the screen wall. I had to lean it a little so it wouldn't tip over. Then I tied the top of it to the easel and the top of the easel to a screw in the junction box above the screen.

One of the new bedrooms in the basement that is empty has become the "box room" and staging area:



Starting to move some stuff into the theater room:



Prepping the screen wall, taking of covers and pulling the speaker wire out of the boxes. I actually left a bunch of wire in the walls and planned to pull out the length I needed. I did a few trial runs when I was framing to make sure the wire was situated in a way that it would pull out smoothly. Worked like a charm. There's the center speaker as well, sitting vulnerable on the floor.



Here's a couple shots of the equipment in the rack. It sat open like this for a couple months.





The back of the room:



The back of the rack. At first I just wired everything direct bare wire. Later I added banana plugs.



Here's the first shot showing the temporary screen in its final location. The easel is there - painted same color as the screen wall. I don't have a stand for the center speaker, that's a box with a sheet draped over it (to keep it dark). Once I get the final screen, I'll buy a custom center stand just the right height from here:

http://www.gwizpro.com/stands/

Anyhow, here's the "screen wall":



This shot shows the projector taking a rest in my recliner. I mounted it a week or so later.



Kind of a final shot of the initial setup. For a while the projector was on the card table you see there until I got time to mount it.



At this point, things sure were getting exciting!
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post #133 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Latest on the Theater Room Setup

I took some more pictures this weekend of the "current state" of the theater room. And here they are!

Here's the "screen wall". Right after this I taped up some samples. But I wanted to show it more pristine than that You can see the "easel" for the screen pretty clearly in these three shots. I put the easel on papers since I didn't want the "only dry 24 hours" paint to stick to the carpet, and haven't bothered ever removing them.

At this point, the speaker wires have been dressed with two layers of black braided wire sleeving, the banana plugs are installed, and I have the final wall plates in place. For the speakers, I painted plates and drilled a hole for the speaker wire. That's because it had no bulky end so I could use a hole the size of the wire, no bigger. For the subwoofer cables, since they have plugs on the ends, I got some of those "brush style" wall plates and pulled the cable through. It was faster and cheaper than wall plates that terminate and then you get another cable for the wall side, and then I also didn't have to buy another cable and have another connection. Same for the speakers. Worked great. There is only one in-wall wire for speakers and subwoofer going directly from receiver to the speaker/sub. So it's a simple direct connection with no "middle men" adapters to cause trouble.







Screen wall area from a little farther back. I still haven't made a platform. I froze making the temp screen and its only colder outside. So I'm going to wait until April or so to build the platform in the garage (3 or 4 pieces) then screw it together and cover it with pad and carpet.



Here's the projector mount. I wanted versatility over aesthetics, and I paid the price. The drops are about 5 feet farther back than the throw distance I ended up choosing, which was pretty much right in the middle of the zoom range. I don't mind too much. I was able to dress it up pretty well and of course with the lights out you don't see cables. I'm pleased I have the versatility in case I go to a different projector in a few years I can pick my throw distance again without regard to the mount's current location. Just remove, patch and paint, and remount where is ideal for the next projector.



Down the left wall. Painting the thermostat was worth the trouble. Love the look of the black. Also completely painted the load centers for upstairs and down. AND they don't rattle! The sconces rattle some, I'll have to fix that.



The right wall, the grafik eye and various lighting overkill boxes. That's a personal thing. I love lights so I overkilled on that. Later I'll be putting in 4 remote control dimmers on track lighting for individual reading lights.



Toward the equipment closet. I might paint the baseboard heater black over the summer. It will be a pain, I'll have to totally dismantle and rebuild it. But I like the black in that room! I'll use black barbecue paint for it.



Again toward the screen wall:





And from the screen looking toward the back of the room. Right now without the platform and those large recliners, there's only room for that captain's chair in the middle to see the screen, and that's if the front ones are reclined... Can't wait for the platform so I can have bigger groups.

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post #134 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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The Speaker Connections

Here's a couple pictures on the speaker connections. The banana plugs from Monoprice worked great. Funny thing is, one wasn't shiny, like they didn't do the polishing step or something. But all the rest were!

The braided sleeving really likes to unravel. I just used electrical tape on the ends where the separate wires came out.

I don't have any pics, but on the rear speakers (the Axiom M2) the mount was completely in the way of the banana plugs. I didn't know what to do. Then one of the binding posts got loose so I just unscrewed the speaker terminal box from the speaker, and easily fixed it. But I also realized I could rotate the terminals and screw them in in any orientation. Problem solved! I oriented the terminals so the banana plugs could fit without hitting the brackets.



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post #135 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The Equipment Rack 1

Okay, now for the latest on my favorite part of the theater room. You think it would be the screen, or the lighting or something. But its the equipment closet. I considered sleeping on the floor of the closet once but its a little cramped

Here's the rack. More going on inside than outside. I wanted to have the CyberPower units show out the front, but Middle Atlantic doesn't make faceplates that are that tall, so I would have had to make them custom. Pass! So they're inside, which is fine. Also planning to put an old VCR in the rack, but again why get a $100+ faceplate for an old VCR and I'll hardly ever use it, plus it would probably break then I'd have an expensive useless faceplate. So that goes inside too. I should get those VHS just transfered to DVD or digital...

What I end up with is a clean look that's mostly blank plates. The drawer is awesome though. Worth the money.







Here's the back of the rack. I tried to keep things tidy and have banana plugs on there now. Some people have immaculate rack wiring, I just wanted something in between.







These are the fans I mentioned in my equipment posts above. I just put the thermostat in last night so don't have a picture of that. But the thermostat is cool!



More in the next post...
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post #136 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Equipment Rack and Closet

These are the Cyberpower battery backup units. The one on the left powers the Marantz SR7009. The one on the right powers everything else - except the subs. They are on a power strip underneath that shelf.



Kind of a bigger view of the back:



I have gobs of wires at the top still. Everything I need to run zone 2 to our upstairs living room later, and put a flat screen TV in the front of the room, and run subwoofers in the back of the room, and media on the sides, and hook up a cable box (don't have one now) and run A/V to the utility room. Just major overkill :-) The thermostat on there got some spray foam on it. Anyway, it turns on a super quiet panasonic bathroom fan a the top of the equipment closet it if gets too hot and vents air directly outside.



Here's looking in the door ro the closet. The "inlets" at the top are the powerbridges to the front of the room, the back of the room, and projector. This way I could put power conditioning in the equipment closet and run the subs and projector off conditioning in the closet. The outlets in the room are labeled special. The "outlets" at the bottom are the two 20A circuits.



The shelving in the back of the equipment closet. Pretty useful for storing manuals, staging stuff, boxes, and supplies:



The junction box on the left is where the wiring for the Lutron link comes out. The boxes on the right are the power supply for the shade and the Ethernet bridge for the Lutron equpment.



This shelf has my four sets of IR 3-D glasses. You can see the box for my IR repeater setup too.

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post #137 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, but what about MOVIES!?!

Okay, last but certainly not least - how does it work for movies! Well, it works GREAT!

So here's the picture with all the lights on. Including the halogens that shine right on the screen. Not so great.



Here's the sconces and the screen lights off, but the regular can lights on. Not too bad, except where can's hit at the bottom.



Okay, now the lights are off, and it's great!



Another picture from the show.



Here's the movie going from farther back to show the glow on the walls. It isn't bad at all. Definitely worth choosing low reflectance paint! Get an LRV of less than 10%. My paints were generally between 5% and 7% I think (one of my earlier posts says)



This is a "picture" of the back of the room. Just shows the light from the projector and the rack. It's nice and dark in the room still with the show going. Dark stuff is definitely the way to go!



Extra credit if you guess the movie! Hint - the movie's in the rack drawer a couple posts back.
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Very cool, great job!
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post #139 of 147 Old 01-24-2016, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Many thanks BleedingBlue... that wouldn't be your school or city team colors or anything would it?

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Room Equalization Wizard

Started toying around with REW.

Wow. It's pretty cool, especially for a geek like me. I have very crazy things happening at 80-90 Hz in my room. At my seat, 91.2 Hz in particular is fully 20 dB lower than average. If I move my head up and back about 2.5 feet, it goes up by 13-15 dB. Definitely some room mode. I think it's from front to rear walls. The front and rear walls are concrete, and I wonder if that sets up a very strong mode - more than the 2x4 framing.



This is with my dual subs and SubEQ XT on the AVR. I might try messing with the phase on one of them and see what it does, for kicks and giggles.

Anyhow, this is a nice deep rabbit hole I could spend forever in!
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Time lapsed progress. Excellent! Great results in a narrow space.
Good to make a temporary screen as you have done to experiment with size and position. Most people just paint the wall, but the framed blackout cloth is a good first step for little money.
Unfortunate about your flickering Sony. Seems like projectors often have their idiosyncrasies and annoyances.

In regards to room measurement you wrote, "Anyhow, this is a nice deep rabbit hole I could spend forever in!"
YUP! All rooms have their acoustic problems but small rooms just seem to amplify them. I have four corner located subs in my little theater so the low end response is reasonably smooth but above that .

Good luck.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
Sony VPL-HW55ES projector

I wasn't even considering this projector before. When it was MSRP $3999. But when it dropped to $2999 right when I was buying equipment, I auditioned it, love it, and picked it over the Epson 5030UB I'd been looking at. I picked it over the Epson for 2 things: the fan noise - I didn't realize I was so susceptible but I watch my movies kind of quiet, and I watch a lot of quiet movies. So the fan noise turned out to be kind of big as I was auditioning. The other was the tighter pixel grid, less screen door - and I like to watch pretty close. Otherwise they were both really good. I am loving the picture. Except the bulb flickers on low mode. Trying to get that replaced but Sony customer support wasn't a pro, it was a con compared to Epson

I purchased some Xpand glasses kit that included an RF adapter, and after a few mods I have RF based 3-D too. Except I have more IR glasses right now so I'm still doing IR. But the RF works!
This is what I bought, plus an RJ45 cable and some terminal blocks to adapt it (so I didn't have to solder). http://www.amazon.com/EX105BT-Shutte...qid=1453673239 There are some forums on AVS that talk about how to do it.
Make sure the "Film Projection" mode is turned off -- I believe it is under Motionflow in the menu. When it's on, it's supposed to add a "film like" flicker. I thought I was going crazy or that I had a faulty until I turned it off.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
And from the screen looking toward the back of the room. Right now without the platform and those large recliners, there's only room for that captain's chair in the middle to see the screen, and that's if the front ones are reclined... Can't wait for the platform so I can have bigger groups.
What's your plan for seating? With as nice as the rest of your room is, it seems like some power recliners would really fit in nicely.
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post #144 of 147 Old 01-27-2016, 12:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Time lapsed progress. Excellent! Great results in a narrow space.
Good to make a temporary screen as you have done to experiment with size and position. Most people just paint the wall, but the framed blackout cloth is a good first step for little money.
Unfortunate about your flickering Sony. Seems like projectors often have their idiosyncrasies and annoyances.

In regards to room measurement you wrote, "Anyhow, this is a nice deep rabbit hole I could spend forever in!"
YUP! All rooms have their acoustic problems but small rooms just seem to amplify them. I have four corner located subs in my little theater so the low end response is reasonably smooth but above that .

Good luck.
Thanks for the comments. I have a replacement bulb on its way under warranty on the Sony. So at the very least I get 4000 hours one way or another I'd still prefer ECO mode work well for less heat poured into room and for lower fan noise. But I'll live, the Sony is already pretty quiet.

I like the absorption you built into your room. I have some ideas for absorption in my head but we'll see what I can pull off in practice. It will be fun trying to tackle it. And ignorance is bliss - after watching a number of movies I would never have know about the frequency issues I had. But once I saw the response and played sine waves in some of the problem areas it was like - holy cow! So I figure it since my ears say the movies sound great now, it can only get better if I'm able to tackle it!

I still keep wondering if I was just being lazy not going with acoustically transparent, especially when I hear my rear speakers reflecting off my temporary screen. With AT I could have absorption behind the screen and wouldn't get those reflections from the back channels. I did build the room such that I can always go AT later if I get the urge.

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Make sure the "Film Projection" mode is turned off -- I believe it is under Motionflow in the menu. When it's on, it's supposed to add a "film like" flicker. I thought I was going crazy or that I had a faulty until I turned it off.
Yes - I did double check this. I turned it on just to see what people were talking about, and wow it drove me nuts. I have always been really susceptible to flicker - maybe my brain runs at a higher frame rate or something. Back in the days of CRTs, I would go crazy if someone had their set to 60 Hz instead of 75 or 85 Hz. I can't stand DLPs, even the newer ones I still see rainbows all over the place. Even the flicker from 3D tends to strain my eyes some. And Film projection mode - it falls into the same category

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post #146 of 147 Old 01-27-2016, 12:33 AM - Thread Starter
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What's your plan for seating? With as nice as the rest of your room is, it seems like some power recliners would really fit in nicely.
I plan to have 2 rows, and a bar at the back. Those recliners you see will be on either row 1 or row 2, whichever works best for line of sight. Then I'll have one of those captains chairs and a reclining leather love seat on the other row. That will be 5 reclining seats, and then 2 or 3 seats at the bar. Plus I'll have a couple beanbags up front.

I DO wish I'd waited on furniture. I bought it like 3 years ago before I really knew much in a frenzy of naive excitement about the whole project, and it was also kind of triggered by my couch imploding . So I already have all the seating. If I had it to do over, and maybe I will at some point, I'd be getting coordinated home theater seating, power. I like power because it doesn't flop around if I shift my weight around like manual recliners sometimes do.

But at this point I just have manual stuff. And right now I can't afford to replace it all - and I LOVE the leather on the love seat. It's still upstairs but will go in after I build the platform when it gets warm outside.

Thanks for your comments and questions!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
Yes - I did double check this. I turned it on just to see what people were talking about, and wow it drove me nuts. I have always been really susceptible to flicker - maybe my brain runs at a higher frame rate or something. Back in the days of CRTs, I would go crazy if someone had their set to 60 Hz instead of 75 or 85 Hz. I can't stand DLPs, even the newer ones I still see rainbows all over the place. Even the flicker from 3D tends to strain my eyes some. And Film projection mode - it falls into the same category
For what it's worth, I needed to send my projector in for repair after only owning it for a month (the auto iris mechanism was really loud). Sony did a great job with it. Of course, it was a bit disconcerting having to send my brand new projector it to get fixed but I got a great price and the dealer didn't have any more.
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