MisterMRs Starry Night Cinema with electric 4-way DIY masking system with Somfy motors - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I received some questions about my masking system after I showed my home theater in the thread " Show me your completed theater" . Maybe there are more people who want to see how I built it, so I will post building pictures and drawings here.

First of all.. a big thank you to Moggie, ScottJ and everyone else who already have shared their great masking systems. Thank you guys, I learned a lot from you! smile.gif

I have presets for 8 different formats, and can also control each mask separately with the remote control.
A black frame around the picture really makes magic for the movie experience! smile.gif
I used the KISS- technique, and the masking system is really quite simple and easy to build.

And now some pictures:

2.40:1







16:9 108"


4:3


16:9 146"



Here you can see the masking system in action (sorry about the poor video quality):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMC6st75AOo
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post #2 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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And more pictures of the theater:




Skyline diffuser


Angled wall


More to come..
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post #3 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Baffle wall with 1" insulation


Sand filled stage


Star ceiling




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post #4 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 09:26 PM
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Nice looking theater! Looking forward to more on that masking system

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post #5 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason4vu View Post

Nice looking theater! Looking forward to more on that masking system

Thank you jason4vu for the nice comment and your interest in the masking system! smile.gif

I made some drawings and I am just now translating them to English.
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post #6 of 47 Old 05-10-2013, 11:53 PM
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Wow!!, this theater room has BOSS written all over it. Really nice set up and the pics are awesome. Good Job buddy..
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post #7 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYGIANTSFAN23 View Post

Wow!!, this theater room has BOSS written all over it. Really nice set up and the pics are awesome. Good Job buddy..

Thanks! I am glad you appreciate the HT! smile.gif
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post #8 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 03:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, it is time to write a little about the masking system...

The Youtube-movie above has poor video quality but I hope it is possible to get an idea how fast the masks are moving. The masking system is more quiet in real life. The lower mask is bent a little forward but that is nothing I think of when watching movies, but maybe I will make it stiffer in the future. The masks are partly made of aluminium so they can`t bend upp- or downwards.

And now some overview drawings:


For simplicity I show U-channels in the pictures but in reality I am using H-channels. I will discuss that later. smile.gif







The system is managed by a Somfy remote control that via Somfy RS485 4ILT interface controls the four motors.


When you are logged in you can enlarge the images by clicking on them.
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post #9 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I made a little paper model to get a feel for it in 3D and to make it easier to choose wich mask to be in front. I decided to have the vertical masks in front of the horizontal.




I bought some stuff to make the masking system. Some were unecessary but most things I used.







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post #10 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 03:43 AM
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pretty theater - really love the color palette

ps if your profile is a reference to the band then you're my new BFF. wink.gif loved them as a kid.
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post #11 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 03:48 AM
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Excellent theater! I too like the colors. I know this is supposed to be about masking, but what seats are those in the rear row?

Tim
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post #12 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought some 50 mm aluminium pipes. I have read here somewhere that steel pipes will mess with the IR-signals and therefore should be avoided. I made two long pipes (3.5 meter) and two shorter pipes (2 meter). At one end of each pipe I made a litte cut. The motor has a corresponding ridge and the motor can be fixated to the pipe with that ridge.







At the other end of the motor I put one of the brown plastic cups. I drilled four holes through the aluminium pipe and put 4 screws that fixated the pipe to the motor. The motor is now secured in both ends.
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post #13 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRock3x8 View Post

pretty theater - really love the color palette

ps if your profile is a reference to the band then you're my new BFF. wink.gif loved them as a kid.
Thanks a lot for the positive feedback! smile.gif
I am sorry to disappoint you but the signature is a reference to my name, but maybe we still can be friends? wink.gif
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post #14 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Excellent theater! I too like the colors. I know this is supposed to be about masking, but what seats are those in the rear row?

Tim

Thanks Tim! smile.gif
I gladly try to answer any questions you may have. The company that I bought the chairs from is no longer in business, but it is possible to order them here:
http://biograf-stole.dk/group.asp?group=2
or
http://www.avshop.no/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10507477;c:100238

I think the chairs are made in China so I guess it is possible to find them in USA as well.
Considering they are traditional chairs, they are really comfortable.
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post #15 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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The masks are moving in aluminium channels that looks like an H when you cut them off (I called them U-channels in the simplified drawings earlier). The H channel is better than the U channel because they are higher and can be fixated more firmly to the side of the board. And it is possible to fixate them to the board using the opposite side of the H channel (the side that the mask isn`t using).





I made the masks of U channels (this time it is really a u channel smile.gif ) , boards and aluminium flat bars. The U channel makes it impossible for the mask to bend, but I had to make the u channel longer so I put two channels in a row and it is here the lower mask is bending a little towards the middle of the room. If I had used a 3.5 meter long u channel I think this would have been less of a problem.
For the mask to be more stable in the H channel and move more easily, I cut a plastic channel (like the one you can use around a movie poster) and glued it to the end of the aluminium flat bar.
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post #16 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 08:25 AM
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Thanks MisterMR,

Those are the kind of details of the masking system that I was looking for. I think the 4 way masking system is truly the way to go for anyone who has the room height and width to make it happen. Why settle for CIH or CIW in which you are choosing to give up size in one of the formats. It is a far superior approach to buy a 2:1 ratio screen with a 4 way masking system to make whatever size and format you wish.

There is another resource I have looked through for anyone else interested in looking at another video. Search for Beemax video about diy masking.

Very well done. I will be scrutinizing this thread if I end up attempting to implement something like this in my theater in progress. And looking forward to as many details as you can manage to give us.

Thank you,

Grant
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post #17 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedimastergrant View Post

Thanks MisterMR,

Those are the kind of details of the masking system that I was looking for. I think the 4 way masking system is truly the way to go for anyone who has the room height and width to make it happen. Why settle for CIH or CIW in which you are choosing to give up size in one of the formats. It is a far superior approach to buy a 2:1 ratio screen with a 4 way masking system to make whatever size and format you wish.

There is another resource I have looked through for anyone else interested in looking at another video. Search for Beemax video about diy masking.

Very well done. I will be scrutinizing this thread if I end up attempting to implement something like this in my theater in progress. And looking forward to as many details as you can manage to give us.

Thank you,

Grant
You`re welcome! I`m glad if you can find anything worth picking up. smile.gif
And I agree with you. 4-way masking is the way to go. I use the horizontal masks as much as the verticals and choose screen size and position depending on mood, company, film and if there are people watching on both rows or just the front row.
I am planning to post more details about the masking system...
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post #18 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 09:26 AM
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MisterMr

This is great stuff, what's the possibility of a seeing more details on the construction from start to finish to be able to follow it a bit closer including actual material used and where you bought them? Maybe even some pictures of the pieces installed if at all possible? I really like what you have done
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post #19 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I had no instructions to follow so I experimented to see if this would work at all.
In this picture you can see that I have put up tape to simulate the mask fabrics on the horizontal masks.




And I added the vertical masks and I was thrilled.
Yes, it looked like this could work. Very, very exciting... biggrin.gif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPictureman View Post

MisterMr

This is great stuff, what's the possibility of a seeing more details on the construction from start to finish to be able to follow it a bit closer including actual material used and where you bought them? Maybe even some pictures of the pieces installed if at all possible? I really like what you have done
Thanks , MrPictureman! It was a lot of fun building the theater and I have some photos of the building process in my computer. When you talk about the construction from start, do you mean the whole theater or just the masking system? More information on the masking system will follow...
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post #21 of 47 Old 05-11-2013, 04:51 PM
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MisterMR

Everything looks great. I'm most interested in the masking system. I can see how this could make a complicated system easy to build and would love to incorporate it into a 2 way system for my 2.35 screen
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post #22 of 47 Old 05-12-2013, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrPictureman View Post

MisterMR

Everything looks great. I'm most interested in the masking system. I can see how this could make a complicated system easy to build and would love to incorporate it into a 2 way system for my 2.35 screen

Yes it is really a nice system to have. I live in Norway so some things are bought here and some things I bought from USA. I will post more details later. smile.gif
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post #23 of 47 Old 05-12-2013, 01:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Here I have mounted the four motors in the pipes and the four masks are lying beside. I bought speaker fabrics that I am going to use as masking material and I am just about to start cutting the fabrics. At one end of the aluminium pipe I have mounted the motor and at the other end I have mounted an idler end that I bought together with the motors. I used extra strong tape to fixate the speaker fabric to the pipe and I wrapped the fabric around the pipe a couple of times to fixate the fabrics better.



I also used tape to fixate the speaker fabric to the mask and let the fabric wrap the mask and also to get the U channel to point towards the center of the screen.






Level tool is good to have:


I used some tape…
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post #24 of 47 Old 05-12-2013, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Now it will be a bit more difficult to explain. I hope this drawing will make it more understandable.
In the earlier simplified drawing I had used a U channel on a board, but in reality I screw an H channel on the posterior side of the board. Here is the drawing (click to enlarge):



An overview:


Here you can see the cable ties that I used to get a nice transition between the bungy cord and the cable ties. Through the masks aluminium flat bar I have drilled a hole and through the hole I have put the cable ties. At the other end of the bungy cord I have put a little bracing strip. I used the bracing strip to easily be able to adjust the tension of the bungy cord and also to get a nice fixation for the bungy cord.


Here you can see the angle iron that is keeping the tree board against the vertical masking. Notice that it is possible to adjust the board in to the room or away from the room.
In the picture you can also see a glimpse of how I fixated the H channel of the horizontal masking.
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I continue with more pictures. Cable ties and u-bolt.


Overview:






Bearings:


The screw is there to support the framing with speaker cloth that is covering the whole construction.
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And now it is time for the horizontal masking.
I used adjustable angle iron to fixate the H channel to the horizonatal mask. Then I will have the possibility to adjust the channel.




I tied the bungy cord to the lower horizontal mask.
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I will now write a little more about the masks. Around the masks I have stapled black Fidelio Velvet that is incredibly black. Here is a comparison and from left to right is:
Fidelio velvet (that I used for the masking frames), black molton (that I didn`t use in my home theater), snoopy black (that is AT and I used it in the star ceiling), speaker cloth (that I used in the soffit) and speaker fabric from Dayton (that I used on the aluminium pipes in the masking system).



You can buy black Fidelio velvet here:
http://www.bymichelle.com/fidelio.html

I bought Dayton speaker fabric here:
http://www.avshop.no/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10507997

Here are some thoughts about the mask and how it is built. The mask is made of:

1 One u channel that makes a straight edge towards the center of the screen, makes the mask stiff and fixates the mask tree board to the aluminium flat bar.
2 One anterior aluminium flat bar that makes a straight and even mask front and that is straight at the end and therefor is good to glue plastic channels to.
3 One tree board. The tree board is good because you can staple in it.

I stapled on the backside of the mask and the staple will first pass through the Fidelio velvet, then through one sheet of speaker fabric, then through the Fidelio velvet again and then through several sheets of speaker fabrics and then finally the tree board. This will secure both the Fidelio velvet and the speaker fabric to the mask.
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Now it is time to write something about the control of the system. I use 4 Somfy motors (Somfy Sonesse ILT 504S2 Star Head Ultra Quiet Motor) and this provides the possibility to choose framing without limitations. Almost the whole front wall is one giant screen and I let the masks make a framing around the picture and immediately the picture looks sharper and appear to have more contrast.
Each motor is connected through a modular cable RJ9 to an interface (Somfy RS485 4ILT interface). Connected to the interface is also an IR sensor. The interface can control up to 4 Somfy ILT-motors at the same time and can memorize 8 positions in each motor.
The remote control has 8 buttons that are marked from 1 to 8 and by pressing one of these buttons all 4 motors will run and roll in or roll out the speaker fabric to an earlier decided position.
Each mask can be adjusted individually with the remote control. You can also make the mask first move quickly and than move slowly. Perfect when you want to fine-tune!
I bought 110 volt motors and use converter for the 230 volt here in Norway. The interface can use both 110 volt and 230 volt without extern converter.

The first time you program the interface, first position the mask to the end positions (that is max in and max out). Then you frame for example 2.35:1 and press the button 1 for a while and then the interface will remember all 4 motors positions and every time you press button number 1 you will have the format 2.35:1. It cannot be easier! 
But you can also do perfectly well without the interface and use more simplified Somfy motors that don`t have unlimited positions in the memory. There are motors that can remember 3 positions- max in, max out and one position in between that you choose. You can then have one 4:3-picture as max in and one 2.40:1 as max out and 1.78 as the position in between. In that case you need to buy a “limit setting tool” but you will nonetheless save money.

You can see the Somfy IR sensor here:



Interface:



Remote control:

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post #30 of 47 Old 05-12-2013, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
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It is not so easy to know what to order from Somfy but here is a list of what I bought.

I bought from http://www.floridaautomatedshade.com/

1030053 Somfy Sonesse ILT 504S2 Star Head Ultra Quiet Motor 1030053
4 $402.50 $1,610.00
9154205 Infrared (IR) Plug-in with 8' cord (RJ9 Connectors) 9154205
1 $43.50 $43.50
1870132 Somfy IRT 803 (8 Channel) Transmitter 1870132
1 $35.72 $35.72
9420800 Somfy LT50 Idler End10 MM 9420800
4 $10.71 $42.84
9410635 Somfy LT50 Idler End Bracket 10mm 9410635
4 $11.71 $46.84
9206089 Somfy LT50 2" Soft Clip Drive 9206089
1 QTY 1870130 Interface RS485 $ 425
4 QTY 9410651 Somfy LT50 Star Head Motor Bracket 9410651 $ 47


And from http://decor.basicq.com/

2 9015261 rj9 coupler (to lengthen data $13.50 $27.00
cable)
2 9012343 25' modular cable $17.10 $34.20

H- and U channels as well as plastic channels I bought from www.bauhaus.se
Angled iron, bungy cord, tape, electric cables I bought from www.biltema.no www.jula.no and www.clasohlson.no
In the USA I think you can buy channels, bungy cords, bearings etc at http://www.homedepot.com/
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