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post #301 of 523 Old 09-20-2007, 04:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtnfoley View Post

There are a few of us nearby with more or less substantial NEC setup experience... I can't speak for others time, but I can offer some tips and tricks if you like.

Short answer is I'd happily accept any offers of help.

I'll post a pic or two tonight of my [piss poor] convergence, I was delayed a little when my HDMI cables went missing, the new ones should be in today, and I can hook up the PS3 and feed test patterns in 480, 720 and 1080.

In reading the docs drove home the importance of the physical, mechanical setup, in most basic terms. I realized that 1. my strut not centered (wide left, the final image is about a foot or two off), and 2. at the moment, it is not level by a lesser margin, but enough that monkeying around with the internal controls. The second one shouldn't be hard to fix. The first one means I'll have to take down the PJ, and redo the strut to incorporate some lateral control. That was the plan when I built it, but as a rookie, the threaded rods weren't put in the right place, so I punted on the lateral strut since my carpenters volunteered to do the heave and they were waiting for me. It can be fixed, but my debate is whether to do it before 9/29 when I'll have guests. I am leaning towards fixing it, and called a buddy in for muscle on Monday night. In the meantime I need to level it out and figure out how the controls more so that I can work the learning curve down so I can put out the as good an image as a bedsheet will take (was waiting to figure out the PJ before picking the final screen size).

I'll take any tips online or in person happily.
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post #302 of 523 Old 09-20-2007, 05:33 AM
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Dave, the best thing you can do at this point is make certain you have the projector mounted level and square to your final screen location (even if that is just a wall right now). Once you get that down it's soooo much easier to do convergence. It sounds like that's what you will be doing Monday night so hopefully you will be in a better position to continue setup at that point. Once that is done, everyone here can talk you through a pretty decent electronic setup and convergence that will at least impress your guests. It does not have to be perfect to look good and most people will just be wowed by the fact that you have that big machine hanging from the ceiling! I know I get a smile each time I see mine hanging up.
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post #303 of 523 Old 09-20-2007, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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First the good news, then the onto the fun.

HDMI cables arrived (my almost two year old intitially wore them as a belt and declared them pretty). I brought the PS3 down and went PS3 via HDMI to Yamaha V661 receiver to Moome ISS HDMI card in switcher to PJ. Everything went good, which was a relief since multiple HDMI connections can create snafu's, especially with a boutique product like a moome card which ads HDMI to older technology.

Dropped in my only SACD, Dark Side of the Moon (figured I'd try them out since the PS3 can play it), and had music while I monkeyed around with the PJ. The machine is not level. But its not as bad as I was thinking. I deleted all the old input memories and it made things better. Here is convergence at the begining of the night in an old input memory.

Here it is in the new block, after I midpointed all the settings. Its a bit better.

If you display a red-only image it doesn't look too bad:

But in realitly, it still sucks (both images from transformers trailer on PS3):


I am leaning towards taking it down and redoing the unistrut. Do you think one person of okay, but nothing great strength can handle taking down the PJ alone? I'd remove the lenses to lessen the load. I can wait for help on Monday, but it compresses time if I need to take it down, redo the strut and rehang in one evening while my friend is there. I am debating whether to take it down so I can do the rebuild on Saturday at a more liesurely pace, then my friend just has to help me heave it back up.
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post #304 of 523 Old 09-20-2007, 08:25 PM
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Dave, I would not try it by yourself. Taking it down I mean. I have carried mine up and down stairs on my own but that's a dead lift, bear-hugging the PJ and moving quickly up the stairs. Having arms above your head and trying to ease that thing down is not going to be easy. Regarding convergence, it looks like your lines are really fat which could mean that you just need to do optical focusing to bring them in tighter and clearer. Or, it could mean your astig has been tweaked which would be bad thing. Not that it's not fixable but I would consider it more of an advanced procedure. If you have a laser level I would use that to find out how far off you are from being level physically. If it's just off a little then you might be able to run a corner or two of your threaded rod up or down to compensate. Do this only if it's a small adjustment. You don't want to put the whole thing in a bind by making one corner much shorter than the others. Getting that thing level and square is only going to make things easier from that point on. Oh yeah, when you get back to convergence, make sure the defocus switch on the deflection board is turned "off". You can turn this back "on" when everything else is done as defocus on blue is necessary for proper color tracking. So, in this order: 1. Get projector level and square with minimum amount of tilt and as close to a "0" degree projection angle as possible. 2. set all electronic adjustments back to "0" or their midpoint. Store this. 3. Center the rasters using the centering magnets near the front of each tube neck. You can use the keystone adjustment and pincushion to help make the rasters as square or rectangular as possible. 4. Mechanical aim. Get your green crosshair centered on your screen. Swing the red and blue guns side to side so the vertical lines overlap. Don't worry about the horizontal lines yet. 5. Do optical focus for each tube, starting with green. Get the best optical focus you can right now and then redo mechanical aim to overlap the crosshairs as they may have moved after focus adjustments. Lock everything down on the red and blue tubes. 6. Adjust astig if necessary. 7. Work on convergence. It appears that your horizontal lines are pretty good so you should not need to turn the yokes. The biggest issue I see in your second screenshot is optical focus and possibly flare from a tweaked astig. If you follow the controls on the remote from top to bottom you should come out pretty well the first time. It only gets better from here.
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post #305 of 523 Old 09-20-2007, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah - its probably a bad idea to try and solo remove the PJ. My buddy is pretty patient/flexible, so it won't be a big deal to get a little later in the night. I'll cut and prep the parts and tools needed ahead of time.

In the meantime I can always keep practicing. I'll try your tips on Saturday. Thanks man.

Oh, and I think you are right about the lenses being out of focus.
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post #306 of 523 Old 09-21-2007, 10:19 AM
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I have a NEC 9pg+. Bought is several years ago. At first I did the convergence. It was OK but not 100%. So in the CRT section of this forum I found an expert to do the set-up and convergence. I was lucky that he was local.

The initial setup and convergence took two days. The first thing he noticed was how HOT the projector was running. He equated it to running your car at 6,000 RPM all the time, it is going to get hot and live a short life. If you run your car at 2,000 RPM you can extent the live of your car. Same thing holds true for your projector.

The problem was I use only the electronics to do the convergence. The electronics are only used to fine tune the projector. So I was making the projector work a lot harder than necessary to project a good picture.
So Doug started with the mounting position, moved on to the mechanical convergence and then used the electronics to do the fine tuning. Now the projector was cool to the touch and had a much better picture. So I can look forward to an much longer life span for the projector.

Doug has been back and touched up the convergence and color balance (things drift over time). We also installed the Moone HDMI card in the NEC switcher so I could connect the LG super blue DVD combo player.

Live is good now but I would like to have 1080p???
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post #307 of 523 Old 09-21-2007, 10:32 AM
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GPowers, you make some good points. Everything I have read stresses the importance of a good mechanical setup and as little electronic adjustment as possible. For instance, in my current setup I am using no point convergence at all. It's far from perfect but I can get it dialed in without point now that I have the projector square to the screen and level.

I have a 9PG+ sitting in my closet that I was working on a few months ago. I think you will find that 1080i is the sweetspot for the PG's. I think 1080p might look a little soft but then again I have not tried it.

I am envious of your experience with Doug as I'm sure he was able to work some magic with your PG. Hopefully one day I can afford a pro setup but until then I want to get as good at it as I can myself. I think at that point I could better appreciate what really goes into the work guys like Doug and Terry do.
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post #308 of 523 Old 09-21-2007, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPowers View Post

The first thing he noticed was how HOT the projector was running. He equated it to running your car at 6,000 RPM all the time, it is going to get hot and live a short life. If you run your car at 2,000 RPM you can extent the live of your car. Same thing holds true for your projector.

That's fascinating about the difference that a well setup machine makes on the wear and tear of the PJ itself. I have considered getting a pro in, but my gut has been to defer that till the room is in a more final state. My plans are to build fabric frames, pretty closely following your design. We are getting pretty close to finally building them as the to-do list is dwindling. We'll have around 48 frames to make. If it took you 70 hours, I am guessing we'll shoot for Christmas. Given Doug's standing an expertise, that is a huge advantage for you having him on the west coast. After my daughter's birthday party, I am going to go get the OC 703 needed.


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Originally Posted by dropzone7 View Post

Hopefully one day I can afford a pro setup but until then I want to get as good at it as I can myself. I think at that point I could better appreciate what really goes into the work guys like Doug and Terry do.

For me I want to get my feet wet (well foot - amputee humor) before I'd have a pro take it up a level. If for no other reason as insurance against me screwing up their efforts later.
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post #309 of 523 Old 09-22-2007, 04:08 AM
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Fix the out-of-square condition. You can measure using a long tape from one corner of the screen to an opposite corner of the PJ, then reverse using identical reference points at both ends. When both measurements are equal, the PJ will be square to the screen.
Level the projector in both axes.

1) Register a new signal with a representative input resolution (1080i probably a good choice.)
2) Write down the white balance settings, just because. Seriously... do this.
3) Clear the memory by using -NORMAL at the top level of every menu option EXCEPT WHITE BALANCE! That is, Adjust, highlight Alignment, hold down the CTL key and hit the NORMAL key, then answer NO when prompted. This will set to zero (or mid position) all the settings in the Alignment menu.
Do the same for the other menu items, passing over white balance
Do the same in the Operate menu for static and blanking.
4) Remove the lenses and use the Coffee Can Lid trick... punch a small hole in the center of a can lid of appropriate size, use this to center the crosshair on each tube face with the centering magnets. This is critical to cool electronics.
be aware that the red centering will move slightly when you close the oscillator board. Observe this and try to compensate by over-adjusting the centering magnets on the red just a little.
Set the stepped scheimpflug rings on all three tubes for your screen size per the chart inside the lid.
6) Replace lenses, bring up the cross hair test pattern again. Angle the Red and Blue tubes to line up the cross hairs horizontally.
7) Use the centering magnets again to line up the cross hairs vertically. Remember the red drift when you close the oscillator board!
There should be very little adjustment needed... if there is a lot of vertical to make up, go back to the coffee can lid and check the three tubes again.

NONE of what I just described above uses the electronics at all (that is, no electronic adjustments have been made yet.) This is a reasonable first mechanical setup procedure.

Some other tricks I've learned:
Your eyes will see blue relative to red a lot easier than green, so when lining up or converging line up R to G, then use the G defeat and line up B to R.
The adjustments in NECs go (very grossly) Static (little should be needed if the mechanical is good) followed by Alignment followed by Convergence.
Controls within the Alignment and Convergence groups often interact... for example, you can pull out keystone with one control at max, but it is better to use a little bit of the several controls that effect the desired adjustment. This will become obvious when you are doing it.

Above all, FIX THAT MECHANICAL!

I enjoy mowing my lawn. It's the only two hours of my week where I know what's expected, understand the job, can forsee completion, and look back and see progress.
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post #310 of 523 Old 09-22-2007, 04:13 AM
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Just saw the pics... The PJ is probably too far back, by at least a foot. Using Amplitude to fix this will guarantee you are using too little tube face.
Unless you are working with a wear pattern, you probably want to fix this when re-doing the strut.

I enjoy mowing my lawn. It's the only two hours of my week where I know what's expected, understand the job, can forsee completion, and look back and see progress.
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post #311 of 523 Old 09-22-2007, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtnfoley View Post

Just saw the pics... The PJ is probably too far back, by at least a foot. Using Amplitude to fix this will guarantee you are using too little tube face.
Unless you are working with a wear pattern, you probably want to fix this when re-doing the strut.

Hmm. The PJ is close to the front of the strut, but I will try figure out a way to do it without digging into the ceiling. There are about several bolts holding the strut to the joists, then 6 rods hanging down, I probably getaway with hanging the PJ in front of the last down road.

The tubes are milky white, and I have second one that is practically wear free (and large wear), that there is no reason to have to use a small phospher. The flip side is, I will probably outgrow the PJ before I could toast two no to low wear tubes (within reason).

I'll work to fix mechanical by Monday night when my buddy leaves. I will be printing these recent posts, for sure.
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post #312 of 523 Old 09-23-2007, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Well our friend Oman did me a favor and swung by to help lower the PJ over the weekend. I then took down the strut I had and rebuilt it. Took a bit longer than I planned, as I placed my threaded down rod in the wrong spot. So I had to trim the rod a little and reconfigure things to allow lateral movement and get things the way I want.

The build is level, but I need to do work to get it squared to the screen. Ran out of brainpower. But its adjustable on all three axises now. Progress.

In other news, I tested my soundproofing. I ran the LFE demo with the speakers at a higher level. I closed the door (not sealed yet), and walked around the house. You get a faint rumble in the den directly above (and the playroom adjacent) but that is all. You don't hear a peep in the bedrooms. Total success.
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post #313 of 523 Old 09-24-2007, 04:36 AM
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Wow! That's an impressive looking rig you have going on there. Good to hear (or not hear...) about the sound proofing.
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post #314 of 523 Old 09-24-2007, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Its a bit over complicated because I was trying to ensure that there wouldn't be two connections occuping the same space. This was largely because I placed the threaded rods from the joist just about where the final connections would need to be. If I had paid better attention I would have know to place them wider. Fixing it would mean ripping a hole in the double drywall ceiling, so I had to make the erector set a little more complex. I determined that the PJ really wasn't that far off in centering (fraction of inches), but the aim was off. Tonights project will be to square things off and heave it back up. I was only able to pick up about 6 of the ~12 inched JTNFoley was suggesting I'd need since I ran out of strut when I figured out how it needed to be rebuilt. I'll go with this for the party. If I have to take it down again, I know which pieces to swap out, and it should be a lot simpler than this process was.
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post #315 of 523 Old 09-24-2007, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Well my buddy rescheduled till Wednesday. So my wife and I spent some time getting the mount as level and square as possible. I think we are there. We also hoisted the PJ like a turtle onto sawhorses under the mount.

I sparked it up, adjusted nothing, and the PQ is much better. Still out of focus, and needs some work, but the images are recognizeable (if mostly on the floor). Here is that transformer shot. Still rough, but much better:

Here is a close crop of another shot. Still a mess, but not a disaster.

Probably take tomorrow night to finish my non-HT projects, then see how we do on Wed/Thur before the in-laws show up. Cutting it close.
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post #316 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 05:19 AM
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Well, I admire your determination and slow but steady progress is the way to get it done. Hey, what kind of speakers do you have up front there?
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post #317 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Now that I have something I can recognize I am anxious to push it ahead.

The speakers aren't anything special. They are the entry level Ascend bookshelves (HTM-200) and a HSU STF-2. The plan was to run 5.1 for the first year and then upgrade the LCR when the wallet is in better shape and move two speakers to the back columns for a 7.1 setup. One lonely sub is nothing compared to some setups, but I have to admit it was pretty slick while I kept looping that transformers demo for a few screenshots. The bookshelves themselves, not that I have done much critical listening, sound fine. I guess that is a testimount to Ascends reputation for a neutral sound.
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post #318 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 06:35 AM
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I thought I had read something earlier in the thread about Ascend. I actually have some on order myself. I got CBM-170's for the front left and right. A CMT-340 for center and two HTM-200's for surround. Like you, I plan on adding two more surrounds later. My sub was really cheap. I ordered a Dayton 12" model from Parts Express because I have had one of their's before and really liked it. I should have all of this by the end of the week so MAYBE I will get it all hooked up by the weekend.
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post #319 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I would have gone a model up except that the 170s/340s are ported and not meant for wall mount setups. I figured my columns are basically that, and played it safe with the 200's. I have no complaints. I haven't really pushed them, but they sound accurate. I am thinking about the 340s for the front three, but I flirt with floorstanders and/or DIY speakers depending on my mood.

Mine sat in boxes for a year or so. Its much more fun with them hooked up. Although feeding bookshelves with crown amps is kind of ridiculous.
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post #320 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 06:57 AM
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I'm no audiophile by any means and these Ascends will really be my first "real" speakers as up until now I have always had the little home theater in a box systems. I did get some Dual brand bookshelves at Circuit City during their Black Sunday sale a few years ago. I got 7 of them for about $63 and they don't sound too bad. It was a really cheap and quick way for me to get 7.1 surround at the time and I wall mounted all of them. I had considered wall mounting a system made up completely of the HTM-200 but opted for floor stands up front because I think it will work better for this room. Actually, I don't even have stands yet so thats yet another thing to buy...
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post #321 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I understand that the rear channels do pretty light duty, you might add those bargains in for some work, unless it will limit WAF for future upgrades.

I have about $15 total in my 3 DIY stands. They actually look okay after I spray painted them black, I wasn't even trying. Here is a pre-paint shot:

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post #322 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 07:16 AM
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Hey, that gets the job done! I will probably do something similar with mine. Once it's painted black, everything looks better. Is that PVC conduit in the middle?
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post #323 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Hey, that gets the job done! I will probably do something similar with mine. Once it's painted black, everything looks better. Is that PVC conduit in the middle?

2" PVC pipe from the plumbing aisle. HD had them pre-cut in 24 inch lengths for about $2 each. I could have gotten an 8 or 10 ft uncut length for less, but I figured there was nothing wrong having them precut and even/level. I probably should have gone to the 3" PVC or doubled them up, as even sand filled they are pretty light ( ~8lbs each based on how much sand was left in the 50 lbs bag I had lying around). Add a circle of finish nails halfway in to guide the PVC pipe to scrap MDF (I didn't bother to cut them to be even rectangles, but would have if they weren't going behind the screenwall), then a ton of construction adhesive on the inside track (trace a circle w/the pipe) and a bead of it around the outside, then let dry. Add sand, and the top (more scrap MDF, similar approach). Let dry, then paint.

I also looked at a few closeouts at audio advisor, but decided it would be more fun to build them.
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ENCST
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=1ALJUN
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=ALJUN
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post #324 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 07:45 AM
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Thanks for the links, those are pretty nice looking. I think I will go the DIY route as you did. This gives me some good ideas and I will probably use 3" PVC as you mentioned. My dad loves doing things like this so I may let him run with this project while I install speaker wire and more medial tasks this weekend.
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post #325 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
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Pushed back to Friday for drywall.
.............
Where did you get that black wall plate for all the wire spitting out? Smarthome?

BTW - I got my rails from nineteeninch.com which you referenced- - no complaints.


Is ninteeninch.com still in business, the web site doesn't work for me.
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post #326 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Is ninteeninch.com still in business, the web site doesn't work for me.

Doesn't seem to be working here either. When I bought shelves they did work, but the low price leader was http://www.buyrackgear.com - so I bought from them.
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post #327 of 523 Old 09-25-2007, 09:03 AM
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Thanks. I see you also have the topic going on at Curt's site we can compare ideas there.
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post #328 of 523 Old 09-26-2007, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Funny story (hope it has a good ending) - my buddy was supposed to come last night for dinner and to heave the PJ back up. Total no-show. I called, texted, e-mailed, you name it (this guy always has his phone). Eventually I went to bed thinking my friend had blown me off and how out of character it was. I was trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get the PJ back up, before the party and still have time to set up the CRT PJ (nowhere near as simple as a digital), and how an old friend kind of hosed me by not calling to at least let me know. How it was out of character, that kind of thing. Well, I just got a call from his brother, it appears he is in jail. All the info is second-hand, and we have no idea what the charges are, etc. He is an artist, so I am guessing it will be something like trespassing or some other minor charge. He was with another artist, who happens to be foriegn, and my buddy's wife (who happens to be out of town for a burial) got a call from the consulate passing on that the pair are in jail (and that's all they knew). The police department won't release any info till 8 AM, not even what jail he is in, or what court he will appear in.

Definitely not pleased to hear my buddy is in jail. But a little relieved that an old friend didn't just blow me off.
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post #329 of 523 Old 09-27-2007, 04:59 AM
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Wow, that blows man. I wish I was close by and could help. Hopefully your friend did not get into anything too serious and can walk away from this. I guess this is slightly better news than hearing that he might have been in an accident or something which is what I would have been thinking based on your description of his normally prompt and reliable nature. Keep us posted as to what happened if you can. By the way, I'm curious if you ever considered using a factory mount or if you always planned to go DIY with it. I have not read back through to the beginning of the thread to see if maybe there was a reason for it. I found a factory mount on Ebay really cheap and it made mounting so much easier and all of my Unistrut ended up in the attic out of sight. Maybe too late to be making this suggestion but I can tell you that taking the projector down and putting it back up is much more simple this way.
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post #330 of 523 Old 09-27-2007, 05:32 AM
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An artist...hummmm...how about possession of an illegal substance?
I hope you get it all worked out.

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