My DIY motorized horizontal mask - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, after a few misses on how to get this done, I think I've got it for the moment. What I attempted to do was to make a motorized horizontal mask. Saw a video
on youtube that showed making a masking system using a tubular motor. I didn't know there were such things as tubular motors until then. I needed the tube concept because I don't have much room above my painted screen area. Below the screen I had plenty so I could just use the sliding bar with black mask attached that could be raised and lowered.

Anyway, concept is pretty simple,
Ingredients

http://www.av-outlet.com/ Cant give the direct link to the motor, you have to click on "roller shade components"

Tubular Motor
aluminum tube (sold by people who sell the motor)
Brackets (comes with the tube)
Remote(came with the motor)
2 AL bars
Some sort of channel for the bar to slide in on the bottom to keep it flat
String/cord
2 hose clamps to hold the cord on the tube
couple of those adjustable hooks to help with adjustments
Black top mask with pocket sewed into it
Bottom Mask, (I have 2 pockets sewed into it, one on top and one on bottom but only using the top one, thought I would need a bar slid on the bottom of it to keep it straight but it seems to be fine just hanging).

Very simply, The top is a tube with the mask rolled around it and the Al bar is slid inside the pocket that we made. Motor plugs into a wall outlet and has an IR cord attached to the motor. Strings wrap around the tube and are attached with hose clamps. Strings go down and attach to the bottom bar which is slid in the bottom mask. The bottom mask is just hanging and the bar slides in the channels to keep it straight.

When the motor rolls the top mask down, it pulls the bottom mask up. The weight of the top bar is way to heavy for the motor to pull it back up without the bottom mask attached which acts as a counter weight as well when the top mask is going up. I switch to string from a metal cord for what wraps around the tube, seemed easier to use. The bottom cord is a metal cable with clamps for adjustment. You could use any kind of cable I would think.


The thing I'm holding is an IR cord that accepts signals.


Front left bottom... bar is in the channel.. yes i have an outlet in my screen


Bottom right... bar is in the channel


Open


Closed


Open


Closed


Open


Closed

Motor and tubes cost me just over $200 shipped. They couldn't ship me a full 10' tube without a large shipping fee but they could send me an 8' and a 4' at no extra cost to ship. So I had a friend who is a welding genius weld the two AL pieces together. Very happy with the results on that. The bars cost me $50 at a local blacksmith shop. They are 2" pieces. I didn't think they would work because of the weight but seems to counterbalance very nicely. I had found some lighter AL pieces of Hammered carpet grip at Home depot that I thought were straight but when I slid them in and put them up you could see how bad the edge was. If I were somebody starting this project, I'd find the lightest material possible as to not strain the motor.... Maybe should have used 1" Al pieces but they didn't have those.... Anything that will stay straight and not sag over the 10' span.

So for around $300 I have what I want for the moment. The motor does strain a little but for as little as it will be going up and down I think it will be fine. They have stronger motors as well but they cost more. Wanted to try it for the lower cost.

One note, trying to get all this straight wasn't fun. I thought getting the projector lined up for normal viewing was bad enough but getting it set for this seemed to be even worse. Seemed the bottom wasn't going up as far as the top was rolling down. Finally seemed to get the projector straight.

I just hope it stands the test of time. I still need to redo my false speaker wall also to get the top to fit around the motor. That is the next thing... Looks fine for the moment without it tho. Forgot to mention also, you can program the motor to have limits as well so you don't go to far one way or the other. You can also program one middle position. For now I have the upper and lower set so it doesn't roll up too much and just rolls down to the right spot for the ratio I'm watchin right now.

Hope this helps somebody.


Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

"Name?" Shropshire Slasher
"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 08:08 AM
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Very well done and a hell of a lot cheaper than what I paid for my top/bottom masking. (Though I like mine very much).

Remote controlled too? Nice.

So do I understand correctly that at the moment you would have two set points: open (masks fully retracted) and closed (masks deployed, probably to a 2:35:1 aspect ratio).

?
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-04-2011, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

Very well done and a hell of a lot cheaper than what I paid for my top/bottom masking. (Though I like mine very much).

Remote controlled too? Nice.

So do I understand correctly that at the moment you would have two set points: open (masks fully retracted) and closed (masks deployed, probably to a 2:35:1 aspect ratio).

?

I saw your setup before I started this project. Very professional looking... love the size that yours goes to... very nice

Yes, I have it at 2 points right now... fully closed and fully open which sets it to I assume the ratio you said. Whatever Star Trek and The Patriot ratios are I just have to manually adjust them for the moment for others. After I mess with it a bit, the directions seem to say I can go to the upper and lower limits and I'm supposed to be able to set another MY point in the middle so in theory I should be able to jog it from 16:9 to 1.85:1 to the lower limit of 2.35:1
Need to mess with it and also program the harmony to maybe program these points into it.

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

"Name?" Shropshire Slasher
"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-05-2011, 09:41 AM
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Nice work.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #5 of 27 Old 02-05-2011, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks..

Even the wife noticed a huge difference. Said she didn't know what I was trying to accomplish before I started... now shes happy so thats half the battle.

Couple more pics with false walls up...




Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-05-2011, 03:28 PM
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I love that accent lighting.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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post #7 of 27 Old 04-06-2011, 08:05 PM
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Looks nice.....
How much space is there between your horizontal and vertical masks?
Which one is in the front?
Can you post a well lit shot looking at the setup sideways? I'm trying to gauge how far off the wall it portrudes ( I see your screen appears to be flat on the wall?)
What size al bar did you use? How much smaller do you think one could get away with and still maintain enough stiffness across say 12'?
And which motor/kit did u go with from the site?
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-07-2011, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calimark View Post

Looks nice.....
How much space is there between your horizontal and vertical masks?
Which one is in the front?
Can you post a well lit shot looking at the setup sideways? I'm trying to gauge how far off the wall it portrudes ( I see your screen appears to be flat on the wall?)
What size al bar did you use? How much smaller do you think one could get away with and still maintain enough stiffness across say 12'?
And which motor/kit did u go with from the site?

I could have swore I responded to this today. Must not have clicked the right button

Anyway... Just horizontal masks.. The screen is painted on the wall so it is right up against it...Bar was 2" and was pretty heavy, I would think you could get by with a lot smaller, how much I'm not sure. I guess it would depend on your span.

Smallest motor they had, the LT30 IR. If you go with a bigger span you might want to get the bigger motor. I just wanted to do it for as little as possible to see if it would work. Like I said above, even though the AL bars are heavy, they counterbalance each other pretty well for using a smaller motor.

If you still want more pics I can take them. Hope you get yours going ..

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

"Name?" Shropshire Slasher
"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-08-2011, 11:15 AM
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Thanks...I would still like those pics to help me get a better idea.

My screen was buillt to be 180" 16:9 with 4-5 masking all around. After some people complained about dizzyness and feeling overpowered I decided to drop the size down a bit. This is with seating 18ft + backwards.

Anyways...I'm thinking instead of fixed frame now to have some adjustable masking.

I'll probably do a manual for the vertical as they would hardly ever move...maybe a self tensioning curtain rod, with an alum bar in a track- manually operated.

For the horizontal, I'm interested in your solution but am concerned with the masking portruding too far out from the screen...
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 06:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Depending on what you have now, I guess it would matter how thick your current frame is on how well it would work.





Original idea for this came from Otto, Gentleman who runs a Belgium HT website. Heres his youtube link for the idea if that helps any. First video isn't very in depth but he tries to explain it better in the second. Maybe this will help you a little.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuGU1...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdCvP...eature=related


Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 07:28 AM
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Thanks...

So how much space do you have where the arrow is in the photo?

My current setup is about 1 1/4" off the wall. I'll probably have to build something around it, sort of like a false wall setup.
LL
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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It isn't much, less than a half inch. You would just need to "shim" out to the edge of your frame. I could have easily moved it out to make it go further from the wall with just a wood block between the wall and the end piece bracket for the tube.

Do you have a way to hide all the stuff in the corners?... i.e. cords and brackets. If you do then the pieces to shim it out would also be hidden.

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #13 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 11:09 AM
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Thanks...I think you have covered all my questions...thank you

My screen is here.....
http://mirror2.avsforum.com/avs-vb/a...6&d=1298214921


And most likely I will end up doing the front wall similar to what is in here:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...6&d=1200529976

I could even do 'curtains' like this:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=16579914


Most likely I will end up doing something
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like you screen is flat on the wall too.

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #15 of 27 Old 04-12-2011, 03:10 PM
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its drywall mounted 1" off the wall, so the whole thing comes out about 1.5".
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post #16 of 27 Old 10-27-2011, 03:56 PM
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Another question now that you have had time to digest....do you experience any shadows from the 'masking'?
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post #17 of 27 Old 10-27-2011, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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O no. There aren't any shadows. It's very flush. Only issue I had was that it fell once. The brackets aren't made for a lot of weight. I just made sure that they were as close together as possible and they seem to be doing ok again.

Also, I havnt set up an ir blaster near screen ir receiver either so I just leave the remote up by the screen for when I need to lower it.

You getting ready to pull the trigger?

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #18 of 27 Old 10-28-2011, 04:52 AM
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Yeah kinda of getting ready to finish up over this holiday season. Thanks for the fast reply. When you speak of the brackets, which brackets are those?
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post #19 of 27 Old 11-01-2011, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry I missed the reply.

These are the brackets. They don't leave a lot of room for mistakes..



One bracket holds this "end" that slips into the tube. The bracket with the moveable piece.


The other bracket just slides into the other end of the tube on the motor end.

Hope it helps. I'm still happy with the setup.


Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #20 of 27 Old 11-01-2011, 06:57 AM
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Ah! I have seen those before and it was in the back of my mind...

Could they be mounted vertically ( assuming you have yours horizontal), therefore letting the tube's weight keep it on the system?
I saw another bracket elsewhere that you basically slide the end piece into a fixed bracket. It was kind of like 'slide in and slightly into a goove"-easier to visualize.
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post #21 of 27 Old 11-01-2011, 07:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calimark View Post

Ah! I have seen those before and it was in the back of my mind...

Could they be mounted vertically ( assuming you have yours horizontal), therefore letting the tube's weight keep it on the system?
I saw another bracket elsewhere that you basically slide the end piece into a fixed bracket. It was kind of like 'slide in and slightly into a goove"-easier to visualize.

Well, I don't see why not. Would imagine that it would depend on the total weight on wether the bottom bracket wouldnt bend. I'm assuming that you are thinking about vertical masks as well. I would think that you could build something under the bottom bracket that would just keep it solid.

I wouldn't think it would be to difficult. Just a little planning.

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #22 of 27 Old 11-01-2011, 08:19 AM
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I was referring to the horizontals.
For my verticals I'm probably going motorized curtains, or just some other contraption :-)
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post #23 of 27 Old 12-24-2011, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Note: Evidently I never had the lower limit and the middle point set the way it should have been. The motor has NO problem with the weight of the system when you program the setting right and the operator (me) knows what button to push to get to those settings.
After you set the lower limit, the motor can take you there quickly. Set the middle setting where you want it and the motor will take you there quickly.

Learned the setting with the Harmony One and it is no problem at all. I've got the two setting at two different movie ratios.

Merry Christmas Everybody... Hope everybodys projects are getting done.

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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post #24 of 27 Old 12-23-2012, 07:30 AM
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Hi guys, would it be possible to get the pictures that go along with this post. Thanks!!!
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post #25 of 27 Old 12-23-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbodnar View Post

Hi guys, would it be possible to get the pictures that go along with this post. Thanks!!!

Sorry about that... looks like I haven't paid attention to my website as another host took my name over. I still have my ftp but the address isn't associated the same. doh mad.gif

Hope it helps... I'd imagine there are a million ways to make this project easier and more clean looking but my mask is still upright tho... smile.gif Just wish I had more time to use it.

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DIY motorized masking system

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"Occupation?" Shropshire Slasher
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post #26 of 27 Old 12-25-2012, 08:16 PM
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Many thanks!. I read this thread sometime ago, now I got most of the materials and I am ready to get it going we shall see what improvements I can make if any. We use the theater a lot more during the winter months... and I always have your project in the back of my head every time I look at those white bars...
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post #27 of 27 Old 12-26-2012, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Great, hope it works for u. Show some pics when you're done.
After looking over the thread again just wanted to say I hope you have More room above your screen to put your top bar. Mine was way to close with no room for adjustment.
Good luck

Mike's attempt at a Theater

DIY motorized masking system

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