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The 22' Wide 2.35:1 Scope Outdoor Screen Adventure

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
All righty, so I've had the outdoor theater bug for some time now, and for the last few years I have been using a 16'x9' screen and it has been great.

However, I've had the itch to go big (and to go scope outside). It took me a while to think of a screen design and to find a material that I liked. Well, while it isn't perfect, I think I'm going to be set for a while (or at least until the urge to go even bigger strikes... um which it kind of already has....)

So, here is the screen, and yes that is a full sized human adult standing there.









I absolutely love it so far. It is enormous and just plain fun. I have a plan to fix the white PVC showing through the screen, so hopefully future shots won't show that. If only the weather around here was good all year round.


I'll post more of the build details, but wanted to keep this first post small.
post #2 of 30
Thread Starter 
OK, so building this was interesting. There are lots of good frame ideas out there, but since I had a previous frame that used some 4x4 posts, I wanted to try and reuse those posts.

So I had three posts, eight feet apart for the previous 16' screen. My original goal was a 24 foot wide scope screen, so I was thinking just go out 4 more feet on either side. That would have worked, except the material I got was exactly 24x10 feet, and I needed some room to attach the material. So, I brought it in to 22 feet wide. In hindsight I think I would have been ok at 23 feet, but the thought of the whole thing not fitting due to six inches on either side made me go down to 22.

What I ended up with is a PVC frame, using 2inch PVC, with the center posts still used, and three feet sticking out to either side of the posts. The sides are simply PVC pipe sitting on the ground. In the pics the pipe seems to have sunk a bit in the ground so I may put a board under those in the future.

A nice thing about this design is that I can carry the whole thing down to the movie site in one trip. For my previous screen I needed two people to carry it since it remained 1/2 assembled all the time.

However, I do require more than me to actually put the screen up and take it down. Assembly and disassembly are simple one-person jobs, but I couldn't come up with a one-person raise and lower system while still using my existing posts. I have some ideas there, so maybe next year. hehe yeah right, as if our "maybe next year" lists aren't long enough...

For equipment, I bring out my old Klipsch set, which sounds awesome outside. I have an old receiver, DVD player for pre-show, and a Blu Ray player. I use a set of DIY subs and it is great to have the bass outside. I know that many folks don't go to the whole setup, but I have to... movies without surround sound and bass just don't seem right to me. That's why I have a hard time watching movies on planes... anwyay...

For projector, I was worried about lighting up such a big screen. I had been using a Panny AE900, and wanted to go brighter. So, I grabbed an Optoma HD71. Brightness is not a concern, at all! I project from around 45' away from the screen, and the image is plenty bright. I didn't even change to the bright settings, and it looked just fine. The picture isn't as good as the AE900, but for this use, that is ok.

All righty, next onto some pics I snapped while building the screen (which, by the way, started the morning of the movie night!)
post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
I'm all about the PVC for the frame. Cheap, easy, light, and if you make a mistake (as I did) cheap and easy to fix. So, this frame is a PVC frame. The overall frame is simple, five vertical pipes and the top and bottom horiztonal pipe. Since I have the 4x4 posts to support the frame, I didn't need much for strength, the frame is just designed to hold the fabric.

Here are some pics of the PVC frame.

First, laying out the pieces and then doing a dry fit test.






I know that some folks don't like to use power tools on PVC, but I do. Cuts through the pipe in seconds, and is a nice flush/square cut. So all my cuts are with a table saw.

In my design, I have some joints that are glued, and others that are not. So, my next step was to glue the fixed joints. During one of the joints, I had to sneeze and the fitting was set before I finished sneezing.... and it was of course set in the wrong spot.




This is why I like using PVC. A cut cut and that piece was out, a few dollars for a new fitting and all was as good as new... I marked the joints that are not glued together so they would be easy to match up during setup.




When the screen only fits part of the way into the garage and has to go out into the driveway, you know you're getting big!



Onto the grommets...
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
For the screen material, I wanted something that was easy to use and quick to attach to the frame. I didn't want to see the fasteners, so I had a few ideas. After some time, I came up with an idea of adding grommets that I can tie a rope onto. This grommet and rope combination runs along the top and bottom of the frame.

When the frame and material is up, I simply toss the tied ropes over the top and pull them taught. This pulls the material taught to the top of the frame. Here are some shots of building this part of the screen.

Here are the two piece grommets I found at Menards.




A very simple design, and oh so much easier than the grommets you have to pound through the material. You poke the point through, then hammer down the "lid" onto the point. Sorry this is blurry, here it is poking through...





Then you hammer the second piece down onto the point, and it snaps into place. The connection is very tight.




The other side of the grommet after it is installed...

http://i696.photobucket.com/albums/v...T/DSC00087.jpg


I then tied the rope onto each of the top grommets. The rope is around 6 feet long.




I taped up the rope ends to keep it from coming untied over time. Probably isn't required, but I didn't want to redo any of this.




Here is the rope, both ends ready to go, tied onto the grommet and loops on the other end, attached to the screen, and ready to go.




Next, attaching the screen material to the frame....
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
I knew that I wanted the material at least partially fixed to the frame. I found it much easier to work with my last screen because of this, so I wanted to continue that. In this design, the sides would be fixed, with the material attached to the frame.

I had used the grommets before, and then screwed through the grommet into the frame, but those other grommets were the ones you had to punch out and hammer, etc... not impossible, but I wanted to try something new. So, at Menards I found these tarp clamps.

Basically, you install the clamp, then slide the material over the clamp, and then slide the other half of the clamp over the material. They have been around a while, nothing brand new, but not sure I've seen them used this way before and thought it might work out well.

So, here is attaching the first part, called a dogbone.




I used four dogbones per side. The screen is about 9.5' feet tall, and this seemed like plenty, after use it was just fine.




Next, I slid the material over the dogbones, and slid the second half of the clamp onto both the material and dogbone. Pretty easy here, the only key is to make sure the material stays lined up, but that is pretty straightforward.




Here is a close shot of the whole thing, after install. I didn't get an angle on it, but there are two screws going through the plastic and material, into the PVC to hold it tight.




I then went and repeated this on the other side. I pulled the material nice and tight (the frame is assembled under the material while doing this part, and attached the other four clamps. It went nice and easy. Since there is a little bit of give in the material, especailly being 22 feet wide, I can pull the frame apart with just a bit of effort.

After that, the screen frame is done. So I disassembled it and got it ready to take down to the spot where we watch the movies. Basically, the horizontal pipes come apart, and the rest is fixed. Here it is fully disassembled.




I'll come back with some shots of the back, and how the ropes connect back there behind the screen. I don't have those on the same camera so I still have to download them. I hope some of you have enjoyed this and maybe got an idea or two...
post #6 of 30
Outdoor surround sound! Nice! Where is the projection area? In your yard? Are the 4x4's permanently mounted?
post #7 of 30
You win!
I was thinking 2.35:1 but went with 16:9 for various reasons.

Real nice job and great explanation of your project.
post #8 of 30
What did you use for screen material?
post #9 of 30
Nice!

Thanks for sharing.

Mike
post #10 of 30
no offense but it looks uneven and not level. one side dips down lower then the other. is that due to weight.
post #11 of 30
Done this with the hd65 on the side of a semi trailer. I can definitely see how this would be very nice looking considering the hd65 can pull it off with bright mode, bright lamp mode, video gamma, and brilliant color up and still be, somehow, VERY bright.
post #12 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewski11 View Post

Outdoor surround sound! Nice! Where is the projection area? In your yard? Are the 4x4's permanently mounted?

The projection area is in the backyard towards one side of the house.

Yep the 4x4s are in concrete. I used the mix that you poor in the hole and mix/set in the hole, and now a few years down the road it doesn't seem to be holding up that well. It is getting a bit soft. Anyway, yes the 4x4s are fixed and stay there all the time.
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post

What did you use for screen material?

It was from Rose Brand, they make backdrops and other stage fabrics. I don't recall the specific fabric offhand, but it wasn't expensive. Here is their URL http://www.rosebrand.com/
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiss_alive View Post

no offense but it looks uneven and not level. one side dips down lower then the other. is that due to weight.

The yard itself isn't level. The 4x4s are pretty level (maybe off by 1/2 inch or so), when I installed those they were properly level. The "extensions" are where the difference is. I think that I cut the pipe the same height as the posts, but didn't take into account that the PVC would sink a bit into the soft ground. I'm planning on setting them on boards next time around to see if it solves the slight sag on the sides.

Overall it isn't very heavy, I'm pretty sure it weighs less than the 16x9 screen did.
post #15 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom3982s View Post

Great ide, and it looks so easy to store. How did the picture turn out, was it very clear? From the picture it was hard to tell..

Thanks. From the pics snapped it is hard to tell, but the image was great. The HD71 isn't the best projector in the world, weak blacks, etc... but overall I'd say for what the goal was the image was great. I have another one coming this weekend, and will try to get some better pics of the screen in action.
post #16 of 30
Very, very awesome my man! I can't wait to get back into the outdoor viewing game, but it will have to wait since I'm in the process of moving from Texas to Florida. Nights are getting longer, and the temp is getting cooler..
post #17 of 30
That looks awesome, it time to replace my JVC 5.1 receiver. And now i know exactly where it's going to be used next.
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
OK, so I'm sure some of you noticed that you could see the white vertical PVC pipes through the screen material. For the last showing I simply painted the pipes flat black, and it worked great. No more visible pipes. Only one pic taken, via a cell phone, I just get too busy with the setup. I'll see if I can get that pic here for comparison.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

It was from Rose Brand, they make backdrops and other stage fabrics. I don't recall the specific fabric offhand, but it wasn't expensive. Here is their URL http://www.rosebrand.com/

Is it a cloth-like material that is washable? My BOC is getting me paranoid. I'm scared one of these showings I'm going to open it up and see mold, etc and it will be too late to do anything about it before a big showing.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuner View Post

Is it a cloth-like material that is washable? My BOC is getting me paranoid. I'm scared one of these showings I'm going to open it up and see mold, etc and it will be too late to do anything about it before a big showing.

Yep if needed it is washable... I think. I don't ever plan on needing to wash it, so I won't be able to offer personal experience, but I don't see why not.
post #21 of 30
New pics? :P
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hey all. Shameless bump on two threads here. Met with some home theater fans over the weekend, and a few asked me to bring these old threads back....
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

Hey all. Shameless bump on two threads here. Met with some home theater fans over the weekend, and a few asked me to bring these old threads back....

Yeah!
Let's see more!


Mike
post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Yeah!
Let's see more!


Mike

I'll take a few more when we have the first event this year, likely in June...

Looking forward to it!
post #25 of 30
The season will be upon us soon... working on some new bigger audio for 2010 season. Hey how did the sparks work out late last summer? Did they make it out for the show?
post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post

The season will be upon us soon... working on some new bigger audio for 2010 season. Hey how did the sparks work out late last summer? Did they make it out for the show?

Sparks were lots of fun, they did make it out. In the CAVE meet thread, Mark mentioned that he might bring some toys along this year as well. I just found in my store room, an extra 15" sub and plate amp I forgot about... So I'm thinking of making another sub to have even more bass out there next time. hehe... If we only get one main event in, having the super sized scope and unreal outdoor audio sounds like a good goal to me!
post #27 of 30
think we need to get Jtr Jeff down with a quad of growlers! I've got a pair of 15" cabinets from my outdoor setup that could easily make it in the car if needed just say the word when the time comes. If all goes well may have some larger yet highly portable PAish mains by then as well. Between all of local looney folks you could have quite the neighbor pleasing event
Can't wait!
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenP View Post

Sparks were lots of fun, they did make it out. In the CAVE meet thread, Mark mentioned that he might bring some toys along this year as well. I just found in my store room, an extra 15" sub and plate amp I forgot about... So I'm thinking of making another sub to have even more bass out there next time. hehe... If we only get one main event in, having the super sized scope and unreal outdoor audio sounds like a good goal to me!

Any word on the next CAVE meet?

Mike
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zamboniman View Post

think we need to get Jtr Jeff down with a quad of growlers! I've got a pair of 15" cabinets from my outdoor setup that could easily make it in the car if needed just say the word when the time comes. If all goes well may have some larger yet highly portable PAish mains by then as well. Between all of local looney folks you could have quite the neighbor pleasing event
Can't wait!

LOL. Neighbors would love him.
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I'm going to have an outdoor meet in June. Probably the last time at this house, so if anyone is interested, check the meet section:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1241506
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