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The Austin Home Theater - Page 8

post #211 of 405
Thread Starter 
All the electronic gurus that hang around here and no one has any advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaustin View Post

One more hurdle to get over with this plan; the transformer is too big to hide behind the crown. I stuck one from a laptop that is a similar size up there and it just won't fit. So I've got to find a way to house the transformer away from the soffit. Here's what I'm thinking:

There is a piece of romex that runs from the current four gang switch box to a box behind the crown. I think I will remove this piece from the switch box and take it out of the wall. I can get to it if I take a piece of drywall off of the backside of the staggered stud wall (not a big deal since that drywall is unfinished). This piece of romex will be long enough to reach into the hallway that the equipment closet is off of. I will house the transformer in the equipment closet and run a wire up above the drop ceiling to meet up with this piece of romex. Now here is where I need some help. I'll have to cut the end off of the transformer and splice in a longer piece which will then be spliced again to the romex in the hallway. Then I'll have to splice the end back onto the romex behind the crown on the soffit so that it can plug into the controller. I think the wire coming out of the transformer is coaxial cable? To splice this would I just strip a few inches off and bunch the outer conductor up to form one lead and then the center conductor would be the other lead? Then I could crimp the connections together?

I'd appreciate any advice on if this plan is even feasible.

Thank you!
post #212 of 405
The cable coming out of the transformer is 2-wire. I don't see any problems with what you propose.

You can also get a connector like this that is barrel on one end and has 2 terminals on the other. You can seat the NM cable on the terminals and then just plug the transfomer and controller in. Just make sure you buy the correct diameter.
post #213 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

The cable coming out of the transformer is 2-wire. I don't see any problems with what you propose.

You can also get a connector like this that is barrel on one end and has 2 terminals on the other. You can seat the NM cable on the terminals and then just plug the transfomer and controller in. Just make sure you buy the correct diameter.

Thanks Tim! That is exactly what I needed to know.

Well I guess I am going to move forward with the LEDs then. All of the color changing options are so cool! I'm excited!
post #214 of 405
Just be aware of voltage drop. Probably not an issue with 14ga, but it all depends on how long the run is and how much current you're drawing.

When working with 12v versus 120v the 5% voltage drop sneaks up on you pretty quickly. I used 18ga thermostat wire for my [yet to be purchased and installed] LED strips and I could only power about 10 feet of strip per pair of 18ga wires.

There are online calculators to help out. The spec for the LEDs are usually listed per meter.

Tim
post #215 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thank you once again Tim. I will look into that some more.

So before I pull the trigger on this I've got another question for all of you electronics whizzes. I will need about 30 feet of the strips to wrap around the soffits. So my plan was to get a kit with the power supply, controller, remote, and 16.4 ft strip like so:

http://www.amazon.com/Changing-LED-S...ef=pd_sim_hi_1

Then I'd buy another 16.4 ft strip and connect it to the first one to get my total length.

http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Chang...d_bxgy_e_img_b

Originally I thought that this was common practice and would work fine, but now I have some doubts after reading here (http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/...&productId=901)
"Do not lengthen the LED strip by connecting an additional section to it."

So does that mean that I have to buy one continuous strip to get the length that I need? Is it because the power supply that comes with the kit is only rated for 16.4 ft?

I'd appreciate any advice. Thank you!
post #216 of 405
Personally I would "think" (but not sure) that you would want to beef up your power supply then you can "probably" run a couple strips off of it. I assume what they are referring to is that they cant be daisy chained but I may be wrong.........
post #217 of 405
The issue with chaining strips is voltage drop. You would be pulling all the current for the second strip through the PCB traces on the first strip.

It may work, but the second strip could exhibit the voltage drop by means of getting dimmer towards the end of the strip.

Alternatively, the additional current draw could burn out the traces on the first strip.

Can you solve the problem by installing 1 strip in one direction from the 14ga wire, and a second strip in the opposite direction? Instead of chaining the strips you would splice them at the point where the 14ga is. Well-- you're not really splicing them-- you're deriving the power for each strip at the same point of origin.

Tim
post #218 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Tim View Post

Can you solve the problem by installing 1 strip in one direction from the 14ga wire, and a second strip in the opposite direction? Instead of chaining the strips you would splice them at the point where the 14ga is. Well-- you're not really splicing them-- you're deriving the power for each strip at the same point of origin.

Unfortunately the place where the 14 ga comes in is on one end of the soffit, not in the middle. Once again, poor planning on my part since I thought that I would be going with one long length of incandescents.

What I could do is connect one strip at the 14 ga and then run a length of wire through the crown to meet up with the beginning of the second strip. I don't know if this additional 16.4 ft of wire would cause the second strip to be dimmer than the first though.

Another issue with this is that the controller has to be connected before the strip. So I'd have to connect the first strip and the extra length of wire for the second strip after the controller. I believe there are four wires coming out of the controller, which means that I would need four conductors for the extra length of wire to the second strip. Would 16 ga stranded speaker wire be ok for that? Once again though......voltage drop.
post #219 of 405
You can plug it into an online voltage drop calculator. Try to stay below 5% drop.

Off the top of my head, based on my own calculations for my theater, I do not think 16 feet of 16ga powering 5M of strip will be an issue.

Tim
post #220 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks Tim. I plugged it into a calculator and it looks like I will be ok. One more question for you...

16.4 foot of strip is 36 watts. So at twelve volts that is 3 Amps of current. If I connect two lengths in parallel then each will obviously get 12 volts but I will need to supply 6 amps of current correct? The power supply that I linked to is listed as 4 amps. Can I assume that it will not work?

If I can't supply the full 6 amps then they will just be dimmer right? Probably not a problem in a dark home theater room.
post #221 of 405
Use a data repeater.
http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/...&productId=610

It takes the PWM signal for each RGB and then injects a new power signal to overcome voltage drop.
post #222 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRBoomer View Post

Use a data repeater.
http://www.ledwholesalers.com/store/...&productId=610

It takes the PWM signal for each RGB and then injects a new power signal to overcome voltage drop.

Thanks for the tip GRBoomer.

So the data repeater would need power brought to it from a separate transformer correct? That is going to be a problem since I only have one length of 14-2 running up to the soffit. Hmmm.......

Any reason why Tim's plan of splitting the connection after the controller and running a length of wire to the second strip wouldn't work? Maybe a more powerful transformer would be necessary?
post #223 of 405
You could also do a star configuration off of a larger transformer or multiple transformers, and run a home run of low voltage wire to power each amplifier. Just cut the wire and extend with low gauge wire. If it is not built into the wall, try landscape wire. 12AWG is easy to get at the box stores. There would be some loss in the longer wire lengths, but the main voltage drop is from the LEDs and the current limiting resistors, in the strip, and not too much from the wire.
post #224 of 405
Thread Starter 
So another busy weekend that unfortunately didn't include a ton of work on the theater.

First I finished hanging the crown molding on the soffits before using some caulk to fix up a few gaps. I decided to keep them the lighter gray. I think it all just looked a little hectic with the door casing right below it on that first piece. After hanging the rest I am very happy with how it turned out.

After the crown I spent some time touching up paint in a few spots.

And......that's it.

The next two weeks will be completely taken over by AP exams (physics tomorrow and statistics on wednesday) and the musical, so I will have almost zero time to work on the theater. So my plan is to order carpet and have it installed during the next two weeks! That way starting memorial day I can work to wrap this thing up and I won't be waiting on the carpet to be installed.

We're going to stop by a few places tomorrow to take a look at some options. I'm thinking I'll go with a gray with some kind of checkerboard design kind of like Dameleon did with The Bacon Race theater.

I've got a few bids in on ebay for some LED strips so we'll see where those go. I'm going to get two 16.4 foot lengths, a controller and remote, and a 6 Amp power supply. Thank you to everyone that helped answer my questions regarding the LEDs!

Well..... ta ta for now. Physics is calling.....
post #225 of 405
Good luck with the exams!
post #226 of 405
Ditto on the exam. However I feel as though from what little I know that you are an incredibly intelligent individual and will not have any issues with your exams.

Looking forward to seeing some carpet samples.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #227 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the encouragement and kind words guys!
post #228 of 405
Thread Starter 
Well I need some help on carpet selection (maybe from a certified carpet counselor )

We stopped by Lowes today and I found a carpet that I really like. Its gray with a nice texture to it very similar to damelons. But.....the rest of the family says they don't like it because they're worried that it will be too hard if the they want to lay on it.

They're hooked on a shag type because they say that it's soft; but I hate it. I just don't see it fitting in with the decor of the room.

So now they're all revolting and saying that they'll do nothing but the shag. I need some options that are kind of soft and plush but still have a design to them. I don't really like the plain solid colors. The only textured ones that I could find were the harder styles.

Something like azula's carpet would also be nice.

Any ideas on what I should be looking for?
post #229 of 405
I purchased Stainmasters Silver Lake style from Lowes and think it is really soft.
post #230 of 405
Well, as a CCC you have come to the right place. Here is what I would suggest. I don't like the shag styles for a theater room. I like the berbers and tight looped styles for a theater room. If it was a multi purpose room or a media room then I could see the plusher styles for that purpose.

You can never go wrong with bringing home multiple samples to get a "feel" for what you like. I would also suggest you go to an actual carpet store vs. Lowes, I tend to find I get better service and prices at the actual stores (you can haggle for better prices usually) and that is all they do so they are better suited to guide you along in the process. In one of my homes I had a "shaved berber that was a mixture of the loop and shag styles. That could be another viable option as well.

You could also encourage your family (if they want to give up on the actual theater seating and lay on the floor) to find "fluffy" throw rugs or blankets for the times they want to lay on the floor. I still don't understand why people want to lay on the floor when they have prime seating, but I digress as we are talking about women and that is another subject altogether.

Again I think your best bet is to start at a flooring store, get multiple samples bring them home and post up some pics.

Carpet can be the hardest decision for people to make, but it doesn't have to be. It can actually be enjoyable.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #231 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaustin View Post

Well I need some help on carpet selection

I'm not certified, and clearly, certified advice is very good! Here's a couple thoughts: I always like berbers or other short/tight loop pile carpets. They seem to be a lot easier to keep nice and clean. However, there are some very nice cut pile carpets that are dense. The type with patterns cut into them tend to be the sort I would suggest (though I'm not always a fan of the cut patterns) - they're nice to walk on because they feel firm and confident under foot, but aren't hard, IMO. There's something about the way the pile lines up all in the same direction - I don't know if it's because of the fiber type or the length of the pile... OK I've probably not communicated what I'm after here - but if you just take RTROSE's advice and go to a carpet store, I'm sure you'll find the type I'm talking about - actually, now that I say it - I think the type of pile I'm thinking about is common in area rugs - I hope you can find roll carpet like that...

Fred

post #232 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzbase View Post

I purchased Stainmasters Silver Lake style from Lowes and think it is really soft.

Thanks bzbase. That is actually one that I was looking at. I really like the design. I appreciate you giving your experience with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Well, as a CCC you have come to the right place. Here is what I would suggest. I don't like the shag styles for a theater room. I like the berbers and tight looped styles for a theater room. If it was a multi purpose room or a media room then I could see the plusher styles for that purpose.

You can never go wrong with bringing home multiple samples to get a "feel" for what you like. I would also suggest you go to an actual carpet store vs. Lowes, I tend to find I get better service and prices at the actual stores (you can haggle for better prices usually) and that is all they do so they are better suited to guide you along in the process. In one of my homes I had a "shaved berber that was a mixture of the loop and shag styles. That could be another viable option as well.

You could also encourage your family (if they want to give up on the actual theater seating and lay on the floor) to find "fluffy" throw rugs or blankets for the times they want to lay on the floor. I still don't understand why people want to lay on the floor when they have prime seating, but I digress as we are talking about women and that is another subject altogether.

Again I think your best bet is to start at a flooring store, get multiple samples bring them home and post up some pics.

Carpet can be the hardest decision for people to make, but it doesn't have to be. It can actually be enjoyable.

Regards,

RTROSE

Nothing like a CCC coming to the rescue! When I went over these posts with my mom I introduced yours by saying that RTROSE is a "carpet guy." I'm pretty sure she interpreted that as you being an installer. Perhaps a teensy bit of an exaggeration. But it gave what you said a ton more weight.

I think I'm starting to slowly dispel the shag idea. Her big thing is that, since we'll only have one row of four seats, if the whole family ever wants to watch a movie someone will have to be on the ground. I'm trying to push the fact that most of the time it won't be more than four and we can always do blankets or bean bags on the floor for the occasional overflow.

We are going to stop by some carpet stores soon so I'll let you know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

I'm not certified, and clearly, certified advice is very good! Here's a couple thoughts: I always like berbers or other short/tight loop pile carpets. They seem to be a lot easier to keep nice and clean. However, there are some very nice cut pile carpets that are dense. The type with patterns cut into them tend to be the sort I would suggest (though I'm not always a fan of the cut patterns) - they're nice to walk on because they feel firm and confident under foot, but aren't hard, IMO. There's something about the way the pile lines up all in the same direction - I don't know if it's because of the fiber type or the length of the pile... OK I've probably not communicated what I'm after here - but if you just take RTROSE's advice and go to a carpet store, I'm sure you'll find the type I'm talking about - actually, now that I say it - I think the type of pile I'm thinking about is common in area rugs - I hope you can find roll carpet like that...

Fred


Thanks for the tips Fred. I will definitely look into that at the carpet store.
post #233 of 405
^^^^^What ever it takes my friend, what ever it takes. Glad to be of service.

Regards,

RTROSE
post #234 of 405
How about a couple of beanbags for the overflow seating?
post #235 of 405
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lebon. Yeah that's what I'm thinking. My uncle got the shag carpet put in his new house so they all got hooked on it there. I think I'm slowly starting to win the battle though.
post #236 of 405
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeBon View Post

How about a couple of beanbags for the overflow seating?

That's what I was going to suggest. Nobody really wants to lie on the floor if there is a more comfortable alternative available.

In our room, we have a couple of gaming chairs that get pulled out for overflow seating. They are low enough that they don't obstruct the view from the money seats. The gaming chairs are like this:

post #237 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightp View Post

That's what I was going to suggest. Nobody really wants to lie on the floor if there is a more comfortable alternative available.

In our room, we have a couple of gaming chairs that get pulled out for overflow seating. They are low enough that they don't obstruct the view from the money seats. The gaming chairs are like this:


Good idea Dwight! I will offer that as a solution as well. Did you order them online or pick them up in a store? I like the look of the one in the picture that you linked to with the armrests.
post #238 of 405
Hey, shouldn't you be studying?
post #239 of 405
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman View Post

Hey, shouldn't you be studying?

Hahaha! Physics was yesterday so I'm good there. I've got statistics tomorrow..... but that doesn't mean I can't think about the theater at the same time.
post #240 of 405
Thread Starter 


That's right everyone; sweet, sweet victory!!!

I got the ok from my mom today to go with the carpet that I like. She agreed that we can just put some blankets down for the occasional time someone sits on the floor. She also liked the gamer chair idea.

Lets hope that she doesn't change her mind.........

I'm pretty sure that we are heading to the carpet store tomorrow. I'll keep you all updated!
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