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The Once and Future Theater - Page 4

post #91 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Don't tell him that!
post #92 of 1066

That is quite the progress to say the least. I for one don't ever "count" on any of the big box stores having what I need "in stock" if it is there I just consider myself a lucky man for the day. I have never had good luck finding siding and what not from the big boxes I end up just going to a local independent supply house.

Have fun at the movies, my youngest went to the midnight premier and loved it.


post #93 of 1066
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

I'm starting to come around to the idea of the biggest screen possible. Somehow all the screens way larger than recommended have slipped by me. Among others (like you guys, Greg and RTROSE), I read CAVX's recommendation that screen height should be room length divided by 3.something (I forget right now). I'll go back later tonight and see how big I can push. I'll worry about brightness later.

Room length divided by 3.68 for the max image height and 5.18 for the smallest screen height. You could also use any number between them so for example 4.43 which half way between the two.
post #94 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Thanks for stopping by CAVX. I appreciate your input - I've been reading your helpful and informative posts in the CIH areas for years now. Don't see you over here as much, and I'm glad to have you. Make yourself at home.

The screen I figure I'll build is 54 inches tall, in a room around 264 inches long - so that's on the small size of screens given your recommendation. 264/4.888 = 54. Being width limited, I knew CIH would present some challenges, but I'm happy with the screen idea at this point.
post #95 of 1066
Thread Starter 
I bought more wood, so I took a picture.

Really, the wood is filler in this scenario. I was bringing the siding home, but it's fragile. So, I went ahead and bought a 2x12 to strap the siding to for the ride home. Even so, I managed to break two of the pieces of siding moving them around the house. Luckily, I had bought enough to make do with what I had. You can see the two broken pieces in the middle of the stack.

I know people always say that lumber yards and building supply companies offer better value than the big box stores, but I learned it for sure today. That said, you may not save on every thing you buy there. Lowe's price on the siding I bought (which they don't stock and need two weeks to get for in-store pickup) was more than $9/piece. The building supply company I bought from today sold them to me at $5.60 each. However, I think I paid $15 for the 2x12 while Lowe's had it for $13.something. At least in this case, I saved more than $25 and two weeks by driving a little farther to the building supply company (Carolina Lumber and Supply Company; for anyone near one of their locations, I have nothing bad to say about them).

Window? We don't need no stinking window!

You can see that there are a few ripples, but they're pretty subtle and I don't think they'll be very visible at all once it's caulked and painted (hopefully by Sunday). The unevenness is mostly due to the fact that I used 7/16 sheathing instead of 1/2 to match the old stuff better. Still, no regrets. I still have to finish the repair of the broken piece at the top right, but you can see here I have the flashing in place.
post #96 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Just thought I'd bump this up with a note. Progress hasn't stopped, but it's not photo-worthy yet. I've gotten the caulk on the seems of the siding, but still not painted yet. Inside, we got the water pipe to the outdoor spigot moved. It was running across the bottom of several overhead floor joists, but now it runs parallel to the joists, freeing up space for the new isolated ceiling joists.

Also, I've opened up the space I'll need for the new doorway between the stair landing and the "anteroom" as I'll call it for now. My plans for the lobby space currently include (eventually) a diner booth and some bar space. More importantly, opening the doorway will let me set the outside riser framing at the same time as the wall framing. That will all need to be done prior to drywall to accommodate wiring and ducting. Once I get the trash out of there I'll post a new video.

I think I can - I think I can - I think I can...

post #97 of 1066
Looks like the Red Solo cup is still an evil temptress...... That and the nice weather!
post #98 of 1066
Thread Starter 
The weather has been nice, but not too much of a distraction. Things go slowly around here with and without solo cups (which actually only make rare appearances). Still settling in to the "new" house as well as keeping up with the old one has taken more time that I would like - I just got my plasma hanging on the wall yesterday, and last week I was over at the rental re-caulking the tub. (I say that as though you all should be familiar with my home-ownership situation, but I don't think I've really posted about it. We tried to sell last summer, and failed to sell, but succeeded in renting. Luckily, the new house is less than a mile from the old, and the new tenants are good so far and are happy to do most of the lawn maintenance for me.)

I'm actually hoping to get some assistance around here. I need to get a couple electrical circuits cleaned up and one more water pipe position adjusted before I start framing.

Along those lines: If a fella (me) is going to run an AVR (possibly with multi-channel amp separate at some point in the future), media player, blu-ray player, sub amps totaling (potentially) 2000 watts, projector, and lights (incandescent, but potentially also LED or CFL on dimmers). How many circuits of what ratings would you want? I was figuring 20A for electronics (including projector), 20A for amplifiers, and 15A for lighting. Not sure if that's feasible, but if it is... adequate, overkill, insufficient? For details about the amps for the subs, see this link, which explains that each Dayton SA1000 amp develops 497W into 1 sub (8Ohm) or 950W into 4Ohms (2 subs). If I double up to four subs, that's almost 2000W (is that a peak rating or should I expect that to be more of an RMS rating?).

I realize that 2000W peak wouldn't likely trip a 15A circuit (even though it's 16 and some change amps), but I don't want the power supply to be a bottle neck - I remember reading FOH's posts about this family of topics a year or so ago, but failed to learn what he was recommending.

And thanks for the bump - it's nice to know that someone read this mess.
post #99 of 1066
If you are running new circuits, it is a no-brainer to run 20amp circuits with 12/2 vs. running 14/2 for standard 15a circuits. I normally run one for all electronics with the exception of the dedicated amplifier which gets its own dedicated 20amp circuit. Your projector will be the heaviest draw from all of your electronics, but even then you will be well under 1/4 of the rated output in most cases. Also run dedicated 20a circuits for each subwoofer location. I also run dedicated circuits for the seating - one 15amp circuit for every four seats should be plenty in case you buy the motorized ones. And run a 12/2 for a dedicated 20a for the lights. Lutron REQUIRES a 20amp dedicated circuit for their 6 zone unit because it can handle up to 2000 watts in lighting load.

To save a bit of wiring, I would use the 3-conductor stuff so you can get to full circuits on one wire. Run one 12/3 to your rack to give you two 20amp circuits for all the electronics. Run one 12/2 from the projector back to the rack, tied in on both ends with a product called a PowerBridge. Run a dedicated 12/3 to the first subwoofer location and jump a 12/2 to the second location from the first. Run a 12/2 direct to the Grafik Eye location. And if you do a seating riser, run a 14/3 to give you two 15amp circuits to cover the electronics / motors for two rows of seating.

I would help you if I lived close - we could easily bang it out in a few hours and then see what the Red Solo cups would bring....
post #100 of 1066
Thread Starter 
That some good thoughts. I have forgotten about seating, because I don't intend to pay extra for power recliners, but that doesn't mean that I won't end up with them, or want to plug in a laptop or something later, so thanks for being thorough.

I always forget about power wire gauge. So, that's the element in the equation that assures I don't get voltage drops when the subs bump hard, right?

Can you explain for me how to wire a three conductor cable for two circuits? I've never heard of that.

And Charlotte's not too far! It's only like five hours, right?
post #101 of 1066
In a standard circuit you have three wires - black (hot), white (neutral) and care copper (ground). A three conductor wire adds an additional hot wire in red. I can explain in more detail later, but you use the black hot for one circuit and the red hot for another circuit but use the same white (neutral) wire and ground. So if I were to give you an example, you would run a 12/3 from your panel to your rack....in your breaker box you would have your neutral and ground connected in the panel where the other neutrals and grounds are respectfully located. Then one circuit breaker would be attached to the black wire and another breaker attached to the red. In your rack you will have two 20A receptacles - one where the black wire is attached to the gold screws (either one) and one where the red is attached to the gold screws (either one). You split the neutral and ground with some extra pieces of 12 gauge wire and run a neutral and ground to each receptacle. Now you have two dedicated receptacles on different circuits.

No, Charlotte isn't too far . . . about 3.5 to 4 hours actually. I fly through Atlanta all the time but almost never stop unfortunately.
post #102 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by TMcG View Post

In a standard circuit you have three wires - black (hot), white (neutral) and care copper (ground). A three conductor wire adds an additional hot wire in red.

Ah! There it is! I was reading 12/3 and seeing black, white, and bare. The bare doesn't get counted... so 12/3 has four conductors (though maybe it's inappropriate to refer to the bare copper as a conductor, as it shouldn't be used to conduct anything normally) - no problem. Thanks for explaining.
post #103 of 1066
I haven't heard of this being done in residential installations, but it will work. You MUST, however, put the two hot conductors on separate phases, and make sure your neutral is securely connected. If you lose the neutral, your circuit will be operating at 240 V. if you connect both hots to the same phase, then the neutral will carry the sum of the circuits currents rather than the difference, and it will be undersized.
post #104 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Here's the good news: I don't think I'll be doing that anyway. It looks like I've got several 12/3 circuits running to the theater area already. Now that I know what to look for, I looked more closely. I'll still need to go through everything carefully, but I'm pretty sure I'm in good shape.

And thanks for the tips - both of you guys. On a lot of these issues I know just enough to be dangerous. I recognize my ignorance, but it's sometimes hard to get the rest of the way there. Luckily, you guys came along - I appreciate it.

...now where did I put my hammer...
post #105 of 1066
Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post

I haven't heard of this being done in residential installations, but it will work. You MUST, however, put the two hot conductors on separate phases, and make sure your neutral is securely connected. If you lose the neutral, your circuit will be operating at 240 V. if you connect both hots to the same phase, then the neutral will carry the sum of the circuits currents rather than the difference, and it will be undersized.

It is done all the time to bring two circuits to the same spot over just one wire. Think of it as either connecting up two separate receptacles on two separate circuits in the same double-gang box or dropping one hot into a receptacle (or light) box and then tagging off the neutral and ground to make the 12/2 jump to an alternate location. The wire is also obviously used as the traveler in 3+ way wall light switches as well. But it is completely within code to use one wire to bring two circuits to the same spot - saves a ton of wiring!
post #106 of 1066
Thread Starter 
My very generous FIL came over today and helped me sort through all of the wiring in the basement. We were able to identify two 20A circuits (12/2) with no real loads on them (for some reason they both have unused outlets in the cupboard under the stairs - I don't think Harry Potter is still living there) as well as an existing circuit or two with plenty of excess capacity for lighting. We also got some of the wiring reassigned to other circuits to make the breakers make more sense and simplify some of the junctions.

baby steps...

So, what's the right tool to nail a wall to a poured concrete floor?
post #107 of 1066
Originally Posted by HopefulFred View Post

So, what's the right tool to nail a wall to a poured concrete floor?

Tapcon screws or, if you like guns and hate drilling holes through concrete (who doesn't ), a Ramset gun.
post #108 of 1066
I don't know if I am overstating the obvious, but you must use pressure-treated wood anytime you are in direct contact with concrete. You can use regular untreated framing lumber if you use a sill gasket underneath (typically a pink foam product about 1/4" thick). If you want overkill you can use a pink gasket under pressure treat, but that is taking things to the extreme.

+1 to what aaustin said about the fixation, but my overwhelming preference is to use a Ramset. They are normally found at all tool rental locations and you can buy the 22 gauge cartridges at Lowes/HD if the rental place does not sell them. Three words of advice - WEAR HEARING PROTECTION!! You may also want to warn the wife, dogs, neighbors, etc. that you will be making some serious noise (think gunshot in an enclosed concrete firing range) - because that is exactly what you would be doing.
post #109 of 1066
I used tapcon screws with somewhat limited success. They tend to strip out quite easily in my experience. So that is the long way of saying I agree with the two (obviously quite intelligent) posters above ramset baby!


post #110 of 1066
Thread Starter 

Anyone have experience with this one?

Link to Home Depot

For $22 plus fasteners and cartridges, it's easily the best value, but I'm not sure it's the "right" tool. I'll only have 75 or so linear feet of wall to set, and technically, about half of it is going to be set on hardwood floor instead of directly on concrete.
post #111 of 1066
I have used a similar Powers branded anchor gun with mixed results. I had issue with them seating properly every time. When I would try and hammer them the rest of the way they would be loose. Definitely the faster option though between the two. If I only had a few to do I would suggest going with the tapcons.
post #112 of 1066
Thread Starter 
I know that it seems everyone is obsessed with HVAC lately, and I'm not just jumping on the bandwagon, but it's been on my mind... some opinions and information would be useful. I suppose much of what I'm considering could be retrofit if need be, but I'd like to do it right once, the first time.

Anyway - to review: the basement has its own HVAC unit - an Amana air handler (without? emergency heat - not that I think I'll ever have use for that) and a heat pump outside. The air handler is in the closet under the stairs, which is very near, though not directly adjacent to the theater. It will be tasked with conditioning (mostly cooling) the basement, which will include: theater for 4-6, lobby area with popcorn machine and maybe other small appliances, exercise area (for one), and bathroom. Approximately 700 square feet - maybe 6000 cubic feet.

Clearly, the theater is the priority, and probably the most difficult to keep cool. Here's the air handler. What you can't see in the picture is the two additional lines coming out the top. They exit out the rear - one to the theater, and one to the lobby.

I didn't take a picture of the bottom, which sits up on a plywood box about 20 inches high, and has three return ducts - one from the exercise area, one from the lobby, and one from the stairwell. I'll re-purpose the stairwell return for the theater.

Here's the other side of the wall behind the air handler, showing the soffits that hold the two additional supplies - one for theater and one for lobby.

So, the $64,000 is: Can I expect that (with inline fans) I can keep the theater cool? If not, is there a good way (and enough space) to take off the top of this air handler and re-plumb all the ducts to make room for dampers to allow me to use the full capacity (or some reasonable percentage) of the unit to cool the theater? (Okay, that's more than 1 question.)
post #113 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by vanice View Post

I had issue with them seating properly every time.

Too little power? Do you know what charge you were using?
post #114 of 1066
When it comes to HVAC stuff I usually defer to an actual HVAC professional. If you are going to add supplies you must also add returns to move air from the area the new supplies, supply. I would have three or four installers come by and give you an estimate on the work and also evaluating your particular situation. Could be invaluable information.

I did have one company ask me if this was a legitimate quote or if I was just having him come in to tell me what I needed only to have me go to Lowes and buy the stuff myself using is expertise. I told him that I would actually have who I thought would be best to do the job. He actually ended up being the best so he got the work.

Good luck.


post #115 of 1066
I used the yellow charges (level 4 I believe) and it was hit or miss whether they went in fully or not. I was going through 3/4" foam and 5/8" plywood into a concrete floor with 2 1/2" anchors (I think). I don't see the foam and plywood being that resistive. I think there was only one higher level of charge and that was for going through steel. The yellow charges should have been more than enough according to the box.
post #116 of 1066
Thread Starter 
...hmmm... thanks for the info.
post #117 of 1066
Regarding your $64,000 question, I'm going to go way out on a limb here and try to figure out something I know very little about. Hopefully I won't get flamed too badly if I'm way off base. So here goes,

From Moggie's post we know a person generates about 500 BTU/hr, so if you have 4 people in your room you'll need at least 2000 BTU/hr of cooling (plus cooling for your PJ etc.). Now, a general rule of thumb is that a 1 ton HVAC unit can produce 400 cfm of cooled air. Keep in mind that's a rule of thumb, and there are lots of caveats, but we're shooting for back of the envelope stuff here. I think we can use that to get a cfm/BTU/hr figure. To put it another way, I'm trying to figure out how many BTU/hr that 1 cfm can cool.

1 ton of cooling capacity is equivalent to 12,000 BTU/hr. Calculating the cfm necessary to accommodate those four people gives:

400 cfm/(12,000 BTU/hr) * 2,000 BTU/hr = 67 cfm

From this chart, it looks like a 6" flex duct will provide the necessary cooling capacity at 75 cfm.

The caveat that I see with my rough guess is the HVAC unit must have enough capacity to cool the entire basement adequately. Meaning the heat load to your entire basement must be less than 12,000 BTU/hr * #tons of your unit. Otherwise you will not get that 20 degree temp drop that it seems everyone shoots for in your conditioned air, and then I'm guessing that rule of thumb falls apart.

The next question has to do with air exchanges per hour. I don't remember your room dimensions, but I think it's something like 22x12x9. This gives a total volume of 2,376 c.f. You want 6 air exchanges per hour which requires 238 cfm. So you'll need some dead vents (both supply and return) to make up the difference in air. This should also supplement your cooling.

And finally, you need to make sure that each vent has a air velocity less than 250 fpm. Just divide the cfm at the vent by the vent/diffuser exit area.

Again, I might be completely wrong about this, but hopefully someone will chime in and correct me.
post #118 of 1066
That sounds like a pretty good analysis to me JPA, though I admit that I don't have much experience with HVAC design.

I agree with your point on the dead vents to exchange air with the rest of the basement. On days that aren't ridiculously hot, that may be all that is necessary to keep the theater at a comfortable temperature.

I did not run any HVAC to my room, but instead went with only two dead vents and an inline fan to exchange air. I admit that my room is much smaller though so it would be nice to be able to kick on the AC when it is necessary in a larger room like Fred's.
post #119 of 1066
Thread Starter 
Alright. Thanks for diving in; let's see where this takes us. Here are some images for reference. First, a partial photo of the model information on the side of the unit; notice the model number.

At amana-hac.com we find product information for this series of air handler. (link to pdf) from which we take a few images. First, the way to decode the model number:

(notice the model number indicates 3-speed fan)

And next, the specs - particularly the cooling and airflow ratings, highlighted for my unit, in red:

It looks like my air handler is rated for 2 1/2 ton capacity. (30,000/12,000=2.5). It should deliver between 1000 and 1300 CFM depending on the "external static pressure." You can see the nominal rating of 1240 at high fan in that chart, but notice the asterisk. A chart a couple pages later gives the range (more or less). This is pretty well in line with your rule of thumb (400cfm/ton).

So far so good...

I haven't gone outside to inspect the compressor and fan, but I think they should be complementary: the HVAC guys came out before we closed on the house and had a good look at the whole system - I'm pretty sure they would have said something if it was out of line, but I'll go do some more research there anyway.

I'm similarly going to stipulate the the whole system will cool the basement. The previous owners made a fair number of upgrades to the house, and they all seem to have been pretty well engineered. Add that to the common experience that HVAC designers tend to overestimate the required tonnage, and I feel pretty comfortable, even with the extra heat load of the theater. Previously, there were three windows (two large southern openings, and one small northern), and I've eliminated one of the large southern windows. Also, the only heaters inside my finished theater will be people and projector - no amps or players (well, maybe sub amps).

And we come to my concern: the 6" duct. Wasn't this the exact problem that BIG and Morph1c just finished dealing with in the Black Cat Theater? The 6" duct, that should be good for "most home theaters" meant the inline fan was required to get enough air exchanges, and as a result the air velocity resulted in significant vent noise.

Actually, Morph1c's theater is not much different from mine in size (his is about 10-15% wider, but 10% shorter and not quite as tall - very similar volume). So, I guess that tells me that the flow without inline fans will be lacking. He's ended up with larger ducts and large registers and boots, which was a problem for him because he had already finished drywall, but that's not my scenario. I wonder if his solution is the best solution. Maybe I need to PM him for input...

You're suggesting dead vents, which I assume would need inline fans. Do you think that's a better solution than dampers or just using fans in the normal lines?
post #120 of 1066
Thread Starter 
And a returning side-bar: My BIL has one of those Ramset tools, like the one I linked to from Home Depot, so I'll definitely be giving that a shot.
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