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Hinged aluminum screen frame with DIY AT material (aka spandex) and masking

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

This thread is going to document a new aluminum frame build, which will attach to the wall via hinges and swing against the wall when not in use.

Aspect ratio will fall somewhere between 1.78 and 2.35/2.4 so as to allow me the flexibility to go for a slightly taller 1.78/1.85 view in the case I pop in a flick that has some AR changes (at least I can capture some of the extra height if I am zoomed to a 2.35/2.4 width).

I will be using 8020 material and they so far have been nice enough to have one of their CAD guys port my hand sketches into their design system.

Attached are three sketches I am no longer contemplating but left up in case anyone ever gets interested in a ceiling-hanging design. The final wall-hinge design I am going with is the 4th attachment and includes shelves built out behind the screen to hold my front speakers.

Materials will be attached via grommets and o-rings as others have done to good effect before me or via strong mini clips if the grommets do not work.

As for the material... after originally searching out AT material from the "manufacturers" listed in the main Screens section, MississippiMan kindly brought spandex to my attention. So after I finalize the frame design, I will be experimenting with about 6 or so spandex colors/samples (I splurged on 1yd x 60" width pieces of each to do worthwhile comparisons). All purchases done at spandexworld.com. Maaaaaybe I will try spraying one or two when done to see how it takes but that is a very long shot at the moment.

Below are the "samples" I've ordered (name and product number included so others can replicate if desired). I am aiming for 2 each of a white, gray/silver, and black (one matte, one shiny):
6409 \tMoleskin Matte (Silver)
1131 \t4-way Metallic Spandex (gun metal)
1132 \t4-way Metallic Spandex (black)
976 \t Moleskin Matte (black)
795 \t Milliskin Matte (white)

Still looking for a good "shiny" white to try and potentially a better shiny silver/gray.

I am targeting something that can perform well in a light-colored room (white walls and ceilings - apartment, can't paint) but complete control over light sources themselves (ie blackout shades). Which probably means a gray in the mix. I may experiment covering the walls immediately close to the screen with black drapes in the case that I am not satisfied with the way gray screens (whether through gray directly or through a white/black combo) look.

JVC has shipped so can't wait for 8020 materials to get here so I can start the build and spandex combo testing.

Masking material still TBD but will likely be manual and done via magnets.

Any thoughts, suggestions, tips, criticisms, etc are more than welcome.

Rukus

PS - anyone know how to get images/PDFs to appear IN the post and not as attachments beneath?? Thanks

 

Screen diagram.pdf 32.8740234375k . file

 

Screen diagram v2.pdf 15.4951171875k . file

 

screen v3.pdf 119.830078125k . file

 

802 screen design with speaker shelves RUJ001D.pdf 76.923828125k . file
post #2 of 28
my 2c.

white over silver spandex.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbelljbell View Post

my 2c.

white over silver spandex.

Thanks, I have a feeling that is how I will end up in the end, perhaps with a third layer of something else at the back, but we shall see.

has anyone put grommets into spandex material before? I don't think it would be an issue but want to see if anyone else had tried it. EDIT: seems like grommets into spandex may be an issue. Anyone else have any other ideas for a quick attachment method to the aluminum so i can easily swap out materials while testing different combinations?

Thanks
Rukus
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post
Thanks, I have a feeling that is how I will end up in the end, perhaps with a third layer of something else at the back, but we shall see.

has anyone put grommets into spandex material before? I don't think it would be an issue but want to see if anyone else had tried it. EDIT: seems like grommets into spandex may be an issue. Anyone else have any other ideas for a quick attachment method to the aluminum so i can easily swap out materials while testing different combinations?

Thanks
Rukus
Bump. New design on the screen is attached. No longer will be hanging it off the ceiling. Got paranoid that, despite it weighing in at something like 30-40 pounds, I'd come home one day to see it fallen from the ceiling and chopped my dog in two . So I decided to go for a design that attaches to the wall and folds out from the wall, with built in shelves for the speakers behind the screen.

Also, again, the one thing I'm struggling with at the moment: has anyone put grommets into spandex material before? Anyone else have any other ideas for a quick attachment method to the aluminum so i can easily swap out materials while testing different combinations?

 

802 screen design with speaker shelves RUJ001D.pdf 76.923828125k . file
post #5 of 28
http://www.homedepot.com/Doors-Windo...atalogId=10053

just a dumb thought.

DJ guys use spring clips and bungee cords
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

Also, again, the one thing I'm struggling with at the moment: has anyone put grommets into spandex material before? Anyone else have any other ideas for a quick attachment method to the aluminum so i can easily swap out materials while testing different combinations?

My wife is a rather skilled seamstress, but she recently started practicing with spandex for clothing and costumes and there have been a few hurdles. She was able to work with it using very fine stitches in her machine, however to do what you are trying to do, you should look into some sort of fabric glue. You could glue the spandex to a strip of fabric (or board) with grommets in it. Otherwise, I think you'll just keep ripping/tearing/running the spandex.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_danger View Post

My wife is a rather skilled seamstress, but she recently started practicing with spandex for clothing and costumes and there have been a few hurdles. She was able to work with it using very fine stitches in her machine, however to do what you are trying to do, you should look into some sort of fabric glue. You could glue the spandex to a strip of fabric (or board) with grommets in it. Otherwise, I think you'll just keep ripping/tearing/running the spandex.

I think I am going to go the clip method. Seems pricier (a lot!) but easier than sewing and/or grommeting spandex. at least for the tests. perhaps for the final installed material i will use screen spline but doubtful. thanks. projector here tomrrow but frame materials not here until next weekend (at which point I leave the country for a week.... )
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
So I built most of the PJ frame over this weekend and anticipate getting the rest finishing it up over the next few week or so. The basic frame is complete, I simply need to add three shelves and potentially some sound insulation materials to the frame to hold my 3 front speakers as they sit behind the screen. I will also be adding the AT material (spandex for now) over the next week, but will not settle on a color/material likely for 2 weeks or so as I test several combinations. Also will be replacing the gliders I currently have installed on the legs with casters to make the fold-out from the wall much smoother. Then I need to finalize border and the hinge/connection to the wall.

happy new year to everyone here!

Building materials, time to get started:
Attachment 232680

Getting a little help putting it all together:
Attachment 232681

And "finished" (for now, still need to add shelves, screen material, hinges, border). And my helper in the pic to show scale :
Attachment 232682
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post #9 of 28
Very interesting project to me. Can you post the frame cost? I plan to do similar alumnum border.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

So I built most of the PJ frame over this weekend and anticipate getting the rest finishing it up over the next few week or so. The basic frame is complete, I simply need to add three shelves and potentially some sound insulation materials to the frame to hold my 3 front speakers as they sit behind the screen. I will also be adding the AT material (spandex for now) over the next week, but will not settle on a color/material likely for 2 weeks or so as I test several combinations. Also will be replacing the gliders I currently have installed on the legs with casters to make the fold-out from the wall much smoother. Then I need to finalize border and the hinge/connection to the wall.

happy new year to everyone here!

Building materials, time to get started:
Attachment 232680

Getting a little help putting it all together:
Attachment 232681

And "finished" (for now, still need to add shelves, screen material, hinges, border). And my helper in the pic to show scale :
Attachment 232682
post #10 of 28
where'd the spandex idea come from - any thread reference?

sounds interesting...that's a material I hadn't thought of. Are people having good luck with it?
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heimu2000 View Post

Very interesting project to me. Can you post the frame cost? I plan to do similar alumnum border.

Not including shipping, the cost for the aluminum and connectors was about $475. A very big bulk of this was all the custom size cuts, access hole drillings and tapping of the ends to take 1/4"-20 screws. If you have the tools to do the cutting yourself (and the tapping/drilling), you can probably shave about $200 more off that price.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

where'd the spandex idea come from - any thread reference?

sounds interesting...that's a material I hadn't thought of. Are people having good luck with it?

I'm not at my computer now, but if you search the DIY forum for "spandex", you will find several, one in particular is about 5-6 pages long and was what I was originally referred to.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

I'm not at my computer now, but if you search the DIY forum for "spandex", you will find several, one in particular is about 5-6 pages long and was what I was originally referred to.

Looks good rukus. I mounted my screen yesterday after painting and wiring in wall speakers all weekend long. I still need to paint the sintra board but that wait for a nice warm day.

What aspect ratio are you going with and how much more money do you have to burn? If you go to a place that sells reclaimed wood maybe you can have a whole modern look and feel to the setup.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaazi View Post

Looks good rukus. I mounted my screen yesterday after painting and wiring in wall speakers all weekend long. I still need to paint the sintra board but that wait for a nice warm day.

What aspect ratio are you going with and how much more money do you have to burn? If you go to a place that sells reclaimed wood maybe you can have a whole modern look and feel to the setup.

Thanks - in nyc if you are waiting for a warm day to paint the sintra, it might be awhile . it was about 25 degrees last i checked ha. I am actually spending this lovely freezing cold day sanding down some plywood for shelves (for the speakers anda DIY flex-rack for all my a/v gear) on the fire escape .

i probably have about $100-150 or so more to spend on the screen - i still need to settle on final spandex combo, need to pick up some black AT material (either spandex or speaker grill cloth) to make masking panels (or curtains more likely), and then still buy the clips I will use with o-rings to attach the screen to the frame.

as for the reclaimed wood - by the time I get done, much of the aluminum will probably be hidden, undecided how. any idea where in nyc sells reclaimed wood? perhaps I use that to cover the legs and make the bottom set of supports into a shelf that is functional when the screen is folded up against the wall (wow i like that idea!).
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just a brief update for now - I finally got various spandex samples up and tested them, though I have a few more to go. My attachment method is tarp clips. I will post more pics this weekend or early next week as I have guests in town.

I tested them vs each other and vs the old and new Seymour center stage material and was pretty impressed with how they performed vs the mfg material in the dark, though the Seymour material did have noticeable more gain. All had a black spandex backing layer. The spandex/black combo had lower black floor than Seymour/black spandex combo, that is probably due to the higher Seymour gain.

Question for those who are more on the audio side of things and is interested in testing AT qualities of the "metallic" spandex options. I found a nice metallic white spandex but am unsure how it will perform audio wise given the metallic layer. It does have a nice gain to it that places it somewhere between white spandex and the Seymour material, if not a tad more. With how close my pj is temp mounted (8ft), there is some hot spotting but not much and not really visible during moving material. It goes away if you bring your head equal to lens level.


Next steps are to test three layer combos as well as to do some ambient light testing. So far I only tested in the dark, though with white walls/ceilings/light floor. I have a feeling that a double layer of white on top of black will match the Seymour gain-wise, though lose ambient light performance.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Did some testing in January and havent had a chance to post the (crappy) pics until now.

First regular white moleskin white spandex (left) vs seymour XD (top center) and seymour first generation (top right). all had a black spandex backing.
Ambient light:
Attachment 240103
lights out (though white walls and ceiling) across several shots:
Attachment 240104

Attachment 240105

Attachment 240106

it's clear the seymour (both) materials have higher gain than the regular white spandex, but consequently have a higher black floor.
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post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
then tried a metallic white (ie it had some sheen) spandex vs the seymour materials to see if it could compete in white brightness but still retain a lower black floor.
white field:
Attachment 240110
screen shots:
Attachment 240111

Attachment 240112

Attachment 240113

from these pictures it is clear at most mount positions the seymour materials still get better white brightness. However, i have a feeling this metallic spandex is like HP material - you will see the benefits more if you mount the projector at eye-level. there was some sparklies visible at ~8 feet but not much beyond that.
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post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
then tested metallic white vs regular white spandex. the metallic spandex is on the left and the regular moleskin white on the right.

Attachment 240114

Attachment 240115

Attachment 240116

Attachment 240117

Attachment 240118
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post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
after all was said and done i went with regular molsekin white over black spandex because i was mounting the PJ at the top border of the screen frame rather than eye-level. but i really think ppl looking for higher gain AT performance should look into the metallic spandex options (there are silver and whites available) and experiment with how they perform when the PJ is mounted at eye-level. i also think adding a second white layer will really help increase brightness, but I have plenty of brightness for now even with my JVC's aperture fully closed, so i did not get around to experimenting with two white layers on top of a black layer.

black backing fully installed:
Attachment 240119
Attachment 240120

Front view:
Attachment 240122

Connection method (tarp clips to o-rings to bolts in the frame):
Attachment 240121

Speakers installed on shelves behind the screen, approximately 6 inches from the black material:
Attachment 240123

The whole thing is on 6 wheels and folds away from the wall when it is time to use. I still need to think about how to put a border up and also need to put some masking together for when I watch 16:9 material, though i have not been too bothered up until now.
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post #20 of 28
Great build! I might have to borrow some of your ideas. Did you find the black spandex backing to be necessary with the Moleskin white, or was it just a precautionary measure?
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAstronaut View Post

Great build! I might have to borrow some of your ideas. Did you find the black spandex backing to be necessary with the Moleskin white, or was it just a precautionary measure?

Thanks. I never tested without the black backing, but I figured I would likely need it due to 1. white walls behind the screen and 2. two vertical and one horizontal aluminum beams made me paranoid i'd be able to see them through the screen during really light scenes.

i'm glad i added it because of how i use the screen - it folds out from the wall, essentially separating a long room into two. with the black backing, i can leave a light on in the back half of the room without affecting the image much at all really
post #22 of 28
Thanks! I might have to do the same since my screen will hang in front of my tv. Did you just use black spandex for the backing, or was it a different material?
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rukus29 View Post

Thanks, I have a feeling that is how I will end up in the end, perhaps with a third layer of something else at the back, but we shall see.

has anyone put grommets into spandex material before? I don't think it would be an issue but want to see if anyone else had tried it. EDIT: seems like grommets into spandex may be an issue. Anyone else have any other ideas for a quick attachment method to the aluminum so i can easily swap out materials while testing different combinations?

Thanks
Rukus

i used on one frame 6x7/16 philips framing screws. There is a grommet type washer that fits it perfect but cant think of the name. But these held the material in place so it did not rip or tear. As soon as I had the stretch right I started putting these through the material to hold it and not one tear. The screws should tap through the aluminum no problem.
post #24 of 28
BTW .. looks kind of like minitec aluminum and they do have this type of product where you can feed the material right in it and get clips to secure the fabric. Its super easy.

The also have profiled non square aluminum profiles. and you can get hinges that go into the grooves of the minitec.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAstronaut View Post

Thanks! I might have to do the same since my screen will hang in front of my tv. Did you just use black spandex for the backing, or was it a different material?

It was regular black moleskin spandex
post #26 of 28
Thank you for sharing your experience. have by any chance you try to compare acoustic properties of spandex and seymour fabric?
post #27 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zheka View Post

Thank you for sharing your experience. have by any chance you try to compare acoustic properties of spandex and seymour fabric?
i have not tried comparing accoustic properties. i would be lost in how to test that without doing a significant amount of reading/googling. i will say i have no issues sound-wise even through two layers of spandex. i did however re-run my pioneer auto mcacc setup to make sure my receiver was calibrated properly.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zheka View Post

Thank you for sharing your experience. have by any chance you try to compare acoustic properties of spandex and seymour fabric?

Read more here:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1416407/my-recent-experience-with-spandex-as-a-screen-and-some-questions

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1174153/new-cheap-diy-screen
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