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CONTEST: Tell us your worst install mistake ever and enter to win an Epson projector! - Page 3

post #61 of 92
No one here has mentioned about (actually) reading the instruction books or the specifications of specific units to understand how to combine different makes or even different time-frame models of the same make units to create a home theater so the components can work together.

We all have stories from the 60s or 70s where a friend's NEW record player just wouldn't work ... and it turned out a pre-amp was needed to feed the 'stylus' to the 'stereo'.

My recent example is integrating FREE over-the-air television using an older Channel Master antenna-component switch. An excellent unit, not amplified and basic. It works great and I have around 26 free channels at this time (plus duplicates from translators).

I have been trying to share the same free signals to three other rooms and I finally discovered imperically, similar (newer) off-brand non-amplified multiswitches are not wired the same way internally and have much greater signal losses. Not because I didn't read a schematic or its road map, but because none were available.

So, I suggest assumptions about products and components is something we should NOT take for granted. Research, then do more research. Ask questions before you blindly buy or assume anything.


Edited by Jim in Seattle - 6/18/12 at 11:36pm
post #62 of 92
I can't tell you how many issues. My electrician Decided to cut the Ferrite cores off my hdmi cables, also decided that I didn't need my speaker wires in the wall before they put up the drywall, and plastered it. So I ended up doing the cable runs myself, and setting up the electronics. Lets just say he got fired pretty fast.

I had to get another electrician in to check his work. The guy was was working for a local home theater install company that had great recommendations. Its really a shame when I know more about the installation then the people doing it.

Also they turned off my water for no reason at all.

haha and also the put the projector mount backwards.(which I didn't even think was possible)

Also they where not even going to test the cables after they did the run.

I had to make sure they where working.
post #63 of 92
Mine is simple and documented here on AVS unfortunately for me! biggrin.gif


Back in 2008 (wow) when the Mitsubishi 4900 PJ's came out I picked one up, my first projector no less and within 2 months or so I reduced it into a pile of junk because I was simply trying to remove a dust blob from it! (I snapped one of locking clips that was meant to hold down a ribbon inside of it)

Barely in to HT, and after saving up I just bought my first ever projector! To this day I still wake myself up yelling "I'll fix it myself! How hard can it be?!"

Thanks for making me relive this memory!
post #64 of 92
We built our house new in 2001. I had a room designated as the "Home Theater" room and told the builder that I would run all of the speaker wire and cables need for audio & video. I spent many hours finding the right cables I wanted and the lengths that I needed. I had everything installed and good to go. I gave the builders specific instructions not to touch my wiring etc. The builders complied with my request. What I failed to do was to make sure I had breakout boxes for my cables and notes to the builder on where to leave an opening in the dry wall. Of course this led to the dry wall being put up and the paint job completed and all of my work was covered up! Initially I was furious with the builder, but how could I be since I did not communicate correctly what was needed. I had to spend extra time and money having the dry wall cut to reach the cables that were hidden and I felt quite foolish when all was said and done. Lesson learned for future installs, all is well now and have had 10+ yrs enjoying my handy or not so handy? work. biggrin.gif
post #65 of 92
the worst mistake i have ever made installing a home theatre system was in the 23rd floor of trump tower on w 70th st Manhattan (i work in av and home automation). I was working in the apartment for several days already i was told they wanted 4 tvs one in the living room one in the kitchen and one in each of the two bedrooms so i ran the wires (3 cat 6 wires and 1 cat 5) from each of the designated areas into my AV closet, this was hard in itself because in trump tower they were too lazy to cut the sheet rock at the cieling so more times then not there were two or 3 layers of sheet rock to cut through before reaching the drop ceiling. the actual ceiling was off limits because it was made of solid concrete so as you can probably imagine this wasn't an easy job to begin with. after running all the wires into the av closet i proceeded to the last thing entrusted to me in that apartment ... thermostats. the only thermostats i have ever dealt with in my line of work till this time has been automated in the sense that you can control them with a universal remote or smart phone. after running all of the 18/6 wires (my first time using this wire) into my av closet my boss came to look at the work i have done. after seeing that i ran the 18/6 wires from the designated position of the thermostat into the av closet he told me that the 18/6's were supposed to be run to the air conditioning and heating units and that i had to redo it (at this point the workers there had closed most of the holes). i redid everything as i was told without fail until it came to the guest bedroom. when i entered they had already painted the room so i had no idea where my wires were at this point. in great haste to finish i decided to cut a hole in the corner to try and see where everything was after cutting the sheet rock in the corner i took out my flash light and right in front of my face were 3 cat 6's and 1 cat 5 all cut straight through. after redoing the thermostat in that room i had to redo the television's wires as well.
post #66 of 92
Two years ago.......

I was replacing a green tube in a customer's ceiling mounted Marquee. He helped me get the tube up into position, then sat and watched while I mounted the lens and fired up the power, then he began to head outside to leave for a meeting. I did not realize at the moment but the tube bolts I selected both had stripped ends, they were barely holding the 35 pounds of weight.

I loosened one of the bolts slightly to pivot the tube, and it fell into my hands, fully lit!

There I stood on a ladder, holding this lit tube, wondering if I was about to electrocute myself. I screamed "Jeff" as loud as I could, he came running back into the room and asked, "what the hell are you doing?", for which I had no good answer.........if I had yelled three seconds later I would have been left there alone with one option, and that was a very bad and verrrrrry expensive crash. I told some guys about this later that day and they laughed so hard they almost peed themselves.........

Tim at E-Tech
post #67 of 92
My biggest mistake was to purchase speaker cables made from crushed compressed moon beams. I attached them and they sounded great, but after I went to bed and got up the next morning, they had vanished. They had left a sticky note on one of my speakers informing me that they had flown off to Never-Never Land!
post #68 of 92
When I started framing up the walls for the theater I did like most framers and marked the sill and top plate at the same time. ( I have done this a bunch of times before, BTW). I then secured all the studs between the two and secured the walls to the isolation clips off the ceiling joists. Now, a few days later I started hanging the drywall and of course I started at the bottom of the walls. I kept noticing that the studs weren't exactly where the "plumb" lines I had drawn on the drywall to help with the screw placement. All the bottom pieces of the drywall (first layer) were screwed on when the light bulb went off. I got my tape measure and concluded that the studs were NOT secured on the same side of the lines I had measured and drawn on the top and sill plates! Sooooo, all around the room the studs were leaning 1 1/2" !

I had to remove all the drywall, unsecure the walls from the clips on the ceiling joist, unscrew the tops of all the studs and move them all over 1 1/2" ! I felt like leaving it, but knew that I wouldn't be able to line up the screws on the second layer of drywall....at all! The drywall went up a lot better after everything was put back together....and plumb. To this day, I still mark out the top and sill plates the same...BUT I but an "X" on the correct side of the line (on both boards!), so there is NO confusion later!
post #69 of 92
The year is 2006 and I just blew $1800 on a sweet Top-of-the-Line LG Plasma TV. Ran the audio and power through an insulated wall to a custom made housing for my amp and cable box. Situated the TV mount on the wall, measure 3-4 times, drill once.
I even took the time to cut down some longer stainless screws for mounting the hangar portion of the mount on the TV. It was a PITA but I did not want to thread them into the TV too far.

Turned around to grab the TV just as my 2 year old finished sanding the soft screen with one of those foam finger nail sanders!!!! I spent forever buffing the screen and trying to fix the situation. Thank goodness the LG had a horrible gloss screen because after buffing it actually matched the surrounding area pretty well.

I still have that TV in another room and I now enjoy looking at the 'fixed' scratches because it reminds me of my daughter when she was a toddler.
post #70 of 92
My biggest mistake was thinking I could put together an A/V installation to begin with. I had this grand design idea that I would put my 52 inch TV on the wall and underneath put attached to the wall 2 glass shelves fo my set top box, receiver, Xbox, PS3 and Wii. That way it would look like they were floating in air.

It looked great long enough to call my wife over and proudly show off my work and also witness the Tv rip of the wall and crash down onto the components..ripping the glass of its fixture.

Luckily for me there was only minor cosmetic damages to the tv and components (the glass never broke) the only real damages were done to my ego.
post #71 of 92
This wasn't my error, but my brother's. In the early days of surround sound, he bought a surround sound receiver. But he had all the speaker channels in the front. I turn the thing on and the sound is very, very thin. I check the speakers to see if the woofers were blown; I check the speaker cables to see if anything is shorting, out-of-phase, etc.

Then I discover that he's got everything backwards: what should be plugged into inputs are plugged into outputs and vice-versa. It's amazing there was any sound at all.

So I rewire the whole thing and layout the speakers properly in the room. He comes home and I demonstrate how much better it all sounds. First he insists that he had it wired properly and I have it wired improperly, in spite of the fact that I was a recording engineer and he sold medical equipment. But then he admitted that he thought if a jack is labeled 'input" on the receiver, that meant you connect it to an input on the external device. Then he says, "it does sound better, but it has so much more impact that my wife is going to hate it and make me take it down."

I'm sure he screwed it all up again (or at the very least, put all the speakers back under the TV) after I left.
post #72 of 92
My own experience was installling a Dalite Da-Snap screen in my own home over a decade ago.

This was my very first HT and I included it in having our home basement finished (kind of / maybe so the wife didn't know how much all the audio/video equipment cost).

The screen alone was around $1,100.00. So I pull out the instructions and read to myself and my brother (who was helping me) how to put the frame together and snap the screen into the frame. I also note the portion where it says don't touch the screen because of the chemical treatment to make the picture brighter. I laid out the frame and carefully measured where we wanted to put at as far as height. We then hung the frame on some temporary screws driven into the rough, stand back, sit in some folding charirs and do the math to figure whether the angle is right. I'm bent over fiddling with a piece of paper and a pencil trying to do this when my brother says "Oh No!"

I look up and in slow motion the screen just starts to fall forward from the top, its catching the air so its like watching a piece of paper fall . . . . My brother rushes forward and without thinking holds up the hand that STILL HAS THE EXTREMELY POINTY DRILL in it to stop the screen from falling.

post #73 of 92
Not really an install mistake, but more on the lines of not thinking properly!

I had just wired up and installed the tv, surround speakers, receiver, etc. and felt pretty proud at myself for being able to wire the surround speakers all the way behind our couch for 'optimal' placement.

I then sat down with the wife and decided to watch a movie to test out the system. for some reason, there was very little sound coming out of the speakers even though i had the volume cranked up. I immediately though that i wired the speakers wrong, or that i accidentally damaged the speaker wire. After rechecking all connections and verifying that signals were indeed being sent to the rear speakers, i tried again, only to have the same outcome.

after much more experimenting (and grumbling from the wife), i found out that the receiver was set to output sound from 'video 1' when in fact it should have been set to 'video 2'! Basically, i was hearing the sound being fed from the tv (and not from the blu ray player), which explained why i was getting puny sound output!

Once i pressed that 'video 2' button, i was instantly in audio heaven!
post #74 of 92
Dropped my new LG 181 projector. eek.gif With some epoxy, soldering and patience, I learned more about the internal construction and workings of the projector than I ever dreamed of knowing. Actualy was able to put it back together with no outward damage and it worked as well as it did prior to bouncing off the floor.. cool.gif though I might have voided the warranty. biggrin.gif
post #75 of 92
A disaster spread over 3 years!: (Thank goodness for a good ending!)
Purchased Calman 3 and several calibrating meters to try calibrating my LG 55LH90s to start. Turned out Yellow!
Upgraded to 55LHXs, calibrated, turned out Yellow, again! All the opinions given were that this is the normal! No way!
Then I find, a bulk of the calibration equipment are geared towards Sony's and Samsungs!
Picked up the iScan Duo and tried the AutoCal - even worse! Tried some newer meters - still crappy results!
3 years later, now on Calman 4, and still getting nowhere - ChromaPure now has LG support that Calman refuses to come up with. Switch to ChromaPure. Settings on the mark, PQ looks better, but Gamma won't line up. Desperate now. Call in an ISF Pro calibrator with more expensive equipment. Pay him as he leaves, then go and look at the results. OMG - 3D LG is now 2D. One 55LHX is now Golden in Colour, and the other Green! $975 wasted! Now I'm pissed and determined to get these sets calibrated! Get LG Service Remote - White Balances way off! Calibrate, resulting in the Yellow now gone, but now some Green.
Desperation - purchased a refurbed i1Pro non enhanced. Results getting better!
Switch back to Calman. Better again with the new/old meter.
My buddy, who calibrates by eye, asked if I was calibrating the 2 Point, before doing the 10 Point. No, will try.
Now catch on to how the White Balance Gain and Cut, and 2 Point Brightness and Contrast works. Calibrate the 2 Point, then the 10 Point. OMG - Absolutely Beautiful! Now do the wife's 55LHX - Gorgeous. Went to my daughters (Prior to finding out about the 2 Point), and re-calibrated by older 55LH90 - looks way better! (Will apply the 2 Point next time) Now, finally, the CMS calibration looks fantastic, instead of crap!
3 YEARS of bitter failures! But perserverance finally won out in the end. And this is my disaster to great results.
(Didn't mention, in the middle of all this, A bad HDMI cable blew one of my 55LHX's and the wife had to take it back down to Buffalo for Warranty Repairs, then return a week later to pick back up - I'm about 300 miles North of Buffalo!)
Edited by p5browne - 6/21/12 at 1:41pm
post #76 of 92
Easily the worst mistake I have ever made in the audio visual field happened while I was working for a high-end hotel/spa. Being that it was a 5 star resort, during the summertime we usually had 2 or more weddings scheduled every weekend. On one such weekend we had two simultaneous weddings on opposite sides of one of our event facilities called “The Farm”. The A/V setup for the indoor wedding called for, among other things, a wireless microphone so that various members of the families could say a few words. The other wedding was being held in the garden. The sister of the garden wedding bride was an aspiring singer and was planning on surprising the bride and groom by singing a song she had written for them. To prevent any issues with feedback or distortion, the sales team asked that I set up a wired microphone instead of a wireless one, a fair enough request as we had had trouble with the garden speaker system a few weeks prior (lighting had hit the bridal pavilion and the main amp had gotten blown) . Well shortly before the weddings were about to start the bride’s sister came up to me and asked sweetly

“Would it be alright if we changed to a wireless microphone so I don’t trip over the cord?”

Well I’m a young, single guy and the sister was very attractive so…

“Okay, I’ll get you a wireless microphone.”

In a stroke of genius I decided while I’m getting this microphone prepared I might as well also check the batteries in the one for the other wedding, which in my defense were low and needed changing as it had been left on after the sound check earlier, Of course, however, I neglected to also check the frequencies to be sure the right microphones were in the right place, and at that point too many guests had arrived to do an actual sound check. So, after getting the wireless microphone to the garden bride’s sister and doing my best to professionally flirt, I stepped back ready to field any issues that should come up during the ceremonies.

As I have encountered many times in my life, my poor luck is often worse than my actual mistakes. The weddings started at around the same time, so when the sister began singing and no sound was audible, my stomach didn’t even get a chance to sink before a man’s voice came over the garden speakers:

“Well I’m not sure who was singing but it sure was beautiful…”

I’m not sure if any of you have had the privilege of awkwardly walking into the middle of someone’s wedding with 100+ people staring at you with fire in their eyes while you fiddle with the frequency of the microphone, but I certainly got to do it… TWICE!
post #77 of 92
On my home theater build in my house I was putting a 42u rack in the closet in the back of the room. The rack is only 73.5 inches tall so it should fit, right? Nope, rack height is 73.5" but overall height is 77" and with casters its 81". Not gonna fit. A sawz-all later I now have a 39u rack that fits. Whoops.
The only other mistake was getting my opening night Blu-Ray of Pulp Fiction from Netflix. Bad idea. Half way through the showing it skipped over and over. I had a PS3 and a blu-ray player, both skipped at the same scenes. Buy the disc for your opening night, don't rely on a rental.
post #78 of 92
(sorry for the long thread, but it covers a journey of about years of mistakes)
Approx. 7 years ago my family moved into our current house. After previous houses and apartments where I would install a TV wires, satellite cable wires, etc throughout the house – resulting in a mess that my wife grew to hate - my wife and I had the idea to designate a specific room in the new house as “mine”. The understanding was that I could do what I wanted to this room on the condition that I don’t touch the rest of the house. Those with ambition combined with the necessary skill or money to make it a reality would turn this into their dream theater. After reading enough posts on AVSforum about what is possible I had tons of ambition, unfortunately I lacked both the skills and money. Especially since the HT equipment (projectors, AVR, speakers) are very expensive – no way I’d “waste” my limited funds on construction. My money for this came from buying on clearance/using/re-selling on eBay – so if I spent $ on construction I’d never be able to recoup that $ and I’d be stuck:
(note- although I have a fairly nice paying job, I burnt through too much of the bank account in the past, so for the sake of peace, we agreed to setup my own paypal account. This account would be funded exclusively by whatever I can make buying and selling on eBay. Again, “knock yourself out but don’t get into family finances”. I have to say this was probably the best decision we ever made for marital peace. Unfortunately, it seriously cramped my resources available for the project. I ended up with virtually a 2nd job buying/selling on eBay)
Now, I was pretty adept at screwing a nail to hang a picture– so what could be so difficult about building a home theater. I read through people posts and then set off to scrounge up parts and build. The room contained nothing but bare joists, so I knew I had to add walls. It took me a few days to understand what “gypsum” meant, but when I did, I borrowed my wife’s minivan and I went to HomeDepot and bought a bunch of 3/8” sheets. I knew that there was a concept of sound containment, so instead of one sheet of dry wall - I put up 2 sheets ! All that talk about colored glues, and de-coupling was probably just overkill by the fanatics on AVS who spend tons of money for improvements which are imperceptible by human senses – I’m smarter than that I thought- I would be more than happy with this (plus sound containment was out of my budget anyway).
Hanging the DW was pretty easy – I just nailed the sheets to the wood and viola! - it stayed– reinforcing my belief that I could do this. The ceiling is low (about 6’8” high, and I’m 6’2” so I figured that I could hang the DW on the ceiling myself. After having DW sheets crack as I tried to lift it over my head alone, I figured there must be a way for someone to do this alone and I found out about a DW lift. Off to Home Depot - not too much money to rent, and I quickly figured out how to use it, and up the sheets went- See - I knew I could do this. Unfortunately I didn’t note where there might be wires – uh oh. Kinda scary hanging a 2nd layer into DW with that on your mind. You get the idea of how well I planned – so don’t even think about installing my A/V cables first before putting up the DW- wish I would have planned that one. I was taught by a computer professor in college to “push details down the pike” – guess I misapplied that lesson.
Though for the screen wall, I knew that I’d need a dark border. I figured I’d plan ahead and instead of painting in the house, I’d paint the wall outside. So I went to Home Depot and went to the section where the discount the paints that people colored and then changed their mind. So I found a dark color (without regard for sheen) and painted the DW sheets outside, and then after the dried brought them inside and mounted them to the wall joists. (A neighbor asked me about primer – of well, guess I would have known that earlier – would have saved me a lot of paint needed for the panel). Anyway, I bought a parkland plastics sheet. It looked nice, but I soon decided I wanted needed to go bigger so I read up on AVS and bought Screen goo to paint the wall. Now that I have the paint, I wondered wouldn’t there be a noticeable gap on the screen where the DW panels meet – Yes, no one told me about mudding DW panels. It sounds stupid (and it is) but that’s what little pre-existing knowledge and a lot of desire/urgency will do. So off to AVSforum I went and learned that the joints and nails have to be covered with spackle. Another trip to HD, and a bucket of DW mud at hand, I spackled the panels. Being that the nails protruded and were all over the sheets, I reasoned that I’d need to add a layer of spackle covering the entire panel in order to produce an even / flat layer so the nails wouldn’t be visible. So I spackled every panel – wall and ceiling. As per AVSforum members instructions, I needed to sand the spackle to get the smooth finish. That made dust – lots of it !!– something must be wrong. Needless to say my wife wasn’t happy. Granted it was my room to do what I wanted with, but not at the expense of making the rest of the house unlivable. …So I queried the AVS and was told of professional sanding machines that have vacuum attachments to get rid of the dust problem. Of course, that’s what I needed – this must be what the pros do to avoid this sandstorm. It wasn’t cheap (I bought a Porter Cable) but it would be worth it to finish my HT and keep the wife happy. This device would vacuum up the dust as it was created – makes sense.
In hindsight the AVS crew wasn’t figuring on an entire layer of spackle being across each panel. This machine made so much dust and SOO fast it was incredible. The entire room quickly became a dust bowl. It knew that I’d be killed by the wife, but figured that I’d at least better finish the sanding so I’d have the job done – as either way I’m dead. Unfortunately though, the machine sanded so fast that it sanded down to the DW panel and nails leaving me pretty much where I started – just full of dust. As expected my wife was furious, and started telling me how unsafe this is. I figured in the 21st century that can’t be true. If I was able to buy it at Home Depot it had to have been approved by some agency, but she came armed with reports and the word “Silicosis” seemed pretty scary. Especially being that we have a son who is imnio-surpressed (heart transplant) – I needed to get serious about this. Also, since no one mentioned wearing a mask, I started developing a cough. I’m pretty athletically fit, so I figured it’d go away in a few days. Unfortunately it didn’t, so I asked my doctor. She didn’t think one time exposure would be a long term issue – but I learned my lesson and stopped my HT project. I did get some consolation when the guys on the AVSforum applauded me for my persistence, but this was getting serious.
I did however convince my wife of the need to replace the existing carpet in the entire basement with laminate flooring. No dust issues with this, and as part of the project, I got to floor my HT room. I must say, I really did a great job on the flooring and it looks very nice. Best of all, as part of the house project – I didn’t have to pay for it (you can see the only money that matters is what I have in that paypal account).
I left the room as is for quite a while, and went through a # of projectors (from the Infocus 4805, pretty much the entire line of BenQ’s HT projectors, and the Epson’s 1080 UB, 6500UB, and a bunch of Pannys. I even “experimented in the heavy stuff” -- CRT’s (what did you think I meant?) - Sony 1272, 1292 (which I even had Terry install – he even gave me the sound advice that sometimes you just have to pay for someone to do things for you. I often think back on that. Anyway the CRT became a new learning project, especially trying to figure out how to keep the (airplane level) sound from the fans down- I ended up getting a hush box from someone (but they didn’t allow enough ventilation) so I ended up parting out my 1292 and going digital. In short I was buying projectors every 6-12 months. eBay enabled me to fund / continue this habit – or moreso quest for the perfect PQ. It was enjoyable and I really enjoyed watching movies in my HT.
As time went on, it just didn’t seem right to be watching such beautiful images/PQ in a dump of an unfinished room, so slowly I began thinking of restarting the construction – after all now I’m experienced . I put up wallpaper (where the DW panel joint gaps are less noticeable) and it really did the trick hiding things– not perfect by any means but a BIG improvement. I really like the pattern, and I bought an area rug (for aesthetics), and found someone local selling their large Carada screen for cheap. It made a nice difference. Now I was done I really liked it.
I watched tons of movies, and finally enjoyed actually watching theater in the home-theater. As you’re probably asking yourself – what about the audio? Over time this became an issue too. I wanted that theater rumbling effect in my gut during LOTR. I found an AVS member (Roman) selling an SVS sub. I didn’t know much but it seemed like a high end sub. He wasn’t local, but he lived near a seminar I was scheduled to go to, so I snuck out and met him and got the sub. I installed it in my HT (I had a set of Boston speakers and a Marantz SR7002 AVR) and the sound was REALLY good (to my tastes). Only problem is that I usually don’t have time to watch a movie until later at night, and as I would do so, my wife would complain that the house was shaking and it was scaring the kids. Those 2 layers of DW weren’t as effective as I had thought after all. So I ended up buying Grado wired and then Senheisser wireless headphones. No LFE effect but the sound was good. However my speakers were just collecting dust and more so, I REALLY wanted that LFE rumbling. As you’ve probably diagnosed me right now as either a HT fanatic (in the literal sense- i.e. a nut) or someone with OCD (guilty on both charges)– I couldn’t leave it alone.
Onwards, I started reading up on sound-containment. The room-within-a-room idea really made sense, so I built walls inside of the existing walls. I didn’t feel comfortable drilling the frame into the concrete foundation of the house (I imagined, that I’d mess that up and I’d ruin the entire house), so I just screwed the top of the frame to the ceiling from one wall. For a side wall, there is a main beam of the house going lengthwise through the room, so I just screwed the DW directly into that for one side. (2 of the other walls were the concrete frame of the house – again I didn’t want to touch concrete foundations) – so I left them as is. As you’d imagine this helped some but not enough, so off to AVS and found out about dampening products. I saw curves showing scientific tests how LFE would be reduced, so I bought Green Glue and (yet) more dry wall, and put up new walls making “Green Glue Sandwiches” It was my winter break from work so I had the time to do this (though the family didn’t appreciate me not spending time with them, I tried to explain – that this really means a lot to me, and “just this” and I’m done.) I put up the DW-GG-DW sandwiches. However with the break almost over, I ran out of GG, I really didn’t want this left unfinished until my next break so I researched how to get more material in the next 48 hours. I spent a day researching/calling and the only thing I found was a lumber yard selling sheets of quiet rock, it wasn’t close by but 30-45 minutes was close enough that I can get it the next day and still have time to install before my vacation was over. I laugh when I say this now, but –no lie- there was a snow storm that day. But no way, I was going to leave things as is and not be able to enjoy my LFE. So in an old minivan with balding tires, I slowly made my way through the snow and got a sheet of quiet rock and came home 3 hours later. My wife didn’t say anything as she saw me pull in – she already knew I’m nuts. Why can’t they just understand the joy ?
Anyway, I set it up, working through the day, skipping dinner, and then that night put on a movie – I’m sure if you’re reading this you know that a coupled wall/ceiling would still have the house shaking- less so, but still enough to get the visit from the wife – that it’s keeping the kids awake. I’d like to be able to say that I swore then that I’d give up and stop this pursuit and just “be happy” and that I’m fully “recovered” from this addiction. But I knew that others did it, why couldn’t I. After more AVS research I found out the answer – “Ted White” . With his help I was able to build a decoupled soffit isolating the main beam. He’d lead me to the promised land. It helped, but not fully ( I appreciate that he understood my budget concerns and had me do things in stages perhaps the job would be done with less –I even begged him to just buy stuff and he wouldn’t let - I laugh that I had to beg a salesman to sell me something.) Anyway, next on his list of things to do, is the door – as it the HT room is pretty much right below the main stairway to the house, so sound getting through the door is making it’s way straight upstairs to the kids’ bedroom area (not to mention the coupled ceiling).
I got someone local to take care of the coupled ceiling (while taking down the existing ceiling – I learned one reason why people hang DW with screws and not nails – oh well). Now (as in the present) I have one last “just this” thing to fix – namely that doorway. I’m currently able to watch movies, and although it’ll still give some rumbling to the house, it’s not enough to wake up the kids – so I just have to watch late- goodbye headphones.
I ended up buying a set of Klipsch speakers (RF82 II’s RF-64IIs, etc) on a big sale – didn’t do much research but the discount was so great, I figured that they had to be good. Fortunately they are. But now it makes me realize that my room acoustics stink. Off to AVS … This time however, I caught myself, and before I started another DIY project – I heard Terry’s advice ringing in my head, and I splurged and just bought sound panels form GK acoustics . I must say I’m happy with it. But wait I just read an ad in Home Theater Review mag that Goldenear speakers beat out $20k speakers for just a fraction of the price…oh yeah, and also realized after the fact that the width of the front Klipsch speakers is blocking some of the projector's image from reaching the screen - didn't think about that....
Wow, that was a mouthful, I don’t know if I’ll win the projector with my confessional, but this was somewhat therapeutic to me. And hopefully someone else out there with not enough cash and a lot of desire can learn from some of these basic lessons learned all to real– Plan first, don’t rush, and “sometimes you have to pay to have someone else do the job”.
A nice epilogue to the story is that my son recently got a visit from the Make-A-Wish foundation. They asked him what his 2 best-wishes were. His first was to have an indoor basketball court, and #2 was Disney World. Unfortunately, as a matter of policy, they don’t do home construction so they couldn’t do much by way of a court. We had a great time in Disney, but I knew how much he’d love the court –so I set about using some of my newly learned construction skills to turn the unfinished garage into a court. I have to say that it came out incredible. I did the work – putting up the dry wall (first learning how to spackle – the correct way this time) and painting. More impressive is that I even paid others to do what I couldn’t . People who see it give jaw dropping compliments and my wife is even amazed at what I have done – I just tell her “what do think I’ve been doing all these past years working on my HT – learning construction!”
Edited by cgott42 - 6/22/12 at 5:30pm
post #79 of 92
when does the thread close? would really suck if someone posted after the deadline yesterday and won
Edited by swarm87 - 6/23/12 at 3:09pm
post #80 of 92
Thanks for taking the time to post all the great stories guys, they're a fun read, and hope to see them keep coming in.

I'm not as gifted a storyteller as some of you are, but here goes a few of mine:


My HT is built in one half of a detached 4 car garage (so now its a two car garage) - here's what it looked like before:


The plan was to remove the garage door on the right and frame it in for a double door entry. Before the HT room construction began in earnest (I hired out the framing, electrical, insulation, drywall), we had a hardscape project going on in the yard, and I told the masons I wanted to do a stone step up into the room to be. They built it, it came out nice, and I didn't think about it more until the framing for the room started. At which point I realized that although the step up (and corresponding door framing) was centered within the old garage door opening, it was not centered with the room itself, which is what I had planned. I flailed about and cussed for a while, before I got over it.



In the end though, it has worked out fine, and I rather like the offset doors.


Lesson: things will change along the way on an HT build, sometimes you have to go back to tear things out and rework to be happy with it, but other times it can be a serendipitous improvement.


The planning for my equipment closet was a bit of an afterthought - as a result, while it is wide enough for my needs, it is not wide enough to be able to rotate my Slim 5 rack in place, for access to wiring in the rear. If I need to make wiring changes, its either disconnect all the wires from the wallplates, roll the rack out, fiddle, then roll it back and reconnect; or stick my hands and head in through the middle of the rack (which is currently open for that purpose), crane neck in unnatural position, and stand on one foot while wielding a flashlight and extension mirror to surgically implant a wire.

For now, I'm making do, but I plan on adding a door from the garage side to be able to access wiring in the near future. And finally clean up the rats nest of wiring that has evolved.

Lesson: measure stuff. rolleyes.gif


After I built my sub (first of two THT LPs), while testing it out, I attached my multimeter to the wires on the sub input, so I could test voltage. The precarious separation of the +/- leads, via a strategically placed pencil, didn't work out well - slipped, they shorted while testing, and I fried one channel of my sub power amp. Cost $175 to get it fixed.

Lesson: don't do that.


I am more than a little stubborn in the "I don't need help, I can do this myself" department. Here's what my soffit / bulkhead looks like over the screen (before fabric went up, easier to see this way):


That curved section in front of the screen wall is about two feet deep in the middle, made of 1/2" plywood, held together with dimensional lumber blocking. I built it on the ground, and then had to figure out how to get it up and fastened. I used some temporary supports screwed to the side soffits, figuring I could hoist one end up, then get on a ladder, lift the other end up, screw it in, then go over to the other side, screw that end in, and I'd be on my way. What could go wrong, right? Well, at 15' long, that thing was pretty unwieldy, and floppy. I got the left end up as planned, got to the other end, halfway up the ladder, the left side starts sliding off the temporary support. Slo mo, as these things go. So I did what any DIY guy worth his salt would do - I sacrificed my body to save the wooden bulkhead, and sprained my wrist in the process. This was like 20 minutes before we were supposed to leave for a weekend vacation, so I had to stop. All weekend of course my mind is on "how am I going to do this, I want to go back and do this!". As soon as I get back, instead of asking for help (pfft), I went at it exactly the same way - except this time it actually worked. Go me.

Lesson: be stubborn, it always works out in the end.
post #81 of 92
Originally Posted by swarm87 View Post

when does the thread close? would really suck if someone posted after the deadline yesterday and won

I'm sure they'll look at the time stamps.
Not in the interest of the contest but to add to my post above for others to enjoy (I'm putting here in a separate post so it's time stamped accordingly and not included as part of the contest)
I had the great idea one day of using dry wall spacers - you know those strips of dry wall that they use to separate stacks of drywall, I realized that the (a) they're cut to exact sizes (b) the stores give them for free (c) work like bricks - just stack them.= Free DryWall (d) in addition these strips could easily fit in my sedan, so I was able to s"smuggle" DW into the house wihtout the wife knowing that I was continuing my building project.
So day after day I went to the local HD, Lowes, etc and picked up whatever they were finished with. Granted each strips is only about 3" wide, but as you can see I'm determined. So after many days, I accumulated enough to fill in the frame of a wall, so that the wall would be (counting the DW dheets on the outside - 4" thick of solid DW. I built my frame to accomodate these strips (don't mention about building code) - problem is that they are 48" long, and DW sheets are size in increments of 48" (48" wide x 96" tall), so the frame placed around these strips only allowed me to screw the DW in on one side - oh well.
post #82 of 92
Great timing on this thread. We just bought our first house. It has an open floor plan, and the couch is set up in the middle of the room, so you can walk around it. This makes my speaker stands that we used at the old house stick out and look tacky. So I decide to install the speakers in the ceiling. I go up in the attic yesterday and start my plan of action. I clear installation, and set boxes I made down (to keep the blown-in insulation off the speakers).

Now it's time to drill. For some reason there are studs every 8 inches on the wall the wires will drop down. So I measure, and measure, and measure, and finally decide on a spot to drill down. I drill through the 4x6 header on the top of the living room wall, which is 10 ft high. I add an extension to the drill and go to drill through the header for the bedroom wall, which is nine feet high. I directly hit THREE power cables. I don't know what I hit, I just saw a spark. My minds starts racing. I stood there for about 5 seconds. Seemed like forever. I start noticing the dust that floats around any crawlspace type attic. It seems smoky. (It wasn't.) I make a beeline through rafters to the exit in the garage. I check the circuit breaker, and 2 fuses were blown. I flip off the rest, just in case.

So now I have to cut open the drywall, to see what I did. I open up the wall and find I hit the three cords right as they went through the header. There's not enough slack on to use one junction box and splice the wires. So I've ended up using 3 boxes -- one on either side of the hole in the header, and one under the header, and then added splice wire to connect the boxes. I still don't have the drywall patched up (that happens today). But, do know there will be 3 blank faceplates on the wall. And you'll probably be able to see where I've patched it, because the wall is textured, and that's hard to match.

And I had to do it from the living room side, because the difference in the height of the rooms. We didn't move into the house for 8 days after we bought it because we wanted paint. This particular wall is an "accent wall", painted a dark red. If you've ever painted a dark, rich color, you know it takes a day between coats, and you'll probably need 3 coats. So I have some work to do... again.

Worst part of the story: Tomorrow the last delivery for my upstairs (bonus room) theater room arrives. But instead of putting all that together and enjoying it, I will still have to take a break and re-paint all the holes I have in the living room wall. At least I have Tuesday off work, so I can finish it up, but still....

Well, much worse things could have happened, I suppose. It hasn't cost too much to fix, and I'm handy enough to fix it all myself. Just not handy enough to not mess it up in the process. I'll get everything done eventually...
post #83 of 92
Thread Starter 
A winner has been chosen. Detail to come soon. smile.gif

Feel free to post your stories if you still care to.

Thanks All!
post #84 of 92
Thread Starter 
And The Winner Is....

Thanks everyone who entered, after careful deliberation, the winner is JakeRobb and his post HERE. You have to feel bad for the guy who puts two holes in the home and then has to deal with his wife. We only hope this helps him with thw wife part in some way. smile.gif

It was quite amusing to read through all the blunders. I guess all the expertise found on AVS Forum was earned the hard way!

These 2 as a honorable mentions...

Member aliaskary77 - POST HERE For his wiring speaker to speaker.

Member RKRocha - POST HERE For his nice wiring getting then all covered over by the builders dry wall.

And under things NOT to DO... AKA... DOAH!!!!

Member chirpie - POST HERE for his wire stripping ability. (Or now lack their of.)

And this one as the funniest...(Who can forget!)

Member roodkopje - POST HERE for making the mistake of installing a girlfriend on the couch. (I at least opted for the wife upgrade.)

Thank you all again for sharing your stories!

Stay tuned for an article on Install Mistakes and more fun contests from the AVS team.
post #85 of 92
So the guy who received more "thumbs ups' than anyone else (outside of a one sentence post) is shutout in a contest where the story, humor, and personality were the judging criteria?

Crap, I should have said I broke more than a $1000 plasma and blu ray player. wink.giftongue.gif

Sour grapes, sour grapes! biggrin.gifwink.gif

Congrats to JakeRobb- enjoy that PJ!

And thanks to Dave/AVS for running the contest and supplying a fantastic prize.

post #86 of 92
Congrats JakeRobb!

I have a feeling that this thread is still going to be active for a long time. I know I plan to come back to visit the next time I eff something up...lol
post #87 of 92
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Crap, I should have said I broke more than a $1000 plasma and blu ray player. wink.giftongue.gif

You got my vote, MM!
Congrats to JakeRobb- enjoy that PJ!

+1 - lucky stiff! smile.gif
post #88 of 92
Thanks everyone! This is the first time I've won anything of significance, and I'm really excited. I'm pretty new around here and this was my first serious install of any kind. AVS has been incredibly helpful in selection of equipment and everything else about my install (for example, I would never have known to use oxygen-free speaker wire for the in-wall run). I definitely plan to stick around here, and when it comes time to install the projector downstairs (where I have great light control), I'll definitely be here asking questions, posting pictures, and generally paying the community back for this incredibly generous prize. I'm going to have to get an entire separate HT setup for that space, so it's going to be a while before I can really get anything done. I kinda wish now that I had gone with a 3313 instead of a 2313, for the zone 2 HDMI out. Oh well! smile.gif

Oh, and no worries -- I survived telling my wife, and the holes in the house have been repaired. I do still need to paint over the plaster repairs...

Thanks again!

post #89 of 92
Congrats man! smile.gif
post #90 of 92
For those interested in my plans for the projector, you can follow along here:

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