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Calvin's Games & HT construction thread - Page 5

post #121 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Joe,

No worries. I'm just making the best out of a "less then ideal" situation. As bad as my experience has been many people up here are getting it far worse. The market up here in a "gold rush" type of boom brings out the worst in alot of companies sadly and it's become a common practice for many builders to just raise the price of homes $30 to $50k during construction and if people don't like it they rip up the contract and sell their homes to others (which are sadly standing in line to pay the inflated prices as the vacancy rate is around 1%).
That may sound insane but trust me it's happening I know of 3 couples that are in lawsuits over just this type of behaviour (2 of them in class action).

Once this madness passes in a few years I just hope the people that got shafted remember the companies that worked this way and handled their business in that manner. Word of mouth can sink a company in lean times far faster then anything I know of and I know my builder won't be getting a glowing recommendation to anyone I talk to.

That been said though for the next 3-4 months I'm committed to keeping them doing the best job possible with in the contract I have signed and just getting into the new house to see if I want to keep it.

Positive or Negative all comments are welcome. Sun can't shine every day and sometime the best lessons are the hardest learned so I appreciate any input.

Cheers
Calvin
post #122 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Update:

The wife sent me some pics from the walkthrough and dropped off all of the brackets and back boxes for the A/V company to install (hopefully early next week).

Here are a few shots

The 3 distribution panel Cat 5e wall connections -
Sadly they insulated before the A/V installer got in to move these so I may as well just pony up the extra $ to just install the other 3 in the new locations and leave these here (maybe I'll find a use for them one day?)



The 2nd Fireplace is installed now in the basement HT. I should have elevated this 6" or more off the ground in hindsight (another one for lessons learned )



Insulation on all the exterior walls in the basement is now complete.





Here is another error in the basement HT I have 2 central vac outlets almost straight across from one another in the room now and according to the originally layout this was supposed to be on the exterior wall of the A/V room towards the stairs. The vac reaches 35' so I would be able to get to all locations but the storage and mechanical room which don't need a vac anyways as they are been left with concrete flooring.
I've asked the builder to move these or at least explain why they've put them there - can't see a building code requiring vac outlets in these locations. I think the installer just thought this would be the most practical area to access the whole basement. I'm not thrilled about them but I may end up just leaving them as well if its going to be a huge hassle to have them moved.





More to follow:
post #123 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Update main floor HT area:

Here is a picture that was exciting for my wife so I thought I'd post it. The large window on the right side was finally swapped out after 3 months of waiting. The metal inserts (not sure what those bars are called) were white and they should have been a gun metal. Anyways at long last that one 'wrong' window has been replaced and the wife is ecstatic (I'm strangely immune to this joy she is experiencing must be a wife thing)



Below is a picture of the mount that the LCD or Plasma Display will be supported by once the whole assembly is put together. This tilting mount attaches to the articulating arm and when they are together the total mount assembly will pull from the wall 26" at full extension and swivel 10 degrees down and 5 degrees up



I've been working on getting the details down on exactly how I need the fireplace worked for bracing -
Photo #1 is the mock up I provided for the framers so they build it to accommodate the in wall center channel speaker and the articulating arm mount assembly.



Photo # 2 is 'professionally' altered photo shopped picture of what I hope the final result looks like (more or less)



I'll see what they come up with but hopefully they can follow the plan
post #124 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris644 View Post


Then I saw that you have aluminum studs and framework. If I were you I would have them, and I know this is harsh, torn out and replaced. I have had quite a few booboos in my construction and have had to bite the bullit and redo.
Joe

Why would you want to rip out steel (not aluminum) studs? My media room is built with steel studs and I love it. The walls are perfectly flat & straight. This is critical since one of my walls is about 35' long and you look right down it as you enter the basement. Don't worry about rattles, I don't have any & I've cranked the bass pretty hard to test it out. Only my wall sconces made some noise which was easily fixed.
post #125 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Neuner,

I believe they are aluminum studs. They are that flimsy you can easily just twist them right in half even when they are secured at the top and bottom not to much strength there.

The reason I didn't want them (and still don't want them) is that in the downstairs HT I have 7 in-wall speakers and 4 in-wall subs. I'm shocked that your don't rattle my A/V installer has told me point blank if I install my inwall subs with them it will vibrate and sound like hell. He convinced me to either remove the sub woofers entirely on the two side walls and go with a 7.2 or put them in the riser to go with a 7.4 (which I decided on).

Are you using in-walls ? I have 2 earthquake thors which are a pretty beefy sub for an in-wall and those are the ones I'm concerned with. I'm leaving the 2 side and 2 rear speakers as is I'm not worried to much about vibration on the 8" inwalls. The front sound stage will be made of wood so no worries there either.

Your the 1st person to come forward and say they won't rattle which is terrific However I think its to late as I don't think I'll be in time to stop the changes I've already put forward. The AV installers are most likely at my house installing the speaker wire to the riser location this morning.

Have to give them a call this morning maybe I'll have them run wire to both locations so I can try the walls and if it doesn't work then try the riser

Thanks for the post.
post #126 of 1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by calv1n View Post

Neuner,

I believe they are aluminum studs.

Thanks for the post.

That's terrible. Ya, I wouldn't want them put in place either. Never heard of them until I did a search on google. Glad I haven't seen them around. My studs are 25ga galvanized steel. I would hope the alum stud gauge is heavy enough to be equal to the steel.

I forgot that you had inwall speakers. My front speakers are mounted to the front wall on shelves and my sub sits in the front left corner. I don't have any vibration. If constructed correctly it's a firm construction system. The studs seem flimsy until the drywall is attached then they are very rigid. I can't think of where they would vibrate except maybe where they join the top & bottom track, but again, if done correctly, this is very rigid.

Since you will be going ahead with the alum studs, I'm anxious to hear how it turns out once you have everything in place.
post #127 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Neuner,

After spending some time on your website and thread I wish I would have had you doing my basement
I had never heard of aluminum studs either till I saw them in place then I looked back to my contract and I guess they said "metal" studs not "steel" so technically I can't bitch and have them swapped out.

I have no reason to believe my A/V installers would be steering me wrong here and they are a large reliable company with many years in the business. When the fellow told me he's done them in the past and it was a bad idea I went with his suggestion on a work around (in the riser).

I'm keeping my fingers crossed I can live with the ducting and framing otherwise I'm just moving into a construction zone I will be making and there will be no HT joy in my basement for a long time to come (of course I'll still have the other 2 but the basement is the jewel in the crown so to speak).

Cheers
post #128 of 1278
Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it.

I'm more along your mindset now that I'm almost done with mine. When I started, I had just gotten married and had a lot of time. Now I have two girls and want to spend all of my time with them. I really wish it was over. I may be moving shortly and vow to hire out the work in our future home.

What is causing the boom in your area? Is there that many people moving into town?
post #129 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuner View Post

What is causing the boom in your area? Is there that many people moving into town?


http://zfacts.com/p/218.html explains the boom more or less.

I can't even describe the explosion in growth in Alberta it really is unprecedented in my experience. Reminds me of watching old TV shows about the gold rush and the insanity that followed. We are certainly living in that type of an environment up here at the moment. When you have real estated going up 2% to 5% a month on houses you know something is going on.

Here is an older story from July 28th.
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...d-rentals.html
I've heard from several people that the current vacancy rates are under 1% in Edmonton and very similar situations are in the other "booming" cities in Alberta (Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie & Fort McMurray).

Another interesting link - note the last paragraph on labor shortages!
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/st...-consumer.html

In retrospect I think I should have planned the basement construction better and still had others build it

Cheers
post #130 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Went to the A/V installers showroom to sign some paperwork and I remembered to bring the camera this time.
I've taken a few shots of the distribution panel I've purchased and also of their showroom (the showroom photos I'll post later just to show their work).

Here is the GE Panel






Here it is beside another smaller panel - It is about 36" to 40" high and 18" wide.



Here is the panel info (sorry it's a bit blurry should have used my camera instead the wifes I have that motion stabilizer in mine
Guess I'm a bit shakier then I thought.
post #131 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Here is a few shots of my AV installers showroom.
Its nothing extreme but I like it and have sat through 1/2 of a couple of movies in that room already and it sounds and looks great in there. I'm hoping my room is 1/2 as good acoustically but it's not nearly set up as well as theirs.











(Click to Enlarge all photos).

Hoping to get in to do a walkthrough in the next day or two so should have some new photos of my HT's coming again soon.

Cheers
Calvin
post #132 of 1278
Thread Starter 
They've done the bracing differently then I had hoped above the fireplace.
I'm checking with the builder now just to ensure they've put 2 x 4's with the 16" centers I need for the bracing for the articulating mount but I'm not sure they are behind the OSB 3/4" board. I have the sales team checking with the building team to ensure it will hold up as needed.



The backbox for the 10" proficient inwall sub is in place as well. Not the location I had originally intended but I'm sure it will be fine in that location as well



They secured the hell out of it that is for sure I couldn't even budge it a millimeter putting all my weight into it so I'm sure the vibrations will be at a minimum.



Here a couple of photos out of the showroom which show what I'm hoping the finished product will be similar to (with no bookshelves, a big sub and a center channel under the display in my case)





More photos to come soon from the walkthrough (be a couple of days before I get the rest posted)
post #133 of 1278
Calvin,

What are you racking all your equipment on in the basement?

thanks,
Brendin
post #134 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnaron View Post

Calvin,

What are you racking all your equipment on in the basement?

thanks,
Brendin

Brendin,

I'm currently just letting the builder finish up my AV room as I originally had it outlined (as they won't make any changes at this point anyways).
I will end up with drywall shelving spaced 18" opening from the floor all the way up to the 9' ceiling. I'll try it out when I get in the house and see if I can live with it.
If I don't like the way its going to work out I'll likely order a middle atlantic rack and install it where the shelves are. Going with a racking system I would likely get the standard rack 8' high. I don't need anything that spins or pulls out as I have access to the back of the components in the A/V room.

I haven't decided which one I would go with yet but in the fixed format there isn't a lot of choices. I'll be talking with my A/V install company as well and see what they can offer if I end up replacing the drywall shelving (which is likely).
http://www.middleatlantic.com/enclosure/main.htm

Cheers
Calvin
post #135 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Updated shots:

Here are a couple of shots of the wiring ready to go into the distribution panel. They are waiting for the drywall crews to finish up and then they will be along to start setting up the panel.



Almost everything here is CAT 5E from various locations in the house. Seems like a lot connections when I see them all bunched together like this



Front sound stage shot. THey have set up brackets for the left and right but forgot to set up the bracket for the center speaker. I sent them an e-mail with this picture to remind them to get back into the house and fix this before the drywallers come in. This set up is from the old drawings I gave them where I had a center channel I had changed that out some time ago but the installer must have had the old or wrong installation notes instructions.



Here is a shot of the 4 strand sub wires run from the back wall. I have about 5 feet to play with here to install these into the riser as I've planned and detailed in a post last week.



All of the exterior and interior walls are insulated now which makes me fairly happy as the builder orginally told me they weren't going to insulate the interior walls (someone went ahead and did it anyways now I'll just wait to see if I get a bill for it)

I'll have some updated shots of the conduit ran to the projector location and more of the A/V room in the next few days once I get around to uploading and dumping those shots onto Photobucket.

Cheers
Calvin
post #136 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Many of the photos didn't turn out so well for the conduit shots so I'm only posting two sadly. During my wifes next walk through on Sunday I'll ask her to take a few more photos if they haven't covered everything up with insulation or drywall.

Here are the two shots I could salvage showing the conduits been fed into the A/V room



Same shot from further back. The conduit on the right side is the new one run for the basement PJ for video feeds. The wiring on the left are the speakers systems from both the basement and the living room HT directly above.

post #137 of 1278
Is that all cat5? What is it all for?

Joe
post #138 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Hi Joe,

In post # 135 it is almost all CAT 5E where the distribution panel will be going next to the breaker panel.
In post #136 its a variety of 2 strand, 4 strand speaker wire, component cables and CAT 5E for the A/V room that will be running both the living room and basement HT's.
Sure looks like a lot of work is still needed. They will be installing a few face plates that is for sure.
I'm still looking into how to best distribute the cabling and the power from the walls to the shelving or rack.
Any ideas on how best to go about this anyone?
I'm thinking a flat power bar from the outlet running parallel to the shelving and then into the components and then using some rack type rods for component cabling to organize them neatly into the components. Might have to wait till more things are in place before I spend much time on it but I'm starting to think about how best to handle it now.
Cheers
post #139 of 1278
Thread Starter 
After Brendin's question I started taking a harder look at my set up and I compared the drywall shelving that I've got the builder putting in now to a couple of other scenarios.

Option #1 is the shelving as I've requested with the components I have currently.
Looks like it will be tight squeeze maybe.

Option # 2 is with a single rack in the center with a few 'cut out' drywall shelves for other components like gaming consoles. (click to enlarge as usual )



Option #1 is the same drywall shelving
Option #3 is going to 2 x 24" racks side by side which is the more costly but likely the best way to go.



Let me know what you think (and where I can get the best deal on racks would be good as well )
Thanks

Edit: The numbers on the pictures are the dimension in feet both the width (48" opening although it maybe slightly larger as the real dimension is 55" total counting the support walls) x 9 feet which is the height floor to ceiling. I think I can get Racks in 8' or 8'5 heights but I'll have to do some digging.
post #140 of 1278
Thread Starter 
I've spent some more time thinking and designing the rack. Now I know I want to go with a racking system and I think I should have no issue getting everything including future components into one big rack.

Here is my 1st layout I'm working on. I was originally thinking of putting the amps on top since they won't be touched after the initial calibration but then I thought maybe due to weight I should put them on the bottom. I also don' t think I'll be tweaking most things unless they are in the 2.5' to 6' range so that is where I wanted to put things I think I will be actually using a lot like the HD-DVD player and Game consoles etc...
In the altered photo I used real photos and put them as close to relative size as possible. The rack mounted items are 19" wide, all items are relative width / height to each other.

The numbers beside the components are the height in feet from the ground. So for example the Sherwood Newcastle R-965 is located at a 4 foot elevation from the ground.
Any feed back is appreciated.

(Click to enlarge photo - These are pretty accurate regarding dimensions relative to each other - I'll break down the components by size and weight with an edit soon)




In the picture from TOP to BOTTOM order -

HSB-600 HDMI Switcher - (WxHxD) 17.3/8" x 2.1/4" x 9.3/8" @ 5lbs

Receiver R-771 - (WxHxD) 17.3/8" x 5" x 15" @ 38lbs

Receiver R-965 - (WxHxD) 17.3/8" x 7.3/4" x 17.3/4" @ 52lbs

HD-DVD AX1 - (WxHxD) 18" x 4.1/2" x 13.1/2" @ 12lbs

*Europower 2500 AMP - (WxHxD) 19" x 3.1/2" x 15.1/8" @ 45lbs

*Crown AMP CE2000 - (WxHxD) 19" x 5.1/4" x 12.1/4" @ 45lbs

*Flying Mole Cascade - (WxHxD) 19" x 5.3/4" x 18.7/16" @ 30lbs

*BFD 1 - (WxHxD) 19" x 1.3/4" x 7.1/2" @ 5lbs

*Crossover 1 - (WxHxD) 19" x 1.3/4" x 8.1/2" @ 7lbs

*BFD 2 - (WxHxD) 19" x 1.3/4" x 7.1/2" @ 5lbs

*Crossover 2 - (WxHxD) 19" x 1.3/4" x 8.1/2" @ 7lbs

*= Rack mounted equipment ("ears" attached)
NOTE components above = 251 lbs total

Not Shown but planned for Rack

XBOX 360 - (WxHxD) 12" x 3.1/4" x 10.1/4" @ 8lbs
Toshiba DVD Recorder (still looking for exact info - need to get my exact model number)
Bell Xpress Vu or Shaw Cable HD TV box (have to decide on which I'm going with then get dimensions)

*Playstation 3 - (WxHxD) 13" x 4" x 11" @ 11lbs *to be bought later

Edit ** Here is another kick at the can - Option #2 with all of the planned components I can think of at the moment.



Option #2 - zoomed in some (larger format - Click to enlarge all pictures)
In this layout I'm starting with components 1 foot off the ground and going up to 6 feet high with the last piece.



Cheers
Calvin
post #141 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Still nothing on the rack. Maybe I'll get some more traffic and perhaps an opinion or two once the work week starts again tomorrow.

The wife went for the walk through again today and sent me some pics.
I wanted her to take photos of the conduit to the PJ in the basement but unfortunately most of it was covered up in the ceiling with insulation already. Adding to the confusion is that I told her to look for white plastic pipes and take photos of that.
What I didn't think about was that every vacuum tube in the house is also a white plastic pipe and she ended up taking a lot of photos at angles that don't show me enough so I'm not sure if many of them are A/V or vacuum use

Here are few pics and comments ( Click to Enlarge as always )

Below is the PJ location in the Basement Ceiling and the surge protected power outlet. I can't see the conduit run for cabling sadly as it's all covered up at this point. The power outlet is 18 feet back from the screen wall.



Below is another picture of my dreaded ducting. They've added insulation to the walls which should help alot for sound containment and also for vibration etc.. with the inwall speakers. Sadly I can see they vacuum tubes have been run through the same area which if I decide to remove and rerun the ducting just makes things even more complicated and messy



This may be the conduit run from the PJ to the A/V room but I'm not sure.



Looking up in the A/V room. You can see the speaker cables on the right and other the conduit A/V runs coming on the left side into the A/V room from the ceiling. The white PVC tubing in the ceiling is a Vacuum tube that runs in the hall by the 1/2 bath in the main floor.



More to follow next week. I'm hoping one day soon they will be starting drywall I can't imagine anything still holding them up at this point but I've been saying that for a couple of weeks now.

Cheers
Calvin
post #142 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Still no opinions on the rack ?
Would I be better off putting all of the amps on the bottom and having the cross overs and BFD's between them and the components.
Just looking for some thoughts and ideas out there
I'm trying to avoid taking components out and going through a trial and error stage if I can .
Thanks to any that respond.
Cheers
Calvin
post #143 of 1278
I think placement kind of depends on airflow and accessability. If you lack airflow I think you would want the amps higher cause the heat will rise.

With my automation plans I don't foresee accessing the rack very often so I might have more free of placement. If you need to get in there a lot then you definitely want accessability.

Joe
post #144 of 1278
Calvin,

I stumbled upon your thread late last night around 10:30 and reading it was like reading a good novel! Once I started I couldn't stop and I finished up around 12:00!

I am hoping to do the same thing in about 2 years once my wife is done with school and her income jumps up about 75%. I converted an 18 x 11 portion of our basement into a mini theater. It is nothing real special, but I am enjoying HD-DVD every weekend in it. I have been saving so when we do find a bigger house I can jump into a dedicated room with two feet and not have to wait for awhile.

I am very anxious to see the final pictures....

Good luck!
post #145 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmorris644 View Post

I think placement kind of depends on airflow and accessability. If you lack airflow I think you would want the amps higher cause the heat will rise.

With my automation plans I don't foresee accessing the rack very often so I might have more free of placement. If you need to get in there a lot then you definitely want accessability.

Joe


Thanks for the post Joe.

I was curious about putting the Crown and Behringer amp on the very top for that reason. I'm not concerned about the Flying Mole as it will be cool running where ever it is I'm told. I was a bit concerned about the weight all been at the top end of the rack. This may not be an issue in a fixed rack however ... perhaps I'm just been paranoid about it falling over despite the odds that happening in a fixed install likely been zero.

The room that the components are going in isn't huge but hopefully it's large enough that even venting back into the room won't cause issues. Its to late to go back in and do a separate HVAC system with out spending a whole lot more time and money at this point so I'm going to see how it runs once I figure out how I want to 'stack the rack'.

I'm still waiting for some quotes and ideas from the 2 vendors I have looking at my set up to see how they have proposed venting either to the front or the back into the room to the rear. Right now I have Middle Atlantic and AVrak a local company my installer uses both coming up with plans but I'm trying to get my mind made up regarding which layout I should ask them to work with (amp on top or amps on bottom).

I will have no where near the level of automation your going for (I wish I did) I'm basically using a Logitech Harmony 890 RF remote to run the whole theater more or less (at least that is my plan). I am hoping after I get everything calibrated for sound and audio though I don't have to "mess" with anything in the rack other then changing games and movies.

As always thanks for the input Joe.
Cheers
post #146 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by COACH2369 View Post

Calvin,

I stumbled upon your thread late last night around 10:30 and reading it was like reading a good novel! Once I started I couldn't stop and I finished up around 12:00!

I am hoping to do the same thing in about 2 years once my wife is done with school and her income jumps up about 75%. I converted an 18 x 11 portion of our basement into a mini theater. It is nothing real special, but I am enjoying HD-DVD every weekend in it. I have been saving so when we do find a bigger house I can jump into a dedicated room with two feet and not have to wait for awhile.

I am very anxious to see the final pictures....

Good luck!

COACH2369,

Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. I was thinking a novel akin to something Dean R Koontz or Stephen King would write
Sounds like your going to be doing fine if you hang out in this forum 2 years before you start and learn from many of the great posters here.
I too am very anxious to see this one come together as I've been involved with this construction now since June 2005 (when I put my down payment down).

If you have any questions or comments please don't hesitate to post them.
Cheers
Calvin
post #147 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Here is the rack cooling design I'll be following. (click to Enlarge)



The only change to the diagram would be that my amps will be stacked with out spacing between them(whether they are on top or bottom).
post #148 of 1278
Thanks Calvin. Your tread has given me a lot of ideas as I an starting to layout a design for my HT.

Looks like you're going to have a killer setup.
post #149 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by indagroove View Post

Thanks Calvin. Your tread has given me a lot of ideas as I an starting to layout a design for my HT.

Looks like you're going to have a killer setup.

indagroove,

Thanks for stopping bye Glad I could help out in anyway. I'm hoping this thread will not only help others but also help myself as I work my way through this formidable task of 3 HT's in one home
I was in discussions with my electrical engineer at the A/V installers home office on monday and it sure sounds like I should have a pretty decent set up on all 3 floors once they are done with sound treatments and calibrations. I just signed off another $10k for a budgeted "allowance" to make sure that they have enough $$ to do everything I want them to regarding sound treatments, audio & video calibrations and anything else I'll need to make the most of my rooms.

I'm hoping to have the details sorted out on my rack soon. I'm still waiting for two more quotes and I've received a few already so I'm close to ordering that in the next week or two as well.

News regarding my chairs .
Carolina interiors called me last week and I've hooked them up with broker to ensure the chairs make it across the border with out a hassle. My customs broker is working with them now to have the chairs delivered on my next days home (November 17 to 20th) so hopefully I'll have those in storage soon and I'll have a post with pictures and my thoughts on the new line as several people have PM'd me regarding them.

I'll be posting some new pictures of the latest walk through later today if I have time (if not today then tomorrow)

Cheers
post #150 of 1278
Thread Starter 
Update.

Some photos from the walk through on the 4th.

Here is the location at the top of the stairs (rear of the bonus room) where I'll be putting a PC station for the top level.



Bonus Room with Drywall.









The whole upper floor is complete now just waiting for them to finish up the main and basement levels then finish up the taping and mudding.
I'm hoping to have some new photos from my wife's walkthrough this saturday to post early next week.

Cheers
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