DIY Motorized Dynamic Masking (DYNAMASK 2000) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY Motorized Dynamic Masking (DYNAMASK 2000)

I hate limiting options, and I like engineering problems.

Problem: I am unwilling to commit to a screen size.
1) I know I’ll want extra wide 2.39:1, but at a first row between 9.5’ and 8’ (adjustable on rollers), I am uncertain if I really want a 120” wide screen.
2) I want the option for GIGANTIC 16:9 action, but I don’t really think I need to watch basic TV with the wife on a gigantic screen.

So, this yields three possible sizes. I could build fixed frame masks, but uncertainty is hard to spec out. Also, I don’t want to deal with hiding unused masks. Since I am building a screen wall and screen, why not build some affordable dynamic masking?

Proposed Mechanism: Thankfully, there are inexpensive (read, not Somfy) motors for about $60 a pop on Amazon which fit standard 1.5” OD tubes. Tubes with the correct ID can be purchased at Home Depot for cheap.

Got one of these incoming:

And one of these:


Any advice (outside of abandoning the project) is appreciated. If this works, I hope to make a DIY post so this is easily reproducible.
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 07:43 AM
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No advice but thanks for taking this on and I look forward to seeing it play out. I would love to add automated masking to my build.
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 08:09 AM
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You might want to reach out to @Little Chris , as he's built a masking system for his HT build. He ran into some pitfalls, and was able to figure out some solutions for his design.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 10:30 AM
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Looking forward to what you come up with as I hate engineering problems!

Sent from my SM-N975U using Tapatalk
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 11:52 AM
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Hi @MinHeadroom

There seems to be a growing enthusiasm with variable image sizing and I even started a thread in the CIH forum on the subject. Right now there is a thread here on Rob Hahn getting the HT of the decade award and he does something similar with automated 4way masking on a grand scale. In that thread I asked him about this and any future plans and his answers along with answers from his theater designer were very interesting and a good read.

I was a automation machine designer for 43 years and retired now so building a 4way system is something I could do and have given great thought. I had manual 4way with manual zoom and shift and focus for about 3 years and it was fun setting it all up for a presentation but it also got old. Family and friends never got it and suggested I pick a size and live with it as they didn’t much care as long as they saw a movie. Then came streaming and prestige TV and media coming at us in every direction even network TV some of it warrants big immersive viewing. Even TV is no longer just 16:9 and more commercials are in scope than ever before. Then there is IMAX and IMAX enhanced and the IMAX AR shifters that are imposable to mask.

I didn’t want to put my seating on rollers but even considered that and I also started noticing my like for immersion wasn’t always my guests. Thus the reasons commercial theaters have so many rows.

I noticed when I showed Dunkirk an AR shifting movie no one seemed to care the masking was fixed. I even asked them and they answered with a question like “ Are you saying the size of the picture changed?”

About that time I chucked it all and went with a .5 gain neutral gray stealth screen wall and let the chips fall where they may with self masking I have a dark chip 3 DLP and to do my zooming I mounted my ceiling projector on an inclined track with counterbalance with the projector all the way back it is my IMAX immersion with projectors widest zoom. Once focused I never touch the projectors controls and slide the projector for zoom and the incline provides the offset and the DOF maintains focus. I can zoom well beyond CIH now with a projector that wouldn’t do it before and the full range only takes 5 seconds to do. The dark screen is not perfect but is more than good enough given the simplicity of the setup and the outcome it provides.

Just thought I would share what works for me and will follow along with your project.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-15-2020, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirjaymz View Post
You might want to reach out to @Little Chris , as he's built a masking system for his HT build. He ran into some pitfalls, and was able to figure out some solutions for his design.


Thank you everybody for the words of encouragement and personal experiences, and thank you to @sirjaymz for referring me to: https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink/top...ink_source=app

I plan to do 4-way masking, with each side independently controlled. I am still slightly considering having a belt drive linking parallel masks, though that might be more cumbersome and even more expensive.

One of the most challenging parts is a compact way to provide tension. I considered (and continue to consider):
- bungees
- weights
- belt drives that ensure everything is connected and thereby tensioned
- linear tension springs
- spiral tension springs

As my above Amazon orders show, I am going to examine the spiral tension ring in a retractable clothes line. It was cheap. Also, fun fact, spiral springs apparently apply a constant force! This is apparently why they replaced water and gravity in clocks (my speculation).



Bungees could work well, but they require space and experimentation.

Weights and pulleys are probably the most simple mechanism, but did I mention the thing (and my screen) need to lift up to access tge utilities


(Next project will be putting some gas struts and an actuator on it, tee hee)

Belt drives are tough as I need to source an inexpensive part AND, the bigger problem, as the roller holding the mask unrolls, the linear rate of fabric exiting will slow down in relation to the leading edge, making it a challenge to keep tension on the mask. Perhaps a small spring interrupting a belt drive might suffice.

Decisions, decisions...
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-16-2020, 03:13 PM
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How do you intend to control the positioning? Will you just have two stops, or will there be programmed intermediate stops? I am trying to decide between a stepper motor or linear actuator with a custom programmed controller vs a commercial roller blind motor like you posted. I have seen a great somfy solution that used bungees for the opposing force, but I don't want to commit to somfy pricing, either, for an experiment. The bungees do allow it to be self contained such that the whole arrangement could be lifted as you require.

This one is for a curved screen, but has the bungees I think:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/174-d...d-masking.html

Another one for you:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/174-d...o-masking.html
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-16-2020, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
How do you intend to control the positioning? Will you just have two stops, or will there be programmed intermediate stops? I am trying to decide between a stepper motor or linear actuator with a custom programmed controller vs a commercial roller blind motor like you posted. I have seen a great somfy solution that used bungees for the opposing force, but I don't want to commit to somfy pricing, either, for an experiment. The bungees do allow it to be self contained such that the whole arrangement could be lifted as you require.



This one is for a curved screen, but has the bungees I think:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/174-d...d-masking.html



Another one for you:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/174-d...o-masking.html


Thanks ScottAvery!
Those links aren’t opening, I suspect because I’m on the train.

1) and 2) Positioning: the cheapo guy I ordered from the first post apparently has RF controlled presets. If it allows multiple positions, I want 4: fully closed (to keep grubby kid hands off), 16:9 gigantic IMAX, 2.39:1 scope, and 16:9 sane viewing size (i joked to my wife we never need an immersive news broadcast or presidential debate).

The RF I’ll control from a cheap Broadcom unit (they are very hackable, $30, link to follow) that I can control from my HA platform via IP commands. Honestly I’m fine with controlling them with an IP controlled relay and skipping the radio, but the radios were included (this option involves disassembly/ soldering).

If it DOESN’T have that many presets from RF control, it’s time to get creative. Limit switches and timed rolling/ unrolling becomes an option (links to follow).

Re: stepper vs linear actuator. I love both of these, and considered them. The linear actuators, at lengths I want, are more expensive, and they involve a place for the masks to “hide” when not in use, unless I spring-load or bungee-load the fabric rolls. I considered steppers because they’re so easily controlled from an Arduino, ESP8266, or raspi, but the price of the motor, driver, and mounting hardware just made these pre-cooked rollers more preferable. I may be wrong.

I read more about bungee properties than i care to admit last night. They seem like the simplest option if I cannot get spiral springs to work. I AM concerned about the variable force of the bungee, as it pulls harder when extended completely, and barely pulls when only slightly extended. I ordered 1/8” bungee with a 125% elasticity rating. We’ll see how that works. Using pulleys in efforts to have more bungee, less extension, might be a solution.

I’ll post some half-baked sketches soon, and definitely let me know if I’m missing something. Thanks again!
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-16-2020, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinHeadroom View Post



Thanks ScottAvery!
Those links aren&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;t opening, I suspect because I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;m on the train.

1) and 2) Positioning: the cheapo guy I ordered from the first post apparently has RF controlled presets. If it allows multiple positions, I want 4: fully closed (to keep grubby kid hands off), 16:9 gigantic IMAX, 2.39:1 scope, and 16:9 sane viewing size (i joked to my wife we never need an immersive news broadcast or presidential debate).

The RF I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;ll control from a cheap Broadcom unit (they are very hackable, $30, link to follow) that I can control from my HA platform via IP commands. Honestly I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;m fine with controlling them with an IP controlled relay and skipping the radio, but the radios were included (this option involves disassembly/ soldering).

If it DOESN&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;T have that many presets from RF control, it&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;s time to get creative. Limit switches and timed rolling/ unrolling becomes an option (links to follow).

Re: stepper vs linear actuator. I love both of these, and considered them. The linear actuators, at lengths I want, are more expensive, and they involve a place for the masks to &#226;€œhide&#226;€ when not in use, unless I spring-load or bungee-load the fabric rolls. I considered steppers because they&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;re so easily controlled from an Arduino, ESP8266, or raspi, but the price of the motor, driver, and mounting hardware just made these pre-cooked rollers more preferable. I may be wrong.

I read more about bungee properties than i care to admit last night. They seem like the simplest option if I cannot get spiral springs to work. I AM concerned about the variable force of the bungee, as it pulls harder when extended completely, and barely pulls when only slightly extended. I ordered 1/8&#226;€ bungee with a 125% elasticity rating. We&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;ll see how that works. Using pulleys in efforts to have more bungee, less extension, might be a solution.

I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;ll post some half-baked sketches soon, and definitely let me know if I&#226;€&#x2122;&#xfe0f;m missing something. Thanks again!
Did not realize you wanted 4 way masking. That does complicate things but there are diys out there for it.
Mini magnetic Contact switches might be easiest but I worry I would need to make adjustments and would prefer continuously variable if possible. Stepper seems easiest to control but linear actuator easier to position. I am going for curved ultimately, so pulleys be to be involved. If I use a linear actuator it will have a stroke of half the movement and I will just fold the draw string back on a pulley.

I like the idea of pulling from the middle (opposite side, actually) so the movement is linear rather than slightly exponential as in the designs that are powered from the roller. That also lets you use a standard internal spring in the roller tube, with the clutch removed.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-16-2020, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
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DIY Motorized Dynamic Masking (DYNAMASK 2000)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
Did not realize you wanted 4 way masking. That does complicate things but there are diys out there for it.
Mini magnetic Contact switches might be easiest but I worry I would need to make adjustments and would prefer continuously variable if possible. Stepper seems easiest to control but linear actuator easier to position. I am going for curved ultimately, so pulleys be to be involved. If I use a linear actuator it will have a stroke of half the movement and I will just fold the draw string back on a pulley.

I like the idea of pulling from the middle (opposite side, actually) so the movement is linear rather than slightly exponential as in the designs that are powered from the roller. That also lets you use a standard internal spring in the roller tube, with the clutch removed.


Firstly- THANK YOU for the inspirational links! I love the deep track from 2010, and the ise of a weight in the 2016 thread.

You are correct in that 4-way masking is 3d spatially challenging; it reminds me of organic chemistry.

My two spring loaded clothes-lines just arrived. I plan to measure the force of their pull tonight and I hope to post some numbers. I am flirting with welding up the frame, as I bought a cheapo-death-wish-stick-welder from Amazon that I LOVE, and steel stays in spec soooo much better than wood (for me).

It sounds like you are going two-way curved? In that case, I would definitely consider stepper motors (half the price of 4-way) and a weight, assuming you won’t need to move it when the meter reader comes like I do. The weighted system just gives you such precise control of the force involved. I would also consider wrapping a wire (connected to a weight) around the tube (holding the mask), then using stepper motors to pull the masks inward. Heck, one stepper motor could easily pull in both masks if you want them symmetrical. It would be faster too if you use the newer stepper library on an Arduino (i can find the link if you need it).

Measurements on spring mechanisms to follow!

Edit: Can you direct me to spring loaded roller tubes for sale? It’s a harder part to find than I thought!
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-16-2020, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinHeadroom View Post
Edit: Can you direct me to spring loaded roller tubes for sale? It’s a harder part to find than I thought!
Any generic pulldown roller blind has an internal spring. The Home Depot type. The standard operation is to pull it down then a clutch stops it. You do a little tug and release to send it back up. You can remove the clutch mechanism so there is continuous tension. Useful for something like a skylight or high window where you have to use a cleat to tie the blind down because you can't reach it directly.

Something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Levolor-SRSHW...dp/B015G8K8ZM/
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY Motorized Dynamic Masking (DYNAMASK 2000)

Bungee Math:

First, my super scientific test bed:



First I checked the pull on the spiral coils.


Just like wikipedia said, they had fairly constant force that was independent of how far i pulled. Unfortunately, they only provided 0.3-0.4 lbs of pull, which is inadequate for the side masks, and definitely inadequate for the bottom. The funny part is I hoped I could just wind the spring tighter, but the whole “constant force” kinda means that will not work.

Next up: 1/8” bungee. It has an “elasticity” of 125%, which means 1 foot can stretch to 2.25 feet (i think, 100% means it can double its length).

Now, obviously when at rest, the force of 1 bungee is 0 lbs.

Time for some metrics:
#Bungees[/URL] Stretch(%) Force (lbs)
1 50 0.9
1 100 2.1
2 50 1.2
2 100 4.3

Pics:


Okay, what did we learn about bungee tensioning properties:
1. They need to be stretched even at their least-stretched position to maintain a force. I’m estimating around 25-50% is a good minimum.
2. The pulling force increases as it is stretched. I’m not sure if this is linear or quadratic, but I probably don’t need to get into it.

So, say I have a 10 foot wide screen, and say I want to pull side masks on motorized rollers towards the center (5 feet each):
- I need bungee in a length that provides reasonable force over the 5 feet.
- I need the minimum length of the bungee to be about 1.25x it’s original (unstretched) length, and the maximum length (e.g. when the mask is fully wound back on it’s roll) to be 2x it’s original (unstretched) length.

This means 5 feet of “mask travel” needs a bungee that, unstretched, conforms to:
2x - 1.25x = 5 feet
.75x = 5 feet
x = 6.66 feet

(The BUNgee OF the BEAST!)

At full extension, when the mask is fully withdrawn, the bungee will stretch 6.66 * 2 = 13’4”
When the mask is fully closed, the 6.66 foot bungee will be stretched 6.66 * 1.25 = 8’4”

The next question that comes to mind: how do I keep that much bungee in a low-profile space? My first thought is using 1 or two fixed pulleys to wrap it up. Designs to follow.

PS- I know this looks like finger painting compared to stuff i read on the DIY subwoofer forum!

PPS- These stretch ratios are actually pretty convenient. A 10’ wide 16:9 screen is 5.625’ tall. At full extension, a bungee can travel half the width of the screen (5’), double back over a pulley (5’), and travel halfway down the height (2.125’). That 12.125’ is already really close to our desired 13’4” at full extension, and it is 5’ + 2.125’ at full withdrawal (with the mask closed)

LUCKILY, this means the SAME bungee should work perfectly for both sides of the mask, and the tension on the top and bottom of the mask will always be the same! Go arithmetic!

Last edited by MinHeadroom; 01-17-2020 at 08:09 AM.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 07:48 AM
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Hurry up already and finalize the recipe!

I plan to start my screenwall build this weekend. If you go back in my thread 10 years this type of masking system is exactly what I wanted back then.
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post #14 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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DIY Motorized Dynamic Masking (DYNAMASK 2000)

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Hurry up already and finalize the recipe!



I plan to start my screenwall build this weekend. If you go back in my thread 10 years this type of masking system is exactly what I wanted back then.


Read above, I think i gotta simple recipe!

Edit: It bears stating- I want the masks to ENTIRELY open and close- it’s a cool iris effect so I figured, “why not?” If your mask travel is significantly less (in relation to your screen size), then this can be done with a lot less bungee.

Last edited by MinHeadroom; 01-17-2020 at 08:20 AM.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 08:23 AM
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I'm away for two days and look what happens! I'm still reading through all this but I've also decided to attempt 4 way masking and have been kicking design ideas around in my head for a while now.

For what it's worth, I'm considering belts and stepper motors with ridgid masking panels.
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post #16 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 09:40 AM
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I always love these complex engineering threads - you guys with this knowledge amaze me. I'm damn handy with woodworking and pretty much anything around the house - but this type of engineering eludes me. Looking forward to following along.
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post #17 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks fellas! @weavinator , I would love if you shared your design!
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post #18 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 01:01 PM
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Thanks fellas! @weavinator , I would love if you shared your design!
I don't have anything to show yet. Once I narrow down some parts choices I will start to prototype.
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I still need to do mine. I’m going to use linear actuators for my CIW masking.
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I still need to do mine. I’m going to use linear actuators for my CIW masking.
You really do, since a copied a bunch of other stuff from your build I could copy that as well
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post #21 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinHeadroom View Post
Read above, I think i gotta simple recipe!

Edit: It bears stating- I want the masks to ENTIRELY open and close- it’s a cool iris effect so I figured, “why not?” If your mask travel is significantly less (in relation to your screen size), then this can be done with a lot less bungee.
You got me thinking about this problem more now, but I would not bother with a full iris effect as there is not much need for the verticals to move very far in my use case. I couldn't see the top and bottom moving more than a few inches where the sides would need to move 6 feet each. I'm thinking I might try to just move the screen border itself for the top and bottom.
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post #22 of 23 Old 01-17-2020, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottAvery View Post
You got me thinking about this problem more now, but I would not bother with a full iris effect as there is not much need for the verticals to move very far in my use case. I couldn't see the top and bottom moving more than a few inches where the sides would need to move 6 feet each. I'm thinking I might try to just move the screen border itself for the top and bottom.


Smart and practical. At a minimum, I would like the mask coming down from the top and the mask coming up from the bottom to close entirely, purely to keep my filthy spawns’ hands off my as of yet unmade screen. Thankfully, I am fond of them
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post #23 of 23 Old Yesterday, 05:47 AM
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worth watching it may give you some ideas:
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