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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all, just doing some R&D on some screen paints/materials. I tried my hand at making my own Black Widow which the blacks were good but I was totally against having a negative gain. So I went the opposite direction and painted with just the auto air aluminum from the Black Widow mix. It resulted in a nice bright high gain screen that almost disappeared when not in the "sweet spot". Next up I tried out the Silver Fire mix, it seemed to be a very well balanced screen paint and I was definitely impressed. the colors were bright daytime visibility shot through the roof (since my new house has ALOT of skylights and windows:mad:), the viewing angle is better than high gain screens but not as good as matte paint (totally worth the viewing cone, just put the friends you don't like as much off to the side) . But as good as Silver Fire is it does have some obvious cons: Glittery bright colors, total white screens look grayish, and mixing the paint takes skill patience AND SOME MATH:eek:! Anyways this post isn't to bash Silver fire, I think they did a great job making the paint. Rather for those of us that like instant gratification I've found probably the closest result to Silver Fire already mounted to an extremely sturdy board! I work for a GM dealership so when they were remodeling I had first pic of the leftover side paneling. I thought to myself "self, that would be a good flat surface to paint onto for a projector screen" So I took 2 home and to my surprise the panels had a bunch of gain, not only that they were almost smooth as glass. They definitely massacred my old white screen day or night. The panels are already 16:9 ratio and are roughly 110" the perfect living room/bedroom size. I'll post some pics so you guys tell me what you guys think. I'll also post pics comparing the screen to my roll down silver fire screen on top and the paneling on the bottom, but first I'll post pics of the silver fire screen so you know what its being compared to.
 

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How dark (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is that SilverFire screen?

Any idea if there's an easy way to get some of that "hey look, a screen" paneling?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Silver Fire I used Was roughly 2.75 since there was a lot of colorant that got caught in the straining sock and I was shooting for 3.0. As far as getting more of these boards I asked the manager of the dealer and he contacted the lead contractor for me and all he said was the can be ordered online and there are several options, and that I should search for AGC online. I couldn't find anything but I only looked for 15minutes or so. One thing you could do If you cant find anything online, is look for a dealer that has had a similar remodel (see pic) and ask somebody in charge if they have any extra sheets. My dealer had 3 or 4 leftover, I got my hands on 2 of them but one was scratched up and bent but made some good shelf replacement for an entertainment center that had broken glass shelves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My manager probably heard "AGC" but the Best match I found says "AGT Aluminum Gray". And WOW I think they just sent me some samples for free!!!!:eek: I'll let you guys know when it gets here if it is the right one or not.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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What sizes are available? How consistently available is the material? Can it be easily cut and / or mounted? How many "colors" are in fact acceptable to use? Cost?

Until such questions can be fully answered and effectively explored, I think a more appropriate title would be... "Possibly Potential Alternative to Silver Fire under distinct and select circumstances".

Until then....keep up the exploration. Find us a true, multi use, variable sized, infinitely adjustable alternative to SF. Please!

You will be "Legend". :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Will do I've got 10 samples coming there seems to be ton of different options including mica coated boards and custom colors. I will post more pics once they arrive. It seems as if after you get the samples you have to email the company and inquire about price and sizes etc. I will definitely keep you guys posted once I learn the price and size limitations. As for cutting I cut my spare piece with a skill saw, not too sure how good it was on the blade but it sure cut like wood. I got mine mounted up today, I took it to a metal working shop were they had a metal bending tool so I had the edges bent around an aluminum frame then I riveted the board to the frame, it gives it a real professional look and almost looks like a black diamond type screen once mounted. The other way I was thinking on mounting it was screwing it to the wall on the outer edges then cover the screw holes with a black border.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok who's ready for some more grainy camera phone screenshots!?:D I've taken some more comparison shots between my freebee screen and a board painted with silver fire 2.75-3.0ish on the right and just the components from the reflective list of silver fire on the left (pearl, silver, gold, Behr 1850).


And before you yell at me Mississippi Man (Just kidding I love your input, your like the Judge Judy of AVS) please reference the 1st pic, I calibrated the brightness and contrast of the projector to the silver fire just to make it a fair battle between these two Titans of "Sticking it to the Man"™.


Oh and if you were wondering if my freebee screen hot spots, it does a tiny bit mostly on pure white scenes and could probably be corrected by moving my projector up on the wall a bit, but the hotspot is so miniscule that I didn't even notice it until I reviewed some of these pictures, because my camera adjusts its brightness to the brightest part in its view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok I managed to dig up the board sizes available for order but still waiting on a reply about pricing. "STANDARD PANEL SIZE
Standard stock widths are 50" (1270mm) and 62" (1575mm) and lengths of 146" (3708mm) and 196" (4978mm). Panels are stocked in 4mm thickness. Standard crate is 30 pieces. Custom lengths and thickness available. Please contact ALPOLIC Customer Service for current available stock and additional information."

If my math is correct (correct me if I'm wrong) that means that the biggest possible screen that isn't "custom ordered" would be 158" diagonal when using 2.39:1 aspect ratio. And for 16:9 126" diagonal is as big as they will go. No material can compete with the size of screens that painting can make, but I'd imagine that the board sizes available should accommodate about 85-90% of people's ManCave/theater needs.

And here are a few colors/finishes available, there are a lot more options than this on there website, so I believe that there has got to be at least handful of potential screens with different attributes and black/white levels. I'm mostly interested in the metallic and mica ones.:D
 

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Ok I managed to dig up the board sizes available for order but still waiting on a reply about pricing. "STANDARD PANEL SIZE
Standard stock widths are 50" (1270mm) and 62" (1575mm) and lengths of 146" (3708mm) and 196" (4978mm). Panels are stocked in 4mm thickness. Standard crate is 30 pieces. Custom lengths and thickness available. Please contact ALPOLIC Customer Service for current available stock and additional information."

If my math is correct (correct me if I'm wrong) that means that the biggest possible screen that isn't "custom ordered" would be 158" diagonal when using 2.39:1 aspect ratio. And for 16:9 126" diagonal is as big as they will go. No material can compete with the size of screens that painting can make, but I'd imagine that the board sizes available should accommodate about 85-90% of people's ManCave/theater needs.

And here are a few colors/finishes available, there are a lot more options than this on there website, so I believe that there has got to be at least handful of potential screens with different attributes and black/white levels. I'm mostly interested in the metallic and mica ones.:D
I would be careful about the mica finished panels. The description says that the mica finish gives a subtle variegated look. That would not be good for picture quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would be careful about the mica finished panels. The description says that the mica finish gives a subtle variegated look. That would not be good for picture quality.

Thanks for the input, and I totally agree with that but my interest in the mica panels was because in their sample pictures the panels seem to have a TON of metal flake, and its LRV ('light reflectant value") is higher than the one that I have. The odds of it making a good screen are pretty slim, but nevertheless I cant wait to see the results.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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My own experience with such high Mica content (Brushed or Matte) panels has shown them to be ultra Retro Reflective and have very excessive "Graininess".

This has held true with panels similar to the ones your trying as well as composite Waffle Core Aluminum Clad sheets. You simply cannot have such a high concentration of metallic flakes lying flay against a surface without experiencing the adverse effect they present when hit with direct light.

Basically it's all a "been there, done that" kinda thingee (2006-7) pursued under the guise of trying to find a "paint-less" app. I traveled to the Mfg's plant and personally experimented with several sheets, the Silver Metallic being the most effective, but the high degree of granulation made it wholly unacceptable unless viewed from such a distance that it's size became moot.

But seeing is believing.....so forge ahead. :cool:
 

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I'd say the shade and flake-size (and finish-coat) might be enough to save even a ridiculously high-mica mix..though unlikely because the things that make a good screen make a more subtle and boring sign.
Then again, I'd think this whole sign that works in the first place would be super unlikely for the exact same reason, yet here we are. And the one in the shots looks better than I would've thought a flashy sign would.

If the sign color is bright enough, it won't provide a contrasting background to "set off" the sparkle..so lighter shades should help un-sparkle the high-mica versions.
If the flake-size is ultra small, the different brightness levels from different flakes facing different directions will be made much more subtle..helping un-sparkle the screen.
If the finish-coat is either thick enough or slightly translucent enough to diffuse some light, that'll help blend the light/dark sections created by the different angled flakes which will result in less sparkle.

Like I said, unlikely, but this while thing is somewhat unlikely so WHO KNOWS?

..the shadow knows
...soon, frozen_hamster will know.
They'll be "in the know" together.
 

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DIY Granddad (w/help)
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This "Shadow" knows of a certain already.

That "other" Shadow and the frozen_Rodent are gonna be out of luck.

.....and I'll step out into broad daylight and say that the full on-full sized images shown above show very obvious centralized hot spotting. Any material that has even more mica content that is NOT mitigated by a masking agent is going to be even worse.

...and I cannot fathom how one could expect the mica particles as applied as a coating on such sheets to in any way be arrayed in / at different angles. I don't want to come off too obtrusively but all I read is sheer guessing. Well Guys...I KNOW....I have been there before, across a very many different substrates, and unless the Silver Metallic coatings represent the same multilayer approach of the particles "suspended" in a translucent medium as S-I-L-V-E-R, they will be positioned FLAT...and the result will be a mirror-like reflection when a directed bright light is shown on the surface.

Unless they are so dull as to render them moot as far as being anything bright enough to outperform any basic light Gray.

Gosh Durn...I wanna encourage experimentation, but I see so many wrongful dissertations and what amounts to nothing more than assumptions that if I don't come in and tell it as it is, then I'm guilty of simply letting people waste time and money on efforts that have been explored and dismissed before.

Know this as well...if there was even a remote chance that there was a hope....I would not have posted any of the above. But clarity and correctness is in woeful demand here, so there it all is.
 

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In that case I'm guessing these signs aren't constructed like an industrial version of a metal-flaked vehicle where mica/aluminum is suspended in a translucent mix that is sprayed on over a few layers and then clear-coated?

What cheaper way of manufacturing is there than spray, bake, repeat?
These must be some fancy signs..or perfectly normal ones as I know admittedly little about signs.

Not that I'm expecting miracles either, but it'd be neat to find out if this place is making their product any different. Especially through free samples.
Are small free/cheap samples normal fare with sign places?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In that case I'm guessing these signs aren't constructed like an industrial version of a metal-flaked vehicle where mica/aluminum is suspended in a translucent mix that is sprayed on over a few layers and then clear-coated?

What cheaper way of manufacturing is there than spray, bake, repeat?
These must be some fancy signs..or perfectly normal ones as I know admittedly little about signs.

Not that I'm expecting miracles either, but it'd be neat to find out if this place is making their product any different. Especially through free samples.
Are small free/cheap samples normal fare with sign places?
They let me choose 10 samples for free no shipping or anything. As for how they are made they have little cutaway diagrams that show the layers of material used depending on the type of panel use (see pics).
 

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Now if they made a Top Coating that was optically pure and actually diffusive only to a point where is suppressed overt reflectivity, that might actually work...leastwise as a highly directional Retro Reflective surface.

But the description "Clear Prismatic" doesn't sound like anything close to what would be desirable...except to have a pretty, brilliant Panel.

"Solid Mica"? Ow........doesn't bode well for acceptable results.

Free samples are certainly worth the risk...which is nil. Despite my prior post, ya gotta know I'm pluggin' for a good report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This "Shadow" knows of a certain already.

That "other" Shadow and the frozen_Rodent are gonna be out of luck.

.....and I'll step out into broad daylight and say that the full on-full sized images shown above show very obvious centralized hot spotting. Any material that has even more mica content that is NOT mitigated by a masking agent is going to be even worse.

...and I cannot fathom how one could expect the mica particles as applied as a coating on such sheets to in any way be arrayed in / at different angles. I don't want to come off too obtrusively but all I read is sheer guessing. Well Guys...I KNOW....I have been there before, across a very many different substrates, and unless the Silver Metallic coatings represent the same multilayer approach of the particles "suspended" in a translucent medium as S-I-L-V-E-R, they will be positioned FLAT...and the result will be a mirror-like reflection when a directed bright light is shown on the surface.

Unless they are so dull as to render them moot as far as being anything bright enough to outperform any basic light Gray.

Gosh Durn...I wanna encourage experimentation, but I see so many wrongful dissertations and what amounts to nothing more than assumptions that if I don't come in and tell it as it is, then I'm guilty of simply letting people waste time and money on efforts that have been explored and dismissed before.

Know this as well...if there was even a remote chance that there was a hope....I would not have posted any of the above. But clarity and correctness is in woeful demand here, so there it all is.

Thanks for your honesty, you are definitely correct the image on the panel is definitely center weighted as I stated earlier that it does have a bit of a hot spot. I purposely uploaded the images that showed the hotspot in its worst form because I wanted to convey this screens obvious pros and cons and have a "control" to compare it to (silver fire), instead of looking at things from a bias view. Since noticing the hotspot I have moved my projector up about 35" above the top of the screen like what is recommended when using high gain hot spotty screens. The result shows a more evenly dispersed image with no more hot spot, is it as even as a matte screen or silver fire? No but if someone out there is willing to sacrifice a little bit of center weighted-ness for a super bright TV like image in ambient conditions as extreme as mine they might consider a solution like this. Remember my house has skylights galore, glass doors and a sun room next to the living room with the projector, and a opening in between the two rooms to let the SUN in(not just ambient light I've got a friggin SUN beaming onto the screen for 2hrs a day) and these are the conditions that I've tried to capture while the screen still produces a mildly center weighted watchable image(when the projector is at the correct angle). That fact alone makes this material leaps and bounds ahead of a white screen in ambient light situations.

With all do respect it seems like your telling me that I've hit a dead end, but with the amount of light I have in my living room I actually prefer the panel over silver fire because it brighter and the whites are white and not gray, as far as my 3 windowed bedroom setup goes, silver fire is my preferred screen for that lighting situation. This type of solution may not be for everybody but I'm doing my best to show and comment on the panel's pros and cons honestly so that if anyone purchases one on my suggestion they should know what to expect. I'm defiantly not trying to sway anyone by saying this is the best screen for all situations or anything. I'm simply trying report my finds to fellow DIYer's who might be interested in a bright screen with similar properties as silver fire without having to mix or spray anything. I will say SF makes a more balanced screen and sacrifices intense brightness for a great viewing cone, but if painting isn't an option for whatever reason, there's not too many other options that I've seen that gets close to SF.


If you prefer I keep the results of the samples to myself I will respect that.
 

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Thanks for your honesty,


If you prefer I keep the results of the samples to myself I will respect that.
Not at all sure why you would gather that is my preference or intent, especially owning to the last line in my last post above.

When people make those sort of statements they usually want others to weigh in or support their efforts in rebuttal. You need not go there....just take my own observations to breast and use them as needed or desired...or not.

You might nail down a great solution...and I for one would never lament that sort of thing.

But some of the discussion has tended to ignore or misrepresent known values and facts, and when that occurs I will pipe up.

Nothing personal...and in fact your own reports have been very balanced so my comments were not really directed squarely at you anyway.
 
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