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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Borrowing from Scott Jensen's status thread idea, I thought I would start a thread to keep track of my HT construction. I hope to add pictures as I go. The thread is mostly for my benefit and will help to keep my sanity in check, but I welcome any and all encouragement, criticism, ideas, etc. I, my wife, and my wife's coworker who has some construction background will be the main, if not only, participants in this construction, so it will be a slow but steady progression. We are finishing the rest of the basement in addition to the HT.


Background:


800 square foot unfinished basement.

Partioning off a 14.5'W x 22'L x 8.5'H space for HT

Concrete prefab walls on three sides ( www.superiorwalls.com )

Concrete Floor

Engineered I-Joist No Squeak ceiling


Wednesday: May 7th


Went to Home Depot and bought my first round of wood

60 2x4x10

20 2x6x10

2 2x6x10 Treated

Box 16d Nails


My wife and I loaded/unloaded all this ourselves as HD was short of help :(


$360


Thursday: May 8th - Evening


Framed out back wall in 2x6" with 3' entry door for HT partition. I have a construction friend that's going to give me a 3.0 exterior door. We nailed the base plate to the concrete floor with a 22cal nail gun.


Framed out Equipment Rack in Back Left corner of theater. This job took a lot of time, as we framed it out in 2x6, and then had to fir it out in 2x4's to match up with the end of the concrete superior wall. We also had to channel out some slots for all the equipment wire to make it from the closet to the superior wall system (Hard to visualize, but hopefully pics to follow soon). The equipment rack will face the Theater, but the back will open up into a small closet under the stairs, so I'll have full access to both sides.


Used a pneumatic nail gun and a 22cal nail gun for the first time in my life...How cool ;)


Wish me luck from here on out, and thanks to everyone for all the help! Where possible I'll try to give credit for those whose ideas I've borrowed :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Saturday - May 11


Not much done today. I framed in a second equipment rack at the other end of the basement for my whole house audio equipment, 300DVD changer, second surround receiver for the entertainment area.


I really like the pneumatic nail gun, but I always get shivers of Lethal Weapon 2 and Danny G putting one between the eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sunday - May 12th - Mother's day and a day of rest


Monday - May 13th - Went to Building Department and obtained my Building permit. Started laying out my electrical schematics in ACAD.


Tuesday - May 14th - My Projector is supposed to arrive today!!!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Projector is Here!!!!


Here are my preliminary Electrical schematics...I know for sure I'm going to change the equipment layout, such that the PJ is actually fed from a UPS in the equipment room under the stairs, not straight from the service.


I also need to add some in-line duct fans for circulating air out of the HT.

http://home.earthlink.net/~tiffanypad1/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Geesh...It's already been a week. How time flies.


Wednesday, May 15th thru Tuesday, May 21


Met with the inspector and went over some issues I had with the superior wall system and electrical installation. The walls have holes horizontally for pulling through, but what to do about securing vertical runs to 4000PSI concrete? I called Superior Walls and they recommended using tie-wraps that slip behind the column and through the horizontal holes. When I tried to explain this over the phone to the inspector he was telling me that for concrete I had to run conduit :(


Well, fortunately, when the inspector came by to actually see my delimma, he agreed that I could use tie-wraps....WHEW


So, I have most of the outlets installed and wire pulled into the HT part. I have all the boxes installed in the rest of the basement and will finish that out I hope this weekend. I've also started pulling the speaker cable into the HT area.


Wednesday, May 22


My construction friend came over last night, and we finished furring out all the uneven walls in the basement. 20 2x4's later and all that's left is to nail some 5' 2x4 risers to finish out a knee-wall, and two full length risers in front of a window that will be closed off.


We had some problems with out 22cal nail gun. Either the floor was particularly hard or the shells weak, as most of the nails we had to finish off with a 10lb sledge.


I hope to finish all the electrical over Mem day weekend...Wish me Luck!!
 

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Dang Robert... you're going to catch me and pass me!


Though I have to say I'm feeling inspired and did a lot of wet sanding this past weekend, so I hope to wrap up the drywall patching.


Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sam,


Nah, I won't catch you...I've just got momentum right now because it's all new and fresh. I'm sure I'll hit a wall (figuratively and literally), and my progress will slow. Once you finish sanding and are ready to apply the GOM/TS, let me know if you need help.


PS:


How was Shrek? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thursday, May 23


Finished furring out the knee wall. All walls are now ready for sheetrock :D


Friday, May 24th


Finished Electrical Pulls for Outlets in HT....Time to move onto lighting circuits


Finished Speaker runs including RG6 to a couple of locations for subs. I'm planning for a 7.1 setup, so I pulled the fronts, (oh ****, I forgot the center!), surrounds, and rears.


I can't believe I forgot the center....That's why I sit here and update this thread ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Saturday May 25th


Not much today. Pulled some 18-3 for an IR receiver at the front screen. Pulled some RG6 to a couple of spots for subs. Rath the Center Speaker Wire ;)


Sunday May 26th


Had a cleaning day of dust and debris


We were having friends over, so I lugged everything out of the boxes, setup the speakers and temporarily hooked everything up. Cleaned off the couch and brought some deck chairs down and watched "The Others" on a bedsheet.


Monday May 27th


Packed everything back up :(


Started running electrical outlets for non-HT areas...I'm getting sick of drilling holes and routing cables. I have a new appreciation for electricians.


Wife installed some transparent window decorative film on the one window that gets covered in the HT area. I'm now ready to frame over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Grrrrr.....Heck No....You?


Actually, I'm finishing up my electrical today. At least everything I can run until I build the soffits and install the can lighting. I'm hoping to call out the inspector this week (wish me luck).


BTW, I lucked out like you Sam on the Grafik Eye. I posted a WTB at HTF, and ended up with a 3106 six zone still in the box, plus a remote partition controller and software for ~$350. Anybody need a Lutron partition controller ;)


Hopefully at the end of today, I'll post another update.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Been awhile since I posted an update:


Been piddling around tidying up the electrical for the past week or so.


June 8th - June 9th:


I landed a six zone GE controller, so I ended up with more to run than originally anticipated. For my six zones I ran:


Zone 1 - 8 Can Lights (6 on the side, 2 on the back)

Zone 2 - 2 Can Lights (Stage Area)

Zone 3 - 7 Sconces (6 on the sides, 1 on the back)

Zone 4 - Rope Light Screen Bias Lighting

Zone 5 - Rope Light Riser

Zone 6 - Rope Light Ceiling


After three trips to HD to buy romex, I finally finished up those zones today. I also pulled:


3 Cat5e's from my Equip Room to my Control Room (WholeHouse Audio/Video/HA)


1 speaker cable to my riser for Bass Shakers



I ran out of RG6QS, and HD was sold out as well, so I'll have to go to Lowes tomorrow and get a spool. I have left to run:


3 RG6QS to ceiling for PJ

3 RG6QS to riser for game consoles

2 RG6QS from equip room to control room

1 RG6QS for sub - I cut one a bit short, I want to replace it


I also have to run


1 cat5 from GE to Equip room. The six zone controller I bought also came with the RS232 controller, so I might as well wire it up to be controlled via a PC in the future.


1 12-2 Romex from Equip room to PJ for power. I have to do some calcs to figure out exact location.


Call in the inspector (whew, wish me luck)


ATTENTION - QUESTION:


I wanted to use rockwool for firestopping, but where in the HE** do you find this stuff. I checked Lowes, HD, Building Supply, and another local Elec Wholesale. Everyone carries Fire Caulk, but wool is easier to cram in the holes, and more forgiving if you want to run something else in the hole later. Anybody know of a regular supplier, or anybody in the Raleigh, NC area know of a local carrier?
 

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Robert,


Did you get a remote scene controller for your GE? If so, or if you think you might add one some day, I recommend 2 runs of cat 5: one for the remote scene controller and the other for IR distribution.


Also, check the load of your lights. If you're using 75w bulbs, and 17 sconces and cans are ~1300 watts total or about 140 watts shy of 15amp safety zone (80% * 15a * 120v). I don't recall exactly, but I think rope light is 3-4 watts per foot. I think the GE can accept 2 hots so you might be able to distribute the lighting across 2 circuits. Then again, a 20a circuit may be enough. I can't recall what you were installing.


Sam
 

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Our builder (which probably means nothing :) ) used "Great Stuff" expanding foam between the floors where they had been drilled through...


Really easy, but very permanent...


Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by smchan
Robert,


Did you get a remote scene controller for your GE? If so, or if you think you might add one some day, I recommend 2 runs of cat 5: one for the remote scene controller and the other for IR distribution.


Also, check the load of your lights. If you're using 75w bulbs, and 17 sconces and cans are ~1300 watts total or about 140 watts shy of 15amp safety zone (80% * 15a * 120v). I don't recall exactly, but I think rope light is 3-4 watts per foot. I think the GE can accept 2 hots so you might be able to distribute the lighting across 2 circuits. Then again, a 20a circuit may be enough. I can't recall what you were installing.


Sam
Sam,


I did not get a remote scene controller. I got a partition controller sent with the 3106, but I'm not sure how to apply it. From the little bit of reading I've done on it, it's used to join partitions or separate partions into common zones to be controlled by single or multiple 31xx controllers. So, I don't think I'm going to use it.


Unfortunately, I had not planned for the 3106, so you are right. I'm approaching the limit of my 15a circuit.


Here's my loading breakdown:


7 x 60W sconces = 420W

10 x 60W can lights = 600W


HD has the rope lighting on sale now, $10 for 18' and it is 54W, so assuming 3W per ft:


Riser = 22ft x 3W = 66W

Screen = 30ft x 3W = 90W

Ceiling = 64ft x 3W = 192W


Total = 1368W


Close, I know, but that's worst case...I might drop a couple of the can lights on the sides.


Also, I might go with 50W low voltage cans, further cutting my load.


Anybody have any pro/cons for going with low voltage IC rated 4" cans with imbedded xformer versus full load cans? The full load IC 4" cans are about $20 a pop, whereas the low voltage cans are $35 a pop. It would cost an additional $150 for my setup to with LV.
 

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Good morning, Robert! The advantage of the low voltage over line voltage is that you get more light for less wattage, but the low voltage lights will get hotter. The halogen lights are also "whiter". I have 7 35w low voltage lights over my main floor area, it is extraordinarily bright when I crank them up to full power. In your case, you'd save about 250 watts and probably have more light if you used low voltage cans.


You can also buy the halogen bulbs w/ narrower angle beams which might look cool over your screen.


One caveat is that you ought not mix low voltage with line voltage on the same GE zone, which I don't think is a problem for you.


Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sam,


And a good morning to you too....


One thing I've been debating is the size can too. I seem to recall your low voltage lights were fairly small in diameter. Did you go with a mini-type light or were yours 4"?


The reason I'm debating is that my sconces for low effect lighting will be centered between each column. The down lighting from the cans will be in the soffits but positioned in front of the columns. The columns will be at least 10" deep to house my speakers, so add another 4" in front of that for the light plus another 3" on either side of the light, that's a 20" soffit. Not huge, but not small either. If I can cut down that 4" diameter, and cut down the space between the hole and the column and edge of the soffit, then I can make my soffit a bit smaller.


The crude diagram below shows what I'm doing (standing beneath the soffit, looking up), with the 'O' representing the light. Ignore the '.' placeholders.


_________

......|

____l

...O

_________
 

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My lights are 4 inch lights. I'm having a difficult time visualizing your setup, but do want to point out that a 4 inch light does not imply it'll fit neatly in a 4 inch space. The box, transformer, etc require space above - but I'm sure you know this. I think there are measurements at the lighting web site I sent sometime back.


Another point is you ought to stick with magnetic transformers if you go low voltage. Electronic ones are more problematic with the GE.


Sam
 

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Robertmee, the rope light you got from Home Depot for $10 for 18 feet.... Is it the stuff they sell by the 18" increments, or is it pre-packaged in an 18' length? The reason why I ask is because you normally cannot cut the pre-determined lengths that they sell. If you got the stuff they sell by the 18" length, then you can only cut it on the 18" increments that they have marked. If you cut it somewhere else, you will knock out a section. If it is an 18' section that is pre-packaged and it doesn't say anything on there about cutting it to lenght, then you cannot cut it.


I am mentioning this because I don't want you to cut them all to length and have them not work and have to buy new stuff over again, like I did!
 
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