: Black Ice Theater construction
2006-10-27, 01:12 AM
To be honest, the only first hand example I have is from when I worked in computer field engineering. Occaisionally we'd have inter-cabinet data comm problems and found that we could solve them by ensuring the cabinets where on the same side of the panel. These cabinets usually had a dedicated circuit each. Often those dedicated circuits came from adjacent breakers so where from oposite "phases".
But you're talking about different things. Most residential uses split-single phase and commercial buildings of any size use proper 3-phase power. On one building I know, the power comes in a 11kv (3 phase), gets stepped down to 600v (3 phase), and in each electrical room there's a final transformer to step it down to 120v. Every third breaker is on the same phase. Using 2 phases gets you 208 instead of 240 because of the phase difference. I think you can get ground loops in comm equipment when they're on different phases.
In a house the Neutrals and the Grounds all go back to the same place so it shouldn't matter.
2006-10-27, 11:36 AM
Man.....i've been watching this thread for a little bit and COOL. I am also in the process of framing/wiring my basement.
Some notes i will make comment on:
- as for the vapour barrier......em is probably correct....however this has seemed to change so much over time....and nobody can give a straight answer anymore. I originally thought that VB all the way to the floor was the way to go....but the other way makes sense too. So do what you think is right...and live with it. Cause i can guarantee what you do now.......will change in 5 years anyways.
- the walls. I can't see them floating. Might not have heaving in your area....but where i live in Saskatchewan.....it is a necessity to have the walls floating!
- the HTPC..is very nice. I am just in the process of getting my parts for mine. Will be similar (in some ways) to yours. Can you expand on a little on setup and stuff? I am a techy....but not sure which route to go for this.
Otherwise......looks great and i will eventually post pics of my basement for comments. Nice work!
For an external stud wall construction in a basement, given everything I've read/learned, is constructed more or less by: (BTW, don't confuse moisture barrier with vapour barrier)
1) Seal any foundation cracks for possible seepage. I used a DIY polyurethane injection kit since I only had static cracks.
2) Apply a "moisture" barrier on the concrete. I used black tar paper with poly adhesive. You *must* only apply the black tar paper from a couple of inches above grade level to the floor. Leave the above grade portion of the wall uncovered so that the wall can breath (believe or not through the concrete).
3) Frame your stud wall, make sure you put gasket under the sole plate if going directly on concrete. If you are planning to use dri-core on the slab, put in the dri core *first* then frame on top of that. Note that you don't need a gasket for wood on wood. Optionally, you can use Owens Corning FoamSealr (closed cell foam gasket; usually used for sill plates) as a integrity gasket (poor man's decoupling) for both the sole plate and the top plate. Do note that some building codes state you must use a double top plate. Since my stud walls are not load-bearing, such construction is not necessary in my case and not doing it saves some 2 by's.
4) Do wiring of outlets using plastic seal trays for the outlets. Insulate using minimum R12. Insulation beyond 20" below grade does absolutely squat so don't go over board; insulation above grade IS important. I'm insulating using Roxul mineral wool insulation for sound absorbtion/isolation and its fire properties so I'm doing this from top to bottom. Make sure you double up between the floor joists and DON"T COMPRESS/COMPACT the insulation (it lowers R value).
5) Staple 6 mil plastic vapour barrier to the studs from the floor (with the bottom edged sealed with acoustic sealant) up to the bottom of the upstairs floor with between floor joists sealed. ALL seams are taped including the plastic trays for the outlets. In the case of sole plate gasket, that is taped/sealed to the vapour barrier.
Notes: Interior stud walls do not require vapour barrier except in high moisture areas (like bathrooms). If you are insulating interior studs, a construction fabric (ideal), kraft paper, or even fabric backed building wrap (thats what I'm using) helps since it keeps down the fiber dust and eases installation.
So... that's my receipe so far. The only addition is I'm putting strips of FoamSealR on all stud surfaces as a integrity gasket for decoupling. I'll decide later if I will double drywall/GG later, it depends on my construction technique's performance. (This means that I will do another full mockup before trim out). The only concern I have is the ceiling and it's decoupling... so far, due to budget, I'm leaning towards furring strips, FoamSealR gasket, and drywall. In my case, RCSIC clips are just to expensive both money and construction wise. From what I read, furring strips do provide some decoupling according to the info on http://www.greengluecompany.com/.
I'm not familar with the term "floating walls" but I assume you meant stud walls on dri-core or sub-floor.
I'll be upgrading my HTPC (yet again!) with additional hardware encoders (Haupauge WinTV-150). As well, I have to deal with fan noise (the CPU fan that is; the rest is quiet) because once it goes into the equipment closet I don't want to hear it.
That's about it for now...
2006-11-27, 01:53 PM
Christmas is Coming...
It's been a month since I last posted so I figured that I'll do a quick recap on my efforts to date. Time wise I've been busy so my time spent on the HT has diminished... can't be helped with the Christmas crush at work.
HT Design has Landed!
My HT design is finally set in stone... It's interesting how things have changed since I started. First up is the removal of the soffits on the side. I did this since once the riser goes in my ceiling height on the platform goes down to just above 6.5'. Soffits would be in the way so they have to go. But what about the ducts, wiring, etc.? I looked for a solution and I found it in a well-know theater called the Silver Theater. The designer, Eberson, used a center soffit as part of a art deco design which highlights the screen. This was my answer... So I will now have a center soffit 4" x 13" which contains a stack duct, wires, etc. where both vents and returns are connected. My proscenium is simplified with the elimination of steps and a the addition of a 4-6" curtain valance. Lighting consists of 3 pot lights (4-5") on each side of the center soffit (6 total) with rope/cove lighting around the 2 perimeters of the soffit-walls (crown molding 4" down from ceiling). 3 pot lights for the stage and low-profile wall sconces for the side walls. I'm going to splurge in buying 4 Polk Audio in-wall speakers to finish the clean wall look. Haven't thought about sound treatments, decor, etc. yet.
I've decided on the sound proofing/decoupling technique I will be using. I've already framed decoupled walls using both double stud/staggered stud walls. The stud surfaces (and ceiling joists) will have strips of closed cell gasket (FoamSealR) applied to them. The ceiling will get furring strips and more gasket with 1/2" high density (purple) drywall for mass. Note that the underside of the upstairs floor with have Sonopan attached with Roxul Safe'N'Sound insulation. The walls will get standard 1/2" drywall except for the proscenium (it gets high density). The projector mount will be done on a decoupled beam so it doesn't shake when somebody walks upstairs.
Lights... camera... You get the idea!
Well, the equipment that I currently have is:
- Hitachi PJTX100 Ultravision Front Projector (16:9/1280 x 720 native)
- 110" DIY screen, blackout fabric coated with Goo Systems Digital Grey Lite
- Pioneer VSX-1015TX AV Receiver, 7.1 THX Select 2 certified
- 2 Tannoy tower speakers
- Celestion center speaker
- Celestion 12" downfiring subwoofer
- 4 Polk Audio In-Wall surround speakers
- ButtKicker BKA1000-4A Amplifier
- 2 ButtKicker LFE
- Rogers branded SA Explorer HD3250
- Microsoft XBOX 360 with HD DVD external drive
- Harmony 880 remote
- DIY Home Theater PC
My current status is waiting on the electrian to rough in the wiring for lighting which includes up-n-coming purchase of a Lutron 3504 Grafik Eye, light cans, etc. During this time the ducting (center soffit) is coming together quite nicely.
Well... that all I can think of right now...
2006-11-28, 07:37 PM
Sounds like its going to be one heck of a cool room.
Can I come over one day to see it (ill bring the popcorn)I could probably hitch to Ottawa.
2006-11-29, 03:18 PM
Moving onto the riser, I picked up all the lumber that I will need to build it. That consisted of 7 2x8s, 4 sheets of T&G OSB flooring, 2 sheets of 3/8" rough plywood, and 3 packs of 2" hard rubber feet (4 per pack). The remaining lumber I already have. So here is the receipe that I will be using:
For the riser, it will made with 2x4 laid flat with the rubber feet underneath in a rectangle of the riser (it will have a curved front). The top surface of the 2x4 will get sill gasket. Then the 2x8 joists will span across the short run of the rectangle with front ends cut to the shape of the curve. The 3/8" plywood is cut to measure and applied to the front with glue/nails. More glue on the front, another layer of plywood; wash, rinse, repeat. After four layers, I get 1.5" thickness and framing nails into the joists. Next up is the 1x3 on top of the joists with glue/nails. The front 1x3 which will provide a 1.75" overhang on the front will be curved through kerf cuts and wetting the wood. Lastly, the T&G flooring goes down screwed and glued matching the overhang in the front. Note that before the flooring goes down, wiring and insulation goes in. Also, before the endjoists go in I'll add a strip of Sonopan so that the Butt Kicker doesn't translate into the stud wall.
Before anybody says it, yes! this will be a permanent feature since the room is build to task (a "Home Theater"). Too many things would have to change (ie. ducts, wiring, etc.) to use the room any other way.
With the above, I get a 10.5" height riser. With my ceiling being 7' 8" high minus 3.25" stack duct minus 3/4" for drywall (1/2" + 1/4" space) leaves 6' 5.5". That doesn't really matter since it is only above the center of the rear seating. Next up is the steps which will be made in the same manner except using 2x4s and no rubber feet.
Well, that's the plan, now to execute it is another story...
2006-12-14, 01:41 PM
I was doing some Christmas shopping at Walmart and came across this stereo equipment rack. I thought it was identical to the one I already have in my family room (they look alike) but it was different. Being quite cheap (~$120) I bought it since I had this idea that I could mod the rack to be in-wall (I came up with the idea when looking at my old rack; but there were some drawbacks). As it turns out, the rack was different and could be easily modded. The only change was to cut/trim off the bottom lip/edge. When I trim out the wall, a matte black jam and casing will make look like it was custom made into the wall. Note that the glass door wasn't put on (so it doesn't get broken).
Here is the results:
The only downside is the only three shelves... need more. I might buy another one of these racks to get the extra shelves and cut it down (an extensive mod) to fit above the full one.
What do you think?
Why not build custom shelves? MDF is great stuff to work with in this application. I plan to build something similar but it will include a library unit on either side and a space for the LCD. Being recessed your build would only require a bit of trim.
2006-12-14, 04:59 PM
My original plan was to build a DIY rack using MDF and shelf standards. But when I was looking for the hardware (for my screen; uses heavy duty shelf angles to make the screen float in the proscenium), it was getting up there $$ wise. I would have to buy standards/rails, brackets, MDF (2 sheets), paint, door hardware, and plexiglass. On top of that, I have to transport the MDF and get it downstairs (using my helpers me, myself, and I :) ). Then I got to rip the necessary cuts on my table saw, inhale alot of MDF dust, and put the thing together while not upsetting my wife about being missing in action for not getting ready for Christmas.
Being able to skip to the finished product... priceless! Essentially it works out better time wise and may even be cheaper in the long run. Actually, I will be doing a enclosure above the rack for the LCD monitor (hard to see in the original picture); it doesn't need to be behind glass.
My *real* motivation is to have the HT operational (walls optional) for Christmas; Santa Claus is bringing me the Superman Collection (the 14 DVDs one) and Gears of War/DOA Extreme Vollyball for the 360... :) got to watch that on the big screen!
2006-12-14, 05:12 PM
Yah, trim it now while the wall is open.
2006-12-15, 11:36 AM
I just received two 50' rolls of damper mat from B-Quiet. I'm using the B-Quiet Extreme to line the outside of my stack duct that goes down the center of the HT. Hopefully, this will stop any sound from reverberating inside the duct either from the floor above (impact noise), sound from the HT, or the pangs of flexing sheet metal. I chose this material since it used for high temp areas (it's normally used in automotive) so it should be good for ducts. Also it has an adhesive backing so no duct/metal tape required.
I started the ducting last night by moving an existing duct and moving some electrical for a temporary light. Since my projector mount will be part of the center duct, ie. the return vent will originate from the projector mount/box (which will be semi-sealed except where the projector exhaust fan is). From the box will be take offs to the HT vents. Air flow may be boosted by an inline booster duct fan and a temperature switch but this may be a future feature; I'm just thinking ahead.
2006-12-18, 10:53 AM
This weekend has been a busy time but I managed to progress on the HT front. First up was some additional work on the equipment rack by putting in some MDF on the rack's base and leveling it out. Outstanding is the LCD hood/bay above the rack, but I'll get to that later. Next up is the screen wall/mount since projector/screen position is important before I get into permanent structure like the center duct. Due to the shape of the proscenium, doing the screen wall/mount was simple: put in two studs pependicular to the screen and use some HD shelf brackets. I use french cleats on the top to hold the screen and the bottom keeps the screen level plum. It's easier to see in a pic:
As you might have guessed, the screen is removable just by lifting it up slightly. Also, screen looks like it's floating in mid air as this picture shows of the final product:
Matching the screen, I also started on the projector mount. This consists of two 2x8s nailed together with 2x8 square blocking to make up the beam. This isolates the projector from the floor joists so if anybody walks upstairs the projector doesn't shake. The beam spans from wall to wall. In its center, I will put some metal angle brackets forming a ledge which the projector mount will be bolted to. Also, it will be boxed in with appropriate power/cable outlets. The result will be a mount that can be adjusted laterally, where as the height can be controlled by the length of pipe used in the mount. Here's a pic of my current progress:
That's all for now,
2007-02-21, 03:55 PM
Sorry for not posting for awhile... Family matters have interjected several times that required many trips to the States. In fact I'm driving again to the States this weekend so I don't have any new pics to put up.
But I had to post since it's been a year since I started this thread. My HT current status is that I've built out the the projector mount and got the ductwork, conduit, and wiring done. Also I've built out the equipment rack, mount points for all the speakers including the centre *above* the screen. Everything is wired nicely through the joists/studs. All I got remaining is to terminate the wiring nicely with outlet boxes and running the final Cat-5, cable, and RG6 (for subwoofer, butt kickers).
Next up is electrical with a Grafik Eye, pot lights, sconces, and outlets. Sonopan for the above subfloor, insulation, VB, and drywall! Still alot to do... following that will be the riser and the stage. Almost done... trim out. Anyway that's the plan... now I just need to find the time. :D
That's it for now...
2007-03-01, 04:34 PM
As promised I have some quick pics of my projector mount. The interesting thing about my mount is that it is future proofed and ventilated. Since a pic is worth a thousand words...
The first question you might have is how is this future proofed? Well, it has to do with my Hitachi Ultravision projector and its offset lens. Basically, I wanted to avoid any lens shift since image quality/focus is affected as the image is shifted to the edges of the lens. This was the discerning factor in my design. Ideally, I wanted to position the projector's lens center exactly in the center of the screen.
First of all, this is not exactly possible in the vertical axis but was minimized using a longer pipe in the mount. I could do this since I put my projector slightly behind the first row's center seat headrest. In that location it cannot be hit (from a tall person) but is up enough not to block the view of the rear seats. Of course it is adjustable by using a different length of pipe.
But what about the horizontal? Obviously, I had a problem with the lateral/horizontal position because of the lens offset. A different projector may have a different offset and/or different center of gravity for the mount point thus said projector would require the mount to move. Not a big deal with some HT, but with mine and a center soffit its a problem. As the above pic shows, I used two long metal L brackets that allowing the mount plate and flange (the wood block) to be moved horizontally. This means that if I get another projector/mount, I don't have to do major surgery to the structure.
Ventilation? The MDF frame seen in the pic is for my center stack return/duct (@ 3 1/4" by 10") which will attach to the front and back of the mount hence enclosing the innards of the mount. My plan is to build a custom opening that will have a mini shroud/duct that will redirect the projector's fan exhaust into the mount enclosure. If noise becomes a factor, I could move to a full hush box with this design. I'll be putting in wiring for a temperature switch for a inline duct booster fan.
Here is a few pics of my progress... I mocked up the theater for Christmas. This is the seats with the new mount; note that the duct work has yet to be put in, its sitting on the floor in the adjacent room (I'm still putting on the sound dampening material on the ducts).
The Christmas toys... a PS3 (BlueRay baby!) and a HD DVD addon to the XBOX 360. Notice the growing pile of BD/HD DVD disks.
2007-03-01, 04:43 PM
The screen view....
I've still got a way to go... Next up is to do the electrical. My hope is to get the drywall up, which from my POV, is the major hump and downhill from there.
That's all for now...
2007-04-12, 04:36 PM
You would think that this would be the best time to work on the ol'theater... but I just take a deep breath, unable to pry myself away from watching hockey on the big screen. I know I have to do my taxes... maybe I can escape the rut I've fallen into (the brighter side of things :) since I won't be getting much of a refund) by doing them not at the last minute.
How does one build a home theater without succumbing to the urge watch movies, hockey, play xbox360/ps3, etc.? This is where one contemplates hiring a contractor to finish the job... Does anyone else feel that such DIY builds drag on due to <insert reason here>?
I'm also bummed out because my XBOX 360 died (it was a launch machine) after its one year warranty was up (Microsoft extended it from 90 days). The problem was a known hardware defect for launch machines; mine didn't suffer it until now after the warranty. :(
2007-04-12, 05:26 PM
I identify completely. I too hooked up the electronics before finishing, then took trips, moved on to other projects, got lazy etc. For me it's also the old "shoemakers kids" syndrome where I spend all day teaching this stuff, talking this stuff, learning this stuff, then come home and want to do something else.
However, the flooring goes in next week. Then trim, cabinetry and paint. We're getting close.
And remember, if this is the biggest problem you have, you're living pretty well.
2007-05-01, 02:31 PM
That's the sound my wallet makes when I have to fork over $1.54 per metre for cat-5e plenum. No regular cat-5 plenum was available, which is what I normally buy, at the Home Depot close to home. BTW, there is no real difference in riser cable to plenum cable... its just the outer sheathing... I find that plenum sheathing holds up better in dry air (doesn't crack/dry out) and resists abrasion (like the conditions found in a plenum :) ).
Besides that, it bugs me how things are pushed onto [unsuspecting]consumers only as a money grab. Case in point, when inquiring about the regular cat-5, I was asked what I will be using it for. I mentioned that I'm wiring my home theatre with gigabit Ethernet (1000BaseT) which the reply was that regular cat-5 would not work and I needed cat-5e. In sets frustration...
Well, I did data cabling in a former lifetime and know the specs for 1000BaseT, it does NOT specify any new cat-5... regular cat-5 works just fine! (Gee, I wonder how many business out there ripped out their existing cat-5 to put cat-5e? Answer: none.)
There is a caveat, however, the spec also assumes that the cat-5 is correctly cabled. In my case, every room in my house has a network drop using cat-5 cable, correctly cabled (ie. punch down blocks, <= 3 wire sements between jacks, no parallel run along electrical, no sharp bends, no kinked cat-5 when installing, and proper support via nylon cable fasteners/ties). I popped in a D-Link 8 port gigabit switch a while back and I've been running 1Gbit for quite sometime without problems.
Now I'm not saying the cat-5e doesn't improve things, it does. All that cat-5e provides is more wiggle room in the tolerances of signal-noise ratio and crosstalk susceptibility. This extra wiggle room may be appropriate for someone not familar with cabling... but it is my experience that simple setups typically don't have such problems to begin with. BTW, if someone tries to pawn off cat-6 for 10/100/1000BaseT, they're selling snake oil because it's for something entirely different. And don't get me started about how increased MHz means better bandwidth...
Any way, I bought the cat-5e plenum, RG-6, blocks, connector, low volt j-boxes, etc. and started the data wiring... I'll have pics when it's all done. I didn't finish since I forget a telephone/cat-3 cable and the inwall speaker cable for the ButtKickers... But I did find an interesting connector for RCA jacks... it uses 2 pair cat-3 cable for runs less than 40 ft. Since this is for my sub run, I tried it and it seems to work well.
All for now....
2007-05-14, 05:22 PM
As a Mother's day gift for my wife and my mother-in-law, I promised to put the Portuguese (RTPi) channel on my media network and build a dirt-cheap HTPC for the in-laws which will link to my HTPC and stream the channel. Since this is a digital channel (SD), Ottawa has OTA HDTV (CBOT-DT & CBOFT-D), and my disk space is filling up I decided to tweak my HTPC (upgrade is to strong of a word).
Basically, I added two 500GB SATA drives to the existing space (pushing my media space into the 2TB (Yep... TeraBytes) realm. Since I'm out of PCI slots, I replaced my DIVCO Fusion ATSC tuner card with a Hauppauge HVR-1600 card. This card acts as a dual tuner with my Beyond TV software. Squeezing ALL of this in my already full HTPC case was quite an accomplishment (though I'm worried about heat... it's tight in there).
So I now have:
WinTV PVR-250 - Rogers Analog cable - SD
WinTV PVR-150 - Rogers Analog cable - SD
WinTV HVR-1600 - Rogers Digital cable via SA3250 SVideo/audio ports, IRBlaster. (HDTV component video/SPDIF direct to receiver).
WinTV HVR-1600 - OTA HDTV via antenna.
I configured Beyond TV with 3 lineups (so that I can get schedules for all channels including OTA): Analog, Digital, and a custom snapstream lineup (how to this is another post all in itself).
That fixes the main HTPC, for my in-law's machine I bought:
Asus motherboard with dual-core AMD processor (this is a cool mother board since it has built in component video/DVI, Firewire, Gb LAN, RAID, Vista ready (no going that way though)... It was dirt cheap.
Add Antec case & power supply, 1GB DDR2 Corsair memory, LG DVD burner, and two Seagate 500GB SATA Baracudas.
Did I say dirt cheap... how does $846 including taxes sound!!! Now only if software was as cheap... :)
Basically, it will connect to my HTPC Beyond TV via Beyond TV Link and Gigabit Ethernet connection. (Yes, I have conduit running to my in-laws since their next door.)
2007-05-24, 01:00 AM
Here is the pic I said I'd post a while back about wiring...
For a quick & dirty description for this see this thread (http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=64209) since I posted a response there and I'm tired now. I will go in depth at a later time; I'm off all next week and I'm itching to get some work done. Unfortunately , I have a tall order: house spring cleaning, sand & seal deck, steps for deck & hot tub, drywall/trim out bathroom, electrical wiring for theater, finish rack & wiring, seating riser. I don't think I will get it all done... and my wife is issuing the priorities. :(
2007-05-24, 11:28 AM
I was tired and not paying attention... here is the correct img link: