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Ceiling void screen install

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by PFM, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. PFM

    PFM
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    Ok,

    Ive got the screen (OWL 8' electric), Ive got the IR controllers (X-10) and Ive got the power tools.

    I'm ready to rip a hole in the floor of the spare room and install a discreet drop down electric screen for the living room below.

    :eek: But WAIT!!!:eek:

    I've never done this before...

    I dont mind doing it...

    ...and I think I know what to do:lesson:

    Lets cover ALL the bases:lesson:

    Has any one out there installed an electric screen into a ceiling void so that (when retracted) it can not be seen from the viewing room (ie room below)

    If you have...

    or know someone who has...

    Then please offer up a few tips before I start dismembering my ceiling.

    I'd be VERY grateful for any shared experiences:smashin:
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Hows does the screen control work on the OWL screen?

    Does it have a 240v motor or 12v?

    What sorta tips are you after?

    Good luck.:smashin:
     
  3. PFM

    PFM
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    X-10 IR sensor and Motor drive switch both from www.letsautomate.com.

    I'm assuming that as the screen is from owl and they provided a manual switch with it, I can connect it straight to 240v mains distribution.

    I'm wondering how to

    A. make the cut in the ceiling without ripping the plaster board to bits & what to edge exposed the cut with?

    B. mount the screen to the joists using the brackets so that the wieght is evenly distributed between the 2 parallel joists (between which the screen will sit).

    Any thoughts...
     
  4. ReTrO

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    Get a plasterboard cutting saw, cheap enough and does the job properly. You'll probably want to put some sort of edge onto the slot to make it look tidy and top plaster dust from getting all over the screen.

    A single joist should take the weight, I'm not sure on the brackets for this screen as I've never used any OWl ones.
     
  5. PFM

    PFM
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    Yep, agree with you there on the plaster board saw, what do you reccommend as an egde for the cut?

    Looks like you just beat me on the longest serving member claim!!!
     
  6. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I seem to remember someone 'lining' the ceiling cut with white 'L' shaped strip so that recesed into the cut-out and formed a nice tidy finish all round (both inside and on the surface of the ceiling). It was good because it meant the cut didn't have to be perfect. I think he used silicon rubber or something to stick it all in place, but I would think no more nails would do the trick.

    They then stuck some similar flat white plastic on the bottom of the screen, so that when it retracted, you couldn't really see it.

    It looked very clean and tidy, and you hardly knew it was there when it wasn't being used.

    Gary.
     
  7. PFM

    PFM
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    Yeah, I remember that thread but havent managed to track it down.

    If anyone out there knows the URL or has done the same I'd love to know as this weekend is penned in for the "Big Cut"
     
  8. Miniholic

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    This is what I plan to do when I get my new place, just remember though, that as the screen unrolls, it will hang closer to the centre of the roller, so you may have to take this into account when cutting the hole. Could be an expensive mistake if you cut in the wrong place.

    I'm not sure if this is true with all screens, but a couple i have seen are like this.
     
  9. sijones

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    Obviously the first thing to check is that the joists are running in the right direction.

    The cut plaster edge can be covered with either some thin wooden angled beading or white PVC (profile: _| ). PVC will be thinner, not so obvious and you will not need to paint it.

    Cutting the slot in the ceiling will generate a great deal of dust so make sure everything in the room is well covered.

    There might well be pipes or cable running in between the two adjacent joists where you want to place the screen. If you are lucky they won't be in the way but be careful not to cut through them when you saw the plasterboard.

    When you have the lifted the floor boards look to see if there is any ring main cables that you can utilise for a new socket/fused spur for the power supply to the screen.

    Make sure you clean up well in the ceiling void before fitting the screen as you don't want any plaster dust on the screen surface.

    Hope this helps!

    Regards.

    Steve
     
  10. ReTrO

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    to keep it clean have someone on hand with a decent vacuum cleaner while cutting any holes. Makes life so much easier.
     
  11. PFM

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    Yep I'll take this on board, Im about to make a start this evening, so I'll keep you all informed.

    And probably throw out a few of the problems I'm bound to encounter

    Here goes...
     
  12. Gary Lightfoot

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    The suspense is killing me.. :)

    Gary.
     
  13. PFM

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    Ok,

    The first cut has gone in on the floor above, and I can confirm that the joists ARE running in the right direction.

    There are a couple of snags I have hit (hence not making fast progress).

    There are a couple of cross sections that have been inserted between the joists (I'll assume that this is to prevent any warping of the joists). I will now have to design a replacement section to be inserted above the screen housing once it has been installed.

    The floorboards are of chipboard construction so cutting away without losing it load bearing integrity is a challenge.

    I am about to mark out the living room ceiling for the "screen slit" cut. But I am concerned about again about the structural integrity of the plaster boards if I make an 8' cut across them. I may need to brace the edges up before cutting.

    So thats where I am & I'll keep you informed if I dont collapse the ceiling:suicide:
     
  14. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    No More Nails or similar is great for smoothing into cut plasterboard edges to help seal it. It dries rock hard and should keep it all together. Then if you use NMN to glue the edging to it, it should be quite strong.

    If you remove the cross braces, fit some either end of the screen to make a kind of box around it, and make new ones with cut outs for the screen say every two feet and sit them over the top. The new ones won't be as good as solid ones, but if you make a couple more they should be ok as replacements.

    Gary.
     
  15. PFM

    PFM
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    Cheers Gary,

    Will try the NMN trick

    Im about to make the cut in the plaster board so Ill let you know tommorrow how its gon (and if the house is still there!!)
     
  16. PFM

    PFM
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    )Ok its been a few days and I've been delayed by work etc.

    Ive got a few pic's to demonstrate where Im at

    Heres the first shot of the cut into the ceiling from the above bedroom

    (The NMN trick works well:smashin:)
     

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  17. PFM

    PFM
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    2nd shot from the same spare bedroom:
     

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  18. PFM

    PFM
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    The view from the living room/lounge below:

    Off course the lamp shade willhave to go when the PJ is installed!!
     

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  19. PFM

    PFM
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    and here's a couple of close up shots...
     

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  20. PFM

    PFM
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    ...and
     

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  21. PFM

    PFM
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    Hmmm...

    so all that is left to do is drop the screen into place and wire up with x10 switches, make good the work, reinstate both rooms, oh, and yes...

    buy a projector!

    If anyone is interested I can document the rest of the install and place the pics up here as a blow by blow account of how it was done and what I'd do different next time.
     
  22. Gary Lightfoot

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    Now that is one tidy looking slot!!

    Very professional job Mac - you should be very pleased with it. I would be. :)

    Looking forward to seeing the screen in place and working.

    Gary.
     
  23. PFM

    PFM
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    Thanks Gary,

    Dropped the screen in place this afternoon and rigged up a temporary conection for the X10 controller. With a few tweaks left & right a bit the screen went in and operated as sweet as a nut!!

    I'll pop in a few pics in the morning.

    Now just to make those fine adjustments for the screen drop...

    ...anyone out there done this type of adjustment for an Owl?
     
  24. PFM

    PFM
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    Ok, as promised a few pics of the (almost finished product)
    :smashin: :

    Ok here's the view from the above bedroom with the screen in place:
     

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  25. PFM

    PFM
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    And the screen finally down...:clap: :clap: :clap:
     

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  26. PFM

    PFM
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    and...
     

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  27. PFM

    PFM
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    So there we have it, an 8' Owl projection screen installed in a ceiling void above the viewing area.:D

    All I gotta do now is:

    Make the fine adjustments on the X10 controller,
    Fit the sound proofing to said void
    Refit the spare room floor
    Buy a PJ (and fit it to a ceiling mount)
    Open a beer...

    ...and maybe, just maybe, watch a film or two:clap:
     
  28. Gary Lightfoot

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    Absolutely brilliant!!

    Excellent job - looks great and doesn't intrude into the room until you want it. :)

    What did you use to trim the edges with? It looks really neat and tidy.

    Gary.
     
  29. PFM

    PFM
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    Thanks Gary,

    The edges were trimmed using 15mm right angled edging strips from B&Q for ~ £2. I doubled up on the strips, using flexible filler to ahere the top side only and NMN to glue the strips against each other.

    The whole idea is that if/when I sell the house in the next 5 years I can reinstate the ceiling if necessary by just removing the edging and reinserting a plasterboard strip. You should be able to see how it looks with the screen up in this pic (however I'm yet to adjust the X10 to get the screen to stop perfectly level with the ceiling):
     

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  30. ReTrO

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    Does the screen not have it's own adjustable end stops?

    I'd have the screen retracting completely into the ceiling rather than stopping inline with it. Just one of those personnal things.
     

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