MarkP80's Cinema Project

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by MarkP80, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi guys,

    Well, having read all these great threads, I've been filled with enthusiasm to have a go myself :thumbsup:

    I'm fortunate to have a spare room downstairs which is available for my conversion, so I thought I would chart my progress here. My plans have been forming in my head for some time, and a great deal of credit must go to the forum members who have posted their experiences and surely made the job so much easier for those who follow :smashin:

    OK, the room needs to be a bit dual purpose. I'll have my stereo setup in there too, and it will serve as a place to sit and read away from the tv/kids etc. It is more or less square, and will have a sofa on the back wall, and projector mounted above.

    The wall opposite will have an electric screen, but has a french window behind with a blackout blind fitted.

    I've already made a bit of progress, so over the course of the next few days will bring you up to date with the photos. Updates will then slow down, as I'm not the quickest of workers (but it may help if you pester me!)

    Now, bear with me, while I try to get to grips with putting pictures on here.....

    ATB,
    MarkP

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, that may have worked. OK, the image above is (hopefully) the back wall where the projector will be going. I've started to take the plasterboard off as I've got a lot of cables to go in there - scart, HDMI, component, svhs, power and rear speakers. I decided to be done with, and not mess around. Wall down, cables in, wall back up. Always seems a good idea to begin with.....
     
  2. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    When you look at the picture above, all the av gear will be going in the bottom right corner.

    The cable in the wall is all the existing stuff - there's a wall light on the other side too.

    I've also taken down the old coving. You can also see my worklamps. I just bought these recentyl, and they are fantastic. 500w each lamp, two on the telescopic stand, and so much better than working from the bulb in the middle of the room. I got it from Screwfix for less than £20 - bargain, IMHO!

    Here's a picture of the opposite wall where the screen will be going. The door rebate will have the blackout blind. You can see I've already taken down the old wallpaper. This was a nightmare. We moved in a few months ago, and at first I thought I had removed the wallpaper. No, that was the first layer. Then it was a layer of lumpy gloss-like impermeable stuff, then more wallpaper :mad: Anyway, it's off at last.

    MarkP

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Nearly there with this wall. That reciprocating saw was handy!

    [​IMG]

    Next was a bit of electrical work. I wanted to put a reasonable number of sockets in to minimise the need for adaptor blocks, so added two doubles down in the corner...

    [​IMG]

    These have been put in by breaking into, and including in, the existing ring main. Before you ask, no I don't have the appropriate certification for the new regs. The sockets are the black nickel finish, which I think look really good. I've gone for Crabtree units. These have a clip-on front, so there are no screwheads on show. The picture shows them without the cover. They aren't cheap. However, Screwfix are much cheaper than B&Q, and have more of the range.

    [​IMG]

    Why does everything take four times as long as you think it will?!?!

    MarkP
     
  4. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    OK, fed up with that side of the room now, time to switch to the screen end. My screen is an H-S-C-V unit - 2.2m wide. Excellent service from Rich, although unfortunately when I checked it over I missed a small dint on the front - only noticed it now when I've come to fit it (a month later). The screen will be hidden, so it's no big deal. It does seem to be in the same place as others I've seen though. Odd.

    The joists run parallell to the screen, but I couldn't fit it between the celing and floor above as there is a joist just where I want it to go. I would have had to bring the screen too far into the room. That does of course mean the joist is in the perfect place to screw directly in to, to get a good fixing. So, screen screwed to the ceiling, time to start on a frame to go around it.

    The wall is brick, so the batten went into that no problem. Then I fixed a front baton to the ceiling. I used the metal spring toggle type fixings, which give a really strong fix into the plasterboard ceiling -

    [​IMG]

    And a view from below -

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to build the frame so that I can remove/replace the screen if necessary from below, without disturbing the front of the frame, as this will have coving across the front. There was a fir bit more timber to go in, then I started to cut the MDF for the base -

    [​IMG]

    I decided to go for MDF rather than plasterboard as I think, from other builds on here, it will give a suitable finish when simply emulsioned. The MDF was a big sheet from B&Q, but I got them to cut it into slightly-large strips. This meant it was easy to get home, but also gave a perfect edge for the bottom of the pelmet - this will extend a few inches below the base panel, if you see what I mean.

    The clamps were used to allow me to first cut the strip to follow the far-from-straight wall, then to mark and cut the front level with the frame. You can also see some of the extra battens.

    [​IMG]

    And another view here, again you can see more of the supporting frame. This ended up really rigid, and then the MDF adds even more stiffness.

    [​IMG]

    Hope this is of interest!

    ATB,
    MarkP
     
  5. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Next bit -

    Having got the bottom cut to size, time to make the slot for the screen to go through. I wanted to make this as small as practicable, to keep it neat looking. You may have noticed that this is all in two pieces - I couldn't get a long enough piece of MDF. Hopefully my joints will be good.

    The slot was cut by drilling a hole of the required size, then cutting the actual slot by hand. I find hand cutting gives a much neater finish than a jigsaw, and provided you have a sharp saw, cutting MDF is pretty quick.

    Two tips then -
    1) buy a new saw to start with - they are relatively cheap.
    2) Always wear a dust mask when cutting MDF - that dust is very nasty. It's NOT sawdust.

    [​IMG]

    Then the other side -

    [​IMG]

    And a close-up. You can see the bar in the bottom of the screen, ready to make its dramatic appearance! -

    [​IMG]

    That's all I have time for tonight. TBH, I'm about up to date now. I've added some LED downlights to the frame, which I'll try and post tomorrow.

    Thanks for looking,
    MarkP
    :hiya:
     
  6. stephen_

    stephen_
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    Looks good :thumbsup:
     
  7. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Coming along very nicely:thumbsup:
     
  8. Nick 156

    Nick 156
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    This is coming along excellently Mark, keep up the good work :thumbsup:
     
  9. ADC

    ADC
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    Regular pics would be great too.:smashin:

    Ive high hopes for this one:D
     
  10. Dr Force

    Dr Force
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    Thats a professional job, it's great to see you think about all eventualities regarding the screen and the finish is gonna be superb.

    Well done, keep the pics coming and thanks for posting.:thumbsup:

    Dave
     
  11. jagdeepp

    jagdeepp
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    Hello mate. Excellent thread!

    Can i ask a couple of q's since i'm re-doing my pelmet which was plasterboarded before i had to tear it all off to replace my screen!

    1 - What is the thickness of the mdf you've used? is it 3/4"?

    2 - What sized battens did u use? I used the 1 3/4" by 1 3/4" for mine.

    3 - How did you manage to round off the cut in the wood like that? it looks brilliant! Did you actually cut with the saw whilst the screen was tucked away under the pelmet? lucky to avoid damage :(
     
  12. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi guys :hiya:

    Thanks everyone for all the encouragement and interest, it's much appreciated. :smashin:

    Dave, it was a concern of mine regarding boxing in something like an electric screen. Moving parts don't last forever, and the last thing I want to do is take all that down after it's had coving put on the front - hence I've tried to come up with that removable bottom panel, which should work. I've not decided whether to fill the screws before painting yet, or just leave them (I'll fill the fronto ones of course!).

    Jagdeep, hi, I think the plasterboard was listed as 18mm, which is equivalent to 3/4". Once screwed to the frame it's very solid. The battens are slightly over 2", but 2x2 was what I was looking for. I couldn't get a length to span the room, so was a bit creative with the frame. It doesn't matter so much with the ones fastened to the wall or ceiling, but for the front "floating" one I put the full length across the centre, with smaller fillers at either end, just so the two bits of MDF had a continuous beam to screw to at the important part - the MDF is obviously joined in the middle, so I figured if there was no join in the beam I would have the best chance of the MDF join being a good one.

    Glad you like the letterbox! I took the base down to cut the letterbox - it's been up and down a good few times now! I drew the centre line, then used a hole saw at the ends of the slot. Once I had the hole, I could then mark out the sides of the slot to the exact size, parallell to the centre line. If you do the slots first, you need to match the hole size exactly! - So, -

    Mark your centre line
    drill your holes
    mark your slot edges to match the hole
    saw towards the hole
    If yours is one piece, then maybe use something like a coping saw and start to work out from the hole.

    I'll see if I have a few more pics of current progress....

    MarkP
     
  13. jagdeepp

    jagdeepp
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    Excellent, thanks for the advice mate. I'm going to emulate your ideas on this one... I'm so sad that i actually spent my lunch break at the office drafting up ideas as to how to build the mdf pelmet. What a stroke of luck that i come home and see yours online going through the process. Most helpful indeed.
    I watch with interest. Many thanks. Unfortunately i'm also going to be using 2 mdf bits for mine since i've also got a 2.2mtr screen (V6).
     
  14. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi all,

    Time for a few more photos. Jagdeep, join the club, I've built this room about a dozen times, a dozen different ways in my head already!

    OK, the next few steps of the pelmet. Obvioulsy for this the important bit is to make sure the bottom edge is horizontal (because the ceiling certainly won't be!!) so it's a case of a couple of spare hands, clamps and a spirit level. I held the sheet up, levelled it, then obviously there was one point of contact at the top and the rest was a varying gap. Now, you can use a school type pair of compasses, set it to the widest gap and then scribe a line across. If you cut to this line, the pelmet will then fit perfectly up to the ceiling and stay horizontal at the bottom. For mine, the gap wasn't too bad, and I will be covering it with coving, so I didn't need to bother - the important thing was there was plenty of meat on the batten to screw to.

    By the way, on the shot below, you can see I've attached a small noggin to the front beam, pointing back towards the wall. This isn't structural, but gives a flat surface for the free edge of both sides of the letterbox to screw to - important to get a good, flat joint I found

    [​IMG]

    With the pelmet on the front, I checked the bottom sections fitted in without fouling. By the way, when you make your frame, make sure the front flat face is vertical before you fit/cut the base sections - you don't want the pelmet sloping out or back to the wall. Mine wasn't - the frame was sloping out slightly, so I had to adjust it, then plane the base sheets down a bit :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    And the view from the front. As you can see, the pelmet overhangs a couple of inches. This means when seated you don't actually see the letterbox, although my main reason was to hide the downlights..

    [​IMG]
     
  15. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Next step was to fit some downlights. I got some low voltage LEDs. The transformer actually sits on top of the front cross beam behind the pelmet - if you look at the 6th pic down you can see it. I had to put it there so that all the individual wires reached the terminal box. It went in before the pelmet but will slide out to the end of the screen then can be removed from below. Connecting the last set of LEDs was simply a matter of screwing the base up at the far end, and leaving it loose in the centre - there was a 6" droop, which was ample to plug them in and poke it all back up.

    [​IMG]

    I fancied the idea of blue LEDs, but the wall will be painted a dark red colour (not finalised) so I went for white. They're not as bright as I expected, but I think once the walls painted they'll give a good effect..

    [​IMG]
     
  16. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    You can also see above where I mounted the screen remote control receiver. I wanted it to be as hidden as I could, but obviously still receive the signal! Just drill a hole for each wire, then saw the slots, as for the letterbox, and tidy up the cables inside. By the way, I cut the euro plug off. There's a switched spur box in there I've wired it into. You can see the supply cable. This is a spur from a ring main socket. I was going to chase it into the wall but have decided to conceal it behind the coving along the wall.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I've replaced the single light in the room with six LV halogens. I messed around a little here trying to get the cable in, but then just bit the bullet, emptied my daughter's room and cut the floor out where I needed to.
     
  17. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    There were three parallell sections between joists I needed to access - one where the rose was, and one for each line of lights. This meant three hatches, then using those electricians thin rods (like thin drain rods) I was able to get the cable in. You can see my three big holes - there are two others made by a previous owner (dunno why) but they were of no use.

    [​IMG]

    The cable effectively forms a ring main around the ceiling from the old rose (now a junction box) with a loop pushed through to each of the lights. When I fit the individual lights, I will cut the loop and fit a small JB, which maintains the ring, and wire in the transformers. I prefer to fit individual transformers. The JBs and transformers all fit through the downlight hole, so can be easily replaced if they fail.

    [​IMG]

    I screwed all the hatches back down, put the bedroom back, and can now fit the lights themselves at any time - probably after decorating.

    MarkP:hiya:
     
  18. louishm

    louishm
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    IMHO mark the white led's will look nice in there when you have some colour on the wall. Pelmet looks fantastic.
    coming along nicely, well done.


    paul
     
  19. Dr Force

    Dr Force
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    Good idea to fit the lights after decorating to get the best finish on recessed lights its always better to get the paint all the way up to the hole.

    are you going to put a dimmer on for the lights? if so make sure you get dimmable transformers and make sure the dimmer excepts the total wattage of the lighting.

    You seem like you know everything anyway as the job looks so nice.

    Keep up the good work:thumbsup:
     
  20. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Thanks again for the feedback guys. :smashin:

    Paul, I hope the lights look the part too - we'll see!

    Dave, I've bought dimmable transformers, but haven't yet decided about a dimmer. I think I'll give it a go without first, and see. I don't think the LEDs can be connected up by a dimmer (I'll check) and the two sets (LEDs and halogen downlights) are switched by a single two-switch wall plate. So to dim the main lights I think I'd have to separate them to two separate switches, which might look a bit cluttered on the wall.

    Anyway, must get my keans on and get busy....

    MarkP
     
  21. Dr Force

    Dr Force
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    Mark

    I do not think you can dim LED's.

    You are also right about too much clutter on walls, it could detract from the decor and in my experience its better to have nice ,simple, clean lines.

    Have you decided on any kit yet (speakers etc) and when do you hope to get the first movie in ( what is going to be your first film?)

    Any idea's on the colour scheme?

    Dave
     
  22. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi again! :hiya:

    Well, the weekend saw me make a start on some cabling. Speaker cables are now all in. This was followed by the cabling to the projector. I've taken some more photos (of course) and I'll get these posted up tonight, along with the cable details (I warn you though, I'm not a big cable believer).

    Dave, I've already got most of the kit. The spare room looks like the storeroom of an electrical retailer!

    DVD player - Toshiba SD-9500. Only SD, but IMHO a lovely bit of kit. I'm very proud of it! :D

    Amp - Yamaha RX-V1400. Bought this used, and not had chance to try it in anger, but I expect it will do the business. (I have a smaller Yamaha amp in the main lounge, and I'm more than happy with that one.)

    Speaker-wise this room has a dual function (as you can tell from all the french windows!). For everyday use it will be a lounge for listening to music/reading etc, so will be set up for stereo use. That means the main speakers are my stereo speakers - Dynaudio 52. These are powered by my Cyrus 8 amp, fed by the analogue outputs of the Tosh spinner. (I may audition some dedicated CD players for comparison, but not for some time - this has cost a lot! Oh, I have a Tag dac to try out too, to see if that brings anything to the party over and above the Tosh's own) For films, the Cyrus will be fed by the Yamaha's front preouts. It has a dedicated av input with fixed gain, so once set up it should be easy to use like this.

    Rear speakers are Mission 77DS bipoles, and the front is a 77C. Not sure how these will blend with the Dynaudios, but funds wouldn't allow a full Dynaudio set up (or even close!) :eek: The Missions look fairly substantial speakers mind you, so I'd be surprised if they don't do a job for me. The 77DS are a fairly inobtrusive design too, I think they'll look good on the wall.

    Timetable? I really don't know. I don't have loads of spare time, but I'm progressing as much as I can. I must say, I'm not one to rush in - I do seem to spend a lot of time thinking what I'm going to do first :rolleyes: Of course, I've got you lot on my case now, so maybe things will speed up!

    First film? Hmm, tricky one. I've got a few ready to be watched. Possibly War of The Worlds. Any suggestions for the premier?

    Cheers,
    MarkP
     
  23. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi again :hiya:

    OK, it's cable time - and here they are...

    [​IMG]

    ... such a lot of cable for such a small room!

    First in was the subwoofer cable, because it was the easiest - I could reach both ends. Note, at the equipment end, the cables will all be coming out of the stud wall. For those emerging from the floor, I've cut a slot in the bottom rail of the wall, which you can see here....

    [​IMG]

    Next to go in are the front left and centre cables. The centre speaker will only be placed when required, so the cable will have an outlet plate on the wall. The speaker will have a short lead to simply plug in. I used flexible rods to get these in. These are an absolute godsend for jobs like this, don't know how I ever managed without them....

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    and you end up with...

    [​IMG]

    A bit of jiggling about and they're in - two rears, coming from above, - three front, from below, along with a sub and coax for the cable tv feed...

    [​IMG]

    Oh, for those who were wondering, at the speaker end, I like the cables to appear in a small opening above the skirting board - I've used this in the main lounge and it looks neat IMHO - and means the carpet fitters won't cut through them!
     
  24. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    OK, next it's the turn of the projector cables. I wanted to keep these as short as poss, so ran them diagonal, (even though I know it's good practice to run cables vertical or horizontal :rolleyes: ).

    They're in the stud wall, which isn't load bearing, so I simply cut a slot where required. I wanted plenty of space in case I had to try and pull a cable through in future. I lined the hole with duct tape, just to make it a bit smoother. I considered ducting, but couldn't find a suitable size. It would need to be big enough for a scart connector, and those I found were then too big for the timber. So this is what I ended up with....

    [​IMG]

    You can see one of the rear speaker cables above. Here's another view ...

    [​IMG]

    Down at the bottom, I've coiled them up carefully ready for the plasterboard to go on...

    [​IMG]

    For the rear speakers I wanted to be sure of a good fixing, so I put a noggin in. The cable is hung below on a bit of copper wire. Hope I don't lose it!

    [​IMG]

    And finally, the first plasterboard sheet is up! I'm now wondering about the cable exits. I'm tempted to leave the cables behind until the plastering is done. That way, it's easier for the plasterer to get a good finish across the entire surface, and he won't damage the cables. I can then cut the hole afterwards, and get the cables. Or do you think I should pull them out now?

    [​IMG]

    You're right up to date with me now, so progress is likely to be a bit slower over the next few weeks. I'll keep you all posted though.

    Thanks again for all the feedback, advice and encouragement - it's much appreciated.

    :clap:

    MarkP
     
  25. jagdeepp

    jagdeepp
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    Great work..
    Quick question, how have u screwed ur screen to the pelmet? is it screwed onto a batten? if so screwed in horizontally or vertically? i'm struggling to get it to go flush on the batten if i screw it in horizontal since when i hang it off the screw the screen hangs with a tilt :eek: advice appreciated.
     
  26. Dr Force

    Dr Force
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    Mark

    This is coming along so well, every time you post a pic it seems to be making great progress.

    I know what you mean about the kit, the cables the accessories, my god it just tends to take over but its great when it starts to dissapear from the room and into the cinema room.

    The tosh SD DVD player is a lovely peice of kit and if you are happy with it then great, why spend big bucks on trying to keep up with changes that semm to happen on a monthly basis.

    Anything that yamaha make in processing sound is gonna have some power so you should look forward to a great sound.

    This is one of the problems is not getting carried away with AV because you can spend whatever you want, best to set a budget and stick to it.

    I think as far as the first film goes, it depends on your taste, Saving Private Ryan for sound and big screen experience is awesome, likewise King Kong, Jurassic Park, Star Wars etc.

    Make sure you think about soft furnishing to prevent a harsh sound and when painting try to go for a darker colour to prevent too many reflections from the screen/PJ.

    Keep up the good work, I am enjoying watching the progress:smashin:

    Dave
     
  27. louishm

    louishm
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    personally mark i would pull the cables through now, what i use to do was get a piece of old cable, tape it to the good stuff and pop the old piece through the plasterboard, that way if the plasterer damages anything it will just be a scrap piece of cable. When hes finished just pull it through and un-tape.
    Wouldn't like to see any vibration on that wall and you cables dropping.
     
  28. SimP

    SimP
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    I finished the sound setup before the screen arrived so my first experience in the CineSim was listening to the DTS soundtrack of the Eagles "Hell Freezes Over". That just whetted the appetite for a movie. The eventual choice was "Master & Commander" (DTS again).
     
  29. MarkP80

    MarkP80
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    Hi Jagdeep,

    My screen is screwed into the ceiling. My ceiling joists run parallel to the screen, and I was lucky to have one just a couple of inches from the wall which suited the screen placement perfectly. I could have easily managed without a pelmet - it's purely cosmetic.

    I'm not sure what you mean by horizontal/vertical. With the ceiling fixing, I used long screws (3" I think, maybe even 4") and put them in good and tight, which pulled the screen into place fine. If I remember correctly, the bracket has a flat edge to it (not a big one mind you), which sets the angle. Have you got the screws tight enough?

    Maybe if you put an independant batten across the ceiling, say 3x2, screwed into your joists using 4" screws where it crosses them. This will then give you soemthing really solid to fix to. Maybe you aren't getting a good enough fixing into your 2x2 pelmet frame - it could be flexing? What screws are you using as fixings for your screen?

    Regards,
    MarkP
     
  30. Xavier1

    Xavier1
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    Looks fantastic so far. You are taking the time to do the install correctly. Its a pleasure to see the progress so far and I can't wait to see the finished HT.

    Make sure you keep the updates coming :clap:

    X
     

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