Ongoing: PlasmaDan's Living Room Cinema / Office Build

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Plasma Dan, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    PlasmaDan's Living Room Cinema / Office Build

    The Plan

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    For this build, I tried to plan ahead as much as possible. There are a lot of intricate details that need to work-out just right for the build to be successful. There is very little space for all the equipment needed, no-where near enough room for a full-sized rack (I could really use one), and given how thin the walls are in this terraced house, the soundproofing needs to be good!

    I started plotting-out the basic design in AutoCAD back in 2013. There were several key things that needed to be figured-out in AutoCAD before starting the build:

    • How to fit a rack-cabinet in the right-alcove where the gas / electricity meters are?
    • How to ventilate the rack-cabinet?
    • How to soundproof the room without losing too-much space?
    • Where will the new ceiling end-up, and will a soffit fit above the window?
    • How to create a practical soundproof door for the back-room?
    • How much desk space would there be, is it enough?
    • What wiring needs to be installed before boarding (data, HDMI, USB 3.0 etc)?
    • Come-up with a design for the soffit that allows the speakers to be hidden.
    • Calculate the screen position / size / projector throw distance.
    • Calculate amount of materials needed for each stage.
    • How will the completed project actually look?

    I found the time to work on the details in AutoCAD between jobs, or if I didn't have much on (I'm a self employed carpenter & electrician). I'm a competent electrician, with a background in electrical engineering (that I never really pursued), so I do have a fairly good idea what I'm doing... o_O

    The CAD drawing is still a work in progress. Small changes are made as the build progresses, so I still don't have any final renditions, only quick renders / drafts. For those of you who are familiar with AutoCAD, you can view / download the model from my GrabCAD page here.



    Soffits / Speakers /AV Rack

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    You can get an idea of the soffit design from this angle. The soffits are going to be one-size all-round, except the screen side; where the alcoves and chimney-breast soffit is curved so as to try to blend them together into one run.

    The black "lid" of the soffit is actually going to be black speaker fabric, hiding the soffit speakers, wiring, and also some other equipment (such as the WiFi AP). The CAD drawing shows this in great detail.

    Originally, the ceiling speakers were going to be just a standard 5.1 surround setup, but since I created this thread some people have pointed-out that the ceiling-only surround speakers will not offer a good quality cinema experience. So I have decided instead to create a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup. :cool:

    I don't want any rear floor-standing speakers, so the ceiling speakers will be the surround speakers. I have decided to scrap the center ceiling speaker in-favour of lower-down speakers, but leave the cabling in-place as a spare feed to the soffit. If I do decide to compromise on speaker positioning in the future, the ceiling speakers may also allow for a Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 setup. :p

    Here you can see the desk / rack-cabinet design. Nothing too fancy, but I did manage to find a way to make everything fit into the right alcove (just).

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    Last, but most certainly not least... The wiring plan. Since everything is centralised in the rack-cabinet, I had to be sure everything could fit. I only have enough room for short-depth (around 400 - 450mm) equipment, including the workstation (used to create the CAD drawing), AV receiver, modem, network switch, patch panel, HDMI matrix, and a UPS if it would fit (it won't).

    My original plan was to put the main file-server into this rack too, but it didn't take long to realise how ridiculous that idea was. I should end-up with a 12-13U rack-cabinet, depending on how much space is needed for cables etc. The new file-server takes up 6U alone since I added the 24-bay HDD caddy, so there's just no-way it can go in here. The file-server is basically the heart of everything, without it I have no movies, no CCTV, no media of any-kind really... so before I could even start the build, I first had to find a home for the 6U file-server, and install a bunch of CAT6 cables for it.


    The File-Server

    The only decent available space for the server was the attic. This meant not only installing a whole bunch of CAT6 cables through the upstairs walls, but also a dedicated feed for power (since the server will have its own breaker / RCBO), and an HDMI feed to allow debugging via the HDMI matrix, in the event that remote desktop connection stops working, or I need to access the BIOS etc.

    First I had to make a custom bracket to mount the rack-cabinet in the attic.

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    The attic gets very warm in the summer, and the server will be maintaining a heavy load thanks to the motion-detection for the IP cameras, so lots of ventilation required!

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    I had to create access above the right alcove to install all the new cabling to the server in the attic. I knew I'd be ripping the entire ceiling-out anyway, so what the hell! :rotfl:

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    New wiring installed through the bedroom wall...

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    Wires coming into the attic...

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    Server up & running! (although it's plugged into an attic socket temporarily, until the new CCU goes in).

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    And there it is, a new home for the file-server. All cabling and feeds are installed and we're ready to start work on the cinema! :D

    Gearing-Up

    I ordered as much of the stuff I knew I'd be needing before ripping anything out. Before I started the project I'd already managed to blow over £1,500 on electrical, data-plates, fixings, and Green Glue... I actually got lucky with the Green Glue, I found a seller on eBay who was willing to part with 2 boxes (24 tubes) for £240 :smashin:

    Obviously there's no-where near enough of ANYTHING here, but enough to make a good start at-least.

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    The Ripout

    I was able to ripout the entire ceiling, fill a skip, and get the room tidy again (sort of) in one day. I really underestimated how much crap would fall down with the old ceiling. :eek:

    :offtopic: I found a 300mm long 3mm drill-bit during the ripout, that I still have in my toolbox today. :p

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    The dust mask was a MUST... although I really should have used a better quality one, instead of this Poundland one that didn't seal against my face correctly :nono: I now have a good quality 3M respirator that I use for particularly dusty jobs.

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2016
  2. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    What have I done?! :eek:

    The ripout revealed some nasty surprises. Straight-away it became clear that more than just this room was going to need re-wiring. The cabling feeding the sockets around the rest of downstairs was unsafe, the wiring supplying our NEW kitchen extension wasn't installed correctly, the lead gas pipe had more repairs on it than I dared count and was keenly squashed by the floorboards, the joists were way undersized for the load they're bearing (the stairs for the attic is in the middle of the ceiling). I still to this day don't see how this house never burned-down, exploded, or collapsed before. o_O


    You Got Wires...

    ...Going in. This is the stage where the household network / HDMI infrastructure was installed. Every room in the house has at-least two CAT6 connections, plus a High-Speed HDMI connection for the bedrooms, and living-spaces.

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    One of the data plates installed upstairs (2x CAT6, 1x High-Speed HDMI, 2x Satellite). I also took this opportunity to install all new sockets upstairs, and at the correct height (yes this is an older house and no the height rule doesn't really apply, but trust me, I'm an electrician!). :p

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    I also added-in some herringbone straps to the joists just to make me feel better.

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    4x 20m High-Speed HDMI cables were installed to feed the attic, file-server, back bedroom, and back-room (available from Scan here).

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    Ceiling resilient bar installed. In hindsight I should have thought more about insulation before installing this, as I later decided to add it, and the resilient bar made that somewhat difficult. :(

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    Wiring for back bedroom / kitchen installed.

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    Gas meter reconnected. I actually installed the plumbing myself, but got my plumber friend to check it and make the final connection.

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    All new house wiring installed and fed through a slot where the new CCU will (eventually) be positioned. This method allows the gas / electricity meters to be de-coupled along with everything else, although some of that is redundant anyway, since I need to leave a large gap on the exterior wall to allow for future utilities, and the vent pipe for the rack cabinet.

    NOTE: Yes I'm aware the gas & electricity meters really should be further apart. I plan to isolate them at a later date. Without relocating the CCU completely this was the only way. I'm sure I'll get an ear-full off someone (or a screen-full). :confused:

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    This wall is where everything is centralised. That tiny space between the wooden battens is all there is for every single cable! o_O

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    Since there are so many HDMI / USB 3.0 connections going here, the back-boxes need to be as deep as possible! Here I decided to knock-out a large chunk of plaster to allow for a floating MDF back-box arrangement.

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    All back-boxes in this build are de-coupled with the room, this means they don't actually touch any of the existing structure at all, only the wiring will touch. As far as I'm aware this is quite an original approach, but an important one since there are 23x back-boxes in this room alone. Without the de-coupling the back-boxes would effectively short-out all of the soundproofing in the room, making it a complete waste of time and money.

    This panel mounts the 4x 3G back-boxes for the rack-cabinet, and one of the 47mm back-boxes for above the cabinet.

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    One-by-one installing the cables, being sure to get them the correct length inside the box, since the cables will be acoustic-sealed in-place before boarding.

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    CAT6 cables installed...

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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  3. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    There are WAY too many CAT6 cables to consider connecting them to data-plates, instead, the cables will be left long, and connected directly to the patch panel once the rack-cabinet is built.

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    More resilient bar installed. I had to bring the chimney-breast forward to allow for the depth required for the rack-cabinet, and to provide a larger desk in the left alcove.

    The fireplace is being sacrificed for this project. It makes absolutely no sense to soundproof the room and keep the fireplace, since the sound will simply travel through the chimney stack, upstairs, and even into next-door.

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    Plumbing for new radiator. To be sure I got these positioned correctly I bought the radiators up-front. All pipes will be buried inside the wall, the depth is sufficient that it's unlikely anyone will rupture them. All skirting-board will be glued in-place so there should be no issue having the pipes where they are. :smashin:

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    This is one part I was dreading. The incomer needed to be moved to the right, but the cable was way too long to allow it. At this stage, the last thing I needed was another huge expense to get the DNO to install a new cable, a foot away from the old one... So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Without ever disconnecting or tampering with the incomer, I managed to bend the excess cable downwards into the sub-floor. The floor needed screeding anyway, so it seemed like the simplest solution.

    I had to chop into the concrete (below the asphalt), and create a channel for the cable, and also for the underground ventilation pipe needed for the rack cabinet. Since the gas meter was well and truly in the way, going underground was the only option for the vent.

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    And... done. I'm sure someone will have a field-day here... but needs must. The incomer will be electrically isolated from the gas meter at a later date. See how I did this here.

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    Levelling the Floor

    The asphalt floor in this house is bad, not the worst, but bad. Here I'm setting-up the screeds used to calculate the amount of self-levelling compound required to fix it.

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    Primer...

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    I thought it best to reinforce this area where the old porch used to be (before my time).

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    LevelFlex self-levelling compound arrived...

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    Sometimes I ask friends to help-out if I think I'm going to struggle by myself. The self-levelling compound dries REALLY fast, TOO fast for my liking, so I needed someone to mix compound, while I levelled it. He also felt it necessary to take pictures of me... :blush:

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    I had to take-over mixing a few times. If you want something doing right... :censored:

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    Normally you wouldn't use screeds with self-levelling compound. The inspiration for this came from an American YouTuber (I forgot the name). He suggested using 2 screeds as support rails, and one to screed the compound. This ensures the compound will be spread evenly, flat, and level, and helps take some of the guesswork out of it. Since the compound was up-to 2" thick in some areas, this was a good idea.

    I also had to level the back-room, to transition into the now higher living-room floor.

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    The soundproofing continues into the back-room slightly. This is mainly to keep the wall depth consistent, otherwise it would look very odd. The added benefit is that at-least one side of the back-room will be soundproofed too. This also provided the cavity needed to run the radiator pipes.

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    Ready for plasterboard! :clap: ...Almost.

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    Leak Prevention

    So by this stage, I'd managed to spend around £4,000 on electrical, flooring compound, batten, insulation, resilient bar, plumbing, plus other things. Before even considering plasterboarding, I had to "leak-proof" the bathroom (directly above the living-room). We've had leaks in the past, and a flood some years ago, I had to be sure this couldn't happen to the new soundproofed ceiling.

    So I ended-up ripping-out the entire bathroom. :thumbsdow I installed damp-proof membrane sheeting underneath the bath, I had to completely re-plumb the bath since it wasn't done very well by the previous "builder".

    I added-in a small aco drain underneath the bath, so that in the event of a leak / flood, the water would have somewhere to go. Unfortunately, because of the orientation of the joists, and the fact that the aco drain needs to be below the floor, the pipe for this drain had to go through the front of the house, rather than the back with everything else. o_O Unusual, but it's just a small overflow pipe, I ended-up hiding it underneath the uPVC windowsill on the front of the house.

    Once the bathroom was sufficiently watertight, we could finally start boarding! :)


    Plasterboard!

    The acoustic plasterboard came to £600 alone. Based on the CAD drawing I was able to work-out the cuts / offcuts accurately enough to order the correct amount. I'm using 3mtr length sheets, mainly to help reduce the number of joints between the boards, but also because the standard 2.7mtr boards are just slightly too short for the height of the ceiling. 46x sheets of 12.5mm plasterboard @ 42Kg each = almost 2 tonnes.

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    I bought a plasterboard lifter from a seller on eBay, an absolute must with this heavy acoustic board! Only £100 including delivery. :smashin:

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    "Why don't you use 15mm board?" I'm sure someone may be thinking. Well, because the ceiling resilient bar is not designed to take the extra weight! This stuff is heavy, and there needs to be 2 layers of it. The joists could surely take it, but the flexible resilient bar has a maximum load, even at 400mm centers. :lesson: ...plus I don't want to lose an extra 10mm of door width :censored:

    First board! I had to counter-balance the lifter for this tricky sheet. I make it a point to not cut any sheets into sections where not needed. If it's possible to do it with one sheet, you should! It helps maximise the soundproofing effectiveness, and makes your work look pro! ;)

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  4. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Second sheet! It's exciting seeing it starting to look like a room again. :D

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    I acoustic sealed the sheets together as I went along. For the first layer I left a slight gap between each sheet, to allow the acoustic sealant something to fill.

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    Measure twice, cut once! ...In-fact measure it three or four times. :censored:
    There are lots of tricky cuts like this, that need to have millimetre precision to fit. o_O

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    Sleeving the pipes with 22mm copper is quite helpful here. Not only does it help insulate the plasterboard from the heat, but the larger hole provides a little adjustment when fitting the sheet.

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    This shows how the de-coupling works for the back-boxes. Each box is mounted to an MDF panel, and acoustic sealed into place.

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    This is the box for one of the light-switches. I'm using MK grid modular switches, with some low-voltage switching used for the electronic light controller (that I still need to design and make see here and here).

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    This is where the desk will be situated. The MDF panel provides an area to mount monitor brackets to the wall. There is a layer of 18mm ply glued behind the MDF where the brackets will be mounted.

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    Time to board the porch! For some reason the "builder" who did it never bothered boarding the walls, or insulating anything, so I had to do all that too!

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  5. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    [​IMG]

    I was not looking forward to this cut!

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    With such a delicate cut, I decided to cut it flat on the floor with the circular saw. The last thing I wanted to happen was the board to break while cutting these out! :eek:

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    Done :thumbsup: ... Then comes the dreaded thought of having to do it all again on layer 2! :thumbsdow

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    Door-Casings

    The door casings in this project are a pain. One of them needs to accommodate a soundproofed door, and both need to be fully de-coupled.

    Both door-openings are reinforced with 12mm ply before installing the casings. This is to help ensure the frames don't twist on the resilient bar (especially on the hinge side), and also provides a strong fixing position for longer hinge screws required for the heavy soundproof door.

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    Porch door-casing ready to go in...

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    You can see the black overflow pipe for the bathroom aco drain in this picture...

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    I needed a 230mm wide double-rebated door casing... out with the router :p

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    "Power Craft" o_O ... Hey it worked. :smashin:

    The rebate cut from this 20mm white-wood is obviously way too thin here, that's where the 12mm plywood comes in. The 2nd rebate will be a bead, pinned onto the casing later. The original plan was to make a double-rebated casing using layers of white-wood, but it looked weird on the CAD drawing.

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    Door-casing glued, screwed & clamped to the plywood.

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    Windowsill

    The old windowsill finally ripped-out.

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    The desk, cabinet, and windowsill need to be strong & stable enough to not distort, so using timber or fix-board is just not a good idea. I ordered some 24mm BB-grade birch plywood to make these, starting with the windowsill. One sheet of 24mm birch plywood was £70 + £25 delivery. :thumbsdow

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    Any joiners or carpenters that don't own a track saw, get one... seriously! Definitely one of my best tool investments. I highly recommend the Festool.

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    New windowsill installed...

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  6. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Now at this stage I realised I'd created a huge problem... I couldn't find any source for a half-round bead for that 24mm plywood. :facepalm:

    ...So after much thought, I decided I was going to have to make some myself. I got some 25mm dowel, and created a ripping jig using some sacrificial MDF. Another reason to own a track saw!

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    Two 24mm (ish) half-round beads! :thumbsup:

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    You may have noticed I also finished boarding the last wall.

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    Coax splitter & attenuator for Virgin Media. This just fits into the 47mm back-box along with the cables. Not really ideal since the bend-radius of the coax is a little too tight, but my tests show no problems so we're good. :smashin:

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    Ready for layer 2... :clap:

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    Layer 2 & Green Glue

    The ceiling & every wall (except the window wall) is being green glued.

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    I've seen many people on YouTube etc applying the green glue neatly in vertical lines, but my research shows this to be the wrong method. It even says on each tube to apply it in a "random pattern" :lesson: Maybe it doesn't matter at all, but maybe it does. o_O

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    Sometimes it's easier to apply the green glue to the wall instead...

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    Either I'm really good or really lucky, because I had just enough plasterboard to finish. :D


    Plaster me cos I'm plaster free!

    Plastering complete. :thumbsup: Two guys did the whole thing, including the porch, half of the back-room, and one bad wall upstairs; in 1 & 1/2 days. :eek:

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  7. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    [​IMG]

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    They did a really good job, I'm impressed with the quality, and the speed at which they work. I will definitely be using them for future work. :smashin:


    "Whoops Mrs Miggins, You're Sitting On My Artichokes!"

    While things were being moved around for the plasterers, the cover for the main incomer came off, so I called the DNO (Electricity North West), and they sent a jointing crew out within the space of an hour. :eek:

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    They told me the incomer was ok, and just needed putting back together, but then they discovered the main earth wasn't connected properly. :eek: I don't own a Megger / IR tester, since they're outrageously expensive, so I had no idea we had no earth all this time. :censored: They fitted a new bonding kit and I now have a Ze of 0.19 Ohms. :smashin:

    However they absolutely insisted they had to install the incomer onto a board. I explained to them that the board was actually already there, hidden underneath the plasterboard, but they said nope, has to be on a board, not plasterboard. :mad: Having a board there isn't going to work at all, since I need to build a cabinet with separation between the gas & electricity meters, and the rack-cabinet.

    So this is what they left it like...

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    They told me I could remove the board later if I want, but they can't leave it like that. So basically they had to drill 4 holes into my (so new its not even dry yet) plaster, for no reason. :censored: Anyway, once the plasterers had finished, I removed it.

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    I'll get the new consumer unit installed soon, and I can finally get this project moving again. :)

    Dan.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  8. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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  9. sam spade

    sam spade
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    Just one word.....inspirational!
     
  10. Scotty Pro

    Scotty Pro
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    Wow,

    a one man self build theatre, you must be so dedicated, can I ask what hours you have put in upto now and when do you envisage the project being finished.
     
  11. mooperman

    mooperman
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    nice, very nice!!!
     
  12. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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  13. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    I started the ripout in June 2014, I had to re-wire the entire house, install the network / HDMI infrastructure, re-fit the bathroom, etc... I honestly could not say at this point how many hours I've worked on this. I could hazard a guess in terms of months; around 4-5 months or so total, in-between work.

    When will it be finished? I ask myself this question regularly. :p I hope to get everything plastered for Christmas, then there's the 2nd-fix electrical, soffits to make, a custom soundproof door, rack-cabinet, architrave / skirting... I have no idea. :rotfl: It will be done... when it is done. ;)
     
  14. Scotty Pro

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    Thanks Dan,
    going to watch this thread with interest, there is nothing more satisfying after a job is finished than being able to say "This is all my own work" :clap:
     
  15. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    True that! ;) ...except the plastering. I'm no plasterer, but I know someone who is a pro, I'll be using him. :smashin:
     
  16. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    I've added some new renderings to show the soffit design.

    Also... Green Glue delivery arrived today :smashin: ...will update with progress soon. :)
     
  17. scatterbug

    scatterbug
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    Fantastic. Great workmanship. Thanks for taking the time to chronicle each step.
     
  18. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    The plastering begins next week. :smashin:
    I ordered some back-box protectors today. :p
    [​IMG]
    Buy Now - Blank It For Electricians

    Never used them before, but given how many back-boxes there are, they should save some time on the 2nd fix. :smashin:

    ...So I need to really be thinking about paint colour. :rolleyes:
    The CAD drawing seems a little bland to me, magnolia, and generic dark colours. :thumbsdow

    I could use some constructive criticism / colour ideas? :lease:
     
  19. Rossmartin

    Rossmartin
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    Hi Dan,

    Awesome journal! I'm looking at using Genie clips but was wondering how you did your door casing to keep them the openings de-coupled from each other. Is it one large casing with two door openings? If so is that considered de-coupled? I need to do the exact same thing but I haven't found any decent information on that part yet! Also any tips on how to install the clips and the plasterboard around a window would be good too!

    Kind Regards

    Ross
     
  20. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Anything that's only attached to the new structure (resilient bar / hat-channel & genie clips) will be de-coupled from the old structure. Door-casings are tricky since they need to take the weight of the door and the lateral forces applied when the door is opened / closed. There are lots of ways you could do it, just be sure to make everything strong enough, particularly on the hinge-side.

    The way I did it is to continue the resilient bar into the next room. This helps spread some of the load applied to the bars more evenly, without continuing into the next room, the bars would have ended at the door-casing, and all the load would be to one side. :thumbsdow

    [​IMG]

    The 1st layer of plasterboard also continues into the next room...

    [​IMG]

    The door opening on the other side is also de-coupled with resilient bar, but screwed and plugged directly into the brick instead, using some washers as spacers.

    [​IMG]

    Then once the 1st layer of plasterboard was done, 12mm plywood was used to stiffen-up the openings for the door-casings. This is the one used for the porch door, but the other door is basically the same, except that both sides are plywood not just one, and are joined together across the top to create a complete plywood opening ready to accept the casing. Notice that all the screws go into the resilient bar underneath.

    [​IMG]

    The reason for using 12mm plywood is because I'm using 12.5mm plasterboard (close enough), this plywood takes the place of the 2nd layer of plasterboard where the door-casings are (you could even do it the other way around, but you'll need longer hinge screws if you want to grab the plywood). :smashin:

    Plywood door opening ready to accept the custom casing...

    [​IMG]

    The porch door is just a standard door, nothing special apart from the de-coupling. The other door however, is going to be soundproofed by sandwiching two solid pine doors together, with a green glue layer in-between. That's the reason for the large door-casing, and why I was so concerned about reinforcing the opening; this door is going to be heavy. :eek:

    Since the custom door-casing was made using only 20mm thick whitewood (a little small for a door casing really), the hinge side was spaced-out with a 2nd layer of 12mm plywood, so when the final architrave & beads are applied, it will look thicker. This also provides plenty plywood to fasten the wood screws into when fitting the door hinges. :smashin:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see the gap around the strike side of the casing, so you can see it is de-coupled, and also check to make sure the resilient bar has not been shorted-out. :smashin:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, there's nothing really special about the casing itself (other than the size). The two doors used to create the soundproof door will be offset from each-other so they can sit into their own rebate (the 2nd rebate is actually just a bead, that still needs to be applied). This way you can apply 2 acoustic door seals instead of just 1. :smashin:

    The bottom of the door will also incorporate an acoustic drop-seal...

    [​IMG]

    Hope that explains everything, I will update when I install the doors. :smashin:

    You can see the design plan for the doors / door-casings (and everything else) in the AutoCAD drawing: GrabCAD - CAD library, you can view the drawing online without any special software, just right-click on the walls to hide them and you will reveal the door-casing. :)

    I didn't use genie clips due to space limitations. However, unless you plan to install soundproof glazing, I wouldn't worry too much about around the window. Just do whatever you can afford too with the limited space. In my case, I de-coupled the entire window wall with resilient bar, then applied the 1st layer of plasterboard to the wall. The plasterboard on the inside of the window opening is glued to the original opening using AC50: AC50 Trade Acoustic Sealant & Adhesive 900ml - Toolstation, I couldn't use resilient bar inside the opening due to space limitations.

    [​IMG]

    I used some screws to hold the strips of plasterboard in-place while the glue set, then removed them.

    [​IMG]

    Dan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  21. TattyWill

    TattyWill
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    Dude, your build is inspirational. I thought I was clever doing my build with little knowledge and having to research whilst doing the project. You have done a fantastic job, and I imagine put many builders/electricians to shame with the quality so far.
     
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  22. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Thanks. :beer:
     
  23. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Lots of other things happening while I wait for the plastering...

    New front CCTV IP camera installed :smashin: (after the last one died). :(
    Looks a bit odd on the junction box, but since I can't access any wiring from the other side now... :suicide:

    I highly recommend these Hikvision IP cameras, fantastic picture & IR, and the new model has a built-in microSD slot (Chinese import, aliexpress.com). :smashin:

    [​IMG]

    Back-room wall green glued and boarded. :smashin:
    You know you're doing well when you use exactly the number of sheets you ordered. :D

    [​IMG]

    Skim beads done. :smashin:
    The insulation is for the kitchen roof space, it's far too cold with no downstairs radiators. :eek:

    [​IMG]

    Picking-out samples for the black-out blind (maybe a little premature). :p

    [​IMG]

    I've also been working on the home automation controller. I'm opting to use a Raspberry Pi for this, since I have an older "model B" spare, and I actually do code / web development anyway, so that part should be simple enough for me. :smashin: The R-Pi will control the main spotlights (on/off), the RGB lights (on/off/colour), and the motorised blackout blind. I was originally going to have all this controlled using an arduino with an IR sensor, but I now prefer the idea of a web interface so I can control everything not only from my mobile, but from my desktop computer also (since this is an office too). :) I'm glad I made this decision before plasterboarding, since I had to install a last-minute CAT6 cable for the R-Pi. :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]

    I got the basic toggle on/off working tonight via a web interface (running Apache). Next step is to convert that to work with some change-over relays to emulate the two-way switches for the lights, and figure-out how I'm going to interface this with addressable RGB LEDs. o_O

    The "addressable" RGB LEDs I'm going for allow each individual LED to be independently controlled. This allows for light effects to be programmed into the R-Pi. I have some really cool ideas for this. :cool:

    This video should help you get an idea of the power of addressable LEDs... :cool:

    RGB light strip synced to music


    Next update after plaster. :smashin:

    Dan.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  24. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    ...So my plasterer let me down (again). :( Hoping I can still get someone else before Christmas. :suicide:

    On a positive note, I finished the design for the home automation controller. :smashin: Just need to get the coding done to make it work. It's designed to work with any version of the Raspberry Pi, so I can always upgrade it if the web-server is too slow. :) I'll probably be making the PCB myself, since I already have all the etching stuff to do it... I'm just missing a laser printer. :facepalm:

    [​IMG]

    The controller has several functions:
    • 4CH 2-way switching for main lights and RGB light (2 redundant).
    • 1CH changeover switching output for wired motorised roller blind motor.
    • 1CH digital out for addressable RGB LED strip lights.

    The controller will act as a 2-way switch for the main lights, and the RGB light. This means it will work with standard 2-way & intermediate switches. :smashin: I really hate those overly fancy (and expensive) electronic switches. :censored:

    I got a 1m length of 12-core YY cable to link between the controller & the lighting circuits. :smashin:

    [​IMG]

    I still need to acquire the LED strips from China, and find a tubular motor that is hard-wired 230V; most seem to be wireless or some other such nonsense. :censored:

    Dan.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  25. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Unless you are very lucky, that design will get you nasty cracks and pops over your audio system every time you switch something. Especially inductive loads like motors.

    You might want to consider using solid state relays instead, but you'd need to use pairs of them for your two way switching.
     
  26. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Thanks for your input. Not sure what you're getting at, none of this is tied into anything to do with the audio system? o_O The relay coils take power from the 5V supply, and just emulate the operation of a 2-way switch for the lights. The same is true for the motor control, but with one extra relay.

    Also, the lights / blind / audio system are wired to separate circuits.

    Dan.
     
  27. stevelup

    stevelup
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    Switching inductive loads with relays generates huge amounts of RF interference. It doesn't matter that it's not physically connected to your other kit.

    You might be fine, or you might find you get pops and clicks whenever you operate your blinds. If it happens that you do, you could easily retrofit a couple of solid state relays just on the affected channels.
     
  28. Plasma Dan

    Plasma Dan
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    Yes I'm aware of the problem with inductive loads. I hadn't really considered it an issue. :suicide: I could add a couple TVS diodes into the design.

    In-fact, the code I've put together so-far always ensures the changeover relay is engaged before the switching relay (to avoid the motor suddenly changing direction). So I would only need to have one solid-state relay to handle the switching. I'll update the design, thanks for your input. :smashin:

    Dan.
     
  29. avnewbee

    avnewbee
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    wow great build! a lot of work going into this well done.
     
  30. plexwasps

    plexwasps
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