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Start ceiling and Atmos

tails007

Established Member
I'm going to have Atmos speakers, but if possible would also like to have a star ceiling. I'll be making this myself to keep the cost down.

I cannot access the ceiling from above so the speakers need to be in the ceiling, with the star ceiling suspended below where the speakers sit...

Has anyone done something similar? I'm assuming the fabric would need to be acoustically transparent?
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
I’ve done this project but with a pelmet to house the speakers (+ down lights and projector screen) rather than the speakers within the star ceiling perimeter as you would need AT fabric.

I managed to do a Star Ceiling for under £500 including:
MiniLED550 light source
Remote
Drill bits and fitting kit
Carrier tails
Connectors
Hard-wire (into lighting circuit) kit
Foam board - from Hobby Craft
Fabric - from Hobby Craft
Contact adhesive spray - from Hobby Craft

I’ve got some more detailed pictures somewhere and will fish them out.

Peter at StarScape is very helpfull assuming you’re buying from there.
 

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tails007

Established Member
I’ve done this project but with a pelmet to house the speakers (+ down lights and projector screen) rather than the speakers within the star ceiling perimeter as you would either need AT fabric.

I managed to do a Star Ceiling for under £500 including:
MiniLED550 light source
Remote
Drill bits and fitting kit
Carrier tails
Connectors
Hard-wire (into lighting circuit) kit
Foam board - from Hobby Craft
Fabric - from Hobby Craft
Contact adhesive spray - from Hobby Craft

I’ve got some more detailed pictures somewhere and will fish them out.

Peter at StarScape is very helpfull assuming you’re buying from there.
Thanks Gav! This looks very similar to what I'm planning

Have you noticed any issues with having the Atmos speakers so wide in the room? I thought they needed to be more central?

I also want to have my screen in the perimeter. Do you have any photos of how you constructed or tips/archived in general?
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Thanks Gav! This looks very similar to what I'm planning

Have you noticed any issues with having the Atmos speakers so wide in the room? I thought they needed to be more central?

I also want to have my screen in the perimeter. Do you have any photos of how you constructed or tips/archived in general?

I didn't do the whole width of the room as I have a funny shaped room and just built the pelmet as a rectangle to frame the room and ceiling. Plus it would have cost too much.

I've got loads of fotos somewhere, I will fish them out this week.

Tips:
Panels - I used 5m foam from HobbyCraft in future I would use something thicker as they can be a bit 'saggy' when you attach the A3 boards together to make a larger panel. I stuck x4 A3 boards together to make a large board and then attached the black fabric with contact adhesive. Make sure you glue every bit of the fabric down otherwise it will rip when you drill.

I then repeated this x4 times so I had four equal-sized panels (probably 1.5m x 1.5m) which I then fitted (via black screws) to a timber battened frame screwed to the ceiling.

Don't even think about using magnets, they are a complete faff, cost a fortune and once the star ceiling is up you will never really need to take down anyway.

Drilling - When you drill the holes for the fibres you will likely rip a few bits of fabric - try to drill slowly (and not with a Dewalt power drill) and do it from the rear side of the panel (i.e. not the fabric side). I made a match-box sized panel to test on a few times until I was confident. I made a few screw-ups but a black Sharpie fixed that.

What took the most time - Drilling the holes is a faff as I had 100-80 per panel. Room wasn't perfectly square so the last panel needed taking down and trimming up several times - I still have a bit of a sag now I need to fix. Making one large board out of x4 A3 boards was a faff, especially taping them together. If I did this again I would get some 12mm Celotex and cut to the required size, it would have saved me half the time.

Useful threads:



Think there's some pics in my thread here but I never got around to updating it - AV room / Lounge with pelmet installed (WIP)

Kit as follows:
Boards - West Design Black Foam Board A3 5 Pack | Hobbycraft
Fabric - Black Polyester Crushed Velour Fabric Pack 152Cm X 2M | Hobbycraft
Glue - Any contact adhesive from Amazon / Hobby Craft
Fibre controller - MiniLED550 twinkle or colour change light source
Hydra-6 Connector (connect multiple fibre panels to controller) - The Hydra fibre optic system
Panel tails (attach to panels) - Panel tails with 100 mixed diameter fibres
Carrier Tails (connect panel tails to controller) - Carrier tails
Wiring kit to wire into ceiling rose (don't really need this but I didn't have a power socket in the pelmet as this is where the controller is housed) - Hard wire power supply

Note: I bought a Hydra-6 (with 6 light outputs) so I have 2 spare if I ever want to add more to the room.

You can get cheaper kits from Amazon but I liked the way the Starscape kits are modular. Simply affix the MINILED550 controller to the ceiling, install the fibre on the panels, plug the tails in and then connect all panels together to the MINILED550 using the Hydra-6.

Once everything was fitted it took about 10 mins to install and working.
 
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tails007

Established Member
I didn't do the whole width of the room as I have a funny shaped room and just built the pelmet as a rectangle to frame the room and ceiling. Plus it would have cost too much.

I've got loads of fotos somewhere, I will fish them out this week.

Tips:
Panels - I used 5m foam from HobbyCraft in future I would use something thicker as they can be a bit 'saggy' when you attach the A3 boards together to make a larger panel. I stuck x4 A3 boards together to make a large board and then attached the black fabric with contact adhesive. Make sure you glue every bit of the fabric down otherwise it will rip when you drill.

I then repeated this x4 times so I had four equal-sized panels (probably 1.5m x 1.5m) which I then fitted (via black screws) to a timber battened frame screwed to the ceiling.

Don't even think about using magnets, they are a complete faff, cost a fortune and once the star ceiling is up you will never really need to take down anyway.

Drilling - When you drill the holes for the fibres you will likely rip a few bits of fabric - try to drill slowly (and not with a Dewalt power drill) and do it from the rear side of the panel (i.e. not the fabric side). I made a match-box sized panel to test on a few times until I was confident. I made a few screw-ups but a black Sharpie fixed that.

What took the most time - Drilling the holes is a faff as I had 100-80 per panel. Room wasn't perfectly square so the last panel needed taking down and trimming up several times - I still have a bit of a sag now I need to fix. Making one large board out of x4 A3 boards was a faff, especially taping them together. If I did this again I would get some 12mm Celotex and cut to the required size, it would have saved me half the time.

Useful threads:



Think there's some pics in my thread here but I never got around to updating it - AV room / Lounge with pelmet installed (WIP)

Kit as follows:
Boards - West Design Black Foam Board A3 5 Pack | Hobbycraft
Fabric - Black Polyester Crushed Velour Fabric Pack 152Cm X 2M | Hobbycraft
Glue - Any contact adhesive from Amazon / Hobby Craft
Fibre controller - MiniLED550 twinkle or colour change light source
Hydra-6 Connector (connect multiple fibre panels to controller) - The Hydra fibre optic system
Panel tails (attach to panels) - Panel tails with 100 mixed diameter fibres
Carrier Tails (connect panel tails to controller) - Carrier tails
Wiring kit to wire into ceiling rose (don't really need this but I didn't have a power socket in the pelmet as this is where the controller is housed) - Hard wire power supply

Note: I bought a Hydra-6 (with 6 light outputs) so I have 2 spare if I ever want to add more to the room.

You can get cheaper kits from Amazon but I liked the way the Starscape kits are modular. Simply affix the MINILED550 controller to the ceiling, install the fibre on the panels, plug the tails in and then connect all panels together to the MINILED550 using the Hydra-6.

Once everything was fitted it took about 10 mins to install and working.

Thanks very much Gav. That's some really great info, very helpful!

A few questions for you if thats ok?

- What made you go for the foam/fabric approach for the star ceiling rather than say a plywood ceiling painted black? I'm really wanting to combine atmos with the star ceiling, there's a customer project on starscape which is using plywood and atmos speakers - looks like it could be a good way to go? - https://www.starscape.co.uk/Images/pdf/Home Cinema Room Creation (1) (1).pdf

- Any photos you have on the pelmet/soffit/bulkhead (not sure what the right name is) construction you could share would be great. I'm looking to hide the screen in the perimeter as you have too but haven't found it mentioned anywhere else!

- I was also thinking of putting an LED ropelight on the outside of the permiter - did you consider this?

- When it comes to the projector, did you hide this in the perimeter too?

Thanks so much for your help!
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Thanks very much Gav. That's some really great info, very helpful!

A few questions for you if thats ok?

- What made you go for the foam/fabric approach for the star ceiling rather than say a plywood ceiling painted black? I'm really wanting to combine atmos with the star ceiling, there's a customer project on starscape which is using plywood and atmos speakers - looks like it could be a good way to go? - https://www.starscape.co.uk/Images/pdf/Home Cinema Room Creation (1) (1).pdf

- Any photos you have on the pelmet/soffit/bulkhead (not sure what the right name is) construction you could share would be great. I'm looking to hide the screen in the perimeter as you have too but haven't found it mentioned anywhere else!

- I was also thinking of putting an LED ropelight on the outside of the permiter - did you consider this?

- When it comes to the projector, did you hide this in the perimeter too?

Thanks so much for your help!

Short and sweet as busy day...

- What made you go for the foam/fabric approach for the star ceiling rather than say a plywood ceiling painted black? I'm really wanting to combine atmos with the star ceiling, there's a customer project on starscape which is using plywood and atmos speakers - looks like it could be a good way to go? - https://www.starscape.co.uk/Images/pdf/Home Cinema Room Creation (1) (1).pdf
Gav - Plywood was far too heavy to work with (as I have 10sq m or area) for me and I knew it would be a PITA to get the exact fit when installed in between my pelmet. Building the panels and then screwing them in is much easier to work with especially when it comes to trimming down foam vs. plywood. Also, butting-up the fabric-covered panels gives a better look IMO.

- Any photos you have on the pelmet/soffit/bulkhead (not sure what the right name is) construction you could share would be great. I'm looking to hide the screen in the perimeter as you have too but haven't found it mentioned anywhere else!
Gav - I have got some and will post later today. There is also a brilliant threat on here buy I'm struggling to find it, I will look thru my history from last year.

- I was also thinking of putting an LED ropelight on the outside of the permiter - did you consider this?
Gav - I looked into this but decided against it as I really don't like too much lighting when I'm watching movies and IMO it sort of defeats the object of the star ceiling if it's being over-powered with a blue LED. Also, after talking to a few people they also advised that the length I would need (15m) would need two strips with two separate power supplies which was going to be a pain as I had no sockets in the pelmet.

- When it comes to the projector, did you hide this in the perimeter too?
Gav - Decided against this mainly due to the heat omitted from the Epson TW-9400
 

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gav_sw20

Established Member
Here's the thread - think page #5 is where he starts building the pelmet

 

tails007

Established Member
Here's the thread - think page #5 is where he starts building the pelmet

Hi Gav, sorry for the late reply I've been really busy at work. Would you have any photos of how you constructed your soffit specifically where you put the motorised screen in? I'm looking to do the same but obviously can't construct it with any timber running back to the wall as that would be in the way of where I need to cut and mount the screen.. I'm sure I've done a terrible job of explaining that!
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Hi Gav, sorry for the late reply I've been really busy at work. Would you have any photos of how you constructed your soffit specifically where you put the motorised screen in? I'm looking to do the same but obviously can't construct it with any timber running back to the wall as that would be in the way of where I need to cut and mount the screen.. I'm sure I've done a terrible job of explaining that!

I hung the projector screen up first by screwing this directly to the ceiling joists and then built around it using the following image as a guide...

*** MAKE SURE YOUR SCREEN IS 100% LEVEL WHEN DROPPED ALL THE WAY DOWN AND DON'T RELY ON YOUR CEILING BEING LEVEL AS IT WON'T BE ***

Projector project mockup.PNG


Before I fixed the bottom (330mm wide) face I cut a slit in the MDF with a jigsaw so that the screen could drop through easily. See image here...

Projector screen slit.PNG
 
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tails007

Established Member
I hung the projector screen up first by screwing this directly to the ceiling joists and then built around it using the following image as a guide...

*** MAKE SURE YOUR SCREEN IS 100% LEVEL WHEN DROPPED ALL THE WAY DOWN AND DON'T RELY ON YOUR CEILING BEING LEVEL AS IT WON'T BE ***

View attachment 1376539

Before I fixed the bottom (330mm wide) face I cut a slit in the MDF with a jigsaw so that the screen could drop through easily. See image here...

View attachment 1376521
Thanks very much for this! I didn't even think of just adding a slit! I was going down the route of buying the more expensive screen that has the workings recessed but couldn't work out if the plasterboard would actually support its weight, so thank you!

Do you think a 55cm bulkhead would be an ok size? If I do this then I can just use 3 MDF boards next to each other for the start ceiling rather than having to cut odd sizes...
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
I looked at a ceiling-recessed screen too but they were too expensive and would still protrude from the soffit. The cut was easy, just drill two large 12mm holes either end of the MDF (the width of the screen) and then get jigsaw (with a new blade) and cut the slit either side between the two drilled holes.

55cm bulkhead is extremely wide and will likely sag unless using thick MDF, plus it will be a b!tch to put up. B&Q will cut your boards to size for you, just remember the thicker you have the heavier it will be.

I got mine cut down to size when they were purchased.
 

tails007

Established Member
I looked at a ceiling-recessed screen too but they were too expensive and would still protrude from the soffit. The cut was easy, just drill two large 12mm holes either end of the MDF (the width of the screen) and then get jigsaw (with a new blade) and cut the slit either side between the two drilled holes.

55cm bulkhead is extremely wide and will likely sag unless using thick MDF, plus it will be a b!tch to put up. B&Q will cut your boards to size for you, just remember the thicker you have the heavier it will be.

I got mine cut down to size when they were purchased.
Thanks Gav..I was actually going to use plasterboard. Any reason you went with MDF over plasterboard and skim?
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
IMO plasterboard has the following issues:
- Not rigid enough and will need screwing every 400mm at least
- Too flimsy to work with especially at length
- Not easy to get a perfect finish when cutting and joining / drilling holes for spotlights, speakers, slit for screen

MDF is easy to cut, east to butt 45 / 90degree joints to each other, you can paint as soon as it's in place (without the need for skim which is more cost) and it gives you something solid to screw to if needed.

Honestly, for the sake of an extra £100 your life will be easier working with MDF but appreciate it all comes down to cost.
 
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tails007

Established Member
IMO plasterboard has the following issues:
- Not rigid enough and will need screwing every 400mm at least
- Too flimsy to work with especially at length
- Not easy to get a perfect finish when cutting and joining / drilling holes for spotlights, speakers, slit for screen

MDF is easy to cut, east to butt 45 / 90degree joints to each other, you can paint as soon as it's in place (without the need for skim which is more cost) and it gives you something solid to screw to if needed.

Honestly, for the sake of an extra £100 your life will be easier working with MDF but appreciate it all comes down to cost.
Hi Gav.. not sure if you saw my other post by wondering if you insulated any sections of your bulkhead? If not, have you noticed any issues from not doing it??
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Didn’t bother with any insulation and the sound is fine. Bit noisy if the other half is in the room directly above the lounge but it’s not really an issue.

Honestly, don’t over-complicate it, remember it’s your house and not a dedicated cinema. Spend the extra £££ on equipment or 4K’s.
 
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tails007

Established Member
Didn’t bother with any insulation and the sound is fine. Bit noisy if the other half is I n the room directly above the lounge but it’s not really an issue.

Honestly, don’t over-complicate it, remember it’s your house and not a dedicated cinema. Spend the extra £££ on equipment or 4K’s.
Thanks very much. There's no room above, just a flat roof. I guess I was thinking more from the angle of preventing any potential vibrations in the framework I've created.

You're right though, it's easy to overcomplicate things, especially with everything you can read online!
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Thanks very much. There's no room above, just a flat roof. I guess I was thinking more from the angle of preventing any potential vibrations in the framework I've created.

You're right though, it's easy to overcomplicate things, especially with everything you can read online!

No worries.

All I will say is make sure you tighten-down any speakers or spotlights you have fitted in the pelmet. I had a bit of an Atmos session the other week and one of the ceiling speakers has worked lose and dropped a bit so I need to tighten up the clamps a bit more and refit.

Let us know how you get on - are you still going with plasterboard?
 

tails007

Established Member
No worries.

All I will say is make sure you tighten-down any speakers or spotlights you have fitted in the pelmet. I had a bit of an Atmos session the other week and one of the ceiling speakers has worked lose and dropped a bit so I need to tighten up the clamps a bit more and refit.

Let us know how you get on - are you still going with plasterboard?
Cheers! Yes still going with plasterboard. I'm not a carpenter so I think I can get away with more inaccuracies of I use plaster... Then the plasterer can hopefully hide anything up! In progress shots attached..
 

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tails007

Established Member
Now to board up and install downlights!... Off to YouTube to find out how I actually do that! Trying to decide on spacing for them now!
 

Harkon321

Prominent Member
That looks excellent. Going to save this link for when I get on to pelmet. I'd love a star ceiling but not sure I have the patience to do it. Maybe one for the future.

Can I ask about the fixings for your pelmet timber. Is that a pocket jig you've used to make the fixing points? Can I ask which one you used? Is there a benefit to this than just screwing through the ends of the timber? I'm guessing it's stronger at that angle but takes longer?
 

gav_sw20

Established Member
Now to board up and install downlights!... Off to YouTube to find out how I actually do that! Trying to decide on spacing for them now!

I positioned mine to be over my front speakers, artwork and turntable so there's was no exact science used. I also used IKEA TRÅDFRI bulbs connected to my Hue hub.

TBH the lights are hardily ever on as I like watching TV and projector in the dark. I have a Hue motion sensor to turn 4 of them on (above the artwork) so that your not clambering around in the dark when you walk in / out.
 

tails007

Established Member
I positioned mine to be over my front speakers, artwork and turntable so there's was no exact science used. I also used IKEA TRÅDFRI bulbs connected to my Hue hub.

TBH the lights are hardily ever on as I like watching TV and projector in the dark. I have a Hue motion sensor to turn 4 of them on (above the artwork) so that your not clambering around in the dark when you walk in / out.
That sounds really good. I've shied away from hue for cost reasons but was considering WiFi bulbs..
 

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