Audio / Visual

A / V Summary as of Jul 2010

    1. Projector screen

Once I get a better rack installed, I plan on having dedicated UPS's for each of the major components...

BELOW follows some of my (reverse chronological) progress. Some things have changed since then (for example my server runs XP instead of Linux, etc)...

For reference (and pictures!) only...

There will be 4 main components concerning the A/V systems in the Party Barn.

MAY 19 2009

Got the projector rail finished and installed.  Pics:

...raising it into place...

...bolted down...

finished the carriage assy:



A couple Videos.  Number one - a quick tour to give perspective, Number two - retracting the screen (sorry, camera doesn't do well in low light)



The projector I got on ebay (for now) doesn't have a remote - so no keystone adjustment (yet).  Bummer.

MAY 13, 2009

The big screen is now installed!  Yippee!  It came from  Some specs:

I can't find any negatives about this screen.  It silently drops at the push of a button and can be stopped at any point to the "perfect" size for whatever is being viewed.  It was light enough that building some custom mounts for it was a snap.  (It's designed to be wall mounted, and came with good mounting screws if you go this route.)  The screen when deployed is extremely flat.  No noticeable ripples when in use.  I plan on keeping the screen "up" when not in use.  Others say that edge curling may occur if left down all the time.  The material it's made of is kind of like a thin rubberized tarp.  It appears to be one continuous surface with no defects.  Very nice!  Some pics! -->>

Here it is right after I unloaded it from the trailer.  It's braced with a couple 2x6's.  Even WITH the wood, it's not that heavy, and quite rigid. 

I inspected it after unpacking.  Wow - it seems smaller then I imagined!


In place and ready to be mounted.


These are the two large "L" brackets I made for mounting.  In my case, the screen needs to be mounted 3 1/2 feet away from the wall.


Here's mounted - suspended away from the speakers.  On a side note, it doesn't seem to "muffle" the sound to any noticeable degree.


I set up a projector on a table and tried it out with a music video (Blondie!)

The blur is from the long exposure time on my camera - the picture looked pretty good for being enlarged so much.

Here's with "pause" on (Godzilla!)

Just a 4:3 aspect until we get a better projector (I want the JVC DLA-HD350 personally)

Next on things to do is to finish the overhead rail for mounting projectors)  I'll be able to mount more then one eventually if I want to.  The "rail" part is to make easy distance adjustments.

This rail is 20' long and will span two of the buildings main supports 14' off the ground.  Arms will drop down off the roller cart about 5' to place the projector at the best position relative to the screen.  I'll being doing more work on this next week...

FEB 15, 2009

Some shots of how things look currently:

FEB 2009

I finally got some of the sound system components on order:

A Denon AVR1909 receiver - 90W per channel 7.1 with a LOT of bells and whistles (more then I suspect I'll need)

For the front/mid/rear channels I've ordered some Infinity Primus P152 speakers.  They're 120W capable and six of them should deliver adequate sound levels.

...and then a matching Infinity Primus PC350 mid channel:

Considering the volume of space I'm dealing with, I put a big chunk of my audio budget into a good subwoofer. A Mackie 1801 powered sub.  It's 800W (1000W peak), has a low end of 35hz and can produce up to 135db (for comparison - a subway train is about 95db).  It stands 32" tall and weighs in around 180lbs.  NICE!

 All together, the major components + shipping cost just over $2000.  I've also got about $200 in various cables/adapters coming in (most of the speakers will be over 30ft from the receiver).

FEB 13 2009

All of the audio main components are in:

The Sub:

The Receiver:

...and the Speakers:

In most home theater applications that I've seen, normally the rear speakers are "heftier".  The Partybarn is a little different though.  There's no ONE place where everyone will be seated.  I want to be able to evenly spread the sound around - hence all matching speakers for rear/mid/front.  The only exception being the center channel.  I'll be mounting these next week and trying the whole thing out!

APR 2009

I had some old unused Infinity SM-152's from many years ago.  I reconed the woofers about 5 years ago.  They still sound great!  I went ahead and placed them as the front channel speakers (wall mounted!) and moved the front two P152's up to the loft and use them for zone 2 sound.  The total system now uses 10 speakers!  Cool!

The wall mounted SM-152's.  I built custom welded steel supports.  They are suspended about 6" off the wall - nice!

JUN 25 08

The primary source for music and video will be supplied by a custom computer system.  It will have 2 rack mounted computers.  #1 will be a file server running Linux (spinning several 1TB drives - mostly for video) and #2 will be a higher horsepower machine running a Quadcore and possessing a high end video card.  It will be able to multi-boot from more then one internal drive so it can easily run multiple OS's (at least 2 anyway).  I plan on the default boot OS to handle audio and video tasks.  An alternated boot option will be used for gaming (games on a 16ft screen should be nifty).


The first thing I built was the computer cabinet - so that means more welding!  woohoo!

The dimensions are:  24" deep, 20" wide and 30" tall (with rollers about 33" tall).

...right after cutting and welding:


...install casters:

...cut (broke) some plexiglass to fit and drilled:

...painted back side:

...installed top / sides and computers:

...I still need to put a bottom of some sort on.  Underneath will house two back-up power supplies.

OCT 19 08

Using an old computer I built about 4 years ago, I placed its guts into one of the server cases and installed Linux Ubuntu. 

I think it's a 1ghz Pentium 3 with 1gb of ram on an Intel motherboard.  It never got much use back when I built it (I used it as a DVR for the TV mostly), but has sat the past couple years.  I added a modern SATA card that can handle 4 drives.  Ubuntu installed without a hitch.  I love free OS's - especially when they're as stable as Linux.  I think this box will be perfect as a file server on my network.

I also installed a nifty multi card reader with fan monitors and controls
I'll be able to head off potential problems this way (I hope!)

This rack will set on the right side of the control desk in the loft.  The mouse, keyboard and monitor will be located on the desk and shared by both computers via a KVM. 


Between building the rack and the first computer, I built and installed the control desk:

SEP 1, 08

I finally got started on the control desk.  The desk will sit on the edge of the loft overlooking the rest of the building.  It will have associated computer hardware (monitors, keyboards, etc) as well as the sound system components.  Next to the desk is where the above mentioned rack will set.

I had some interesting restrictions/requirements in the design.  First, I wanted to only use materials I already had on hand.  Next, the weight of the desk needed to distribute it's weight to the floor and to both ends (to avoid any clutter underneath.  Hence the use of the heavy 4" C purlins (kind like a C channel) to keep things rigid.  When done, it can be screwed down to the wood floor and provide plenty of support.

I built the framework in the shop.




SEP 15 08

I ended up installing a pre-fab top.  It was simply the cheaper route and will work just fine.

Cut the hole for the control box and got it installed...

I opted for a three in one switch.  The first one on the left turns all the dimmers/lights off.  The second one will control plugs that will be mounted on the top rear of the desk.  The third will be for future use...

After I install the audio, it'll be time to get a projector screen in.  After looking at the size of space at the end of the Party Barn, I think a 16' x 9' screen will fit best.

Next will be a 1080P projector.  I think this will be the single most expensive component I'll be installing...

Anyway, I've already built a computer rack and finished one of the computers.  It will house 2 computers (One a Linux file server that will spin some terabyte drives) and the other will be built for horsepower to power the 1080P projector smoothly at its max resolution.  I suspect a quadcore processor will be in my future.





More as it happens...