HVAC

As summer progressed here in Hotlanta, we had the unfortunate circumstance of a 15 year old AC unit finally dying. However, I was able to turn those lemons into lemonade and put together a new zoned system for the theater and basement. Down south the ducts are just a spaghetti of flex duct and with the routing for upstairs, the main basement and the theater, it was quite a mess.

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Soundproofing – Part 1

Now that the room had been stripped down, it was time to start rebuilding, and that meant thinking about soundproofing from the rest of the house. What you can’t see from the plans or pictures is that this room is directly below our kitchen, which has hardwood floors and so every footfall from my wife and dogs can be heard clear as day. After researching soundproofing techniques for walls and ceilings and hearing first hand from some folks on AVS, I determined that I was going to need to use double drywall and a sound damping material called Green Glue. This would need to go in between each joist. What you see in the following pics are the strips of drywall and the Green Glue used. I could immediately tell the difference once I got the first layer completed, and knew it was only going to get better as the Green Glue cured over the next 30-60 days. It was a pain in the butt to install, but it made a world of difference in the amount of noise that can be heard in either room.

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2012 – Home Theater 2.0

After many years of living up north (Ohio), my wife and I decided to migrate to Atlanta. Unfortunately this meant leaving our old home theater behind. With the Home Theater as a priority for our new home, we’ve closed on a house with a workspace that will be perfect for a new theater. Click below to follow the progress and see updated pictures of our new theater build.
Edenwilde Theater 2.0

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Demolition!

Wanting to see what was inside the walls and soffit, I began to punch holes and tear down some of the existing drywall to take a peek. What I found was a lot of wasted space, so my plan was to bring it all down and rebuild it more efficiently. After a few weeks off to move in and get settled, the real fun began. Piece by piece I tore down old drywall and 2x4s and basically took the room to bare walls. There were a couple places where I left the existing framing in tact, but most of it came down.

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A blank canvas

Here is the old workshop that will one day become Home Theater 2.0. There appears to be some rather large soffits and wall cavities that I can probably pare down to gain a few more inches and that room in the corner will have to go to make room for the hallway. Unfortuanely, I beleive the short wall is actually load bearing, so I’ll have to figure a way to remove that and still provide support.

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And 2.0 begins…

In 2011 my wife and I relocated to Atlanta. While searching for homes, space for a Home Theater was high on the priority list. After only a couple months of searching, we found a beautiful home that had a perfect space for a home theater. The previous owner had used the space as a workshop, but that was going to change. I immediately started planning for Theater 2.0, even before we closed and moved in! After several iterations of drawings, we finalized on a plan. Below are the before and after.

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Happy 2008 + New Car!

Happy New Year!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated my blog, but I felt today was a good time to do so. (Plus, I finally remembered how to log into the system 🙂 )

I hope everyone had happy and safe holidays this past December. I’m looking forward to 2008 to be an exciting new year.

A first step to that outlook is the purchase of a new car. As many of you who know me, I’ve been a pretty die hard BMW guy since my first 3 Series coupe almost 7 years ago. In those 7 years, I’ve had the opportunity to drive an ’99 M3 Convertible, an ’01 325Ci and an ’03 Z4 Roadster. These cars have been great performers and I’d love to add a 4th one to the list

However, in light of recent experiences with attempting to order a new BMW, plus some poor past experiences with service and support, I’ve decided to go a different route this time around. This past Saturday, I picked up a 2008 Acura TL Type-S. The TL-S, as it’s known, comes with a 285HP V6, 6 speed manual, and all the luxury and gadgetry a geek like me could want. On top of integrated Bluetooth and Navigation system, the Audio system plays DVD-Audio, DTS, MP3s, WMAs and regular CDs. It also has Dolby Pro Logic II Surround sound for the radio, including XM Satellite Radio. The best part – it’s all controlled with my voice. Yep, speak a command and the car responds. Phone, Audio, Nav, even climate controls are all voice operated. The Nav system leaves a lot to be desired, but it comes included with the Type-S package, so I’m not going to complain. Additionally, this will be the first Sedan that I’ve driven, with plenty of room for 5.

And for those wondering if it performs as well as a BMW, I can emphatically say YES. Despite being a front wheel drive car, it performs as near to a BMW as you can get, and blows away the Lexus, Infinity, Cadillac and Mercedes.

Perhaps one day I’ll go back to a BMW, but for now, I’m sticking with Acura.

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Lightboxes

After nearly two years of theater enjoyment, I felt the need to finish the exterior look by building the remaining poster lightboxes. (Actually, the wife pressed me to get them done, but once I started, I was on a mission.)

Around the time I had originally finished the theater, I had purchased a poster lightbox off eBay from a company called RiverCity Theaters. The RiverCity lightbox basically sandwiches the poster between a sheet of clear plexiglass and a white plexiglass diffuser, and then slides into the frame and rests in front of a couple fluorescent bulbs. The RiverCity boxes also use a spring loaded side panel to make opening and changing the posters a relatively simple task. These boxes cost approximately $265, shipped. In the spirit of DIY, (and saving $$, of course) I set out to duplicate these boxes as best I could.

I had settled on building four additional boxes to match the remaining outlets our electrician had already installed. Building the frames were relatively simple. I first had to cut groves in each plank for both the plexiglass and the backer board. Not wanting to have any indication of screw or nail holes from the outside, I needed to strategically use supports to ensure the backer board and planks were secured to each other. I also needed a way to allow the box to open and close for changing out the posters, but didn’t want to use springs like the other box, as the side panel ended up marring the wall whenever I opened it. Instead, my dad had the brilliant idea of using cabinet magnets. Once the frames were assembled, I proceeded to paint them. I used a metallic silver for the inside, and a semi-gloss black for the outside. A few coats later, the boxes were ready for hardware. Initially, I had planned on using fluorescent bulbs similar to the RiverCity boxes, however, I had been reading other people’s accounts of their lightbox building experiences and they all decided to use standard ropelight. After installing the ropelight in the first couple boxes, I mounted them on the wall, and inserted the posters, but was sadly disappointed at the end result. The light output wasn’t very bright, and there was an orange glow, making the posters looked washed out and dull. I decided to rip out the ropelight and go with fluorescents. Now the posters are bright and colorful!

Amazingly, this whole project only took me a couple weeks to complete. The boxes look great, and I saved quite a bit too!

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Movie Marathon

A while back, some friends and I decided to plop our butts into my custom theater seats and spend 9+ hours watching all 3 chapters of the Extended Editions of the Lords of the Rings trilogy. We planned on taking breaks between each disc and each chapter for food and bathroom, but it was going to be non-stop Frodo for the rest of the day.

Miscalculating that each extended edition was actually closer to 4 hours each, we finished our marathon around 3am this morning. Needless to say I’m a bit tired, but I also can attest that I won’t be doing that anytime soon. Any future marathons will have to be split out over days or even weeks.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! That’s right, today is my birthday, and a big one at that. On December 15th, 1975, 30 years ago, I entered the world. And what a world it has become. I still remember the innocent days of riding dirt bikes without helmets and watching movies like E.T. with guns, and who can forget that Han shot first.

Anyway, hope those who’s birthday is not today, you have an enjoyable day nonetheless!

UPDATE: I’ve been reminded that my parents were also a part of my entering into the world so a big Thanks goes out to my Mom who brought me into the world and my Dad too, who had a part in all this as well! I love you both.

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