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Austin DIY HT Projects

Discussion in 'Home Theater Forum Meets' started by Nils Luehrmann, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    I know - I've requested a sample from them [​IMG] Haven't heard anything back yet.
     
  2. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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  3. Leroy R

    Leroy R Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone in the group ever played around with modifying a DLP projector for better picture? Things like darkening in the clear section of the color wheel and sealing the light path? I'm thinking about trying some of these things while I have my projector apart replacing the lamp.
     
  4. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    FRUSTRATION. ANGER. RAGE!!!!!!!!


    Argh. 4/5 completed with the sub box and, trying to force something, I end up splitting a damn joint. Whole thing is a heavy junk box now.

    Oh well. At least it wasn't veneered.
     
  5. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    Also, I find it very aggravating that, while MDF edge grain soaks up glue, it only penetrates 1/32" - 1/16" inch into the board face. Almost frustrating enough to make me want to use miters, or even lock miters.
     
  6. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    I've found a veneer I like. It was sent to me as a sample and only said "Maple Qtd." but it looks like really nice somewhat figured quartersawn maple with a very light color. I emailed tapeease, they said they think it is "Heavy-Figured Quartersawn Maple" which they sent in lieu of my request for fiddleback maple (since maple naming conventions are poorly defined).

    I am going to mail the sample back to them so they can match it and know exactly what it is. I only need 2x8 or 4x4, so if anyone wants the other half of the sheet let me know. It is $165 a sheet if it is indeed heavy figured quartersawn maple (again I didn't think it was all that figured, but it is VERY nice looking). Since this isn't $500+ like the quilted quote, I don't have to have someone to go in on it with me, I can just keep it for future projects, but I thought I'd offer it up anyway. It looks like nice stuff.

    Also, if anyone wants to piggyback a veneer sheet or two onto my order, lemme know and we can split shipping costs.
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Mark: sorry to hear about your mishap. I have a lock miter router bit, but I DO NOT recommend it for MDF, out of experience. The narrow spline part of the MDF left by the bit is very easily broken, believe me. I've built lots of MDF cabinets with butt joints - they are plenty strong if your saw cuts leave parallel, close matching joints. Glad you found some affordable veneer - I'd like to see it. When it arrives, wipe som poly on part of it and post a photo.
    Oh yeah, don't skimp on the glue on MDF joints - MDF sucks it up like a camel at an oasis. Hey, that sounds good! I think I've just coined a phrase! You may use it royalty-free.

    I do need to order some veneer, but that's a few weeks away, after my customer decides what species he wants me to do his cabinets in.
     
  8. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Okay, I continue to futily attempt to get my Austin HT friends to attend my Austin Symphonic Band (http://www.asband.org) concerts, so please consider our Fathers Day concert at Zilker Park Hillside Theater this Sunday evening at 7:30. The admission price is spot on for this group: FREE! And, honestly, we are one of the best symphonic bands in the nation.
    Thanks.
     
  9. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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  10. Rich_Ave

    Rich_Ave Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Your veneer looks really nice, I can't wait to see the finished product. BTW, the foam in one of your pictures reminds me of the old JBL L100 speaker grills that I drooled over a few decades ago.
     
  11. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys,
    I'm working on the computer again, and have some questions (sorry for the post length - you quiet PC aficionados and acoustics guys might like this though).
    1) I need to quiet down my case. I mean I need it really, really quiet, not for personal preference but because my application demands it (PC based acoustic measurements that are ambient-noise sensitive - no air conditioner noise, as little PC noise as possible, etc). I have a PS fan, a case fan, a free case fan spot in the front, and a fan in front of my HD that all measure 10cm diagonally from mounting screw to mounting screw and about 8cm diameter around the blades. I take it these are 80mm fans? Can I replace the PS fan too if I keep a similar CFM to what's in there? It's a stock Antec 350w PS. Also I read there are 2 wire and 3 wire and 4 wire fans. What's the diff? What should I get?
    2) What is a good, very quiet 80mm fan to replace my current 80mm fans? I realize I need to maintain good airflow, esp in the power supply (don't want any damn blown or leaking electrolytic caps - ugh). I could use the empty case fan slot in addition to normal case fan to keep total case fan CFM up instead of using just 1 case fan in the back that is louder than 2 quieter fans combined (I assume 3dB increase in dB SPL using two identical quiet fans over one fan of the same model since the fan noise will be uncorrelated?)
    3) I have an AMD AthlonXP 1.8Ghz 2200+ (socket A). What is the quietest fan/heatsink solution while still maintaining adequate cooling? I will be doing some processor intensive Matlab signal processing. But then again, frying the chip would give me a good excuse to upgrade to a 3000+ or so AMD Athlon XP so I could up my FSB to 200MHz instead of 133, so frying it might not be *too* bad. Let's pick a quiet solution that will provide just adequate cooling. For the moment I am hoping that going from a single 512mb stick to dual 1gb sticks for dual-channel memory will provide enough improvement for my matlab stuff, but it might not. Matlab is mostly a memory bitch (fantastically powerful, but jeez these guys need to learn about mem management).
    4) I have a 6600GT vid card with cooling fan. Not sure of the mfgr, but I'm sure it's some cheap off-brand thing (had a Doom3 sticker on the fan enclosure which I thought was tacky). Do they make aftermarket video card cooling fans that are quieter that would be appropriate for this card? I'll be doing this as much to quiet it down as get rid of that damn sticker.
    I have a Radio Shack SPL meter and can measure the relative loudness of the fans by sticking it close to them. I can select A or C weighting. In A weighting mode, in relative dB, the HD fan at the surface of the case measures about 0dBA (just used as reference level, it measured much higher in absolute dBA SPL), the PS fan at about +2dBA relative, and the case fan about +8dBA relative. In C weighted mode, it's +4dBC relative for the HD fan, +20dBC relative for the PC fan, and +25dBC relative for the case fan, all relative to the A weighted, 0dBA baseline measurement for the HD fan. At 1 meter from the case, the SPL meter registers 55dBC SPL (absolute). That's way too sucky for my measurements, which happen in the 70-90 dB range (albeit the mic is placed further from the computer, 6-12 feet away).
    A/C weighting curves are available here:
    [​IMG]
    I guess I know now why everyone rates their fans in dBA and not dBC It appears most of my fan noise is coming from low frequency sources, which I could have told you from listening to it. It's definitely not a high-pitched whine like some, it's lower frequencies but just loud.
    I can't even remotely accurately measure the CPU fan or the graphics card fan (not that my other measurements are accurate, just ballpark) just because there's too much noise contamination from the other fans inside the case, but the CPU fan looks smaller than all the other fans (looks like maybe 60mm? I'm sure it's whatever the stock CPU cooler was that came with the system). Again, a better heatsink with a bigger fan recommendation would be appreciated. Or at least tell me where to look.
    Any recommendations on cooling would be greatly appreciated.
    OTHER QUESTIONS NOT RELATED TO COOLING:
    My mobo (Asus A7N8X2.0) has 6 USB ports - 4 on the back and 2 on the front. The two on the front are low speed (ie not USB 2.0). I thought they were supposed to be USB 2.0. USB1.1 or whatever rev it is is just barely adequate for my purposes, I understand that with an external USB soundcard USB 1.1 or whatever will be good for 24/48 sampling but not 24/96 - 24/96 would be nice but apparently requires USB 2.0. Does anyone know if a BIOS update or some other kind of update might get me 2.0 support? I though the front panel jacks were supposed to support 2.0 but I could be wrong.
    DVD-RW: What brand should I look at? These things have gotten cheap. Only requirement is a good name brand and a black bezel (for my black case).
    PCI Slot Covers: Looks like the person I inherited this comp from pulled some of his PCI cards but didn't replace the PCI slot covers on the back of the case. Cleaning out the dust tonight I found a dead cockroach which must have gotten through the open PCI covers. I also figure some noise could be escaping out the back through the open panels. I tried stealing some cover panels from an old Dell but they didn't fit. Can replacements be found?
    Also, are there any products made to line PC cases that absorb sound? I frequently use fiberglass and foam based products in my acoustic work but am hesitant just to go using spray adhesive and sticking it all over the inside of the case. I was mainly thinking about the removable size panel and maybe the bottom of the enclosure. That stuff tends to be pretty insulative though so it may be a problem. Just wanted to know if any PC-specific acoustic damping solutions are available.
    I might think of some more quesitons, but I think this just about covers it. Thanks for any and all recommendations!!!
    Domo arigatou mina-san!
     
  12. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    If you really want to kill the noise, you can build a totally silent pc that will work for your application. See http://www.quietpcusa.com/ for more info. If you don't want to go the silent route (which is usually more expensive and often requires underclocking) you can get really quiet using Zalman parts. They even have heatpipes for your video card.
    Just about any DVD drive will do the job these days. NEC, BenQ, Mitsumi, Pioneer, etc.
     
  13. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    I have decided to replace the power supply instead of modifying the power supply fans. Caps blowing up aren't my idea of a good system. After perusing the SPCR, I've decided on the Seasonic S12-330 unit. Does anyone like/dislike this choice? I really have no need for anything over 200w really, a little extra headroom is nice but I don't want to be generating extra heat if I don't have to. My room gets hot enough with this darn K7.

    As far as CPU heatsink/fan, it's a very tight fit in my case. I only have about 53mm between the center of the current HSF unit and the edge of the current power supply. The really good 92mm units are for the most part too big, but the SPCR recommended Scythe Katana 92mm unit looks like it could work, and it can be oriented in different directions to make it fit. Does anyone like/dislike this choice?

    For case fans (one back, one front, one in front of hard disk) I've decided on the Nexus units. They're quieter if more expensive than the Zelman's. They seemed to be the most well liked at SPCR despite the low overall flow. The added cost isn't an issue, it's only $30 total for the Nexus units. Sound like a good plan?

    For memory, I've decided on Corsair XMS 2x1GB PC3200 unbuffered dual channel package for $179 - $30 mail in rebate plus free shipping. That's the best deal I could find and I think it sounds pretty reasonable. Even if I don't get the rebate it's comparable to all the other prices I've seen.

    With regard to fan direction, I am curious as to why one in-one out is the best configuration. To me that seems like putting current sources in series (pardon the engineering analogy). Why is that better than making all the case fans blow in for positive air pressure internally forcing it out through the case gaps? My case isn't the tightest in the world, what with the three missing PCI card blanks.

    Still need to look at GPU coolers.

    Thanks guys!
     
  14. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Easy way out, and what I'm planning on: Fry's. A year or so ago, they had what was touted to be the world's quietest PC case - large diameter, slower fans - I want to build a new PC this Fall and I'll check their cases first. I'm not inclined to build a horizontal, rack-mount unit, at least now I'm not. We'll see.
     
  15. Mark Hayenga

    Mark Hayenga Supporting Actor

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    My worst offender is my GPU cooler, the stock unit on a 6600GT is absolutely sucky. Everything else seems equally bad but not as horrible as the GPU fan. Since most of my actual work on the machine is memory intensive and not so much CPU intensive, I'm going to dual channel DDR and dropping FSB and CPU speeds to moderate heat and allow for slow fans. I'm set on modifying the current computer, and making the next one be the end-all be all. The fans I want are only $10ea, and the GPU cooler is $30, and the CPU cooler is $30. The power supply is $50. And I don't have to do all of these, probably start with the GPU and case fans and go from there.
    Maybe I'll use some BH5 on the inside panels too [​IMG]
     
  16. Leroy R

    Leroy R Stunt Coordinator

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    Is it just me or is Parts Express no longer carrying Peerless drivers?
     
  17. Jonathan DA

    Jonathan DA Screenwriter

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    It's not just you. I'm not sure if it's kosher for me to release the details, but the short of it is that it no longer made financial sense for PE to continue carrying drivers made by Tymphany (Peerless' parent company). Madisound is your best source for Peerless drivers now.
     
  18. KevinHunt

    KevinHunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys..Austinite here but not into the DIY stuff....just have no skills [​IMG] Anyway I thought I might have a couple of woofers someone might be interested in. I have two 16-46 SVS CS+ passive subs. I just upgraded the drivers to the 12.3+ driver, now designed and built in house by SVS. So I have two of the 12.1+ drivers available for anyone who might want them for a DIY sub project....car or home. These were the original + drivers designed by TC Sounds for SVS. I have no idea of the specs and SVS won't give it out but I'm sure you guys in the know have the proper measuring equipment or know-how to design the proper enclosure of choice. I'll let em go for $50 ea. Just email me if interested as I rarely check pm's
     
  19. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Anyone here understand the following completely, and could possibly work with me on understanding it better, so that I could perhaps implement it into my system?


    "Grounding should consist of a single wire going to a known ground point. I like to use a ring terminal lug that fits under the cover plate screw on the outlet box. I always check this connection with an ohmmeter to third wire ground on the outlet as well as other nearby electrical outlets to be certain that proper grounding has been achieved. I then use a star or fan-out technique at the far end of the grounding wire to connect the single point ground to preamp, step-up transformer and turntable."
     
  20. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    Tubes, I understand it. Call me at home this evening if you want, and we'll discuss. Are you trying to get rid of what you think is a poor ground-induced preamp noise problem?
     

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