Backyard Theater Forum

Backyard Theater discussions => General discussion => Topic started by: Cleveland Wasp on July 09, 2006, 01:30:10 pm

Title: Finally up and running
Post by: Cleveland Wasp on July 09, 2006, 01:30:10 pm
     After many rainy weekends and other commitments, I was finally able to enjoy an outdoor movie.  I bought the projector and all the materials months ago, and planned for a 1 1/2" PVC "tlogan-style" frame.  I cut the bottoms of the support pipes into shapes like pen caps, so that I could pound them into the ground.  The screen itself is two pieces of blackout cloth joined in the back with duct tape.  They sell blackout cloth in sections of 4 1/2', so I bought two 18' pieces for a 16'x9' screen (one foot on either side to attach to PVC).  Unfortunately, I couldn't make this set up work.  It looked good on paper but I couldn't get the parts into position by myself (might have worked with another guy or two).  I even ended up snapping my PVC "pen caps". 
     On to plan B.  Since my back yard is surrounded by a chain-link fence, I simply tied the PVC to two of the supports.  They were only 15' apart, so I had some sagging, but you couldn't really tell once it got dark and the projector was blasting.  I cranked up my Sharp XR-10X from Eco-Quiet mode (1750 lum) to Bright mode (2000 lum) and we didn't need to wait for total darkness.
     In addition to the projector, my set-up consists of an X-box and an old stereo.  I might upgrade to home-theater sound later.  I hadn't given much thought to what movie to watch.  The Polar Express had arrived in the mail (Blockbuster online) earlier that day, I selected it because my two-year old son loves trains.  It turned out to be a great choice because of the superb animation and all the exciting movement.  Almost "imax" like on the big screen at times; probably much less impressive on a TV.  I highly recommend this film for outdoor viewing, especially given that we are all generally limited to "family" movies.
     Thanks to everyone for your input on this forum, extremely useful info here.  Now that I know everything works, I'm going to plan a get-together with friends, make a big deal about it.

Edit:  If you have accessed this message from the gallery picture on the home page, you may with to view my follow-up posts:,435.0.html,455.0.html

Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: kelemvor on July 09, 2006, 01:41:22 pm
Cool.  Looks really good.

How did you try to attach the PVC to the screen in the first attempt?  Pockets in the screen, grommets, clips?

I made mine from 1-1/4" PVC and I got it up fine but it was just the frame.  We're going to sew together the blackout sheets today (hopefully) so they I can grommet it and hopefully do a test later this week.

Did you leave the speakers on the rable behind the people watchign it?  Coudl just get some speaker wire and put the speakers up in the front.  SPeaker wire is pretty cheap normally.

Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: rfisk on July 09, 2006, 03:29:01 pm

I love these "first showing" reports.  Your son is going to LOVE this!

Nice tidy setup there.  Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

Enjoy the time in your backyard theater!


Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: tlogan6797 on July 10, 2006, 08:53:36 am
Cleveland Wasp -


Sorry "my" frame design didn't work out for you. If you can post a little more info about how you were trying to make it work, maybe I can help you out. I'm wondering about the pounding the leg supports into the ground. I can see why it might not work. It's all pretty straight forward and should work. What you improvised looks pretty good, though.

Good start! Keep it up! You'll be tinkering with it forever. I'm still comming up with little things to make it easier to set up and break down.


Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: Cleveland Wasp on July 10, 2006, 10:31:33 am
The edge of the blackout cloth is attached to the PVC with duct tape, wrapped around once, and then stuck again with double-sided mounting tape.  A very low-tech approach to be sure.  Sewing might be a better way to go, but it's beyond my expertise.    Is there any advantage to having the sound come from the front instead of the rear?  It would be easy enough to do if it would add to the experience.

Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: tlogan6797 on July 10, 2006, 02:30:44 pm
Is there any advantage to having the sound come from the front instead of the rear?

The only thing I can think of with the speakers in front is that if you sit far enough back from the screen, the sound may get out of sync with the picture (speed of sound at 68F is about 1200 feet per sec while the speed of light is still 186,000 feet per second -- the light from the movie reaches your eyes a ALOT faster than the sound of the voice). But you would have to be sitting WAAAAY back and it would have to be loud enough to be heard (which would probably annoy the neighbors -- unless you invite them to every show!). That's why drive-ins had individual speakers.

I'm only guessing here, but if you are only running stero, it probably doesn't matter. If you are running 5.1, you should place the speakers with the LF, RF, CTR in front and the LR, RR in back (sub you can experiment with) or your surround effects will be compromised.


Title: Re: Finally up and running
Post by: cbsher47 on August 16, 2006, 02:21:33 pm
One thing movie buffs may wish to consider is constructing a permanent  screen.  You never have to set it up or take it down.  I have done so and will send a picture.  The size is moderate 8 ft X 15 ft.