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1  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: low cost long throw on: April 17, 2017, 12:46:03 am
Well, I did get over to the Night-Sky over the weekend, just not after dark so I didn't get to play experiment at all.  What I did get to do is rake leaves and winter debris up, cut tree branches hanging on the fence and the screen, and patch together the fence.  On the theatre side, I did give the screen a good look over, I'm going to go by again next weekend replace a few of the supports running from the back side that angle to the ground behind it.  Honestly I'm a little surprised it didn't come down over the winter.  There is also a support on the right side that is on of the main vertical supports that doesn't look to happy, but I think replacing a couple of the back supports will at least assure us of it staying up right for the season.  I'm still open to ideas and once I do get to experiment I will post back with what didn't work and what does work if anything.

Typically he has started his season Memorial weekend, but the Sit & Vue historically when it was at my house and on a hill I tried to get open by mid-May so we are shooting for either the 12th or the 19th, weather permitting, in other words we need to get enough sunshine to dry out the hill, because I about bit it several times raking. 
2  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / low cost long throw on: April 12, 2017, 06:02:11 pm
Ok so I've once again found myself in a new / old situation.  So the Sit & Vue will not be coming back this year.  Jake has decided to stay in SC, so he is selling his house here.  This coming weekend was the weekend that I had hoped we would be opening up for the season.  I'm not really looking to relocate the Sit & Vue again, but Gary (Night-Sky) is still at his place and will be at least until next fall.  So I'm just going to do what I can to make his BYT the best it can be for this summer and who knows maybe longer if he wants to keep going.  So last weekend I met Jake at his place and we pretty much took out and divided up the equipment that was at the Sit & Vue.  He took the BOC screens and the FM transmitter, I got all three projectors, the AM transmitter and if I want to go back and get it the plywood screen is mine too.  I don't really want to move the plywood screen, but I'd image he'll have it taken down before selling the house so I might go by and cut off a chuck to frame or something.

This is what it comes down to.  The Night-sky is on a hill, he has a tiny building built into the ground 1/2 way up the hill the we call the projection booth.  It's in horrible shape as is most of the equipment in it.  The roof on the building has leaked for longer that I have been helping him and all his equipment from the VHS player to audio processor to the projector is encased in homemade wood box or rack.  I don't know what the manufacture of the PJ is that is currently in there, but it's not a very bright at all.  So what I'd like to do is to use my equipment over there.  I'm not really keen on using his projection building, but at the top of the hill is his house which has an enclosed porch, and I could mount a projector my transmitter and I'd be able to use my laptop and dvd player for programming as I have done as I did at the Sit & Vue.

So here is the equipment I have and what I'm trying to do.  His screen is 8X12 feet so roughly 4:3.  Projectors I have on hand.  one Epson powerlite 81P, and two Canon Realis X700 they are all 4:3 Pjs, the Epson is rated at 2,000 lumens the canons 4,000 lumens.  Neither one of the projectors have changeable lenses. 

For that size screen the Epson should have a throw distance of 18 - 21 feet.  The Canons from 18 - 29 feet, obviously they both have built in zoom.  But the porch is roughly 55 feet from the screen.  So none of my projectors are intended to have that long of a throw distance to this size of screen.  I'm not going to spend thousands of dollars doing this for what is likely to be only one or possibly two summers.  What I would like are some homebrew ideas that I could attempt for less than $100.

So any thoughts or ideas are welcome, there are no bad ones.  I would probably prefer to use the canon as it is brighter than the Epson and with the longer throw distance I'm going to likely need the extra lumens.  I'm hoping to go over there this weekend and play experiment for a few hours.  One thought is to just simply go to using the laptop as the only programming source and simply changing the display settings making the screen size smaller, and see if that is helpful.  Another would be homebrewing a lens, or ?  I have heard of folks with indoor home theaters using mirrors in order to mount the pj much closer to the screen (shorter throw)  but I don't see how that could be used for situation I have, I'm just putting it out there to get the creative juices flowing Smiley 
3  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Electric dual drum pulling winch on: April 11, 2017, 11:31:18 am
I don't know if your still looking but I was in Lowes hardware the other day and noticed they had manual winches for about $30.00, no dual drums though, but they might be a source for something not to costly.  If you can find someone knowledgeable there maybe there are options they can order.  It's just a thought
4  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: When you lose a hobby Friend on one of these sites on: April 05, 2017, 01:09:38 pm
My heart goes out to their family, and I do agree, though I have met exactly zero of the  folks on this forum in person I feel the same way, like we are brothers and sisters of BYT.  I'm not trying to start a war this comment but that is why it depresses, and I get defensive sometimes when I see someone on the forum post folks to another place to discuss BYT (FB), or when I see new members aren't being approved.  I feel like I was welcomed into a family when I came along and if this forum were to die, I would loose my BYT family.

You all take care and be strong, summer is getting closer! 
5  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Electric dual drum pulling winch on: April 05, 2017, 01:01:02 pm
I had a thought of buying a second one of the exact same model putting them side by side, then having one long bolt between them so that the crank would wind both drums.   I figured adding some sort of motor on it later wouldn't be too difficult.   And that was if all else failed at finding what I need before rednecking it anymore, lol.

I haven't heard of Harbor Freight but will look into them.  There are tons of marina stores around here but the powered winches are all for big boats and industrial. 

The Marina store might be a better bet.  Harbor Freight is a discount tool store in the PNW, and I know they sell on their website too.  Frankly I'm a fan of the "rednecking" idea, just because it sounds cheap and unique.
6  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Electric dual drum pulling winch on: April 03, 2017, 05:17:01 pm
I cannot remember the last time I bought a winch, if you have Harbor Freight tools in your area I would look there first.   Could you modify your current winch to have two drums?
7  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Specs for garage based projector with medium ambient light? on: March 29, 2017, 11:42:19 pm
11V has given you a lot of good advice, but I will add that neither projector is wrong or right, however I will mention that on most projectors running them in non-native aspect ratio doesn't do your light output any favors.  With that said up until the Sit & Vue closed we had two Canon Realis which are native 4.3 units projecting night after night on to 16.9 screens and we had no complaints what so ever.  Personally I don't think 720p 1080p you will really see the difference outside.  90" is relatively small for an outdoor screen so you will sit relatively closer than you might to say a 9' X 16' screen, so you might, notice if you had them setup side by side.  It just depends on how picky your eye is (mine is not that picky).  You should look up bulb cost for both PJs, just so you know what you looking at.  Yes most of the time PJ bulbs last as long as they are suppose to but it's a good thing to know just encase something happens. 

One thing we haven't talked about is zoom.  Does either PJ have a better zoom than the other? 

I would say if you have been able to "test drive" the Sayno, and your happy with the image it produces I would go with that unit only because you have been able to "test drive it" and while you may or may not like the Panasonic you can't "test drive it".  On the other hand 11V is a professional outdoor movie person so he knows what he is talking about too. 
8  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Specs for garage based projector with medium ambient light? on: March 26, 2017, 12:14:23 am
Apology accepted but not needed we all have stuff outside of BYT.  If it were me I would jump on the CL PJ, that's a huge increase in lumens and you will notice a difference.  One thing some PJ's with higher lumen output have the option of switching to reduced output, epson likes to call it economy mode, another PJ I use to work with was a 4,000 lumen unit and it could be switched to 3,000 lumens.  So you might be able to start early on full power and then turn it down once it gets a bit darker.  You'll get to start earlier, plus by turning down the light output you'll get extended bulb life too assuming the one your looking at has that option of course.

Before I calculate foot lamberts are you sure 90" is a correct average diagonal measurement for your screen.  Assuming a 4.3 screen that's only a little over 4 feet tall by 6 feet wide.  5,000 lumens would most certainly be to bright in absolute darkness, but if you have a lot of ambient light it might be just what you need.  So just want to verify that.
9  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: Projectors? LCD, DLP, LED, 3D What's the answer? on: March 26, 2017, 12:01:11 am
Bulb cost can vary from PJ to PJ.  Some are just a few hundred others much more.  You can always check before you buy.  As far as LCD, DLP, LED or 3D I think it's pretty much personal choice, and to be frank in my opinion I don't think it much matters in an outdoor theatre.  There are to many inconsistencies that you can control outside to make one better than the other.  Although I know some folk on the forum do it, I would not personally go the 3D route in an outdoor theatre, especially if your using a larger screen, have a longer throw distance ect.  Again some folks do the 3D thing outside and I do love 3D effects but it's not something that I want to try to do outside personally. 
10  Backyard Theater discussions / Projector specific / Re: BenQ W1070 1080P 3D on: March 14, 2017, 03:07:19 pm
Amazon has the BenQ W1070 1080P projector for under $500 and new, which is a pretty good price.  If you are looking to upgrade or getting started on a Backyard Theater I think this is a good choice.  That being said, I haven't used this projector...anyone got one?


I don't think this would be a bad starter projector at all or especially for someone with a smaller screen or very little ambient light.  I just ran the numbers on PJ central's calculator using a 9 X 16 screen because I know that's a common size for BYT folks, I assumed a screen gain of 1.0, which gave me an estimated 6 Foot Lamberts of light in video mode.  Which is a bit on the dim side, for the example screen, but it's a well priced unit made by a quality manufacture.  I agree it would be a great starter PJ, or backup, ect. 
11  Backyard Theater discussions / Receiver specific / Re: Fm Tramsmitter on: March 05, 2017, 11:54:26 pm
Yea, I'm pretty much going to echo what Movieman had to say.  Most phones are a no go due to no FM receiver.  However I have  broadcast my sound at my BYT for 10 years.  Folks bring radios and / or walkmans with headset, it's not a big deal.  If you tell people ahead of time that they will need to bring a radio and if your trying to contain your sound you can require they bring headphones.  It shouldn't be an issue.  I have two loaner units rarely do they get used, but then again I've been doing it for a long time and it's mostly regulars so folks know. 

Most FM transmitters have RCA or 1/8 jack to plug your audio into.  If you have some sort of processing for your audio you can have your transmitter hooked up after that.  Don't forget to have an antenna hooked up to your transmitter when you turn it on.  On some units it's quite have on the final stage to turn them on with out a transmitter. 

Let me know if you want to talk more about broadcasting it's one of those things that I'm really into.
12  Backyard Theater discussions / Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase / Re: Backyard Theater Showcase on: March 01, 2017, 11:58:09 pm
Ok my First one is done!

THEATER INFO - Some of these may be N/A so just answer the ones you can.
Name of Theater:  Sit & Vue Outdoor Theatre, or Sit & Vue "3" Outdoor Theatres

Location:  Pacific Northwest

Length of Season:  Mid-April though September, our season is very much weather driven here as we get a lot of rain, so some years it's a bit shorter.

How did you get started?:  I loved the drive in.  When I started doing BYT it was because I wanted to create a drive in sort of feel of my own.  If I had the money, time and ability I would own a drive in theatre.

How many years have you been doing it?: 12

Traditions (i.e. do you add advertisements, does everyone start by saying the pledge of allegiance, etc.):  We don't really have nightly traditions per-say although we almost always show double features.  Start the show with a old drive in advertisements and then between features usually cartoons or sometimes vise versa.   The yard is a tee shape with a 10 X 30 building that is a foot off the ground and has two sides.  I call it a free standing deck.  We have the equipment, projectors and sound equipment mounted in deck.  We set it up in the spring and leave it until we close for the season in the fall.  Because of the tee shape of the yard we have three screens.  Also because turn out for the movies is smaller when we first open up and drops off after  labor day we only use all three screens during the summer months.   We also typically play the same set of movies on both Friday and Saturday night. 

Our main tradition is the summer camp over.  One Saturday night each summer usually in August we do an all night movie night and we invite folks to stay over in the yard in their tent.  If they stay awake for all the movies their usually crawling in their tent at day break.  Then we all get up and I cook a pancake breakfast typically around 11AM.  Rocky Horror picture show is always the third movie, the others vary.

4th of July we show a local fireworks display that is broadcast on TV.

Audience (i.e. neighbors, family member, whoever shows up, and average size of audience):  Depending on the time of year and the popularity of the movies picked it can be any where from just a few folks to maybe 40 or more.  I've never really taken count. 

Favorite Events (i.e. movies, 3D movies, live events, etc.)   Other than the 4th of July it is pretty much just movies, though I have shown mini-marathons of old TV shows before.  Three to four hours worth during a mini-marathon.
EQUIPMENT - Please include why you went with this equipment and pros and cons.  It doesn’t have to be extensive. 
Screen: #1 wood frame, plywood facing 8 X 12.  Screens #2 & #3 are 9 X 16 BOC

Projector: #1 Epson Powerlite 81P rated 2,000 lumens, Projectors #2 & #3 are both Canon Realis 700X these projectors are Lcos Pjs rated at 4,000 lumens.

Sound System:  I don't use speakers at all.  For the first 9 years we broadcasted our sound on 650AM with an old AM stereo transmitter.  We still use that system but added an FM transmitter 2 years ago.  Folks that come to see the movies are expected to bring a radio or walkman, though I do maintain a couple of loaner radios.

Media Source (DVD, etc.) : DVD player or Laptop for programming NO blue-ray or HDMI equipment.
Any projected upgrades:  Not at this time.  With 3 screens, 3 projectors and 2 broadcast systems maintenance costs can be fairly substantual, so most theater money goes to keeping what we have in good shape.

Seating (chairs, blankets, benches, who provides?):  Bring your own, chairs and blankets, pretty much whatever you want so long as it doesn't block the view for others.
Pest Control (Any secrets you have discovered?):  Not really, bug spray as needed.
Food (Do you provide it?, Sell Snacks?, Have a popcorn machine?, etc.)  We have a limited amount of snacks available for a suggested donation, with the knowledge that anything made from the donations goes to maintenance of the theater.  Our menu is simple.  Popcorn, pizza, soda.  Folks that come to the theater are welcome to bring in any food they like, we don't try to limit outside food at all.  It has been very well received and helps off set costs.  We pop popcorn on a propane grill / BBQ as well as cook the pizza on it too.   
Lighting (Flashlights, floodlights, Christmas Lights, etc.):  Flood lights are mounted on the deck.
Have you ever done any cool party ideas?  Other than the overnight camping thing mentioned above not really. 
What do you love most about Backyard Movies/Outdoor Theaters?  The act of building, maintaining, and running the theater.  Also the social aspect before and after the movies.  Honestly the movies are not all that important to me.  It's everything else that surrounds them.

What advice would you give someone who is just getting started?  You don't have to spend a fortune, and it doesn't have to constantly cost you money.  Good used equipment for projection and sound can be had on craigslist and E-bay for a song.  For a first screen you can build something with recycled wood, or simple sheet or tarp can be enough to get you started.  BYT can cost a fortune but it doesn't have to.
13  Backyard Theater discussions / Backyard and Outdoor Theater Showcase / Re: Backyard Theater Showcase on: February 20, 2017, 06:15:09 pm
Cody, as promised I will do one for the Sit & Vue and for the Night-SKy.  I've been working on getting the form done for the Sit & Vue but I have been rather wordy and busy so I will get them to you I have not forgotten I'm just slow.
14  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Interest Survey on: February 12, 2017, 02:04:22 pm
I would like to know what people are interested in learning more about as it pertains to Backyard Theaters.  I know there are a lot of lurkers who cannot register for the site, so I am using survey monkey vs the embed survey so that more people can participate.  I will post results when I get a significant number of responses. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZC2GZHG

265 views, but only 10 responses. I appreciate everyone who took the time to take the survey.

if it were me I would let the survey run for a while.  I think this time of year less folks are thinking about BYT in general.  So I'd say just let it run for a while, I'd really like to see you get a significant number of responses, so we can do some sharing. 

Again a big thanks to everyone who responded to the survey.  I think I am going to follow your advice and let it run for a awhile.  I think when folks start getting spring fever I will see an uptick in responses.  In the meantime I am trying to move out on what the data is showing.  For example, there is an interest in seeing other people's setups, which is no surprise since that is one of the things that brought me to this site to begin with.  I was wanting to start a showcase on my own website anyway, so I will post any submissions I get both on my site and here (so if one site goes down, the info will be saved).  I have a sample questionnaire attached, that I think is pretty thorough.  If anyone would like to participate, just email me at Cody @ Backyardmovies.net. 

I think you questionnaire is great.  I would definitely like to participate.  I will fill one out for the Sit & Vue and one for the Night-Sky and then E-mail them to you.  I'm on my way out the door right now so look for it either tonight or Tomorrow.  Thanks, for getting this going it's been fun!
15  Backyard Theater discussions / General discussion / Re: Super Bowl LI on: February 10, 2017, 11:57:05 pm
NFL went after a church for having a family supper and the game. This they went after a non-profit group.


Ok I'm going to come out and say it.  This is the one thing that scares me about BYT.  Not that I've had an issue.... yet.  It is also the reason I will never show anything from Lucas films.  They have a reputation for going after non-profits at least in my area.  There are two that I'm aware of that have been in hot water with that studio.  It is also the reason I don't list movie titles on the website and I don't mention movie titles that I'm going to show on the forum, because if the wrong studio Nazi happens to see it post on the forum it could possibly be construed as advertisement.  Maybe I worry about it to much, maybe not.   But I'm not worried at the moment, because we are closed for the season!
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