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Old 03-11-2009, 03:41 AM   #21
mosteve mosteve is offline
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I made one kind of like the e-bay kit several years ago but at that time the light controlers were quite expensive so I found a cheaper route. I found a DYI on them at that time buying a 4 x 8 sheet 1 inch thick of insulation. Its that cheap kind of styro-foam thats light weight and comes in sheets like paneling. I made my box out of 1 x 4's but similiar to the instructions you have and painted the sheet flat black. The article that I found a guy bought a cheap fiber-optic christmas tree and used the light controller from that so thats what I did. It has 2 color wheels one that changes colors and the other twinkles. I used the twinkle one but one problem that I have and its an easy fix is that I put my stars on a dimmer and when I dim them my twinkle motor slows or stops. My grandaughter helped me glue all the little fiber cables through the sheeting. Its quite time consuming but easy and fun as well.
Good luck and have fun.
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:53 PM   #22
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteve View Post
I made one kind of like the e-bay kit several years ago but at that time the light controlers were quite expensive so I found a cheaper route. I found a DYI on them at that time buying a 4 x 8 sheet 1 inch thick of insulation. Its that cheap kind of styro-foam thats light weight and comes in sheets like paneling. I made my box out of 1 x 4's but similiar to the instructions you have and painted the sheet flat black. The article that I found a guy bought a cheap fiber-optic christmas tree and used the light controller from that so thats what I did. It has 2 color wheels one that changes colors and the other twinkles. I used the twinkle one but one problem that I have and its an easy fix is that I put my stars on a dimmer and when I dim them my twinkle motor slows or stops. My grandaughter helped me glue all the little fiber cables through the sheeting. Its quite time consuming but easy and fun as well.
Good luck and have fun.
That's cool. I did considered the christmas tree but didn't know how to extend the fibers, but I never thought to purchase it for the light controller and then purchase the fiber cable separately. Oh well. I did get an RF remote with what I purchased which will allow me to turn twinkle on/off and the unit on/off. This is important because I am planning on having ambient light above the crown molding to shine on the ceiling. I can then just have the ambient light on and the SC off.

Right now I am looking into getting my hands on a bright multi-colored led christmas light set and placing the multi-colored lights into various drilled holes (of different shapes) on the panel. I would not puncture the velvet though and instead let the different colors shine through. This, I am hoping, will give the effect of different nebula and galaxies. We'll see.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:21 PM   #23
Brain Sturgeon Brain Sturgeon is offline
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Very cool! Looking on a lot of the companies that sell the light boxes, they don't seem that expensive overall-- I'm thinking about doing this to my kids' rooms.

BTW, Vega, if you (or anybody else) are looking for a relatively cheap velvet sheeting that can be applied easily to drywall or equivalent, check out the adhesive velvet sheeting at www.mcmaster.com . Just search for velvet sheets and it is item 88015k1 (plain backed) or 88015k2 (adhesive backed). It's very, very black (I used it to black out my screen area), a bit cheaper than the velvet you mentioned, and may be easier to apply to your ceiling.

Keep those pics coming!
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:36 PM   #24
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain Sturgeon View Post
Very cool! Looking on a lot of the companies that sell the light boxes, they don't seem that expensive overall-- I'm thinking about doing this to my kids' rooms.

BTW, Vega, if you (or anybody else) are looking for a relatively cheap velvet sheeting that can be applied easily to drywall or equivalent, check out the adhesive velvet sheeting at www.mcmaster.com . Just search for velvet sheets and it is item 88015k1 (plain backed) or 88015k2 (adhesive backed). It's very, very black (I used it to black out my screen area), a bit cheaper than the velvet you mentioned, and may be easier to apply to your ceiling.

Keep those pics coming!
Awesome. My biggest driver to do this was my kids!............ (well actually.... now that I think about it......it was me )

Thanks for the link.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:55 PM   #25
Brain Sturgeon Brain Sturgeon is offline
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No problem!

If you do end up using velvet, what type are you using? Might I suggest Fidelio, as it is thought to be some of the blackest and finest out there: http://www.bymichelle.com/fidelio.html , although it is frequently out of stock. It's $24.95/yd

Here is a comparison pic of Fidelio vs speaker cloth vs GOM vs commando cloth, all black (left to right):



I think the Fidelio wins the "none more black" award...
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:22 PM   #26
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brain Sturgeon View Post
No problem!

If you do end up using velvet, what type are you using? Might I suggest Fidelio, as it is thought to be some of the blackest and finest out there: http://www.bymichelle.com/fidelio.html , although it is frequently out of stock. It's $24.95/yd

Here is a comparison pic of Fidelio vs speaker cloth vs GOM vs commando cloth, all black (left to right):



I think the Fidelio wins the "none more black" award...
That is a big difference in black. Through my comparisons I did conclude that the black velvet was the most black, non-reflective material (almost like looking into an abyss) I could find. The velvet I priced was from JoAnn's fabrics called Black Premier Velvet. Too bad the fidelio will not be in stock until mid April, otherwise I would have purchased it right away.

Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:01 PM   #27
Disky76 Disky76 is offline
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That sounds neat! You just gave me a new idea...

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Old 03-12-2009, 05:28 PM   #28
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disky76 View Post
That sounds neat! You just gave me a new idea...

Come on now, you have to share
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:27 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega2K View Post
Come on now, you have to share

Like how about covering the ceiling AND the walls with LED stars and planets? The planets could also be set on a dimmer and double as wall sconce lighting.

It would make watching Star Wars a totally new experience!
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Old 03-14-2009, 02:19 AM   #30
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Default Few more pictures

If you're interested, I added a few more pictures of the progress in my gallery here: https://www.blu-ray.com/community/ga...?member=vega2K

Here's some additional highlights:
- I was able to take advantage of a discount coupon at Joann's fabrics and was able to buy the velvet for 40% off, saving me $30!
- I think I purchased all the additional material I will need and found that the most expensive part is the crown molding which goes for $6.09/ft x 26ft = $160 plus tax at Home Depot! I have since changed my approach and have purchased a wood look-alike material (looks like vinyl) which looks almost identical and is white already and works out to about $2.75/ft.
- I decided on the rigid insulation instead of the hardboard/mdf because the mdf was very flexible and weighed a lot. The insulation remained stiff even when I held it up by one corner and it weighs next to nothing.

More to come.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:04 PM   #31
mosteve mosteve is offline
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Hi Vega2K
That rigid light weight insulation is what I was talking about that I used in mine. Its cheap and light weight and easy to work with. I really like yours and Brain sturgeons idea about the black velvet idea I wish I would have thought of that when I did mine. (that fidelio velvet is the look I wanted) So are your fiber optic cables behind the velvet or poking though? Also your link on controllers is great some are not very expensive and the low heat and long life of led's is something to consider if you were going to have it on alot. When I did mine there weren't many controllers to choose from and a cheap one was about $300.00. ( the one with the shooting star also caught my eye)
Also something you might try is to use a wood burning tool or perhaps a pencil type soldering iron to open up and to distort the end of some of the optic cables. This gives the apperence of different size and shape stars so they don't look so uniformon. Different size optic cable also helps with this. Try this on a scrap piece of fiber optic cable and shine a light through it in the dark and see what you think. Also if I remember right they make special cutters for cable so you dont smash the end but it seems like when I did mine that I read that finger nail nippers work for this just as well
Keep the updated pic's coming I am enjoying your progress......steve
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:20 AM   #32
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosteve View Post
Hi Vega2K
That rigid light weight insulation is what I was talking about that I used in mine. Its cheap and light weight and easy to work with. I really like yours and Brain sturgeons idea about the black velvet idea I wish I would have thought of that when I did mine. (that fidelio velvet is the look I wanted) So are your fiber optic cables behind the velvet or poking though? Also your link on controllers is great some are not very expensive and the low heat and long life of led's is something to consider if you were going to have it on alot. When I did mine there weren't many controllers to choose from and a cheap one was about $300.00. ( the one with the shooting star also caught my eye)
Also something you might try is to use a wood burning tool or perhaps a pencil type soldering iron to open up and to distort the end of some of the optic cables. This gives the apperence of different size and shape stars so they don't look so uniformon. Different size optic cable also helps with this. Try this on a scrap piece of fiber optic cable and shine a light through it in the dark and see what you think. Also if I remember right they make special cutters for cable so you dont smash the end but it seems like when I did mine that I read that finger nail nippers work for this just as well
Keep the updated pic's coming I am enjoying your progress......steve
Thanks for the feedback. The fiber optic cables would poke through. I really like the idea of distorting the ends of the fiber, I'll try that out and see what happens. I really wanted to stay away from halogen illuminators because my set-up requires the unit to be behind the panel next to the ceiling. Those things get hot and since it would be in the ceiling, I just did not feel as comfortable as someone who would have the unit in a closet or in another room. The LED stays cool and the units came with a fan anyway which is perfect for my next to ceiling set-up. I will post some progress pictures next.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:27 AM   #33
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Default Some new progress pictures

I spent most of the weekend working on the non-star ceiling portion of the project, but it was important, so here are a few pics. Thanks for visiting and don't forget to visit my gallery for more details.

Crown molding in place. Need to paint... or do I????


Low lights in the room (sorry for the picture quality):

Last edited by vega2K; 03-16-2009 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #34
GunZenBomZ GunZenBomZ is offline
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Love the idea of a star ceiling, plan to have one of these in my widebeam boat.

http://www.cinemashop.com/3/starfieldlight.htm

Or

http://www.ccl-light.com/docs/indoor...els/index.html

http://images.tomshardware.com/2006/11/16/stardome1.jpg
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:50 AM   #35
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Default 3/19/09 Update

It's slow going with several other things going on right now, but here are a few pics of some progress:

Panel is complete. The rigid insulation assembled with the wood support frame.


It fits!


- I decided to modify the illuminator using an idea from the wife. I super-glued pieces of blue transparent paper (from 3-D glasses) to the wheel. This will change the color of some of the fibers as they twinkle.

- I will be painting the wood lips which holds the panel in place. Two sections will stay in place, but the other two need to be removable in order to install or remove the panel.

- I have printed the constellations on a piece of paper which I will draw grid lines on. I will then draw proportional grid lines on the panel and then use a marker to locate all the stars before I puncture with a needle or drill.

Almost there.

Last edited by vega2K; 03-20-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:25 AM   #36
GunZenBomZ GunZenBomZ is offline
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Fantastic to see someone doing there own version. Keep us posted please!! You have fans
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:17 PM   #37
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunZenBomZ View Post
Fantastic to see someone doing there own version. Keep us posted please!! You have fans
Now you went and did it! You just made me want to get this done sooner. This means even less sleep at night and God forbid I screw something up! Very nice to know that the UK is watching this!

Thanks for the support!
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:13 PM   #38
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Default Awesome Idea I could not implement!

I don't think I documented this anywhere so I thought I should, because it is an idea that I just could not implement but would love to see if someone could!

At first I had envisioned a really cool idea for the star ceiling - How about the Monolith from 2001 Space Odyssey and 2010 "My God it's full of stars". Sized to the same proportions as the movie with ambient lighting behind it! That would have been awesome. But, I just do not have the material to make that happen or the time to make it really good. Instead, I am taking the more "traditional" approach. But, if someone is up to the challenge of a Monolith in your HT, I would really love to see it done!

Any takers?
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:14 AM   #39
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Default 3/22/09 Update

Here's some progress this weekend.

The constellations I transfered to the panel with the grid lines. I counted the fibers needed and wrote them in red. I have 200 to work with.


Here's the transfered constellations (to the best of my ability). I had to omit many because I would run out of fibers:


Close-up of transfer. Note my favorite star


Once I finished the transfer, I needed to puncture (drill in some cases) and mark those stars requiring more than one fiber as well as note the main constallations on the back - remember that the front will be covered with the velvet, so you won't be able to see what goes where. Below is the velvet glued and stapled onto to the insulation panel. The spray adhesive and staple combination worked well, but it was a bit difficult getting rid of all the wrinkles. I had to work fast and patience is key.


Here's where I decided to place the illuminator. I fastened it to the panel with velcro making sure I had access to the power switch and connector. I made sure the 200 fibers would reach the two extremes of the panel.


More to come.

Last edited by vega2K; 03-23-2009 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:27 PM   #40
vega2K vega2K is offline
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Here's a friendly "bump" in case you missed the updated pictures.

If you find this thread helpful, please rate this thread above where it says "Rate Thread". Also visit my gallery where I document with more details here: https://www.blu-ray.com/community/ga...?member=vega2K
Or you can just click on HT Gallery to the left of what your reading under my avatar. I would appreciate a decent rating in my gallery.

Thank you!

Last edited by vega2K; 03-23-2009 at 02:40 PM.
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