The RowdyS13 build thread!

Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
Just a quick little update. I was able to close off the front wall for the last time, and cut in all of the low voltage rings. I don't have a pic of this, but you can see it later more or less. The wife and decided to stay in for New Years, so I thought why not throw together the basement for a movie! I started out by getting some tools so I could hook up a sub I have laying around



Turns out that the sub which I have brought back from the dead once before decided to die once again. I am just saying that my basement demands proper bass :) Anyway after messing with that for a while I finally gave up and set up my Canton's down stairs, and the EMP Tek's as the surrounds. I had to cut and terminate all of the connections since this is the first time I have tested any of these wires! Once I did that and hooked up my old Panasonic BD player, I was rewarded with this for the first time in my life :D:D:D


Here is a shot of the front sound stage in all its glory


Since this was clearly a super temporary set up, I didn't want to watch a big blockbuster action movie so we just watched Pitch Perfect 2 which I had bought my wife for Christmas. The wife commented on how great it looked, and how good it sounded. I had to agree that for just a thrown together set up that was barely level matched it was pretty good. After that was over and we rang in the new year, I threw on Gravity to give it a bit more of a work out.


As good as it sounded, I know it will be SO MUCH BETTER when I have subs and have killed some of the reflections. I really cant wait for it to be done!

OK enough gushing. We should be finishing up the last little electrical next weekend, and possibly the last of the drywall. Then I can start to get some quotes on finishing the drywall (mud and tape), then paint and carpet. Stay tuned!


Sean
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
I just finished reading, I live near you! I mean, next town near you in South Elgin! Congrats on the work thus far, you're doing a great job! :)
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
Thanks guys! Klipschhead, after I get everything done I think I am going to have a little gathering to show it all off, you will have to stop by!

Sean
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
Thanks guys! Klipschhead, after I get everything done I think I am going to have a little gathering to show it all off, you will have to stop by!

Sean
Sean,

That sounds good! When I have our carpet replaced I'll have some people over as well. For now, the wifes 18 year old cat is throwing up everywhere and has destroyed the entire first floor's carpet. For somebody with OCD imagine the affect on my brain....
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
The electrical is finally done!!!! My buddy was able to come by over the weekend and finish up the last of the electrical, and then I got the last of the drywall up. On to the pics!

So this is behind the bar (as you can see). Starting from the left you have two RG-59 runs (bought RG-59 on accident) for subs. Then the outlet which is on a new 20A circuit (for subs mostly). Under the bar at the top you have an HDMI and CAT 6, an outlet next to that on the same 20A circuit, and the old existing outlet down below.


In the bar we have an outlet on the front side for seating, and an outlet up high on the inside for possible lighting in the future. Both of these are also on the new 20A circuit.


Stuffed with the last of my insulation. Hopefully it helps some as a bass trap, who knows.


Drywall in! This will get a different finish, but I decided to back it with drywall.


Lastly, close up in front of the bar


I have a guy coming out tomorrow to get an estimate on mudding and taping everything. Hopefully that comes back reasonable and we can jump on that soon. In the meantime this little guy was delivered today :)



You know its good when it comes in a pouch


SO BEASTLTY!!!!




I couldn't resist opening it up


Really bad pic, but the transformer is HUGE!!!


BIG caps!




I am actually going to really take some pics of the amp one of these days. The cell phone pics aren't cutting it! Well that is all I got for now, thanks as always for following along :)


Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
One step closer is right! I had a friend of a friend come out and quote the drywall work, and he came back with a great price. We are going to have him do all of the mud and tape, paint, and also redo the walls in the laundry room. We had to make quite a few holes in there for all of the plumbing issues that came up (ended up not being serious), and also to run the 1" pipe from my main panel up the attic for the garage sub panel that is coming soon. Couple that with the horrible work that was already in there, we decided to just rip out the little bit that was left and have him make it all nice. When he finishes that I will do a drop ceiling in there since that is where almost all of our houses plumbing is located. We decided to hold off a couple weeks before having him start though. That give me some time to finish up some small things, and then take everything down that I have mocked up.

So this weekend I was sick as hell, but I still managed to finish getting all of the wires into the closet! The final tallies are

USB 1
RG-59 2
HDMI 3
RG-6 8
12GA Speaker 13
CAT-6 19

TOTAL 46

Not too bad for a small house :) I am not positive if I mentioned it before, but when I was adding the wiring for the rear subs I got RG-59 on accident and didn't catch it right away. Considering I am planning on running DIY subs, which means I will probably never even use those cables, I can live with it. If anyone is curious what the break down of all of the runs is, I will post it up. I figured nobody really cares about that much detail though :)

Now I need to figure out when I can attack the bar (hopefully) for the last time. SO MUCH TIME on this bar over such a small mistake!!! I would absolutely do it again, just be sure to well over order material the next time :) I am confident that the fix we have now will be the last thing I ever need to do with it. I am going to try an get my uncle to come by this weekend to help me with that, if not it will be soon. After the bar is finished, the mud and tape is done, and the room is painted. I can pull up the floor, and we can get some carpet put down. After that we start getting in to buying subs, speakers, seating etc. which is expensive so will probably go even slower than I have been. I am going to try and get some seating ASAP so we can start using the room, and then just knock out the final touches as we can.

Anyway, stay tuned for some finish work soon!!! Thanks as always for following along!


Sean
 
Klipschhead302

Klipschhead302

Senior Audioholic
The effort will be worth it, I'd be more than happy to check the system out when it's finished, I bet it's going to be awesome. :)
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
So time for an update. The wife is out of town this week, so I decided to pull the trigger on having some work done. This is all a surprise for the wife, so I had to move like a ninja to get everything pulled together. The hardest was getting the room prepped (taking things down) without raising suspicion. I am pretty sure I was successful despite a couple close calls along the way. Since I had to drop her off at the airport at 4AM on Monday, work was able to start yesterday. I was beat when I got home, so I only took a couple pics. I have to admit, I am glad I am having it done after seeing how much work it is!








Today it was looking REALLY good! He is also doing some repairs in some other areas of the house, which he got to today.





















I am having the same guy paint everything once he is done as well. Saturday I should be FINALLY fixing the bar once and for all! I have to say it is pretty awesome to come home to progress everyday :) I will spare you guys day three of mud and tape, and save it until I have paint on the walls. So happy to see it starting to come together, thanks as always for following along!

Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
I know I said I wouldn't post up day three drywall work, but I am going to :) When I came home there was plastic over the basement entrance, but my curiosity got to me. Since I am able to turn the lights on with my phone (Insteon), I did, and then poked my camera past the edge of the plastic.



It is looking GREAT in my humble opinion! I wish I could have gone darker with the paint, but this was a color that we already were using in the family room. The wall to the right goes into both spaces, so we just carried the same color downstairs. The ceiling is the same color as well, but with a flat finish. I think it will look even better once I get the carpet done which should darken the space up some.

Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
Last night I got the screen and projector mounted up and adjusted





I ordered up a better length power cord today, which should look much nicer. I also installed a new front entry light (part of the surprise), and started moving things back.

Today I was going to install a whole house humidifier (part of the surprise), but there ended up being too much in the way like the AC line, power, gas, etc. It is doable, but it will be a big project so I need to decide if its worth it or just get a couple room humidifiers. I started getting the gear in the rack and hooked up real fast so my brother in law can get an idea of what its going to be like.



Speakers are set up as well, but that will all be getting finished in a little bit after I eat. I am going to start final terminating the wires until later when my Uncle comes by to finish the bar. After the bar I will probably start cleaning the house which is a mess of drywall dust. More pics later today!


Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
So I got a lot of the wiring trimmed to length and labels put on. Most of the speaker wire is final terminated and labeled in the closet. The CAT6 is almost all cut to length and the labels are on the wire, but not shrunk down yet. Here are the pics of my crazy overkill OCD speaker terminal wiring.

I am using the cheap Nakamichi banana plugs. I decided to shrink tube over the inside part to make extra sure the set screws don't back out, and also to act as a bit of a strain relief.


Then I put the outer pieces on, which were a bit tight with the shrink tubing underneath. I used pliers to hold the center part of the plug since the expanded banana piece can spin freely. When I do them by hand (without the shrink tubing) they are never really tight and just spin if you look at them funny. So besides tightening them better, and the shrink tubing adding some grip, I put more shrink tubing over the outside of them


Then you know what I did? That's right, MORE SHRINK TUBING!!!! This was just a piece to make it a little nicer between the outer jacket and the leads. Really pretty useless, but why the hell not. I also used shrink tubing labels because, again, I am crazy!


Here is a bunch of them together. I think I did maybe one more after this? I know I don't have the labels for the subs, or the front left and right. I will have to make up the labels and finish those during the week. The sub cables I will do later when I get the amp just in case I need more or less length.







After that I worked on getting my internet back up so I could post this crappy update :)





The HD Homerun is not secured down (ran out of velcro) and is also not hooked up yet. I will end up cleaning up the wiring a bit too, but its OK for now. I need to get a power strip for all of that stuff, and will probably get one that I can switch each outlet for resetting things.

The bar may also be almost done now! I am going to have to sand it a little once it cures for a while, but I think I am in the home stretch there (FINALLY!!) I even started to clean a little, but that will be the entirety of my day tomorrow before I pick up the wife in the afternoon. Probably will be what I am doing after that as well :) That's all for now, its after midnight, so I am going to bed. Thanks for following along!


Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
I have been cleaning the house since I woke up, right up until I left. I either underestimated how much work that was, or over did the cleaning itself. I didn't end up getting everything done that I wanted to, but I got a good 90% of it.

Anyway, she is home now and she loves it! She was a bit subdued at the initial reveal but she came around after a bit. There was some worry about the money at first, some shock, and some extreme tiredness going on. Now that we have been home for a bit she is taking it all in and is super happy that its done. It has been fun revealing who knew my plan, and when they knew it too!

So nothing really changed today since I was just cleaning the whole house. Here are a couple shots of the main room after I cleaned it up some.





That's all I got for now. What a crazy couple of days, but LOTS of progress so its all good! I am happy I can start to do the finish work. Since the room is not really usable I can really take my time on the terminations and cable management. Thank for following along!


Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
So little bit of an update from yesterday. First up is a shot of one of the front wall plates with the speaker wire terminated on it. I did this a last weekend maybe, or maybe it was last week. Regardless, here it is now :)


Next up, here is what I started with yesterday


I have never done ANY networking wiring before, so I started off a bit slow. I first came up with how I was going to lay them all out on the panel, and then just dove in. Here is the first one done


Repeat that 17 more times, and


I am pretty proud that I only punched one wire wrong, and caught it before I did the one next to it. I was able to take it out and punch it down in the right location no problem.

Then I put the panel back, put in the switch, and hooked up the patch cables.


I am missing one of my patch cables, but its not a big deal. I still need to connect the router to the panel, and a few other things, but for the most part this side is done. I did also punch down one of the connections on the other side and tested it with perfect results, that was pretty sweet!

After that I worked a little on the cable/antenna wiring. Nothing very exciting about RG-6 wiring, but here it is.




As you can see I still need to route the power cables for all of the networking gear. I have the power strip which came in yesterday, so maybe I can get that mounted today. I am not really sure how much I will get done today as I have some other stuff to take care of, and of course that football game later on :) I did also take pics of this work with my actual camera, but I was too lazy to go get it and pull off the pics before posting. I will probably show those when I have the closet completed.

OK that is all for now, as always thanks for following along!

Sean
 
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
So I got some work done yesterday, nothing really exciting. I wish I was able to get more done, but I was busy with a bunch of other stuff yesterday too. I started off by terminating the two rear sub cables. I had to identify which was which because I was not able to label them before I pulled them. I had that tester from my IT guy though, so that was pretty straight forward. Terminating coax is easy, but a pain in the ass at the same time! I am not sure if it is the specific connectors I got, or I am doing something wrong but I have a blister on my hand from twisting and pushing all of them down onto the cable. The good news is that I don't NEED to make any more for a while. I still have to make the various cables for the antenna distribution (HD Home run, receiver, TV), but those can all wait.

After that I wrapped up the HDMI and the CAT6 by the bar, for no particular reason. I had terminated the CAT6 on Saturday so I guess it made sense to finish the HDMI. I don't have any pictures of it though, but I had to use an adapter to turn the cable behind the plate, and I shrunk tubed the connections on the HDMI to make sure it doesn't come unplugged. I was happy to see that the HDMI worked no problem when I plugged my laptop into it. That was nice to see since I used a cheap HDMI cable (10') from the laptop to the wall plate, then the angle adapter, then a 35' cheap monoprice cable, another adapter, wall plate, then my nice 30' Bluejeans cable to the projector. That is a decent amount of failure points, and some LONG runs for HDMI, but it seemed fine for what I wanted it to do.

Somewhere in the middle of that I actually also wrapped up and closed off the wall plates in the closet.


So going top down that is

Zone 2 (Garage) left and right
Zone 3 (Family Room) left and right

Sub (Front) left and right
Sub (Rear) left and right

HDMI (Office/Main computer)
USB
HDMI (Bar)

The USB is run to the projector just so I can plug in the receiver for the keyboard to run the HTPC/Server computer. It reaches that far, but gets a little spotty so why not put it right above me. The eagle eyed among you will notice that I am missing the HDMI out to the projector in that list. That comes through the pipe in the ceiling with the speaker cables. I have no plates on that cable, it is directly plugged into the receiver and the projector to be extra sure I have no degradation of the signal. I am sure that is overkill, but I am OK with that :) Also, I am not sure if I had mentioned it previously but the drywall guy is coming back to clean up the closet more. I think he was trying to wrap it all up by Friday, and rushed the closet thinking it was a closet and nobody would really see it. Whatever the reason, he is going to come make it all pretty like soon.

After that I started working on all of the connections along the front wall. I think I have already shown how I did the speaker terminals, so we can skip that and I will show how I did the sub plates. Since I have two ways of connecting subs in the front, I decided on a 3 port keystone plate. I had to get a little creative to get the binding post to work, but it turned out exactly how I wanted it.


Here is a crappy cell phone pic of almost all of the front connections done. I just have the right speaker left to do today.


Originally I wanted to do all screwless decora plates for everything. First off, that is VERY expensive, but also a huge pain in the ass. Actually it flat out didn't work on some of the locations because of the type of setup I used. The plates were held off of the wall about 1/8" which looked worse than some screws. I ran to home depot to get 30 wall plates, and ran into my neighbor. He looked in my cart and said "Changing out all of the wall plates eh?", to which I replied "Nope, actually these are all new constriction." That got me a strange look to say the least :) Last thing to note is that YES the circuit on the front wall is 20A, but I didn't have any 20A outlets (forgot to get some) and I probably wont even use them anyway since I am going DIY for my subs, so 15A it is.

Bit of a boring update, I know, but it is nice to see things get the final treatment! I should be able to close off almost all of the connections this week, then its just waiting for some money to do the carpet, seating, speakers, subs, and so on, and so on. Thanks as always for following along!


Sean
 
Last edited:
Rowdy S13

Rowdy S13

Audioholic Chief
Got a little more done last night.

Finished the front wall connections and straightened them out.


Rear sub RCA connections. I need to fill in that gap on the bottom side of that outlet box.


Rear sub speaker connections.


Left surround back, and speaker bracket


Right surround back, and speaker bracket



That's all, just a quick little update. I plan on just chipping away at these as the week goes on, so you will probably see more short boring updates :)


Sean
 

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