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the Klutzoplex... The history of the 'plex
a constant work in progress... will it never end?
 

The humble beginnings of the klutzoplex started in 1996. I had moved into a new townhouse with my brother and my then fiancée. After living there for a couple of months, all of us had began to decorate the place, but it seemed to be lacking something. A certain high tech Panache! So on the first boxing day set of sales, I'd been running around town looking for "goodies". I strolled into a high end av store, and fell in love with a Sharpvision XVH-37U LCD projector. Needless to say, after a day of thought, I ran back and picked it up. We didn't have anywhere to set up the Front Projector, but since the townhouse had fairly white walls, we set the puppy up to project onto a particularly spartan section of wall. Imagine a place with no couch, almost no seating, and people sitting and strewn about a small stairwell watching movies on a wall. Humble indeed!

-Klutzo

 
re-inventing the Klutzoplex
Theatre Seating
  Intro Now what good would a Home Theatre be without as much authenticity as possible? Well this project is about setting up some seats so at the very least, your butt thinks its in a Movie Theatre.
No Piccie  02.02.2001 The main project for the Klutzoplex, at the moment, is the installation of theatre seating. I already have one row of seats installed (that's a loose term!), and have acquired seven more seats from the 30's to 40's time period. The arms on these seats are metal and have wooden backs and seats which are upholstered.
No Piccie 02.15.2001 Found an upholster that will do the job. I now have to pick out the material and away I go!
No Piccie 02.20.2001 Ripped apart the seat bottom portions. Took about a day. Found a couple of small surprises! There were in two separate seat bottoms, the mummified, desiccated corpses of a couple of small mice. I can imagine people sitting on them, hearing a squeak, and thinking it was a squeaky spring. Those suckers musta been in there for 60 to 70 years!
No Piccie 02.22.2001 Got some nice gold paint for painting the metal arm portion. Picked up a cheap grinder to get rid of the old paint.
No Piccie 03.02.2001 Had a family friend cut up some plywood to replace the bottoms which were falling apart. Thanks Yuen!
Can even see the serial number on this one...
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05.05.2001 Ripped off the upholstery off the seat backs now. Damn there's alot of stamples in those chairs. Used my trusty edge grinder on 5 of the 9 cast metal arms to remove the majority of the paint.
Ground down chair frame.
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05.12.2001 Finished grinding down the remaining 4 metal chair frames with the edge grinder.. Those things kick up a lot of noise. Be sure to wear ample ear protection, and DEAR GOD put on some goggles! The wire brush on the hardware throws off sparks, and bits of metal and wires that have worked loose fly around at high speeds. It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye.
My little helper Gnome!
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05.13.2001 Spent Sunday cleaning off the rest of the metal crud that accumulated on the arms. Boy was that fun! =< Gnome was invaluable helping me out with this.
Oh Mah Gawd that is GOLD!
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05.13.2001 Started to do some paint tests... I think the colour I chose for the arms may not be appropriate, but oh well.. I'm pretty stuck now I think... =< Also did a paint test on the metal chair frames. I think the gold I chose may be a bit too strong as well, the arms before were more brasslike I think. Perhaps I'll go to Revy or Home Despot to find a closer match. Again Gnome was invaluable with her assistance! Thanks!
A row of naked arms
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05.14.2001 Got some advice on how to finish the arms from the family friend, and backs on the furniture. The standard is called French Polish standard. The first step is to use wood filler to fill up the pores. Then apply the stain, then possibly one or two more coats. Then fine sand it, and apply varnish. Apply one more layer of Varnish, then polish it. Apply another layer of varnish, then buff it. ZOIKS! That's alot of work! Looks like it will be a long involved project! =>
A little paint test
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05.14.2001 Did a quick test on the wood and an arm. Doesn't look too good right now.. but I guess once you do a few coats, and the sanding, varnishing etc, it starts to look nice. I HOPE!
That is ONE DIRTY sock!
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05.14.2001 Here's a nice dirty sock that we used as one of the rags for cleaning the seats.. Mmmm. nummy!
No Piccie 06.04.2001 Gnome and I went to an upholstery shop and picked out the fabric we wanted for the seats. It's gonna rock once we get these suckas together. Material is a velvetty type. It is Diana 3009 Deep Purple.
No Piccie 06.06.2001 Sent the seats packing to the upholster... I can't wait!
No Piccie 06.12.2001 Picked up the seats! Don did a great job!!! They look good. I can't wait to finish off the frames and put em in there to see how they look.
There's gold in them that seats!
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06.20.2001 Been painting the seats for a while now. Got about 2 to 3 coats of that gold paint on em now.
Oh boy whadda grind!
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06.20.2001 Unfortunately I had to cut a couple of posts where the seat bottoms attach to. Otherwise there would be a great big peg sticking out, waiting to shin whomever walked by. I went to Home Despot, and picked up a cutting disc for a 5 bux. Man.. that disc goes through the cast iron like buttah!
No Piccie 08.12.2001 Been painting the seats for a while, but haven't been doing much work on them. Picked up some screws, washers, some test wood and a handsaw. I should be able to start putting a seat set together and see how it's like. So much work to do.. Gotta get it done by the end of summer!
WOW check out the fisrt seat!
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08.17.2001 Just put together the first seat this afternoon. Feels quite comfy. I'm gonna try to put together the next five hopefully tonight. I can't wait! I think I'm going to sand down the wood, but am not going to finish them.. I'll probably do them at a later date. I'm just too anxious to just get them together now.
Row Row Row your seats... comfortably down your pants!
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08.19.2001 Put together a full row of seats. Everyone who's sat in em says they're pretty comfy.... I likem too! One of the things that's been holding me up, is that they are a real bitch to screw the seat backs onto the metal frame. Takes sooo much time to find the right bolt. Oh well... Went to my fav shop, Home Despot, and picked up more screws and wood. So now I can start to create some sort of base to bolt the seats onto. Looks like I'm gonna be done soon.
Mmm.. Comfy goodness.
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06.28.2001 Went to Home Despot and picked up a bit of wood for 5 bucks. Pretty good considering it had about six pieces in there. So like the first set of three seats that I set up, I put wood bracers on them. I need to set some up perpendicular as well, due to the fact that people will tip over, hurt them selves, give themselves huge migrannes, hemhorages, etc. etc. I will need to get some carpet some time to wrap up the wood so they do not appear so out of place either.
No Piccie  01.22.2002 Managed to get some Aura Interactors from Ebay for a good price. Sure beats getting $500 Buttkickers that's for sure! I bought a whole pile of them, and Delsol took a couple as well.
No Piccie  02.02.2002 Working on getting cupholders in the seats. Tried some Walmart cheapo specials, but they didn't seem to do the trick at all, they were too flimsy. Canadian Tire I found some great little cupholders for Pop cans and small bottles. These seem to work well, so I just have to try some installation and see how they go.
Torx driver, or the star shaped dealy
Normal Philips driver
Here's that Aura Interactor apart
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02.09.2002 Here's a quick visual installation guide for taking apart the Aura Interactors and separating them from the Plastic housing. Don't throw away the housing yet, you may want to do like I did and use the backs as a cover plate. You'll need a torx style driver, the star shaped one to remove the plates.
Mounted Bass Shaker... note the rubber doorstop feet
Sturdy mount
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02.09.2002 Here's a quick visual installation guide for mounting the Aura bass shakers. The Mounting points on the seat are actually hard Rubber doorstops. I bought them at Home Despot for 3 dollars per four. At first I thought they would isolate the vibrations too much, but they allow alot of the vibration through to your butt quite effectively.
an RCA splitter
Back of the amp, see the LFE out?
The little Aura amplifier
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02.09.2002 Parts you'll need are:
- RCA Y splitter. Picture 1
- mini to mini headphone Y splitter Picture 3. (Optional)
- RCA to Mini headphone adapter. Picture 3
The output, as shown in the second picture, comes from your LFE Subwoofer out. One end of the RCA shown in picture 1, in my case is a blue RCA that goes to my SUB. The other RCA end goes to the Aura Interactor amp via the RCA to Mini headphone adapter. If you are just hooking up one aura bass shaker, you will not need the mini headphone Y splitter. If you are hooking up more than one, then the splitter is used to send the signal to the 2nd, 3rd, and so forth bass shakers.
  02.09.2002 Cranked the Aura Bass Shakers up.. they work pretty good! Gnome said that she could feel them vibrating from up stairs!!! Ho Yeah!!! =>
Back plate of the aura bass shaker
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02.16.2002 Used the back half of the Aura Interactor Backpacks as a cover plate. It seems to work in a groovalicious fashion.
  Next Now that the seats are together, I have to just finish off the wood part of it. I'll have to stain them, and then laquer them. But as they are together now, I can relax about it. Also need to do the carpet wrap around the skids trick as well. Not sure how much carpet costs, but I don't really need that much.
X-10 Installation
  Intro The ultimate in laziness? Remote control lights? NO HWAY! What could be better than sitting down to watch a movie.. and hitting a button and have all of the lights in the room slowly dim down. Now that's THEATAH!
No Piccie  04.01.2001 Ordered an X-10 package including the Home automation pack from X-10.com. Also ordered some wall switches with dimming capabilities.
No Piccie 04.09.2001 Ordered an X-10 package that converts IR to RF, so that I can use my Marantz 2000 to control my X-10 components.
No Piccie 04.18.2001 Took a few days to play around with the wall switches. The majority of the downstairs is now X-10 able. All the lights can be controlled by the X-10 palm remote controller. A nice little remote, but nothing fancy. The X-10 stuff is a little flaky, but it may be due to my inept wiring skills! I'll never make an electrician let me tell you! (Always fun to shock yourself)! One of the lights I couldn't X-10, and I had a Leviton IR light switch module, so I used that one on the troublemaker. Now everything is dandy.
No Piccie 05.08.2001 Received an HT care package today. Many thanks to Vinny and his folks for playing courier!
No Piccie 05.11.2001 The Smarthome package contained the IR to RF converter box I was waiting for. Unfortunately it only has 4 zones that it could control at any given time which is limiting. One other drawback, is that it is a two button function, which means you have to press the zone you want to play with, then on, off, dim, or brighten. With the palm controller you can pretty much do anything with a one button function... but beyond that, it is a nice little gadget. I plugged it in, then after 1/2 an hour of messing around... success! Now I can control pretty much anything in the bottom floor with my Marantz. It is hooked up with a section to turn the lights off everywhere! This is definitely SWEEEEET!
  Next The X-10 stuff is pretty much complete now... I'm relatively happy, except for the flaky switches. The dimming capability kinda sucks however. I think I'll have to mess around with the macro functionality, which will then allow dimming I believe. Oh well.. We'll give it a shot at a later time. On to bigger and brighter things.
Mame Project
Click Here Intro Most good movie theatres have at least a small arcade to while away the time waiting for the movie to start. Click here to be taken to the Klutzoplex's build it yourself Arcade Project.
HTPC Assembly
  Intro After reading info on HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computers) I figured me and Max would tackle putting a couple together.
www.amazon.com 03.15.2001 Found a soundcard to use. I think the Guillemot Sound card is best, since it gives pass through capabilities directly to the amp. It was relatively inexpensive at 45.00 USD through Amazon.com. Both Max and I grabbed one each.
No Piccie 03.20.2001 Got a hold of an input card to use. The Cybertainment mail card. It has 2 Composite ins, as well as an svideo in. It was quite cheap through cybergeek.com. The priced just dropped and I think the latest was 14.50 USD per card! This vid input card is ideal to use with dTV, which is now called dScaler.
No Piccie 04.20.2001 Picked up a Creative Labs 6X DVD for 70 bux. Not too bad, since HTPC uses demands are about 1X to 2X, but a quieter drives are more desireable. Tried it out, and it seems to work well.
No Piccie 06.01.2001 Through Ebay, i got an IR PC remote control. Got it for 20 bux USD. Basically I'm going to use this to control my HTPC telling it to turn on DVD player, play music, or what not. I tried it with WINAMP today, and it is really kewl! Nice strong signal from across the room! Of course I'm going to Prontoize it as well!
No Piccie 06.07.2001 Once again I'm indebted to Vinny and Intel Gal! Compusa had a great deal on the Intel Wireless Keyboard, mouse, and a gamepad for $100.00 USD after all rebates! They picked up a set for me when they scooted to Oregon. NO TAX! NO TAX! NO TAX!
  Next Still sourcing parts.
Miscellaneous Installation
  Intro Random stuff like decor, little touches, floor plan layouts, and so forth really make a home theater.
Check out dis mess!
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04.01.2001 I'm going nuts! My house is a mess! My seats aren't done, there are boxes everywhere... AAARRRGGGHHH!
No Piccie 04.02.2001 I'm calmer now, but my house is still a mess!
No Piccie 05.08.2001 Received an HT care package today via Vinny and the Intel gal. I now have an Xmas DVD, the Death Machine (both fairly limited run and specialty dvds for CHEAP!) an IR to RF converter, and the big one... an OFFICIAL THEATRE (not home theatre).. yes MOVIE Dolby Digital Wall Plaque... SWEETNESS!
www.ebay.com 05.13.2001 Picked up a funky ruby red exit sign from Ebay. It was apparently used in an old Movie Theatre house. It's in SLC, so I'll have to wait to get it.
Exit stage left.
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05.13.2001 Here's a piccie of the Exit sign up. I actually put it up in the new year 2002.
No Piccie 05.18.2001 I Got my Philips Pronto by UPS today. I managed to put in the learning codes that it has for brand components, i.e. Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer etc. in about 15 minutes. Very efficient. I like the machine. Definitely the way to go for remotes! And something my Marantz didn't do??? The Pronto controls the Proxima! SWEETNESS!!! Of great honeyness, as in extreme sachrineage!
Remotes in the uncommon star configuration
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05.19.2001 Oh boy, this Pronto is gonna take some time to set up properly. You can custom create bit maps for any of the buttons... I think it's time to break out Corel and Photopaint again! But once it's done, Watch out! All my remotes are gonna be gone and replaced!
Who you gonna call?
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05.20.2001 Awww.... Gnome is so supportive of my "hobby"... she just got me a Ghostbusters II FRAMED poster at a yard sale! Thanks!
No Piccie 05.23.2001 Well... My in-house vacuum cleaner bit the dust.. (pun intended) so I am going to take KDman's suggestion and use the in-house system as conduit for getting my Cat5 network connections up and down the house. I bought one of those kewl Fantom Lightning cyclonic vacuums. Boy does it suck! => Costco has the best prices for those by the by.
No Piccie 05.24.2001 Finally bit the bullet. I ordered an Outlaw 1050 via phone today. I'll probably see it in a couple of weeks.. Boy am I excited!!!!
No Piccie 05.24.2001 Hunting down a THX and a DTS MOVIE plaque. No luck so far. Almost got a THX plaque, but the bidding went to a crazy 555.00 USD on Ebay! NUTS!
No Piccie 06.02.2001 Tried to use my metal fish tape to get some cat 5 through the vaccuum cleaner tubes, but no dice. The metal fish tape is too rigid, and the cat 5 is too flimsy. I'm gonna try to MacGuyver it, and use a ball of paper, tied to a string, and I'll try suctioning it out with my Vaccuum.
No Piccie 06.07.2001 Got the Outlaw 1050 Receiver in my hot little hands! Thanks to IntelGal and Vinny! Hooked the sucker up, but was unable to blast since it was quite late in the night. I'll do some blasting soon though!!! I've read lots of things about configuration difficulties, but I didn't even crack the manual, and had everything up and runnin! The remote has a neat blue colour to it. (blue LED's are kewl!)
Old Theater now demolished
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06.08.2001 Ordered a unique piece. Mr_Sewer_Rat from the AVS forum bought an old movie theatre to knock down to lay down a Kmart. He was selling off a automaticket machine! Neat old piece from the 70's / 80's that dispensed tickets to patrons. The insides aren't there unfortunately, but the kewl factor is definitely there. He's also thrown in a few goodies to sweeten the pie! What a great guy!
Silver Curtains
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06.08.2001 Got about 15 feet of Official Movie curtain... again thanks to Mr_Sewer_Rat. There were staples everywhere on that ream of material, but got all of them out I think. Next step is to sew them up for use. Not sure how to mount them yet, but I'm sure I'll figure something out.
Rack em up!
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07.15.2001 Vinny helped me moves some stuff around, and my layout is slowly comin together. Thanks Vinny!
My. My.. Mylar... Cheap goodness!
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08.16.2001 Totally broke, but I've been buying a few small items from Ebay as decoration. Basically Movie Mylars are those small thin plastic ads that show what movie is playing next. Pretty cheap at about 90 cents per mylar. Less money than buying posters.
You can see my auxiliary TV at the back.
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08.16.2001 Gotta do some major cleaning up, and have to start moving things around. Gnome helped me out incredibly with my floorplan layout. It is going to be nads out great.
No Piccie 08.18.2001 Put up the mylars with some cheapo poster channel guides... just taped em together and strung em up. Cheap, but it looks quite alright.
No Piccie 08.23.2001 Found out the THX sign on Ebay is a fake. The fonts don't even match, and the quality does not seem too good... Caveat Emptor. So it looks like no THX sign for Klutzo for a little while...
Please proceed to the exit sign.
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01.10.2002 Finally got a hold of the exit sign, and put it up. Looks pretty kewl!
No Piccie 01.12.2002 Used the handy dandy DVD Profiler, and used the Custom reports. Printed out a nice binder with all of my DVD titles. Makes it much easier to look at than staring at the shelf. Next step is to print out some category headings and dividers.
Here's my cheapo mounting system. Notice the take out chopsticks?  =>
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01.10.2002 Found a great cheap little fix for DLP projectors. Flesh tones do not tend to be too real due to the type of lamp these Digital projectors use. The fix? Stick an FLD type Camera filter in front of the Projector, and Voila! Nicer flesh tones!
Sans the FLD Filter
Improved WITH the filter
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01.10.2002 Here's some before and after shots of the NO FILTER and AFTER FILTER.
Overflow seating with Klutzoplex Welcome!
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02.08.2002 Got a couple of Director's chairs from the local Buy & Sell. Picked em up for 25 bux each.
How to iron #1
How to iron #2
How to iron #3
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02.13.2002 Picked up some Iron On Transfer Inkjet Paper. Made up a sign and ironed them to the back of the chairs. I now have 2 chairs that have "Welcome to the Klutzoplex" on the back as overflow seating.
Light box to show off the mylars
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02.14.2002 Was lucky enough to raid a movie house that was closing down. Found a great light box that was used for ice cream novelties. It seems to fit Mylars ALMOST PERFECTLY!
No Piccie 02.10.2002 Went to Walmark, and grabbed a dark purple carpet to lay in front of the Screen. This is a Guy Kou cheapo mod. I think it'll work out pretty good.
No Piccie 02.20.2002 Vinny dropped off some stuff I got at Worthington Distributing. Great site, great prices FYI.. Now my Curtain project will be Underway!
  Next Still need to do major cleaning up, but I've been a real lazy ass recently... =<