Porch TV project - not car related at all...

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by agranger, Sep 30, 2020.

  1. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    I've had a project rolling around in my head for about a year and finally decided to pull the trigger and make it happen. I thought you guys might like coming along for the ride as I think it through and assemble things.

    My wife and I have a wonderful front porch. Especially in the past few months, during the COVID pandemic, our neighborhood seems to come to us, wandering by the house (we are on a good walking street with a recently redone sidewalk and relatively low car traffic, so lots of families come our way). We frequently sit out there in a pair of rocking chairs or our porch swing. I've got our Sonus system wired out there via some waterproof speakers, but we've frequently wished that we could have a decent TV out there.

    Cue a lightbulb over my head and a design montage...

    Requirements:
    • A flatscreen TV. Not so huge that you can't carry it easily but not so small that it's not pleasant to watch at a 5-10' distance.
    • Soundbar (flatscreen TVs have speakers as an afterthought)
    • Easy and quick to move / connect (I don't want to carry out a TV, the sound bar, the cable box and then connect power, signal cables, find the remotes, etc. I want to move one package, make minimum connections and watch TV
    • Portability is a plus (We have 2 sitting areas on our front porch and would like to use the solution on our back porch as well).
    • It can't leave $$$ equipment out on the porch (we live close to Charlotte's downtown area and have occasional 'porch pirates')
    Early design: I'm collecting components (Amazon is my friend)

    • I'm going to build a 5-sided box, similar to what would be built to house rock band equipment, but with one open face for viewing the TV.
    • It will be finish grade plywood or maybe pressboard of some sort with corner protectors and handles to make movement easy.
    • It will be just large enough to hold the TV, soundbar and all signal boxes.
    • The signal boxes (getting audio/video to the TV) will be built in, so all boxes / cables are connected once and left in place.
    • Only one power line will be run into the case (so I can carry out the case, set it down, plug it in and start watching TV immediately) - maybe 20 feet or so.
    • The case will be stored inside when not in use (security)
    • The case will have hooks on one side, so it can be hung on a porch railing.
     
  2. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    Parts are on the way:

    I'm puzzling around a way to add some remote control storage to the box and ways to strengthen the construction...
     
  3. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    18,970
    9,512
    113
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    Ratings:
    +10,662 / 2 / -0
    This sounds like a great idea. Let us know how it turns out.

    I love porches like that. I really miss the one we had on our old house. We have one at the condo, but it's just not the same.
     
  4. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    #4 agranger, Sep 30, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
    Yep... I love a good front porch and we spent some time making this one cozy. I got the Sonus setup out there (web-enabled speakers), ceiling fans put up and a good porch swing. Plus, for those of you who grew up in the South, the ceiling is painted light blue to keep the 'haints' away (evil spirits). We cover the front steps with a folding baby gate and take the dogs out with us... loads of old-timer fun. :D

    Our neighborhood is wonderful. It was mostly full of 1940's era starter homes when we bought in maybe 4-5 years ago, but ours was one of the first homes to be flipped in the neighborhood (the old home torn down and a new one built on the lot). I'd guess my street is now 50% new and 50% original homes. The original ones that had some character and were well kept have generally been saved (thank goodness), but the house that had been on our lot had not aged / been kept up well and was not one of the nicer examples. Most of the new ones have been built in a style similar to the older homes.

    It's a great mix of young folks, older original owners and some bohemian renters. My real estate agent said something like "If you want to be able to get a cappuccino and a tattoo in the same block, this is the place!"


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We also did a TON of work a few years back, fixing some back deck errors (some idiot did the framing / decking) and turning the grass box of a back yard into something more attractive. The TV mount will probably go on the rail, in front of the rockers, most of the time, but might find its way to the back deck occasionally as well (summer movie night outdoors... have a BBQ and watch something fun outside)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    18,970
    9,512
    113
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    Ratings:
    +10,662 / 2 / -0
    Very nice looking place agranger. I miss my old place, but the condo suites us old times just fine. Had to change with the times.
     
  6. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    10,128
    5,467
    113
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,568 / 9 / -3
    What a great idea and very nice house. My wife and talk often of moving to mid town where the old houses there have big porches.
     
  7. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    Yep. We did condo life for 3 years when we moved to San Francisco. I'll admit that it was very nice, not to have to think about outside maintenance, landscaping, etc. I just had to keep the inside stuff working right and chip in a bit to keep an eye on the HOA (like every HOA, we had a few grumpy Karens / Brads who needed to be kept in check). The move into that condo was the reason I sold Jango, my first R53, but that move also let my wife make a career shift that wound up being very beneficial.

    We did have a spectacular view out over the Pacific Ocean from that condo, though. Some gorgeous sunsets (and the San Francisco property values climbing 25%+ per year wasn't bad either :D ).

    I'm going for something like a flight case, but open on one of the larger sides to see the TV.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. wmwny

    wmwny Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2009
    3,832
    2,031
    113
    Retired
    Piqua, Ohio
    Ratings:
    +2,446 / 8 / -0
    Maybe MCS02 can find you a case like that since he is in the airline business.
     
  9. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    I don't know why it amazes me every time, but I found several how-to articles for flight cases (like the image above) on YouTube. You can buy all of the hardware on Amazon. There are also companies that will make the cases for you, but I'm going to do this less by formal engineering (drawing out plans) and more by touch and feel (laying the components out on some plywood and getting a feel for how it goes together.

    I don't need to go full-on flight case as my TV will really only travel the 50 feet from the closet in my office to one of the porches, but it's the right idea. I'm going to use some more normal hardware, plywood, glue and wood screws.

    Bits and pieces are arriving daily. The TV and soundbar and extension cord arrived yesterday. The wireless HDMI transmitter came the day before. The luggage handles, case corner protectors and a bunch of other little bits just arrived this morning. If I have the time, I'm hoping to putter about in the garage a bit this weekend to lay it all out and start case assembly.

    I'm trying to determine paint color... maybe a flat black interior with an off white exterior (to match the house trim) on the rails of the porch.
     
  10. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    10,128
    5,467
    113
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,568 / 9 / -3
    The hard part would be smuggling it out.
     
  11. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    10,128
    5,467
    113
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,568 / 9 / -3
    Flat black on the inside and out side to match the house sounds very good. Make sure the wheels you get are soft so they wont damage the floor
     
  12. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    18,970
    9,512
    113
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    Ratings:
    +10,662 / 2 / -0
    Hey Lee, just kick it out the door as you do a flyover of agrangers house. ;)
     
  13. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    That's pretty much what baggage handlers do anyway, right?
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  14. Crashton

    Crashton Club Coordinator

    Jun 4, 2009
    18,970
    9,512
    113
    Retired old fart
    Hooterville Ohio USA
    Ratings:
    +10,662 / 2 / -0
    LOL!!! :D
     
  15. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    #15 agranger, Oct 1, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
    Holy crap. I just realized that the last of my bits and pieces arrived from Amazon today (except for a spare TV remote, but that's just a duplicate of what I already have at home), so I've gotta go spend some time cogitating over size / construction and then make a lumber run!
     
  16. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    #16 agranger, Oct 5, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
    I made it to Lowes this weekend... bought way too much crap. Finding the specific screws I needed to mount the TV in the box was a serious PITA.

    The case will be 3/4" thick yellow pine (furniture grade)... mostly because I found a 3/4" thick piece of desktop material in pine that is made from pre-assembled/glued pine strips. It will made for a convenient back piece choice as it was flat, mostly sanded smooth and just a few inches over the right size, so I wasn't going to have to find someone to rip down a sheet of plywood for me in the store and then deal with two thirds of a sheet of plywood left over that I had no use for.

    Also... any excuse for new tools. I've never gotten around to buying a router and I think the edges of this case would do very well with a round-over profile, so a new palm-router made its way into the cart...

    I pulled the TV and sound bar out and laid 'em out on the workbench to take measurements. 32" TV and Soundbar.

    [​IMG]


    Also... I made my rounds in Lowes, picking up all of the bits and pieces I'd need for the project. In that basket of stuff was several cans of spray paint. I was helping the poor check out lady (I had a bunch of screws and nuts from the fastener aisle that weren't in bags), so I was one of "those" guys, who took a while to check out. We got to the end of the end of the items in the cart and I looked up to the total on the register to see my total: OVER $23,000 !!!! I feigned a heart attack a la Fred Sanford and got a chuckle from the poor lady behind the register. Apparently something weird happened and the register thought I had over 4,000 cans of spray paint in the basket.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • List
  17. old81

    old81 Club Coordinator
    Lifetime Supporter

    May 4, 2009
    3,091
    1,356
    113
    Used to work making computers run fast!
    Louisville, Colorado
    Ratings:
    +1,470 / 5 / -0
    4000 cans of hufff! Wow!
     
  18. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    #18 agranger, Oct 7, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
    I was planning a very exciting weekend. Now if my Amazon order of 2000 tubes of model airplane glue would arrive, I'll be set!
     
  19. MCS02

    MCS02 Moderator
    Staff Member Articles Moderator Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2009
    10,128
    5,467
    113
    Male
    Ratings:
    +6,568 / 9 / -3
    4000 cans of pant, LOL. You know when someone says I am going to paint the town it is just an expression?:D
     
  20. agranger

    agranger MINI of the Month June 2009
    Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2009
    1,997
    1,148
    113
    Project Manager
    Charlotte, NC
    Ratings:
    +1,385 / 1 / -0
    #20 agranger, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
    I got several hours of work in on the mobile TV cabinet this weekend (I work for a bank and got Columbus day off... woo for obscure Federal holidays!)

    I measured up the back of the case, double checked w/ the TV and sound bar on top and then added another inch or two of depth... looks good... time to get the saws out.

    After many hours of cutting, fitting and drilling pilot holes, I had this:

    [​IMG]

    I posted this pic to my Facebook feed and a MINI friend questioned heat retention inside the box. The bottom of the TV is open-air and I put it on a 1" spacer from the back of the case (for cable and air flow), but his comments got me thinking, so I added some speed holes to the top of the back panel. This should allow hot air to rise and vent out the top with cooler air filling in from below.

    [​IMG]

    I'm now filling in the screw holes & seams, sanding, priming and painting. The speed holes are wreaking havoc with my 2 tone paint job plans (overspray is a bitch when painting with both black and white paint), but I'll get it figured out... That part of the inside of the cabinet isn't easily visible when the TV is mounted up, so I'm going to spray the inside black, mask off from the inside and not worry too much about some white overspray showing through on the inside as it's not readily visible on the finished product.

    I also had to order myself a bench vice. Any excuse for new tools, amirite? I've got some chunky iron brackets that I need to bend some hooked ends into and I don't have enough leverage with hand tools.

    Sand... sand... sand... sand... sand (I hate sanding).
     

Share This Page