Screen / gantry rebuild

What? Am I mad? Well, maybe, but since I got the sim running I’ve been plagued with display problems and these come down to two main things:

  1. The screen has multiple distortions on it due to joins and flexing, and is not properly semi-circular.
  2. The projectors are badly aligned and keep moving.

These leave me with a sub-optimal experience and it’s only really become obvious since I started using the sim.

So – I’m going to rebuild the screen yet again, and also re-mount the projectors.

I’m going to cut four semi-circular support rings which will be mounted to the original frame and will leave a properly circular guide against which to attach the screen material. I will replace the hardboard with new board. With the continuous circular guide, rather than relying on four mounting points, the board should conform properly to the shape and have no dips and bumps. Then I’ll paint it with the long-awaited Screen Goo paint.

I’m also going to re-mount the projectors. To do this, I’m going to take down the current gantry and replace the wooden cross-bars – which, like all wood I can get from a DIY store, is warped and not completely straight – with square-section steel tubes. This will not only get me a dead straight run, but also improve the structural rigidity of the whole system.

Then I’m going to make my own projector mounts. The current mounts are meant for AV systems and are fire-and-forget – that is, you set them up and leave them; but they don’t do well being adjusted on-the-fly as I’ve been having to do, and it’s impossible to tighten then up enough to stop any movement without losing the careful positioning I’ve already done. I will replace them with my own design which will be rigid and allow for adjustment using bolts. I can get them into place and adjust them in-situ without losing the other settings I’ve made.

I’ll do a video / entry on this whole process and show you how I do it. I hope to have the sim back up and running by next week, the week after at the latest. With a stable and properly aligned visual system, the software tasks of blending the views etc should get a lot easier.