Archive for the ‘Electrical’ Category

Games games games


Another long wait for a post, right?  Unfortunately I’ve been unwell for a while, I’m still not 100% but I’m feeling much better at the moment.

What does the title of this blog has to do with home renovation? Not much really, except right now J is playing a game (Civilisation Revolution something, it’s lost on me) via the newly (at least to this blog) installed projector.

We have the projector for a while but didn’t get around to installing it.  We were a bit concerned about the projector stand intruding too much against the red feature wall.

However, upon seeing a $25 wall bracket at Ikea, we took the plunge.  J played handyman and we’re very happy with the result.

And this is what the end result looks like.

Just for reference, the TV at the bottom of the picture has a 68cm screen.  We haven’t measured it but my guess is that the projected image is close to 2m diagonally – take that plasma and LCD TVs!

And talking about games, I was just playing this really silly game on the net, hope you enjoy it too!


Next items on our home shopping list … baby furniture 😛


Read Full Post »

This post is a bit overdue … I was going to write about this 2 weeks ago, I guess it’s better late than never! 😉

The previous owner installed typical oyster lights. There were quite a few of them around…

Old oyster lights

I never liked them because they look a bit old fashioned, and I find it difficult to remove the “shell” when it’s time to change a light bulb. So we decided to change the whole lot.

Initially we were going to get spotlight. I had my reservations because halogen lights use up a lot of electricity, however you can now buy energy efficient ones such as these.


We were pretty keen on this idea until we spoke to the electrician. He said that as our ceiling is concrete, we would need a drop ceiling to install spotlights. Given the number of lights we needed to replace, spotlights were out of the question.

After a bit of research, we decided that square flush mounts would work best. We window-shopped a fair bit and came across many designs.

Flush mount lights 1

Flush mount lights 2

We didn’t think about it at the time, but the electrician wasn’t impressed when he saw the square lights, because he had to line them up properly. And it was a time consuming exercise, it took him almost 10 hours to install the base of 10 new lights with our help! He had a good whinge about the wiring as well…

But even he was impressed when he saw the finished product.

New lights 1

New lights 2

Here’s an extreme close up:

New lights 3

Truth be told, we only installed some of the lights earlier tonight. The frosted glass required 2 people to install and we only had 1 ladder from one of our neighbours. We were going to buy another one from Bunnings today but we ran into another neighbour and he lent another one to us. It took 1.5 hours to install 4 lights (they were very fiddly). We’ll get on to the rest tomorrow night.

I think it is all worth it. I’m really happy with the look. They are fluorescent lights, i.e. more energy efficient, and the lights are whiter which I prefer.

What do you think?

Read Full Post »

J bought a few hdmi cables today and he’s been playing around with the AV setup. We haven’t decided on where to put the projector yet, so it’s sitting on a foldable chair at the moment in front of the sof at he moment.

This is what the projector image looks like (hello Frodo). The size of the picture is 113in/287cm. 😛

Projector image small
Full image

The photo quality is low because I can’t use flash.

The eventual picture will be even bigger as the projector will be behind the sofa. We did a quick measure and the picture size will be around 140in/355cm! 😯

This photo was taken during the day, we have venetian blinds so the room was not completely dark. I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like at night.

Read Full Post »

Ladies, it’s time to switch off for a while (think shopping, shopping, shopping) because it’s time for a bloke’s bit on cables from J. And a long post at that!

Both V and I like to watch movies and we have a projector to perform the visual duties. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no AV purist but a 201cm screen just makes things nice and absorbing when you’re watching a good flick or the football as the case may be.

While a projector is pretty cool, it certainly comes with its own challenges such as:

  • getting the video source to the projector at the back of the room;
  • if the projector is on the roof then you need to get power to it.

When you’re building a place you can pre-lay the cables but when refitting an existing place it’s a bit of a pain because you end up with exposed cables. And our place is all concrete to boot. 😕

I ran through a few scenarios with a close mate including grinding grooves into the walls and floor for cabling and wall plates or putting trunking in to cover exposed cables. This didn’t sit well with both V and I (or the electrician for that matter) and we decided to go with having the projector out only occasionally without any customisation. I wasn’t entirely happy with this and stewed on it for a few days.

While I was stewing one day last week, I came across selby acoustics who make a range of wall plates including ones with HDMI connections. Preciously I’d been considering RGB component connections because that’s what we currently use but by using a HDMI cable, this would minimise the cabling that needed to go to the back of the room. Further, the RCA connections that were on the wall plates were female to female, simplifying the cables required to connect them all up. After further discussions with V and the electrician, along with some examination of the existing aerial and foxtel wall outlets, this was the way I decided to go.

A 10m HDMI cable was sourced from Dick Smith and the wall plates were ordered from selby. A last minute addition was a 10m composite cable to go to the projector as a back up to the HDMI cable. Given the diameter of the composite cable relative to the HDMI cable and speaker cable, I felt that this would not cause too much additional bubbling under the carpet. On that note, I should mention that I decided to just run the cables straight under the carpet. Not perfect but I suspected this would be OK.

Saturday was spent putting the speaker cables in. The electrican figured that he could drill under the skirting into the concrete floor to get through to the wall cavity where the foxtel cable was. Good news – he was right! Bad news – it took about 10 minutes of drilling with various bits and just as we finished, one of the neighbours knocked on the door to complain. Completely understandable given the noise. I told him this was the last of the drilling and agreed that I’d warn him before doing anything like this again. Not the best way to meet a new neighbour. 😦

The electrican grumbled a bit about soldering male RCA connections onto 2.5mm speaker cable but he did a pretty good job.

The wall plates and composite cable arrived today. So I spent the evening sticking the cable down and a test fit of one of the wall plates.

Cables laid and stuck down with gaffer tape. Again, not ideal but will have to do the job.

cable exposed 1

cable exposed 2

cable exposed 4

cable exposed 3

Cables are pretty well hidden. A small bump but should be fine since it’s around the edges of the room and will be behind the sofa.

cable covered 1

cable covered 2

Fitted wall plate looks pretty good.

wall plate 1

wall plate 2

I’m very happy with how it’s all turned out. I’m sure that a few AV purists will not approve but it works for us. 😀

Read Full Post »