Just a quick update: no building this weekend as I have been struck with cold/flue. I have no energy to do anything so I'm resting as much as possible. A bit frustrating really much nothing I can do about it. One thing I did do was order a 7m HDMI cable from eBay to complete the cabling between the DAW and the room. Hopefully I'll be feeling better by next weekend.


The only other I have done is to estimate the mineral wool requirements for the corner chunks. It works out that I'll need 29 slabs which leaves 4. Not too bad because I used a lot more to fill the ceiling than originally planned.  I knew there would be excess because I hadn't taken the stud framework into account when estimating the volume  required. This means I'll probably only need another 2/3 bales (4 slabs) for additional room treatments. I can worry about this later. Anyway, enough for now...

Before I begin:  >>> HAPPY NEW YEAR <<<

I didn't get a chance to update the diary during the Christmas period so I'm going to cover the work completed under this one section. Although thinking about it, for the most part, I was doing one job...stuffing mineral wool!!


As you read earlier I'd pretty much decided on how to complete the ceiling void and the few chances I had over Christmas were pretty well spent filling the ceiling. This is not the nicest of jobs especially when working above your head but it's bearable when you're well covered up from head to toe. It really did involve a lot of cutting which is quite time consuming. Filling in the last gaps was the hardest and I found it a lot easier to cut smaller pieces and insert them separately than trying to stuff large sections in at a time which normally results in the piece breaking up and making a bit of a mess. Anyway, as always you live and learn and things really did start to come together quite well and in general I was really pleased with the results. Though I was relieved to get the final piece up there!!!

>> Photo - Ceiling Void Filled <<


The room had got into a bit of a mess after the last job so it was time for clear up. I wanted to keep as much of the usable off-cuts of mineral wool for any small filling jobs, so I picked the bigger pieces and put them into a bag. I then gave the room a good sweep and vac. It may seem a bit excessive but I can't stand working in a messy environment and it's actually quite therapeutic and it gives you a chance to think about the next jobs.




OK, before I could finish filling the door frame and the back alcove stud-work I needed to add some timbers near the fresh air inlet. I need some structure in the stud-work around the air-brick so that I can feed some kind of duct into the room silencer box on that  side. This was formed with two noggings about 90mm apart with a couple of  short uprights between them.  >> Photo - Fresh Air Inlet Stud-work <<


Once that job was complete I set about filling the door area stud-work. I do need to create a couple more supporting structures in the alcove stud-work as I need to provide some ventilation in the airlock area because the DAW will reside here - don't want to overheat the PC. However, I wanted to finish off the mineral wool job so I put this job off until later and continued the filling. This is a much easier and less messy job than the ceiling and went very well indeed. I was also keen to get to this stage so that I can estimate whether I'll need any more RockSilk for the room treatments. Out of the 96 slabs I bought I used 63 for the stud-work filling leaving 33 for room treatments. I need to go over my calculations to see if I'm going to need any more.


All in all I'm very pleased with the job and a little relieved to get it out of the way. It was my aim to complete this job over the Christmas period and I achieved this while still able to enjoy plenty of time with the family and friends - without compromise. I'm not too far off starting the drywall stage now :-)

First a few small jobs:

1. I had noticed that there was some flex in the front wall and although once the drywall is screwed in this would be reduced I decided to effectively tie the top plate to the joist, which is only about an 1" or so from the corner. I took an off-cut timber (tie-block)about 20cm long and chiselled a groove 32mm wide along its length at 7 degrees. This gave a profile that would allow me to screw it to the corner joist, locating on the 32mm square battens for the ceiling drywall recess. I then had to unscrew the joist, glue and screw the piece to the joist (batten) centrally then re-screw the joist in place and finally screw from underneath the wall top plate into the new tie-block.  Wow, what a difference! Very solid now...I even gave it a kick!!  >> Photo - Front Wall Tie-block<<


2. There were still a couple of gaps at the top of the wall on the left hand side between the roof and the wall top timbers. I had already filled the larger gaps with strips of timber and glued and filled with gripfill ages ago. This was pretty straight forward using a couple of off-cuts about 50mm long. I no-nailed and screwed these in place blocking the holes. I then filled all around to close up any small gaps.


3. To allow for the cabling between the PC (in the airlock) and the desk I needed additional space. As mentioned earlier, some cables (CAT5, Power etc) can be run underneath the stud-work through my channels cut under the sole plate. However the display cables with moulded ends need to be fed over the sole plate and down into the floor. To allow the cables to pass down I chiselled out a channel at the front (inside the room) of the sole plate and routed rads on the top corners to soften for the cable bends.

>> Photo - Sole Plate Cable Channel <<


With those jobs done I'm pretty well clear to continue the mineral wool filling...well apart for one other thing, but nothing too drastic: basically, I need to add some timber to the stud-work near the air intake to allow connection of the silencer box in that corner. But for the moment I am going to crack on filling the ceiling.


Having thought about my method of filling the ceiling I worked out that cutting a slab of RockSilk (1200x600x100mm) along its length creating a piece 1200x300x100mm. The void above the ceiling drywall works out about 300mm so these pieces cut to suit will fit quite nicely into the void on their edges (100mm side), pretty much filling the entire cavity. Uses a lot of mineral wool in the process but I am a little concerned with the transmission through the roof so I think this will at least be the most I can do.

First of all, because the joist cross section is effectively a squashed up crucifix upside down - it has quite a tricky shape. I made a small template with that profile to help cutting the pieces. I started off by cutting the complete length (1200mm) with the joist profiles at the bottom. These bridged two joist. Although it worked OK I figured that smaller pieces would be a lot easier to fit in place and after a few sections I abandoned that larger sections in favour of filling between two joists at a time.

As you can see from the above list I need a 6m cable for my Edirol DA-2496 sound card. The one supplied is about 2m so will not do the job and with none available commercially I had to make this myself. Luckily I had a decent length of high quality 25 core cable suitable for this job so all I needed to do was get the connectors. Luckily I had some old 25 pin D connectors at work that were to be binned.


First step was to find out the pin configuration of the existing cable  and make a diagram. Using a multimeter to check and double check each pin and not forgetting the shield. I was pretty meticulous to ensure I had things right but finally here is the pin diagram:

>> Image - DA-2496 Link Cable <<


Of course the other issue here is whether the the sound card will work over this distance. This is going to be a matter of trial - we'll see.


Next task: solder the wires to the connectors. Pretty fiddly job actually with 24 cores per connector to tin and solder to the pins. Got the job done eventually but I wasn't too happy with the soldering on the first connector my technique was better by the second one. I checked it all out and it was good for continuity and so I thought I would run with this for the moment but I think I will redo this later. OK, the moment of truth...I hooked one end up to the PCI card and the other to the 19" break-out box...and hey presto all worked  I need to do a bit more thorough testing but initially very promising!!

Not a great deal of studio building this weekend - I had some jobs to get done in the house. Nothing too exciting just reorganising kitchen appliances ready for delivery of a new dishwasher on Monday. Like always the job took 10x longer than I first thought!


Anyway, back to the studio. I'm at the stage now where I'm making double/triple sure that I have everything in place before finishing the mineral wool filling and ultimately drywalling. I don't particularly want to remove this stuff when its in place just because I didn't take that little bit more time to think about any possibilities. Though I accept that there always be something I wish I had allowed for I hope I have at least covered the obvious and the slightly less obvious.


I did need to re-route, in the end, one 2.5mm T&E cable for the studio ring. A little tricky to do but I managed to clip it down along a joist and through the stud-work of the alcove and back into the socket. This run was actually slightly shorter so the cable had to be cut down. I left the second cable as it was because it would have been a longer and awkward run than currently. I think that is it now with the cabling - I now just have to make some channels in the stud-work and tidy up as much as possible.


I have been re-thinking what and how to run the cables from the DAW (PC) to the desk and instead of making my own DVI cables I am going to use pre-made ones and run it over the top and down through channels in the front inside surface of the stud sole plate. I did some searching and reading on the net and found an ebay trader selling 7m long DVI-D dual link cables for £7.99 each delivered. I did spend a bit of time looking into the differences  between expensive and cheaper alternative cables with no true conclusion , so I decided that for £16 I would go for it. The trader has completed 1000s of transactions with 100% rating so the worst that could happen is I lose £16. Anyway, the cables arrived the next day and...  they worked a treat and actually looked pretty good quality - result!!!


A quick recap on the cables to feed from the airlock to the desk (and checklist):

2 x 7m DVI-D dual link for 2x24" displays

1 x 6m 25 pin D (for the Edirol DA2496 sound card)

1 x 5m USB extender (PC keyboard)

1 x 5m USB extender (PC mouse)

1 x 6m CAT5e

1 x 7m HDMI cable  

1 x 5m Firewire extension

1 x Cable for the PC on/off switching