Redesigning the Control & Entertainment Center... - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-26-2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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Redesigning the Control & Entertainment Center...




Ok, I know the control & entertainment centers in our rigs are different depending on the models we have... but I'm sure they all have similarities. I'm just wondering if anyone has already redesigned or modified theirs already to accommodate different components?

I've made the decision to go full-time in my rig pretty soon (working out all of the details right now, but that's another topic)... and as such, I've been making some modifications to it in preparation for that. One of the areas that needs attention is the control & entertainment center.

Since I'm going to want satellite TV service, I'll need a place for the receiver. Also for a home router hub, my AppleTV block... and I'd like to possibly upgrade the home theater components as well. I've already replaced the stock 40" Samsung TV with a 50" Sony Bravia... and now I want better components to work with it.

The above photo is from my Voltage 3200. The control panel is simple enough... but there's a lot of wasted space to either side of it. Then below it, we have this very narrow cubbyhole that fits the audio head/DVD unit... and below it, a nice open space that other audio-video components could easily fit into (width & height), except for the fact that they'd block the antenna amp & electrical outlets.

The amp & outlets can be moved... but the biggest issue I see for adding home audio components is depth. The space is only 10" deep. A receiver or amp would probably have to be mounted vertically, but that's an issue that can be worked out later.

Anyway, what I'd like to do is to redesign that entire space to accommodate my planned upgrades... but do it in such a way that doesn't look trashy, or like a 3rd grader did it.

For starters, I'd like to relocate the TV antenna amp up to the left side of the control center... and also possibly my front awning controls. Then, I'd like to completely rip out that cubbyhole shelf that the audio head/dvd unit sits on, creating a larger overall space beneath.

With that out of the way, I think I could install a high-end home theater receiver, BluRay DVD player, and possibly even a satellite receiver box in the larger space that's been created. Working the receiver in will require some thought because of the depth issue.

Anyway... that's what I've been thinking about. But before I start trying to figure out what I could move & relocate, or tear etc, etc... if anyone else has already done this, then I'd like to see photos of your work.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
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Ok well... finally got around to doing some of what I wanted in this area.

The rig came with Samsung products... and while they were ok, they surely weren't all that good. Of course, I'm a bit biased ,as I've always been a Sony guy. Kinda like a Ford-Chevy thing. We all have our preferences.

So after replacing the 40" Samsung TV with a 50" Sony Bravia model... I set about trying to find a suitable Sony home theater amp that I could work the remaining components around.

Not an easy task...

I first tried to figure out a way to use the big residential home theater amp that I already had. A really nice Sony STR-DA5800ES 9.2 receiver that was nearly new, and could also serve as a 'home automation' hub if I ever decided to hook all of that stuff up. But, not only was it REALLY heavy... but it was simply way too big to fit anywhere near the audio cabinet.

So I found the Sony BDV-N7200W system. The receiver unit's size was such that it would fit into the cabinet, but it could only be purchased as a complete system with speakers, which I didn't need. Not wanting to spend money on things I didn't need, I found a factory refurbished one on the Sony website... kept the parts I needed, and tossed the speakers.

After removing the Samsung receiver, and carefully marking the wires... I began the process of moving the various items already in the cabinet that would be in the way of the new receiver. Now I'm not much of an electrician, so this took me awhile. Parts of 3 days, to be exact.

Finally with the awning controls, the antenna amp & coaxial loop relocated out of the way, I was able to hook up & install the Sony Blu-Ray receiver. After a few tweaks here & there, this is what I've come up with:








The Blu-Ray receiver is now located on the bottom shelf, since the top is what slides open to allow disc insertion & removal. In the slot where the old receiver used to be sits the wireless rear-speaker amp, and my AppleTV puck.

I still need to close up the rear of the cabinet where the holes remain from where the antenna amp, coax-loop, and awning controls used to be. But for an amateur like me, I guess it looks ok.

The main thing is everything now works flawlessly & seamlessly! Great picture, great sound, and it all works together from one single remote (except for the AppleTV)... which is something I could never get the Samsung system to do. Maybe it was me, but it seemed I had to press 10 different buttons to get what I wanted with it. Now, it's down to 2 or 3.

Now to figure out how to tie my all of my wireless hub equipment and possibly satellite TV components in the future...
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:00 AM   #3
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That looks real nice! You've given me some good ideas. Question, was your switch panel wired backwards? I had to rewire mine since all the switches on the left side of the panel controlled the lights on the right side of the coach and vice versa. The slide out switches were backwards too. Just wondering.
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Old 08-16-2015, 12:50 AM   #4
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Nice!
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Old 08-16-2015, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompwil View Post
...Question, was your switch panel wired backwards? I had to rewire mine since all the switches on the left side of the panel controlled the lights on the right side of the coach and vice versa. The slide out switches were backwards too. Just wondering.
No, nothing wrong with the main panel. Everything there works as advertised.
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Old 08-16-2015, 11:48 PM   #6
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Tom: Great work, just for info, I found some of that thin wood in Home Depot, to use for the back wall, now I have a 3895, so the color maybe a little off, but you may be able to find the thin stuff, before its stained and get it closer to your wall cover? After cutting the new holes, I just cut it to the size I wanted and glued it over the old wall.
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Old 08-17-2015, 06:36 PM   #7
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Removing TV ?

Tom .. just a quick question .. how did you remove the Samsung ? I'd like to get behind to add a Chromecast ..

Tks
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