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A Definite Diagnosis

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by spicy_fajita, Jan 26, 2005.

  1. spicy_fajita

    spicy_fajita
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    And I was doing so well...

    I've had my faithful Panny AE100 for almost two years (two years in March) and I've never had any problems. I've been using it for watching movies and the occasional special TV events. Its been running in low lamp mode with fan set to high from the moment I got her and I've cleaned the filter regularly. And then last night I started her up and got a problem that some people seemed to have described in the forums but from searching I seem to have found varying diagnosis.

    The problem is this: On power up the projector seems fine, initially no picture, all lights normal and sounds are all normal. After a few seconds a dim picture is supposed to appear and the picture should get steadily brighter until it is clear. This does not happen. The picture is very very dim and initially can only be seen using a blank piece of paper about arms length from the lens. The picture can be seen to be pulsating like an irregular power supply. After a while the picture gains full strength, filling the entire projector screen as usual but still pulses. After another number of seconds the picture stops this, reverts back to its "arm's length" strength and flickers rapidly like a strobe light - at this point I power down so for fear of the bulb exploding. A few people have described this or simillar situation, some diagnosis has been bulb, some power supply.

    From the self check the hours are only 755 in low lamp mode and the fact that for a few seconds it has power to fill the screen I guessing that the bulb is NOT to blame but I suppose the wiring could be eroded. From taking the bulb out and exmaming it it appears fine. No obvious marking or dicolouration, it appears fine.

    Does anybody have experience with these exact symptoms and what solution worked?

    I'm going to leave her in to get looked at later in the week but if it is definitely a bulb problem I'll save my money and just buy one and fit it myself.
     
  2. benji_m

    benji_m
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    I would try ringing Panasonic and speaking to an engineer, either is a costly item and you need to get it right!
     
  3. spicy_fajita

    spicy_fajita
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I was going to leave it in locally because I couldn't find a number for Panasonic techincal department. The website kept directing back to a external dealer or the customer service line which is useless. After reading your post I did a search on the forums and got the invaluable Panasonic service department number,

    08709 070909

    And the guy was able to tell me immediately over the phone that it is a faulty ballast module. Fantastic - feel much better knowing what is wrong.

    Bad news - £241 to repair - ahh - plus postage £12 - ahh - plus what ever extra postage cos I live in N. Ireland.

    Decisions decisions - too skint to afford a new projector or plasma tv (which is sounding more and more appealing), too much of a waste just to pop this one in the bin and I can't live with my crappy 28in 4:3 TV for movies, but £241 + extras is a lot of money and I'm skint.

    Oh well - I can't complain too much, life is still pretty sweet... :smoke:

    I'll price the service in my local place but it'll prob be as dear or dearer, and I trust panasonic more to do it right and they'll prob offer better warranty on the work so I'll prob end up sending off to them.

    I'll let you know how I get on and I hope that at least knowing that a flickering lamp may be a ballast problem is useful to some.
     
  4. summat

    summat
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    Daft question, looking at Pannies website, the AE700 has 2 years warranty; What's the warranty period on you AE100?
     
  5. theritz

    theritz
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    Spicy,

    It might be worth checking the price of the ballast module itself, and check the AE100 Service manual - it's probably a plug-in job, you might take iton if you felt up to it ?


    Sean.
     
  6. theritz

    theritz
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    Ignore that.... having had a look at the AE100 service manual I can't make a link between the part nos on the USA site and the references in the manual....... :rolleyes:


    S.
     
  7. dekoded

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  8. dekoded

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  9. spicy_fajita

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    I looked quickly through the service manual but I couldn't see any description of the ballast module or instructions on what to replace. If you can see an exact part no or instructions on what to do on the web I'd be grateful but I'm thinking about selling the thing on ebay for a 100 quid and buying a plasma.

    Paying £240 for a yet again limited lifetime has somewhat turned me against projectors. I'm thinking that someone may pay 100 quid for it even if only for the bulb which only has about 800 low power hours on it and spare parts for their on yoke, or may want to repair it. I'm starting to think plasmas are better value even though the size difference is significant once you've tasted projector. I can't go back to normal tv but 42in widescreen may be the asswer and will at least some way sit better with my bank manager in terms of years for my money.
     
  10. spicy_fajita

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    Well just to put an ending to this story I rang the repair centre back and including delivery and vat it'll be £315 to fix and not worth it. I could pick up a whole projector on ebay and I'd have a spare bulb and parts that way. So I'm gonig to venture into plasma territory I think. Can't really afford it but you only live once and with zero ipercent interest and spacing out of the payments I should be able to keep a roof over my head.

    Well I walked into the projector scene after reading lots of info on these forums which was invaluable and I knew all the costs, reliability issues (especially the AE100) and limited lifespan of projectors and can't really complain but it still annoys me the lifespan and costs of repairs of these yokes. Oh well I did enjoy the movies and still think the size and wow factor is the best way to watch a movie. Maybe in the future when I've a little more cash and am more settled I'll go back to projectors but I think for now I want something you can leave on all day and that'll last a few more years.

    FYI I am posting the sale of the projector in the classified section in case anyone wants it for parts (the bulb only has around 800 low power hours or around 350 adjusted hours on it).
     

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