Not my week for faults developing on projectors, what with my son's PJ going belly up for the 4th time (see separate thread) and now my unit going bang, not a good start to the new year!! I have used my pj very little over the last 6 months - a couple of times per week at most (Nothing really over the last 3 months). It is packed away after use, which means unplugging the power lead each time. This is where the problem developed as it turns out there is a serious weakness in the machine's design. I don't know if other AE500 users have experienced similar problems, but from day one I noticed that the power lead was very difficult to remove from the machine. I was concerned that in order to remove it I would have to "wiggle" the lead back and forth to extract it which was obviously putting strain on the plug at the rear of the machine. I spotted a while back that this plug was quite loose and as such I was always extremely careful when removing the power lead. On Monday night though the unit crackled and popped several times - fortunately just after powering it up so the bulb was not hot - and when I moved the power lead this exacerbated the problem. After a bit of fiddling the unit switched off and refused to then power up. Obviously the problem was related to the plug at the rear of the machine so I had to make a decision - have a look myself or arrange for the unit to be repaired. I decided on the former as I was certain the problem was with the power plug becoming loose at the back of the machine. Half an hour later I'd removed enough components to reveal the plug on the inside of the machine and sure enough it was wobbling around like a loose tooth. I quickly spotted that one of the connectors had broken away from the circuit board which was thus preventing the machine getting power. Out came the soldering iron and after a lengthly session strengthening the solder connectors to the board, the plug was back in place. After I re-assembled the unit I am pleased to say it fired up no problem and it ran for several hours last night with no sign of a snap, crackle or a pop. I now only insert the power lead just enough for it to be secure in the plug, but not enough for it to be too difficult to remove once I have finished. Hopefully this will have cured the problem - I took the time to strengthen the solder connections so much so I am 100% certain that it is much stronger than when the machine first came off the production line. I know most users leave their machines connected permanently - obviously this won't be an issue for you - but any users who, like myself, regularly pack away their machines after use, could be faced with a similar problem. I wouldn't recommend that everyone follows my lead and attempts a repair if they were faced with a similar problem, but if you feel quite confident with your soldering skills then this is not a task that would seriously tax your ability. Just take your time and as with every soldering job, take extreme care.