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AE700 dust blob removal?

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by trioxin245, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. trioxin245

    trioxin245
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    I presume it's a dust blob I'm looking at ( soft green circle in black scenes) but on a white background in the same spot it comes up red but smaller and in focus. the strange thing is it coincided exactly with me noticeing a green pixel a few inches beside it. coincidence?
    My question is has anyone blasted away any dust blobs from their 700 yet and can it be done through the filter opening or does the top have to come off.
    p.s. very happy with pj and vb not a problem.

    thanks.
     
  2. Mike J

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    Hi trioxin,

    I have successfully removed two dust particles from my AE700; both were removed on my second attempt. I'm going from memory now, but here are some notes on the method I used.

    On the first attempt I obtained a can of compressed air from a photography shop, then sprayed into the air intake grill after removing the dust filter. This had no affect on moving the dust particles though.

    My second attempt involved removing the top section of the case and spraying the compressed air towards the LCD panels. To do this I removed the screws from underneath the unit (there are six screws I think), then removed a smaller screw from the top-middle section of the rear panel.

    At that stage the top section was free of its fixings, but unfortunately could not be easily removed due to the lens-shift stick. I had to change the position of the stick several times before I could get the top of the case completely away. I assume that the stick can be taken off to allow easier opening of the case, but did not try to find out. Perhaps there is a screw behind the rubber tip?

    Anyway, once the top section was removed, I sprayed air into the three openings that allow the LCD ribbons to pass through the circuit board. It took quite a lot of spray, but eventually the dust particles were removed.

    The above method was carried out whilst the projector was on as I wanted to make sure that the dust was completely removed before putting the unit back together.

    Edit: - :suicide:
    Since posting the above message, other members have rightly pointed out that spraying compressed air towards the panels whilst the projector is on could easily damage them. On reflection I agree it was a daft thing to do, so please heed the advice given in the posts further down this thread.
     
  3. Darwock

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    yikes... with the power on???
     
  4. cyberheater

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    How old is your AE700 Darwork. I didn't think you had it very long.
     
  5. Darwock

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    I haven't.. about 2 and a half weeks since I got it. But it's 1st batch, September 2004 manufacture date. No dust blobs for me or anything though... I was just commenting.
     
  6. trioxin245

    trioxin245
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    Hi Mike,
    I successfully removed my dust blob. :)
    Nothing to it really, the only problem was getting the top back on.
    There is indeed a screw behind the rubber tip of the lense shift stick.
    This screw loosens clockwise and the stick counter clockwise, but must be in the down position to leave the hole open enough to replace afterward.
    I will remove the stick first if I need to do this again.
     
  7. Ekko Star

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    Not a very wise move. You could have quite easily completely ruined your LCD panels like that.

    Switch off PJ, let the panels cool down for circa 45mins before attempting to blast cold compressed air over them. :lesson:
     
  8. trioxin245

    trioxin245
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    I wasn't sure about that part so I kept the PJ switched off.
     
  9. kballs

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    Another note: if you're concerned about where the dust goes after being blown off the panels and optics, stick a running vaccuum hose nearby to pick up any airborn dust.

    Note that compressed air alone may not remove all the dust as there is often other things on there keeping it "glued" to the panels/optics (such as oil since dust can contain a lot of skin cells, etc.), in this case it would probably need to be whiped/swabbed which probably means complete disassembly...

    It would be nice if the engineers would figure out how to cool the panels/optics without leaving them exposed to airflow and dust... or maybe keep them statically charged to repel dust... in the first 3 days the outside of the lense on my AE700 has collected a lot of dust already, almost as if it is statically charged. I worry that the inside will be just as bad over time as dust sneaks in around/through the filter.
     
  10. Ekko Star

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    Another bad move really, as pressure on the panels will probably damage them. If the blobs are that persistent, send the PJ back to manufacturer for them to remove.

    Good technique with compressed air will shift even the most stubborn of dust, the technique comes with practice, removing the ribbons will let you get right in there and you really shouldn't need to take apart the prism block etc etc
     
  11. redknag

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    Just powered up my AE700 and straight away noticed a lighter green circle about six inches across near the centre of the screen (on black background). :mad: I straight away suspected dust somewhere. When I go into service mode and defocus completely i can see loads of dust on all three panels which appear in different places depending on whether I'm looking at the red, green or blue panel. All these dust particles appear as black blobs.

    In the position of the lighter green circle is a white blob. This appears on red, green and blue.

    Questions:

    Do dust particles only appear as black spots when the dust is on the panels?

    How do you get a white spot that appears in all the panels?

    How do I get rid of it?

    My AE700 has only 220Hrs on the clock, and is as far as I'm concerned is in a fairly dust free room.

    Any help much appreciated.

    Thx redknag
     
  12. Tempest

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    On the subject of dust blobs.

    If on a black screen, you can JUST about make out a green blob.
    Does this mean it's on the green panel, or does it not work like this?
     
  13. redknag

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    Dont think so. The blob appears greenish when you focus the image. But if you fully de focus the image the green 6 inch circle focus's into a fairly tight bright mark. Not a pixel out, it looks more like a scratch on both the green and blue panel.

    Out of interest, if other AE700 owners zoom so the image is almost at its smallest,and then view the individual panels from service mode whilst fully defocused, do you see hundreds of black blobs? ie dust.

    My unit is one of the early ones "oct 04" with 220 hours on the clock. But it looks shocking already. Is mine faulty or is this expected? :suicide:
     
  14. ptek

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    Remember, that these blobs, don't actually mean your running in a dirty enviroment, a dust particle becomes a blob when magnified by a hundred fold or more, all depends on what sort of dust is in your enviroment,
    generally speaking, more apparent on green lcd, if on panel out side, shows up as a magenta blob on highlights, if on in side of panel, shows up like a green halo speck on dark scenes, ofcoarse, same occurs with Red/Blue panels.

    I personally use compressed Nitrogen(approx 40 psi-fine nozzle), not in favor of the compressed gas cans as these blow very cold gas and will expel liquid gas if tilted too far and you may damage the coatings to optics, dichroics and panels, compressed air from a air compressor is also not advisable, as these usually expel small droplets of oil and moisture, diving or medical compressed air are ok and are free from containimation.

    MOST IMPORTANT : :nono:
    1/. Never touch or wipe panels, dicrohic mirrows or polariser filters as these are easy scratched!, remember, dust is actually minature abrasives, unless you have the technique/tools to do so.
    2/. Do not detach the LCD panels, apart from damaging the flex or socket, compressed gas does generate static discharge and panels don't like this very much, expecially, when floating in mid air and no discharge point to socket.

    I would generally do the following, when projector is cold, remove all air filters and clean seperatly, remove covers/lamp(don't touch bulb if exposed or uv glass, and do a general blow out of the complete unit/optics/fans/internals any where you can see dust or where dust may settle, use small brush on fan blades, now that your kitchen is now covered with dust, clean up your work area, otherwise, projector will suck the dust back in.

    Refit lamp/cleaned filter, top cover connections if applicable, power up, also handy if pc has test charts (download from www), start with a green signal only, if ok in focus, try moving focus both ways, if you see little black blobs, then more dust on panels, if blob appears at top of screen, then dust is at the bottom of panel(providing screen setting normal, not ceiling), blow out and repaeat the process for red/blue panels, then with all lights off, send black signal to check for no dust on front side, hopefully, all is ok, if dust does not dislodge, then recommend professional cleaning, ie, the panels will have to be removed and cleaned, then all realigned, particulary, if tobacco or kitchen smoke involved.

    I'm sorry for such a long post, but sure you guys appreciate a more detailed view from someone who actually repairs projectors, and I have seen some nasty DIY attempts, so hope this helps as a guide, also be aware that dust issues are not generally covered by warranty, and I don't recommend doing if still under warranty, its just a down side of LCD, one plus for DLP which can seal optics and cool down with heatsink on the otherside.
    Cheers :D
     
  15. redknag

    redknag
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    Just phoned Panasonic Support and was told under no circumstance is dust removal covered under warrantee. Even though I have only 220 hours on the unit, and have cleaned the filter at each 100 hour interval, they are not interested at all.

    To me this makes the AE700 not suitable for use in a home enviroment. The filter obviously cannot handle the sort of dust that floats around in an ordinary household.

    I can't believe their engineers can design something as complicated as the optics and electronics in a PJ, but cant get something as simple as a filter right. Pathetic & once cleaned "at my expense" for sale.

    :mad:
     
  16. joffonon

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    Any recommendations on where to obtain these?
     
  17. PJTX100

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    Amazing. Of all PJ's "features" this is the one they need to sort out most urgently. Considering the amazing technology at work to produce these stunning images, you'd think they'd come up with something equally impressive to erradicate dust issues...

    or perhaps they think they'll shift more product... :rolleyes: ...PJ
     
  18. Tempest

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    Yes, a total pain in the arse!!!

    I can only assume that making sealed optics means it harder to cool and hence bumps up the price a bit more.

    Saying that just how much more CAN it add, once designed and into production in the factory?

    Would you pay £1300 for a plain AE700 or £1400 for a dust sealed version (wild example)
     
  19. redknag

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    Gave it a good blow job last night :nono: and is now back to pristine. :thumbsup: So I think the AE700 manual should say clean filter every 100 hours, take apart and clean every 200 hours. What a crock. Can't wait until three chip DLP's are £2k.
     
  20. ptek

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    Any Industrial gas supplier will have on hand small bottles(air or nitrogen),regulators/trigger guns/hose's, etc, keep in mind, to have a technician to do job for you probally comes close to your initial outlay, also, now you have a handy pressure system to clean your cameras/keyboards and anything else you can think off and will last a while before refilling.

    Sadly, majority of owners, do neglect cleaning of filters or any other maintainence, esp if ceiling mounted, just too hard.

    Also, dust issues aren't just panasonic problems, all LCD projectors will succume to dust, the more pixels crammed into a small postage stamp sized panel, the more the dust problem, finer air filters, restict air air flow and need larger fans(more noise) and more regular cleaning, so all manufactors come to some comprimise, the good news is, 70% of the dust is not really visible in focal position with normal picture viewing
     
  21. fallwood

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    Thats strange, ive just had mine replaced due to dust build up and I had my 500 cleaned twice by panasonic under warranty. I think panasonics customer care varies wildly depending on who you speak to, was also told that its fine to blow out the pj myself and it wouldnt effect the warranty. Get back on the phone and demand that it be sorted under warranty, quoting the sale of goods act under the section about suitablity of goods usually gets thing moving.
     
  22. Asparian

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    Although it won't help if you unit is dusty already I thought people may like some ideas on dust prevention.

    1. I use a room ioniser on the opposite side of the room from the projector to remove much of the dust from my viewing room. Some ionisers will capture the dust, whilst other cheaper ones will attract it away from the projector - just keep the area around the ioniser clean by using a damp cloth to prevent the dust going airbourne again. You can get silent ionisers that won't make noise like fan based ones.

    2. Don't have carpet in your viewing room - carpet both captures dust to be thrown up when you walk on it and produces dust of its own.

    3. Recess your projector into the wall if you can, ensuring adequate ventilation. Then put a cheap mini ioniser at least one meter below it. This will both reduce exposure to dust, whilst the ioniser draws the remaining room dust away from the projector. Remember to dust around the ioniser with a damp cloth.

    4. Clean the filter after every ten hours of use.

    5. It is possible to get a small industrial dust filter - one that people wear in labs - and convert it to provide clean air to the projector.

    5. Seal everyone in a bio-suit to prevent dust entering your viewing room. The fact the family are seeing a perfect picture will make up for the inconvenience. I used to wear one around a dust free lab - seemed to work pretty well ;)

    Hopefully, Panasonic will add their new camera ccd dust repellant system to future projectors and all this will become unnecessary.
     
  23. Spooksta

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    Has anyone taken the actual lens unit apart to remove dust IN the lens. Now got my AE700 in bits and dust is in the lens and on the lcd units. I can get to the lcds easily and blow them off but not a clue how to get in the lens.
    Thanks
     
  24. Spooksta

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    Well ive taken the lens top off. The focus screw mechanics has a metal stopper with 2 small screws stopping it opening/closing to much. Ive removed this and now i can unscrew the lens and get inside :)
    Will be doing a full blowdown of everything tomorrow. So will be able to remove lots of visible dust from the "windows" and dust from the inside of the lens. This will (i hope) cure my patch and dust blob problem. Most people who have seen the problems have not thought it major but i just had to get in there and see what was causing it.
    Will take detailed pics to help anyone else who dares open the unit and pull it to bits :thumbsup:
     
  25. redknag

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    Class, good luck. Mine has looked dusty in the lens from day one, so will be interested in your experience.
     
  26. Spooksta

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    Well after about 30-40 mins of blowing its all done. Now to put it all back together :eek:
    The lens top was surprisingly easy to remove and the dust blobs but i did create more blobs on the bottom/back of the lens the other end so had to open it up again and blow into the inside sides of the mechanism, this shifted the dust that had hit the bottom lens. Forgot to take a pic with that bit inbits so may open it again to take a snap :oops: not sure at the moment. One of the three screens (the red one i think) had lots of dustgoing to the bottom similar to the pic in the link earlier, i got 80% of this off but i would have had to take it out to get 100% and didnt want to touch these. Was not the main reason i pulled the pj apart anyway as the red patch was never noticable from normal viewing just doing the flicker tweak.
    Just a damn shame you have to take 8 other bits apart before you can remove the lens but its been fun (i think)
     
  27. Spooksta

    Spooksta
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    All up and running. All dust blobs are gone and so is the patch on Red flicker test. Well chuffed :clap:
    Anyone wants pics post here or i probably wont bother :devil:
     
  28. Spooksta

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    Easier than it looks...
     

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  29. Spooksta

    Spooksta
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    Lens before and after opening at each stage....
     

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  30. Spooksta

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    This is where the main problems were.....
     

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