1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Dust in my AE300 optics rather than on panels??

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by calibos, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    Right heres my problem lads. The dust is visable as a basketball sized area with a pink hue on light coloured scenes. Holding a white page a few inches from the lense resolves the patch into a conglomeration of pink points and also reveals lots of isolated yellow spots as well as pink all over the image (though these aren't visible in normal use) Using the test screens: Hardly any spots on the red screen, lots on the blue and lots on the green. Pink and yellow as mentioned earlier on the grey screen.

    So anyway, I got a can of compressed air the other day and put it to work today. I took the lid of and sprayed it into the slots beside the ribbon cables. I put the PJ back together and when I switched on the dust was still there. Disappointed I took the PJ back down and opened it up again. Before I did anything I sat down and had a good brainstorming session. First thing I did was head upstairs to get my bedside lamp and then dug out the dust wipes from the back of the cupboard and cut a few strips. I put the lamp directly over the ribbon cable slots and had a look in the lense. Got a lovely magnified view and could see serious dust contamination in one corner. After some further brainstorming to confirm that this was the dust contamination that appears on screen (ie dust on bottom left corner looking through lense becomes top right corner when PJ is upside down, which goes through lense to bottom right corner of screen (moon upside down/back to front through telescope etc etc)).

    I then got a strip of dust wipe and inserted it either side of all three polorizer plates. Not a speck was removed. I then re-inserted strip front and back of polorizer while looking through the lense. In each case the strip still appeared to be behind the dust plane. I moved the lamp out of the way, sprayed some more air front and back of each plate and then moved the lamp back into position and had another look. Still not a speck moved. After that I detached the panel ribbon cables from their mainboard connectors which gave me access to the top edge of the actual panels themselves. There didn't look like there was any gap but I gave the area a spray anyway. You guessed it, every speck still firmly in place. To cut a very long story short, would I be correct in assuming that the dust is on a surface be it prism, mirror etc somewhere between the panel assembly and the lense?? I've read a thread over at avs where a guy called cygerama (sp?) took his mainboard and the lid of the optical block off to change his blue polorizer. It looks straight forward enough and the job holds no fear for me although there are an awful lot of ribbon cables and power connectors to disconnect! :D

    I suppose you are wondering why I would even consider doing the job myself when my AE300 still has 6 months to go on its warranty? Well a: Is dust contamination of the optics covered by the warranty....and b: No Panny service centres in Ireland and if my experience with Panasonic with repair/return/refund of my AE100 is anything to go by, I could be PJ'less for anything up to 3 months, all for some dust which brings me to the point as to whether the dust problem is worth risking a DIY job or a 3 month wait for a Panny Service. I mean I'm on the verge of having a go myself and if you lot have done similar (ie taken mainboards and optical blocks apart rather then just spray by the ribbon cables)without problems I think I'll give it a go.

    So waddaya reckon lads?? :D :D
     
  2. theritz

    theritz
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2002
    Messages:
    2,451
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +27
    Keith,

    Whatever about dismantling PCBs etc, watch out for dismantling any part of the optics - I've read the AE100 service manual an care has to be taken to mark carefully the position of components like the polarizers to make sure the thing goes back together as intended. You'll find the AE100 Service Manual .here - pdf download - I imagine the construction design of teh AE300 is fairly similar - you might take some guidance from it. To be certain, you should Google a bit and see if you can find the AE300 Service Manual - it should have detailed dissassembly instructions.

    See ya,

    Sean G
     
  3. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    Jaysus that PDF's a monster Sean. I gave up on it. :D

    Had another go with the same results, though I think the dust patch is behind the polorizer plates when you look through the lens rather than in front like I said in my original post.. Its so confusing what with all the mirrors and prisms bouncing the light around inside there! :D

    I reckon the dust is on the mirror that directs light from the lamp into the blue panel and likewise the mirror for the green panel rather than actually being on the blue/green panel surfaces themselves or their respective polorizers.

    Well anyway, when I put it all together again and switched it on and flicked through the channels for a few minutes, I reckon its not worth the hassle at the moment. If it gets much worse certainly but at the moment its probably only me that notices it cause I know the problems there. The brothers were probably wondering what I'm making such a fuss over! :D

    Thanks anyway Sean, I didn't know there was a 'real' service manual about, so I think I'll do a search for the AE300 one tomorrow, just so I'll have it for future reference....................................and leave it to download overnight! :D :D
     
  4. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    Just an after thought...................Is there some technical reason why most PJ's including the AE300 don't have sealed optics or is it an economic one or a serviceability one??
     
  5. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    Well, I couldn't leave it alone! :D Even though the pink/purple patch is only visible on pans or bright scenes, I just couldn't resist having another go and poking around again.

    This time I took the mainboard off to give me better access to the optics. Its not that hard. First I disconnected the 6 or 7 connectors. I used a needle tip pliers to delicately pull out each connector being carefull not to scratch or score the PCB. Then I disconnected the 3 LCD panel ribbon cables. Next step was to undo the 4 screws connecting the mainboard to the rest of the PJ and then undid the 5 or 6 screws holding the back plate (that scart sockets, S-video etc are on). I gingerly lifted the mainboard off.

    I now had reasonably good access to the (from the main lense back) prism that combines the light from the 3 panels, the filters infront of each panel, the polorizer plates behind each panel, the lense behind those and because of slots in the optical block casing I had access to the 3 mirrors that direct light from the bulb via the aforementioned parts to the LCD panels.

    At this stage I was pretty sure the dust was on the panel surfaces so I concentrated my efforts with the air duster in that area. I checked to see if the dust was still there by placing a lamp over the Panel assembly and looking through the front lense as I described in my first post. No luck. Then I noticed dust on the 3 faces of the prism facing each panel. I gave them a good spray, checked again and....no luck. This was one stubborn patch of dust. I was really stumped at this stage. I sat down and had a few fags to clear my head :D and then hit on the idea of placing the lamp shining in the front lense. The light went in the lense through the prism, splitting it in 3 through each panel and illuminated all 3 sets of polorizing filters lenses and mirrors. There was a fair amount of dust on all these surfaces. I gave them all a good spray and then checked by looking trough the lense again. That pesky patch of dust was still there!!

    Dejected I gave up, put the PJ back together and then had a horrible thought. What if by disconnecting the mainboard I had disconnected the chips from a backup cmos battery or something! What if all the PJ settings/firmware were gone!! I brought the PJ back into the Cinema room, hooked it back up and switched on. Phew!!...Settings still there! I re-aligned the PJ with my screen and was about to switch off and go to bed a very p1ssed off man, when I looked back at the screen and noticed that I really couldn't see the dust. I went to the service menu and put the grey screen on and.....woohoo.....No Pink/purple splodge!! I held up a white sheet of paper infront of the lense and most of the dust appeared to be gone!

    That bloody patch of dust that I could see in the optical path through the lense which is still there was a bloody red herring. The only problem is is that I cleaned so many surfaces inside that I have no idea which was the true culprit for the purple patch on my screen.

    One other thing that I noticed while doing all this was that the intake fan was covered in dust......the intake fan that is behind the dust filter??!! Does anyone know if there are better/finer filters out there that could be used that wouldn't decrease air flow but would do a better job than the standard panasonic filter?

    Anyway, as usual, what I could have said in one sentance ie. " Took off mainboard, got rid off dust, wasn't patch I thought it was!"....I managed to stretch out to 2000 words!! Sorry!! :D :D :D
     
  6. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    I posted this over at avs a few days ago Link and figured I better not forget my friends here! :D

    This pic shows the AE300 with its casing off but the mainboard still attached.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    .......and this.........
     
  8. LTJ

    LTJ
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Calibos. Now you've started me off again!
    I've actually gone futher than you with my PAE100. Once you take the circuit board off, your'e left with what I suppose is called by some manafacturers "the light engine". The one on the panny is exactly the same principle as the set up with my old Hopper sv10. I took the plunge with the Panny back in the summer and posted giving some details. As well I've actually got the service manual which I bizzarely downloaded as a PDF from a fellow named Dimitry who happened to live in Moscow (seriously) for $10.

    Now back to the panny. Once you have the CB off you'll see the light-engine housing. In that photo off yours you can see in the top left-hand corner the speaker and intake dust block. This has to come off as well!. Look I'll cut a long story.
    Once you take that speaker dust filter block out you can then open up the light-engine (actually panny call this the 'Analysis Block') it's about 4 screws. Once that lid/cover is off it will expose all the various mirrors lenses ect. BE WARNED the polarizer's are attached to this lid/cover so if you ever dare to go this far take off very gingerly.
    Looking at the PJ from the lens/front side, the Red polarizer and lcd panel is on the left the Green polarizer and LCD panel in the middle and finally on the right the Blue. But as I said if the lid cover is taken off the polarizer's come off as well be very gentle.

    Eventually you can expose the zoom lens housing and the various mirrors and lenses (rember the polarizers which are positioned just in front of the LCD panels will be attached to the Analysis lid/cover.
    Now you can get easy access to the lcd panels but not on the prism zoom lens side. Here access is impeded. You can remove the zoom (called lens block just 4 screws) But the prism in the LCD block doesn't leave much room to clean the lcd panels on that side.
    Trouble is though once you've got this far, its very tempting to want to clean every surface you can find and this is where you can do damage by introducing scratches if using the wrong cloth/material (i used a cloth called calotherm) and only did the easy side of the lcd lenses and the main light spliiting mirror.
    I did report back in the summer that I was very pleased with the results. I'm contemplating doing it again very soon. The only thing that put's me off is the fact I want to sell the panny100, soon and go possibly for the Simm Domino. (sealed optics- I'll never moan again) and the thought off a mishap in the dismantling/cleaning process makes me very very nervous.

    If you are interested in more details or a hard copy off the manual
    let me know. I might try setting up my scanner again and posting it.

    All the best but if you attempt it be very careful.
     
  9. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    Thats not actually a photo of my AE300 LTJ. Its a photo by xander who is an english member of avs. I just linked to it. Unfortunately I had no batteries for my digicam and so couldn't document my own project.

    I don't know if you misread my post or maybe I'm mis-reading yours but I have opened my AE300 and taken the mainboard off. Those posts above were posts I made over at avs explaining the proceedure to members over there. I cut and paste them here to help avforums AE300 owners.

    Maybe the design of the AE100 is slightly different but there isn't actually any reason to take the lid off the optical block unless you wanted to replace a mirror or polorizing filter etc. For cleaning you can get at everything by just taking the mainboard(PCB) off. Even the mirrors are accessable through slots in the optical block casing. The only area not accesible without taking the PJ apart further is as you said the Lens itself. Like I said in my last quoted post from avs, I still have lots of dust on the inside of my lens, on the filters in front of the panels and on the front surfaces of the panels themselves. None of this dust is visible on screen. It was the stuff on the optical block components behind the panels that I believe where the culprits.

    Cheers for the offer of help but I've already done it myself! :D
    I'll just make sure I document the proceedure with my digicam the next time and post the pics here!
     
  10. LTJ

    LTJ
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That's okay you're welcome. I have to admit I'm confused now.
    The reason I took the cover off the analysis case/block is to actually see and get to the lenses and optical surfaces. No way can you get access to the LCD panels properly through those slots. let alone the polarizers. Not even with compressed air.
    The other issue for me is grime! not just dust, but grime.
    Take any mirror in your home. Clean it until it sparkles. Leave it for several months and see the dust and grime that's actually deposited on it. Now take an air-duster and try and clean it! Nowt it won't move a thing. It's impossible in an environment of heat rapid and moving air to keep any glass lens, LCD panel clean. This **** sticks every where under these conditions.

    Another tip for you all. Take the lamp out of it's housing and check out the ****e and grime around the lamp periphery and the PBS array (this is the first lens that the light passes through on it's journey to your screen) Once the lamp is out this can be easily cleaned. Clean the plastic/glass on the lamp itself with a proprietry cleaning cloth, being careful not to drag the peripheral muck onto the lens.Then do like wise for the lens that the lamp first beams through. Bot don,t use polish what ever you do as this coats the surfaces and throws light back!
     
  11. LTJ

    LTJ
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Blimey. I only said *****!
     
  12. calibos

    calibos
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2000
    Messages:
    930
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +33
    I'm pretty sure there are some differances. For instance you mention taking the speaker out. I did on mine and all that is under mine is a hollow plastic chamber which doesn't give me access to anything. When I say I have access to these surfaces I mean I have access with the 1-2mm wide tube attached to my dust blaster to give them a few blasts of air to remove dust. I dont have access to see them head on or to give them a wipe with a cloth to remove grime. Aren't you afraid of knocking the mirrors/polorizing filters out of alignment by wiping them??

    Still, I take your point about the grime but believe it or not I dont have any. All my surfaces from what i could see where perfectly clear of grime. On the 300(dont know about the 100) there is a filter behing the inner lens and infront of the square prism block. Its mounted with 2 screws. I took it out to check for dust and there wasn't a speck and it was crystal clear. All 4 sides of prism where crystal clear except for dust. Filters front and back of panels where cystal clear except for specks of dust. The lenses behind the polorizing filters and the 3 mirrors where spotless except for dust. Same with my bulb. It was absolutely crystal clear. The glass hadn't a blemish, the silver reflector inside the bulb was mirror like. This surprised me a lot because I have heard people describe blistered and opaque reflectors in their bulbs and black/brown blotches on their bulb glass. These people would have 300hrs on their bulbs. I've got 1400hrs and my bulb is spotless!! :D That big square lens in front of the bulb. Thats the one with loads of square/rectangular facets on it?? Again Crystal clear :D

    Fingers crossed I don't develope a grime problem! :D
     

Share This Page

Loading...