I'm just starting the learning process on how to install and set up my XG-852. If you've got one, you know this is a complex beast to configure. Especially since the NEC manuals really suck.
I've been writing computer manuals for 10 years, so I figure I ought to document the process while I'm learning. That way future XG newbs will have a huge head-start, and it will greatly reduce the question load on existing XG owners. So it's in your best interest to help me out. :)
If there are any XG owners in COLORADO, PLEASE contact me. Your experience could be incredibly valuable in this process. If I could come to your place to have you show me, or better yet you come here and help me set up mine, I'd try to make it worth your while within my already-strained-to-breaking budget.
I've been reading through some of the previous XG setup threads, such as Mikecazzx's thread, and more advanced experts-only posts like Guy Kuo's Black-Level Calibration, and KennyG's G2 calibration (danger danger will robinson!), so I've got an idea what I'm in for. (And I'm terrified!! :)) Between those and trying to extrapolate from Tinman's PG setup guide, I think my starting point should be:
1. Hang projector in desired location. Ensure it's dead level and perfectly perpendicular to the screen. (I haven't mounted my screen yet so I'll put the screen up once the projector shows me the right location.) I believe the recommended way to get the PJ square to the screen is to measure from the L screen corner or other fixed point to the L front & back feet, from R screen corner to R front & back feet, and make sure both front distances & both back distances are equal.
2. Set the Scheimpflug adjustments (the tabs on each lens) for my screen size and set the ceiling/floor settings if necessary.
3. Power up the PJ. Reset ALL settings to factory defaults. Is this as simple as hitting CTL-NORMAL to reset ALL settings at once, or do I need to go through all 500 zillion settings in all the menus? If there's no way to reset EVERYthing at once, is there a specific set that is critical to zero out? Which ones go to non-zero values?
4. Clear out all memory blocks.
5. Center the raster on the tubes, then center the image in the raster. Leave at least 1/4" between raster and edge of tube. (I assume that means the corners of the raster must be at least 1/4" from the edge?) I think the process for this is: contrast 0, brightness 100. Center the STATIC controls for all 3 tubes. (Or did they already get centered in step 3?) Look into the tubes and center the raster using the RASTER CENTER adjustment. (Not centering magnets like on the PG?) Then center the image -- how? I don't see this anywhere. I think Guy Kuo recommends using a ruler to make sure the raster/image are EXACTLY centered. Setting the blanking fits in here somewhere, but I'm not sure how.
6. Center the test pattern in the image using PHASE. (What's the deal with the two different PHASE settings? I think CURSOR PHASE centers the test patterns, but what does the other one do?) Jrobbo had a clear explanation for setting PHASE in this post, but I don't see how this relates to centering the test patterns.
8. Set up the green -- what next, in addition to getting raster/image/crosshair centered? What if the PJ is level but the crosshair is not?
9. Move the lenses to align the red/blue vertical lines to the green. My understanding is that aligning them exactly with physical adjustments, rather than using the default screen size settings and adjusting with the electronics, will result in a better and more stable configuration -- correct? Then use the remote to move the R and B horizontal lines vertically to match the G.
10. Converge R to G and B to G. I think the preferred way to do this on the 852 is to use the MCAT feature. Help? Does the MCAT take care of all the ALIGNMENT issues -- tilt, skew, bow, pincushion, etc? If not, this CinemaSource tutorial has a very good explanation of how to do the alignment.
11. Physically move projector to move the crosshair to the center of your screen.
12. If you're still game, launch into Guy's Holy Focus process.
Which steps are missing or out of order? What do I do with the astig? Do I repeat steps 5-10 for each new resolution?
What settings need to be left alone, or changed with extreme caution? (E.g. the G2/white/black levels) What things do you need to avoid doing (like getting the raster too close to the edge) or you can damage the unit?
Is the service manual available online? I've got the installation, setup, operation, and supplements, but not the service manual.
Many posts have been made about this subject over the years and its pretty much up to translation of any procedure if its not understood.
The service manual was wrote in Japan and then translated for a multi-purpose projector (video, pal, data, graphics) so there are a lot of variables in the application if its not understood and followed for a specific application.
When it comes to HT there is always a 'better way' between the set up professionals in the business and also the calibrators. Its hard to explain but if you read over everything I can see where this would be confusing for the novice.
If you read the service manual first it will give some very important information needed to carry this out successfully so you have a understanding of how the boards work together and how the memory / defaults work. The circuit descriptions and functions are explained there and not usually in any quick guide you will find in a post unless its a very long thread.
Once this 'understanding' is learned and applied with hands on you will be ready to write a guide that usable BUT the wisdom unfortunately is in paying for the parts learning its not the right procedure somewhere.
This may be why you dont have a 'quick guide' thats detailed already for our application and in a language we understand.
The NEC Quick Guide is very short and based on a 100" diag front ceiling 4:3 application that the projector is set up for and thats also why defaults and format defaults need to be understood if used in a different application.
This can get very confusing but its something to think about and consider.
There can be a general guide to get it safely set up but it wont be 100% for everyones application especially if it was set up once already from a previous install where you have used phosphor areas to deal with.
Signal properties have changed a lot sense these were made, phase and porch settings are all over the place from the source mfg's now a days.
My best advice would be to make sure what the used phosphor area is before starting w/ phase settings because it will affect how you set it up, if we didnt have phosphor wear there would be a good quick guide for the perfect world. Go over the service manual first. Doug
OK, where can I get a service manual? Is it available online, or if not, where can I buy one?
Try here: http://www.crtinfo.us.vu/manuals.html
OK, I get the hint. I'll find a service manual and study some more.
So that's two NEC wizards answering my post, and both say read the manual. No fair!! Mikecazzx got help when HE asked questions, and all I get is RTFM. :) :)
Since you brought it up ;)
I've always wanted to see a better example of the setup and pedestal levels than the graphics in the manual.. which seem vague or incorrect.
If one could just see a better example of those pictures....
Gary, you've already missed step 1:
1) Get an air compressor...
(Inside joke, guys!)
Strike three, the combination of NEC and newb's is useless without the manual. Even though it's an English translation of a Japaneese manual, there is just to much usefull information to pass on it. Try to find one on ebay. It will take forever to download and print out.
I've found one and will start reading it as soon as I get it. But meantime, guys, can't you give a guy a hand? I think I've got a good start on the process, but doesn't anybody have any additions, corrections, comments, etc, other than RTFM?
HEre's my serious input.
1) Gary, don't attempt any white balance with those tubes. With the moderate to severe wear, you'll never get a good white, and messing with the factory presets will throw everything off when you put new (VDC) tubes into it. Occasionally when I put in VDC tubes, the astig, focus and white balance is really damn close, to the point where I almost don't adjust anything.
2) Mount the projector 7% closer than the throw distance in the manual says.
3) Follow the instructions FROM PAGE 1 and you should be fine. Do it via the set up manual first and see what you get, dive into other methods posted here on the forum much, much later..:)
Get a sony 1031, and we can talk.
Oh.... RTFM! :D
How different is the XG service manual from the PG9 Xtra? Are they essentially the same?
no, they are almost entirely different beasts
I sure hope the XG service manual is a lot better than the PG service manual. The PG manual is on par with the PG/XG install/setup/operate manuals -- i.e. close to useless. They all go into great detail on trivia -- e.g. you can hit a number key to select a menu item instead of scrolling down to it, and they repeat this information on EVERY single menu selection -- but they tell you nothing about critical things like proper setup &etc.
The service manual was wrote for qualified service personal only, not the general public.
To be qualified you had to go in for NEC factory training to be qualified for each model. This is where critical work shops were held and hands on training was given for proper set up and safety.
The projectors were sold and installed through certified NEC dealers only and you couldnt buy the service manuals or original NEC parts unless you were a certified dealer or warranty center, there was a check list of test equipment you were required to know how to use and own to work on them.
The intention was to keep control while under warranty and to keep the untrained out of the projector, in fact it would void the warranty. Service passcodes were not given out so there was no reason to train the general public.
There is a operators manual with enough information to keep you and the projector safe. The first few pages of the service manuals are full of 'warnings' to cover this and should be read as well as the circuit descriptions and what each board does. Once you go into the service passcode you are not considered an operator any longer and the reason for all the reading.
They do tell you if you read it all and look in the right place. It will be a multi- purpose explanation that needs to be applied to HT. Dont leave out tube replacement procedures because it has good info in that section. Doug
I was once an XG-852 newb (and I'm far from an expert now)
Anyway, the XG852 was my first projector ever, and it did seem daunting to me at first.
Here are some quick and dirty tips (I can't vouch for total accuracy here...)
The first, single greatest shortcut I discovered to getting a really nice picture quickly is the ACAT (automatic convergence). Only two NEC XG models have it, and you've got one of them. The other is the XG1352.
(I think you have ACAT as your step 10, and have referred to it as MCAT?)
Drill down into the Convergence menu, into the Point sub-menu, and you will find the magical ACAT.
Your intuitiion should guide you from there---basically, just line up the colors at the grid crosshairs, execute, and you have at least a watchable picture... (then you get into all the esoteric stuff between movies)
Oh yeah...Before you go into ACAT, you will want to have completed steps 1 through 9 that you've described. :)
In your steup #5, to center the rasters individually, you need to get into the "Reference Adjustments" menu while in service mode. Then you will find "Raster centering" that allows you to do both horizontal and vertical, for each tube. (As distiniguished from getting into the "Reference Adjustments" while in the normal setup mode, which adjusts all tubes together, and not individually) To get to service mode, you need the magic passcode 315151 [Edit, 09/19/04, I had originally the posted the incorrect service passcode. It is now correct] (I think that's it, I'm going from memory). Also to get there, you need to be starting from user mode, NOT setup mode. Do you recall seeing menu prompts "return to user mode?" Go there---then you can get into the service mode with the service passcode.
And there is a step between your 9 and 10.
Alignment MUST be done fore ACAT, othewise, you've conveged all your tubes to a picture with a distored geometry.
Your geometrical alignment might involve as little as keystone, some pincussion, and some linearity and linearity balance, IF your mechanical setup is accurate, you may not need much more than that. (Note: Make sure you make these adjustments under the Alignment menu (affects all tubes) and NOT under the Convergence menu (affects R or B only)
After that ACAT should bring you to a decent looking picture.
Again, not an ultimate setup by any means, but quick and dirty to get going.
They call it ACAT in the menus &etc, but it really is MCAT. It was apparently added late in the product cycle and they never got around to updating the manuals or even the menus.
ACAT was the previous version that required a camera and didn't work very well. MCAT is Microprocessor Controlled Auto-convergence Technology. The 852/1352 brochure says "MCAT consolidates pincushion, amplitude, linearity and all other convergence adjustments into 13 point cross hair alignment points." So if it's doing that, I'm a little confused why you have to do it before you run MCAT!
Thanks for explaining about the MCAT/ACAT designations... Sounds like you've nailed down a service manual. Thanks to this post, I've just put an order in for one as well. (I've previously not been able to find the service manual for the 852/1352, but I now see that Tinman's link has it)
The answer to your question is buried in my fine print:
(Note: Make sure you make these adjustments under the Alignment menu (affects all tubes) and NOT under the Convergence menu (affects R or B only)
I should have clarified that when you select the G, you are automatically placed into the Alignment menus, whereas when you select either the R or B individually, you are then operating in one of the Convergence menus.
Another way of stating this is: Overall geometry must be setup first in the Alignment menus--select the G (In the Alignment menu, those adjustments---pincussion, linearity etc. affect all tubes)
But in the Convergence menus---selection of either R or B (and also when Convergence is being performed by ACAT/MCAT) you are only effecting the convergnce/alignment of R and B to the existing overall Geometry, and you are not adjusting the overall picture geometry.
So, unless geometry is properly setup in the first place, the ACAT/MCAT will be aligning (the R & B) to a distorted geometry.
Ohhhhhhhhhhh. So Alignment is for getting the G straightened out. That must be done manually. Then Convergence is used to converge R and B to the G, and you can either do it manually, or you can let MCAT converge R/B to the G that you already aligned.
Thanks. I was wondering why Alignment and Convergence seemed to be exactly the same!
How do you handle the astig, and when?
It may not be exactly accurate to say that Alignment is for G only...but that is how I end up thinking of it...
I beleive that when you are in the Alignment menus, the adjustments are affecting ALL the colors. Yet, I usually shut off the R and B, while doing this, so I'm onlly looking at the G at this point. My reasoning is that getting the geometry right for the G is the correct nuetral starting point, before starting convergence, and that equal amounts of compensation will be required from R and B from that point. I'm sure others may have totally different approaches to this.
I'm fairly astig-illiterate, except for knowing how to pull up the dot fields, and reshape dots here and there...I'm less than encouraged about my own astig because I've shortened my throw pretty dramatically. (I'm at least 12% to 15% short on my throw) and I think my edge focus is irredeemable.
Does anyone know if the PC control software for XG (version 2.0) support the MCAT feature of the XG852?
Right, djordan, that's what I meant to say (it affects all but you only care about what it's doing to the green). Thanks for the clarification.
Dotun, I don't think so. There's a menu item for "Auto Convergence," but it seems to be for the old ACAT (needs a camera) instead of MCAT. There are some operations (like signal entry, or alignment) that would be much easier with a keyboard/mouse interface than with the remote, so it's probably worth using.
I forget where I found it, but I do have a copy. It's too big to attach (3.4MB), but I'll stick a copy on my site at
Thanks Gary, I was hoping the ACAT function on the software was the same as MCAT but it isn't. Time to get a service remote. :(
Oooookay. I got a service manual and read through most of it. (I didn't go through the parts lists and schematics in detail. :)) Then I decided to jump in and give it a whack.
VERY condensed version: G and B were much much brighter than R. Curt said it was bad G2 levels, and pointed me to Guy Kuo's white-balance adjusting process. Deep wading for somebody who hasn't ever even seen a picture out of his projector, but if that's what you gotta do, that's what you gotta do.
In AKB Normal mode, R G2 was 2.5V (correct), G & B about 4.0V. Hm, guess Curt knew what he was talking about after all. :) My AWB settings were a bit screwy, but not horrific:
Drive Ctl: 33 / na / 10
Brite Bias: 52 / 58 / 54
Brite Gain: 58 / 62 / 62
Black Bias: 37 / 37 / 44
At this point I was feeding the PJ with a laptop to the RGBHV inputs. (The PJ is still sitting out in my garage...) I had difficulties getting a DVD player out there to show the Avia patterns Guy uses, so as an experiment I tried setting my white-balance settings to the ones Guy showed here. That didn't help much, and I started to get worried that something was seriously wrong if Guy's "reasonable" values still had G and B so much brighter than R.
I decided to just adjust the Black Bias on each gun to bring all G2's to 2.5V, since I still didn't have a way to display Avia patterns to do the full adjustment. I don't recall the values now, but I think G bias was pretty low, 17 or something. After I got them all to 2.5V, the three tubes looked a lot more similar, and I started to get hopeful I was seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
So I fixed the problem with the DVD, got an S-video cable (I don't have my "real" DVD player yet so I'm using a cheapie) and popped Avia in the player. The PC was still hooked up to the RGBHV inputs. I created a new signal input using the S-video, and told it to copy settings from the RGB one I'd used with the PC. Which hopefully wasn't a dumb thing to do.
I don't recall the exact sequence, but within a few seconds the PJ powered down. It seems to do that when it can't find a signal to lock onto -- is that reasonable? So I unplugged the S-video cable and powered up again, and it promptly shut off again, and kept doing that every time I turned it on.
I walked away for a few minutes, came back and tried again, and it came up! I'm not sure which signal it was on, but I tried to select the DVD and it shut down again. After many more tries it came up and locked onto the laptop. I tried to select the DVD again and it shut down again & wouldn't come up. Maybe if I go try it again now it might work, but this is not a good situation.
If I get it up again, I guess the thing to do would be delete that S-video input. It seems corrupt or something.
* Any idea why "reasonable" AWB levels result in such whacked-out G2's?
* Should I be worried that it takes black-bias levels so far from 50 to get to reasonable 2.5V G2's? Has somebody been messing with the pots?
* Any guesses why my S-video input didn't work? Was it the copy?
* Should the PJ be powering down if it can't find a signal?
* What can I do if it gets stuck in this "won't power up" mode???
If you read the service manual it would tell you to use the video input to set G2 voltages first and what test patterns and contrast levels to use to set them.
You first need to check the 'test' position switch to see what reference is to know if G2 is anywhere close.
There is no real 'quick' guide to go around this but I think you found that out. Follow the reference white balance first in the service manual before going to the RGB input. I know Guys procedure will work but only if reference white balance perimeters are verified and the voltages are correct.
If not under 'no signal' condition it will shut down, it doesnt know what to do with memory yet, if you copied RGB to Video then that most likely your problem.
If anything copy video to RGB, video being the reference for 2.5 V test switch position, AKB on in the info menu.
Re read that part of the service manual again and check what you have. Doug
Also dont delete a signal yet, you may need it to find the stored settings before when it was running
Which section are you referring to, Doug? P. 10-24 in "Method of Adjustments"? I'll re-read it, but that procedure adjusts the pots! That's not something I should be messing with, is it? (Bad enough I'm mucking around in the ref. white balance!)
Guy's procedure is certainly a lot more clear and less likely to be misinterpreted or done wrong. Even Curt says Guy's process is the only one that works for him. The service manual also uses a scope and a colorimeter in some steps, and unfortunately I don't have either one.
So are you saying Guy's process won't resolve what I've got, or you prefer the one in the manual (why?), or...?
I did check the G2 voltages in the test position, and they were 2.5 +/- 0.01V.
If you had 2.5V on all three colors using the video input then you are ok if you were in the test position with AKB on and if the settings were set to mid point in the reference white balance. At that point you need to check grayscale. If thats ok store AKB to the video input then shut back off in the info menu.
Before you do any changes write the settings down. DO NOT turn the pots but this will tell you if the pots were messed with. Doug
If you get it to start up reduce contrast and get it stored as fast as you can.
I'm pretty sure when you copied RGB to video your problem started.
Might try to put the test switch in test position to defeat brightness before trying.
It's worse than I thought. Curt reminded me I should have been checking the error indicator when it shut down.
Fd. HV error.
*sigh* I guess this 852 will be accompanying its siblings to Vancouver to visit Curt.... :(
Edit: Waitaminnit. Doug, you were right!! I put the AKB into Test mode, turned the PJ on, and it came up, locked to the laptop's RGB (the only signal now). I turned down the bright/contrast, stored it, turned off the AKB, and it seems OK.
So what should I do now? You said I should NOT delete that bad Svideo input? Why?
What procedure should I use to check grayscale -- where in the manual? I'm not sure what you mean by "store AKB to the video input then shut back off in info menu." I know about the AKB test/normal switch, and I know about turning AKB on/off in the info menu. Are you saying I should turn AKB ON in the video input, store it, then turn it off? Can I edit the input without activating it, since that seems to blow the HV?
Do you think the HV is OK and I just need to fix or delete the bad Svideo input? Or is something wrong with the HV that makes it sensitive to whatever's going on here?
This is part of the 'Understanding' that I spoke about earlier.
The FD error is no HV, BUT if the settings are to far off it will trip the protect 1-2 circuit to protect the tubes and the HV board itself and also give FD error.
When you copied the RGB to video this was most likely a corrupt setting that was stored but no real way to know that, by putting the test switch in the test position you defeat the brightness function and will run of the global settings built for reference white balance (pots) not what was used for the selected input the copy came from.
Yes you can delete the bad s-video signal that you created from the rgb line entry so it doesnt hit on that.
Look back in the input list around the 50's line and see if you have data wrote there, if so you may be able to use one to get this worked out.
You really need a video signal entered somewhere to use in these situations, you will need it to check voltages anyway.
'Reference white balance procedure' will explain grayscale tracking and what input to use with what test pattern. There are two, one simplified and the 'full on' that you wont be able to do without a scope, signal generator, multi-meter or colormeter and a lot of hands on training.
Basically the grayscale should look gray across the screen, not pink green or blue. You have those on the Avia or there is one under test patterns.
You should be working on set up, not white balance yet but it sounds like you have a unstable condition now. If you have a video signal entered in the input list try composite NTSC and see if thats good data. If it is you can use this to build a s-video input thats good.
Until you know about defaults and whats built for them this will be hard to understand.
Video has its own default, rgb has several defaults depending on what freq block you fall in BUT for geometry this is based on front ceiling 100" diag 4:3. The good data out of this will be the settings for white balance to get you started if they havent been overwritten and why I said not to delete just yet.
Default blocks are by horiz freq perimeters, as you go up in freq it will change what block data can be stored to IE: HD1080I will be 32 kHz but also falls into the 480P 31.5 kHz bracket BUT will use the default if 1080I isnt entered. So now you have a interlaced signal and a progressive signal running with the same information but the signal will have different properties, this is where color balance will need to be corrected for the source and if the source is set to mid point with good known connections.
A bad cable will give a bad result and one of the reasons to check video first, it has one connector if the decoder is working as it should. Bad s-video cables are well known.
When you select AKB 'on' this balances the tubes to reference and then shut back off after a minute or so.
If reference was changed this needs to be done with test position and AKB set to on in the info menu, video signal. The reason I asked was in case the video input wasnt stored to default or registered. In short it will call up what was used to build reference.
After you can get the projector straighten out so it functions normal and can verify the voltages are ok then you can use Guys procedure but many things need to be looked at. Dont forget the two push buttons on the HV board they go in the out position for normal bright.
This isnt meant for everyone to go checking but rather an explanation of things to consider for Garys problem.
Think it out and sleep on it. Doug
Doug, many thanks for your help. I'm sure it's frustrating to try to explain this stuff to someone without the proper training. I appreciate your patience. I'll try to learn as quickly as possible. :)
OK, I'll delete the bogus Svideo entry. I'll try to recreate a good one so I can use my DVD player to display the Avia patterns. I don't currently have a way to feed a video signal (composite, right? NTSC?) into the PJ -- all composite sources I have use RCA jacks. I'll have to find or make an RCA-to-BNC converter. The default NTSC inputs are VIDEO, which is composite, I think?
I don't understand why you have to use composite video to set up the projector properly, but if that's what you need, I'll find a way to get it. (But see below.) Meanwhile there's no harm in using the Svideo input for a preliminary setup, is there? I can always go back and re-do the setup with composite later?
"Reference white balance procedure" -- that's not in the setup manual. The "Method of Adjustments" section has the RWB stuff starting on p. 10-4, but it's only "this menu does that," no explanation of procedure to use. So I assume the full-on procedure you're referring to starts on p. 10-24, and the simplified one is on 10-28, item #6?
I note that the "For Reference" section on p. 10-24 says "If the adjusting signal is different, " etc. Do I understand that properly to mean that if you don't have a video input, you COULD use RGB if you use the settings they specify there on 10-24?
Finally, I think I know the answer but I don't know why: the REF.ADJUST menu has this useful-but-dangerous-sounding entry "FACTORY SETTING." It's supposed to reinitialize everything back to the original settings. If we're not sure what's gone wrong with the unit's setups & defaults, why can't we just start with a clean slate rather than trying to dig our way out of whatever hole the PJ is in?
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