Well this is depressing. I'd hoped & assumed someone here would have an idea what might be causing these bands of washed out light.
I assume something needs cleaning, one of the lenses or maybe the color wheel? I'm reluctant to crack open the case & attempt to clean the optics without some confirmation its dust/crud that's actually causing the problem.
Anyone have any ideas or suggestions, please, pretty please with a cherry on top? Thanks.
Unusual for a DLP, in my experience. As you have already discovered, the cause cannot be the lamp. It is also not possible for the color wheel to be at fault. Most likely, the internal optics in the imaging chamber need cleaning. But to get to them, you have to open the projector.
Thanks for the suggestions guys. I filled in a tech-help form at the Optoma website & explained my issue. Will see what they come back with.
I watched a few YouTube videos about cracking open my projector's case & gaining access to the optics. I didn't see anything in the procedure that was beyond my comfort level. So unless Optoma comes up with a cheap fix, I'll likely inspect the optics & have a go at cleaning it if necessary. I'm a semi-pro photographer so I'm at home around expensive chunks of glass. Still fingers crossed I don't make things worse.
Well I just heard back from Optoma. Sounds like they're willing to service my projector but not for free. Here's a sampling from their email:
Unit evaluation takes between 2-3 business days. A repair estimate will be forwarded to you via email.
Our turnaround time for repair is between 7-10 business days from the day we receive your authorization. You will be advised if there is a delay on the repair in case of part(s) shortage.
If you approve the estimate, the labor charge is $100 per unit, $25 return shipping, plus cost of part(s). Your credit card on file will be charge when the unit is ready to ship.
If you decline the estimate, we charge $85 for diagnostic fee and $25 return shipping. Your credit card on file will be charge when the unit is ready to ship. Please note that you are liable for the fees associated with diagnosing the problems with your unit so we can advise you of the estimate to repair.
Even though I don't currently have the money to spend on this, my other problem is the down time on my home theater. Aside from using the HD65 has my TV I also host a weekly movie night. Because of that I think I'm going to pass on having Optoma service the PJ.
I was hoping Optoma might provide a do-it-your-self procedure for cleaning the PJ but I guess with something this delicate/complex, that's not something they'd recommend for the average consumer. I like to think I'm not an "average consumer" so with fair mechanical skills I think I'll have a go at cleaning it my self. Wish me luck.
The $100 is just for an estimate then they'll come back with the full repair charge. If approved they will subtrack the $100 estimate from the bill. I'd expect the repair to be a few hundred dollars maybe more.
I'm pretty sure the light chamber went bad. There's a guy on ebay with the HD65 light chamber for $25 shipped which is a great price.
You'll be taking the main board off then look for the light tunnel area which would have small plates on top of it. In there you'll find the Light chamber. Taking it out is at least simpler than taking out a color wheel.
So I found this video on YouTube that shows how to disassemble an HD65...
The white plastic case actually comes off easily once you've removed the 7 screws. You just need to push it forwards a 1/4" & it releases. In the video the guy pry's it apart using a piece of plastic, bad idea. Other than that the video was spot on.
So anyway here's my PJ with the case removed...
Inside, as expected after 3 years of use, there was a fair amount of cobwebs & dust...
If you're considering doing this yourself, be sure you're comfortable around really tiny screws like this...
...removed the main lens...
...gave it a good going over with my lens cleaning kit...
...inspected the optics buried further within. They looked clean & in good shape...
Next I looked at the color wheel. It was a tad dusty so I carefully cleaned that with a lens brush...
...blew out the remaining dust & re-assembled the unit, hooked it up & took a look-see... drum roll please... GRRRR the same light fogging as before...
I will say the picture looked a tad clearer, so the clean-out wasn't wasted time. My washed out blacks are still there though, so guitarman I think the light tunnel, as you suggested, might indeed be the culprit.
Light Tunnel Replacement
Okay so I've ordered a replacement light tunnel, how difficult is it to install one? It looks to be fairly buried in the PJ's innards. I guess I'll find out anyway but if anyone's done a tunnel replacement on an HD65 (or something similar) & has a procedure or advice I'd appreciate hearing about it.
Doing good buddy, here's a picture from my Sharp Z2000 shows where you'll find the light tunnel part, take off the top then a couple of screws releases the light tunnel piece. Little screws now you know why I mentioned magnatized screw drivers. You can magnatize a screwdriver by rubbing it on a large speakers magnet.
Thanks for the photo of your projector. Obviously its not exactly the same inside but it does give me a rough idea where this mysterious tunnel-o-light lurks.
That's a great tip on the magnetized screwdriver trick. I learned about magnetizing metal in cub scouts I think it was. We made a compass from of a cup of water, a cork & a needle. Pass a magnet over the needle a few times & presto, its magnetized, cool stuff. Yeah I have several screwdrivers that somehow became magnetic all on their own. Very handy for those of us with fat fingers.
Anyway waiting on my new tunnel to arrive... will post more once that gets here. Thanks again for the help.