Gaining confidence I seeked out the part I needed and found it:
I fixed my problem. In fact it worked like new thanks to some added cleaning. The image had lost some "pop" and luster and it was all back. So I breathed a sigh of relief, because disassembly involved a lot of tinkering and I wasn't confident it would even power back up!
For about a month, maybe less, this "new" chip did the job. I say "new" because, its from ebay, who knows - these could be factory seconds. Anyhow, the problem began again. This time from the corner of the chip, instead of from random spots. Now, after 4 months, well less than 500 hours I'm ordering another chip and I'm going to try again.
This process, if you do it, is certainly worth the money, but....any suggestions what I do when I replace the chip this time? Last time I did my best to not breath on the chip containment area and handled the chip as little as possible. I also blew out the accumulated dust from the fan, the light wheel and lens (before replacing the chip).
The chip came with a layer of cooling compound, which I didn't remove before installing. I didn't dare, a million little mirrors are on the other side and I couldn't find any safe way to remove that stuff. Plus it fit snuggly, it was a good fit. Replacing the cooling compound seemed pointless.
Its not going to be an Optoma though. Probably a Mitsubishi or Panasonic instead.
They seem to sell the Mitsubishi, Epson, Optoma and even Viewsonic.
I'm tempted by the 1080p Viewsonic PRO8200, its a pretty good value and it has a 3 year warranty, but the feedback I see on trying to cash in on the warranty isn't so positive. No matter, I would pay $180 for added 4 years including 1 bulb replacement.
I'm also tempted to throw the warranty to the wind and get a refurbed Mitsu HC4000 with a 1 year warranty for $700 from projector people. That seems like a good deal too, but I don't trust the Mitsu to run for 4 years and is that really too much to ask?
There's a great video on youtube of a guy doing this exact job, on an hd66 - which is what I have.
I have never had a single problem with mine and I use it constantly.
Merry Christmas and a straight thank you for all the help
I currently stay in Fiji and after a lot of research that factored in sites that would ship
to this place, I purchased the Optoma HD66. It was a good buy except that 3D needs you to
buy other specialized hardware and cables so that it is just not worth it. Had a standard
one year warranty and after about 1 yr 8 months of life and about 850 hrs of lamp use the
white dots problem appeared and rapidly spread to make the screen un watchable.
Googled and found other people with the same problem.
These were helpful sites:
chip - this one
I emailed Optoma and asked if they would kindly replace the chip gratis seeing that it was a
manufacturing defect as so many users had the same complaint - what was I thinking?
I even emailed the Optoma chap back that OK, you won't fix your own defective projector but
at least tell me the correct name / number of the chip so I don't make a mistake ordering
it. He promptly emaild me a part number that was totally totally different from the chip
number found by other users / sellers on the Internet.
Anyway, I finally purchased a new DMD Chip from www.alibaba.com for USD 114/- plus shipping
$28/-. Arrived via DHL in a week. Before ordering I had done a practice run on dismantling
the projector and had confirmed the chip number which is: 1280-6038b.
Opening the projector itself is not a big deal thanks to the video tutorial. You just need
to be handy with a screwdriver. Some tips based on my experience:
- I used an ice cube tray to keep various sets of screws together and not getting mixed up, falling and disappering into the rug etc. or to minimize the one-screw-left-over-after-everything-is-closed syndrome.
- Take frequent photos as you remove things so you can always check if they are going back in right side up.
- Dont mess around with the color wheel.
- If you look with a magnifying glass at the fine print on the mother board, all the connections to it are simple and logical.
- Make sure to remove the transparent plastic covering both sides of the thermal paste before sticking it in.
- Make sure to lock the chip in place in its socket by giving the locking screw a half turn. I didn't do this and this resulted in me assembling disassembling the thing at least 10 times, by which time I could do it with one hand holding my beer!
- Finally the last thing. The DMD Chip came to me not factory sealed in plastic but just wrapped in bubble wrap. It had dust / plastic particles on it visible to the naked eye. No amount of cleaning with air, cloth, cotton buds etc. would make them disappear and on installation they would appear as big blobs / smears on the screen. No help from google
This is how I finally cleaned the DMD chip: Note that the millions of pivoting mirrors are covered over with a protective glass.
- I took a 10 cc syringe, filled it with tap water and attached to it a 19 G needle (medical). I held the DMD chip in my left hand with the glass side facing the ground slanted at an angle. Very carefully I squirted a thin jet of water onto the glass surface and allowed it to drip down.
- Then very gently I wiped the surface with a clean microfiber cloth. Just once or twice. No water on anything else except glass. Took all of 30 seconds and the chip was clean as a whistle. Installed it and the picture was picture perfect.
The image now seems brighter than before.
Cheers and thanks for all the fish.
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