General cleaning advice for my DLP projector. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys and gals. I've been running a Optoma HD33 in my house for about a year and besides a regular dusting and lens cleaning, I haven't done much as far as deep or internal cleaning. She's running fine, not issues to report, and I run a pretty clean ship, no smoking, kids, etc ... but I do have dogs and know my other AV equipment, even in a rack, can get a bit dusty and what not so I feel like a good once over may be needed.

Anyone out there have any advice/tips/or tricks when it comes to cleaning a DLP projector, or is just a matter of grabbing some canned air and having at it?

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post #2 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 04:39 PM
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Stop right there and put the air can down! Do not do anything to your projector other than clean the filter if it has one! You start blowin air around and you will end up with dist on the DLP chip and problems you didn't have when you started. In 4 or 5 years you may want to open it up and clean the color wheel, but now is not the time!
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post #3 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Stop right there and put the air can down! Do not do anything to your projector other than clean the filter if it has one! You start blowin air around and you will end up with dist on the DLP chip and problems you didn't have when you started. In 4 or 5 years you may want to open it up and clean the color wheel, but now is not the time!

Jesus, calm down there guy ....... not just grabbing a can of air and going crazy, that's the whole reason I'm asking, no need to freak out. Considering how dusty my machines can get in a relativity clean environment got me to thinking is all. Didn't come across much discussion so I figured I'd drop a question on here.

All that being said, and extreme over exuberance aside, I appreciate you chiming.

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post #4 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 06:15 PM
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While airscapes was correct, he was a bit "spirited", shall we say, but I understand where he was coming from. He was wanting to stop you from creating more work for yourself.

Having worked on a number of projectors, both LCD and DLP, I can tell you that blasting air into the lamp chamber will (with great probability) drive dust INTO the Optical Chamber and onto the optics where it will show. If that were to happen, then you would have to open the projector, open the chamber and clean those parts. Not a fun job.

Now...unless you see any dust on the image itself, there is no need to do anything other than taking a brush or small vacuum to the vents and crevices on the outside of the projector. How often depends on how long it takes to see any buildup on the outside. If you don't see anything, then you're good to go. Any dust you may see on the front of the lens will bother you more than it will the image as anything on the front of the lens is outside of the plane of focus and will not impact the image. Unless, of course, it's really built up so thick as to reduce the image brightness, but I don't think you would have that problem, considering the "clean ship" you run.
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post #5 of 21 Old 01-03-2013, 07:35 PM
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What do you consider a "small vacuum"? Do you recommend vacuuming both of the vents? Intake and exhaust? Thanks.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 06:34 AM
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I said "small" vacuum only for ease of use. If you have a vac with a hose, that's fine. Vacuum ALL of the vents, seams, the connections ports and around the lens. ANY opening is a place for dust to collect.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 07:09 AM
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I bought my Optoma HD70 in Nov 2007. We have a clean, non-smoking house that still gets dusty after awhile. My HD70 is ceiling mounted. I just cleaned it last summer (2012) for the first time. Short answer: Unless you detect issues, these sealed DLP units are fine with as little attention as possible.
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 07:36 AM
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Just to clarify, having opened more than a few, they're not really "sealed". The imaging optics are in a closed chamber but it still has seams or cracks that dust can infiltrate if someone gets happy with canned air. But you're right in that they don't need as much maintenance as an LCD, as long as the environment is clean.
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheridan1952 View Post

Just to clarify, having opened more than a few, they're not really "sealed". The imaging optics are in a closed chamber but it still has seams or cracks that dust can infiltrate if someone gets happy with canned air. But you're right in that they don't need as much maintenance as an LCD, as long as the environment is clean.

Exactly right.

I had to finally open mine and clean the color wheel. Still running like a champ!
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-04-2013, 04:59 PM
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Thanks Sheridan. How often do you guys vacuum your DLP projector?
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-03-2013, 01:49 AM
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I use my equipment a lot and tend to wipe over my plasma display once a day. Now I intend to get a BenQ DLP, and hearing about dust entering the DMD chip, I think I'm gonna be very careful lol.

I usually wipe over my displays with a micro fibre cloth everyday. What's the chances of dust getting into the chip doing this?

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post #12 of 21 Old 03-03-2013, 06:24 AM
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Hey Tyrone!
I have not looked at the users guide to see if this projector has a filter but being an entry level model, profits must be maximized by reducing cost. So is this projector going to be as good at keeping dust out of the light path as say my 2005 HC3000? Maybe, maybe not.
That said, if you dust your projector as you do your plasma on a daily basis when the projector is off (no fans running) you will be fine. I do little dusting of my projector, we have many cats that are all indoor cats, and my projector is put on a table when used so move on a daily basis. I have never had a problem with dust, but I do have a filter.
If the projector has a filter, remove it and vacuum it regularly. If you find the need to vacuum the vents, I would do the exhaust first before removing the filter if it has one, and then the intake. My fear is moving air in the reverse direction as when the projector is on.
I have had several projectors over the years and speak from experience, do not use compressed air of any kind for general cleaning.
Hope that helps!
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-03-2013, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airscapes View Post

Hey Tyrone!
I have not looked at the users guide to see if this projector has a filter but being an entry level model, profits must be maximized by reducing cost. So is this projector going to be as good at keeping dust out of the light path as say my 2005 HC3000? Maybe, maybe not.
That said, if you dust your projector as you do your plasma on a daily basis when the projector is off (no fans running) you will be fine. I do little dusting of my projector, we have many cats that are all indoor cats, and my projector is put on a table when used so move on a daily basis. I have never had a problem with dust, but I do have a filter.
If the projector has a filter, remove it and vacuum it regularly. If you find the need to vacuum the vents, I would do the exhaust first before removing the filter if it has one, and then the intake. My fear is moving air in the reverse direction as when the projector is on.
I have had several projectors over the years and speak from experience, do not use compressed air of any kind for general cleaning.
Hope that helps!
Thanks for your help there. Nothing I cant handle wink.gif

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post #14 of 21 Old 03-03-2013, 09:02 AM
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I put the PJ in carrying case, to avoid dust build up when I'm not using it.
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 04:29 AM
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Hi guys - I know this is an older thread, but the subject is perfect for my stupidity-driven problem - and I'm seeking some advice!
While I was changing bulbs, I stupidly blew(with my mouth) from the lamp housing area through to a fan/ventilation outlet, thinking I might get some dust out at the same time.
Then I turn it on, and the image is littered with dust! Idiot.
It's not colored, just lots of light specs all over a dark background - when it's a light image it's fine. Darks look BAAAD.
I.D.I.O.T.
Anyway it looks like some of the guys posting about have an idea how deep into the unit I'm likely to have to go. I'll be using an anti-static cloth, and some lens cleaner I bought from a camera shop.
I have a Mitsubishi HC900 (DLP).
So obviously apart from general advice as to how far I might need to go to clean out the dust, I wonder if anyone has seen or can point me to a guide (with images) on how to properly break the unit down? If not I'll have to carefully do it myself, and take photos step by step just to be safe - but I was hoping there may be a home-made guide out there already, - or a technician's guide?
Obviously, the user manual doesn't go that far!

Thanks if anybody can help at all!
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinesimonj View Post
While I was changing bulbs, I stupidly blew(with my mouth) from the lamp housing area through to a fan/ventilation outlet, thinking I might get some dust out at the same time.
Then I turn it on, and the image is littered with dust! Idiot.
It's not colored, just lots of light specs all over a dark background - when it's a light image it's fine. Darks look BAAAD.
I.D.I.O.T.
Anyway it looks like some of the guys posting about have an idea how deep into the unit I'm likely to have to go. I'll be using an anti-static cloth, and some lens cleaner I bought from a camera shop.

That's horrible, sorry to hear it! You're certainly not the first to make this error... Any uncontrolled/non-localized movement of dust within a projector - any projector - is a poor idea: be it with compressed air or blowing (which could also mistakenly send saliva-projectiles into circuitry along with dust...)

The whole 'sealed-light-path' marketing of DLP is just not entirely true - at least not for all DLP's. The color wheel aperture is almost always at risk because the wheel spins and thus it can't be perfectly flush to the optical block (as that would cause friction) - so there's very-often a vulnerable gap around there.


If you can get hold of a Service/Technical Manual (in PDF format - check Google) for your projector, it'll include disassembly instructions that may assist you. Others here may have the same/similar unit and may be able to assist as well.

The other possibility is to have it done professionally: manufacturers will do it (at a cost!), but so will many projector-serving companies (and usually cheaper).
This is actually a common issue with LCD projectors which is why dust removal is often part of their servicing.

Do a bit of research in your area in the meantime and see what turns up.

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post #17 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 08:05 PM
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Thanks Kreeturez - I've been into getting into it for the past 4 hours - dissembling and taking notes and photos along the way. Mitsubishi NZ don't even have the service manual! It wasn't a model sold here, I think - at least, not many.
I found a bunch of dust on the mirrors - I cleaned it off, and the DMD chip as well - it's impossible to do it perfectly, but I've done as much as I can.
I just hope - I'm pretty sure it's not - that the color wheel isn't involved. Because the dust in the projected image was all light, no color at all, I'm assuming it was in the light chamber and nothing to do with the color wheel. Does that sound right to you?
So now it's assembly time! And cleaning surfaces along the way - all with an anti-static cloth and lens cleaner ZI bought from a photography shop.

Fingers crossed that I can put it back together, AND that I turn it on and the dust is gone! Wow would I be so proud of myself. However I'm not 100% confident.
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 08:11 PM
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General cleaning advice for my DLP projector.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinesimonj View Post
I just hope - I'm pretty sure it's not - that the color wheel isn't involved. Because the dust in the projected image was all light, no color at all, I'm assuming it was in the light chamber and nothing to do with the color wheel. Does that sound right to you?
Does indeed sound right: color-wheel dust would appear on color images as a dis-colored spot/streak due an area of that particular color being obstructed... Also, the color wheel is relatively far from the focal point (ie, the DMD) such that dust on it usually wouldn't be in focus on a focused image. The wheel is more of just a vulnerable point of entry for dust.

It's the mirrors and optical surfaces closer to (and on top of) the DMD that are the likely culprits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cinesimonj View Post
So now it's assembly time! And cleaning surfaces along the way - all with an anti-static cloth and lens cleaner ZI bought from a photography shop.

Fingers crossed that I can put it back together, AND that I turn it on and the dust is gone! Wow would I be so proud of myself. However I'm not 100% confident.

Sounds like you're giving it a solid shot! Good luck to you; let us know what happens Take some photos which may help others, if you get a chance.

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Last edited by kreeturez; 08-21-2014 at 08:15 PM.
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 08:16 PM
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Yeah they weren't all fully in focus, but I guess they were reasonably close to being in focus.
Into it!
Thanks Kreeturez - you're the only response I've had all day from my multi-targeted cries for help - you've given me enough moral support I'm rearing to get it all together!
And it all needs to be done before a dinner party I've organized, and am cooking for. Just to make things interesting.
Still, it means great food at the end of the day, and a deadline!
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 01:29 AM
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It worked! All sorted. Took me 3 hours to pull it apart, and I spent an hour cleaning and re-cleaning the mirrors and lenses - another 3-4 hours putting it back together, and it's perfect again!
No photos, but very happy to help if anyone shows up with questions.
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post #21 of 21 Old 08-22-2014, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinesimonj View Post
It worked! All sorted. Took me 3 hours to pull it apart, and I spent an hour cleaning and re-cleaning the mirrors and lenses - another 3-4 hours putting it back together, and it's perfect again!
No photos, but very happy to help if anyone shows up with questions.

Excellent news - great job!

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