Update: I'm all fixed up. I got my new lens Friday and installed Friday night. When I got the PJ running again I checked and, just for record keeping sake, I had 139 hours on the new bulb when the lens melted and currently I'm at 175. The install went smoothly, though I was a little disappointing to see a few very tiny imperfections on the new lens. I cleaned it up with some lens tissue as well as I could. I can't see anything on the screen so I guess it's ok.
Here's some pictures:
90% of this was dust or otherwise stuff that fixed after cleaning. The thin scratch seen did not come off.
Lens assembly reinstalled in PJ body:
Almost back together:
Sorry, I completely missed that second paragraph in the other post. Man, sure seems like a rip off at $65 for a plastic lens. An issue that obviously wouldn't have happened if it was glass. But still a cheap fix to keep using the projector. As it can't really get cooled by air flow, it makes me wonder if a non-Optoma sourced bulb has a higher UV or IR spectrum giving it more radiated heat output. Which then caused the heat intensity of the light path to be more than the lens could withstand. Or possibly just some dust build up that then allowed more heat to be absorbed in that spot. Just trying to think of ideas to help prevent it from happening again. Seems that if the fan/cooling is not the issue, then it may be the bulb, if it is different. Did you replace the bulb? And was it an OEM bulb including the housing, from Optoma or an Optoma reseller? The whole package is the bulb, reflector, and glass filter plate in a single housing. I wonder if that glass filter plate is responsible for cutting down IR thermal radiation (heat). If you replaced the bulb, maybe this plate was just glass and not an IR cut filter? Just some ideas.
Here's a link to the bulb I had purchased: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002Q0WN48/
. As you can see it is complete with housing. Regrettably I tossed my old bulb so I can't provide photo comparison, but the two were identical in construction. The new bulb itself is the same Osram bulb down to the part number as the OE bulb. I'm 100% convinced that the bulb I bought is the same as one through Optoma and just cheaper due to removing a large corporate middle man. I was skeptical of it's legitimacy and made sure to check it out in detail before installing.
I'm thinking that the lens that melted was just an age related thing with maybe a minor defect and/or dust or such that focused some heat. I'll keep this thread updated if I have a repeat failure.
In case anybody wants to peek inside one of these here is the link to the rest of the pictures I took: http://jcforbes.com/jcfpics/projectorissue