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X1 + color wheel buzz repairs: what's your experience?

post #1 of 365
Thread Starter 
my story thus far:

my x1 has 2300 hours on it and is about to leave the 2yr full warranty window.

about 2 weeks ago I waded thru the infocus on-line warranty repair process, as I live > 250 miles from a repair center. I received a robot-reply indicating a tech would contact me withing 2 days.

nothing for 2 weeks. I called infocus, waded thru the phone menus ["this is modern communication?"] and was on hold for ~ 20 minutes and then spoke to a tech. Got an email w/ the RMA and sent it off yesterday.

So. I'm not the first w/ a noisy color wheel -- did you get yours fixed? how long did it take? was it like pulling teeth or a good experience?


post #2 of 365
Thread Starter 
bump. bump. nudge and bump.

anybody ?
post #3 of 365
I haven't yet, but i need to send mine is as well. I have until May of next year to get it sent over to them. I haven't had this experience yet but am very interested to see how it goes for you . Hopefully they will get it back to you in a reasonable amount of time
post #4 of 365
I know what you mean about Infocus' customer service, IT SUCKS. I called a couple times with questions but had to hang up after being on hold for 20-30 minutes. I love my X1 and haven't had any problems yet, but I don't know if I will ever buy an Infocus projector again.
post #5 of 365
Thread Starter 
thanks for the feedback, -- anyone else ?

[ This is my first PJ and won't be my last -- I factor things like build quality, look/feel, and customer service response into my buying decision ... I also recognize that if I bought from a brick/mortar dealer, I'd have paid more, but would have some place to take it for repairs.

the X1 focus ring feels sloppy to me. the noisy color wheel is one more black mark in terms of build quality ... ]

I'm also sympathetic to those kept on hold for ever -- I have a cordless phone w/ a headset ... while on hold I was really hoping the tech wouldn't come on the phone while I was in the bathroom ... I had visions of starting the conversation w/ a loud flush -- wouldn't do, at all.

post #6 of 365
i haven't got mine fixed (hmmm 9 months of warrenty left, should pull my finger out)

I do "hear" the isse on very rare occation, probably not even once a month (and i use the X1 like a TV (ie i don't have a TV everything is viewed on X1)

Probably send it away and they would say cannot find the fault
post #7 of 365
Mark, do you or anyone else have a problem with your X1 losing focus? I asked this question a week or 2 ago, and a couple guys said yes, and that they focus it after it warms up. I've had mine for about 3 months (255 hrs) and I always have to re-focus after movie runs for about 20 minutes. Anyone have any ideas, I really don't want to send it in to be checked? I called twice to the Tech. Dept. but of course I was on hold for 20-30 minutes each time, and I had to leave the house. Thanks.
post #8 of 365
i think you asked the question twice. both times i tried to follow the thread and people did say they reported having the problem but nobody seemed to be able to answer your question. to be honest i never have focus problems, i have started to notice a non-uniformity as focus is concerned but i just used keystone correction for the first time so i blame it on that. its not a problem that should be occuring and i couldn't imagine it going away any time soon.
i don't know what else could cause it to lose focus besides the ring and when i put a filter on i also used a rubber band. the rubber band made it harder for me to turn the focus ring and it might help you out a little bit. making it harder for the ring to adjust itself if it is too lose... its just a thought. sorry you have had this problem for so long, especially on a fairly new projector
post #9 of 365
Bootron, tell me more about the rubber band.
How do you have it on there?
post #10 of 365
Thread Starter 
the focus ring on my X1 is sloppy, but ceiling mounted, mine needs a refocus every couple of weeks or so, if that. I have heard this is more of a problem w/ table-top X1s than ceiling mounted ... might be a cooling issue.
post #11 of 365
I just shipped X1 to InFocus for the shrill noise problem, which began suddenly after about 1 year of fairly heavy use. It sounds like there is a power saw operating just outside my room.

It took several days for InFocus to issue an RMA after I reported the problem on their web site. They promise a turnaround time of 15 business days, so including shipping I'll be without the unit for about a month. And I had to pay shipping one-way to the service center.

It will be interesting to see if they fix the problem.

A footnote, I first believed --- naively, it seems -- that my extended warranty from the retailer, Circuit City, would cover the issue. But it seems that coverage only applies after the two-year manufacturer's warranty is over. I wonder what will happen if the problem recurs a year from now, expecially since the X1 is no longer manufactured. (I would not accept an X1a or X2 as a replacement.)
post #12 of 365
After 13 months of heavy use (3000+ hours on bulb), I also got the "buzz saw" noise. I emailed InFocus and they returned an RMA to me within a day or so.

I sent the X1 to the local service center and they waited for a replacement color wheel for about 3 weeks. When it didn't arrive, they replaced my PJ (new or refurb, I'm not sure). I also got a new bulb out of it!

I really believe this is a design defect. What I'd really like to know is: does this happen with other, more expensive, DLPs?
post #13 of 365
I filled out the form earlier this month and got the RMA email a day or two later. I'm going to send it in next Monday. It has to go all the way to Louisville, Kentucky

It absolutely is a design defect, but it also happens with plenty of other DLPs. I haven't read anything about the more expensive projectors, but plenty about the RPTVs and lower end DLP projectors in this forum. Go check the Optoma threads. They seemed to have this happen a lot more than the X1. It seems common for the X1 to start making noise after it's been used a while. I had mine for about 6 months and 600 hours when I first heard it. After a year and a half mine makes the noise pretty much all the time.
post #14 of 365
The color wheel is cooled by a fan. Perhaps the motor runs hot too.
A 1/4 drop of oil on the dry bearings ?
post #15 of 365
believe me, if it weren't still under warranty I would take it apart and try that. May as well let them fix it, even if it means I have to go awhile without it. I can always cross my fingers and hope I get a new lamp out of it like some people because I'm going to have to probably replace the lamp this year anyway.
post #16 of 365
Thread Starter 

Originally posted by K_9
The color wheel is cooled by a fan. Perhaps the motor runs hot too.
A drop of oil on the dry bearings ?

and if that drop of oil migrates to the wheel ... you'd get an oil film on the nearby components.
post #17 of 365

Originally posted by Roto
... It absolutely is a design defect, but it also happens with plenty of other DLPs. . . .

The flaw seems to occur fairly often in the X1's descendent, the InFocus SP4805, too. Search this thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=414103 for "wheel" and you'll find quite a lot of chatter about it. There was some speculation that a newer bearing design was supposed to prevent this behaviour in the SP4805, but if so it obviously was less than 100 percent effective.

The hit-or-miss statistical occurrence of the problem occasions a lot of "does-not"/"does-so" flaming within this forum. Also, a lot of people apparently confuse the whine of defective color wheels with normal fan noise, which is a different and much less obtrusive issue.

For either the X1 or the SP4805, the wheel-grinding problem seems to occur in only some units, and may crop up only after some use as it did in mine. It is obviously a known problem, and it seems that InFocus' primary response is just to deal with the warranty defects. So long as they honor the warranty, that would be okay except for the huge hassle factor.
post #18 of 365
I just sent in my RMA request to Infocus yesterday on their website and just minutes ago I got the approval and all required information. Not too bad of a turn around, holidays and all...

post #19 of 365
I think mine is starting to do this as well... about a week ago there was a loud buzz coming out of the unit - I hard powered it off and waited half an hour then it was fine. About 10 minutes ago I was watching Bad Taste and it happened again this time I let it go and after about 10 minutes of off and on noise it seems to have stopped. I've had the unit for about 14 months and have 2700 hours on it (we use it as our primary tv as well).

Please keep the thread up to date as to your experiances in getting this fixed - specifically how long it takes. Good luck
post #20 of 365

Originally posted by Fancy_Lad
......10 minutes ago I was watching Bad Taste......

Awesome! I've been a Bad Taste and Peter Jackson fan since I first rented the video in the early nineties. BT is one of the funniest movies ever made! I was thrilled when Bad Taste was mentioned from the podium of the Academy Awards last year. Heaven!
post #21 of 365
Well dammit.

I love my SP4800 but it JUST developed the 'buzz saw' problem! Is the warranty on these things 1 or 2 years? I ordered mine on 12/30/03 and if it's one year I'm sure they'll say it's out of warranty (despite the fact that I don't think I actually got the thing until 1/7/04). How big of a prick with Infocus support be if it's one year and my order date is as above?

I am so seriously bummed it's indescribable.... please cheer me up guys
post #22 of 365
I believe the standard warranty is two years.
post #23 of 365
2 years is the warrenty. also my understanding is infocus is international warrenty too (irrelevant of purchase country) which is rare.

i'll have to get mine "looked" at as it does buzz saw noise but possibly only 5 times in 1 year, they will probably find nothing wrong with it but
post #24 of 365
Well, I certainly hope it's 2 years - I read their warranty stuff on their site and it lead me to believe it was only one year (pretty typical). I'd rather have them look at it while under warranty anyway. This thing gets so loud I can hear it upstairs (PJ in the basement)!!
post #25 of 365
It is two years...I had to fight with Future Shop about that because they would not "best price" the PJ when I found it online cheaper. The pimply faced 15 year old kid in the brick and mortor store said I was ineligible because THEY have a two year warrantee and the standard is one year...Horsesh!t!! Why the F&^K would that not have been advertised up front and I NEVER would have paid more for that anyways, everybody knows extended warrantees are a scam!!!

I sent a nasty gram to their head office and faxed them the link to the site that says TWO YEARS warrantee in it, excluding the bulb of course, and I finally got my refund...stupid future shop.
post #26 of 365
Mine just started the buzzsaw effect too... what a bummer, going into NFL playoffs, etc. I got the RMA and all, now I just have to ship it.

I hope whatever they do to it is a permanant fix... I got my X1 in May, a little under 400 hours on the bulb. But in my basement setup the noise is REAL annoying, and I can't comfortably raise the sound system volume to overcome it... the buzz just bites through everything.

I'm wondering if temperature drops caused this... it seems like all the X1 owners had this happen in December.
post #27 of 365
Thread Starter 
or that's when the discussion reached critical mass ... that and we all wanted it fixed in time for the superbowl ?!

I suspect this is a fairly small problem, unless it's happening to us. then it's a biggie. given the # of X1 owners here, there'd be quite a bit of noise if this was biting everyone -- that was the driving reason for posting the question in the first place.

post #28 of 365
If anyone finds our how to repair this, let us know if it is user repairable and how it is done. My pj is still new but for those that have many hours and are either out of warrenty or will be, I'm sure they would like to know. I certainly would like to even though hopefully this won't happen to me for a long time.
post #29 of 365

Originally posted by Mike2000
If anyone finds our how to repair this, let us know if it is user repairable and how it is done. . . .

My understanding is that the problem occurs in the bearing(s) of the color wheel, which I believe are sealed. A typical end user is no more capable of repairing this than they are of repairing a faulty disc drive in their PC. I think even a factory repair involves replacing the color wheel assembly.
post #30 of 365
To mpilon's point - if this is a small problem - perhaps someone could start a thread regarding this - ask X1 owners 1. how many hours they have on their PJ (and on their bulb or bulbs), and 2. Have they experienced any color wheel noise or had a problem with it - especially question 2 for the people with 1000+ hours. Title could be something like - "How many hours are on your X1 - Any color wheel noise?" and then ask the two questions inside the post. I'm a newbie here so maybe one of you regulars could post it and word it correctly to receive the best response. I think this thread is a good one but I think it is more likely to attract people that already may have the problem. It would be nice to hear the reports from people who don't have the problem and how many hours they have. If you get quite a few posts with people in the 1000's of hours with no buzz, well that would be helpful to resolve the question about if this is going to happen to all of us.
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