JVC DLA-X/RS series ballast repair - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-23-2019, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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JVC DLA-X/RS series ballast repair

Hi,

A couple of years ago, I posted a repair procedure for Benq W5000/W20000 with half image artifacts. The cause was a design flaw on one of the onboard DC-DC converter, feeding power to RAMBUS framebuffer memory.



Now, I wanted to share with you some repair solutions that you can try for yourself if you have some soldering/desoldering skills/tools or you can go to an electronic repair shop and ask them to change the parts for you.

The fixes will apply to many JVC models (DLA-X3, X7, X9, RS40/50/60 etc), the ones that use Rubycon RPB-0526GA or QAL1305-001 in JVC part numbering.

A bit of background story.

After my first experience with JVC LCOS projector, all I can say is that I've converted from 1 chip DLP to 3 chip LCOS. So, I've traded excellent inherent DLP sharpness with fantastic native contrast and black levels of JVC optical engine.



I've bought mine (DLA-X9) with a faulty ballast, in excellent condition otherwise. At that time, I knew the fault was on the ballast board after trying with a new lamp and measuring signals from mainboard to ballast unit. The mainboard attempted a few times to turn on the lamp then the projector entered in error state with LED condition indicating a failure to start the lamp. Back then, I was lucky to find one used for about $100. I bought it as I was anxious to see the projector working, not having seen one in action before. The joy lasted for about 700h and then again, same symptom. Good lamp would not ignite...another failed ballast. I started to look at my old ballast board to see if I find something wrong with a basic DMM, not having it powered. I found none. I've dismantled again the projector, took the second ballast and looked at the board. Here, there was a fault that I saw without even using the DMM. A resistor close to the power input connector appeared shot. I measured it and it was open. Now, the resistor would not fail on it's own so the culprit was a SMPS controller chip, LNK364 which was feed through this resistor directly from the main 400V. This chip is used as a DC step down from approx 385V to about 17V for other low power circuit stages and finally stepped down to 5v (through a 3 pin LDO) for MCU on logic daughterboard. LNK363DN was shorted so that's why the resistor failed. I replaced LNK chip, LDO chip, resistor. Measured once more the other parts of the circuit for shorts. All appeared good. With hope that the logic daughterboard survived this, I put the projector back together and tested it. BINGO, it worked. I was happy that I was able to cure this just with a couple of $ not having to buy a ballast again. I started to think again at my old ballast...resistor and LNK chip were fine on this one. But as I didn't had time to further investigated I let it away. It didn't take more than a month and again, the projector didn't want to ignite the lamp. I tried to imagine myself dismantling again the projector to get to ballast board. It's not such an easy task. There are a lot of cables, connectors, screws, plates etc. I did it again. This time, resistor fine, LNK chip fine, LDO fine so the logic board received power, like on my old ballast. So I had 2 ballast boards, not working, with apparently the same fault. I did some online research and then I found out that it's a common problem on these models. I even found a guide to replace the resistor and "other component" although it didn't say which. Anyway, I started again to find the recurring fault, this time with the ballast powered, and manually turning it on (the protocol is quite simple), with the lamp connected. I first suspected the HV ignition circuit is bad (I did not have a way to test it live back then) but after some time spent getting to somehow know the circuit, I finally was able to find the fault. Another SMPS/PWM controller chip!!! This time it was the one controlling the power for the lamp. It's present on the logic daughterboard.


So, to summarize. After about 10-15 refurbished units over the years, I can say that ballast board is the number one fault on these models.

The ballast has 2 faults discovered by me.

1. Logic daughter board power supply failure (Resistor/SMPS chip blown, possible other surrounding components). If the logic board was affected by this, further repair might be needed.

Parts needed for repair:
4.7 Ohm resistor, 0.5w or more
LNK363DN
Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip


2. SMPS chip for lamp power supply
Parts needed for repair:
M51995AFP

All the parts are common and you can find them at many places around the globe. For replacement you need a hot air gun for desoldering SMT components and a soldering iron/station.

Aside from this ballast problem and the capacitor from the IR boards which is mounted the wrong way from factory and will definitely fail sooner rather than later (easy fix, one time) , I still love my JVC projector.


Please note that this fixes only work for the faults described, if your ballast have a different fault, changing above mentioned parts will not cure it. Also, there's a risk of electric shock once you open the projector (even after you removed the power cable) so take the necessary measures to avoid nasty accidents.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-23-2019, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cream View Post
Hi,

A couple of years ago, I posted a repair procedure for Benq W5000/W20000 with half image artifacts. The cause was a design flaw on one of the onboard DC-DC converter, feeding power to RAMBUS framebuffer memory.



Now, I wanted to share with you some repair solutions that you can try for yourself if you have some soldering/desoldering skills/tools or you can go to an electronic repair shop and ask them to change the parts for you.

The fixes will apply to many JVC models (DLA-X3, X7, X9, RS40/50/60 etc), the ones that use Rubycon RPB-0526GA or QAL1305-001 in JVC part numbering.

A bit of background story.

After my first experience with JVC LCOS projector, all I can say is that I've converted from 1 chip DLP to 3 chip LCOS. So, I've traded excellent inherent DLP sharpness with fantastic native contrast and black levels of JVC optical engine.



I've bought mine (DLA-X9) with a faulty ballast, in excellent condition otherwise. At that time, I knew the fault was on the ballast board after trying with a new lamp and measuring signals from mainboard to ballast unit. The mainboard attempted a few times to turn on the lamp then the projector entered in error state with LED condition indicating a failure to start the lamp. Back then, I was lucky to find one used for about $100. I bought it as I was anxious to see the projector working, not having seen one in action before. The joy lasted for about 700h and then again, same symptom. Good lamp would not ignite...another failed ballast. I started to look at my old ballast board to see if I find something wrong with a basic DMM, not having it powered. I found none. I've dismantled again the projector, took the second ballast and looked at the board. Here, there was a fault that I saw without even using the DMM. A resistor close to the power input connector appeared shot. I measured it and it was open. Now, the resistor would not fail on it's own so the culprit was a SMPS controller chip, LNK364 which was feed through this resistor directly from the main 400V. This chip is used as a DC step down from approx 385V to about 17V for other low power circuit stages and finally stepped down to 5v (through a 3 pin LDO) for MCU on logic daughterboard. LNK363DN was shorted so that's why the resistor failed. I replaced LNK chip, LDO chip, resistor. Measured once more the other parts of the circuit for shorts. All appeared good. With hope that the logic daughterboard survived this, I put the projector back together and tested it. BINGO, it worked. I was happy that I was able to cure this just with a couple of $ not having to buy a ballast again. I started to think again at my old ballast...resistor and LNK chip were fine on this one. But as I didn't had time to further investigated I let it away. It didn't take more than a month and again, the projector didn't want to ignite the lamp. I tried to imagine myself dismantling again the projector to get to ballast board. It's not such an easy task. There are a lot of cables, connectors, screws, plates etc. I did it again. This time, resistor fine, LNK chip fine, LDO fine so the logic board received power, like on my old ballast. So I had 2 ballast boards, not working, with apparently the same fault. I did some online research and then I found out that it's a common problem on these models. I even found a guide to replace the resistor and "other component" although it didn't say which. Anyway, I started again to find the recurring fault, this time with the ballast powered, and manually turning it on (the protocol is quite simple), with the lamp connected. I first suspected the HV ignition circuit is bad (I did not have a way to test it live back then) but after some time spent getting to somehow know the circuit, I finally was able to find the fault. Another SMPS/PWM controller chip!!! This time it was the one controlling the power for the lamp. It's present on the logic daughterboard.


So, to summarize. After about 10-15 refurbished units over the years, I can say that ballast board is the number one fault on these models.

The ballast has 2 faults discovered by me.

1. Logic daughter board power supply failure (Resistor/SMPS chip blown, possible other surrounding components). If the logic board was affected by this, further repair might be needed.

Parts needed for repair:
4.7 Ohm resistor, 0.5w or more
LNK363DN
Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip


2. SMPS chip for lamp power supply
Parts needed for repair:
M51995AFP

All the parts are common and you can find them at many places around the globe. For replacement you need a hot air gun for desoldering SMT components and a soldering iron/station.

Aside from this ballast problem and the capacitor from the IR boards which is mounted the wrong way from factory and will definitely fail sooner rather than later (easy fix, one time) , I still love my JVC projector.


Please note that this fixes only work for the faults described, if your ballast have a different fault, changing above mentioned parts will not cure it. Also, there's a risk of electric shock once you open the projector (even after you removed the power cable) so take the necessary measures to avoid nasty accidents.
Attachment 2658034Attachment 2658036Attachment 2658038
Thanks for sharing. Pretty amazing what you have done to fix projectors. I would say that for most projector enthusiasts it might be a bit beyond their skillset.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-24-2019, 05:00 PM
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Many thanks for the excellent write up. I got my X7 the same way you did, except I had someone else repair the ballast for me. Has been working just fine since then.

Quote:
The ballast has 2 faults discovered by me.

1. Logic daughter board power supply failure (Resistor/SMPS chip blown, possible other surrounding components). If the logic board was affected by this, further repair might be needed.

Parts needed for repair:
4.7 Ohm resistor, 0.5w or more
LNK363DN
Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip


2. SMPS chip for lamp power supply
Parts needed for repair:
M51995AFP
Would you say both faults occur most of the times, or is it one more than the other? If so, which one?

When you say "Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip", is there a way to visually identify the fault?

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post #4 of 18 Old 12-24-2019, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descalabro View Post
Many thanks for the excellent write up. I got my X7 the same way you did, except I had someone else repair the ballast for me. Has been working just fine since then.

Would you say both faults occur most of the times, or is it one more than the other? If so, which one?

When you say "Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip", is there a way to visually identify the fault?
You can try visual inspection first, look for swelling or a pasty material anywhere on the capacitors, however this is pretty random and isn't all that common unless the device totally blew out. You need an ESR meter is easiest, they are like $50... Some of the leads may be too tight to get too, in that case it requires even more expensive equipment to diagnose.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-25-2019, 11:55 AM
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I just got a RS4910 which was said to have a faulty ballast board. Only paid $50 for it. It came with a new lamp but I haven't got around to repairing it. Saw the ballast board online for $225 last month. If I get it to work, I'll have a RS4910 for less than $300.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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JVC DLA-X/RS series ballast repair

Quote:
Originally Posted by blee0120 View Post
I just got a RS4910 which was said to have a faulty ballast board. Only paid $50 for it. It came with a new lamp but I haven't got around to repairing it. Saw the ballast board online for $225 last month. If I get it to work, I'll have a RS4910 for less than $300.


Only the RS 40 to 65 have a known ballast issue. Any projector can have a faulty ballast, but since the RS49 is not known to be affected by this issue, it may be a different fix. I suggest you contact @Slonopot so that he may have a look at your ballast. He usually makes a very fair price for repair.


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post #7 of 18 Old 12-25-2019, 01:01 PM
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I am not sure about the RS-4910, but another generically common issue would be a failed power supply, that can sometimes be fixed by replacing all the PS capacitors, it is a bit of work to say the least. Also, just because a projector is able to flash lights does not mean the power supply is good. Another thing is it could be a mainboard issue in which it wouldn't really be worth the cost to fix, because the mainboards are too expensive usually to order as parts.

You can watch Youtube videos of how to replace capacitors if you still want to do it, just be careful!

This type of work can be very dangerous, the danger is complacency, you get used to nothing happening, then suddenly something does happen.
Read several safety guides online before starting if this is your first time, don't mess around without being extremely careful.

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1) With ballasts, anything, any of its parts can fail. It can be like capacitors, a resistor, a transformer, microcircuits, field resistors and whole diode bridges. And also internal paths burn out.
There is no and cannot be a universal repair recipe. Each defective ballast must be individually diagnosed.
2) The most important thing is that even if you find the cause of the malfunction and fix it, the cause of this malfunction is not resolved. It is imperative to make a correction of the ballast. The cream has none, he did not indicate, because he does not know this reason.
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post #9 of 18 Old 12-26-2019, 11:42 AM
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I would guess if ballasts failure the root of the problem is usually voltage or heat?

Yah it takes some skill to diagnose this stuff, you cannot just jump into it unless you were to get very lucky.
Have to know how to connect to and read the traces with a meter and the caps with an ESR.
Then there is knowing what type of components is supposed to produce what numbers depending on which way you have the + and - on what trace / lead.
Source, gate, etc... Then de-soldering damaged components without damaging the board or hurting your fingers (always wear gloves IMO).

I am just a tinkerer and have done a few things, but this would be pretty hard.

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post #10 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 10:48 AM
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Other things to check:
  • Mosfet driven by pin 2 of M51995, if shorted replace with one rated for higher voltage
  • confirm all 3 optocouplers operating in spec, they can be damaged when a power chip blows
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post #11 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 11:44 AM
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Anyone interested in further research on these ballasts, read the posts by joffe in this thread:
http://repairalmostanything.com/thre...g-error?page=4


His upgrade of cap C28 for more stable output voltage should be done by default when working on these.

I think the ultimate solution would be to finish his work getting an OSRAM ballast to work at the proper frequency and forget fixing the badly designed Rubycon ballast.

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post #12 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhnjp1 View Post

I think the ultimate solution would be to finish his work getting an OSRAM ballast to work at the proper frequency and forget fixing the badly designed Rubycon ballast.

Why? The ones that were fixed for me have been working flawlessly.


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post #13 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descalabro View Post
Why? The ones that were fixed for me have been working flawlessly.

The OSRAM ballast he used cost $30 and puts out much more cleaner and stable power to the lamp, and even Slonopot can't fix some of the Rubycon ballasts sent to him.

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post #14 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhnjp1 View Post
The OSRAM ballast he used cost $30 and puts out much more cleaner and stable power to the lamp, and even Slonopot can't fix some of the Rubycon ballasts sent to him.


But the osram needs modification, yes?


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post #15 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slonopot View Post
1) With ballasts, anything, any of its parts can fail. It can be like capacitors, a resistor, a transformer, microcircuits, field resistors and whole diode bridges. And also internal paths burn out.
There is no and cannot be a universal repair recipe. Each defective ballast must be individually diagnosed.
2) The most important thing is that even if you find the cause of the malfunction and fix it, the cause of this malfunction is not resolved. It is imperative to make a correction of the ballast. The cream has none, he did not indicate, because he does not know this reason.


I agree that this isn't an universal fix. I never stated that. Any complex electronic can have any of it's parts fail, but then again, some are prone to failure more than others.There are many factors. Just like on a specific board , some faults will occur at a greater rate than others. How many times you encountered a transformer failure in a JVC ballast, or any other brand/model.


I just posted my experience with JVC ballast board on selected models, and I indicated the steps to replace the parts on those specific faults I discovered. I did this in my spare time because I like to fix things. Never asked something in return.

I find your post a bit acid. So you know that the circuit has a design fault from factory, and "cream" doesn't know, good for you. You can post the mod/fix here, nobody will mind, I'm sure. But you didn't even post clear fix steps for some specific fault. Unlike cream, you knew the cure for many faults as I'm sure you repaired more JVC ballast boards than me. Good luck on the next repairs.
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by descalabro View Post
Many thanks for the excellent write up. I got my X7 the same way you did, except I had someone else repair the ballast for me. Has been working just fine since then.



Would you say both faults occur most of the times, or is it one more than the other? If so, which one?

When you say "Check/replace electrolytic caps near LNK363 and LDO chip", is there a way to visually identify the fault?

Based on my experience, the fault involving M51995AFP chip is the number one fault, with 6 occurrences out of 10.


As for the caps, to properly measure them, you need an ESR meter, indeed. But the caps are pretty cheap and could be changed in case they had degraded. In my case, I didn't change them. They can appear fine visually, but their capacitance and/or internal resistance can vary outside tolerance.
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post #17 of 18 Old 12-27-2019, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cream View Post
I agree that this isn't an universal fix. I never stated that. Any complex electronic can have any of it's parts fail, but then again, some are prone to failure more than others.There are many factors. Just like on a specific board , some faults will occur at a greater rate than others. How many times you encountered a transformer failure in a JVC ballast, or any other brand/model.


I just posted my experience with JVC ballast board on selected models, and I indicated the steps to replace the parts on those specific faults I discovered. I did this in my spare time because I like to fix things. Never asked something in return.

I find your post a bit acid. So you know that the circuit has a design fault from factory, and "cream" doesn't know, good for you. You can post the mod/fix here, nobody will mind, I'm sure. But you didn't even post clear fix steps for some specific fault. Unlike cream, you knew the cure for many faults as I'm sure you repaired more JVC ballast boards than me. Good luck on the next repairs.


From my experience speaking with Slonopot, it was also my first impression that his posts seemed a bit acid, but I can assure you that’s the result of language barriers, maybe a certain manner in which Russian pragmatism translates to English. He’s been exceedingly kind to me, to the point of sending me a bulb for free just to try it with the ballast he fixed. As for not sharing a write up of his experience of repairing JVC ballasts, I suppose it reflects his conviction that each ballast needs to be individually inspected, and also I assume that some discretion might be needed since repairing ballasts is part of how he earns some money.

However, with so many JVC units from 2010 to 2013 with faulty ballasts, I too expect that there should be a number one cause, a pattern of malfunction.


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post #18 of 18 Old 12-28-2019, 06:13 AM
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There is no acid in my posts. Just the difficulty of translating. If it seemed to someone, this is because you can’t play with high voltage, climb on your own and hope that nothing can happen. It can even cause trouble, starting with a short circuit and ending with the failure of other components, electronic boards for example.
In general, from such positions, it is possible to cancel all specialists and services in particular. We open YouTube or forums and start repairing on our own. So probably the vast majority think? In reality, this does not quite work. After such repairs, as a rule, it is necessary to repair at least twice as much as would be required from the very beginning of the problem, without self-made ones. I do not claim that it will be so, it always happens, no, but there are certain risks.
As for this particular ballast, in addition to eliminating the problem parts themselves, it is also necessary to correct the error due to which various problems arise for ballasts. This engineering error is eliminated by selecting a throttle and then testing the corrected ballast.
For high-quality repairs with a guarantee of trouble-free operation of the repaired part, it is necessary to contact specialists.
That's all I wanted to say on this topic.
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