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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Acer H5360 projector that's been working great for a few years. Lamp Hours are listed at about 1800, which is well below the rated bulb life of 3000/4000hr life.

What started happening recently is while we're watching the projected image, every once in a while there will be a loud pop coming from the projector. The projected screen shifts momentarily and the projected image becomes garbled with artifacts, or the colors shift and become temporarily incorrect. This only lasts for a few seconds at most, and then everything goes back to normal. Until another "pop" happens anywhere from a few minutes later to half an hour later.

The projector is in Eco mode. I've checked, and there's no obvious dust build-up that I can see. The fan is operational. It was hanging stationary on the ceiling with plenty of ventilation, never carried around and shaken.

Does this behavior indicate a bulb going bad, or is something actually wrong with the rest of the projector? I don't know, like the motherboard going bad, some capacitor being bad, or some issue with the color wheel? If it's not the bulb, I'd like to avoid sourcing an expensive replacement just to see that the issue remains.

Is this behavior a commonly known symptom of something specific?

Many thanks.
 

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I have an Acer H5360 projector that's been working great for a few years. Lamp Hours are listed at about 1800, which is well below the rated bulb life of 3000/4000hr life.

What started happening recently is while we're watching the projected image, every once in a while there will be a loud pop coming from the projector. The projected screen shifts momentarily and the projected image becomes garbled with artifacts, or the colors shift and become temporarily incorrect. This only lasts for a few seconds at most, and then everything goes back to normal. Until another "pop" happens anywhere from a few minutes later to half an hour later.

The projector is in Eco mode. I've checked, and there's no obvious dust build-up that I can see. The fan is operational. It was hanging stationary on the ceiling with plenty of ventilation, never carried around and shaken.

Does this behavior indicate a bulb going bad, or is something actually wrong with the rest of the projector? I don't know, like the motherboard going bad, some capacitor being bad, or some issue with the color wheel? If it's not the bulb, I'd like to avoid sourcing an expensive replacement just to see that the issue remains.

Is this behavior a commonly known symptom of something specific?

Many thanks.
All I can say is that it doesn't seem like a lamp-related problem; at least not related to the lamp getting older. It may be an electricity-related problem, one that would cause a discharge disrupting the signal sent to the DLP chip and/or the colour wheel.

But someone more knowledgeable than me may give you a more informed opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you. I'm not really sure how I'd diagnose the issue then. Whether opening up the projector and inspecting the internals would help pinpoint the source. Maybe some dust got in somewhere and is overheating. Looking forward to hearing from more people who have encountered this issue.
 

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Have you tried to open it up & observe or listen to where the poping sound is coming from?
if it's intermittent it could be a part failing, like an e-cap or other passive components.
if you plan to open it up, wear protective googles & be sure not to touch the HV part.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Have you tried to open it up & observe or listen to where the poping sound is coming from?
if it's intermittent it could be a part failing, like an e-cap or other passive components.
if you plan to open it up, wear protective googles & be sure not to touch the HV part.
No, I've not tried to open it and would prefer not to unless I must. I almost tried opening it when I was going to look at the bulb and realized that it wasn't going to be a straightforward process to pry the outer parts apart (i.e. just removing all the visible bolts didn't do anything, I might need to remove the bulb assembly first).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, well, I've opened it up after all. Got to the point where I see the PCB, looking into taking it apart some more. The bulb and bulb assembly look good, no signs of any damage or aging.
 

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The color wheel is the most likely suspect. Never heard of one making a pop noise but if the color goes screwy after the noise as it is a moving part.
 

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Ok, well, I've opened it up after all. Got to the point where I see the PCB, looking into taking it apart some more. The bulb and bulb assembly look good, no signs of any damage or aging.
can you pinpoint where the sound is coming from now that it's open?
is the color wheel visible?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The color wheel is the most likely suspect. Never heard of one making a pop noise but if the color goes screwy after the noise as it is a moving part.
can you pinpoint where the sound is coming from now that it's open?
is the color wheel visible?
Yes, I can see the color wheel. I did not take it out, but I blew some compressed air over it, as it had some dust particles here and there. Seems to spin freely. I found this disassembly guide and used it to some extent:
http://phips.me/doc/eMachines_v700_acer_h5360_disassemlby_assembly_a2.pdf

I went as far as removing the top cover, unplugging all the fans and data ribbon from the PCB, and removing the PCB to clean and look over. The PCB looked fine: there was some flux remaining on some areas, but that cleaned off with alcohol easily. A couple of the black "100" labeled caps still had paper stuck to them on the top for some reason, which I've also cleaned off. Nothing obvious, all the capacitors looked to be their proper shape and orientation. Below the PCB are more heat sinks and dividers, which I did not lift. I've cleaned the main fan and a secondary small fan that points from the bulb diagonally.

Underneath there were still the power assembly with huge solenoid coils and also some stuff to the right with a lot of large capacitors glued together with some beige goopy glue. I figured any of those could be overheating and going bad. I'm not a pro at looking at the color wheel to see if anything was wrong with it. It had some minimal dust on the spinning translucent parts, some residue of something liquid having dried off around the outer perimeter of where the wheel sits (no effect on the wheel apparently).

Put everything back together and watched Netflix as a test for an hour last night: no popping sound or any other signs of trouble, projection was completely fine-- even used a built-in speaker this time. So it's just very confusing and not necessarily easy for me to identify what might be wrong. I did have it plugged into a UPS with Automatic Voltage Regulation this time, just in case, but I don't think our old apartment had any issues with significant voltage fluctuation.
 
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