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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all...


About a week ago I posted that I was working on a $70 projector project.


To refresh everyones memory, I posted that I was buying two 'parts' projectors (and a new bulb) in an attempt to rebuild one working one, thus having the cheapest working projector on the under $5000 dollar category. The projectors were Sharpvision XV-3410S projectors, a 3 panel, 600 Ansi lumen, VGA resolution that was absolute top-of-the-line many years ago.


It started as a bit of a joke, but it actually happened. It ended up costing me $220 Aud (or $110 usd - the guy wanted a bit more for the second one) but I now have a working projector with a brand new bulb. Read below how I did it...


Well, I recieved the mail on friday - two truly HUGE projectors (about A3 size) had arrived in the mail. I ripped off the cardboard and found that they both rattled. Darn - I thought (or words to that effect).


One of the projectors had wires that appeared to be coming out of the lens - This one I guessed was not complete, so I opened up the other one.


Well, the broken glass was quartz, and roughly sperical - hmmm...


Had a look at a piece that was a reasonable size, and I realised that it wasn't any smashed optics, but rather it was a bulb that had exploded - rather a few bulbs that had exploded by the amount of glass inside the projector. So this kinda puts to rest the 'do bulbs explode' questions...


OK. This projector was OK inside, so it was time to power it up. A very, very blue picture appeared, which fitted the sellers description of 'dead panel' - but I was beginning to have my doubts that it was the red panel. So I put this one aside for the moment.


On opening up projector number two, one problem was immediatly apparent - there was no bulb left, and the hot mirror had smashed, most likely from the bulb exploding. What a mess. I removed the broken bulb, but left the still intact hot mirror in its mounts and fitted a bulb from the other projector. The wires that were poking out of the lens housing were just spare mainboard to lcd panel connectors that the seller had thoughtfully provided.


OK. Powered up projector number two, expecting very little. What a suprise! - a good picture, with bad convergence, and a dead row of pixels on the red panel that were stuck on practically in the centre of the screen. Hmm... Perhaps this was more promising...


Back to projector number one, I quickly determined that it wasn't the red panel that was dead. The entire blue panel was stuck 'on'. Blast. Looks like the main control board was 'funny'. Swapped the leads from the red panel to the blue panel, and found that it was the panel, not the board (red panel was responding to blue signals).


Removed panel, discovered that the polarising filter had bleached. Yuk. OK, looks like I will have to swap the cold mirror and red panel from projector 1 into projector 2 - Projector 2 had a lot less dust on the internal optics, so I decided to go this way instead.


OK, removed the cold mirror from 1, and replaced it into two, after a good clean with some optics tissue. Pulled out the red panel from 1, gave it a good clean, and fitted it into 2. OK, power up. Correctly coloured picture, but really needed converging. Yuk!


Worked out that horizontal convergence is fixed, but vertical isn't. Green panel is fixed, but red and blue are movable.I converge the picture by eye, but still not really happy. Find a small button one one of the main circuit boards that revealed a service menu.


WoHoo! One of the menu options was NW - Natural white. Brought up the NW meu, and noticed that there were listings for red, green, blue, Red+blue, Red+green and white. First I try white - OK, its white, but there is a lime green line across the picture. Drat, I think, there is a hair on the green panel. So after much blowing to no avail, I try the single panel commands (red, green, blue)


Red is fine, no dead pixels, but a lot of dust and muck, green is clean, *with no hair* - Huh? and blue... blue has a huge great crack across it... Aaagh.


Removed blue panel, and the dichroic filter is cracked right across. Thankfully, the blue dichroic panel on projector 1 was fine, so it was swapped.


OK. Now that the panels are all OK, retest red, green and blue. No dead pixels (cool!). Select Red-Green. Converge. Select Blue-Green. Converge. Ok.


Now, to have a bit of a play with the menus.


Electronic zoom and focus and shift(up/down) with optical tombstone correction. Neato.

5 saved video modes. Cool.

Red/Blue control for colour balance. V/Cool.

Masking - Huh? Yep, you guessed it - it has electronic 4:3 or 16:9 masking! Appears to be a seperate LCD panel that does the masking. WAY cool!!! Why don't they fit this to other projectors?


So, for the miserly sum of $110, I now have a projector with a very nice, bright picture, with good colours, a nice scaler/deinterlacer (believe it or not!) and features not found on modern projectors AND a projector that can still be used for parts. Even if I cannot get a new bulb, there is a half used bulb (about 500 hours left) and a new one (1000 hours left) - so there is 1,500 hours of entertainment for US$110.


So - 8 cents an hour... Beat that :)


Plans for the future - strip and clean all optics (there are a few dust blobs on the panels - yuk) and fit a relay board to control the projector remotely with cat5 cable. Cat 5 has 8 pins, so with one pin as a return, and 7 pins to the relays, you can control 14 functions (using +Ve or -Ve signals, and diodes).


Anyone else have similar stories?


Cheers

Heath Young


PS I hate converging LCDs...
 

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Man, you are one resilient guy! Congrats! There's no better feeling than standing back and enjoying the fruits of your labour.


I'm familliar with the masking function that you mentioned. Two of my previous Sharpvision projectors had that feature. It made the gray area of a letterboxed image little more tolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heh.. Thanks :)


The masking function (if it is an extra LCD panel) could be a hinderance in terms of brightness - you are running the light through another polariser, so removing this extra polariser/panel would give you an extra 15-20% brightness, but at the loss of the masking function (obviously).


I might have a look at the other one to see if it is an extra LCD panel or not...


Cheers

Heath Young
 
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