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Discussion Starter #201
I figured it's gotta be the power supply because it worked before a lightning storm and didn't work after so I'm thinking maybe there was a power surge that fried it as its the only item I have that's not plugged into a surge protector. I've since purchased a whole home surge protector. Idk just a blind guess.
In that case i'm guessing the entire motherboard is fried not just the power supply. You didn't have it on a surge protector in the first place?

I hope you have the option to return the powersupply if it doesn't work. Good luck!
 

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IMO the AR100U excels at what it was intended for and it would be hard to find an LCD projector that does the same.

I was surprised to learn that two of the biggest AVS sponsors Projector People and Visual Apex (and both companies I have bought from) no longer stock the AR100U.

Which continues to tell me that Panasonic is about to exit the home theater projector market.

There are still a few well regarded merchants like AGI that are still selling the AR100U for around $1000.

I'm almost tempted to buy another one as a back-up since the AR100U fits my room and purposes perfectly.

The replacement lamp costs $300 which means the projector itself is only $700 - at least that's one to rationalize it. ;)
 

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IMO the AR100U excels at what it was intended for and it would be hard to find an LCD projector that does the same.

I was surprised to learn that two of the biggest AVS sponsors Projector People and Visual Apex (and both companies I have bought from) no longer stock the AR100U.

Which continues to tell me that Panasonic is about to exit the home theater projector market.

There are still a few well regarded merchants like AGI that are still selling the AR100U for around $1000.

I'm almost tempted to buy another one as a back-up since the AR100U fits my room and purposes perfectly.

The replacement lamp costs $300 which means the projector itself is only $700 - at least that's one to rationalize it. ;)
Thank you for all of your help, in the end i decided to go with the HW40, i couldnt pass up on the 500 off and all of the upside it brings, plus as you said Panny seems to be getting out of the business. I figure i may just have to make the necessary adjustments to my room to enhance the viewing. Thanks again!
 

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In that case i'm guessing the entire motherboard is fried not just the power supply. You didn't have it on a surge protector in the first place?

I hope you have the option to return the powersupply if it doesn't work. Good luck!
Ive pretty much scrapped the idea of a self repair i forsee myself doing more harm then help and losing money.
 

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Ive pretty much scrapped the idea of a self repair i forsee myself doing more harm then help and losing money.
I agree. Trying to diagnose the problem without the proper tools makes it a crap-shot. You may get lucky in some cases but often not.
 

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Thank you for all of your help, in the end i decided to go with the HW40, i couldn't pass up on the 500 off and all of the upside it brings, plus as you said Panny seems to be getting out of the business. I figure i may just have to make the necessary adjustments to my room to enhance the viewing. Thanks again!
Brian, by all accounts the Sony HW40 seems like an ideal projector. Hopefully you'll post your review of the Sony back to this thread. I would be very interested in reading your opinion of whether the ~$1000 difference between the AR100U and Sony is worthwhile. Cheers.
 

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Let's get a bulb hour check on our PT-AR100U
Bulb# / hours

For me: 2nd bulb / 1500hrs
I'm on my second bulb 800 hrs, all eco mode.

No major issues (total unit hours 3600hrs eco) except for the dust blobs previously mentioned by Mr G and myself. Ive had to disconnect the LCD ribbons for a second time and give the LCD panels a direct blast of compressed air. It helps clear up the image significantly but its not a total cure all for me and there is a still a faint trace of blobs and dots that are visible on pure white / red backgrounds. Giving the panels extended blasts of air seems a little risky so I can live with the image as it is.

The lack of sealed optics and light path continues to be my only complaint with this excellent projector.

If Panasonic leaves the projector market, does that mean it would stop producing genuine replacement bulbs as well?
 

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Brian, by all accounts the Sony HW40 seems like an ideal projector. Hopefully you'll post your review of the Sony back to this thread. I would be very interested in reading your opinion of whether the ~$1000 difference between the AR100U and Sony is worthwhile. Cheers.
I certainly will do
 

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Discussion Starter #209
I'm on my second bulb 800 hrs, all eco mode.

No major issues (total unit hours 3600hrs eco) except for the dust blobs previously mentioned by Mr G and myself. Ive had to disconnect the LCD ribbons for a second time and give the LCD panels a direct blast of compressed air. It helps clear up the image significantly but its not a total cure all for me and there is a still a faint trace of blobs and dots that are visible on pure white / red backgrounds. Giving the panels extended blasts of air seems a little risky so I can live with the image as it is.

The lack of sealed optics and light path continues to be my only complaint with this excellent projector.

If Panasonic leaves the projector market, does that mean it would stop producing genuine replacement bulbs as well?

Usually manufactures support products for several years after a product is discontinued. Especially a large company like Panasonic. I'd imagine your projector will die out before bulbs are hard to come by.

I agree the lack of sealed light tunnels is my only complaint, however I haven't' seen a projector in this price range that has a sealed optics, luckily it's very easy to clean the dust blobs out. The Epson models have zero easy access to fix them that i'm aware of.
 

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Brian, by all accounts the Sony HW40 seems like an ideal projector. Hopefully you'll post your review of the Sony back to this thread. I would be very interested in reading your opinion of whether the ~$1000 difference between the AR100U and Sony is worthwhile. Cheers.
Well after spending some significant time with the HW40 I must say it is a huge step up in quality, not that the AR was bad but the difference is super noticeable. I find that it has more than enough lumens to generate a beautiful picture even in ambient light also I actually think I have more control with my lighting than I originally thought. I can def say I miss the ease of setup I had with the AR even now I still fond myself tinkering trying to make picture adjustments. All in all the investment was worth it but only because I had to I was more than satisfied with the AR and if it wouldnt have went down id still be using it without thought of upgrade.
 

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Well after spending some significant time with the HW40 I must say it is a huge step up in quality, not that the AR was bad but the difference is super noticeable. I find that it has more than enough lumens to generate a beautiful picture even in ambient light also I actually think I have more control with my lighting than I originally thought. I can def say I miss the ease of setup I had with the AR even now I still fond myself tinkering trying to make picture adjustments. All in all the investment was worth it but only because I had to I was more than satisfied with the AR and if it wouldnt have went down id still be using it without thought of upgrade.
Thanks for posting your follow-up, I found your projector comparison very interesting.

If I ever lose my AR100U (heaven forbid) I'll certainly put the Sony high on my list.
 

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The AR-100U served me well for 2 1/2 years. But now it won't start - similar to the most recent postings. For a while, I could get it to start by powering off and then back on - several times if necessary. To complicate matters, I have the projector in Brasil. I guess I will try to sell it for parts. Check out the attached estimate of repairs. Over USD$1000 here as well. And then I would have to wait 3-4 months for imported parts. Unless, I could bring the parts here from the US - and if I could then replace them myself. Any thoughts??? thanks
 

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The AR-100U served me well for 2 1/2 years. But now it won't start - similar to the most recent postings. For a while, I could get it to start by powering off and then back on - several times if necessary. To complicate matters, I have the projector in Brasil. I guess I will try to sell it for parts. Check out the attached estimate of repairs. Over USD$1000 here as well. And then I would have to wait 3-4 months for imported parts. Unless, I could bring the parts here from the US - and if I could then replace them myself. Any thoughts??? thanks
Personally I would move on to another projector. The projector first shipped in October 2011 and is getting a little long in the tooth. It's not a surprise that people are beginning to post problems with power supply and ballast issues. In the U.S. you can still buy a new AR100U for $1000 so fixing this projector for that much money is not realistic.

Unless you are very technically savvy with projector repair I would not recommend trying to fix it. I've owned my AR100U since January 2012 and I love it. But if it should ever break down I'll likely go looking for a replacement.
 

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Let's get a bulb hour check on our PT-AR100U
Bulb# / hours
For me: 2nd bulb / 1500hrs
Replaced the original bulb last night (bought projector 3/2012). It had 5267 hours. Yes, it was looking dim for a few months. The new bulb looks fantastic!
With shipping, Provantage (adds on shipping) was just a few dollars less than B&H (shipping included), but Provantage was going to ship it to Ohio and then to me to get around California tax so I went with B&H and the included three day shipping. I see Provantage is now out of stock on the ET-LAA110.
http://www.provantage.com/panasonic-et-laa110~7PANP0T6.htm
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/828748-REG/Panasonic_ET_LAA110_ET_LAA110_Replacement_Lamp_f.html
 

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Replaced the original bulb last night (bought projector 3/2012). It had 5267 hours. Yes, it was looking dim for a few months. The new bulb looks fantastic!
I'm not surprised, 5267 hours, your lamp brightness was probably down to about 30 percent of the original output.

Enjoy!
 

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I emailed Provantage and they won't move off their $303.10 price for the lamp...I just ordered it as I'm not going to risk a bum replacement for $40.

By the way, I may have missed it, but this PJ has been officially discontinued by Panasonic.

James
 

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I had 2600 hours on mine in February of 2014- I can only imagine what I have on it now (I use mine everyday between Nov and March and a couple times a week, April to Sep in the garage).

I'll bet it's nearing 5K as well...hours that is!

James
 

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Discussion Starter #218
I emailed Provantage and they won't move off their $303.10 price for the lamp...I just ordered it as I'm not going to risk a bum replacement for $40.

By the way, I may have missed it, but this PJ has been officially discontinued by Panasonic.

James

So how will this effect replacement bulbs in the future? Will they become more expensive and harder to find?
 

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I had 2600 hours on mine in February of 2014- I can only imagine what I have on it now (I use mine everyday between Nov and March and a couple times a week, April to Sep in the garage).

I'll bet it's nearing 5K as well...hours that is!

James
You'll notice a difference with the new lamp. If I remember right you moved on to a different projector and now the AR100U is in the garage? Original ET-LAA110 Replacement Lamp for $303 + $7 shipping is not bad, even B&H Video (the other recommended site) has it for $325 with free shipping. The Provantage price is about what I paid back when.

The AR100U was discontinued several months ago on the Projector People and Visual Apex sites. AGI still has a few for $999 and B&H Video $1099. But there are many sellers on Amazon and elsewhere that still have stock to get rid of.

I'm hesitant to order a new lamp to keep in reserve for a projector that first shipped in October 2011. There is no telling if or when my AR100U might develop an electrical or mechanical problem (I would most likely not repair) and would look for something new.

Panasonic has not come out with a new home theater projector since the 8000 model (September 2012) and I don't really think they will continue since they are losing lots of money and also the strong competition from Epson and inexpensive DLP projectors.

How long OEM lamps for the AR100U will be around is a good question. There are already many clone lamps with Ushio bulbs advertised with prices falling in the $300 range. With exception of Epson most projector companies contract out the lamp production to big companies like Philips and others.
 

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The Dreaded Dust Blob - Deep Dive 2.3

Mr G did a great job posting a quick clean out... see here:
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...c-pt-ar100u-owners-thread-6.html#post25818945

I needed to go further for a thorough cleaning and promised to provide some pics and tips so others can tackle it as quickly and risk-free as possible. Won't be as pretty as Mr G's post, but I'll get the guts of it up ...likely over several posts.

The numbering I've used follows the numbering in the Service Manual.

If you're not too familiar with different connectors, there's a decent little reference here for you:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Recognizing+&+Disconnecting+Cable+Connectors/25629

A few other notes before we get rolling....
STATIC
- If you're having a "static day", hold off working on circuit boards... just wait for a better day and don't try to fight nature! You should work with proper ground straps etc but I'm guilty of not bothering with such equipment (at my own risk!)

SCREWS
- Know your plastic vs metal screws... obvious from the threads
- Secure screws in plastic without stripping: first gently turn screw anti-clockwise slowly until you feel a subtle click (less than once around) then start turning clockwise to follow the existing thread groove in the plastic; two-finger tighten so that you don't overdue it and strip the threads.

SCREWDRIVER
- Your Philips screwdrivers should be fairly long and magnetic

AIR CANS
- Frostbite is possible! In your passion to rid your toy of dust bunnies, be sure to take breaks from holding onto frozen cans. Please.
- When spraying with compressed air cans, keep them vertical; start sweep off-device, then move across device - be especially careful with the LCDs.

All right... on with the show...
I may not detail everything but hopefully all that's needed.
I've also added pics and notes specific to [rebuild] at each of the stages.

2.3 Removal of A-P.C.Board (no need to bother doing 2.3.3)


Most of white cable connectors just need to have top middle of clip to be pushed down while pulling out

One requires pulling on the sides with fingernails or pliers

ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) sockets are opened by flipping up the outside beige edge of the clip.
[rebuild: make sure the cable is fully inserted in the clip... only the tips of the contacts should show - see picture]

[rebuild: make sure the guides line up through the holes in the circuit board]

[rebuild: make sure the black flat cable tie has the cables reinserted and that it's screwed back onto the corner of the circuit board]


...next post: 2.4 Optical Block
 

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