Brandon Hockle's Blog

A personal blog about computers, science, and culture…

Fixing expensive stuff designed to fail.

I finally broke down and let Ash convince me to send my Optima dv10 projector off to a legitimate repair place. If only I would have listened to her before I refurbished the broken power supply inside it.
When it first broke it went through some death throws before complete failure. All of the initial problems seemed due to power related issues. So I decided to rip that baby apart and fix it myself. After some puzzle box level problems getting all of the components *safely* disconnected in order to get at the power supply I was greeted with the most pathetic example of power supply design I have ever encountered, sorry about the blurry photo:

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This thing was literally designed to fail. The engineer, I am reluctant to use that term, decided that the best place to locate the cheapest electrolytic capacitors they could find was touching the power transistors. This guaranteed that they would literally bake in the waste heat and live the shortest life possible. Sure enough all of them were popped like full beer can on a campfire.

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So repair seemed pretty straight forward replace all those caps and maybe for 20 or so usd I would have a working projector power supply and thus a working projector. I pulled them:

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cleaned the board of the electrolytic goo and then soldered in new ones. Bench tested the supply and found it was working again!

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Yea, I then put everything back together and viola! Nothing worked. Sigh, well at least the power supply will be working for the bench tech that ultimately will attempt repair… Lesson learned, I know my limits now and thankfully I didn’t damage any thing else in my repair. :-/

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