Replacing the Color Wheel and Lamp of an Optoma HD20 Projector

Optoma HD20

Article by Richard Grisafi

It’s been a while since I did a post. My projector broke several weeks ago and I saw this as a great opportunity to fix it and potentially help others.

So here’s what happened. I was watching TV and heard a loud pop followed by a horrible vibrating noise. The projector remained on and the vibration was so bad it caused the focus wheel to rotate all the way out of focus. I also noticed everything was now devoid of color. Immediately I shut off the projector and unplugged it. I took it down and heard what seemed to be glass rattling around inside. I pulled the lamp out and shook loose several shards of brilliantly colored green glass.

I did some research about the problem and came to the conclusion that the color wheel must have failed because there was no color and horrible noise from an unbalanced wheel spinning. The color wheel is just what it sounds like – a glass wheel which spins rapidly. In this case it’s composed of 6 different color sections. 2 Red, 2 Blue, and 2 Green. I suppose it’s possible that you will have no noise if the entire wheel comes apart or stops rotating but either way you will have no color.

If you live in the US it’s probably best to order the color wheel from a US seller on eBay. I ordered mine on Amazon from a seller in China and it took more than three weeks to get here. I might have saved about $30 but I would have rather just coughed up the money and had my color wheel in three days. You can order from Optoma if they’re willing to sell you one however I can assure you it will cost well over $150.

Since my projector has been nagging me for 6 months about how my lamp is about to fail I took this opportunity to replace the lamp also. Replacing the entire lamp assembly is so easy a child could do it however it’s much more costly than just replacing the bulb. I’m going to replace the bulb anyway because I don’t get scared of things like that.

In this case you will only need a Phillips-head and flat-head screw driver. It wouldn’t hurt to have a pry tool as well. I prefer the iSesamo pry tool but there aren’t that many clips and a projector is typically out of sight so you can substitute with a flat-head screwdriver if you don’t mind a few gouges in the projector case. As always this repair is based on my experience for the Optoma HD20. Please use caution when working with electronics. I’m not responsible for any damage you may cause to yourself or your property. Obviously this will void your warranty however it’s probably long gone anyway since this product was discontinued. Now onto the repair.

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The Top 10 Coolest Things to 3D Print

Richard Grisafi - Sweet 3D Print

Article by Richard Grisafi

I’ve had my Solidoodle 2 for just over a year now. Although I have a few other machines this one is my overall favorite because it’s the most versatile. People often ask me “What can you make with it?” so I figured I’d do a post about the top 10 coolest things I would like to make if I just purchased a 3D Printer.

To make this list the item has to be open, freely available, and able to print on the average 3D printer. While I think it’s fantastic that someone printed a castle out of concrete or real edible cookies, it’s not something you can do with off-the-shelf equipment today. Most if not all of these require other readily available hardware (Screws, threaded rod, electronics) however none require proprietary equipment. All designs are available on Thingiverse

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Setup and Maintenance of a 40w Laser Cutter from eBay

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The 40W eBay Chinese K40 Laser Cutter

Article by Richard Grisafi

I’ve had my 40W Laser Cutter for just over three months now and I feel that I’ve got a good grasp on how it operates. Overall this is a good machine but it leaves a lot to be desired and the quality control is certainly lacking. The manual (at least the one I received) is written in poorly translated English and it really just skips over many important functions of the laser cutter. In addition, the pictures in the manual were inaccurate and there were various ports/connections in the manual that just were not on my model. Being that I’m a mechanical engineer who is used to accurate documentation, this is just deplorable.

Try to search online about the” 40W Laser Cutter” , “Chinese laser cutter”, “eBay Laser Cutter” or “K40 Laser Cutter” for information. You might see some reviews or complaints but there is very little information about its operation or maintenance. Understandably, this is going to frustrate people who shelled out a few hundred dollars to purchase this machine so I figured I’d be the one to do a write up and potentially save you some headache from my experience.

I’m writing from my experience only and I’m not responsible for any damage you cause with information you’ve read here or anywhere else. A laser cutter is a powerful and dangerous tool and it’s not a toy. Use it at your own risk. That being said click below to read on.

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