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.