Cheap Projector Repair

[Ryan] sent in this writeup on some DIY projector repair. The write-up is a little hard to follow, but maybe it’ll inspire some future projector landfill saves. [Dissident] replaced the light bulb and ballast in an older DLP projector with some salvaged MR-16 hardware from an even older over head projector. The main trick required was to bridge the trigger leads that tell the projector that the bulb is on and working.

31 thoughts on “Cheap Projector Repair

  1. Quite interesting… though the key to a good projector bulb is it’s ability to produce a natural white light. Overhead projectors aren’t much on quality and usually just throw uneven dingy yellow shades and a nice big hot spot in the center.

    While this is quite interesting in terms of getting an otherwise junk pj back up and running for cheap money, I’d be interesting in seeing a slightly higher quality solution where the bulb has good color accuracy and no hot-spots, even at $40 or $50 a DIY bulb with white levels and even light output would be a fantastic alternative to the $400-$600 replacement bulb.

  2. I’ve done this before, and I’ll tell you the result was disappointing to say the least.

    I used a standard 240 volt (UK) spotlight bulb, but the problem is unless the light coming out of the bulb is exactly parallel, it won’t pass all the way through the projector, so since my bulbs “viewing angle” was ~30 degrees I estimate only about a quarter of the light output of the bulb got to the LCD’s, and even less to the screen.

    Interestingly, color was off to start with, but a few color profiles soon sorted that (adobe gamma utility etc.), and hotspots aren’t a problem because the projector had a lens that looked like frosted glass, the purpose to evenly spread light across the screen. In fact it wasn’t even possible to get one part of the screen brighter than the rest!

  3. I’ll admit the picture color is slightly off, but not to the point where it kills the image. The color is in my opinion slightly warmer which I don’t find to be such a bad thing either.

    I chose the FXL-10 bulb because it is an extremely bright and cheap bulb. Though the rated life is low, it’s been running for monthes fine and when it does blow on me, I won’t be heartbroken.

    Thanks for looking.

  4. Thats a 82v bulb. It looks like you connected it directly to the 120V input. Is this the case? Is this safe?

    I have an ancient projector with no bulbs to be found (and really expensive) maybe I’ll consider doing this once the bulb dies.

  5. After a bit of research, you can use a simple rectifier for a ENX (310W bulb) or a bit more stuff to drop the voltage for a FXL bulb. Or, you can just use a 500W household dimmer to drop the voltage.

    Note, I found a nice site that sells MH bulbs so you rebuild the bulbs without hacking the projectors.

  6. will this mod work on other projectors ?? ive a Toshiba TLP410 and bulb asembly is practically the same also what is the bulb mounted into on your photo ?? this sure would save me some money my last bulb was nearly £200

  7. You might be interested to know that for about £8 / $16, you
    can buy such things as 100w 12v, 150w, 15v and 250v 24v
    lamps that are the same size as the MR16 lamps. They are
    used for disco lighting – lifespan is not so good – at
    between 50 and 300 hours – but with an average of around
    100 hours for £8 / $16, you can at least afford to keep a
    spare. Google for A1 232 for the 15v 150w unit – or just
    google for: projector lamp A1 259 – 250w 24v and in a
    500hr flavour too.

    Very good colour rendering due to high temp burn and
    inexpensive into the bargain.


  8. Hi Will,

    I have just replaced the bulb of my projector lamp.
    The lamp unit is now powered externally to the 220v mains since the reading I get from the projector’s lamp connection is 56volts.

    The bulb works and the fan goes on but there is no image.

    You mention bridging the trigger leads. Could you describe what to look for, since I have no idea what it looks like. And how do I bridge it?

    Thanks in advance

  9. hi, im locate in washigton dc i purchase a dell mp3400 proyector the problem is my brother accidentally put a password in and now a can get into the proyector can you clear the password??

  10. Hey don’t know your name but thanks for the LumenArc link. I bought a bulb from them and managed to relamp my lamp for the fraction of the cost for my Marantz Projector. Bit fiddly at first but hey done it. I’m surprised they use the same bulb for different projectors and the prices vary as much as a few hundred pounds just because it is a marantz projector.

  11. Uh uh, no you can’t. You have a ballast which has an initial voltage of over 5KV going through it. It is only once the lamp is lit it drops to about 70-90V. What you have to understand is the projector bulbs do not have a filament like that of filament type bulbs. Instead they have an air gap which is where the arc forms and kept lit by aplying continous voltage. I’ve used a bulb from (thanks to the above anonymous) and it is really quite simple to replace. On top it works out cheaper when you compare it with price per hour. These bulbs last 2000 hours compared to the 200 hour life of the osram. Besides, X1 is a DLP projector, the light source is not point on the osram so it will be difficult to get all the light inside the light tunnel. Any further queries, post on the LumenArc forum. I’ve registered there so will be glad to help.

  12. GoldMemember, took your advice and risked buying a bulb from LumenArc. After much fiddling, got the alignmnent spot. Now I have a projector which has over 2000 Hours on the lamp and all I spent was under £68. What a bargain. That sort of price, I can afford to max it up during the world cup season.

  13. Ok, I dig the Lumenarc bulbs for 60 bucks and I am looking at my 350w MH bulb in its glass reflector. I see some white dry hard putty like substance that seems to hold the bulb center to the mirror. How do I take that stuff out and replace it? What is it?

    I am able to poke it and break it up some with an exacto knife, but I wonder how you all solved this problem. My projector is a Sharp XG-E100U and the grandkids are on their way to watch movies.

  14. Also how can I tell what voltage I am running, DC or AC? I don’t want to order and install a DC when I need an AC bulb.

    Also the BSM bulbs that 18wheeler DIY site shows are the closest looking to mine, but they only go to 200w and need 350w. Will the JY ones above work even though they are not exactly right?

  15. @cbrotherton – more likey your lamp has blown.
    @NOMAN NASEER – NSH is a high voltage ignition bulb. Cheap option would be a burner replacement from lumenarc. You should be able to fit a 200W DC High Voltage Ignition burner in yours.
    @DrDos – relampit is t#one alternative if you are not DIY competant. However, with their prices for relamping, you could just add a few bob and just buy a new lamp from LumenArc. Their prices are the lowest I can see as of yet. Just drop them an email and see if they can tell you what bulb you require. The white stuff you are talking about is heat resistant mortar. ou can scrape it off and replace it with furnace non-gritty mortar.

  16. hi,

    i have hitachi cx-320 multimedia projector its lamp bulb is fused please tell me any cheap solution so i can repair my projector ,is lamp specs are 77Volts and 160watts,
    please guide be ,waiting for fast response,

    thanks in advanced

    1. Dear kashif best cheep solution for you Hitachi projector is to replace the lamp burner only.llamp the is hscr 165w 77volt Ac typr .but it is a little garde to calibrate and Aline the focus and light focal lenth. If you are a electronic technician you can do it easily with 2 or 3 tries.but should have good life lamp burnet(tube).

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