January 5th, 2016

Dust In the Wind

I have triumphed over obsolete technology.

My Samsung DLP set was succumbing to "white dot disease" as pixels on the DLP chip became stuck. Some were permanently on, others blinked annoyingly.

Well, annoyingly to me anyway. Gretchen said they were hardly noticeable. But they'd multiplied to 17 or more bad pixels and I was pretty annoyed.

I discovered that you could get a replacement chip for a bit less than $200, which seemed worth trying, since I really wasn't anxious to replace the set, which was otherwise pretty satisfactory. (Although Gretchen told me after I ordered the new chip that there were signs of possible failure in the LED light engine, which would require still more surgery, if that's the actual problem, and which would start to make the old set look less and less viable. This was especially true after I saw a Samsung UHD set for sale over at Sam's Club for $800 for roughly the same size screen. But $200 is still less than $800.)

So, electronics surgery was in order, the replacement DLP chip having arrived.

Dear God, this TV is full of dust! (Which probably has something to do with lovely heat-related failures.) I pulled out the tray that contained the DLP processor board and the light engine and carried them off to the office to work on them. Many, many screws and connectors later, I finally extracted the failing chip and replaced it with a new one. I had bought an installation kit for the chip which included a thermal pad for the heat sink. I took one look at the inadequate appearing pad and went down to the basement and retrieved the syringe containing the last of the Arctic Silver compound that I'd bought a while ago when working on the computer.

Having reassembled (and dusted out) the DLP side of the assembly, I pulled off the cover for the light engine and proceeded to clean out the dust-clogged heat sinks on that side. And then I put it back together and carried it back to install in the TV. I plugged the TV in and--

No picture.

*grumble* *grumble*

Power the beast down, unplug the set, sit down behind it again, and find the conspicuously dangling inner cable that connects two sections of the TV together. I'm not sure what it connects, but the rules say that you have to reconnect everything that you disconnect.

So I did. And I powered up the TV again.

And I was rewarded with a fine, no stuck pixels view of the season premiere of "New Girl".

I buttoned up the back of the set, pushed it back against the wall, and am now hoping that no other components decide to fail for a while. :)