Instructables
Picture of Dell W5001C 50
My buddy's Dell 50" W5001C plasma television conked out one day so I set out trying to fix it. The TV is about 4 years old, and it is out of warranty. Even the three year extended warranty that was offered for $1000 at the time of purchase would have done no good. (Remember when TV's used to last 20 years?) With no recourse for repair through official channels, what is one to do?

"So what are my options?"
1.Fix it at a TV repair shop
Calls to television repair shops produced a range of estimates, i.e. $300 for an on-site consultation and no guarantee of repair. Shipping or transporting the TV to a repair shop could could add insult to injury as it is quite large and might be damaged even further during shipping.

2.Buy a new TV
With new plasma TVs costing about $1000+ for a similar model, it's a tough call between getting the old one fixed or just purchasing a new one. If repairs are more than $500, you'd be better off just chucking the old one and buying new. Since the Dell wasn't smoking or on fire and looked like it was still in very good condition, throwing it away seemed like a waste.

3.Take it apart
While my buddy contemplated what he wanted to do (see options 1 and 2 above), I resolved to just take the dang thing apart to see what I could see. I'm fairly electronics savvy and I love taking things apart, so this was an opportunity not to be missed.

The Bottom Line
Long story short, a $1.09 part took down a $4000 television.

Disclaimer:
The information contained herein is only a journal of my experiences. It is not meant as a tutorial for someone else to fix their own TV. If you use it as such, you do so at your own risk. Don't blame me if you destroy your TV or get hurt in the process. With that said, please continue reading....
 
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No1sBoy1 year ago
Just curious as to whether or not this is still a live topic?

I bought my Dell W5001C brand new from the Dell site and when it was delivered, I was like a kid again. Then 1 year later, almost to the day, and of course the warranty had expired, it went out. All the symptoms explained above. No screen but sound, blue power LED was lit. I would turn it on, it would give the audible click and then almost immediately another click. I thought it might be one of the power relay switches, but, after paying $5000.00 for this thing, I wasn't about to attempt it myself.
I called Dell and of course they wanted the thing shipped to them via insured courier to their buildings in the Bay Area of California. All at my expense, mind you. Then I would have to pay a large fee for just looking at it, to be followed up with the repair and replacement of any parts, etc., etc.

After looking into doing as they asked, it would have cost me in the neighborhood of $1300.00. Just to have them look at it.

I quickly packed the thing back into its box and stored it away. For almost 3 years.

I saw an ad in eBay for the repair of my TV for $150.00 one day and got all excited again. The draw back was that I would have to disassemble all of the boards from the TV and send them to this guy in San Jose, California. After 3 years, I thought..."Well ...It's already broken, what could I possibly do to it?"

No... I didn't hurt anything.

He sent the boards back to me about 4 days later and I reassembled the TV... and it worked beautifully.

For almost 1 year EXACTLY to the day.

Now the same problem.

When I got the boards back, I looked real close to what might have been replaced. The only thing I could see was that he had replaced 3 or 4 capacitors on the main PCB.

I am going to attempt this on my own this time, but, I am really hoping that this is not a dead thread just in case I need some backup.

Are you game, mr12volt??
mr12volt (author)  No1sBoy1 year ago
I still monitor the comments to see if I can be of help. Just keep in mind that these tv's can fail in a number of different ways. Make sure the first thing you do is measure the voltage on the Va test point on the power supply board. The solution I detail will only work if the Va voltage is zero. I get emailed when someone posts a comment so if you have any further questions I will see them.
By the way my buddy's TV is still going strong.

I know this is a really old post, but i found a dell 4201c on the trash the other day its looks in really nice shape. i opened it up and see no capacitor damage. it turns on with one click, all 3 led lights on the phillips board stay on but the screen does not come on. the blue power led comes on, and will turn of if i push it again with one click, then one green led stays on. i did notice some burn marks around some components of what seems to be an amplifier board for the speakers. its the small board right about where the silver power supply box is. i thought this would be a low risk project with changing the two capacitors for the coppell tv repair post. can anyone help

Not sure you can help, but our Dell plasma tv/monitor works just fine but the speakers went out! My son has decided to try replacing the mini-banana plug connections and we can't seem to find them small enough. The typical "mini" is too large. We REALLY hate to let go of this tv just because the speakers aren't working! You'd think we could just replace with other speakers but my son says no, it can't be done. Any thoughts?

I had a completely different set of speakers hooked up to my Dell at one point with no issues. I don't know why he is saying it can't be done...

On another note, I bought the original OEM speakers that came with the TV on Ebay for $5.99 brand new. If it is just the speakers being bad, that is your best route, in my opinion.

No1sBoy mr12volt9 months ago

Here I am... A year later and still haven''t gotten to my Dell... But this is the weekend!

I've researched and researched and it turns out that the 5v power problem seems to be a universal one. The W4201 and W5001 plasma TV's from Dell from 2005-(2007 I believe) were manufactured by Samsung and packaged as Dell. All have the same failing. Which is why they were discontinued for a while... Lol... Apparently, Dell is offering the 42" again, and these are getting 4 star rating reviews from places like PC Mag and others... Hind sight is 20/20, eh?

Ok...

So I am going to open her up tonite, run some prelims and then I will be talking to you right after. If not late tonite than first thing tomorrow for sure..

Hey guy im in ur same boat, and about to attempt this myself...SHOULD I STOCK UP ON THIS PART...LOL...LET ME KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WITH YOU...CALL ME INSTEAD I NEED A COACH ALSO 9063762433...THE NAMES KIM

i know this is a really old post, but i found a dell 4201c on the trash the other day its looks in really nice shape. i opened it up and see no capacitor damage. it turns on with one click, all 3 led lights on the phillips board stay on but the screen does not come on. the blue power led comes on, and will turn of if i push it again with one click, then one green led stays on. i did notice some burn marks around some components of what seems to be an amplifier board for the speakers. its the small board right about where the silver power supply box is. i thought this would be a low risk project with changing the two capacitors for the coppell tv repair post. can anyone help?

No1sBoy9 months ago

Just in the off chance anyone may need some further technical info for this TV.. I happened to finally find a repair manual for it. It was listed as Phillips system... not a Samsung, as the board clearly states.

I added it to my Dropbox account so anyone can download the PDF file.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/62863468/phili...

No1sBoy No1sBoy5 months ago

And here is a newer(updated) version of the service manual...

https://db.tt/ySmiiuxt

PaulJ7 No1sBoy12 days ago

My 50" unit has been down for almost 3 years (a 2006 serial Dell). I can't thank you enough for finding the manual. What a great thing to have. With no parts list I purchased a replacement power board from a tested vendor on E-Bay for 40 bucks. It shows up in a few days. When it does I will send pics and info on the registration and setup. The crucial part as with any set is having the right video output for high def (most computers do now) and having the right image files for true resolution. The resolution files are freeware now but a good primer on use and free files is at

http://www.videouniversity.com/articles/color-bars...

I am not associated with them and I am not selling anything. I hope this helps.

TJNoffy7 months ago

Well, I'm back two years after fixing my W5001C (see below). I had two caps on the PS board go bad (bulging) in the 5v circuit and replaced them. TV has worked great since.

Today the Mrs. Was watching the TV, muted it to look down at her computer, heard a click (relay?) and looked up to see a blank screen. I've cycled power a few times, unplugged and plugged it back in. Nothing.

Blue LED in the power button lights up when it's turned on at the power button, but no splash screen and no audio nor video.

So I've taken the set down to open it up for a visual inspection and to measure some voltages. I'll report back what I find, but if it's nothing obvious or something I can't or don't want to pay to fix, I may be off to Best Buy for a new TV.

TJNoffy TJNoffy7 months ago

The remote works to power the TV on and off. Not sure that was the case before. TV also turned itself off while I was looking at the insides… about 1/2 or so after turning it on.

All voltages seem OK, although the 5v line is at 5.2v. Not sure if that's enough of a difference to matter. (Thoughts anyone???)

There is also a slightly bulged capacitor (C619) that looks to be part of the 5v line. It's as bulged as the two I replaced two years ago to fix the TV, so it makes me suspicious.

So, I guess I need to decide if it's worth pulling the PS and that capacitor and replacing it. No good electronics stores in the immediate area. A good hour drive.

TJNoffy TJNoffy7 months ago

* 1/2 hour or so, that is. It shut itself off a couple of times.

Anyway, we decided that if this TV is going to fail more and more, we'd replace it. Got a new 60" LED/LCD set. Getting used to the difference between LCD and plasma... it'll be fine. ;)

Still going to try to fix the Dell and maybe use it in the bonus room or give it to one of the kids. Will pull that once bulged capacitor from the PS and replace it and go from there, but not going to spend too much time or effort on it.

If anyone has any thoughts on whether the 5v test point reading 5.2v could cause issues, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!

No1sBoy TJNoffy5 months ago

Any luck with your Dell, TJNoffy?

Sounds exactly like the problem I am having. Power looks fine on the board. Have you checked out the X and Y buffer boards?

Any luck with yours ??????

Actually? No. I have gone as far as my limited ability in advanced electronics troubleshooting and diagnostics as I am able. I have linked all of the pro service manuals I was able to dig up on this TV in this thread already, but, here they are again.

https://db.tt/TjJTP2Oj

https://db.tt/ySmiiuxt

Hope these might help..

Ok so digikey sent me the wrong god damn part....how much more frustrating can this be. .....
Thank you so much im glad to have help
TJNoffy No1sBoy5 months ago

I finally got tired of looking at the broken TV in the dining room, and with a new TV on the wall now, I lost interest in pursuing it. I got a couple of extra years out of it for $3, so I'm calling that a win. The Dell went off to be recycled at Best Buy.

No1sBoy TJNoffy4 months ago

Lol... I understand. I am, unfortunately, a devout hoarder. I have gotten a grand total of 2 years of service from this $6,000.00 paper weight and I am bound and determined to get my moneys worth! One way or another...

Thanks again!

Cheers!

mongiatbell18 days ago
Can someone help me on this topic when ny parts come in ??????? JUST REPLY AND I'LL GET BACK TO YOU FIR HELP...THANK YOUSSSSS
My dell 42 inch plasma w5001c has no sign and the picture has squegly lines can someone tell me which boards to replace? Thank you
Did you read the inquiry above...same thing..http://m.instructables.com/id/Dell-W5001C-50quot-plasma-fix/
No1sBoy9 months ago

Yeah... I am at a loss...

Everything checks out as far as power is concerned... no visible burns or rubs on the buffer boards. I know this doesn't rule out the possibility that the buffer boards may be bad, however. This is one of the OTHER common failings in this $6,000.oo lemon.

Yes... I paid $5,999.99 for this thing when it was first released. I am considering getting a tattoo on my forehead that says "SUCKER!"

I guess I will just break down and pull it apart and send the boards off like I did the first time. I just wish I knew how to check the buffer boards themselves to see if they are bad. I see new X and Y buffer boards come up for sale all the time on eBay for around $20.00 each.

Thanks for your help and patience, mr12volt. I truly appreciate it.

No1sBoy9 months ago

Maybe you aren't following this post any longer, mr12volt?

mr12volt (author)  No1sBoy9 months ago
Hi No1sBoy, I'm still following along and hoping you make progress so we can all learn from your experience. Unfortunately I don't think I can be of too much help. My experience with the failure modes of plasma screens is limited to the write-up you see here. If your power supply voltages are all within range, I'm at the limit of what I know about fixing plasmas. I can only speculate on the rest. You may indeed be looking at an X or Y buffer. You could also be looking at an issue with the digital logic board that sends the video to the buffer boards. I would probably get an oscilloscope and probe the flex cables going to the buffer boards for video data. At least you can verify that it is trying to drive the buffers or not. Don't assume that your problem this time is the same as when you sent it for repair last time. In any case, good luck.
No1sBoy mr12volt9 months ago

I did a close visual check of both buffer boards..... And I can see no rub spots, blackened or dark brown spots where there might be burns or shorts. Nothing seems out of the ordinary..... I don't have an oscilloscope, unfortunately. However... I have always wanted one!! Could be a perfect opportunity to talk the wife into letting me???

If I am not mistaken, I do believe I saw one in the back of a local thrift shop for sale.

My Dell is still opened up and sitting in the living room. Worse case scenario is that I have to pull all the boards and send them back to the guy who did the work for me the first time. I just really wanted to see if I could do it myself this time.

I will get back to you......lol.

No1sBoy9 months ago

I've opened it up, inspected everything visibly possible, checked all the voltages via the silk screen printing on the back... All are within range. No caps are visibly bulging.

I am going to pull the X and Y buffer boards off next and see if I can see any visible shorts.

If there is nothing visible, I will then try and test the IC's.....

I was really hoping for a bad cap! Lol!

jakdedert4 years ago
Okay...weighing in here over a year later: Tonight, found a W4200HD on the curb across the street from my apt. Glass is all good. Set turns on for a brief period -- blue OSD. Then the display blanks. Eventually some relays kick off, and a red LED on ps board lights. So far, I've got the back off for visual inspection, which reveals four very large electrolytics; two of which (1000 @ 250v) are alarmingly swollen. The tops are so bulged out they resemble balloons. The other two (330 @ 450v) are only slightly bulged...one almost not at all. All the other caps on the ps board pass visual inspection. My initial impulse is to replace these four, before even attempting voltage checks. Will post back w/pix and results. Keeping my fingers crossed.....
mr12volt (author)  jakdedert4 years ago
jakdedert, When electrolytics age, they just dry out and loose their capacitance, they don't usually dome. The doming often happens because of an overvoltage or reverse voltage condition. I would suspect the diode bridges. These are the four pin relatively large IC's (probably attached to a heatsink) that take the raw AC and turn it into a pulsating DC signal of ~175 volts peak-to-peak. If the diode bridge breaks it could allow negative voltage to go to the 250V caps, which I assume are used to smooth out that pulsating ~175V signal. A power-factor-correction controller chip (in a DIP package) takes the 175V pulsating DC and pumps it into the 450V caps (through a large inductor) making a stable ~387V DC bus. Look at the large resistor that goes from the negative side of the diode bridge to the negative side of the large 450V capacitors. That is a current sense resistor and may be damaged as well. If the diode bridge failed, it may have taken the MOSFET switches with it too, OR the MOSFETs may have failed first and taken out the diode bridge. If it doesn't work after replacing the diode bridges and the domed capacitors, look at the MOSFETs. Be aware that replacing components without knowing exactly what has failed is possibly dangerous and could be expensive. If you replace the diode bridge and caps then turn it on and the MOSFETs are still busted, you could end up destroying the components you just replaced. Just proceed with caution. If you want to be as careful as possible, replace the PFC controller IC, remove all MOSFETs and test them (with a multimeter), and test the diode bridges. By "test the mosfets" what I mean is make sure that the impedance from the gate to source and impedance from gate to drain is >1Megaohm and the drain to source connection is not shorted. Testing all of these would be a bit of a PITA because the pins are large and more difficult to desolder. Plus they are connected to heatsinks. If you handle the MOSFETs remember to keep yourself grounded so you don't zap them with static electricity. Best, mr12volt
Defective capacitors often fail in the manner I described. There are a lot of defective caps out there, due to the industrial espionage incident around ten years ago. Google 'Bad Capacitors' and among the nearly quarter of a million hits, read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague In any case, I replaced all the high-capacity/voltage caps on the main psb, and the set now works flawlessly. To be honest, I had planned to do more testing before slapping this board back in and firing it up; but given the difficulty in moving the set, I just went for it. So far, it's panned out. We'll see.....
Dell Plasma 007.jpg
mr12volt (author)  jakdedert4 years ago
Well that's embarrassing. Looks like I was 100% wrong on this one. Happy to hear that it was a simple fix. I guess I like to err on the safe side. How does one know before hand whether the capacitors failed because of a different component failure or because the caps were defective. If they are cheap parts, I suppose it's faster to just replace and pray. Just don't look at it when you flip the switch. Nobody like capacitor juice in the eyes :-)
The embarrasment is mine. The set failed again, as detailed above. I'm not sure if it was an incomplete fix (didn't replace enough caps), or there is a new fault...or possibly one related to the initial failure. I've considered shotgunning the entire ps board with new caps just to see if it would fix it, but the initial capacitor purchase was in excess of $35. More responsible procedure would be to do as you did and troubleshoot the board in a detailed manner. I'm not sure I have the chops, though.....
You never know. If I'd been being responsible, I'd have confirmed all of the voltages as soon as I fired this thing up. Where it sits right now (with the back still off), it's not really accessible. I'm still crossing fingers that nothing else is wrong; but I've dealt with the aftermath of bad caps before. I have a Dell monitor which is famous for the problem. There's even an instructable about it. Dell--or their subcontractors--was a particularly frequent victim; and this plasma was built right at the peak of the problem time...mid-90s. FWIW, you were 100% correct, had the problem been 'good' caps gone bad; but these are only five or six years old. The problem is particularly insidious because not all of those caps will self-destruct, and the ones which do, will do so at widely varying times. There are a lot of factors involved...the main one being; how marginal is the rest of the design.
jakdedert1 year ago
The 4200HD that I had repaired three years ago by replacing bad caps on the ps board has failed again. The ps on this one has a 'tell-tale' set of lights on the board labelled with the voltages. When I power it up, they initially all come on except the 5v line. Then a relay clicks and they all go off except for one (assume that's a normal behavior when one section of the ps is inoperative), and the blue power light flashes. No picture is ever displayed. The set is stored now, but when I get into a new place, I'd like to get it going again. Any suggestions...anyone?
No1sBoy1 year ago
I tried posting a reply yesterday, but, for some reason, it wouldn't let me..?

I am going to open her up either tonight or tomorrow, depending on how crazy my kids are acting..lol! Once I get a better picture of what I am dealing with, I will post again. I am thinking, after reading your very in-depth and intelligent Instructable here, I am not making a move without checking with you! Lol!

Thank you for your time and you are doing an OUTSTANDING job here!
Greetings,

Interesting thread and very informative, hopefully I can generate some more information on Dell W4200HD I am diagnosing.

I have checked for swollen caps, and although none are obvious, needless to say, they could still be bad with age.

It appears the same symptoms can be caused by more than one bad component. And it looks like one bad voltage will create same symptoms, so here is what I am seeing.

When I turn on TV, the red LED comes on after the power up clicks in about five seconds or so, and this is consistent. I had sound go out first, then picture died, let it sit overnight, tried again, still no sound, and picture lasted for about five hours, then poof, nothing. I did run plasma conditioning for about five hours when I still had picture since a few areas of red and blue pixels were starting to shadow the lower left bottom with about a two inch area which you only noticed on white back screen.

So here is what I have checked so far. Went through all the voltages, plugged in and TV off, and then turning TV on. I had VS 170V, VCC 15V, DSVL 5.2V, D3V3 3.45V, VSCAN 55.3V which is lower than 70V I believe it should be? But here is the killer, VE is 0V ???? Any ideas what to check and does the missing VE impact the low VSCAN voltage.

Thanks,
TJNoffy2 years ago
This is a couple of years after the fact, but I just repaired my W5001C and I thought I'd share what happened...

Turned on the TV last week and no Dell logo splash screen or any other video. No audio either. After a couple of tries, the set came on and worked for a few days. Did this again a few days later. Finally the picture and audio died while watching it. The set also didn't respond to the remote (power on/off).

Thanks to this great instructable, I learned to check the voltages on the power supply. All were within specs except the 5v which measured at 3.0v - 3.5v.

I didn't think that the 5v being off would cause the loss of video, but could explain the lack of response to the remote by the logic circuitry.

After reading this: http://blog.coppelltvrepair.com/2010/10/dell-w4201c-hd-powers-on-off-no-picture.html

...I checked the two 2200uF 10v caps shown at this link. They were bulged at the top, and looked to be part of the 5v circuit.

Spent under $3 to replace the two capacitors. Set fixed!
TJNoffy TJNoffy2 years ago
And by a couple of years after the fact I mean a couple of years after mr12volt posted his experience. The above just happened to me...
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