Introduction: Disassemble and Clean an Optoma HD70 Projector

Picture of Disassemble and Clean an Optoma HD70 Projector


My Optoma HD70 projector began flickering and flashing magenta and green (similar to what you see in this YouTube video . At first, I assumed the issue was with my lamp, but after replacing that, I realized that it was more complex. After doing some research, I concluded that the likely culprit was dust inside the projector's body, possibly around the color wheel. Unfortunately, since the projector is nearly four years old (two years outside of Optoma's warranty), the cost to have it cleaned by Optoma is $110, plus I'd have to ship it off for a week or two. No dice.

So what's an enterprising young technology enthusiast to do? If you guessed "break that sucker open and clean it himself," then I like your enthusiasm! Now I'll show you how!

Before you begin, find yourself a clean workspace that you don't mind coating in dust and gather your tools. You'll need some needle-nose pliers, a small Phillips-head screwdriver, a can of compressed air, and some Q-tips.

Step 1: Step 1: Remove the Lamp

Picture of Step 1: Remove the Lamp

Begin by carefully removing the lamp. Make sure your projector has been shut off for a sufficient enough time to cool down (the warning label says 30 minutes), so that the lamp doesn't explode when you remove it.

Loosen the two screws on the lamp door. You don't need to remove them completely.

Next, loosen the two screws on the lamp assembly. Again, these will not come out completely.

Then, grab the metal handle on the lamp assembly and pull directly up. Set the lamp aside in a safe place, as it is very expensive and you like it a lot!

Step 2: Step 2: Remove the Faceplate

Picture of Step 2: Remove the Faceplate

Next, you'll need to take off the faceplate. You'll want to be careful here, as there is a wire connector for the IR port (or is it an RF port? Either way...).

First, remove the three screws attaching the faceplate to the body.

Then, gently pull the faceplate straight out from the body, and angle it so that you can see the wire connector inside.

Gently pull the plastic pieces apart and sit the faceplate to the side.

Now you have a faceplate-less projector. Put on the lens cap to protect it from all the dust and metal thingies that are jeopardizing its integrity.

Next, you'll want to remove the screws that attach the base to the lid. And be sure you're grouping your screws in some kind of organized fashion. It'll help immensely when reassembling.

Step 3: Step 3: Remove the Lid and Backplate

Picture of Step 3: Remove the Lid and Backplate

Next, flip the projector around so that the backplate is facing you and remove the corner screws. You'll also want to remove the bolts around the VGA port. I told you you'd need those pliers!

Now, flip the projector back upright and remove the lid. You'll need to pull it straight up, as there are posts attached to it that you don't want banging into the fragile silicon inside. When you lift the lid, do it gently and slowly, as there is a ribbon cable attaching the controls on the lid to the main board. You do not want to damage this! Lean the lid back and gently pull up on the ribbon cable. You'll also want to pay attention to its orientation (blue tip facing you), as you'll need to put it back in later. Once the ribbon cable is free, set the lid to the side.

Now, you'll need to remove the backplate in order to get to the board. Since you already removed the screws at the end of Step 2, this will be easy. Just pull gently and make sure not to break any of the ports on the back, or the metal pieces on the top.

Step 4: Step 4: Remove the Circuit Board

Picture of Step 4: Remove the Circuit Board

Now it's time to remove the main board and get your hands dirty... err, dusty. There are 5 screws attaching the board to the casing. You will need to remove them.

After all 5 screws have been removed, you'll want to pull the board straight up, as there is a perpendicular connector below that holds it in place.

Now comes the intricate part. You have to detach each of the plastic wire connectors from the board. You may want to skip this step unless you absolutely have to remove the board completely. I did, as my previous attempt at cleaning without removing the board was unsuccessful.

There are 8 plastic wire connectors attached to the main board, 7 on top and 1 on the bottom. Fortunately for your sanity, they are all color coordinated, so reattaching them will be easy. Even so, try to keep them in place to aide in this process. Gently pull them out from the board using your needle-nose pliers (or forceps, if you have them).

Next, remove the screws and the protective plate from the lower board.

Step 5: Step 5: Clean It Up!

Picture of Step 5: Clean It Up!

Now you have a mostly naked projector and it's time to blow it out! Wait... that sounded dirty. Anyway, now you'll want to use the compressed air and clean out every bit of dust from the inside of the projector. I'm serious about that last part - every bit of dust. I had to do this process twice because I was not meticulous enough.

After you've cleared the innards of vorpal dust bunnies, it's time to break out the Q-tips and get in between the crevices. Pay particular attention to the fan and the color wheel, as these are likely the cause of your problem.

Step 6: Step 6: Reassamble and Test


Now, it's time to meticulously reassemble. Go back through the steps backwards if you need to. If you end up with extra screws, you probably did something wrong. This is a very delicate process, so make sure you're careful.

Once you're all spick-and-span put back together, you'll want to test it out. For me, this was the most nerve-wracking part, as the symptoms never showed up until about twenty to thirty minutes of use, so I nervously watched the screen and my clock while I hoped that everything went well.

If for some reason your projector does not power back on, just relax. It's likely that you slipped up in your reassembly and you can fix it. I had an issue where the faceplate was not reattached correctly and the projector wouldn't power on as a result. Just remember to take it slow and don't get frustrated.

I hope this Intructable helped someone. I know it's awfully esoteric, but I would have liked to have it while I was going through this (it would have saved some time and heartache), so I felt obligated to post it. Anyway, the projector is running great and I saved myself a healthy chunk of change, so I'm happy!

Comments

DanK20 (author)2016-11-30

Used these instructions on my HD 32 which seems to be the same form factor. Disappointed in the paucity of dust inside but seems good so far; thanks

IthanazeR (author)2016-01-21

Hi all,

I got sort of issue when removing the 2 lamp assembly screws... the lamp doesn't move at all. Totally unable to pull up, like if it was glued inside :/

any advice ?

BadWolfCubed (author)IthanazeR2016-01-21

It has been a long time since I put this tutorial together. As memory serves, it's a bit tough to pull out, but it's not glued (though some component may have melted, I guess). Remove all of the surrounding screws first, then give it a good yank.

rread (author)2015-09-21

Yay. I decided to take your lead and haul my hd80 apart. Stuck the vacuum cleaner nozzle into anywhere it could go... Jobs a good un. Thanks mate

CyR (author)2015-06-15

kraus777 (author)2015-02-01

My Dell 1210 S after 4 hrs began to lose color. It started for a few seconds here and there. Then after a few weeks the projector began to work for 30min-1hr then no color and flickering. I followed some ideas on internet.

First i blew out projector and cleaned around bulb. But it didn't work, the problem continued. Then I read about cleaning color wheel. I never took out the color wheel. I just took a laptop screen wipe. I spun the wheel and rubbed the wipe on it.

It worked. No problems now.

paul.terray (author)2014-12-06

Just made it ! Seems to be working real nice ! Hope my projector goes another 5 years...

Initial symptoms was that the main screen was green, and colors were off.

StevenQ1 (author)2014-11-15

Just did this. It is working so far. After 40 mins there was one flicker of green color but that was it. I think it is good for now. Thanks so much.

EvanB1 (author)2014-08-20

I was able to complete the difficult task, but I just have to say that there are a few screws that need to be disconnected on the bottom of the projector in order to be able to take off the top cover plate with the buttons. So, if it isn't budging that is why.

akesseler86 (author)2014-05-18

Question: did the flickering occur while watching from any input or video source? For example, our projector only exhibits this behavior when we try to watch a Blu Ray on our PS3. It has never happened while watching Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc. (all of which also are used through our PS3).

smiller27 (author)2011-11-16

Hello, I followed your instructions and cleaned my projector thoroughly. I am still having the same troubles and now after 20 minutes or so it shuts off showing a red light suggesting that its my lamp. I also just replaced the lamp, any ideas?

kingasif (author)smiller272014-04-17

I am having the same problem. I opened it all and cleaned it up, installed new light but projector shuts off in 30 min. Any thoughts?

kroylance (author)2011-08-11

I reattached everything after following all the step in your tutorial and the power won't come back on. I originally had the faceplate misalignment problem that prevented yours from powering on, but after correcting this and checking all the connections on the circuit board I am still left with no power. Any thoughts?

tlamar (author)kroylance2013-12-09

I just love the internet!!! Thank you so much for this great step by step tutorial. Our projector of 6 years began exhibiting the flickering color problem. I thought it was a burned out lamp... but when a new one didn't fix issue.... I knew something else was wrong. So glad to find out that something as simple as cleaning it would fix it! So, the reason I'm positing under here, is that upon reassembly, my projector would not power on. So I worked with the faceplate a bit, hoping that was the issue.... but still it would not power on. I took it apart and reassembled it 3 times... still no power on. I looked for the "toothpick reset button"... pushed on it, no dice. I gave up and went to bed. 24 hours later... I jokingly said, "I wonder if it fixed itself." Plugged it in... and it powered on!!!!!! Tested it out... ran without a hiccup for 2 hours. (Before, it would flicker colors, turn to black and white, and then shut down with a Lamp Fail error in about 10 minutes). .... So here's my theory about how it "fixed" itself, and I post it here for others. Instead of using canned air (like I should have), I used my air compressor. My theory is that the air in the compressor had moisture in it.... moisture which, in turn, shorted the circuit board — making unable to power on. BUT, given time, the moisture dried and the circuit board was able to work. Projector now works, I have an extra lamp, and the family is happy. Thank you. :-)

gclaris (author)tlamar2014-01-13

where is the reset button?

justinwarnes (author)kroylance2012-04-18

I've had that happen before and had luck with using a toothpick and hitting what I think is a reset switch next to the bulb.

rdiaz11 (author)kroylance2011-10-25

I'm having the same issue. Did you ever figure it out?

BadWolfCubed (author)kroylance2011-08-11

Oof, that's not good. I would take it apart again, and clean the insides thoroughly (too much dust in the wrong place can prevent it from powering on), recheck the connections, and reassemble it. Good luck.

Uitsmijter (author)2013-11-15

I have an Optoma 360w, a little different looking on the inside. It had problems with flickering colors and bulbs overheating. I followed your instructions, cleared a little dust from the color wheel and fans, and now it works like a charm. Thanks for the help!

blmetzger (author)2013-10-12

This worked really well. The only thing I would add is that the color wheel is under the thin black plastic sheild. There is a black stipe on the color wheel near the shaft and there is a sensor that reads it nearby. The black stripe had dust, I cleaned it well and this fixed the projector for me. Thanks for posting.

mungeon (author)2012-11-07

Thanks very much this allowed me to rescue my HD70 over the weekend. Now to wait and see how long it lasts after this deep cleaning...

rob098 (author)2012-06-25

Hi - Great instructions. My projector was switching off after 15 mins and making a funny noise. Cleaned it out as described and it works perfectly - I think its much brighter too.


Two Modifications I would make to your otherwise brilliant instructions:

1) For step "Next, you'll want to remove the screws that attach the base to the lid. And be sure you're grouping your screws in some kind of organized fashion. It'll help immensely when reassembling."

I missed this step as its bundled into the "remove the faceplate step"
Just wanted to warn others - there are 3 additional screws on the bottom (there are pictures above - step2 image 3) Dont miss this step or the lid wont come off!

2) Upon putting it back together... I think its worth mentioning that as well as the 7 cables that you disconnect / reconnect to the main PCB, when it comes to repositioning the PCB back into the projector, the first thing you are actually doing is aligning and connecting a "PCI style" push fit connector slot that cannot be seen in view, and you may not have noticed when removing the PCB. I didn't notice this at first and it made me wonder why the PCB was not sitting back into the projector nicely.


Other than that ...brilliant!


Cheers
Rob

eticket48 (author)2012-03-15

Great instructions, no problems so far after cleaning. My kids watched a full length movie with with out any glitches. Thanks for the info!

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