SUMMARY: r/projectors was really useful in helping me troubleshoot my “PJ” and it’s a really great community. Continue reading:

With the increased stay-at-home time during COVID-lockdown there’s been an explosion of gaming and movie watching on my Optoma TH1060P projector. I bought this projector in 2015 to replace my then-aging Epson projector that was limited to I think 1024×768 resolution; the oddly named TH1060P can do 1080P video. When the bulb expired it really *POPPED* (louder than all the fireworks of late) and I was fearful it was going to be a bear to replace. It wound up being a cinch:

A quick swap-a-roo was all that was needed, the lamp constructed in a clever housing unit that can really only be extracted and therefore inserted in a correct manner, and it just works. But there was a catch…

The darn thing was turning on, and then off 10-15 seconds later! Somewhere in the project unit I could hear the high-pitch hiss that one who knows can only describe as the sound of an AC arc. “Oh no!” I thought. I did some searching around, and there were a few possible scenarios. One involved the possibility of a crack on the lamp. So I inspected:

No such cracks. What else could it be? For a minute I thought it might be the DLP color wheel; oh geez that would be a real not-fun job to replace. And with COVID-lockdown all of my tools are at my place of work and not at home, where I’m locked down. What other options are there?

Someone who knew the sound of the AC arc was certain it wasn’t the color wheel, and recommended a thorough cleaning. Surely it can’t be as simple as that? I was also fairly certain I cleaned it out within the last year or two. The person I talked to recommended doing it every 6 months, and because of the new lamp, recommended doing it now to try.

I took a first pass on the unit without dismantling too much of the body, and got to where I immediately could. The lamp still wouldn’t fire. OK fine I took the extra 20-30 minute to take the chassis apart within reason, and did a really thorough job of getting everywhere that air appeared to flow in and out, taking extra special precaution around the lens unit:

But in the end I’m almost certain it was the area around the outtake exhaust that was clogged with dust, and therefore stopping air from escaping; the project knew this and so went into shutdown before potentially damaging itself. This is the area I’m referring to:

After a thorough cleaning of that outtake fan, the projector booted up the first time without any hiccups and has been running for a few hundred hours as of the time I’m writing this blog. 

So I cannot recommed it enough: take the time to thoroughly clean your intake and outtake vents and fans on your “PJ” and it’ll thank you and reward you with many more hours of bountiful lumens: