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Confused on symptoms of a bad color wheel

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Old 01-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #1
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Default Confused on symptoms of a bad color wheel

Hello, I own the Samsung DLP HLN5065W and here is my situation. About a month ago I noticed a few bluish blotches on the lower left of my screen. They really didn't bother me all that much but of course I didn't like it. a month or so prior to that it did seem to me that the quality and sharpness of the picture was not quite as good as it had been, but again it wasn't bad enough for me to be distressed.

Eventually after the blotches, I started to see rapid white flickering from time to time. If it got bad, I could simply turn the set off and let it rest for about 10 minutes, power up, and the tv would be back to it's semi-normal self. The flickers would come again, but it was always random and it might not experience the flickering for as long as a day and a half. The flickers started to get worse and more frequent and if I let it stay on and flicker for about 15-20 minutes, images would start to get the graying effect to skin tones(sort of like a cheesy eighties music video effect/Phil Collins "In the Air" style). Colors might get extremely oversaturated, sometimes some images were in black and white but the screen would still have other images with washed out dull color. I can always tun the set off for 10 minutes and then the picture will return to normal - sometimes for just an hour, sometimes for several hours before the flickering and distrotion happens again. I have never seen any dark areas, white spots, weird geometrical patterns or plaid patterns, or freezing.

I thought maybe it was a bad fan and getting hot so I opened up the rear and cleaned out dust everywhere. Both the big fan and small fan that I saw worked. When I powered back up, the blotches were gone and have remained gone but the flickering and graying comes back randomly after the set has been on for a while. There have been two times when I let the set run for at least 30 minutes while in full blown flickering/distortion mode, powered off, then on again within just a few minutes and I heard the "banshee" sound, but I would power off within about 10 sec, let it rest for maybe a minute, power back up and I would not hear a squeal. In fact I never hear a squeal despite dozens of power ups. iactually hoped it was the color wheel and not DMD board so I removed the lamp hoping to see fragments of the wheel or at least wear to the edges but I didn't.

This morning I eventually got all my symptoms but let it run distorted for close to 40 minutes(longest i have ever let it run bad before a restart) and when I checked the picture again, the flickering for the first time stopped on it's own and has not return. Right now I have had the set running for about three hours with no flickering, just dull, saturated color(skin tones too reddish/pink etc.) with a picture that is very slightly fuzzy and unsharp. With my symptoms considering I did hear the banshee squeals a couple times on quick repower ups, does it sound like this is more than likely the color wheel taking it's sweet time to fully fail, the ballast, or something else more serious? One more thing, when I see the flickering, each rapid flicker is accompanied by a slight ticking sound. That's why I checked the wheel because I thought maybe the wheel was sticking. I replaced the lamp about a year and a half ago and I see no blinking light codes on the tv, and the sequence of startup sounds(click, bleeps, two different buzz sounds) seems to be as it should. Sorry for long post , but I wanted to get all I know in there, thanks.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
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It does sound like your color wheel is going out. Rapid restarts are not a good idea as you can blow your lamp that way. Rapid starts can produce all sorts of odd noises.

All signs point to the color wheel. It can always be something else but that seems to be the logical conclusion with the problems you describe.

PFC5, one of the moderators, often suggests unplugging the tv for about 30 minutes and then replugging it to do a reboot of it's system and to see what that does. So, try that, it sometimes works. If not, keep checking the color wheel as it will fail completely soon if that's the problem.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:53 PM   #3
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Actually I didn't restart it that fast, I'd say I waited about 15 seconds. I'm really hoping it's just the color wheel - does it sound like I can most likely at least rule out the digital board? I did the unplug for thirty minutes thing but as usual, it shows up as it's dull self for a hour or more before starting the flickering. Could any of this be heat related? Is it typical for a color wheel to take a while before it starts to make the screen flicker as opposed to doing it upon startup?
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:49 AM   #4
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A rapid start up is considered less than 20 minutes after shut down. DLP tvs need their bulbs to cool down between cycles, but that is another topic.

I can't give you a positive answer to whether or not it's your color wheel, as I said, it seems to be the most logical conclusion. Without a tech testing each component with their testing equipment, I can only guess.

Screen flicker is usually either a bulb or a color wheel. Your guess is as good as mine.

Failing dmd boards normally show geometric patterns, lines, beehive patterns, etc. on the screen, not flickering.

You'll have to call a service person for a definite diagnosis or wait till whatever it is fails completely, bulb or color wheel and you can proceed from there.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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I'm sure it must be the color wheel also, but just to clarify - it is fairly typical for the wheel to not necessarily make noise when it's going out and also not necessarily cause flickering soon after startup?

Could be the bulb, but the last time it went out the tv was shutting off on it's own which isn't happening but the picture never denigrated much like it is now. How do you check the hours on your bulb and what is the typical amount of hours before it usually goes bad?
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Well I figured out how to access the service menu, but I don't think it is helpful with the bulb hours since I never reset it when I changed the lamp. It says 21104 hours, but I'd still like to know what is typical for a lamp to last in addition to the other questions i mentioned, thanks.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:54 AM   #7
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Bulbs vary, but two or three years of normal use is about typical. More if you are careful with restarts, less if you're not.

Color wheel can go out in various ways. Wait, it will die completely if that's it, soon. So will the bulb if it's the problem. So if you can't decide for yourself, just give it a little more time and you'll have your answer.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
About a month ago I noticed a few bluish blotches on the lower left of my screen.
Dust or dirt in the optical path. I can't see that being the color wheel.
Quote:
I started to see rapid white flickering from time to time.
Sounds more like bad electronics on one of the main board(s). I also doubt it is the lamp.,

How many hours on the set? (It's in the service menu.)
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Old 06-08-2010, 11:45 AM   #9
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Ok, this is a tv in our den so I have been putting it off for a good while now but it is time to get this thing fixed. I hadn't fired it up in months but decided to give it a try and see what it would do. It's still the same of course. When I turned it on, I hear the ballast fire up fine. The color is immediately semi saturated with far too much reddish-pinkish-purplish hues in some scenes and just plain dull and somewhat washed out overall. I let it run for about an hour when the flickering gradually came back... maybe gave quick white flickers once every 12-15 seconds, then every 6 sec or so, gradually becoming worse over a 15 minute span and eventually getting to the state you see in the pictures. I could be imagining it, but it seems like when the flickers first started, certain scenes would not flicker much at all and others triggered it worse.

I want to go ahead and order a part(color wheel , ballast. power supply, whatever) but just want to get a fresh opinion again before I make that move and shell out the dough. I'm still trying to understand why it consistently takes around an hour for the flickers to start if the tv has been sitting unpowered for a while and why i don't really get the banshee screech or see any fragments if it's the color wheel. If that's the problem, I'm great with that but want to make sure that is definitely the most likely issue. So what does it sound and look like to any of you folks?
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Old 06-09-2010, 06:29 AM   #10
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Judging by what you posted, I wouldn't bother with it. AFAIC, looking at the chinsey 'Sony want to be' silver cabinet is enough to get rid of it. I can't see it's the color wheel. To replace the whole LE (which is what a service guy would probably do), it would make more sense to just replace the TV.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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I am having the same problem Buddy refers to about the white flashing, with my Samsung DLP TV model HLN-467W. It starts after about 20 minutes, but if I place some external computer fans in the opening right above the exhaust fan vent, blowing in, I can alleviate the problem for a long period of time. What I've noticed is that the exhaust coming out is a lot cooler when I do this.

I talked to a technician who thinks it might be the color wheel, but we were leaning toward replacing the capacitors on one of the boards. Using the fans, effectively cooling the bulb better, kind of makes me lean toward the color wheel now.

Does anyone have any new info on this issue to help me out? I really want to keep this baby going for a few more years while the 3D TVs come down in price.
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