typewriter icon

Weekly Typed

Last month, I fixed my 56-inch Samsung digital light projection (DLP) TV.

For 3 months, it made a screaming, buzzing noise when I turned it on. I made it stop by thumping it on the back. We had bought it for $100 off Craigslist; it was just sitting in someone’s garage. At the time, we felt great about it for financial and environmental reasons. And now, this.

I didn’t bother looking up TV repair services. It would cost more than the TV had cost in the first place. Besides, I would be cheating myself out of a learning opportunity.

The actual process turned out to be easy. I found out what the possible problem was by Googling variations of “Samsumg DLP tv noise”. Looked like it might be a bad color wheel. Found out how to tell for sure. Opened up the TV and determined that it was indeed the case. Ordered a new color wheel and followed instructions on Youtube to install it. It took about 2 hours of work spread out over 2 weekends: 1.5 hours to research, open up the TV, find the malfunctioning part and order a replacement, 0.5 to put the part in and sew the patient back up. I learned a lot:

  1. Take a lot of pictures as you are doing the disassembling. Put the screws in labeled cups or bowls so you don’t lose them or lose track of which one goes where
  2. In most cases, watching a video that demos the repair you’re attempting, even if it’s not for the same model, is better than reading instructions for your particular model
  3. If you feel stuck, take a break, then re-watch the part of the instructional video you’re having trouble with (or re-read the instructions)
  4. It’s always useful to have good tools. I have a Rosewill computer repair toolkit that I bought for $20. It’s been useful on many occasions since
  5. Doing basic repairs like this gives you the confidence to tackle more complicated projects

I’m a big believer in repairing your electronics. People don’t repair their stuff in the Western world. Having someone repair it can cost more than it would to buy it new. It’s a terrible waste and disastrous for the environment. On the other hand, some entrepreneurial person could probably make a decent living by buying (or getting for free) broken stuff, fixing it and selling it on.

blog comments powered by Disqus