The Panasonic PT-AE900U service manual, and how to fix a noisy projector

My projector is making crazy noise... probaby something to do with the dynamic iris. Anyway, I couldn't find this doc and ended up having to pay for it on one of these PDF document sites. Hoping to save people the trouble, I've posted it on my blog. Hopefully proper google link juice will cause this post to rise to the top and as a result, nobody will have to pay these spammy sites again for the document. *high fives*

These are the instructions I ended up following:

If you have an AE900U that’s noisy most all the time then you probably have a faulty iris and your dynamic control is useless. For those that don’t want to send their unit in for repair and are brave enough to go inside, here’s how to shut down the iris: (1) Remove the lens shift lever by unscrewing it and giving a tug. It will pull right out. Be sure to unscrew it enough so you don't strip the threads. (2) Remove the screws on the bottom. There are little arrows on the chassis bottom pointing to the screw locations. (3) Remove one screw from the unit back panel. It’s the one at the top middle of the panel. (4) Lift the top cover off the unit. (5) Locate the main printed circuit board. It’s the one that has the 3 fancy ribbon cables connecting each LCD and right over/inline with the lens system. The board has several connectors around its sides. On the front side of that board find a connector in the middle labeled "A23". These connectors can be a bit of a pain to remove without snapping the plastic ends. Although you normally aren't supposed to yank on the wires to remove a connector this is typically the safest way with this type of connector. We use them in stuff we design where I work. So try to grab all the wires on that connector together then pull toward the front of the unit (inline with the wires as they leave the connector) to unplug it from the board. The iris is now unplugged. (6) Reassemble the unit in the reverse order, of course leaving the iris unplugged. (7) Turn the unit on and disable the dynamic iris in the system menu. Note: The unit doesn't know the iris is not working so it will not be optimally controlling the LCD. With the iris faulty the dynamic range (contrast ratio) will actually be worse than a system that doesn't use an iris. That's because the electronics is counting on the iris to do part of the job. This is why you must tell the projector to not use the iris so you can regain part of the dynamic range. Your projector should now be as quiet as when it was new.
1 response
I disconnected the iris and now the picture menu appears blank so I can't turn off the automatic iris