Saturday, September 26, 2009

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Sam Raimi director this horror film about a lady loan officer that gets cursed by a gypsy for denying her a mortgage payment extension.

The special effects were really good as was Raimi directorial style. The plot wasn't terribly original. The execution was done very well.

It's out on DVD and Bluray now. I recommend the rental.

Pandorum (2009)

Dead Space, the video game, meets Space Madness, an episode of Ren and Stimpy.

A crew member of a space exploration vessel awakes from extended cryo sleep to an apparently empty ship. Another crew member wakes up, and they find that the ship is in trouble - the reactor is about to blow. Soon after, they find out that the ship isn't as empty as he first thought...

As the protagonist makes his way to the reactor, we find out more about the ship, its mission, destination, and the origin of the monsters. At times, I thought the plot was going into the horror/fantasy realm; but it surprisingly remained hard-scifi (for the most part, anyway.)

It's not a perfect movie or one that I would give an enthusiastic recommendation for; but I did enjoy it a lot. If you love sci-fi movies, I think you'll be quite pleased with it.

Surrogate (2009)

A detective comes across a case where someone destroyed robot surrogates and killed their operators in the process. He ends up uncovering a larger mystery.

It's a scifi action film about a detective solving a murder mystery. It reminded me of I Robot a little. I liked it.

It's not a great movie, but it is pretty good.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How I fixed my DLP TV

A year after the warranty expired, lots of little dots started appearing in my Samsung DLP TV. I did some research and found it would be around $500 to have it repaired. I also found I could repair myself for around $150. That seemed worth risk. Here is how I did it. Click the pictures to and toolsI started with the following supplies left to right in the photo above:
  1. Latex gloves  -  So as not to get finger oil on any of the sensitive parts – lens or dlp chip.  Also, they provide some insulation against electric shock.
  2. High quality heat sink paste – the (probable) reason the dots appeared in the first place was that the heat sink wasn’t properly melded to the chip, and it got too hot.
  3. Needle Nose pliers
  4. Replacement DLP Chip from  My TV is the HLT5675S, and this is the part that fit my model.
  5. Screw Driver
  6. Disassembly instructions from the “Disassembly Reassembly.pdf” document found here.

back of tv exposedI started by removing the back panel.  The whole thing comes off including the lamp cover area.  tray almost outThis metal tray holds the “light engine”.  To the left is the power supply.  I had to remove a screw from it to move it up and out of the way to let the tray slide out.  Now is a good time to put the gloves on.tray out shroud offThe tray is out and I’ve removed the shroud that encloses the lens.  The bulb is on the right behind that fan.  Just to the left of the bulb assembly is the color wheel housing.  The DLP chip is behind that heat sink.  Be careful not to touch the lens.heat sink tape WTHUse the needle nose pliers to lift one end of the metal band holding the sink.  The band should come off easily.  The heat sink will probably take a bit of a twist and pull to come off.   Look what samsung put on the heat sink – tape!  That’s the worst. 

When I put the heat sink back on, I scraped all the tape off first.  I cleansed it with rubbing alcohol to get all the gunk off.  Then I applied some thermal compound to it. shield offThe heat sink is off, and there are just a few screws to remove the metal shroud.  There are four screws around where the heat sink is – those have to come out to get the circuit board out.  Do not ever turn the yellow/green screws in the picture below (in the above picture they have white half circles around them.)  Those are alignment screws, and it is very hard to re-align the TV once it’s screwed up.board separatedThis is the circuit board taken off and leaning forward.  You can see where the light is projected through that hole onto the chip.specksClick the picture to enlarge so that you can see the dead pixels clearly.  When the chip is at rest, the normal pixels are in the black position.  The dead ones are permanently stuck in the white position.socketIt just takes a little prying to get the chip out.  I didn’t worry too much about bending the pens because the chip is kaput anyway.

There’s only one way for the new chip to go into the socket.  Re-assembly pretty much goes the same way but in reverse.

I didn’t go into great detail because the pdf I linked to above does that pretty well.  The components in my TV were only a little different than the pictures in the manual – so I made this post for other people with TVs like mine.

Special thanks to the people that contributed to avsforum in this thread.