Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Projector advice needed

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Steve Guttag
    replied
    Originally posted by Leo Enticknap
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I always do so and email the cert to our service manager at the shop (whose email address is the authorized one to send these certs to NEC). You're also supposed to do that if you replace any of the cards in the cage, or update IMB or IMS software and firmware components, too.
    I can't claim to have been religious about it. I question what business it is of NEC (or Sharp now) what a customer does with their things.

    It is true that the logs are often based on the honor system, when it comes to maintenance. NEC doesn't nag you about the filters so it is ignored by most and way too big a pain to clear for what it is. The LCD menu structure doesn't entice one to log it and even the DCC, which most don't have access to and, depend on the projector, they hide where it is. How many use the Lamp Certificate to load in a xenon lamp versus just select the lamp and use their warranty hour inputs?

    Originally posted by Leo Enticknap
    Afterthought: all Barco Series 2 log data is stored on the CCB, so if this fails and has to be replaced, the card cage hours counter (and thus the maintenance nag counters) all reset to zero, and all the log data from the old CCB is lost, apart from the ICP stuff. So if you have a projector with a sticker on it saying that it was manufactured in 2010, but a diagnostic package from it only contains projector log entries from 2018, the chances are that it had a new CCB in 2018. I'm seeing an increasing number of CCBs fail due to the NIC/router going bad (i.e. you can still connect to them via RS232, but not Ethernet), and so missing maintenance histories is likely to become a bigger problem.
    Funny you mention that one. I JUST had it happen to one of my oldest DP2K-20C. For a board swap like that, we had the customer do it (they just have to know how to work a screwdriver). We do keep backups of all projectors and server configurations so getting them back up and going was fast. As to the hours...we've had CCBs reset their hours on their own so that meter can't be counted on. I, sort of, sprinkle the installation date in my various configuration files. Some, will get updated as they are changed, many will survive the life of the projector.

    Now, from a used market, I can definitely see how knowing the total run time would be a benefit to see how "enjoyed" the projector is. It is too bad that counter isn't a bit more non-volatile like the SIM card. However, I have a DP2K projector in a museum...I don't care how many hours are on it...it is a better buy, if they sell it, than one with the same hours in a cinema. You can go an entire year and not need to clean the filters. And, since they are museum...the coolant gets changed on schedule (and the pump) and the colors reshot...etc. It looks new. There are some theatres where just a couple years in, the projectors look whipped.

    As for the DP100...I wouldn't touch it. It is very unsupported and does not share enough with the DP3000, despite the similar appearance. If you have one with an IREM power supply, too bady, that card isn't available...etc. Conversely, the DP1200-DP200 share quite a bit with the S2s (not in the Elca box though) but still, there are going to be some gotchas there.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Barco DP100s suffer from UV rot, so you're going to have to replace those hoses sooner than later or else they'll just crumble. You need to flush out the cooling system on a regular basis as stuff will start to clog up... No need to pressurize it in normal operation though. They've been the workhorse for many early digital adopters, they eventually got shuffled down the corridor into smaller rooms and some still reside there to this very day...

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon McLeod
    replied
    On the issue of used serries one most were built like tanks but that said other than the christie they produced very little light per watt. Also the Barco DP100's seemed to have alot of issues as they aged. The NEC 2500s were more or less bullet proof but they have issues with the un shielded formatter cables and UV rot. And other than fans most of the DSP100 servers just continue to run. But it is buyer beware they are all past their best before date and minimal if any parts available

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo Enticknap
    replied
    Originally posted by Steve Guttag
    How many people, after updating an NEC use DCC to read the certification and send that back to NEC?
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I always do so and email the cert to our service manager at the shop (whose email address is the authorized one to send these certs to NEC). You're also supposed to do that if you replace any of the cards in the cage, or update IMB or IMS software and firmware components, too.

    One problem in evaluating how well a projector has been maintained is that a lot of log reporting is honor system. For example, I have come across NECs that have air filters in them that clearly don't look that old (more white than gray), but yet DCC reports that they haven't been replaced for 50,000 hours. Conversely, I'm absolutely convinced that some, if not many end users, reset the fan hours to get rid of the nag without actually putting new fans in. So not all log evidence is to be trusted, but together with physical evidence in the projector itself (e.g. how clean the interior of the chassis is, or any evidence of heat damage), it can give you a rough to reasonable idea of how well a projector has been looked after.

    Afterthought: all Barco Series 2 log data is stored on the CCB, so if this fails and has to be replaced, the card cage hours counter (and thus the maintenance nag counters) all reset to zero, and all the log data from the old CCB is lost, apart from the ICP stuff. So if you have a projector with a sticker on it saying that it was manufactured in 2010, but a diagnostic package from it only contains projector log entries from 2018, the chances are that it had a new CCB in 2018. I'm seeing an increasing number of CCBs fail due to the NIC/router going bad (i.e. you can still connect to them via RS232, but not Ethernet), and so missing maintenance histories is likely to become a bigger problem. I always put a label on the chassis saying "CCB replaced September 22, 2022, at 76,207 hours" (for example), and download a package via RS232 before retiring the old CCB, which I then give to the customer (together with info as to how many hours remain before the next maintenance C and D are actually due), but I doubt if many other techs do.
    Last edited by Leo Enticknap; 09-22-2022, 08:25 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve Guttag
    replied
    NEC "training" depending on when and where offered varied. It is one thing to actually get it from Tim and Sharma (both of whom are absolutely awesome)...it was another to get it from other "approved" trainers. It isn't that there wasn't benefit from "others." It is just different with different things emphasized. How many people, after updating an NEC use DCC to read the certification and send that back to NEC? NEC trains upper level people within a company to then disseminate the knowledge to others within the company. They are different than other companies about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo Enticknap
    replied
    Afterthought: another orange flag for NEC projectors specifically is if the log shows a setup date of 2000/00/01. This indicates that whoever installed the projector when it was new out of the factory either did not go through the NEC training, or did not follow it when they got out into the field. While that doesn't in itself mean that the projector has been poorly maintained, I will note that out of something like 100 used NECs I've checked out for resale over the past 5.5 years, every single one that had an actual date in this field had clearly been very well looked after and was in excellent condition for its age and mileage. So to put a more positive spin on it, seeing an actual setup date in the log is a green flag.

    Leave a comment:


  • Randy Stankey
    replied
    I like the used car analogy.

    While some say that, when you buy a used car, you're also buying all the problems that the previous owners had with the car, others will counter that, buying a used car means that, if it was going to have problems they would have been found and fixed, by now.

    As Leo says, a little investigation can help you find out which is true for the particular piece of equipment you are interested in.

    Bottom line: Do your homework.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo Enticknap
    replied
    Originally posted by Randy Stankey
    With older equipment, you don't know where it's been. You don't know how well it was taken care of.
    As with used cars, there are important clues. As I wrote above, the most important ones (IMHO) are the year and month of manufacture (Barco and NEC both put this information on a data sticker on the side of the projector itself: don't know if Christie and Sony also do this), the total number of card cage hours, and if there is any evidence in the log to suggest overheating.

    The year and month of manufacture will indicate how long you've got before that soldered on battery means that the ICP needs replacing, at a four figure cost (TI estimates 10 years). Card cage hours is a rough indication of how long you've got before stuck pixels starts to become a significant risk (as a rough rule of thumb, over 100,000 is a red flag), and that's five figures for a light engine/prism assembly. Overheat warnings in the log suggest either that the projector has been operated with insufficient ventilation and/or in too hot a booth, or that planned maintenance (air filter cleaning/replacement, coolant flush and replace, etc.) that should have been done wasn't, or both. Either way, that shows a heightened risk of pricey part failure.

    Finally, finding a projector on an ancient software/firmware version is usually an indication that it has not been well maintained, with the caveat that some owners have somewhat of a superstition about updating, and instruct their service techs not to do it unless the update fixes a big bug that is actively causing them a problem. Their fear is that either the update will introduce a new bug that disrupts the system as a whole (e.g. the CP850 update that changed the required termination string for API commands, thereby breaking pre-existing automation setups), or that the update process itself will fail and brick a major component. But I would still argue that not having been updated to current is at least an orange flag.

    As with used cars, Randy is right, but there is evidence you can find and look at to give you some idea of how much useful service life is left in a new projector, and the level of risk that you'll have to replace expensive parts with multiple hours of tech labor.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gordon McLeod
    replied
    Another consideration is cutting too many corners will give the customers a poor presentation and then they don't come back

    Leave a comment:


  • Randy Stankey
    replied
    I know that you are working on a tight budget but let me suggest that you buy the best equipment you can afford, even if it's a little more than you originally planned. Buying new (or newER equipment) will ultimately be a cost savings, in the long run, even if it's more expensive to start.

    You'll have less maintenance costs. Parts and service will be easier to obtain. Newer equipment will last longer and you won't have to replace it as soon.

    With older equipment, you don't know where it's been. You don't know how well it was taken care of. You'll always be worrying about whether something is going to break, unexpectedly. If the equipment is of significant age/vintage, most of its useful service life may have already been exhausted. All of this means that you're likely going to find yourself looking for another piece of equipment in a few years and you'll be back on the hunt for a new projector, the same as you are, now.

    Yes! I understand! Money is tight! You want to get your feet on the ground and start doing business, making money, as soon as you can and you don't want to spend a shipload of money to do it, especially, when this project isn't exactly a sure thing.

    I used to have this very same fight with my old boss at Mercyhurst. I would suggest some item that we needed to spend money on. He always went for the cheap option.

    His rationale was usually, "A penny saved is a penny earned."

    My response was, "Pay a little more, now, or pay a lot more, later."

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark Gulbrandsen
    replied
    Not sure of the need for a ferry service as I have driven there several times in the 70's and 80's via Minneapolis. I used to go ship wreck diving in a number of places in Lake Superior. Flying into Milwaukee is another one that could be used.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo Enticknap
    replied
    Originally posted by Mark Gulbrandsen
    Minneapolis is a whole lot closer to Houghton than Grand Rapids is.
    The problem is that in the absence of a vehicle ferry service across the lake, or of flying cars becoming a mainstream reality, there is no way to take advantage of that proximity.

    In any case, the fact that there is a service business based out of Grand Rapids gives Chris significantly more flexibility in terms of projector model, as professional support is close by. Having identified one that can put enough light on the screen and can be powered by what is in the booth, the main factors to look at are age, in both years and card cage hours, and maintenance history. If it is at or close to 10 years old, I would ask for a new ICP to be installed as part of the deal, and if the log shows that it has been sustainedly operated towards the upper end of the permissible temperature range for each sensor, I would be cautious, because that will increase the risk of a light engine/prism assembly failure, and of internal cables and connectors going bad.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Babb
    replied
    I installed Houghton originally, something like 9 hours drive one way from my house in Grand Rapids.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark Gulbrandsen
    replied
    Originally posted by Leo Enticknap View Post
    Agreed completely, though I'm not sure what the availability of an integrator who does DCI equipment in or close to Grand Rapids is like. Just before the pandemic I was sent to a theater in Houghton, MI, to install an NC3240. We simply couldn't find anyone based closer to the site who could get there during the time window needed, and so the expense of sending me from California was unavoidable. This place really was up the ass of beyond: flew into Grand Rapids and then it was pretty much an entire day's driving to get there, much of it on twisty, single lane (in each direction) roads that made me think I was back in England!
    That's in the upper peninsula Leo. Minneapolis is a whole lot closer to Houghton than Grand Rapids is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Babb
    replied
    Hi Chris, my main gig these days is for Trinnov Audio and I live in England but I own a cinema company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan with 4 engineers. We service all the Celebration locations as well as the Wealthy, UICA, and many other cinemas in the area. Send me a private message if you want to know more. Not sure which cinema you are reopening but we may already know it. FYI we do not sell projectors but we work with all brands and several dealers including Leo's company MiT.

    Leave a comment:

Working...
X