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Posted: 11/18/2003 5:55:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 5:06:35 PM EDT by cmjohnson]
I have to vent. Not that it'll solve anything.

I recently purchased one of these:



It's an Electrohome Marquee 8000 high resolution data grade video projector.

Actually, I bought TWO such projectors, but the other one hasn't arrived yet. I may need it for parts...


This is a very fine quality video projector that sells new for about 30,000 dollars for the exact model I picked up. I bought it via a government surplus auction for a few hundred bucks and had it shipped to me.

This is not your newfangled LCD or DLP projector, this is a CRT-based unit, which still is the technology of choice when it comes to displaying a top quality picture.

This is capable of displaying a higher resolution picture than is even possible with high definition TV at its maximum resolution. It'll display up to 2500 by 2000 pixels.
And it'll do it with remarkable picture quality. It can deliver a truly film-like image, given a suitably high quality source.

This monster weighs a solid 200 pounds.

I got it yesterday from the freight company, and before long I had it hooked up in the garage for checkout.

Everything works and it's in better shape than I'd expected. Looks almost new, actually, except for an exterior scuff or two. Internals are pristine. No failures noted or indicated, and the picture is quite gorgeous, given that I didn't have a proper screen set up in the garage.


So I decide to go ahead and get ready to mount this heavy bitch to the ceiling, replacing my smaller, lighter, but older and more primitive Sony projector.

Some measuring and figuring tells me what I have to do to mount this sucker. I do what I have to and get everything ready.

A friend of mine comes over to help with the installation, and a third person helps too, and that 200 pound bitch has us sweating and grunting, but we got it up and installed safely and without dropping anything.

Great. We feel like we've done a full body workout, but it's in place. So I hook it up and turn it on and...

DAMMIT!!! I've got a failure indicator that wasn't there yesterday!

I tried several things to reset it, but it has a persistent failure in the horizontal sync circuit, according to the failure indicator panel.

If I can't clear the fault tomorrow, we've got to take this 200 pound bitch BACK DOWN. I can't even pull any boards out of it when it's installed in its current location.

Some days you just end up wanting to scream. This is one of those days.

Tomorrow may be better. I sure hope so. And I damn sure don't want to end up spending more money to fix this sucker.



Rant complete.

CJ
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 6:25:37 PM EDT
Just an observation, and it probably won't help your mood, but....

ANYTIME anything goes wrong with this thing, (and if that's a BARCO, it will, frequently)you're going to have to take it down, every time. That's a lot of work ahead of you!

Where I worked, they actually had these things installed on the underside of a platform that they could lower for work and raise for viewing. Any way to set up a simple system to do that? I'm thinking built-in pulleys for lift, latches or bolts for security. Probably a LOT more added engineering and work up front, but less frustration in the long run. Good luck!
Link Posted: 11/18/2003 7:12:55 PM EDT
It's an Electrohome Marquee 8000.

Its previous owner (the Air Force) did use a pulley system with this unit and all the others in its installation (I gather that this was used in flight simulators) but I don't really have a way to do anything similar without too much engineering.

At least I have learned what approach is likely to result in the least amount of work for when and if I have to dismount it. It'll be easier the second time than the first.



CJ
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 2:59:03 PM EDT
Well, I got it working today. Cleaned some contacts, reseated some boards. It seems to be OK now.

I hooked it up along with a line doubler, ran a full convergence and alignment, and then started up a movie or two.

WOW. The picture is AMAZING. You KNOW it's serious when you can see the difference when the cameraman switched from one TYPE of film to another due to the obviously different characteristics of the film...and you had definitely not seen that before.

I'm happy now!

CJ
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 3:29:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
I'm happy now!

CJ



Then so are we.

Congrats.
Link Posted: 11/19/2003 5:30:19 PM EDT
The part that sort of freaks me out is that the usage timer in the projector says it has about 25,000 hours on it and about 19,000 are in operating mode and the rest are in standby.

Usually, CRT's in these units are expected to last about 10,000 hours of operating time, yet there's hardly a trace of any wear on them at all. No burn marks or shadowing to speak of on the CRT faces, and the picture stays sharp when you turn up the brightness, which worn tubes won't do. So either the projector was retubed at some point or it's spent its entire life projecting low intensity imagery.

Either way, the picture is MUCH better than I'd expect based on the meter.

I suppose I should contact the manufacturer and see if their records indicate whether or not it's been retubed. They should have that info, given the way that market operates.

Now for the big question: Keep it or sell it? I can make a fat profit if I sell this sucker, but I'm already in love...

Who am I kidding? The truth is, I bought TWO of these units, and the newer, more up-to-date one is due to arrive in a couple of days. So I can sell one and watch the other. Or rent one out and watch the other. Or rent them both, or sell them both and buy something else with part of the proceeds.

So many choices, and all of them good!

CJ
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 5:04:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/21/2003 5:05:50 PM EDT by cmjohnson]
Update:


Oh, frabjous day!


The projector has decided to "heal thineself" and is now working absolutely FABULOUSLY...but alas, there is not as much joy in Mudville as one could hope for.

Today my freaking PREAMP crapped out. So now I have NO sound out of my system and NO practical way to work around that issue!

It's not like I can just run out to Best Buy and buy another one, either. Separate preamps are a niche market item, and all the local stores are selling mass market, not niche market items. And I don't WANT to buy any of their consumer grade crap!


I'll take it to a friend of mine who's a good tech and do what I have to in order to get him to expedite repairs. As it's an expensive and very excellent preamp, it's worth fixing.

Why do upgrades always seem to open the door to other failures?

CJ


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