Sunday, June 08, 2008

Video Explosion

Unfortunately, the title of this post is not hyperbole for an increase in the use of video in Covenant Life's Church services. We literally had an explosion this Sunday.

Our main video projector lamp exploded, as you can see in these pictures.

Most of the glass remained in the lamp housing, but enough of the smaller pieces came through two layers of vents to make a mess on the floor. The speckles on the black rack in the picture above are shards of glass left over after we vacuumed.

I'm grateful for several things, which I take as gifts from God:
  1. This is our rear-projection screen, so the glass didn't come down on the congregation.
  2. The lamp exploded sometime between services, so we didn't have any down time.
  3. We noticed the problem early enough to fix it.
Nevertheless, I have a few questions:
  • Has this ever happened to anyone else?
  • Does anyone know what might have caused this?
  • Less importantly, can I expect a free replacement lamp, given that we were just over 1/2 of the expected lamp life?
I am going to leave the projector manufacturer name off the post until I get to speak to the company personally. However, I will likely post again after speaking to them to let you all know how they respond.

I'm disappointed, to say the least, and this incident makes me hesitant to ever put one of these projectors out over an audience for front-projection. If we upgrade our video screen systems again, we will have to go front projection, and this situation will sway me toward other manufacturers if not sufficiently resolved.

Please leave a comment if you have any experience or suggestions on this.


Kevin R. Poole said...

I asked a couple of guys around me who are into this kind of gear. We hade bulbs explode like this before. (We use Digital Projection Lightning 40 HDT) He said that it can happen from defects in the glass of the bulb and depending on the circumstances can be replaced by the company. We had our replaced by the company when this happened but I'm not sure if this was a "favor" or SOP.

Glad no one got hurt!

Chris said...

Is the projection room air conditioned? I can't remember. I've had lamps that overheated significantly and popped, but generally not exploded. Could there have been any grit of maybe a fingerprint on the bulb? That might cause a single point to be hotter and cause the popping. It's generally due to defect though. Hopefully it wasn't a fly hitting the bulb and causing it to pop.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately we've blown several here in Philly since our upgrade in March 07 - at least two have blown violently like yours. We notice the link to: 1. higher internal temps during the heating season (our units have IP addresses and can be monitored/controled over the network) 2. after a brown out or black out thanks to the power company (we had at least 3 this winter while units were in use) We only got free bulb replacements while the units were under warranty - and the installer helped us with that. Our manufacturer now says if a lamp powers up even once without a problem, the warranty is over. We're now looking to add UPSs and surge protectors to our 2 projectors.

Dave Wilcox said...

Brian, it's interesting that you would mention a brownout or blackout. We just had several this last week. However, we do have a battery backup with power conditioner on the projector. And it was never actually powered on during the blackouts.

Anonymous said...

How long is the projector left on?
Are there any fans or some type of cooling system?

Dave Wilcox said...


For what it's worth...

The projector has several serious fans in it. The volume of these fans is the reason that the projector gets its own room.

Also, that room is cooled by an AC unit that it shares only with the amp room. Both rooms are supposed to be held at 62 degrees or less at all times.

I suppose I should check the air temperature readings on our HVAC system to see if there was a failure that may have caused the room to go way up in temperature that morning.


Michael said...

Hi Dave. I enjoyed getting to meet you this past weekend at my first WorshipGOD conference.

I have never had a projector lamp blow like this. We have been using three NEC GT5000 projectors. We had to relamp those machines by the time we got to half of the lamp life due to quality loss in the image. We recently upgraded to Eiki 15,000 lumen model (can't remeber the model number off of the top of my head). We haven't had any problems with them yet though.

I have had a lamp in one of my moving lights blow up. It was beyond the normal life span though.

Thanks for what you are doing on your blog. I think this is a great idea and something we may be implementing here soon.

Michael Scott