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I have a mid-sized projector (Optoma HD142X). After about a year, and perhaps because of the recent warmer temperatures and therefore more internal fan use, the unit makes an irregular and intermittent whirring/buzzing noise. Projectors get quite hot and have a big fan. I wonder if it might be the fan, for example a lack of lubrication or build-up of dust. I read the user manual and online forums at the manufacturer, and didn't gain much insight other than a recommendation to send it to the factory for service.

  • How might I determine the problem at home?
  • Are there any fixes I could try without opening the case and voiding the warranty? For example, would compressed air help?

There's very little tool access through the exhaust port. Thanks for any ideas.

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Don't use compressed air on a closed unit: by blowing the dust around inside, you may make the problem worse (getting dust on the lens, for example).

The fan is the most likely culprit: it's the only mechanical item in the projector, and prone to wearing out. To diagnose the issue, you need to open the projector. Then you can e.g. place a finger on the fan case to feel it vibrate. Excessive vibration or noise means the fan is worn out and has to be replaced. These are usually standard units.

Generally, this should not void the warranty. It just means the new fan no longer falls under the warranty.

  • very helpful, thanks. To open the case I have to break a sticker that claims I'm voiding the warranty; don't know how true that is. – Cameron Brick May 1 at 13:29
  • you'd have to check the warranty statement that came with the projector to be sure. You'd have to be able to replace e.g. the bulb without voiding the warranty. – Hobbes May 1 at 14:06
  • Yes. It says "This Limited Warranty is not enforceable if the Product has been opened, altered, modified or repaired by anyone other than an authorised service centre...". Shrug. It may be already out of warranty anyway. It's confusing because it was refurbished. – Cameron Brick May 1 at 15:43
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Your projector is either in warranty (in which case it should be returned for repair) or out of warranty (in which case feel free to open the case and replace the fan with an equivalent)

Determine the warranty status to decide which way to go

There isn't anything you can do to permanently repair a fan that is worn, and they're so cheap you wouldn't bother. You could consider poking a toothpick into the exhaust port to jam the noisy fan then attach another fan to the outside, sealed to the exhaust port with something like that sticky blue stuff that you stick posters to walls with, and run the new fan constantly. If it is larger you can run it slower for lower noise levels. A larger fan might need a shroud building to adapt the large fan to the small exhaust port. For effective airflow the external fan needs to be well sealed to the exhaust port. Investigate PC case fans that are advertised as silent

  • It's out of warranty. I opened it up but couldn't reach or diagnose the fan very well. Thanks for your input. – Cameron Brick May 4 at 8:35

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