I’ve been meaning to post this blog entry for some time – but better late than never. In late February, as the kids were getting ready to leave for school in the morning, they mentioned to me that the TV in our Sunroom was not working and it had a blinking red light. I went downstairs sure enough my 42″ Philips Plasma TV (Model: 42PF9631D/37) would not turn on. After the jump I’ll explain how I fixed the problem for under $30.
First of all let me start by giving a little background on the TV. It was a extremely nice house warming gift from my parents when I bought my house just over two years ago. This was my first flat screen and I was so very excited. So much so that at the time it was delivered at 7:30 am, I rushed over from my old house, where I was still living, to meet the delivery guys at the new house — I was still in sweats. I even had that box cracked opened before the delivery guys had left the driveway.
Fast forward two years and poof – the plasma decides it won’t turn on. I’m sure that a lot of you can relate, in a large family it really hurts to have one of the TVs down for any amount of time. Everyone’s daily routine is thrown off, rules start to get ignored (evidence: crumbs on the carpet in the “no-eating” rooms that had working TVs), the arguments start on what shows to watch, etc. So it behooved me to get the plasma fixed as quickly as possible to avoid losing family members. However, I was not looking forward to the repair bill.
Before I started calling around for repair shops, I broke out the warranty paperwork. Of course – just out of warranty. Lucky me. Typical. Fortunately I didn’t pay anything for it.
However, on a hunch I jumped on the internet and did some research on the model in question. In my research, I found out that the first year to 18 months of this line of Philips plasmas had been out, there were very few issues. At least not enough to cause any concerns regarding any major defects. That was until January or so of this year (2009) – I started seeing dozens of complaints of blown power supplies and the horror stories surrounding getting the plasmas fixed.
Once again the AVForums had all the answers a guy with A/V problems needs. I discovered this thread that deals with a number of Philips plasma models exhibiting the same symptoms. Here were my symptoms: Power On, Green Power Light, 2 “relay clicks” (you can hear the clicks clearly), Power light goes red and flashes 7 times, Power light stays red. Basically all of this pointed to something wrong with the power board(s) in the plasma. A majority of the reported issues were with blown capacitors. I believe that one person reported that the specific capacitor was rated for 1000 hrs – no wonder so many of them were failing just outside their warranty period and all at once!
Message #70 of the thread really sank it home for me, as the poster had exactly the same model of plasma I had and he had posted pictures of the blown capacitors. At this point I figured that I might as well see if I had the same problem – and maybe attempt to fix it myself to save on the repair costs. I thought I would post some pictures about this project – hopefully it will help someone else out.
Here is a picture of the plasma with the back taken off. I’ve edited the picture to show the capacitors that were blown:
Here is a close up of the blown capacitors:
You’ll notice that the top of the capacitors are not flat, but rather blown up.
I took the board to a local electronics store, Green Brook Electronics, that had some guys on hand that knew their stuff. Frank, the guy that help me through this mess, confirmed the blown capacitors. He also inspected the rest of the board and gave me a little bit of advice on some of the parts. He then said that he didn’t have the appropriate part on hand, but I could find it online readily enough. Once I got the part, he would put them on the board for me.
One bit of advice Frank had was that when attempting to get the part online – make sure I have the correct measurements of the capacitors (12.50mm x 25.00mm). I didn’t realize at the time how important that was until I started looking for the part online. I was stunned at the number of choices of electronics parts – I’m such a nubie with this stuff.
In any event, I took Frank’s suggestion on using Digi-Key. After about an hour of trying to find the part myself – I resorted to using the online chat with their tech support. They were extremely helpful. They found two appropriate parts in 3 minutes. One part rated for 1000 hrs and the other for 7000 hrs. I got the 7000 hrs version. Here is the link to the specific part I ordered: 493-1754-ND. It cost me $1.07 for each capacitor – shipping was more expensive than the parts – about $6 on the slow truck.
Once I got the capacitors three days later, I went back to Frank and in 10 minutes he had the new parts put on the board. Frank charge me something like $16 and change – I gave him $17. I raced home with the newly repaired board and installed it immediately. WORKED LIKE A CHAMP!
In total – I spent about $27 and 8 hours of effort (research, two electronic store visits, moving the tv – with a friend – Thanks Mark!). A lot better than the $800 repair bill I would have to pay. A great big THANK YOU to the community of AVForums.
I hope that this article helped someone out – and if you are in the Greenbrook, NJ area and need some electronic work done, go to Green Brook Electronics.