Lamp Sockets; Why Are They Going Bad So Often In My Overhead Projector?

Over the past 25 years I have had the unique opportunity to talk directly
with many of the professionals and instructors who use Overhead Projectors
as an integral part of their profession. The stories they have shared with
me have given me direct insight to some of the most common problems
experienced by owners of today’s and yesterday’s Overhead Projectors.

This is the second article in a series of articles that will be written
from a professional Electronics Technician’s point of view in regards to
some of today’s most common Overhead Projector problems.

A question that I am asked quite frequently is; “Why do I seem to be
endlessly replacing the lamp socket in my Overhead Projector?”

This is by far one of the most common problems among all of the users of
Overhead Projectors today. The cause of this problem is very simple in fact
and could be avoided very easily. What happens in most cases is that the
projection lamp is not being fully seated into the lamp socket. Because
this is an electrical connection, the pins on the projection lamp must be
completely seated into the lamp socket. If the projection lamp is only
partially seated into the socket the arching between the lamp socket
contacts and the projection lamp pins will take place.

The cause of this arching causes the contacts of the lamp socket to burn
and score. Over a very short period of time this arching causes irreparable
damage to the lamp socket in which the only choice is to replace it. In
some severe cases I have seen the contacts in the lamp socket and the pins
of the projection lamp electrically welded together due to this arching.

The best way to prevent this from happening in your Overhead Projector is
to make sure that the Projection Lamp is fully seated into the lamp socket
when replacing the projection lamp. It may feel like you are pressing on
the projection lamp to hard, but unless you feel a slight click when
seating the projection lamp into the lamp socket, you most likely have not
seated the projection lamp properly.

If you have a basic knowledge of Electronics or basic wiring the lamp
socket is something that most end users can replace themselves, otherwise
this problem should be handled by a professional service technician.

Mark Boehm is the president of M-B Electronics
[http://www.mbelectronics.com]. He has over 25 years of experience in the
Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics
[http://www.mbelectronics.com] at 800-872-9456 or at etbinc@comcast.net .

More info: [http://www.mbelectronics.com/view.aspx?id=237&name=Replacement]

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