Panasonic PT-AE4000U - Dust Spec imperfection on screen? - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #11 of 15 Old 02-01-12, 09:37 AM
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Re: Panasonic PT-AE4000U - Dust Spec imperfection on screen?

I got my Panasonic PT-AE4000U in Dec of 2010. No puffer provided. I'll look for the holes in the bottom when I get home. I have my own puffer from photography - probably the same thing. Did they include a puffer in later build units? was there instructions for its use?

I have never had a dust problem and don't intend to use a puffer in any holes unless I do.

Good to know of this though.

I would have written less but I didn't have the time.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-01-12, 10:06 AM
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Re: Panasonic PT-AE4000U - Dust Spec imperfection on screen?

Here's the instructions. Keep in mind that these are for a 3000 and a 2000, not a 4000! How much they differ is unknown to me.

My PT-AE3000U got a dust blob at 200 hours. It was visible as a bluish blob in the upper left hand corner of a black screen. I found it very distracting and of course very frustrating in a nearly new $2500 projector.

A few weeks ago I tried blasting a compressed gas duster into the exhaust outlet - I even tried blasting two at a time - but to no avail. The dust blob stubbornly remained.

Today, I purchased a service manual online and followed the directions to open up the unit. This time, I was successful in eliminating the dust blob by more direct application of the compressed gas duster to the LCD panel area. This is the duster I used.

Here is how to remove a dust blob or dust speck on the LCD panels or filters:

1. Make sure you can work undisturbed and without distractions. Turn off your furnace or A/C and any room or ceiling fans that might blow dust around.

2. Unplug the projector. Don't open it unless the power plug is pulled!

3. Part removal sequence:
Top Cover
Lamp Assembly
Upper Housing

3. a) Removing Top Cover
Grasp Top Cover at rear near the center
Gently pull it up while holding the PJ down - two snap catches at the rear will pop out
Lift Top Cover a few inches at the rear
Reach under and pull out the safety tab / string
At the front, squeeze the light gray hinge clips to release them
Remove the light gray hinge clips and take off the Top Cover
Set Top Cover in a clean, safe place where you won't step on it!

3. b) Removing Lamp Assembly
Get a Phillips head screwdriver that precisely fits the screw heads (I used a hollow ground gunsmith bit). If you use a poorly-fitting bit, you will bungle the screws and make a mess.
Loosen the three screws until they idle (they will remain captive)
Push the release catch and gently tug on the Lamp Assembly handle to free it
Carefully lift the Lamp Assembly out
Immediately take the Lamp Assembly to a clean, safe place and set it down (upside-down on the handle side)

3. c) Remove Upper Housing
Get a Phillips head screwdriver that precisely fits the screw heads
A magnetic tip is recommended to keep screws from falling
Remove (8) screws, one at a time
Take care to place screws in a safe place like a plastic bowl
Do not drop any screws into the projector!
Grasp Upper Housing and pull up to remove it
Set Upper Housing in a clean, safe place where it won't get stepped on!

4. Dusting off the LCD Panels

a) There is a large circuit board at the top of the projector. At the front of this board, three delicate ribbon cables come up from the LCD panels below. This is the area where you will be working.

b) Get a flashlight or bright worklight and look down into the projector, through the circuit board openings near the ribbon cables. Get a good look at things in there. You will see the LCD panels and then about 1/4" behind them you'll see another passive panel, probably a polarizer or filter. You can see that there are thin air spaces around the LCDs and the filters that provide a path for the compressed gas duster to take effect.

c) Holding the compressed gas duster upright, hit the spray to make sure no raw liquid comes out. Then bend the tube down into the slots around the ribbon cables and start blasting. Keep the can as upright as possible. I recommend long blasts moving slowly to drive the dust well out of the area (like hosing down a driveway). Try to angle the tube to cover the front and back of all three LCD panels and all three filters. Try to go at them from as many sides and angles as possible.

d) As you operate the duster, the can will get very cold and the volume of gas will diminish due to the reduced internal pressure from the coldness. I happened to have a second can that was still at room temperature, so I continued dusting with the second can until it too got very cold and the volume tapered off. At this point, I decided I had thoroughly blasted the panels as much as I reasonably could.

5. Re-assembly in reverse order
Replace Upper Housing
Re-install (8) screws in Upper Housing
Tip: Turn screws counter-clockwise until you hear/feel them catch the existing groove, then go clockwise to tighten
Don't overtighten! When they stop turning, very slightly snug them and quit! Plastic is very easy to crack!
Slowly lower the Lamp Assembly back into its socket
Press the Lamp Assembly down with your fingers at all four corners
Start tightening the three Lamp Assembly screws evenly
The latch will click as you tighten the screws and draw down the assembly
Hold the Top Cover over the projector and re-insert the light gray clips at the front
Lower the Top Cover a little and re-insert the safety tab / string into its clip
Lay the Top Cover down and snap it into place at the rear (two snaps)
Lastly, take an extra minute to remove and vacuum the air filter and then snap it back into place
You're done!

6. Plug in the power cord, turn on the projector, and check to see if you were successful. The first time I did it, the main dust blob was removed but a smaller, fainter one appeared in a different location. I went back in and hit the panels again, and this time everything came out perfectly clean.

In summary, while I was nervous about opening up the projector, the fact is that the dust blob was ruining my enjoyment of it. I am very glad that I went ahead and cleaned it out myself. It isn't very difficult and done correctly, it poses little risk of damage to the projector. Plus, now that I know how to do it, I feel less stressed out because I can perform my own projector cleaning anytime I need to...I'm no longer worried about dust blobs with this projector.

I don't recommend this procedure if you are the type of person who isn't handy with tools, is impatient, or has had a history of accidentally damaging equipment when trying to work on it. But if you are a patient, careful, observant person who is able to use simple tools and knows not to force things, you can do this job without too much effort.
A complete tutorial on how to blow dust out of the Panasonic AE2000:

Tools Needed:

(1) Air Blower such as the Giottos Rocket (
(1) Phillips #2 screwdriver with a thin shaft over 4" in length. ie: NOT a socketed screwdriver with interchangeable tips.


1. Dismount your projector and pop the lens access panel. Slip the string connector out. Reach down to the two white clips that hold the flexi-hinges in place and there are two tabs on each side that you can press in to release them. Remove the top cover completely and set it aside.

2. Unscrew the 3 screws that hold the lamp in place. Pull the release and remove the lamp and set it upside down somewhere secure. Don't knock it over.

3. In the black plastic now exposed you will see several (8 I think) shiny black arrows that point to the locations of the screws that hold the top on. 2 are hidden down where the white flexi-hinge clips were. Remove all screws and put them somewhere safe.

4. Pull straight up on the top, it should come away VERY easily. If you're tugging at it, you forgot a screw. Check the arrows again. Don't force it.

5. The mainboard is now exposed. (It looks identical to this: The three ribbons that waterfall down through the board are right above each LCD panel. Take your air blower and blast away into each of them, from various angles. One blast from each direction (top,bottom,left,right) for each hole should be sufficient. Don't go overboard and don't dawdle. At this point you run the risk of introducing more dust into the optics. Get in, blow, get out.

6. Set the top back in place, and reattach it with all of the screws. A magnetic tip on your screwdriver does wonders here. Reinsert the lamp and screw it into place.

7. Reattach the flexi-hinge clips, then reattach the tab that holds the string. Snap the lamp access cover back into place. Remount your projector.

8. Re-mount, reconnect and power on. Test for dust spots by looking at solid white or black images. If all has gone well, your spots will be gone.


Not quite as easy as the Sanyo Z-series with their access ports, but not exactly rocket science either. No warranty stickers broken so all should be well on that front.


DO NOT use canned compressed air or an air compressor/tank. Both of these can spit fluids out with the air, and if this hits a panel and leaves a spot, you'll probably want to replace your projector mount with a noose and mount yourself in place.
Courtesy of members HMenke and xamphear at avs.
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post #13 of 15 Old 07-26-12, 10:05 PM
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Re: Panasonic PT-AE4000U - Dust Spec imperfection on screen?

First off, I decided to setup an account and everything because you guys spurred me on to open up my projector (PT-AE4000U) and clean it. Thank you! I'm glad I did. I went a little further than the recommendations in the forum and I'd like to return the favor by sharing some pics. I'm totally with the person mechman quoted first in that I bought a couple thousand dollar projector and any little imperfection bothers the out of me.

There was a tiny light spot, which I believed to be dust near the upper right corner of the screen that was only noticeable during very dark scenes, during credits, or when switching inputs (when the screen goes completely black for a moment).

I decided to buy a puffer - Giottos AA1900 Rocket Air Blaster Large - Black. I followed the instructions mentioned and was unsuccessful in removing the blob. I decided to go for it again and try some canned air instead. I blew it out and still nothing. So I opened it up one last time, and I was going to beat the blob this time...

I followed all the steps mechman has quoted in opening it up and went a little further. Instead of reassembling at Step 5, I went ahead and removed the main board. I realize this is crazy talk for some people reading this. I do not recommend anyone doing this, but I will highlight what I did for any adventurous enough / irritated enough like myself.


You can always send you Projector to a Panasonic certified cleaner to have this done professionally (and obviously you will pay). I did not want to send mine off as there's no one near me in Central Illinois certified by Panasonic.

Here are some pictures inside the projector during my cleaning:
I cannot post this link yet as I don't have 5 posts...

Basically what I did was disconnect all 17 cables (this includes disconnecting the 3 LCD ribbon cables). Before removing them you must first release the lever so that the ribbon cable must be removed. In Photo 6 of the album, you can see the light beige edge which can be lifted with a finger (this is the lever that must be upright).

Then remove the 4 silver screws for the main board. It should be free to be removed assuming you have all cables disconnected. Be careful especially sliding the ribbon cables through the main board as you remove it!

Underneath the main board there is a casing around the light path between the Lamp and the LCDs. Remove the 4 black screws and it will pop right off (the part that pops off is what's in Photo 2). I believe these are the polarizers or some optical filter.

Ok, now to the good stuff. Photo 1 shows the light path. You can actually see where the light enters from the Lamp on the bottom right of the picture, and flows around to each of the 3 LCDs in the center. I noticed a piece of dust on the bluish / clear pane closest to the Lamp. I blew it out with my compressed air, as well as blowing it all over in this region to clean any out any other dust.

I reassembled everything in reverse. Carefully! I reconnected / remounted my projector... Moment of silence. Success! No more dust blob! Perfect looking in all white / all black.

Again, I don't recommend anyone do this, but hopefully this is good information for anyone who may decide to anyway.

Cheers HomeTheaterShack community! I'll post the link to my pics shortly after getting 5 posts...
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-26-12, 10:08 PM
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Re: Panasonic PT-AE4000U - Dust Spec imperfection on screen?

Here it is:

Thanks again guys! I wish the site didn't have such strict link rules, but I understand the internet's full of junk today.
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-28-12, 12:14 PM
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dust , imperfection , panasonic , ptae4000u , screen , spec

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