Saturday, January 10, 2009

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

Writen by Mark Boehm

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. He has over 25 years of experience in the Audio Visual and Electronics Industry. You can contact M-B Electronics at 800-872-9456 or at

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