Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Drought in Kirdford

There is supposed to be a drought in West Sussex, but today I think someone must have left the hosepipe running...

I was off to see my friend Derek at Sussex Autogas, to discuss the pending service and MOT of my Range Rover, going though the village, past the church, I came to these views.

Well I had a Range Rover didn't I? I should be able to have some fun and get through this. I drove through the first flood and stopped at the brow of the bridge, raised up the suspension to it's highest limit, put the car in drive and went for it.

Well I got half way through the second flood, the other side of the bridge and the Rangie spluttered to a halt and died. Oops! I was a little at a loss as the water was 6" up the doors, hmmm, there was no way I was going to open the door at this point, so I sat there and phoned Derek, his workshop was only 500 yards up the road, hopefully he would pop down with a winch and tow me out, unfortunately Derek was in his car on the way to Pulborough... He said he would call Jay who would come and help me - great I thought.

So sitting there, I thought I would give the Rangie another try at starting (not forgetting that most of the engine was now underwater) - low and behold she started on the button! So keeping the revs up, put her in drive, and slowly drove out of the flood - cool beans!

Unfortunately, she is now running like a dog, so I had to leave the car at the workshop, and walk back to the village, with Jay, We only had to wade through about 4" on the path, so no great shakes. I will pick the Rangie up tomorrow when the engine has dried out a bit...

Sorry no photos of the Rangie sitting in the middle of the flood - well I wasn't going to get out was I?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Panasonic Plasma TX-P42S10b 5 Blinks Error Code Repair

Well on New Year's Eve 2011, my 2 year old, Panasonic Viera Plasma TV gave a little pop and the screen died. When I tried to turn it back on, all that would happen was a click and then the LED on the front would blink in sets of 5 blinks. Not a happy bunny.

Knowing that TVs were a pain to fix, and usually not worth the cost, I went out and bought another TV, but the Panasonic was put up in the spare bedroom 'for later examination'.

I did a bit of research on t'internet, but trying to find what the 5 blink error code meant was nigh on impossible, I did find one posting that suggested it could be a board, then another YouTube video, where the guy suggested that it was probably a capacitor that had blown on one of the boards, these can be seen by the slightly bowed top to the capacitor, this sounded the most likely cause...

Well three months went by and I had a free Sunday, it was raining, so I decided to have the back off the telly and see if I could find a "popped' capacitor.

I used my spare bed as a workbench (I thought the duvet would protect the screen), and proceeded to remove the stand and multitude of screws holding the rear cover on. Surprisingly the rear cover was easy to remove, and I could finally see the 'gubbins' inside the telly.

It had been a while since I had done my 'research', and I wanted to figure out which circuit board the 5 blink error code was originating from, blow me if I couldn't find the original article, but what I did find gave me some inspiration, I came across the website of Bix Reclamation and they had a 'Dealer Repair Kit' for my model of TV!
The Repair Kit was £70 so I decided to give it a go, as I was not sure I could see any capacitors blown on my boards (see picture below), I ordered it on the Sunday evening and it was delivered on the Tuesday, great service so far. The contents of the box contained all the circuit boards and controls inside the Panasonic Plasma, wrapped protectively up in bubble wrap, I was very impressed.

So last night, I grabbed my Phillips screwdriver, my glasses, a coffee and set about disemboweling the TV.

 This is what I did...
Step 1 - Replace the main power board in the centre of the telly, my assumption was that this is probably where a capacitor was likely to blow - once replace, I turned the TV on and... no change still 5 blinking lights.

Step 2 - Have another look at t'internet - found a technical manual for Panasonic Plasma TVs, but not my model, but there error code of 5 blinking lights directed you to either the main power board (already swapped out) or the PV5 connections, between the two boards at the bottom and the plasma screen - so I swapped both those boards out as well, one at a time, turning the TV on after each to make sure I had or had not fixed it. Still no luck.

I was starting to get a little disheartened by now, the above board replacements had taken me about two hours and I was starting to think the issue was beyond just swapping out boards...

Step 3 - One last board, I decided to swap out the circuit board to the left of the main power board (these all have very clever names like SSC etc. but it means nothing to me) - it just looked the next biggest with lots of capacitors - low and behold, once I had connected everything back up again, the TV switched on and I had a screen, albeit a screen with a thick white bar down the right hand side, but a working screen.  The white bar was caused by one of the ribbon connectors not being seated properly when I switched out the boards in step 2.

So there you have it, if you have a 5 blink error on your Panasonic Plasma TX-P42S10B Viera Television, go to Bix Reclamation and see if they have a Dealer Repair Kit for it, and replace the big board to the left of the main power board 1st!