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How to send CRT projector parts in for repair


Note: Turnaround time is usually about a week. The amount of repairs that are coming in at this point require me to make days in which I repair boards specific to a model, i.e. an NEC day, a Barco day, etc. I set up actual projectors to test boards in, and then test run repairs a minimum of 4 hours before sending them out.

Boxing up the parts

Well, I didn’t think that I had to post this part, but judging by some of the poorly packaged and damaged boards that I get in regularly, here’s a quick primer on how to send me printed circuit (PC) boards.

Obviously PC boards are relatively fragile, and poor packing can result in a board that’s damaged beyond repair.

To properly pack modules, wrap each board in three layers of the large bubble wrap and place into a box. Use bubble wrap with large 1" bubbles, not the 1/4" bubbles as it doesn't protect the board well. If you wish, put the board in one of those computer or electronics anti-static bags, but it’s not really necessary. While some parts on sets are static sensitive, the possibility for parts to get zapped is more or less eliminated when they are installed onto circuit boards.

When the boards are packed in 3 layers of the big bubble wrap stuff, they are well protected from shocks and bumps. Put the packaged board into a snug fitting box, or use more bubble wrap to fill the box so the boards don’t bang around in transit. I understand that some courier companies use a conveyor belt system that drops all boxes about three feet, so if your packing job won’t withstand a fall like that, don’t send it... :)

Here’s how NOT to send your boards:

This person had the right idea, but Styrofoam peanuts will crush in transit, so these boards flopped around and two sustained shipping damage. Also, the Styrofoam peanuts get into all areas of the board, and can cause damage to module contacts (see the picture below).

Styrofoam peanuts are also really messy at the receiving end, so please avoid them at all costs.

Here are some good packing methods:

This person lined a solid box with foam, then used additional packaging to pack the boards in. Short of a steamroller, this box will survive anything.

Here’s another good way to package multiple boards:

This shipper packaged each module separately, then used foam tubes to provide additional shock protection.

When sending in a board for repair, please print out a copy of any emails that we’ve exchanged, or otherwise put a note in the box indicating the problem with the board or set. If you’re swapping me for other parts, please also put a note in with the package. Include your name, return address, phone number and email address so I know where to return the board to.

Shipping Address

All parts should be sent to the following address:

Sound Solutions Inc
# 344-19567 Fraser Hwy.
Surrey, B.C.
V3S 9A4

Shipping Methods

From within Canada

Send the parts via Canada Post or courier, it doesn’t really matter.

From the US or overseas

It is usually the most economical to send the boards in via airmail to me, but on occasion I’ve had airmail from the US take up to 2 weeks to get to me. It’s usually best therefore to use a courier service.

Here’s the important part: Since you’re sending in from out of the country, you’ll need to fill out a small customs declaration indicating what you are sending in. Call the board(s) a ‘defective PC board’ worth $10 or $15.00. Anything over a $20.00 CDN dollar value is subject to duty and customs charges which I will have to charge back to you. I have checked with Canada Customs, and considering that a defective CRT PC board would never sell for more than $10.00 on eBay, the declaration is therefore accurate.

Sending parts or repairs back to you

When I send repaired boards back, I ship via UPS or Canada Post. If I’m sending boards back to the US, I clear customs here in Vancouver for you, so you see it as a domestic shipment, shipping from Blaine, WA. That adds 2-3 days to the transit time, but reduces overall shipping costs by about 40%.

Due to increased customs clearance costs, I usually only ship about once a week. I do my best to get repairs out in a timely manner, but in order to reduce costs on repairs and to keep things efficient as I can, I try to send out multiple boxes at the same time. Note also that overnight shipping to the US is hideously expensive, and usually doesn’t happen anyways due to customs clearance times, so once in a blue moon you might need to watch the big game on a 20” TV. Sorry about that!

I typically use Canada Post to return parts shipments. Airmail usually takes a week to 10 days to get to Europe or similar, ground shipping is the price of air, but takes 4-6 weeks. Heavy items like lenses can be very expensive to ship via air.


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