Question about RCA MM36100 36" TV

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RCA MM36100 power & repairman issue

Bought this TV in late 1999 when HD's first came out. It has always intermittently turned itself off (with a loud screach) then back on. A couple of weeks ago, it turned itself off (this time with no loud screach), and would not turn back on. (By the way, the TV has been in 3 different houses so I can't imagine it's the household wiring).

We took it to repair shop #1 to get an estimate. They told us the "main board" needed to be replaced and it would cost around $360.

I called repair shop #2, and told him what #1 told me. He said there was no way the entire board would need replaced and to bring it down (this is 25 miles from us), so we did. He called us the next day, said he had it running in his shop and it would costs $170 for the repair. I asked him what could have caused this. He told me a power surge. I told him it was connected to a surge supressor strip (which it was and always has been). He then told me "no, you just have it connected to a circuit breaker multi strip". I told him no, its definitely a surge supressor strip. He then rudely told me again there was no way, that those were very expensive. I proceeded to tell him, again, that YES, it was connected to an expensive surge suppressor strip. He then told me the cost would be $170, that if I didn't want it fixed, he would just take his part out and we could pick it up. By the way, he said all he had to do was to change out a "regulator". The call ended.

I did some research on my surge supressor, and found it had a $75,000 connected equipment warranty (and I have all the receipts!). We called and told him we were going to look into the warranty on that and would let him know if we wanted it fixed. He then told us it probably was not a surge. We said we would call him later.

We got the packet from Monster Cable, and figured it would just be a pain to submit everything (you have to send the strip in and it could take a month for them to diagnose) so we decided to just have the TV fixed.

I called the repair guy this morning to tell him we wanted it fixed and would pick it up when he's done. He then told me he's already put it back together, and does not want to deal with us or an insurance company any longer (nothing was ever said about insurance), and to come pick up the tv. He said this very rudely plus some other things. We told him we were not going to submit anything to insurance or anything else, we just wanted the TV fixed. He refuses to fix it.

However, he told us he's keeping his replacment regulator in the TV, that it runs for 4-5 hrs before turning off. Keeps it off, and it turns back on.

Any clue what could be going on, and why this guy does not want to fix it for us? He told us not to pay him for the part, he just wants the tv out of his shop. We were never rude to him, and we just took him this tv last week. It's not like it's been sitting there for a month!

We are picking it up tomorrow, since it is our TV, what questions should we ask, and should we tell him we want the original part back.

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  • 2 more comments 
  • vdrsolo Nov 16, 2007

    Thanks for the quick response. You are correct, as soon as we mentioned the surge protector, things changed. But the thing is, we were willing to pay to have it fixed, and get it out of his shop, and not worry about submitting anything. We told him this.

    We picked it up this morning, he told us he replaced two transistors, but did not give us part numbers or IC references. Would it be ok to call him back and request this or do you think he may be steering clear of providing any documentation? He didn't provide any type of receipt.

    My concern now is that he says it will run about 4 hrs, then you have to unplug it and let it cool for about 15min, then it will run another 4 hrs, is this a safety or fire hazard?

  • vdrsolo Nov 18, 2007

    The only other shop near us was the one that wanted to charge us $360 to change out the whole board.

    We have also noticed that sometimes when we plug it in, it "pops", but runs. We put it in our basement and only watch it a little at a time.

    Why would he change those transistors, and keep them in there, and not charge for this? I'm assuming that maybe they are soldered in, and transistors are cheap? He said the only reason he is not charging us is because "he did not complete the repair", what else should he have done? I would like to educate myself in case we decide to take it back to shop #1 (which, by the way, charged us $20 for a estimate that goes towards the cost of repair). We would probably have to pay another $20, and they would probably still want to change out the board.

  • vdrsolo Nov 19, 2007

    Thanks for your response. We were not planning on putting anymore than $200 in to repair an 8 year old TV (even though it was $2300 new), and since it looks like we cannot find anyone to fix it, I guess we are stuck.

    Is the TV safe to watch for short periods of time, based on the info I have provided?

  • Olreg May 09, 2008

    Yes, I have the same problem, TV intermittently turns itself off for no apparent reason.



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Let me start by saying what I use to tell new technicians, "Nothing excuses bad behavior". Now that being said lets discuss what happened. Your voltage regulator to the B+ of horizontal output transistor went bad (this with the damper diode regulates the pulses are used by the IHVT (Integrated High Voltage Transformer) to create the high voltage used by the CRT anode. As you have figured out, shop #1 tried to rip you off or they did not have anyone that could troubleshoot at component level, a lot of shops still have this problem.

He charge you a fair price $170.00, where things went wrong was when you asked what could have caused this, he replied a power surge, you said in so many works that you had a surge protector connected to which he said no you just had a power strip connected. This was more or less him reliving a bad experience with power surge protectors, customers, insurance companies, and lawyers. To make a long story short TV shop owners hate it when you say that you had a power strip with surge protection, because this means that they have to wait for you to get your money from either the protector company or they have to wait until the court case is over before they are paid anything, and some customers have been caught in filing false reports and then the TV shop is caught up in this whole mess and the owner could be charged as a co-conspirator, thus possibly lose his shop because of a fraud charge. It other words he was scared.

First apologize for the misunderstanding, then ask if he would give you a list of the parts used on your set, and explain that this list is just to provide a work history of the set, Tell him that you in no way meant him any disrespect or hard feelings. This may or may not help, but it will show him that no harm was intended.
Just ask for the list, not the original part.

Once you have your set back take it and the list to another shop and this time don't ask "What could have caused this" Just ask if faulty power could cause this to happen? .

I hope this answers your question and provides relief.

Thank you,

Posted on Nov 16, 2007

  • 1 more comment 
  • Henry McKelvey
    Henry McKelvey Nov 17, 2007

    It is not safe to do that, I would take the set to another shop and explain to them what happened.

    Let me know how this turns out.

    Thank you,


  • Henry McKelvey
    Henry McKelvey Nov 18, 2007

    Hello I'll give you a line by line breakdown:

    Q) Why would he change those transistors, and keep them in there, and not charge for this?

    A) He wanted you out of his shop with no paperwork, this keeps him out of legal trouble.

    Q) I'm assuming that maybe they are soldered in, and transistors are cheap?

    A) Transistors don't really cost that much these days, and they are soldered in the set.

    Q) He said the only reason he is not charging us is because "he did not complete the repair", what else should he have done?

    A) There are a number of things, for one he would and may have to replace the safety capacitor, possibly the damper diode, or one of the capacitors connected to the power supply. These are just examples based on experiences.

    Statement) I would like to educate myself in case we decide to take it back to shop #1 (which, by the way, charged us $20 for a estimate that goes towards the cost of repair). We would probably have to pay another $20, and they would probably still want to change out the board.

    Reply) Yes you will have to pay another $20, but I would be very careful about taking it back, because They may have known how to repair it all along, a planned on repairing the board and charging you for a new one. Who knows for sure. The fact if now you know that two components have been replaced and possibly there are at least three others that need replacement.

    It's up to you to decide what to do, I wish you well in your choice.

    Thank you,


  • Henry McKelvey
    Henry McKelvey Nov 19, 2007

    Given that the problem is in the HV section, I would not call this a safe condition.



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