Plasma TV Repair Myths

Plasma TVs. You know ‘em, you love ‘em. If you’ve tried to troubleshoot one, you probably love to hate them. Or mostly hate, let’s face it. Repairing a plasma is right up there with giving the dog a bath. By the end of it, everyone’s angry and scratched up and paranoid, but at least it’s done.

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One of the worst things about repairing these TVs is the weird misinformation you run into during your research. Oh, did I say “misinformation”? I meant LIES. Here’s a few you may have heard…

1. RADIATION HAZARD!

I sort of get it. “Plasma” is kind of a scary term, but so is “electron gun”, “litter box” and “microwave”. Two of those things actually give off sterilizing radiation, but no one ever sweats them. Except me — cats are just filthy, awful things. The real truth is that the plasma in a plasma TV is essentially the same stuff in a fluorescent bulb.

2. Fill ‘er up!

I can’t imagine who started this rumor. A plasma screen is not an aquarium filled with super-heated poisonous gas that you’ll have to refill at home. And if you thought this and still bought one, are you like a super-villain in training or something?

 3. Plasmas have an expiration date.

This myth is at least a bit more grounded, as people toss around terms like “planned obsolescence” all the time. The truth is much less conspiratorial, however. They’re not designed to fail. It’s just a fast moving technology, like cell phones or cyborgs.          

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As long as you treat your plasma TV like any other high-end tech, it will last you. Just remember to keep it cool, clean and in good repair.

The real truth to plasma TV repair is that it’s not easy, but it’s far from impossible. Also, it’s a whole lot cheaper than buying a new TV. Best of all, we’re here to help! Search our site, call our Customer Service, or you can even talk to our tech support for free!

So don’t be afraid. We can get through this. Together.

ShopJimmy Super Game Challenge

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Think you’re the best armchair quarterback in all the land? Prove it and win a TV! 

Complete the form below and pick the final score of the game. If you correctly guess the winning team AND final score, you’ll score a sweet 42” TV! If you correctly pick the winner of the game, we’ll add $10 in SJ Store Credit to your account. Good luck!

Click here to make your pick today!


Contest rules:
- Picks must be submitted by Sunday, February 2nd at 12:00 pm CST
- One entry per person
- US contestants are only eligible to win TV
- TV winner must pick correct winner and exact, final score
- TV winner will be selected at random if there are multiple contestants eligible 
- SJ Store Credit added to accounts will be available through 4/31/14

Create RMA’s and Return Shipping Labels Online!

For the love of the interwebs! Our returns process has officially and finally entered the digital era. You can now create RMA’s and return shipping labels online. No phone calls. No emails. No hassle. Here’s how to do it:

1. Review our Returns Guidelines and then click the “Start Returns Process” button if your return meets the criteria. 

2. You’ll now encounter our “ShopJimmy Returns Manager” portal, which is just a fancy way to describe the place where you create your RMA and return label. Yes, it looks a little different from our website, but you’re in the right place!

3. Enter your “Order Number” (the order that you wish to return) and “Billing Zip Code” and click “Next.” If your order doesn’t meet our Returns Guidelines, you will see an error message. If you believe this is a mistake, please contact us. 

4. Next, select your “Return Type” (Return or Replace), “Return Reason” and “Return Quantity.” If you need a replacement part, we will send you a replacement the following business day (if not available, we will contact you to discuss other options and/or issue a refund). If you select “Defective” for your “Return Reason,” please add the reason it’s defective and your TV model number (that will help us test the part when we receive it). 

5. Review the “RMA Summary” and make sure all of your information is correct. Once you hit “Submit” and your RMA is approved, you can create your return shipping label. 

6. You can email or print your return shipping label and also schedule a USPS package pick-up. If you decide to print your shipping label, please make sure your browser allows pop-ups for this webpage. If you’re having the package picked-up, you will need to schedule the pick-up date and add any notes for USPS.

And you’re set! Slap the label on the original shipping box and take it to your nearest USPS location (if you didn’t schedule a pick-up). Once we receive it, we will process your return (and refund, if necessary) according to our Returns Policy. Please note that a $7.95 shipping label fee and/or a 20% restocking fee may apply to your return. Again, please review our Returns Policy and contact us with any questions!

Pizza Pizza!

We held a pizza eating contest this week and seven hungry SJ’ers tried to down two medium pizzas as fast as possible. It was both hilarious and slightly unsettling. In the end, one man consumed the pizzas quicker than the rest (a little over five minutes!). Jimmy gave it his best effort and managed to grab the silver medal. There are conflicting reports about how many TUMS were also consumed later that day, but we imagine the over/under is somewhere in the double-digits. 

Our Holiday Schedule

Happy holidays! We hope you get to spend some quality time with family and friends and maybe, just maybe, squeeze in fixing a TV or two. We will be working hard and shipping promptly these next few weeks, but here are a few exceptions:

12/24 (Tue): We’ll have a few Customer Service Reps and no orders will be shipped
12/25 (Wed): We are out of the office and no orders will be shipped
12/31 (Tue): We’ll have a few Customer Service Reps and no orders will be shipped
1/1/14 (Wed): We are hungover out of the office and no orders will be shipped

If you have any questions about the status/tracking of your order, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!

What’s a capacitor’s capacity, anyway?

Hello friends! It’s been a while since I, Chris, nerded up the blogosphere, but I am back! We’ve seen a lot of new changes here at SJ, with new products and processes, and I wanted to let all of you know that we continue to work hard to keep our customers happy and informed.

To that end, many of you have probably noticed that we are now carrying components. I wanted to talk about capacitors specifically, as we seem to be get a lot of questions about them.

When we first started selling these, I knew just this side of nothing about them. I knew they looked like batteries, that when they go bad they tend to expand, and they had something to do with either electrical power or time travel or hopefully, both. 

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Doc, you let the whole team down. I was mostly wrong.

Capacitors are actually insanely simple. All you need to make one is two electrical conductors separated by an insulator — almost anything will do. One of the first capacitors was a wire, a glass jar filled with water, and a dude’s hand. He noticed that when he touched the wire he got a really nasty jolt that was way worse than the shocks he’d been getting all day, presumably just messing around with electricity and water.

That was way back in 1745 folks and dude’s name was Von Kliest, and he was from a part of Germany called Pomerania. This makes complete sense to me. I have a Pomeranian at home who can’t even steal comics that are in order, much less from the same company.

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HANS?! BAD DOG!!! 

What Van Kliest discovered was that if you have two conductors separated by an insulator, that insulator will develop an electric field, giving the capacitor the ability to store more of a charge than if the conductors were linked — just like you store energy in a stretched rubber band that you plan on shooting at your (girlfriend’s) Pomeranian for messing with your comics.

Which brings us to TVs. (RELEVANT!!!) Capacitors that are found on TV power supplies are primarily used for power conditioning. That has nothing to do with silky smooth hair; I know this because my girlfriend is a hairstylist. Did I mention I have a girlfriend? (NOT RELEVANT!!!)

What this means is that capacitors maintain an even flow of power across the circuit to prevent fluctuations and surges and provide a nice clean flow of electricity from the power source. Like valves, but for electricity. Or goalies in soccer, I think? Is that the sport with the nets and the kicking? (GO TEAM!)

We usually take notice of them when they fail. Worn out capacitors usually bulge or burst when they’ve taken too many jolts that go beyond their rating, or as they just reach the normal end of their life. Typically, it’s when the insulating fluid vaporizes or the capacitors overheat.

That’s where we come in. If you are looking for a new capacitor, check the ratings on the one that you need to replace. There should be microfarads (or uf) and volts (or V). Just like in the picture and part description on this capacitor.

With those two numbers you can figure out which capacitor you need and, with a bit of soldering, you’ll be back to conditioned, silky, smooth, vibrant electrical current! As always, if you have questions, ShopJimmy Customer service is happy to help!