COMMUNITY FORUM

Jim D

11:40PM | 02/02/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
Hi All! I'm hoping Dan O or someone may have some ideas for me on this one. The house I'm renting has a Quasar Surface Saver Microwave Oven, Model MQ9994XW, manufacturing date July 1984. (It's mounted over the top of the stove. Its built-in fan acts as the range hood for the stove.) Last week, it apparently took a power surge which rendered the touch panel inoperative. (The clock was out and all I had was a flashing ":". None of the touch pad buttons would work.) The unit is apparently hard-wired into the AC (I haven't found a plug for it) so I have to flip the breaker to remove power to it. I've tried flipping the breaker off and on, as well as leaving it off overnight, to see if it'd reset. (When we've had power outages, we've had to flip the breaker off and on so we could reset the clock.)

I've been trying to locate a owner's manual or service manual via the web but no luck so far. I've surmised by one web search that Matsu****a now owns the Quasar line (I ended up on a Japanese website at one point...and in 4 years there, I never learned to read Kanjii!).

I've got to call a few appliance repair shops today (someone locally helped me track down the glass panels for the stove-top lights before, but that was over 2 years ago). However, I'm not hopeful they'll be able to help. If anyone has some leads on finding service manuals for older appliances, please let me know! (Dan, I tried your link but I didn't find anything there on Quasar.) I'd hate to invest in a control board or new touch panel before getting a service manual. Regards to all!

Jim D/Heathsville, VA

Jim D

07:50AM | 02/03/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Hi All - I found a solution that didn't immediately strike me this weekend. In the first post, I mentioned hitting the Matsush*ta website in Japan. It had on it, in English, "National" and "Panasonic" - Panasonic is the familiar export and National is the same thing domestically in Japan. (I did remember that from living for 4 years in Tokyo...)

In calling a couple local appliance dealers, someone said Panasonic Co. may be worth a shot. I hit their website for Consumer Electronics, and in a couple minutes had some part numbers for the manuals. I called their 800 number to verify the apparent non-availability of the manuals and found out the manuals are Xerox'ed from their original copy in Kent, WA. I also found they do sell a service manual, so I now have these items on order.

I figure the low price (under $25 for 3 manuals, with shipping) was worth it. If I can't diagnose it, I know I can locate a repair shop and give them the service manual to use. Panasonic listed several independent service shops within 100 miles of my rural home that can provide repair on this model microwave.

So, the hint for others is to go ahead and call your local repair shops if your initial; web searches don't turn anything up...sometimes the shops can offer leads that pan out well! And, I did like Dan O's website even if it didn't have the info I needed. Regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

DanO

01:17PM | 02/03/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2271 lifetime posts
You're right, I don't have Quasar listed. I will correct that. Their parent company is Panasonic as you've found out.

You might check the repair database at the following link. It has common repairs for various brands of microwave ovens. Maybe it'll have some tips on repairs for conditions similar to yours? Although, I think there's a high probability that the circuit board will need to be replaced or repaired (if possible).

LINK > MicroTech FiX Finder Database
(which IS listed in the 'Appliance Links' section of my site)


Dan O.
www.Appliance411.com
The Appliance Information Site

=Ð~~~~~~

Jim D

11:26PM | 02/03/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Hi, Dan O - I did find that link and follow it when I hit your website. This time, I used the search function and it did pull up some brief mentions of Panasonic and Quasar microwaves. I used "Touch Pad" as my search pattern.

Since I'm not in the repair business (just a handy renter with 28+ years electronics experience), I didn't search that site over more thoroughly. The repair CD would probably be useful to others who do have repair businesses.

The other nice thing at the Panasonic site was I found the Control Board would cost me about $175. (It listed many of the more common parts and their prices.) When I get the manuals and hopefully can diagnose the problem, I can let the landlord know what it may cost him for repairs and a replacement item. (The wife wants to go browse the appliance stores anyway...)

Dan O, thanks again for the original link to your site and the advice you provide! Regards to all! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

Jim D

11:48PM | 02/06/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Hi - my service manual from Panasonic in Kent, WA arrived by mail last night...I ordered it on February 3 by phone so that's pretty good in my book. The installation manual is incorporated into the service manual so that'll help me remove the unit and do some troubleshooting.

I've already taken a quick peek at that section and have several things to check...a 15A fuse, some switches, a ribbon cable connecting the touch pad (membrane switch pad) to the control board (DSP), and the control board itself. I now have another project for the weekend. (If I get home today - lots of snow and more coming down...and me with a 105-mile commute each way each day. To answer the obvious questions...I'm active duty military, the wife works and commutes 78 miles each way herself, and it's the only way we can live under the same roof each day...we love weekends, holidays, and snow days! )

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

DanO

09:56AM | 02/07/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2271 lifetime posts
** have several things to check...a 15A fuse **

Normally if the internal fuse blew, nothing would work on the microwave at all (with maybe the exception of the exhaust fan) but it is easy enough to check for continuity.

I hope you'll keep us up to date. Good luck!

Dan O.

Jim D

11:33PM | 02/09/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Dan O - hi again! I saw the sign you quoted on your other post...someone swiped the one I had just like it!

Anyway - I removed the microwave unit from under the cabinet and disassembed it to get to the parts. The 15A fuse was good, as you and I thought it would be. (How else would the ":" for the clock be flashing?) The next step was to check the thermal cutoff for the low votage transformer - it was good (it had continuity). The next step was to check the windings of the low votage transformer itself - it measured 28.1 ohms and the manual says "approximately 30 ohms" so it's good. That takes it to the control board (DPC)...nothing looked obviously burned but there's several good-sized ICs on the board, any of which could be bad. The service manual doesn't cover what voltages to look for at the various test points I see labeled on the board, so...

Panasonic wants $172 for the board. New microwaves with the same features as this Quasar run anywhere from $250 - $600 in my area, based on the searches I've done on the Internet. I'll order the board this Friday (payday) and install it when it comes in, and see what happens. That way, if other parts are needed, at least I can troubleshoot it down further. And, when I'm all done, I can tell the landlord that it's working or it's shot. I haven't decided if I'll be passing the bill to the landlord or not.

Dan O, I'll keep you posted but the next update may be a couple weeks off, depending on the availability of the board and how fast it gets shipped. Regards to all! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

rpxlpx

08:10AM | 02/10/03
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
Just a note: if you haven't already OK'd all this with your landlord, I wouldn't bother "passing on" the expense - unless you've got a really good, trusting relationship.
With most landlords, if a tenant said "Oh, by the way, I fixed your microwave and now it'll cost you $$xxx"....
Well, that just wouldn't fly.
If you have a standard contract, it's up to the landlord to decide how to handle such things, NOT the tenant.

Jim D

11:19PM | 02/10/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
RPXLPX - hi, and you're right on all counts. First off, my rental agreement states the landlord is responsible for repairs to the house and appliances. It seems to be a standard clause as I've seen similar wording in nearly all 10 of my leases over the last 28+ years of renting all over the world. (The military's moved me around a bit in that time...)

Second, my landlord told me when I first moved in that should anything break and I needed to get it fixed, to go ahead and do so and send him the bill. (I'd been through two interviews with he and his wife prior to them accepting my rental application. I know they checked with my two most recent landlords. I also discussed my DIY abilities with them.) He stated it was hard for him to locate repairmen in my local area since he lives over 150 miles away.

Third, I'd already demonstrated good faith with him in repairing his whirlpool bathtub and outdoor Jacuzzi, keeping him informed and only passing on costs over $100. (The only thing he's insisted on reimbursing me for was a special-order Jacuzzi cover which ran $275. I offered to split the cost and he refused very nicely. The repairs to the bathtub and Jacuzzi ran me around $125, counting long-distance phone calls to parts warehouses and original manufacturers. He offered to pay those and I declined because I learned quite a bit from doing the repairs.)

You're right, though - renters need to notify their landlords immediately when they encounter problems, and let the landlords determine the best course of action to take. Sometimes, they have contacts who can do the repairs/get parts at prices well below the going rates. In my case, if what I'm doing doesn't fix the microwave, I'll let the landlord know when it died, the circumstances around it (probable power line transients during a recent snowstorm), what I've done to fix it, and then we'll go from there. I'm proud to say I've never left a rental property in the same or worse shape than when I've moved in - I've always made some improvements that have pleased the landlords. Have a great day! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

doug seibert

01:17AM | 02/12/03
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
Don't get me wrong......I'm a fix and repair kind of guy........BUT......I wonder about spending so much money on an appliance that is 18 years old.......doug

Jim D

11:08PM | 02/12/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Doug - hi, and I understand what you're saying. The unit worked perfectly until I found it dead one night after work. The first thing most of the local appliance shops told me was "It'll be very hard to find parts" and "Why bother? Buy a new one!" I priced new units and they started at $275 and up for similar sized units with the same features. I'm doing the fix on my own time and I'd never ask the landlord to reimburse me for that. If I end up spending $175 or so on parts and fix it, great...if I don't fix it, I've learned a few things in the process that I can possibly apply to my own home someday. If I didn't have the time, the money, or the desire to work on this, I'm sure the landlord would already have a new unit in place. I did ask myself the same cost effectiveness question before even pulling the unit off the wall and removing the cover. Take care - regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

Jim D

09:30AM | 02/14/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
To All - well, I struck out on this one. The control board's no longer made and there's no suitable substitute. (I didn't think to ask about the part's availability before since I wasn't sure what I'd need. The Panasonic parts website listed it and gave a price; it's not until you begin ordering it that you can check its availability online. I also called Panasonic to be sure, since my manuals weren't listed originally.)

So, I get to advise the landlord and off he goes to the store for a new one...or, he may tell me to go buy a suitable one and send him the bill. This lesson only cost me $7.32 for the service/installation manual and a couple hours of time...not bad, in my book.

Regards to all - have a great holiday weekend! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

DanO

06:36AM | 02/15/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2271 lifetime posts
On Sharp microwaves, most of those boards can be repaired, usually by the factory. Check with an area authorized Panasonic service depot to see if they can send yours away for repair or repair it them self.

Dan O.

Jim D

11:00PM | 03/05/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Dan O, RPXLPX, and Doug - just a final update on the Quasar microwave. I took Dan O's last advice and downloaded a list of nearby (within 100 miles) authorized service centers for the microwave. I called a few of them and found one who said they may be able to repair the board. (Most said trash the oven.) I took them the board first, and in hindsight I can understand why they looked so puzzled! (In my AF aircraft maintenance days, we had mock-ups to test parts on. The person who answered the phone when I called said it was okay to bring in just the board...so I'm totally at fault there.) I reinstalled the board back into the oven and took them the whole unit. They troubleshot it down to the circuit board like I did, and said one of the big IC chips had failed. Unfortunately, those chips were specially made for that application and there's no way to get them anymore.

The checkout cost me $45. (The shop said it'd be no charge if I let them dispose of the unit...I guess there's a few parts in there they wanted to get out of it!) Since it belongs to the landlord, I went back and got it from the shop. So - total price of the lesson was under $75 for everything including the gas for my car. At least I can assure the landlord that I tried everything reasonable to get the unit fixed. That should soften the blow of buying a new unit, if he wants one in the house. I'm also going to offer to go half on it with him since I'll get almost 2 years' use out of the unit before I move out.

Thanks once again for your assistance and sanity checks. Regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

DanO

08:09AM | 03/07/03
Member Since: 11/11/02
2271 lifetime posts
Thanks too bad but thanks for the follow up!

Dan O.

BV006570

06:39PM | 12/21/14
How did you get the old microwave out? I found two bolts that I removed from the cabinet above, but it doesn't want to slide out. Am I on the wrong track? PUN INTENDED

BV006671

07:33PM | 01/04/15
Jay D. in Atlanta ..Posted: 1/4/2015: Unfortunately I am just reading Dan's problem with his Over the Range Quasar Model MQ9994XW. I have the same unit, made in August, 1984.

DEADLY CAUTION!!!!: before tampering with components or making electrical measurements inside a microwave, SAFELY DISCHARGE THE HV CAPACITOR. Even this procedure requires a very knowledgable person. Unplugging the microwave will NOT necessarily render the capacitor safe!

Here is the fix: after a power outage, click on the Clock button, then 10min/1min/10sec/1sec buttons in succession. Then I think you can push the usual buttons to activate a cooking session ..it should reset at that point. My wife discovered this by happenstance.

Now, my problem: The display panel works, but when I am ready to push the start button to heat a bowl of water for 1 minute, i get dead silence and no change on the display panel. The vent fan works, the under hood light works. I am thinking this may be one or all of the door/interlock switches.

BV007043

10:04PM | 02/20/15
Replacing the switches.... I can't figure out how to remove the outer part which would be the top. I undid all the screws but for some reason it seems stuck along the top and the left side I don't see anymore screws that need to be removed so I can get the the door switches to replace them. My microwave works when the door is open and shuts off when its closed I ordered the part now I need to change them... Thanks for your help

BV014675

03:37AM | 09/12/17
It’s complicating, but it’s worth it. I cooked IN MICROWAVE yesterday, it was delicious. All my friends were surprised how tasty it was. Will put this recipe in my bookmarks.

BV014675

03:39AM | 09/12/17
It’s complicating, but it’s worth it. I cooked IN MICROWAVE yesterday, it was delicious. All my friends were surprised how tasty it was. Will put this recipe in my bookmarks. http://kitchentuts.com/  best electric kettle  
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