Jim D

11:40PM | 02/02/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
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


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.
The Appliance Information Site


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


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


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
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