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 Post subject: Is my monitor going bad?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:11 pm 
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For the last several weeks (maybe months) my 6 year old Dell monitor has been showing signs...bottom section of screen has gotten dull and yellow/orangish in color. This week it started flickering very badly...just about driving one crazy. Then suddenly it went black. I assume this means it has gone bad. I also assume that these things are not worth repairing and it is time for a replacement. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this...for all I know there is some $.25 capacitor that fixes it.)

Here is a link to my failing 24" Dell Monitors specs.

Here is a link to the 27' Acer Specs I am considering as a replacement.

The two monitors seem quite similar in specs and are obviously low priced and not spectacular in terms of performance. I have been happy with the Dell so I'm not really interested in spending much to achieve a much better performance. The one thing I'm just slightly concerned with is that I would be buying the new Acer at Walmart...they have it for $119. That seems quite low, especially considering it is a 27" monitor. Maybe prices have just come down that much for these entry level monitors.

My question, is there anything that I may have missed that would flag this particular Acer as a monitor to avoid. I should mention that any monitor I use needs to have DVI as a connection option. Never got HDMI working on my hackintosh.

I appreciate any input.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:53 pm 
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The more expensive 27" displays use higher resolutions than 1080p, which is partially why that monitor is so cheap. It's also a VA (either PVA or MVA, Acer doesn't seem to specify which) panel, which makes it considerably cheaper although with visual issues related to VA panels. The good news is that VA is normally considered a step up from the TN panel in your old Dell, so it probably will have less issues.

I try to go with IPS displays for better color and viewing angles, although they tend to be slightly slower to refresh, I'm more worried about visual quality than getting a 1ms faster refresh. Plus if I really cared I would get a display with G-Sync or Freesync or whatever those damn proprietary standards are that selectively refresh parts of the screen instead of the entire screen at once (i think they only work over displayport). I don't think Apple supports either but I would use it under Windows.

Unfortunately this is probably a case of "try it and see" and count on a decent return policy, because most people buying displays don't know how to properly evaluate them, so you'll have to find out what's bad after you purchase it. Things like dynamic contrast and fuzziness caused by "image enhancements" and similarly annoying things that you'll want to turn off but will have to futz with the display in order to figure out how to turn them off.

I'm kind of charmed in this regard because the few displays I've bought with that stuff were pretty easy to find and disable, although I do have a Samsung TV with dynamic contrast that simply won't turn off and looks like hell when a lot of the screen is dark (though I probably should change my desktop background on that system to something other than black :lol: ).


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:43 pm 
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Definitely not a .25 cent cap, had that happen on my Samsung monitor at home
screen just went black because of no power, no color shifts or dimming.
Just a victim of the Capacitor Plague.

It sounds like the either the board that supplies power ( inverter ? ) to the lamps or the CCFLs themselves
went belly up, more likely the CCFL.

Replacements can be bought, but you have to weigh the cost of replacing both lamps which your
Dell monitor has and possibly the board that supplies power to the CCFL's vs a new monitor.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:37 am 
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jimcha wrote:
Definitely not a .25 cent cap, had that happen on my Samsung monitor at home
screen just went black because of no power, no color shifts or dimming.
Just a victim of the Capacitor Plague.

It sounds like the either the board that supplies power ( inverter ? ) to the lamps or the CCFLs themselves
went belly up, more likely the CCFL.

Replacements can be bought, but you have to weigh the cost of replacing both lamps which your
Dell monitor has and possibly the board that supplies power to the CCFL's vs a new monitor.


Not to mention the sheer hassle of doing it all. With prices being what they are today, it's better to just get a new monitor with better tech for less than you paid for your old one to begin with.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:14 am 
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Having used quite a few of the K272 monitors and supporting them I can give them a great recommendation for the price. They also have a 3 year warranty standard. Thats a great price on that monitor at walmart. It appears to be one of their Christmas specials. They have them priced pretty much at cost.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 12:35 pm 
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Squishy Tia wrote:

Not to mention the sheer hassle of doing it all. With prices being what they are today, it's better to just get a new monitor with better tech for less than you paid for your old one to begin with.


That's very true about repairing vs buying new, but if you're in the mood for repair ....


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:20 pm 
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That's a good half my repair projects, repairing things because I feel like repairing things. The other half is repairing things because there's no money left in the budget for replacing it. My long-suffering car falls into this category.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:15 am 
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I got my new monitor and like it very much. It is an improvement over the old one. I'm also going to try and repair the old one too. I bought a cheap kit with all the appropriate caps specific to my monitors power supply board. It just seemed like a fun little project. It may or may not work. Cheap enough to give it a try and maybe end up with dual monitors.

Thanks one and all for the helpful thoughts and comments. I'll update when I'm done trying to repair the old monitor.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:41 pm 
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*UPDATE*

I replaced all 10 capacitors in the PS inverter board (not sure what it is officially called). None of them looked bad but I thought if I'm going to change any I would change all anyway. I spent about $10 and an hour. The result.......still not working! I figured going in I maybe had a 50/50 chance and it was worth the $10 outlay. I'm not throwing good money after bad though and this monitor's life has come to an end. It served me pretty well for about 6 or so years I guess.

As always I appreciate the efforts to assist me :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:42 pm 
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You could always look into new CCFLs but that's going to be more parts with no guarantee of success.

I would first hook it up to a computer, power everything on, then verify whether you can see the display if you shine a flashlight on the display. There's a little trick to getting it to light up a section of the glass without completely blinding you in the process, usually I press it all the way up against the glass then lift and/or rock the light to the side where I'm pretty sure something's going to be (login window, menu bar, dock, etc.). It'll be a dark ghostly reflection but you'll be able to faintly see what's on screen.

At that point you know the display is working but the backlight is what's failed. And backlights will be either the inverter or CCFLs. Based on the spec sheet yours has two CCFLs, and you need to get ones suitable for your display - like a fluorescent tube they can't be cut to shape, they have to be the correct length, thickness, etc. or its a no-go. I think they all run at the same voltage but I'll let someone else field that one... it's been 10 years since I last replaced one, and even then I bought one specifically or the laptop model in question... but... it was still a pain to install. The wires were the wrong length and I had to transplant the existing connector onto them and hope I did a good enough job to not short out in the future. Being a display vs. a laptop it would be less likely to get jostled loose though.


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