My monitor is broke
June 16, 2005 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I have a MAG Innovision DX890F 19 inch monitor which has apparently died...

Like most monitors, it typically has a power save notification indicating that it is okay, etc, and even that doesn't come on the screen any more. When plugged in to a computer, nothing happens.

When powered on, there is a familiar click and a slight "Whomp" noise which normally indicated that the CRT was firing up. It sounds normal except for the lack of a static noise as the glass became magnetized or whatever normally happens to a glass screen.

Can I fix it? Should I try to? It is 5 years old now. Is that the typical life span of a monitor?

I've read that normal people shouldn't open up a monitor because the CRT or a transistor nearby maintains a powerful charge which could electrocute somebody who doesn't know what they are doing. Do I know enough to mess around with that?
posted by ajpresto to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
 
Do I know enough to mess around with that?
I'm no monitor repairman, but I think that's one of those questions where if you have to ask it, the answer is probably no.
posted by zztzed at 5:19 PM on June 16, 2005


You definitely DO NOT want to open your monitor up, unless you really know what you're doing. The CRT, if dropped or banged around could implode and you run the risk of getting glass stuck in you. The capacitors store lots of charge at a very high voltage which could kill you, if not throw you across the room.

That said, I remember when one of my monitors died a few years ago, after about 7 years in use, it would cost me much more to fix it than buy a new one. That probably still applies.
posted by scalespace at 5:39 PM on June 16, 2005


Alrighty... it's in the garbage can. Thanks.
posted by ajpresto at 5:42 PM on June 16, 2005


The monitor section of the Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ is a good place to start. They thoroughly cover the required safety precautions.
posted by Chuckles at 5:55 PM on June 16, 2005


Yes, getting a shock from 20 kV is not fun -- even if the current technically isn't enough to kill you -- any sharps nearby will when your convulsed body impales itself on them.
posted by shepd at 6:24 PM on June 16, 2005


Nope, not the garbage can. Way too much lead and other enviromentally nasty chemicals in for that.
posted by jeribus at 6:47 PM on June 16, 2005


Yes, better to dump it in a landfill. Landfills built in, oh, the past several decades have several meters of clay (thick enough to stop a jumbo jet in its tracks nevermind a bit of lead) and generally have a specialized design to prevent anything leaching from the garbage into the surrounding environment. The best part is they are designed to be safely filled in when full and the land can be reused without any danger whatsoever, using modern techniques.

Older landfills and poor filling techniques have caused massive damage so those are to be avoided. That shouldn't be too hard since you'll read about those in your local paper quite often.

That's the thing: If you dump it in the garbage you can't be sure if it will go to the 100 year old landfill or the one that's only 40 or 50 years old.
posted by shepd at 9:08 PM on June 16, 2005


Your community may have a specific hazardous waste disposal location, or a particular day on which you are supposed to bring TVs and computer monitors in.

Last year I took advantage of an Office Depot program that let you bring in one computer and one monitor per store per day. Got rid of about 5 or 6 useless machines that way.
posted by kindall at 9:12 PM on June 16, 2005


Dispose of it an an appropriate manner.

When I was in college, the sweet-spot for low price and large screen area was the MAG DX17F. Of three freshmen that had them, two died* of natural causes within as many years. The third was found mysteriously full of liquid dial soap. Mag generously replaced all three.

Outside the warranty period, any CRT short of a pro-grade Trinitron (ie, has actual resale value greater than $200) is best recycled.

*monitors, not freshmen. Freshmen in New Jersey rarely die of natural causes.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:29 AM on June 17, 2005


Well, I am going to open it up and look around... I've read that there may just be a fuse in there that got blown... I'll be careful not to touch much of anything.
posted by ajpresto at 4:02 AM on June 17, 2005


ajpresto, if you decide to open it up, your main thing to avoid is everything attached to the big red cable hooked into the tube.

There are other hazardous voltages in the monitor when it is off (such as on the power supply caps) but that anode wire is a killer.
posted by shepd at 8:41 AM on June 17, 2005


If you decide to open it up, work with one hand in your pocket. A big shock is bad; a big shock sending current across your chest from one hand to the other is very bad.
posted by mendel at 8:49 AM on June 17, 2005


Amen to all of the above. If you decide to go inside, be safe. There are two big things to worry about: The flyback transformer (upconverts ~120v to thousands) and the CRT itself, which is essentially a really big glass capacitor. Either can and will zap the life right out of you. There will also be various smaller capacitors in there that can give you a jolt, but are unlikely to kill you. They are can shaped, and usually blue or black.

But here's my advice. Rid yourself of that thing and and consider that fate is recommending that you upgrade. It's time for an LCD. I run dual 17" LCDs after having run dual 19" CRTs for years, and the quality just can't be compared. Upgrade to an LCD. You won't regret it.
posted by SlyBevel at 2:01 PM on June 20, 2005


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