Stop your whining!
March 2, 2006 7:08 AM   Subscribe

My eMac is whining at me.

I've got a 1 GHz G4 eMac that has started to emit a high-pitched whine. Not incredibly loudly, but loud enough to be annoying. This has been happening for some time, but it used to be more intermittently. Now it's fairly steady.

The only thing that helps is to change the resolution of the monitor. I normally work in 1152 x 864 (80 Hz, Millions). If I lower the res to 1024 x 768 (89 Hz, Millions) it stops. If I switch it back to the higher res, it immediately starts up again.

I can't work in that lower resolution.

posted by papercake to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Shot in the dark: Macintouch just had a report of some eMacs apparently having a bad-capacitor problem (similar to the one that plagued flat-panel iMacs not long ago). I would not be surprised if you were encountering this problem from a bad cap in your flyback transformer (Many years ago, I had the same problem with my 128K Mac, and it whined too).

The symptoms described on Macintouch are different, but the cause could be the same.
posted by adamrice at 7:57 AM on March 2, 2006

My first guess would be an aging fan in the video area, that ramps up at the higher resolution and squeals. But it's just a guess -- I don't even know if the eMac video stuff has a fan.

I did not realize that any eMacs had the cap problem, but I'd definitely check into that. My iMac needed a new logic board and PSU because of that, and the warranty was extended.
posted by teece at 9:35 AM on March 2, 2006

High-pitched whines in CRTs are almost always caused by the flyback transformer. Doesn't have anything to do with capacitors -- it's a mechanical problem. The windings of the transformer coil get slightly loose and vibrate enough to be audible.

Not that I recommend this or anything, but I used to have a cheap terminal that started whining, and I'd give it a sharp whack to make it shut up. That worked often enough to be satisfying, but it's not exactly a long-term reliable solution.
posted by xil at 11:49 AM on March 2, 2006

Response by poster: I've done some whackin' and it's not helpin', unfortunately.

Thanks for the input, all.
posted by papercake at 4:34 PM on March 2, 2006

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