I used to have an interest in repairing CRT monitors. Just why, I am not sure, mostly it was a challenge I guess, and when I have a working monitor on the table in front of me, I am usually sure that it is just one (or a few) small and relatively inexpensive components that need to be replaced. Sometimes this is true.

However, I have lost all interest in repairing CRT monitors. It is quite dangerous for one thing, and on the other hand I now view a broken CRT as an opportunity to send it to the landfill and replace it with a DFP (digital flat panel). If you have a broken CRT, I recommend that you pitch it and count your blessings.

Flat Panel technology has now matured to the point where I can find cheap flat panels being sold on the used/surplus market. And I recently took a chance and bought a Dell 1708fp, which is a cute little 17 inch monitor with DVD connector. The problem is that it pretty much does not work. It will blink the power button, but the screen remains dark.

Consider that a brand new Dell 17 inch (an E170S) can be purchased from NewEgg for $140.00 (in December of 2010), so you have to ask yourself how much effort it is worth to repair something that you can replace (or upgrade) for this much money. 17 inch monitors typically has 1280x1024 resolution.

Rumor has it that a lot of Dell monitors fail because transistors in the inverter circuit go bad. Jose Pino describes how he fixed his Dell E172Fbp monitor in this nice post. To summarize:

In his E172fbp, the bad transistors were NPN bipolar 2C5707 parts (80 volt, 8 amp). He replaced them with TIP3055 pars (70 volt, 10 amp). The TIP3055 were much bigger and needed to be shoehorned in, but the repair worked, and these parts were more readily available and cheaper than the 2C5707 parts. He says the parts cost was about $8.00.

These 4 transistors drive the transformer that produces the high voltage that drives the backlight.

A generic suggestion is to open the thing up and look for swollen or leaking electrolytic capacitors. Take a look at badcaps.net

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!