24" Widescreen CRT (FW900) From Ebay arrived,Comments.

jbltecnicspro

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Not sure what question I'm trying to answer, so here's a general summary of my experience with WinDas, signals, and modes:

My experience has been that signal generators are the easiest way to go, but the stumbling block that tripped me up early on was that I was not resetting the monitor before making adjustments.

I'll try to make this short, but all Sony multiscan monitors / projectors have a set of internal modes that are preset at the factory called preset memories. Any time you feed the monitor a signal it first checks to see if there's a match in its preset mode. If it doesn't find a match, it will then look in the user modes. User modes are automatically created, and for the most part, are beyond the end users control. To create a user mode, simply dial in a scan rate that doesn't match any of the preset modes, and the monitor automatically stores that scan rate in a new user mode memory. If that mode is dialed up again, the monitor will recall that memory and use it.

It's a very nifty feature in normal use, but can get in the way when doing calibrating. I'm not really sure what causes this, but if you try and do a WinDAS calibration on your monitor without doing a reset all, the monitor likes to report different modes to the computer. For my F520 and Artsian, if I don't do a reset all, and dial up Mode 2 (1600x1200 85hz), the monitors will both report Mode 10 back to WinDas. Reset the monitors and they're back to reporting Mode 2. Same with FW900 - I seem to recall it reporting back Mode 14 or Mode 17, when in fact it should have been reporting Mode 5. Reset the monitor (in the FW900's case, press and hold reset for a while until it blinks a couple of times) and then it's back to reporting the correct modes.

Why would it do this? I'm not really sure, but I *think* that variances in signals cause the monitor to select another user mode if there is one, and I think our computers and less-than-perfect output devices are responsible for this. The G70 allows users to see what memory block the projector is using, and it does give a little insight into this. For example, if I set frequency sensitivity to "High", it will change modes when going from my blu ray player to my DVD player, even though both are set to output 1080p! :) If I set the frequency sensitivity to low, I can get by with it only using one memory mode between the two. Both players think they're outputting 1080p, but according to the projector the blu ray player is outputting 67.5 Khz, while the DVD player is doing 67.4 Khz. If I plug in my computer and select 1080p, then the projector now has to determine whether or not it will select the memory that has the 67.4 Khz memory (Memory Block 13 in this case), or 67.5 Khz (Memory Block 24). Sometimes it selects 13, sometimes it selects 24. If I lower the sensitivity level to "low" then 99% of the time it just selects the 67.4 Khz.

Our monitors don't give us the option to select the sensitivity of the scanning detection. And I'm almost certain that the different timing standards (CVT - I'm looking at you) cause the monitor to select the correct resolution, but since CVT doesn't match GTF (or is it DMT? I forget which standard the old GDM's adhere to) exactly, the monitors simply create new user modes.

TLDR; Before doing any calibration do a full reset on your monitor. It will save you headache later. Note - if you don't reset your monitor, WinDAS won't stop you from calibrating if you're using the wrong mode (except for Factory Preset adjustment mode), but why would you want to?

In order from easiest to most difficult, here's my experience running WinDAS:
1. Running WinDAS with a compatible generator attached to it. By far the easiest because WinDAS selects the modes and patterns for you. It cuts down your calibration time to minutes and not hours (for geometry at least).
2. Running WinDAS with a generator that's not compatible. You can create your own modes and patterns and create a workflow
3. Running WinDAS with a computer attached. This one takes the longest and is potentially the least precise. In my opinion, only do this if you have no other choice or don't want to shell out for a generator.

And of course, there are no short cuts on time for doing a white balance adjustment. That's the most time consuming part of it, and shouldn't take minutes. It should take a couple of hours (or many hours depending on how critical you are). For most users who aren't doing color-critical applications, simply being within the tolerances specified by WinDAS should be enough.

That's really it. WinDAS isn't hard if you have the right tools and have practiced. Just beware that it is service-tech software and like all service software - it assumes you know what you're doing all the time. You can most definitely fuck your monitor up beyond repair. In my opinion and in my experience - most people do NOT need to do an overhaul-level calibration on a CRT monitor. Most people should only need to perform touch-ups on their screen and get the white balance levels in check. Feel free to do a ground-up adjustment (it will take some time) to attain that last 5% of perfection. But ALWAYS back up your DAT file in case you don't. ;)
 

spacediver

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thanks for the great post, JBL. Were you ever able to get 720x400 working on the FW900?

for what it's worth, I get excellent white point balance results in well under an hour in WinDAS (excluding warm-up time). Once monitor is warm, it really doesn't take long to dial everything in. And there's only so much accuracy you can achieve in the WinDAS wpb, as you're limited to 8 bit precision.
 

jbltecnicspro

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thanks for the great post, JBL. Were you ever able to get 720x400 working on the FW900?

for what it's worth, I get excellent white point balance results in well under an hour in WinDAS (excluding warm-up time). Once monitor is warm, it really doesn't take long to dial everything in. And there's only so much accuracy you can achieve in the WinDAS wpb, as you're limited to 8 bit precision.

No problem. :) Yes, I had no trouble getting 720x400 working on the FW900. It selected just like any other resolution. I assume we're talking about the FW900's Mode 2?

Edit: Regarding white balance - maybe I'm just slow but I never took under an hour doing mine. This was after letting the monitor sit and warm up for a couple of hours like the program recommends. I am using an older meter that isn't as fast at reading as your hot-rod i1 display pro so that could be it too. :D
 
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jbltecnicspro

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You know, the thought has crossed my mind to make some YouTube videos on calibrating these things with WinDas, using some proper tools. :)
 

spacediver

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No problem. :) Yes, I had no trouble getting 720x400 working on the FW900. It selected just like any other resolution. I assume we're talking about the FW900's Mode 2?
Yea, mode 2. I just wonder whether the timing parameters for mode 2 that are listed in the WinDAS instruction are listed correctly. I gather that when the generator is connected, WinDAS sends the correct timings for mode 2 to the generator, and the generator automatically implements them. But are the correct timings the ones that are listed in the WinDAS instruction? My thinking is that if there was a typo in them, that could explain why people have been unable to successfully use their PCs to get mode 2 working. But the reason for this may be the thing you talked about in your big post.


Edit: Regarding white balance - maybe I'm just slow but I never took under an hour doing mine. This was after letting the monitor sit and warm up for a couple of hours like the program recommends. I am using an older meter that isn't as fast at reading as your hot-rod i1 display pro so that could be it too. :D

yep, the i1 display pro definitely speeds things up!
 

jbltecnicspro

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upload_2016-10-31_18-23-47.png


Here's the timing specification for factory preset modes for the FW900. Just compare what's in the manual to what's instructed in WinDAS and see if they match. Wouldn't shock me if they didn't. After all, there's an ASC instruction message that's off for the FW900 geometry adjustments.

EDIT: Also if you look at modes 8 and 9 they're identical. There's an additional mode in the FW900 WinDAS menu that has a scan rate that's actually higher than the FW900 can do. Most likely Sony originally intended to make this a mode for FW900 but decided against it later on in development. I don't remember which number it's in but it's there (WinDAS even has an indicator that more or less means "can't do.").

And yes you could be right, the monitors may very well be displaying it but not selecting the actual mode.
 
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Strat_84

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About 720x400 I couldn't obtain the proper H.sync and H.BP, because Powerstrip imposes some fixed steps for timings and if you need a value that is inbetween, you're stuck. That's why I think about some software limitation.

Oh, and great piece of information about the display modes. I've been literally pulling my hairs off during the last 2 days because of the monitor being sent the exact signal for mode 5 but recognizing it as mode 10 95% of the time ... Which forbade to do the factory presets for 1920x1200@85Hz.
So all I have to do to fix this is to hold the reset button, it won't erase anything else than the custom modes above 9 ?
 

spacediver

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Here's the timing specification for factory preset modes for the FW900. Just compare what's in the manual to what's instructed in WinDAS and see if they match. Wouldn't shock me if they didn't. After all, there's an ASC instruction message that's off for the FW900 geometry adjustments.

Awesome, thanks. Strat_84 or EnhancedInterrogator, be sure to dbl check this info against the WinDAS instructions when you get a chance. And yep, the ASC instruction typo (i think it said 380 mm instead of 385 mm or something) is exactly what caused me to think of this).

EDIT: Also if you look at modes 8 and 9 they're identical. There's an additional mode in the FW900 WinDAS menu that has a scan rate that's actually higher than the FW900 can do. Most likely Sony originally intended to make this a mode for FW900 but decided against it later on in development. I don't remember which number it's in but it's there (WinDAS even has an indicator that more or less means "can't do.").

interesting.
 

spacediver

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About 720x400 I couldn't obtain the proper H.sync and H.BP, because Powerstrip imposes some fixed steps for timings and if you need a value that is inbetween, you're stuck. That's why I think about some software limitation.

keep in mind that WinDAS and the FW900 documentation lists the horizontal parameters in microseconds, while listing the vertical parameters in # of lines. I think powerstrip has # of lines for both vertical and horizontal. Could this be the source of the problem?
 

Strat_84

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keep in mind that WinDAS and the FW900 documentation lists the horizontal parameters in microseconds, while listing the vertical parameters in # of lines. I think powerstrip has # of lines for both vertical and horizontal. Could this be the source of the problem?
Powerstrip shows both units, lines and microseconds. But CRU is limited to lines. ;)
 

spacediver

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Strat_84

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I'm almost done with my settings, but something puzzles me a bit. The sharpness of the display seems a bit off vertically with a blue and red MEME pattern at high contrast (90). (red: mostly top, bottom and left areas; blue: almost all the screen is at least a bit concerned, the sharpest area is a rather small band on left)
The red one is great at lower contrast (around 60-55), the blue one improves but doesn't reach the same sharpness level. The green one is rather good whatever the contrast setting, but might be slightly less sharp than what I'm used to on other trinitrons. I'm wondering if it's a setting problem or if I need to mess with the focus pots (something I'd like to avoid unless I'm sure it can improve things).

Any guess ? If someone already tried to change the focus, did you see the pots having a different impact on colors or not ?
 

jbltecnicspro

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I'm almost done with my settings, but something puzzles me a bit. The sharpness of the display seems a bit off vertically with a blue and red MEME pattern at high contrast (90). (red: mostly top, bottom and left areas; blue: almost all the screen is at least a bit concerned, the sharpest area is a rather small band on left)
The red one is great at lower contrast (around 60-55), the blue one improves but doesn't reach the same sharpness level. The green one is rather good whatever the contrast setting, but might be slightly less sharp than what I'm used to on other trinitrons. I'm wondering if it's a setting problem or if I need to mess with the focus pots (something I'd like to avoid unless I'm sure it can improve things).

Any guess ? If someone already tried to change the focus, did you see the pots having a different impact on colors or not ?

Before you do anything - have you done a white balance adjust and is it in spec? At full white, your monitor should only be putting out 95 cd/m2 when using the 6500k setting. I'll explain where I'm going in a moment, but if you could answer that question first that would be very helpful.
 

Strat_84

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The white balance is done and all the brightness values required during the procedure were met. ;)

BTW that was the 7th time I performed the procedure and ABL values have stabilised, 224 for ABL_SHUTDW_LMT and 199 for the other one right next.
 
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jbltecnicspro

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The white balance is done and all the brightness values required during the procedure were met. ;)

BTW that was the 7th time I performed the procedure and ABL values have stabilised, 224 for ABL_SHUTDW_LMT and 199 for the other one right next.

I think what you're seeing are the effects of age on the CRT. All CRT monitors use electrostatic focusing. Over time, ES sets lose their ability to focus. That being said...

If you try and gently turn the focus knobs - if you're met with any resistance, then (most likely) the focus pots haven't been adjusted. If it moves easily, then it's been adjusted.

That said, you can try and adjust the focus - it's always best to do it with the contrast maxed out. Get it as best as you can get and then that's pretty much it. :( Only high-end CRT projectors had the best kind of focusing - electro magnetic focus. Electromagnetic focus, over time, only loses 5-10 percent of its focusing ability. Also - at least with the G70 and G90, you can control the focus in different portions of the tube. Pretty sweet eh? :)

Of course the reason the monitors most likely never had this technology is cost. MSRP of the FW-900 was $2500. Sony's cheapest (at the time) EM projector (G70) was $18,000. :D

EDIT: There's also a dynamic focus circuit on the FW900 and GDM-F520, and Artisan (most likely the other GDM 21-inchers as well). But you can't control it at all, not even in WinDAS. The 21-inch GDMs have a procedure in which you set the size of the screen I believe for the Dynamic Focus circuit, but I'm not super sure of what it does.
 
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spacediver

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EDIT: There's also a dynamic focus circuit on the FW900 and GDM-F520, and Artisan (most likely the other GDM 21-inchers as well). But you can't control it at all, not even in WinDAS. The 21-inch GDMs have a procedure in which you set the size of the screen I believe for the Dynamic Focus circuit, but I'm not super sure of what it does.

The idea with dynamic focus is that more voltage is needed in the focusing components as the beam landing angle changes (you need more intense focusing at the edges than at the centre), and a dynamic focus circuit provides a waveform that can compensate for beam landing angle (rather than having a static focus which is optimized for only one position on screen). This waveform is parabolic, so voltage increases as you deviate from the centre of the screen. Perhaps the size of the screen is a parameter that is used to calculate the parabola (e.g. larger screen sizes will probably have a larger range of beam landing angle and thus require more aggressive dynamic focus, and thus a steeper parabola).
 

Strat_84

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I think what you're seeing are the effects of age on the CRT. All CRT monitors use electrostatic focusing. Over time, ES sets lose their ability to focus. That being said...

If you try and gently turn the focus knobs - if you're met with any resistance, then (most likely) the focus pots haven't been adjusted. If it moves easily, then it's been adjusted.

That said, you can try and adjust the focus - it's always best to do it with the contrast maxed out. Get it as best as you can get and then that's pretty much it. :(

The pots are fixed, with a drop of paint holding them.

Since I changed all electrolytic capacitors, and the ESRs are different from the original ones, to me it makes sense some voltages have slightly changed and the focus needs some adjustment. But what intrigues me is that difference of sharpness between colors. I've seen the focus procedure for a Diamondtron screen, it's a bit more detailled than the Sony ones. The service manual states to use a green or white H pattern, as if other colors didn't matter or focused the same way as green.

Anyway, I'm going to play a bit with all the settings files I saved, see if there's any change at some steps, if I can't identify anything then let's try the knob adventure.:)

Edit: Interesting that you talked about dynamic focusing. I've had a look at the schematics and there's a VDF line going from the N board to the flyback with an electrolytic in the middle of the signal path. One that I replaced with another with an ESR more or less 5 times lower. Since the focus seems to be impacted mostly vertically, might be the beginning of an answer.
 
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brownvim

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Guys need some advice, I believe my monitor has become magnetized? See attached picture, the bottom middle of the screen has a pink tinge.

Adjusting the landing doesn't fix this as it just does the corners. If I degauss, whilst the screen is shaking/degaussing the color is perfect, no pink but as soon as it "clicks", the final part of the degauss its back :(

What can i do to fix this? I read in the thread that a Daguass coil might work when the monitor is off?
 

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Strat_84

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It may sound a bit too obvious to ask but did you first try:
- to look for any device around that may cause this tinge ?
- to move your monitor to another place and see if the tinge is still there ?
 

brownvim

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It may sound a bit too obvious to ask but did you first try:
- to look for any device around that may cause this tinge ?
- to move your monitor to another place and see if the tinge is still there ?

I have recently moved the monitor to another bedroom, i had the same problem before.

I think my Bose soundlink mini speaker had an impact on it in the previous room as it was below the monitor. I noticed when moving the speaker it effected the tinge a lot. It's not anywhere near the monitor now.

If I put the speaker back in the same location (under the monitor on a separate shelf) I can angle the speaker and it removes the tinge so it must be something to do with the magnetic field it produces.
 

Strat_84

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Yes, the speaker is probably the root of the issue. Well, maybe the tinge will go away by itself after enough internal degauss cycles, who knows ?
 
S

SNXSniperX

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Hi, I would post this in the WTB/WTS thread but my old account got deleted, or something, and I have insufficient privileges. I'm looking to buy another FW-900. I live in southern California. Anybody have any ideas where to find one? already checked ebay and craigslist and did some google searches. anybody willing to part with theirs? or if somebody is planning on getting rid of theirs in the future could you message me. Thanks. I love these monitors.
 

spacediver

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Hi, I would post this in the WTB/WTS thread but my old account got deleted, or something, and I have insufficient privileges. I'm looking to buy another FW-900. I live in southern California. Anybody have any ideas where to find one? already checked ebay and craigslist and did some google searches. anybody willing to part with theirs? or if somebody is planning on getting rid of theirs in the future could you message me. Thanks. I love these monitors.

A few posts above yours, there's a poster selling his in northern california.
 

brownvim

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What's the contrast ratio of the FW900?

This might be a silly question but the blacks are good and the monitor goes really bright would it be possible to do HDR?
 

aeliusg

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What's the contrast ratio of the FW900?

This might be a silly question but the blacks are good and the monitor goes really bright would it be possible to do HDR?
ANSI contrast of CRTs is so bad that it's not really worthwhile to expend the effort to hack it, since your HDR bright spots would bleed everywhere even if you got them right. You're also limited by about 80-100 nits max brightness with blacks that aren't quite on the level of completely off, so compared to the standards for LCDs and OLEDs, CRT doesn't quite cut it. For SD and HD content CRTs are about the best there is after a good plasma, but with the new stuff we have to move on to bigger and brighter things unfortunately.
 

Strat_84

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And here is some porn for FW900 lovers, I actually got the beast set up and running

FW900-3.jpg


Messing with the focus knobs wasn't that a good idea as I feared, I don't think it really improved the display but it was a real hassle to reach back the original sharpness after changing it.
The sharpness problems specific to some colors seem to be related to some subsystems not able to suck up as much current as they need, proper settings are much more useful to improve this than the knobs. (I'd say, VDC settings, alignment procedures and White point balance)

Anyway, if you touch the focus pots here are a few tips I discovered:
- don't touch them unless you really need to, normally that must be only when the flyback is replaced or the factory setup of the knobs was disturbed.
- a magnifying glass is really helpful to find the exact spot between "too much" and "not enough"
- turning the knobs to unstick the paint/glue whatever isn't enough, that thing is the devil and will still keep a little pressure on the knob, thus may change the setting with time. Unstick it, and then cut the part remaining in contact with the knob with some cutting pliers, it's safer. (to do without power supply connected and tube discharged of course)
- run the focus procedure in Windas. Despite not being always obvious, it does optimize focus. First with the next/previous screens (I would bet on a slight vertical or horizontal improvement depending of the option chosen), second maybe are there some automatic optimisations behind the scene after this, I think I've seen the focus more even along the entire screen surface after the procedure is done and finalized.
 

sprak74

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Could someone explains what happening to my FW900? As you can see in the pictures below when ever I'm on mostly blue screen there would be green casts all over the screen like in picture 1, but when I press the monitor menu, most or all the green cases goes away (picture 2). This problem does happen on input 2 also. Thanks.

20161113_234629.jpg
20161113_234509.jpg
 
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