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

Foe-hammer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
176
Can frequently switching between multiple resolutions on the FW900 cause it to fail (harder on the monitor)? I've recently "upgraded" from an HDFuryX3 to a Startech DP2VGAHD20 adapter to use with my FW900. Before, with the HDFury adapter, I was limited to just 1920x1200 @ 60 Hz resolution. With the Startech, I'm able to use a number of different higher resolutions and refresh rates. Depending on the game or application, I've frequently been switching between 1920x1200@95, 2304x1440@70, and 2506x1600@60. With the FW900 and CRTs in general, switching between resolutions seems to be akin to turning the monitor on/off repeatedly. Can this potentially reduce the life on the monitor?

Also, a few weeks ago, when playing at 19200x1200@95, all of a sudden I got an odd static-like interference that crept into the image. The image then reset momentarily, and when it came back the picture was abnormally dark and it did not fit the entire screen anymore (I had previously adjusted the image to fill the entire screen perfectly). I then started to smell electrical burn. I immediately turned off and unplugged everything on the monitor and let it sit for a week. I then took off all the FW900 housing and blew the entire monitor out (almost 20 years of dust build-up!). I then replaced the power cable and reverted back to the HDFury adapter and started it up. Everything is fine so far. No image problems or electrical burn smell. So I don't know if it was something that failed on the monitor or the Startech adapter. I wonder if pushing the FW900 at higher resolutions/refresh rates or frequently changing resolutions caused this to happen?
 
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aeliusg

Gawd
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
781
I had that one time. Did not shut down the monitor or smell any burning but yeah I had to readjust it the raster since it got smaller after the pop. It was with a regular DVI-I analog output from the card so no chance it was an adapter issue. I think it has to do with humidity and temperature because I only ever get problems with the FW900 when it gets cold (which also increases relative humidity), and yes it might be related to the flyback as well as the spark gap (hence the burning, oxidated odor). Even if other components are causing the problem further up the pipe because the high voltage is so high it can cause physical interactions that more readily alert you to issues (aside from the screen popping at you). Who knows, if it's humidity maybe the spark gap is the defective part which would be a simpler fix than coming up with new flybacks and ICs on the D-board. But I don't get problems when the area is hot (and humidity is hence lower also). Never tested high temperature and high humidity and probably would be a bad idea to do so.
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,097
Can frequently switching between multiple resolutions on the FW900 cause it to fail (harder on the monitor)?
Not so far on my Lacie

I use Custom Resolution Utility and am constantly using different resolutions depending on what games I'm playing.

Like, I almost make a new resolution for every game I play, basically whatever my GPU can handle on Ultra settings plus the refresh rate I'm trying to lock to. My current list:
 

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Foe-hammer

Limp Gawd
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Feb 1, 2006
Messages
176
I had that one time. Did not shut down the monitor or smell any burning but yeah I had to readjust it the raster since it got smaller after the pop. It was with a regular DVI-I analog output from the card so no chance it was an adapter issue. I think it has to do with humidity and temperature because I only ever get problems with the FW900 when it gets cold (which also increases relative humidity), and yes it might be related to the flyback as well as the spark gap (hence the burning, oxidated odor). Even if other components are causing the problem further up the pipe because the high voltage is so high it can cause physical interactions that more readily alert you to issues (aside from the screen popping at you). Who knows, if it's humidity maybe the spark gap is the defective part which would be a simpler fix than coming up with new flybacks and ICs on the D-board. But I don't get problems when the area is hot (and humidity is hence lower also). Never tested high temperature and high humidity and probably would be a bad idea to do so.

Lots of great info! I live in Utah, so humidity was not a factor but the temperature was kind of high with the heater going in the room and the FW900 putting off a crap ton of heat after being on for 6 hours straight.

The spark gap would seem to be what caused the oxidated odor. When you say the spark gap may be the defective part and would be a simpler fix, what would that all entail to fix? Can cleaning it fix it or would it need to be replaced?
 
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aeliusg

Gawd
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Jan 14, 2016
Messages
781
Lots of great info! I live in Utah, so humidity was not a factor but the temperature was kind of high with the heater going in the room and the FW900 putting off a crap ton of heat after being on for 6 hours straight.

The spark gap would seem to be what caused the oxidated odor. When you say the spark gap may be the defective part and would be a simpler fix, what would that all intel to fix? Can cleaning it fix it or would it need to be replaced?
I was brainstorming on the basis of the observations about temperature and humidity. Maybe if moisture infiltrates the spark gap that would change the breakdown voltage, but if you're in nice and arid Utah with the heater on that oughtn't be the problem. Temperature and thermal and mechanical stress on the components are usually what cause issues. So if you feel like there's an overheating problem there may well be.

Now that doesn't change what actually happens with the flyback problem which seems to be an issue of high voltage exceeding the threshold where the spark gap breaks down. Now if that happens over and over again the spark gap would necessarily fail. Maybe that's what happens in cases where the monitor pops over and over again increasingly until it does go dead. But that leaves the problem upstream where the voltage gets too high, I have no idea where that would be (among all the components that exist) and I haven't seen a proper postmortem on a failed FW900 where you would be able to find out where it went wrong. What we know is that replacing the entire D-board where the flyback sits sometimes fixes it. I haven't heard of someone dropping in a new or functioning flyback on an old board and whether that might be a long-term fix or not. Probably people like Unkle Vito know more but it may remain proprietary information until some time when it's no longer...

I did see someone on reddit talk about buying a replacement flyback for the D32 (not D24) manufactured by a German company (can't remember the name but if you search the FW900 FBT part no. it should come up). That was apparently very expensive as well (hundreds to a thousand dollars from my recollection). I think that user deleted their account later on for whatever reason also without saying whether it worked or not or if they even attempted to replace it. But supposedly the part was the same with a differing length on the anode (for the bigger D32 tube).

Edit: Part was actually for the A32 as ElBartoME states below.

If you haven't noticed already ;) it's hard to get a straight answer on the pressing issue for the FW900 which is that it fails dead because of the flyback and associated components. The flyback itself is unobtainable apart from that D32 replacement I mentioned which is unfortunately also uber expensive even if there are parts on hand still. The D-board has a bunch of components and it's hard to tell which one is bad if it's another and we don't know if the failure takes out the flyback when it does happen or the other way around or if it's isolated.

So that was what I meant in passing by the spark gap being an easy fix if that were the only problem (not that the Sony part for it has ready replacements or that its specifications are known). There's no easy fix for these monitors, and I can understand perfectly why you would shut it down and leave it off for a week on encountering such an issue. If it were the Sunix that would be a good thing. I would go with your gut though, and if you feel like it was overheated or overworked at the time that could be a possibility. Two decades from their manufacture these guy are touchy for sure.

Oddly enough the D24 hasn't had the reputation for failing the same way or at all. You know it's the same tube (without AR film), but D24's don't seem to go bad even with a ton of hours. Now the D24 doesn't go as high and uses different deflection circuitry whereas the D32 supposedly uses the same FBT as the FW900 while having pretty much the same specs as the D24 on the typical versions (excluding A or F models which manage 1080p60 or even 72 hz as I recall). The bigger tube perhaps requires the faster FBT from a smaller screen to draw at the same rate.

So if you used the FW900 at D24 specs, would that help? Who knows. We don't have the numbers on whether the temperature and wear goes up as you increase the operating frequency. I sure don't. Lots of variables and not enough parts and sets to experiment with so eventually more and more monitors are going to drop out. What I do know is that mine was popping and all that when I had it start cold. With the heat up and the monitor toasty that wasn't happening so that's what I went with and it hadn't happened since. Then again I haven't put a lot of hours on it since then. If I run it hot all the time maybe it will end up dying sooner rather than later.
 
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ElBartoME

n00b
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
5
I did see someone on reddit talk about buying a replacement flyback for the D32 (not D24) manufactured by a German company (can't remember the name but if you search the FW900 FBT part no. it should come up). That was apparently very expensive as well (hundreds to a thousand dollars from my recollection). I think that user deleted their account later on for whatever reason also without saying whether it worked or not or if they even attempted to replace it. But supposedly the part was the same with a differing length on the anode (for the bigger D32 tube).

I think that was me and it was a flyback from a A32. I still have it here but my original flyback is still working fine so I didn't change it yet to test if it works.
 

Foe-hammer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
176
I was brainstorming on the basis of the observations about temperature and humidity. Maybe if moisture infiltrates the spark gap that would change the breakdown voltage, but if you're in nice and arid Utah with the heater on that oughtn't be the problem. Temperature and thermal and mechanical stress on the components are usually what cause issues. So if you feel like there's an overheating problem there may well be.

Now that doesn't change what actually happens with the flyback problem which seems to be an issue of high voltage exceeding the threshold where the spark gap breaks down. Now if that happens over and over again the spark gap would necessarily fail. Maybe that's what happens in cases where the monitor pops over and over again increasingly until it does go dead. But that leaves the problem upstream where the voltage gets too high, I have no idea where that would be (among all the components that exist) and I haven't seen a proper postmortem on a failed FW900 where you would be able to find out where it went wrong. What we know is that replacing the entire D-board where the flyback sits sometimes fixes it. I haven't heard of someone dropping in a new or functioning flyback on an old board and whether that might be a long-term fix or not. Probably people like Unkle Vito know more but it may remain proprietary information until some time when it's no longer...

I did see someone on reddit talk about buying a replacement flyback for the D32 (not D24) manufactured by a German company (can't remember the name but if you search the FW900 FBT part no. it should come up). That was apparently very expensive as well (hundreds to a thousand dollars from my recollection). I think that user deleted their account later on for whatever reason also without saying whether it worked or not or if they even attempted to replace it. But supposedly the part was the same with a differing length on the anode (for the bigger D32 tube).

Edit: Part was actually for the A32 as ElBartoME states below.

If you haven't noticed already ;) it's hard to get a straight answer on the pressing issue for the FW900 which is that it fails dead because of the flyback and associated components. The flyback itself is unobtainable apart from that D32 replacement I mentioned which is unfortunately also uber expensive even if there are parts on hand still. The D-board has a bunch of components and it's hard to tell which one is bad if it's another and we don't know if the failure takes out the flyback when it does happen or the other way around or if it's isolated.

So that was what I meant in passing by the spark gap being an easy fix if that were the only problem (not that the Sony part for it has ready replacements or that its specifications are known). There's no easy fix for these monitors, and I can understand perfectly why you would shut it down and leave it off for a week on encountering such an issue. If it were the Sunix that would be a good thing. I would go with your gut though, and if you feel like it was overheated or overworked at the time that could be a possibility. Two decades from their manufacture these guy are touchy for sure.

Oddly enough the D24 hasn't had the reputation for failing the same way or at all. You know it's the same tube (without AR film), but D24's don't seem to go bad even with a ton of hours. Now the D24 doesn't go as high and uses different deflection circuitry whereas the D32 supposedly uses the same FBT as the FW900 while having pretty much the same specs as the D24 on the typical versions (excluding A or F models which manage 1080p60 or even 72 hz as I recall). The bigger tube perhaps requires the faster FBT from a smaller screen to draw at the same rate.

So if you used the FW900 at D24 specs, would that help? Who knows. We don't have the numbers on whether the temperature and wear goes up as you increase the operating frequency. I sure don't. Lots of variables and not enough parts and sets to experiment with so eventually more and more monitors are going to drop out. What I do know is that mine was popping and all that when I had it start cold. With the heat up and the monitor toasty that wasn't happening so that's what I went with and it hadn't happened since. Then again I haven't put a lot of hours on it since then. If I run it hot all the time maybe it will end up dying sooner rather than later.

So I did a little research on CRT sparkgaps, and if I understand it correctly, a sparkgap is a protective devices intended to breakdown and divert excessive voltage away from the CRT. This is rarely due to a defective sparkgap or gas discharge tube but rather is a safety mechanism like a fuse designed to protect the internal electrodes of the CRT if the focus or screen voltage should become excessive. The sparkgap breaks down first and prevents internal arcing in the CRT.

Arcing at a sparkgap may be accompanied by total loss of picture or bad focus, brightness or focus fluctuations, or any of a number of similar symptoms. A common cause is a breakdown inside the focus divider (usually part of the flyback or tripler) but could also be due to excessive uncontrolled high voltage due to a failure of the B+ regulator or HOT snubber capacitor, or even a short inside the CRT.

So with that all being said, if a break down of the sparkgap is what caused my issue there would not be any permanent damage to my monitor, correct? As I mentioned earlier, after I let it sit for a week, unplugged and took it all apart, and blew everything out, everything seems to be working flawlessly.
 
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Foe-hammer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
176
How hard is it to open and clean with canned air?

Queue yuge amounts of messages about electrocution.

Pretty simple. Just 4 screws (2 top and 2 bottom) that screw the back into the bezel, and then the entire shell slides off from the back. There are also a few clamps/claws on the top and sides of where the bezel attaches to the shell that will need to be popped to release the shell from the bezel. From there, you can unscrew some of the tin shielding to get more access to the tube and circuit boards. Canned air will work fine, but you'll probably need at least 4 cans to do the job, lol. I used an air duster blower (https://www.amazon.com/EasyGo-Compucleaner-2-0-Electronic-Compressed/dp/B0787KXTFW?th=1) that did a good job.

Here's a good video on how to take the shell and bezel apart. To clean out the monitor, you don't need to take off the bezel, just the shell:
 
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aeliusg

Gawd
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
781
So I did a little research on CRT sparkgaps, and if I understand it correctly, a sparkgap is a protective devices intended to breakdown and divert excessive voltage away from the CRT. This is rarely due to a defective sparkgap or gas discharge tube but rather is a safety mechanism like a fuse designed to protect the internal electrodes of the CRT if the focus or screen voltage should become excessive. The sparkgap breaks down first and prevents internal arcing in the CRT.

Arcing at a sparkgap may be accompanied by total loss of picture or bad focus, brightness or focus fluctuations, or any of a number of similar symptoms. A common cause is a breakdown inside the focus divider (usually part of the flyback or tripler) but could also be due to excessive uncontrolled high voltage due to a failure of the B+ regulator or HOT snubber capacitor, or even a short inside the CRT.

So with that all being said, if a break down of the sparkgap is what caused my issue there would not be any permanent damage to my monitor, correct? As I mentioned earlier, after I let it sit for a week, unplugged and took it all apart, and blew everything out, everything seems to be working flawlessly.
Yeah that's all true. If it happened just once it's fine. The spark gap did its job.
 
Joined
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Messages
63
Thanks, I'll correct it in case anyone else reads it.
I have successfully transferred the NX-4502 FBT and Video Board (A Board) from a virtually unused Dell P1110 to my defective FW900. Even if the FBT is not the exact same model (NX-4504 in the case of FW900) not only did it work but no focus adjustments were even necessary. The only downside is the image was compressed horizontally resembling a 4:3 aspect ratio and I had to strech it again on every resolution. The advantages are fantastic. I have the same focus that I had on my Dell, razor sharp black text on white background, the overall brightness skyrocketed with perfect blacks (maybe due to better G2 handling via the FBT) and the warmup time reduced from about 45min to 20 min max. I even have better colors, they are more vivid and contrasty, but this is probably thanks to the new A Board . The Dell P1110 was in pristine condition to boot. There wasn't even a spec of dust on the boards inside the monitor.
Hope this helps!
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
448
I have successfully transferred the NX-4502 FBT and Video Board (A Board) from a virtually unused Dell P1110 to my defective FW900. Even if the FBT is not the exact same model (NX-4504 in the case of FW900) not only did it work but no focus adjustments were even necessary. The only downside is the image was compressed horizontally resembling a 4:3 aspect ratio and I had to strech it again on every resolution. The advantages are fantastic. I have the same focus that I had on my Dell, razor sharp black text on white background, the overall brightness skyrocketed with perfect blacks (maybe due to better G2 handling via the FBT) and the warmup time reduced from about 45min to 20 min max. I even have better colors, they are more vivid and contrasty, but this is probably thanks to the new A Board . The Dell P1110 was in pristine condition to boot. There wasn't even a spec of dust on the boards inside the monitor.
Hope this helps!
Actually the G2 isn't handled by the FBT, but by some circuitry on the A board.
Your experiment with the FBT is interesting, but it would take an extensive monitoring period before considering it an advisable option. This is still switching a critical, very specific component for another one without any clue on the specification differences, it may work for now but lead to unpredictable problems on the long run.
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,097
So what actually causes a FBT to fail? Is there corrosion on the coiled copper wire that eventually burns up and opens the circuit? If you carefully took a FBT apart, could you clean the corrosion to extend its life?

I know I'm probably asking very ignorant questions.
 
Joined
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Messages
63
Actually the G2 isn't handled by the FBT, but by some circuitry on the A board.
Your experiment with the FBT is interesting, but it would take an extensive monitoring period before considering it an advisable option. This is still switching a critical, very specific component for another one without any clue on the specification differences, it may work for now but lead to unpredictable problems on the long run.
It's safe, the FBTs are interchangeable. Besides, you don't have plenty of options if your FW900's FBT is screwed, as the chances of finding an NX-4504 AND, at the same time, virtually unused as is the case of my Dell's FBT are slim to none.
The first thing I tried was to install the FW900's FBT and A Board into the Dell P1110. It worked without issues but all the problems were carried over to the Dell (very poor focus, washed out image and very long warm-up time). The image in this case was, ofcourse, horizontally streched and needed adjustment.
I've been using the FW900 for over a month and everything is rock solid. It's such a beautiful monitor!
If you happen to stumble upon a Dell P1110 I strongly recommend changing the A Board as well. You'll have to swap the white plastic connectors on the A Board as the plug on the FW900's cathode filaments doesn't match the white connector on the A Board of the Dell. You'll have to desolder and resolder but it's pretty easy (see attached pics).
Another thing to recommend is to remove the coating if it's scratched. The improvement in text clarity and color vividness outmatches the increased reflectivity but that is probably a matter of taste. In dark room conditions, the image is superior without the anti-glare coating in my opinion.
 

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aeliusg

Gawd
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781
It's safe, the FBTs are interchangeable. Besides, you don't have plenty of options if your FW900's FBT is screwed, as the chances of finding an NX-4504 AND, at the same time, virtually unused as is the case of my Dell's FBT are slim to none.
The first thing I tried was to install the FW900's FBT and A Board into the Dell P1110. It worked without issues but all the problems were carried over to the Dell (very poor focus, washed out image and very long warm-up time). The image in this case was, ofcourse, horizontally streched and needed adjustment.
I've been using the FW900 for over a month and everything is rock solid. It's such a beautiful monitor!
If you happen to stumble upon a Dell P1110 I strongly recommend changing the A Board as well. You'll have to swap the white plastic connectors on the A Board as the plug on the FW900's cathode filaments doesn't match the white connector on the A Board of the Dell. You'll have to desolder and resolder but it's pretty easy (see attached pics).
Another thing to recommend is to remove the coating if it's scratched. The improvement in text clarity and color vividness outmatches the increased reflectivity but that is probably a matter of taste. In dark room conditions, the image is superior without the anti-glare coating in my opinion.
I have successfully transferred the NX-4502 FBT and Video Board (A Board) from a virtually unused Dell P1110 to my defective FW900. Even if the FBT is not the exact same model (NX-4504 in the case of FW900) not only did it work but no focus adjustments were even necessary. The only downside is the image was compressed horizontally resembling a 4:3 aspect ratio and I had to strech it again on every resolution. The advantages are fantastic. I have the same focus that I had on my Dell, razor sharp black text on white background, the overall brightness skyrocketed with perfect blacks (maybe due to better G2 handling via the FBT) and the warmup time reduced from about 45min to 20 min max. I even have better colors, they are more vivid and contrasty, but this is probably thanks to the new A Board . The Dell P1110 was in pristine condition to boot. There wasn't even a spec of dust on the boards inside the monitor.
Hope this helps!
Amazing work. Thanks for trying all that.
For comparison:
P1110 (G1 chassis) T902 X-4560-175-1 TRANSFORMER ASSY, FLYBACK (NX-4502//J1D4) vs. FW900 (G1W chassis) T902 1-453-348-11 TRANSFORMER ASSY, FLYBACK (NX-4504//J1D4)
1610754999047.png
1610755415287.png
1610755099422.png

1610754289513.png


No specs for either FBT are given, but the structure and surrounding parts seem fairly homologous at a glance. Maybe it's a case of a differing anode cable length again?

The service manuals for the CPD-500 (Sony badged P1110 equivalent) and FW900 are attached. Converted the P1110 manual from djvu but I included the original zip I found if there are any issues.
 

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aeliusg

Gawd
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Meanwhile here's an F520 FBT which definitely does not seem as compatible and the way all the boards are layed out is completely different. So it may be a case of each chassis generation being semi-interchangeable.
T901 1-453-359-11 TRANSFORMER ASSY, FLYBACK (NX-4702/KM7E)
1610756608501.png

Attached the service manual also.
 

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