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

ElBartoME

n00b
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
11
Yes, I'm in Germany, and, no, I don't have it anymore. I'd sent it to someone who's knowledgeable with Sony CRTs, but, the tube didn't survive the overvoltage, and, neither the voltage regulator. He sold it for me to someone who payed 200 or 300.
lol, that was me. I have your FW900 sitting in the basement. I have a working FW900, but I thought might as well have one as a backup. I have a spare flyback, but unfortunately no tube.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
23
I'm curious if you guys have looked into Dual-Link DVI-I adapters at all for 1440p... I understand this connection itself is backward compatible with VGA since it still has analog pins, so I had an idea that DP to DVI-I might be a winner. Then again, doesn't DL DVI-I only support resolutions that high when actually using most of its digital pins? Which seems to me to be a lost cause since that information probably isn't being sent along the analog pins anyway - although if that were the case why would Dual-Link DVI-I even exist rather than just having everything be DL DVI-D... I don't know much about DVI specifications so anyone with more knowledge feel free to chime in.

At this point I've tried several more converter combos and ran into the same issue: native 2560x1440@60p from the 980ti over VGA works fine, but using any combination of DP/HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DP to VGA converters have (mostly) worked for 1920x1440@60p but never 2560x1440@60p, always giving the "44.4KHz/30Hz OUTSIDE OF SCAN RANGE" message.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
23
Has anyone tried this (type of) converter? Claims to support up to 4K via the DP 1.2a spec, but I'm not sure if that's only over the digital outputs since I'm not even aware of a 4K capable analog display existing in any capacity (please correct me though if there was one!).

https://www.staples.com/Mini-Displa...and-VGA-Passive-Adapter-Black/product_2505194

There's also this one I found on AliExpress that claims support up to 2560x1600 (WQXGA), but same issue that I am unsure as to whether that's only for the digital output.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32947088148.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.7d2e3c00fk9PuB&mp=1
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
lol, that was me. I have your FW900 sitting in the basement. I have a working FW900, but I thought might as well have one as a backup. I have a spare flyback, but unfortunately no tube.
I would've never expected to find you :). I'm glad you have a working one.
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
Has anyone tried this (type of) converter? Claims to support up to 4K via the DP 1.2a spec, but I'm not sure if that's only over the digital outputs since I'm not even aware of a 4K capable analog display existing in any capacity (please correct me though if there was one!).

https://www.staples.com/Mini-Displa...and-VGA-Passive-Adapter-Black/product_2505194

There's also this one I found on AliExpress that claims support up to 2560x1600 (WQXGA), but same issue that I am unsure as to whether that's only for the digital output.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32947088148.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.7d2e3c00fk9PuB&mp=1
These look very interesting. I haven't tried them.

I'll contact the seller from aliexpress and see what they say.
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
Has anyone tried this (type of) converter? Claims to support up to 4K via the DP 1.2a spec, but I'm not sure if that's only over the digital outputs since I'm not even aware of a 4K capable analog display existing in any capacity (please correct me though if there was one!).

https://www.staples.com/Mini-Displa...and-VGA-Passive-Adapter-Black/product_2505194

There's also this one I found on AliExpress that claims support up to 2560x1600 (WQXGA), but same issue that I am unsure as to whether that's only for the digital output.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32947088148.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.7d2e3c00fk9PuB&mp=1
I also found the same adapter on staples in aliexpress for 8-9 euros. I'm gonna ask them too.

Update : Nvm, this one writes in their description that it's max 1920x1200 for VGA and DVI.
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
Has anyone tried this (type of) converter? Claims to support up to 4K via the DP 1.2a spec, but I'm not sure if that's only over the digital outputs since I'm not even aware of a 4K capable analog display existing in any capacity (please correct me though if there was one!).

https://www.staples.com/Mini-Displa...and-VGA-Passive-Adapter-Black/product_2505194

There's also this one I found on AliExpress that claims support up to 2560x1600 (WQXGA), but same issue that I am unsure as to whether that's only for the digital output.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32947088148.html?spm=a2g0o.cart.0.0.7d2e3c00fk9PuB&mp=1
Just got a reply from the Aliexpress one you shared. He says that it's not possible to go from DVI to VGA with the adapter.
 
Joined
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Messages
23
Just got a reply from the Aliexpress one you shared. He says that it's not possible to go from DVI to VGA with the adapter.
That's a shame, not too surprising though, but I appreciate you looking into it. However, I've heard a few people say sometimes these DAC chips actually can output higher than advertised, it's just that the marketing often centers around more common or appealing resolutions like 1080p or 1920x1200. Did the AliExpress seller seem to actually know what they were talking about?
 

XoR_

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,400
DVI-DL to VGA is pointless because most DVI-DL capable devices have VGA outputs with better bandwidth than DVI-DL.
There sure are devices with only DVI-DL without analogue signals but one can always convert DVI-DL to DP just like one can convert HDMI 2.0 to DP for gaming devices without DP ports like gaming laptops.
 

brownvim

n00b
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
53
I have the SGI GDM-FW9011 monitor sitting in my living room, it turns on for a second then turns itself off.

Anyone want to take it off my hands for spares or repair for a reasonable price?

I'm located in United Kingdom, England, Birmingham.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
23
DVI-DL to VGA is pointless because most DVI-DL capable devices have VGA outputs with better bandwidth than DVI-DL.
There sure are devices with only DVI-DL without analogue signals but one can always convert DVI-DL to DP just like one can convert HDMI 2.0 to DP for gaming devices without DP ports like gaming laptops.
Isn't DVI-DL only easily converted to DP if it's... what is the term, DP++ or something? Or do you mean with an active converter?
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
Messages
15
I'm curious if you guys have looked into Dual-Link DVI-I adapters at all for 1440p... I understand this connection

At this point I've tried several more converter combos and ran into the same issue: native 2560x1440@60p from the 980ti over VGA works fine, but using any combination of DP/HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DP to VGA converters have (mostly) worked for 1920x1440@60p but never 2560x1440@60p, always giving the "44.4KHz/30Hz OUTSIDE OF SCAN RANGE" message.

https://www.tripplite.com/2-port-hdmi-to-vga-and-audio-adapter-1080p-taa~p13106n2vau

I bought this recently, I was intrigued as it’s the only HDMI to VGA I have ever seen that advertises support for 1920x1440p, haha (check the .pdf of the manual towards the bottom of the page). I haven’t got around to it yet, but I intend to test out some higher resolutions and bandwidths.

Very curious to see how those ones recently posted (with the HDMI loop-out) fare, I remember seeing those recently and having a hunch they might be something new/special.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M7WSLM...t_i_JJSYKR64FQQSV2542SW5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

^ I have been eyeing this, it’s relatively new and has a differently designed layout from most other ones… doubt it is anything special, but it stood out to me.

———

Has anyone looked into the limits of all the different Vention models or SIIG models? If you search the brand & HDMI to VGA in quotes you’ll see that both companies have produced several…

LASTLY -
Someone has already briefly mentioned these once before (wayyy back in the thread), but I have been keeping an eye out on Google intermittently for whenever a DAC with one of these is released. Lontium’s stuff is solid.

http://www.lontiumsemi.com/product/View_58.html
 
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JimmyWang214

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
118
So I've been having issues with my HP branded GDM where if it turns off, I have to power cycle it 4-5 times before it turns on fully, otherwise it displays a greenish screen with green lines for a few seconds before turning off and powerbutton flashing an orange-light . Anyone know what I should do, or should I just live with it?
 

jbltecnicspro

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 18, 2006
Messages
8,231
So I've been having issues with my HP branded GDM where if it turns off, I have to power cycle it 4-5 times before it turns on fully, otherwise it displays a greenish screen with green lines for a few seconds before turning off and powerbutton flashing an orange-light . Anyone know what I should do, or should I just live with it?
There’s a page on the service manual that will tell you what the light sequences mean. Check that out. The service manual is widely available on the web.
 

brownvim

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Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
53
So I've been having issues with my HP branded GDM where if it turns off, I have to power cycle it 4-5 times before it turns on fully, otherwise it displays a greenish screen with green lines for a few seconds before turning off and powerbutton flashing an orange-light . Anyone know what I should do, or should I just live with it?
This is the same issue I had with my GDM-FW9011. Haven’t found a fix it was doing this for 2-3 years and now it never gets to a clear screen. Always that green screen with lines then it auto shuts off.

Here’s a video of mine:

The flashing light is most likely the Auto Brightness shutoff as the screen gets too bright.

If you find a fix let me know.
 

JimmyWang214

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
118
This is the same issue I had with my GDM-FW9011. Haven’t found a fix it was doing this for 2-3 years and now it never gets to a clear screen. Always that green screen with lines then it auto shuts off.

Here’s a video of mine:

The flashing light is most likely the Auto Brightness shutoff as the screen gets too bright.

If you find a fix let me know.

I guess the bright side is I [hopefully] have 2-3 years left of use
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
485
Nobody can provide an easy fix like that, you need a repair shop.
Very bright greenish screen + visible retrace lines are symptoms for excessive G2 voltage, very excessive. Except that the issue being intermittent, this doesn't come from a bad G2 setting, but certainly a problem somewhere in the G2 regulation circuitry.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
23
Nobody can provide an easy fix like that, you need a repair shop.
Very bright greenish screen + visible retrace lines are symptoms for excessive G2 voltage, very excessive. Except that the issue being intermittent, this doesn't come from a bad G2 setting, but certainly a problem somewhere in the G2 regulation circuitry.
Do you think it could be a capacitor issue? I know these monitors are 20 or so years old at this point but they're also built like tanks so I assumed the caps might still be okay for a little while yet. Could always be regular wear and tear or mishandling over time as well.

In other news, I got my Delock DP to VGA converter in, and I'm STILL encountering that damned "44.4KHZ /30 HZ OUT OF SCAN RANGE" error! Is there possibly like an EDID thing going wrong somewhere and something is sending out 30hz for some godforsaken reason?
 
Last edited:

JimmyWang214

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
118
Nobody can provide an easy fix like that, you need a repair shop.
Very bright greenish screen + visible retrace lines are symptoms for excessive G2 voltage, very excessive. Except that the issue being intermittent, this doesn't come from a bad G2 setting, but certainly a problem somewhere in the G2 regulation circuitry.
Any recommendations for a shop in the DC metro area?
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
485
Do you think it could be a capacitor issue? I know these monitors are 20 or so years old at this point but they're also built like tanks so I assumed the caps might still be okay for a little while yet. Could always be regular wear and tear or mishandling over time as well.
It's unlikely, there's no electrolytic capacitor directly involved in that voltage regulation.
 

DanNeely

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,339
Isn't DVI-DL only easily converted to DP if it's... what is the term, DP++ or something? Or do you mean with an active converter?

DL-DVI to DP or HDMI (newer/faster versions) will always need an active converter. SL-DVI, HDMI, and DP all have a single data stream*; so the converter needs to little beyond adjusting the voltage levels and timing. In contrast DL-DVI runs 2 independent data streams, a converter needs to split the data and repackage it requiring a significantly more complex process. Early adapters that tried to do this were not just relatively expensive $70-100 and needing enough power that they also needed a USB connection to operate; but glitchy with IIRC occasional artifacts or dropping of the connection entirely.

I'm not sure if anyone ever made an adapter that worked reliably because the only people impacted were owners of older/cheaper 2560x1600/1440 monitors and we were not just a small minority, but by the time new GPUs stopped including a DL-DVI the impacted displays were relatively old. $100 to keep using an $300 cheapo 1440p monitor was never attractive, and those of us who paid big bucks for early 1600p screens were among the most likely to just upgrade to 4k instead. My NEC 3090 is langushing at sub-native resolution on an HDMI KVM hooked up to a few secondary systems I rarely need a screen for.

* I'm simplifying a bit here, but DP and the latest HDMI being 4 bits wide vs 3 bits for DVI links and earlier HDMI versions is a relatively minor factor.
 

XoR_

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
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Messages
1,400
Isn't DVI-DL only easily converted to DP if it's... what is the term, DP++ or something? Or do you mean with an active converter?
Yes, it would need to be active adapter for bandwidth higher than 166MHz

n other news, I got my Delock DP to VGA converter in, and I'm STILL encountering that damned "44.4KHZ /30 HZ OUT OF SCAN RANGE" error! Is there possibly like an EDID thing going wrong somewhere and something is sending out 30hz for some godforsaken reason?
Can you post CRU screenshot with defined video mode?
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,358
I have the SGI GDM-FW9011 monitor sitting in my living room, it turns on for a second then turns itself off.

Anyone want to take it off my hands for spares or repair for a reasonable price?

I'm located in United Kingdom, England, Birmingham.
Do you have a Reddit account? There is a buy/sell thread in r/crtgaming

I guarantee you can find someone to take it
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
485
Do you have a Reddit account? There is a buy/sell thread in r/crtgaming

I guarantee you can find someone to take it
Don't worry, he put it on ebay apparently. ;)

I would have loved to have a look at this one for science, maybe an evident failure like this one could have pointed out some roots for the usual G2 drift in trinitrons. But well, it obviously couldn't be shipped easily, and crossing a border outside of EU just to recover it was a bit excessive. :p
 

E900

n00b
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
2
Good evening folks
Recently I bought 2 used 900's with their own set of problems in the hope of building one decently working but cannot get first one to boot and 2nd to display picture properly
I'm working on that second unit ATM and for some reason the focus on it is messed up - left part of the screen approximately inch blurry while the right side is half that
I thought it was a voltage issue but it does not change with brightness at all even if I push it almost to the max via windas when grid is clearly visible or set it to its lowest value (and there is no focus adjustment option in windas too?). I found the pots and managed to get one side in focus, but then mid/center area becomes blurry and balance is impossible to find it seems...the sharpness barely improves at lower resolutions too (although 1280x800@60Hz looking pretty good and almost have no blur in the corners). Furthermore, connecting via Intel iGPU directly (VGA plug no adapters) picture is actually more in focus and sharper (or maybe that's just me).
So any ideas what causes this and how to fix it? Maybe I can try replacing some parts from the other unit that refuses to boot?
I'm just not sure if I will be able to pull off something really difficult even disassembly to clean it up was pain in the arse (a little) to be honest :).
P.S. monitor is plenty bright too please don't tell me that tube is dead :(
 

brownvim

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Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
53
Don't worry, he put it on ebay apparently. ;)

I would have loved to have a look at this one for science, maybe an evident failure like this one could have pointed out some roots for the usual G2 drift in trinitrons. But well, it obviously couldn't be shipped easily, and crossing a border outside of EU just to recover it was a bit excessive. :p

yeah I put it on eBay, I’m sure someone can fix it. I had taken it to a few repair shops in my area but most of them refused even when I said I will pay upfront even if they can’t fix it.

shipping abroad is too much effort, would ideally need a solid wooden box and it still may get damaged more. I know it’s faulty but it’s probably just one component.

I have also listed 2 x HD Fury 3, it does a good job hdmi to vga.
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
That's a shame, not too surprising though, but I appreciate you looking into it. However, I've heard a few people say sometimes these DAC chips actually can output higher than advertised, it's just that the marketing often centers around more common or appealing resolutions like 1080p or 1920x1200. Did the AliExpress seller seem to actually know what they were talking about?
He said "friend, i am afraid no. I do make these tests before."
 

melibond

Weaksauce
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Messages
123
https://www.tripplite.com/2-port-hdmi-to-vga-and-audio-adapter-1080p-taa~p13106n2vau

I bought this recently, I was intrigued as it’s the only HDMI to VGA I have ever seen that advertises support for 1920x1440p, haha (check the .pdf of the manual towards the bottom of the page). I haven’t got around to it yet, but I intend to test out some higher resolutions and bandwidths.

Very curious to see how those ones recently posted (with the HDMI loop-out) fare, I remember seeing those recently and having a hunch they might be something new/special.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M7WSLM...t_i_JJSYKR64FQQSV2542SW5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

^ I have been eyeing this, it’s relatively new and has a differently designed layout from most other ones… doubt it is anything special, but it stood out to me.

———

Has anyone looked into the limits of all the different Vention models or SIIG models? If you search the brand & HDMI to VGA in quotes you’ll see that both companies have produced several…

LASTLY -
Someone has already briefly mentioned these once before (wayyy back in the thread), but I have been keeping an eye out on Google intermittently for whenever a DAC with one of these is released. Lontium’s stuff is solid.

http://www.lontiumsemi.com/product/View_58.html
It does look different than the rest. Let me know when you do test higher resolutions. I'd Love to know what the max pixel clock is on it
 

Foe-hammer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
186
Unless it blows up right away, it's always a crap shoot.

If I was buying one at a very-high-price, I would want to test it at least 12 hours straight. I've had units where they're fine when they're cool, but when it gets warm, they start to become unstable, this could be flickering, or fuzziness, distortion, anything.

You're not going to be able to dig into the internals, which is part of the problem, you can ASSUME it needs a recap though, because they all do at this point.

Turn up the gamma/contrast all the way maximizing peak output, and check for stability in what the time frame allows.

Can you explain what a recap is and what is all involved? I have an FW900 I bought back in 2005, and recently when I go above 1920x1200 @ 60Hz, the picture gets unstable and will turn off, accompanied by an electrical burn smell. Runs fine at 1920x1200 @60Hz, but as soon as I increase the resolution or refresh rate it does what I mentioned.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 12, 2022
Messages
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https://www.amazon.com.tr/gp/product/B087FNTVYJ/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Someone in a CRT Discord that I hang out in picked one of these up (Alfais 4487 HDMI to VGA), only to find he was able to push it up to just a hair over 300MHz - someone else in the group has one with the same chipset, which also seems to be the same design: plain black one, gold HDMI male connector, blue VGA connector, seemingly no external power or audio out? If you sort HDMI to VGAs on Amazon by 'newest arrivals', many of them seem to be that same design. Worth a look!!!

I will try to see how far I can push my Tripp Lite soon - if anyone tried one of these black ones I've mentioned, keep us posted!
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
Hi guys,
I purchased two new in box Sun Microsystems (rebranded GDM-5410) CRT monitors. While using them, I noticed that one of them was arcing intermittently (I heard around 3 or 4 slight snapping sounds during the first ~20 hours that I had it powered on). Two of the times it did this I seen the screen shrink slightly for a split second, then return to normal. I haven't heard/seen it happen since, although I only run it for a few hours a week. Is this something that I should be worried about? These were sealed in their factory boxes so there is no dust in the monitors that could cause arcing, and it happens so infrequently I am unable to figure out where it is coming from. Could it just be from impurities inside of the CRT itself from when it was manufactured, or is it something that will get worse in the future as I run the monitor more? Has anyone with a GDM-FW900 noticed anything similar happen with their monitor? I tried running the second monitor for a while and so far I haven't noticed it happen with that one. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

Starfalcon

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
1,062
That sounds like flyback arcing, one of my FW900s was starting to do that when I retired it. I had put a lot of hours on the CRT though using it a ton for 10+ years on top of the person I bought it from also used it a lot. With the CRT new in box sounds strange to do that, but it is possible it is starting to go bad inside just due to age.
 

cesarioFL71

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
148
Hi guys,
I purchased two new in box Sun Microsystems (rebranded GDM-5410) CRT monitors. While using them, I noticed that one of them was arcing intermittently (I heard around 3 or 4 slight snapping sounds during the first ~20 hours that I had it powered on). Two of the times it did this I seen the screen shrink slightly for a split second, then return to normal. I haven't heard/seen it happen since, although I only run it for a few hours a week. Is this something that I should be worried about? These were sealed in their factory boxes so there is no dust in the monitors that could cause arcing, and it happens so infrequently I am unable to figure out where it is coming from. Could it just be from impurities inside of the CRT itself from when it was manufactured, or is it something that will get worse in the future as I run the monitor more? Has anyone with a GDM-FW900 noticed anything similar happen with their monitor? I tried running the second monitor for a while and so far I haven't noticed it happen with that one. Thanks in advance for your help.

I bought two NIB of the exact same crt's about a month ago from Tekrefurbs on Ebay. Both monitors are working fine but a buddy of mine bought a unit from them also and it's been exhibiting the same behavior. I think he ended up sending it back.
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
485
It's probably a sparkgap activating, nothing dangerous. It's a device protecting some parts of the circuitry from overvoltage, it creates a spark when the voltage reaches a threshold.

It's a bit surprising to see that happen on a new monitor, but it could come from the 20 years old capacitors being in a borderline shape and not smoothing the current properly enough. The degraded oxyde layer should reform entirely with time when the monitor is powered though (let's say, a couple of tens of hours, as a wild guess). I don't think you should worry unless the problem keeps happening.
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2020
Messages
23
Yes, it would need to be active adapter for bandwidth higher than 166MHz


Can you post CRU screenshot with defined video mode?

I can post all the CRU stuff I want, but I don't have any issues with Windows, only the RetroTink 5x Pro's 2560x1440p output over HDMI. Seems to me that the creator had to possibly cut a few corners in getting a 16:9 1440p mode working, as the unit only originally supported 1920x1440 4:3 and added 2560 in an experimental firmware build months after launch. Someone on the RetroTink Discord server suggested just using the 4:3 mode and using the FW900's resizing options to get a 16:9 picture, so that might be my next test. I also did order one of the aforementioned AliExpress converters so we'll see what that's capable of relative to the Delock when it arrives. :)
 

E900

n00b
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
2
Good evening folks
Recently I bought 2 used 900's with their own set of problems in the hope of building one decently working but cannot get first one to boot and 2nd to display picture properly
I'm working on that second unit ATM and for some reason the focus on it is messed up - left part of the screen approximately inch blurry while the right side is half that
I thought it was a voltage issue but it does not change with brightness at all even if I push it almost to the max via windas when grid is clearly visible or set it to its lowest value (and there is no focus adjustment option in windas too?). I found the pots and managed to get one side in focus, but then mid/center area becomes blurry and balance is impossible to find it seems...the sharpness barely improves at lower resolutions too (although 1280x800@60Hz looking pretty good and almost have no blur in the corners). Furthermore, connecting via Intel iGPU directly (VGA plug no adapters) picture is actually more in focus and sharper (or maybe that's just me).
So any ideas what causes this and how to fix it? Maybe I can try replacing some parts from the other unit that refuses to boot?
I'm just not sure if I will be able to pull off something really difficult even disassembly to clean it up was pain in the arse (a little) to be honest :).
P.S. monitor is plenty bright too please don't tell me that tube is dead :(
Any thoughts?
 

Enhanced Interrogator

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
1,358
Hi guys,
I purchased two new in box Sun Microsystems (rebranded GDM-5410) CRT monitors. While using them, I noticed that one of them was arcing intermittently (I heard around 3 or 4 slight snapping sounds during the first ~20 hours that I had it powered on). Two of the times it did this I seen the screen shrink slightly for a split second, then return to normal. I haven't heard/seen it happen since, although I only run it for a few hours a week. Is this something that I should be worried about? These were sealed in their factory boxes so there is no dust in the monitors that could cause arcing, and it happens so infrequently I am unable to figure out where it is coming from. Could it just be from impurities inside of the CRT itself from when it was manufactured, or is it something that will get worse in the future as I run the monitor more? Has anyone with a GDM-FW900 noticed anything similar happen with their monitor? I tried running the second monitor for a while and so far I haven't noticed it happen with that one. Thanks in advance for your help.

It's probably a sparkgap activating, nothing dangerous. It's a device protecting some parts of the circuitry from overvoltage, it creates a spark when the voltage reaches a threshold.

It's a bit surprising to see that happen on a new monitor, but it could come from the 20 years old capacitors being in a borderline shape and not smoothing the current properly enough. The degraded oxyde layer should reform entirely with time when the monitor is powered though (let's say, a couple of tens of hours, as a wild guess). I don't think you should worry unless the problem keeps happening.

I had something like this occur with a Samsung 900IFT, and it did eventually completely stop working. I ended up recycling it. I regret that now, I should have made an attempt to fix it.

But yeah, I would definitely open up the GDM5410 and take a look inside for any bulging caps. Just because it was made during the capacitor plague.
 

Strat_84

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
485
I had something like this occur with a Samsung 900IFT, and it did eventually completely stop working. I ended up recycling it. I regret that now, I should have made an attempt to fix it.

But yeah, I would definitely open up the GDM5410 and take a look inside for any bulging caps. Just because it was made during the capacitor plague.
I wouldn't say defective capacitors. It's just that the oxide layer inside an electrolytic capacitor degrades if it remains unpowered for too long, and it needs to remain powered for some time to recover (IF it recovers, it might end shorted inside :dead:).If these monitors really are new old stock that remained unused for 20 years, the capacitors should still be good but they definitively aren't in their best shape right out of the box. ;)
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
5
That sounds like flyback arcing, one of my FW900s was starting to do that when I retired it. I had put a lot of hours on the CRT though using it a ton for 10+ years on top of the person I bought it from also used it a lot. With the CRT new in box sounds strange to do that, but it is possible it is starting to go bad inside just due to age.
I was worried that it might be related to the flyback. I hope that is not the case, since that would be basically unrepairable since replacement flybacks for these monitors are near-impossible to find. I have been emailing Sam Goldwasser (the author of the CRT Repair FAQ website), and he said that it could be the flyback, however there is no good reason for it to fail if it was never used. He mentioned to try checking the anode cap first and to try cleaning around it. I took the back of the monitor off (I am aware of the dangers of working with CRTs), but I don't see anything that I can clean around the cap. There is nothing visibly wrong that I can see either, the flyback and its solder joints look fine along with the anode wire/cap. I had a used monitor that a friend gave me that was arcing inside of the flyback, and it progressively got worse and finally failed within less than an hour of running, so I feel like the arcing would be worse if this was the case with the new one.
I bought two NIB of the exact same crt's about a month ago from Tekrefurbs on Ebay. Both monitors are working fine but a buddy of mine bought a unit from them also and it's been exhibiting the same behavior. I think he ended up sending it back.
Thanks for letting me know this, my monitors were from the same seller. I wonder if I should consider returning mine. They don't have anymore listed currently, so replacing it wouldn't be an option. Even if it fails due to this problem, it may be worth keeping it just to have spare parts (a brand new CRT, circuit boards etc.) for my other monitor. Do you know how often your friend's monitor was making the arcing sound?
It's probably a sparkgap activating, nothing dangerous. It's a device protecting some parts of the circuitry from overvoltage, it creates a spark when the voltage reaches a threshold.

It's a bit surprising to see that happen on a new monitor, but it could come from the 20 years old capacitors being in a borderline shape and not smoothing the current properly enough. The degraded oxyde layer should reform entirely with time when the monitor is powered though (let's say, a couple of tens of hours, as a wild guess). I don't think you should worry unless the problem keeps happening.
Good point, I didn't think of this. It definitely could be a spark gap related issue. I hope this is what it is causing it and it will go away as it is used more. I guess I will have to see if it keeps happening. Is there a way to tell if a spark gap has activated before? I see a number of them on the neck board and I believe there are a few on the deflection board as well based on the schematic.
 

cesarioFL71

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 26, 2021
Messages
148
I was worried that it might be related to the flyback. I hope that is not the case, since that would be basically unrepairable since replacement flybacks for these monitors are near-impossible to find. I have been emailing Sam Goldwasser (the author of the CRT Repair FAQ website), and he said that it could be the flyback, however there is no good reason for it to fail if it was never used. He mentioned to try checking the anode cap first and to try cleaning around it. I took the back of the monitor off (I am aware of the dangers of working with CRTs), but I don't see anything that I can clean around the cap. There is nothing visibly wrong that I can see either, the flyback and its solder joints look fine along with the anode wire/cap. I had a used monitor that a friend gave me that was arcing inside of the flyback, and it progressively got worse and finally failed within less than an hour of running, so I feel like the arcing would be worse if this was the case with the new one.

Thanks for letting me know this, my monitors were from the same seller. I wonder if I should consider returning mine. They don't have anymore listed currently, so replacing it wouldn't be an option. Even if it fails due to this problem, it may be worth keeping it just to have spare parts (a brand new CRT, circuit boards etc.) for my other monitor. Do you know how often your friend's monitor was making the arcing sound?

Good point, I didn't think of this. It definitely could be a spark gap related issue. I hope this is what it is causing it and it will go away as it is used more. I guess I will have to see if it keeps happening. Is there a way to tell if a spark gap has activated before? I see a number of them on the neck board and I believe there are a few on the deflection board as well based on the schematic.
He had the monitor for 3 days. During that time he averaged about 3 hours of use each day. The arching sound occurred about one per hour before sending it back.
 
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