The Monkey House

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My workplace has many old (circa 2006) 24" Acer AL2416W LCDs. At the time they were a huge improvement over the CRT screens most of us had, and even today they rank as a decent first display. Unfortunately, they suffer from a design flaw which causes the backlight to die after about 5 years. The panel is backlit by six fluorescent tubes which are driven from a pair of inverter circuits which each power three tubes. The two circuits are laid out along the right edge of the display and are convection cooled such that heat produced by the bottom circuit bakes the top one to death. There are four capacitors and a pair of transistors that commonly die; also a fuse that sometimes blows when the rest of the circuit dies.

Repairing these displays is very easy, and the components are cheap. Enough parts to fix ten displays costs about US$35. The original MOSFETs are a hard-to-find model, and the original capacitors aren't the world's best part either. I've replaced them with the following parts, readily available from Digi-Key:

Note that the capacitors are slightly larger in diameter than the originals. They fit just fine because there are only four in a row and there's plenty of space to either side of the cap bank. I decided the better specifications (3000 hour lifetime @ 105°C) warranted the larger can size. Also note that while only 4 caps are required to repair one of these displays, typically the lower bank of 4 caps has also been running for many years at elevated temperature, so I tend to replace them as well, even if they have no signs of failure yet.

Version 0.2    |    Content date: 11 May 2013    |    Page last generated: 2017-05-20 20:28 CDT