Introduction: FREE 17" LCD Monitor - How to Do It?

Picture of FREE 17" LCD Monitor - How to Do It?

Do you badly need a 17" LCD monitor? Meanwhile, are you broke? OK. Now I'll teach you how to find a used non-functional Dell 1702FP LCD monitor and show you how to fix it!.. If you succeed, you'll save another hazardous electronic from ending up in a landfill.

Dell 1702FP is a really neat LCD monitor. Here are some specs:

Contrast Ratio: 350:1
Aspect Ratio: 5:4 (Regular)
Max. Resolution: 1280 x 1024
Inputs: VGA/DVI

The bad thing: it has a very common problem: it fails to power on after a certain period. The marketplace is full of faulty Dell LCDs.

The good thing: the fix is very easy. All you need is to replace a capacitor, and voila! it works again. The cost of capacitors won't exceed a dollar. Considering that you have the tools handy, then your only cost is acquiring a faulty monitor...

TOOLS NEEDED: Philips screwdriver (no. 0 and 1), pliers, soldering iron, solder, utility knife...
PARTS NEEDED: Electrolytic capacitors - 2 pieces 10uF 16V (critical ones), 6 pieces 22uF 16V, 4 pieces 100uF 25V

Step 1: Go and Find a Faulty Dell 1702FP!

Picture of Go and Find a Faulty Dell 1702FP!

Well, not a very easy and quick job, but still easier than you think! If you are not willing to pay for it (like me) go and check out IT services at your school, look at recycling centers, curbside garbage bins, etc. I am sure you'll come across one. I found two only at my department! If I check the whole university I am sure I'll find dozens more...

If you are willing to pay some for it, go check ebay! You can get something ranging from $10 to $40 including shipping. Make sure you are getting the power brick, too. Otherwise you'll shell out another $15-$30 for it.

The fault description you are looking for is "blinking LEDs" and "no picture". Sharp ears can hear a soft clicking sound coming from inside the monitor, too. Make sure that LCD has no cracks, visually it looks fine, etc.

If you are overwhelmed with search results, you can narrow it with tags like "AS-IS", "BROKEN", "FOR REPAIR", "FOR PARTS" or "FAULTY"... Also, check the ones with very low bidding price/history. There are not many people looking for faulty LCDs, yet. :-)

Step 2: Diagnose BLEDS!

Picture of Diagnose BLEDS!

I assume that you got the monitor, sitting on your living room floor. Now, test it first:

Plug the power lead to the monitor. Without VGA cable plugged in, you should see three LEDs next to the power button on the front right bottom blinking randomly. Good, you diagnosed BLEDS (read Blinking LED Syndrome), a common disease plagued among Dell 1702FP LCD monitors... :-)

Here is a short video of BLEDS if you want to be sure of your diagnosis:

Same thing? Go to the next step!
Similar thing? Well, you may still want to go to the next step... Give it a run.

Step 3: Take the Stand Off!

Picture of Take the Stand Off!

Four Philips screws attach the stand to your monitor. Unscrew them, then lift the stand plate from bottom, and pull it back. It will detach easily...

Meanwhile have some candies around, Turkish Delights in my case, and keep your mouth sweet while working...

Don't lose the screws. Put the stand aside. Take a candy break. Candies help you think better, and you can solve problems easier! :-)

Step 4: Take the Backcover Off!

Picture of Take the Backcover Off!

Unscrew the four Philips screws on each corner. After that you have to snap the two large snaps shown on the second photo. Then keep it pry open and move your fingers around the opening, snapping off all sides. The backcover is off now!

Step 5: Access the Main Circuit Board!

Picture of Access the Main Circuit Board!

Once you take the back cover off, you'll see the steel cover that protects the main circuit board. Unscrew all little Philips screws, take the steel cover off. Now you have the main circuit board on the right, and the inverter board on the left. The inverter board supplies the high voltage for the CFL tubes.

ATTENTION - HIGH VOLTAGE: If you run the LCD with back cover off, be careful not to touch anything on the inverter board. I did it once at battery powered laptop unit and burned my finger! So, beware of the risks! No joke...

Step 6: Replace the Faulty Capacitors!

Picture of Replace the Faulty Capacitors!

Dell used surface mount electrolytic capacitors on this monitor. They are no different than regular electrolytic capacitors, only a plastic bottom part which enables robots place components on the board.

We will start by replacing two capacitors: 10uF 16V... I heard that most of the time this replacement is enough to make the LCD work again. These two capacitors are labeled as C604 and C507. If changing these won't help, you may try to replace remaining capacitors.

Prepare your soldering iron, solder, utility knife (or something else to cut the capacitor legs short). Start heating your soldering iron...

And the capacitors! Here is the list of all electrolytic capacitors that Dell 1702FP has on board:

2 pieces 10uF 16V (critical ones)
6 pieces 22uF 16V
4 pieces 100uF 25V


De-solder the old capacitors! Polarity is printed on the board, so you don't have to pay attention to polarity when you are de-soldering the faulty ones.

Reshape the legs of the new capacitors into T figure. Trim the long legs, so you'll have legs only long enough to sit on the circuit board firmly.

Solder the capacitors on the circuit board. Pay attention to the polarity. All electrolytic capacitors come with polarity signs on them. Put them on the board in correct direction, otherwise they will blow up. Look at the last photos on this step, these are new capacitors in place.

Step 7: Test the Monitor!

Picture of Test the Monitor!

Connect the power lead, turn the LCD on, and voila!

If you are in the 90% crowd, now you have a perfectly working LCD monitor. Moreover you delayed the hazardous material contaminating your environment!

Otherwise, you may try replacing the rest of the capacitors...

Still no avail? Well, life is a bitch. Sorry for the damage. :-(

Replace the covers, in the reverse order of previous steps... Be careful on the two sets of black Philips screws. The machine screws (with thinner teeth) are for the stand, the other set is for back cover. Don't mix them...

Enjoy life.


Sebasti68092485 (author)2015-03-18

Get an broken DELL 1702FP from my boss.

Failure: 2 little tantalcapaciators 33µF 6V on the LCD board got a failure and killed the 5V powersupply down to 200mV. You can hear that failure - it makes a good noise like: Knitsch knitsch knitsch...

replaced with normal caps, drilled 2 holes in the cover of that board and build it up again - working fine :)

JanR7 (author)Sebasti680924852015-08-01

Hi, i have same failure. Where are located 33µF 6V caps.

Thanks a lot.

StephenM4 (author)2014-12-05

Wow!! I've never soldered anything in my life and yet 10 capacitors for about £1.50 later (using only 2 of them) and my monitor is back to life. Unreal I'm so happy, not about the money but about getting this monitor (which I've had for 12 years) back to life and not in the bin. Great instructions, many thanks :)

istantinople (author)2012-11-05

Excellent instructable. I fixed a 1702FP that's been sitting in my closet for two years since my college tried to throw it out. I only had to replace the first two capacitors. It's old, and a little beat up, and the color isn't perfect, but it was also the cost of two caps, so I'm very pleased. Thanks [thearchitect]!

lucky13dave (author)2012-10-25

Great instructable! I was able to save my Viewsonic monitor doing this a few months back, and just now fixed a dell e173fpc that i rescued from the dumpster at work. Now I have dual monitors! The latter had 1 bad cap.

A few hints: Capacitors that have a metal top visible, with lines embossed on the top will often (always?) bulge slightly when they go bad. This makes for quick diagnosis of a bad cap.

Keeping bad power supplies/circuits around can provide a handy source of spare parts. I got the cap for the dell from an old toasted power supply. Can save a trip to the store, or the wait for ordered parts.

It seems that this problem, bad capacitors on the backlight power inverter portion of the power supply is common to other makes and models of LCD monitors. So far I've fixed 2 by opening them up, and replacing capacitors that were bulged. It's a quick and easy diagnosis, so it may be worthwhile to grab up any free broken monitors. Ones with cracked LCDs may be a still have good capacitors.


dgluck (author)2012-03-12

Great teaching. On my now dark 1702FP, the capacitors are much smaller than the black one in your pic (C604) and silver/black colored. And the leads don't seem to go all the way thru the board. Can they be soldered on the same side as the capacitor rather than on the back of the board as I expected? Thx. :Dani

aoscar2012 (author)2012-01-30

Please I need information about conector of video board because i broked the white conector (CN202 of 10 pin), i need the order of colors wires from pin 1 to pin 10. Please write me the order of cables. Thanks for all (

lepolgr (author)2011-12-10

Your fix still works great!! My old, up to now reliable, Dell 1702FP monitor died last week and I found your fix by using my not-so-good CRT backup monitor to do a Google search.
I ordered all the caps you listed but only needed to change out the two 10uf 16v caps that are labeled as C604 and C507.
Back in business and loving it. :-) Thanks much.

thearchitect (author)lepolgr2011-12-10

Fantastic, I published this instructable more than 5 years ago! Apparently, it still saves some monitors from going to landfills! Thanks for the note, and enjoy your refreshed monitor!


curious77 (author)2011-05-27

thats a nice instruction set, thanx for it. i made my screen come back to life again

Nightshade (author)2007-05-12

Could I use a 35w vdc cap. When I bought the caps they only had one 16w. COOL Instructable. Thanks

Cadillac84 (author)Nightshade2010-07-15

Short answer: yes. The w goes with the vdc and is, thus, wvdc (working volts direct current). So the designation is actually 35 wvdc = 35 volts. The thing that makes the working voltage important is that voltages higher than the rated wvdc may cause a breach of the dielectric (insulation) between the layers of the capacitor. Think of a capacitor as two sheets of aluminum foil with a sheet of waxed paper separating them. If the voltage between the two aluminum foils becomes too high, a spark will pop through the waxed paper and that will be the end of that! It is not practical to make capacitors of arbitrarily high voltage tolerance because of expense and size constraints. The voltages inside computer circuitry once we get past the power supply are less than twelve volts for the most part. That's why 16 volts is a good number for most applications. If the 35 wvdc capacitor will fit in the space, it should be just fine.

AnonyMouse69 (author)2008-12-18

I fixed a old hansol H550 that died from work (they bought a enw one and was gonna toss the ols one out) so I took it. hooked it up and you could see the image on the screen, when powered on you could see it light for like half a second then go black, but the images was there. so no backlight. researching (before I found this site) I found the caps on the inverter were a issue so I took it apart, replaced several caps (maybe less than 3 bucks at radio shack) and the monitor was brought back to life! now given the backlight wasnt super brignt like it was new, I think due to the fact the monitor was on 24/7 on a computer that didnt have power save, so it ran for years powered on so I suspect the lamps are dimmed a little. but for $3 in parts, its a handy monitor for using as a test for computers, or for a secondary computer that doesnt need a super bright hi def lcd monitor :) here is a pic of it after it got working.

Libvree (author)AnonyMouse692010-05-07

I recently received an H550 (also from McDonalds) with the same problem as Hemingray. Could you tell me which caps you replaced? It would save me a lot of time :)

Hemingray (author)AnonyMouse692009-06-19

Do you remember which caps? I have an H550 from here at mcds the manager let me have that has the same problem (lights for 1/2 sec then dead with image still on LCD)

LeolaJD (author)2010-04-16

Have you ever worked on the 2000fp Dell?  I have that one.  I don't see any physical sign that there are any problems with the capacitors.  No leakage, and they don't look swelled up, although I've never seen this type before.


goldivox (author)2009-10-13

The 2 caps were all my dead 1702fp needed for resurrection; thanks!!

thearchitect (author)goldivox2009-10-16

Excellent news!..

darimini (author)2007-06-23

Sorry, could someone explain how these snaps work? I have a Dell LCD 173FPb with a power issue, and I need to get the cover off, but the snaps look a little different (narrower openinings) and I can't figure out in which direction to press.

thearchitect (author)darimini2007-06-23

For these ones I just pushed them with a flathead screwdriver.Best way to go is to pry two halves with a wide edged tool and push the snaps in with another one. Don't push too hard though, you want the thing in one piece. Good luck!

joyone123 (author)thearchitect2009-09-24

My monitor is Dell LCD 173FPb as well. I can open one side with a flathead screwdrivier but other sides are still tight. Any suggestions?

darimini (author)joyone1232009-09-26

Are you maybe prying the one side you're loosening too much so that it's tightening the other sides? I had to be a little aggressive with the sides without snaps. I ended up with scratches on the other sides of the monitor, and there were a couple of times when I cringed and pulled, praying I wouldn't break it. It worked, and it didn't snap in half, but I had to pull harder than I was comfortable with. Whatever that's worth.

kjreisman (author)2009-07-27

Thanks for the great instructable! I got my 1702FP from my dad several years ago and it's my 5 year old son's screen now. I had never soldered anything before but I got it working in under 15 minutes. Picture is bright and looks better than ever.

jkesa (author)2009-07-13

Worked for me just replacing C507 and C604. In fact, I accidently broke off C604 and it still worked fine, heh.

ThousandParadox (author)2009-07-09

i replaced the 2, 10uf 16v capacitors and It worked grate!... But it Broke again 1 week later! i think ill try getting Higher voltage capacitors like DKW said on step 6 (i should have read the comments)

stellarwarlord (author)2009-06-04

I bought all the caps you mention but only replaced the two caps at c604 and c507 to get my 1702FP working again. Here's the link to where I got my caps:

I used a 15w soldering iron and some fine silver solder I had laying around.

Thanks a lot for the Instructable!

abadfart (author)2008-07-02

sweet i have an old dell monitor that stopped working but i found a A/V to VGA cable for $5 so im going to hook it up to a vcr

Aww damn I need one of those for my PS3. Where'd you find it?

i think it was newegg

i would check (huge selection of cables)

Derin (author)abadfart2009-06-02

Make sure that it has the correct connections.That's how the electronics store ripped me off with a "composite to usb cable".It was just composite leads hooked up to an USB plug.

FrostEnergy (author)2009-02-04

so i have the 1702fp monitor, and the lights along the bottom turn on normally, as if the monitor is on, and running, but the screen never changes, no flashes, no backlight.. and i have also replaced the critical 10 ohm caps.. help, please!

xfactornos (author)FrostEnergy2009-03-16

Its a 10 micro farad. which is 10 x 10-6

The little u means micro.

10 ohms would be a resistor.

Hope this helps.

FrostEnergy (author)xfactornos2009-03-16

yea.. my bad, i meant what i knew, lol. i did replace them with 10uf caps, NOT resistors, i just said the wrong thing. anyways, i replaced the critical caps (even though they looked fine) with new ones, and still nothing, and the board looks just fine everywhere else, but i have yet to look at the underside of it.

Derin (author)FrostEnergy2009-06-02

Try replacing the screen and backlight.

ericpwong (author)2008-11-04

will it work with a Dell 1800FP?

ReCreate (author)ericpwong2009-05-31

It should Work For Many Devices, It could be as simple as a capacitor and as complex as the processor

hacster (author)2007-09-03

Hey Thearchitect.. You simply are a genius. Thank you for a very very usefull guide Best regards Hacster

sethu005 (author)hacster2008-12-07

hi, there are vertical lines in my 17 inch L.C.D. monitor. please tell me how to fix it

Derin (author)sethu0052009-04-30

The TFT's are probably disconnected.I don't know a solution.

thearchitect (author)hacster2007-09-19

Not really, I just like to share this kind of stuff. I feel great every time I receive a success message from another user, knowing that I helped saving one more monitor from contaminating our environment, at least for a little while. Thanks for appreciation!.. K.

gururaj (author)2009-04-25

Hi thearchitect, Thank you very much. After replacing that 2 faulty,10uf capacitor said by you, my monitor is working fine now. Really very good posting. How could you guess that these two capacitor might be faulty. Anyways Thank you once again.

DKW (author)2009-01-09

Something I have found over the years I have spent repairing electronics is that using Electrolytic Capacitors rated at about twice the working voltage of the device is best. The voltages of the above named Capacitors are only 2 volts above the working voltage of the Monitor witch is 14 volts. The least voltage I would use is 25 volts, and if I have room I would use cap's rated at 35 volts. Remember the Capacitance is generally critical, And never use a capacitor rated at a lower working voltage then your project. is a great parts source.

sarach (author)DKW2009-03-23

Thank you for posting this comment! I called Radio Shack and all they had were the 10uf 35 V and I know NOTHING about capacitors and circuitry so I wasn't sure if more voltage would fry my monitor completely or not. You rock! Sara

DKW (author)sarach2009-03-28

On my monitor I replaced both 10uf caps and the monitor has been running 100%. The higher working voltage just takes the stress off the caps.

thearchitect (author)DKW2009-01-10

Excellent point! Thanks for contributing! K.

chrispg (author)2009-03-27

Mr theachitect, you rock! I have just repaired a 1702FP, using 10uF caps that came from an old hi-fi that was heading for the skip... very pleased :) Thanks for the instructions.

chrispg (author)2009-03-13

I just got a BLEDS 1702FP from the office - as soon as I can get to the electronics store I'm going to try and fix it and bag myself a new monitor for home :) Thanks for posting these instructions!

Zem (author)2009-03-12

Will donuts work? =D

shello (author)2009-01-24

Hi K, Your instructions and steps are excellent and clear for the DEll 1702FP monitor, however the symptoms described with the BLEDS are the same for me with my Dell E550 CRT Monitor. Do you have any experience with this monitor and what capacitors should I change to rectify the problem? Your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

About This Instructable




Bio: I love fixing things...
More by thearchitect:Olympus OM10 sticky shutter repairHack Canon EOS 300D to confirm focus with all lenses, permanently.Yet another USB flash drive in leather flavour
Add instructable to: