Fix Your Monitor - Replacing Capacitors





Introduction: Fix Your Monitor - Replacing Capacitors

About: I have been working with and fixing computers and electronics for 15 years. I own operate a local repair and custom build shop in Fort Worth, TX. We also deal in other kinds of electronic projects including ...

In this video we show you how to fix one of the most common problems that happens with monitors. Nine times out of ten a monitor can be fixed for less than $10.00 bucks. Capacitors are cheaper than dirt, and with a little practice can be replaced saving you from buying a new monitor.

What i did not show in the video: Testing the capacitors. First I tested resistance with a multimeter in the high range, then I tested with a capacitance meter to identify the bad capacitors. Eventually I will post another tutorial on meter reading and component testing.

This monitor's parts aren't even available anymore, so replacing the board itself was out of the question. This repair is only for the really confident to try, but look at it this way: If your monitor is bad, what harm is there in trying to fix it for around $10.00 bucks. The worst that can happen is you will be right back where you started with a broken monitor.

For this project you will need: A screwdriver, needle points, pen and paper, soldering equipment ( 15 - 30watt recommended ), either a capacitance meter or a multi-meter. The total work time is about 1.5 hours not including the 2 days it took for the capacitors I ordered to come in the mail.

Good luck.



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    8 Discussions

    Thank you for posting this. My father in laws LCD monitor would not turn on but we replaced one capacitor that was bulging (it lifted off the base) for about $2.00 from Radio Shack. The voltage value was higher as well as the capacitance. When we turned it on, it worked just like new. Save some money and prevented it from being dumped in a landfill. The LCD worked well for about 5-6 years without a problem. We left the other cap that was bulging alone (just changed the one that lifted off the base).

    Hey, thanks for the video! However, 11 minutes of video but you still skip the most important part: how do you find the defect capacitor? I am just disassembling a CRT TV and it has a shit-load of capacitors inside. Optically, they all look intact. I have a multimeter ... and it also has a capacitance tester .. but for the latter the capacitor must be desoldered (?) und plugged into the multimeter (??) ... and if I use a ohmmeter how can I find a broken capacitor? Capacitors should always show a resistance of infinity when ok ... but soldered in the PCB there are probably other traces that give some resistance smaller than infinity .. so again: to test a capacitor I would have to unsolder it ... or am I getting something completely wrong???

    2 replies

    You are right, totally skipped that part because it wasn't the focus. But I can answer your question though.

    Using a capacitance meter you will need to unsolder each capacitor - or - if you have alligator clamps sometimes you can simply touch the positive and negative prongs while it's still soldered into the board. - A capacitance meter is the most effective way to tell.

    Using a Multimeter - Capacitors should not show infinite resistance unless you are grounding the circuit. You should pick the smallest unit of resistance possible and by touching the leads one direction see it charge, reversing the leads you should see it slowly discharge. The capacitors function is to store energy. If it is immediately dumping it's charge it's probably bad. - This method is not 100% reliable as most multimeter wont measure mF so you have to rely on mOhmz. With this method you do not have to desolder, just touch the leads to the correct solder.

    The residual energy you are talking about wouldn't matter, you are testing whether the capacitor can hold/release a charge. Not holding a charge means that the capacitor is burned open, and charging to infinity without stopping would indicate that it's burned closed. However as I said, that's back yard electrical engineering. The best method is to test with a capacitance meter which will give you a clear reading in mF as to capacity and charge.

    And just to be fair I did have this posted in the description "What i did not show in the video: Testing the capacitors. First I tested resistance with a multimeter in the high range, then I tested with a capacitance meter to identify the bad capacitors. Eventually I will post another tutorial on meter reading and component testing."

    When you disconnect the monitor from the board, could you just cut the wires and solder them back on later if its too difficult? And will this work with any monitor, like LED monitors and different panels and so on, or do they tend to break in different places?

    3 replies

    I don't know of any monitors that don't have a wiring harness or that are hard wired so you should be able to disconnect the panel the way I demonstrate in the video. I guess technically you could cut the wires and reconnect them if you have to, but I don't see why you would need to. You may be having trouble if the manufacturer designed some type of release on the harness you aren't seeing. If you posted an image of the PCB connections in the Digital Elite PC Tech Support Forums I bet one of our techs could give you some good advice on how to properly take it apart without damaging it and saving you some headache.

    As for your second questions, this was specifically an LED monitor. But the screen type usually doesn't matter since you are only fixing an issue with the PCB board. If the panel itself is actually damaged, there's usually not much you can do unless you are just replacing the lights. However that is a very detailed procedure and usually more expensive that simply replacing the entire monitor.

    If you want to show us a picture of the issue and get some free advice goto: - Sign up for a forum account and start a thread in the Tech Support board.

    Thanks for the quick response, I don't actually have a monitor that's done in but was wondering if I could repair some broken ones that my school is throwing away. That really clears things up, thanks a lot.

    Anytime. Glad to hear you are participating in the best form of recycling. ;)