FREE 17" LCD Monitor - How to Do It?




About: I love fixing things...

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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.



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    163 Discussions


    1 year ago

    i just read through this tutorial, I had the blinking lights and was about to get ready to do this, but then I herd a weird noise. Somehow the monitor was on and functioning :)


    4 years ago on Step 6

    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 :)

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Step 7

    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 :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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]!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.



    7 years ago on Step 6

    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


    7 years ago on Step 7

    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 (


    7 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    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!



    7 years ago on Introduction

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


    11 years ago on Step 6

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

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    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.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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 :)


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    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)


    9 years ago on Step 7

    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.



    9 years ago on Step 7

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

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Step 4

    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.