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Dell P1110 brightness problem February 20, 2006

Posted by oktyabr in hacking, hardware, personal.
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So I had been saving up money to replace my beloved 19″ Sony Trinitron G410R CRT with one of these new snazzy LCD flat panel monitors and then it happened…

I caught a classified add in my local paper that listed “Dell 21″ monitor for sale: $50″ A 21”?!?!?! w00t! I went over to check it out and fell in love! In fact I told the gentleman that if he had more of them I would probably buy two or three.. “I do have more.” he replied. My heart start beating harder and I forgot how to breath as schemes of how to convince my wife that I needed not one “new” monitor but several started bubbling in my head. 15 minutes later I left with two of them and a $90 hole in my wallet where some of my LCD money used to be.

They are gov surplus (I live in a fairly high-tech area), vintage 2000, so they have seen lots of use, I’m sure. The pictures are still nice and crisp and they pull off 1600×1200 @85hz with no problem (3200×1200 in twinview! Yipeee!) but i DID notice that really “black” blacks were tough to get with them, even with brightness turned all the way down. Usuable, but far from what manufacturer’s specs were, I’m sure. I posted in the Tech Talk section of one of my favorite BBSs and got the following reply from one of my friends:

The P1110 is a great monitor, but you will run into a problem, but it is easy to fix.

At some point you may start to notice that it takes 10 minutes or more to go from blank screen to being able to see a picture. This has to do with a faulty heat regulator. I’ll try and find the link on how to fix it.

Another problem you may encounter is that it is too bright. You can find a way to fix that here: http://www.hutzelman.com/home/hardware/mods/monitor/

So it’s off to http://www.hutzelman.com/home/hardware/mods/monitor/ I go… nice HOWTO with lots of detailed photos. Doesn’t look too difficult… just requires replacing a single resistor (in each monitor) that controls black levels. Time to go find a soddering iron 😉

EDIT New link, thanks to Gilles Vollant :

http://www.hutzelman.com/web/pages/hardware/Mods/SonyCRT/

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Comments»

1. Greg Bartz - May 24, 2006

So did you do this fix? How did it turn out?

2. oktyabr - May 24, 2006

Turned out great! A buddy of mine works for a hightech electronics firm and scored me a couple of 4.7 MOhm resistors. I removed the stock 10 MOhm resistor and replaced it with the 4.7. Still not perfect but very MUCH improved over the way it was.

In retrospect I probably should have tried a 6.8 too to get the perfect picture or something between the two.

Follow the directions at the website I link in the post above. Easy as pie. Takes a phillips screwdriver, a soddering iron, a new resistor and just a few minutes of time. Your specific monitor might take a different resistance than mine to get the “perfect black” level again so if you can get a hold of them get an assortment. BE CAREFUL OF HIGH VOLTAGE CAPACITORS!!!!

Good luck and thanks for the interest! 🙂

3. garvyn - June 11, 2006

i try to find something at google.com and take it on your site…thanks

4. Gilles Vollant - August 15, 2006
5. oktyabr - August 16, 2006

Thanks for the correction!

6. VP - December 26, 2006

hi

i’m facing the same problem with dell p1110.
i am planning to try this resister swapping thing. before that i would like to know if you have tried to service mode option.

Please kindly email me the reply.
thanks

VP

7. VP - December 26, 2006

typo corrected

“tried to” = “tried that”

8. Myron - February 16, 2008

I found a Dell P1110 on craigslist for $40! Case was in great shape, no scratches on the tube!! So I did a review search, and found this page!

Great timing, so indeed, I checked out the monitor after reading this and the brightness was set to Zero and it was still too bright.. I took it anyway.

I installed a 4.7M resistor, and it’s working great now..

I removed the PCB and desoldered the resistor from the board, instead of cutting it.

Word of advice.. monitors contain high voltage EVEN when turned off.. I’ve been blasted by a few flyback wires on tubes I THOUGHT were discharged, hehe..

Anyhow, highly recommend this fix, and THANKS for the info and link!

9. bobby - April 24, 2008
10. Mauser - November 4, 2008

There’s a software fix as well. No Soldering involved.

http://www.geocities.com/gregua/windas/

11. oktyabr - November 4, 2008

Thanks for the link Mauser! It is important to point out that the suggested solution does however require the creation of a specialized cable and a computer with the necessary port. I looked at the howto and while it certainly is another option I’m not sure it would be any easier than just sticking to the original solder one. YMMV

12. Chris B. Bristol - January 15, 2009

1600×1200 @85hz with no problem (3200×1200 in twinview! Yipeee!) lol i got mine running at 4096×1536 at 75hz each…they’re very capable but to get there you have to force the rates…


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