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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Halogen Lamps and Heat Guns to The Rescue!

Hi Bill,

Your recent success with baking your Sony Vaio gave me the courage to attack my flat screen monitor. The most expensive thing in my entire computer setup is my "LG" brand monitor. It's the only thing that I've purchased new. Everything else came from the curb, or the surplus store. However, it started going on the fritz a few weeks ago.

While browsing around the chat groups on the internet I found out that many monitors from the past few years have had bad capacitors in them. So I opened it up, hoping to find a blob of leaking chemicals near a cap. "It should be a quick fix" I thought. However, everything looked great. No bulging caps, or leaking chemicals. I then turned the circuit board over, and instead of seeing a shining city of perfect solder joints, I saw a cloud of grey. Practically every solder joint was cold.

This is where your laptop baking got me thinking.

I didn't have a halogen lamp handy, but I did have a heat gun. So I put the gun on the high setting, and very slowly passed it over the board. It left a gleaming trail of solder joints.

When I started to connect things back together again, I heard a rattling. It seems that I heated the board up enough to allow some components to completely fall out. Luckily they were through-hole components (nothing surface mount), and were easy to solder back in.

Once everything went back together... success!

One thing to note, at one point I got a nasty zap from one of the caps on the board (I'm assuming for the back light). Even though we're not working with tubes and CRTs anymore, you still have to take heed and discharge high voltage caps before working on anything!

-Keith VE3TZF

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