Incapacitated!

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A few weeks ago, my monitor started getting flaky: it would intermittently go black for a few seconds during boot or restart. The few seconds became a half a minute and then intermittent became every time and then, finally, it died for good.

Bob loaned me his laptop after seeing my hollow-eyed, addict-without-a-fix stare and I found a decently-priced Asus at Newegg with free shipping. A lot of outfits, when you use their free shipping, wait a few days before shipping so that you don’t get your stuff before “5 to 8 buisness days,” but Newegg shipped about an hour after I clicked “place order.” And they shipped UPS, which has been pretty reliable since the time I had to drive forty miles (each way) to Hendersonville to pick up a package because they couldn’t find my house. I wrote them a letter that included a lot of adjectives along with the precise GPS coordinates of my driveway.

So I settled in to wait a few days, maybe a week (“settled” is probably a bad word choice). Bob’s ThinkPad is so old it says IBM on it. That would be pre-2005. It was painfully slow, like when you hit a speed-zone after an hour or so doing 70. Mine isn’t brand new, but it’s a desktop gaming rig that can run non-3D stuff fast with one core tied behind it’s back. So, two days later, when I heard the crunch of gravel, I was waiting at the door of the UPS truck before the guy could get out.

This was the second monitor we had that failed and the symptoms were the same, so I did a few searches and found that this probably means that some things called capacitors failed. I took the thing apart and, sure enough, the ends of some of the capacitors, little cylindrical doohickeys, were kind of bulged out, indicating failure. A repair kit costs under $15, so I’m thinking of trying to fix it. It would be nice to have a spare monitor kicking around and it doesn’t look that difficult except for, maybe, the de-soldering and soldering parts. I watched a You-Tube video that shows a guy doing this in a couple of minutes. I’m still waffling; I’ve never soldered anything before but it looks like a procedure that requires at least three hands.

And what is a capacitor, anyway? Is it the part that is timed to fail a week after the warranty runs out?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Incapacitated!

  1. as a former fyzzyx major (who avoided all “heavy” elektrawnix courses) i never-the-less had a (gestalt?) — a feel for what and how and why capacitors worked. not any more!
    I suspect (and am going to try to BELIEVE) that you can do the soldering! solder away, my child! like the wind!

    Like

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