If you have one of these monitors and it's starting to lose brightness, or flicker, or maybe the power button light is blinking and there's no picture. The cause is likely some blown capacitors on the power board. Good news! You can fix this for less than 10 bones, if you're willing to take apart the monitor and wield a soldering iron for a few minutes.

*disclaimer - start* I cannot be held responsible if you electrocute yourself or break anything that wasn't broken before you begin. Unplug the monitor and leave it alone for a few hours (a day if you're paranoid) this will allow any built up energy to dissipate from the capacitors, there's one in there that's a doozy if it bites ya! *disclaimer - stop*

1. Take the monitor off the stand, there's two screws holding it on.

2. Tear down the monitor housing, this can be done with an expired credit card (you will fuck it up, so don't use a live one). Simply slip it between the seams of the black plastic covering of the monitor and slide it from end to end, you should hear clicking/snapping. Work with it for a few minutes and you should expose the juicy innards. Be careful not to rip or otherwise mutilate the ribbon cable running from the control board to the button array on the front of the monitor bezel.

3. Remove the shielding, there's four (4) screws one on each corner, and two black screws. Total of 6, take them out.

4. Gently pull the cover off.

5. You will now see a few more screws, 3 black and 1 fat silver one. Get your screw driver and drive! (them out)

6. Carefully disconnect all the cables you see from their boards. There are two of them, we're interested in the one with the power switch and electrical socket on it.

All the capacitors that I'll be replacing are marked in red.

In the full size image you can see the 3 caps at the lower edge of the picture are bulging. these are definitely bad. I could stop there and only spend about a dollar (before shipping) to fix it. But why stop there!

The board I have is marked as 204B-VE REV0.1

A list of the caps:

680uf 25v (2) 100uf 450v (1) 47uf 50v (1) 330uf 25v (1) 820uf 25v (2)

Mouser Electronics - Cart of items

Total cost of the caps + shipping < $12 (shipping's a mother...)

If you really want to get off cheap you can if your 450v cap looks good, that's about $4 by itself. The only caps of mine that appeared damaged were the 330uf and the 2 820uf. I went ahead and ordered replacements for all of them.

Part 2 coming soon!