I recently picked up this old Samsung SyncMaster LCD TV. With my Retro Computer and Electronics hobby I felt it was worth trying to get working again. It had a paper on saying that it didn’t work, but I tried it anyways and it wouldn’t power on at all. I had come across that it can be possible to fix old lcds due to bad capacitors. I figured it was worth a shot so I brought it home.
The positive to this tv is that it has about any video hookup I may want.
The SCART really interested me as I have made the RGBI to RGB Converter for my Commodore 128 that I setup to use with a SCART to HDMI box. I will possibly be able to connect directly from my RGB unit with the SCART cable I already created. I am not familiar with the Antenna hookup on this TV though, I was initially going to first test this with my Timex Sinclair 1000 as it is an Analog TV, but I don’t have a connector for that port.
So the initial power on test had done nothing already (days ago so yes if it was just powered on the capacitors lkely have a charge and well it can be dangerous to open then). This is also not an LED backlight so it has a High Voltage section in the power supply to power the backlights, so be careful… So I started by opening up the case to see what I would find.
Looking at it I saw 3 obviously bulged capacitors on the power supply board. I looked at the other capacitors and didn’t see any that were an obvious problem. I looked at the control board with it’s surface mount caps all looking fine. I then pulled the board and desoldered the old capacitors. I pulled the 4th one there that was the 820 like the one bulged one as it was suspect because the other one was. I also pulled the next closest one there to the right to check it out.
The 3 bulged ones were bad as well as the other 820 there even though it had not bulged. That fifth one off to the right tested out fine. So I went looking for replacements online, I can get them, and get them rather reasonably from the looks of it. Certainly worth investing in a screen didn’t have anything tied up in.
Still I didn’t want to go spending money on them and have them come in and it not work. So I dug through my spare parts. I found 2 exact replacement 1000uF 10v 105 degree ones. The other two the 820uF 25v ones I didn’t have. Now those two are in parallel, and this was just to test if they were why the TV wouldn’t work, so I went with a single 2200uF 25v capacitor. I don’t recommend it, while it may be just fine even in the long run, this was just to see if it would get the TV working.
So I thought, lets close this for safety 🙂
So I turned it over and plugged it in. As soon as it was plugged in, the power light blinked. I powered it on and it went right to the no longer broad cast Analog TV tuner. Oddly no audio though, I expected to hear static. I couldn’t change the Source either to any of the ports. So I hooked up a Commodore 64 to see what would happen. Below you can see the results.
As soon as I turned on the Commodore 64 I was able to change to the AV Source and it worked fine, the audio was there as well. I still have my S Video cable only at my one desk. I did see what looked like artifacts on the graphics around the shock towers (or what ever those are on the screen upper left). I need to make up a second SVideo cable for my Commodores. I did recently get one in that I want to add to my RGBI to RGB converter for my Commodore 128 80 Column mode.
Now I just need to get in the 820uF capacitors, well I will get a few of the others as well as I don’t know if they will hold up very well and I have to make an order anyways. Just a bit of cleanup and it should be good to go then. I look forward to trying out the SVideo input and seeing if it looks any less artifact like around those towers. I also look forward to seeing if the SCART connector will work with my Commodore 128’s RGBI output for the 80 Column mode.
The new capacitors came in. Below I have marked the ones I replaced. I picked up most of the ones Jameco had available.
So what did I find with them. Well originally those four main ones in the middle there were bad, with the 3 bulged and the 1 that was not bulged. Those were just junk.
The remaining ones I replaced were probably fine. I replaced that one off to the left, as it looked to be the same manufacture as two that had failed. It looked to be perfectly fine. The others that were replaced appeared to be fine as well. I was in there, I had them and I didn’t care to just put the old ones back in.
I did have to substitute some values. The 820uF capacitor value wasn’t available. There were 2 in parallel, so they add up to 1640uF. I ended up replacing them with a 680uF in parallel with a 1000uF to give a capacitance of 1680uF. My understanding is they should preform the same as the 820s would have been. The last three that I replaced were some 330uF capacitors, they checked out fine.
Some Testing with my C64 Mini. The TV doesn’t have HDMI, so I used an adapter to VGA in this case and also connected it to my 12″ bench monitor to compare the output. It works great with that adapter to VGA, but when I tried the DVI port, the image was going off the screen and only washed out and purple looking. I think it may be the adapter box as everything else appears fine. Last night I connected it up to one of my real Commodore 64s via Svideo, and it worked, but was washed out. The cable didn’t have a resistor on it, so that may have been why, I am going to make a second SVideo cable for the Commodore 64 and try it with the resistor on the line there.
I also tested it out with my Composite modded Timex Sinclair 1000 (US Model ZX81) (mod information on another post here). The results were very good. I am quite happy with it. I hope to be able to use this TV for a number of older computers and systems with the connections it has available on it. It is a lot more portable and compact than my Sony 19″ PVM that I have yet to find or build a desk to get it setup.
I decided to hookup my Commodore 128 to the TV as well to test it out. There was some disappointment in that this TV has a SCART connector, and I had made a RGBI to SCART converter that I connect to a SCART to HDMI adapter for using the 80 Column mode (See my other post on that). I was hoping that I could just no use the SCART to HDMI unit and go directly to the SCART input of the TV. Unfortunately the TV doesn’t see the input on the SCART port. This TV detects if a signal is present and then “allows” you to change to that port, if it doesn’t see on you can’t even select the port with the Source or Menu options. So I hooked up the Composite 40 Column mode to the Composite input and used the SCART to HDMI box (with a HDMI to VGA adapter yet) to connect to the RGBI 80 Column mode. The RGBI looks quite good even after all of the conversion. The Composite is not to bad. I do want to see about getting a good picture on the SVideo though. I am going to modify my RGBI to to SCART converter box to break out the SVideo signal as well, as it currently only has a pass through for the Composite video for the C64/40 Column output.