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Monitor Flicker

Posted on 2004-09-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have one of the most strange monitor flicker situations I've ever seen. Here is the problem. The whole screen seems to shake all day long. Its not a refresh type of shake...meaning you can't see it out of the corner of your eye but you can just sit and look at the monitor and see the screen shake side to side/up down. I've replaced the monitor itself with a brand new one. I've installed a brand new video card. Both things didn't work. Also it should go without saying I tried adjusting refresh rates and resolution. Anyhow just about a week ago I swapped out the mother board, for another one. So basically this PC is new other than the hard drive. And I still have the problem!! Its not sitting near anything that would cause interference. I have all the latest drivers for the monitor/videocard/motherboard. Does anyone have a suggestion on what I could try next? Thanks so much!
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Question by:bjbarnes
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 12137049
Is it a CRT?  Turn off any fluorescent lights and check if the problem still exists.  There could be interference, perhaps in the power outlet from equipment on the same line.  Move to another location and see.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 12137098
Hi bjbarnes,

>>Its not sitting near anything that would cause interference
Most likely it is... Check 115V/230V main connectors, move your speakers, remove any "power stabalizer" for the moment, or put one in if you never had one. See if you can get some items of the power group your computer is on. (for instance a TL light or a microwave is known for these kind of troubles) Make sure everything is grounded, but no wierd things are grounded the close to your troubling monitor.

About anything can cause this, so I just posted some main issues to give you an idea.

Greetings,

LucF
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12137161
Yes its just a 17" CRT.  Turning off the lights didn't help.  I tried a different outlet and surge protector. Also I replaced the power cored coming from the back of the monitor. Still the same problem....
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by:Callandor
ID: 12137329
Try this monitor on another machine - the problem may be with the monitor.  This is not unusual with CRT's that are several years old or have been used continuously for a few years nonstop.
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12137434
A failing signal cable...?
The signal cable runs past other high voltages...?
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12137437
or dirty signal plug contacts...
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12137499
The monitor is brand new, I just bought it about 3 weeks ago. I've tried two others on this PC and it still produces the same problem. I can't understand it, the monitor is no where near anything else. The only thing original is the hard drive on this machine and even that has been reformatted. I just can't seem to get rid of the issue. Everything seems to point towards interference of some kind but there just isn't anything. Thanks for the input guys.
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 12137542
Just maybe this gives you an extra idea...
I'm not talking about something close to the monitor, I'm talking about the powerline to the monitor, see if on the same fuse in your house another device is connected that might cause any instabilities.
If you have a UPS, try pulling the main power and running the monitor and computer from UPS power so you have the cleanest net signal.

LucF
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12137624
If its new, perhaps its just got a broken cathode ray tube...
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by:Callandor
ID: 12137647
Ha!  That's just what I was suggesting at first, LucF!  Is that GMTA, or what?
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12137687
Guys, i've tried a few different monitors its not that. I'll move this PC to another location in the office and see what happens tomorrow. Thanks so much for your time!
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12137728
Try resitting the video card...
I dont quite know why it would cause the problem... but it could - easily...

Just take it out, blow the graphics slot out and resit it back in...
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by:Luc Franken
ID: 12137800
>> Is that GMTA, or what?<<
yes it is :) sorry I didn't interpretate your comment the right way... but I assume your reaction will be something like "don't worry about it" ;)
I really gotta do something about my english sometime... but probably not in this lifetime.

LucF
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by:Callandor
ID: 12137949
> "don't worry about it"

That would be what I would have said :-)
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by:tapkep
ID: 12141040
I guess that moving computer and monitor into another place would help. We at office have several places, where CRT monitors acts like that. The problem is with electromagnetic field from building power lines and some no longer used electric installation build in walls. And there is no shielding from this :(
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by:XSINUX
ID: 12141538
This Definitely looks like there is some EMI Radiation on that spot. UPS, Stabilizers, Speakers Usage of Wireless Decvices etc are good contributors. So we will see if changing the location would do any good.

If that fails, you can go the the display properties of the Video Card and click on the Advanced settings. In the adapter Tab have the referesh rate increased to 75Hz. Then see.

If that fails, Removed  the Monitor from the system and have the Monitor turned on. Most monitor would display 3 Colors ( Red Green Blue ) See if the Monitor flickers on these colors. Still if the Screen flickers, we have to confirm that the Line Voltage has so much of Spikes / Noise or there is some EMI in that area causing the flicker.


Hope this Helps

Cheers
Sinu
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12143178
Ok heres todays update: I switched PCs today for another one and the problem is still there. So this almost 100% confirms that its the location in the office.  Now I have no idea where the EMI could be coming from. I share this suite with another person and he has no problems what so ever. There is also a third PC in our suite that has no issues. The only other devices are 3Com PBX phones and wireless mice. I've tried different outlets here in the suite and it doesn't make a difference. Same problem lights on and off. I'm clueless!! Thanks again for your help everyone.
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by:Callandor
ID: 12143339
The interference could be from the power coming to your room, so all outlets could be affected.

If it's not the outlet, try experimenting with a foil shield, just to see if it's coming from one direction.  Take a big sheet of aluminum foil (at least 2ft x 2ft) and put it on the monitor at different spots.  That particular monitor may have poor shielding, making it more succeptable than other monitors to interference.
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12143387
Dude, if its still faulty on another computer, its likely to still be faulty on another computer (otherwise all the monitors would be flickering)

You said it was new, so i say to you: Its a faulty unit. Return it to your supplier as faulty.
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12143512
Callandor I think you should get the points just for the most creative solution. I can't wait to try the tin foil thing. Anyhow I'm going to hook a UPS up to it today and see if that cleans the power coming into our suit up at all. Just to make a few things very clear...this problem happens on 3 different monitors and 2 different PCs all in this location. So its NOT the monitor.
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by:Danny Child
ID: 12145328
I guess you've found the first person in the office to get a spanky new LCD flat panel!

...had to do this a couple of years back in a mail room where the labelling machines had badly shielded motors...
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by:tapkep
ID: 12145543
I'm afraid that Alu foil won't help. Low frequency electromagnetic field is very difficult to shield. You can try moving your table with computer - maybe field is lower nearby.
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by:XSINUX
ID: 12149558
If all the above fails... turn off all the Power Consuming units and the power coming to this place.

Then run your PC and Monitor with the UPS alone. Check to see if the interference is visible. If the Flicker is still seen, the EMI maybe Emitted from  the Power Supply of your PC and monitor has weak protection to this EMI hence the flicker. Have the Monitor placed at the max distance from the System Box ( as long as the Video Cable permits ).

But If everything works well having the System connected to the UPS and all devices off and with no the Line power, then turn the mains on and check. If still everything is ok, plug the system to the line bypassing the ups and see ( we have still all the power consuming devices turned off ) ... then proceed by turning ON one by one of the units that were turned off. This should help finding the EMI Emission Culprit.

If all the above fails you are in AREA 51 :)
 http://www.ufomind.com/area51/

Good Luck

Sinu

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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12162434
Update:

Today I turned off every other piece of equipment in our suite, killed the lights and plugged my PC/Monitor into a UPS. Running just off batteries the monitor STILL had the same issues as I mentioned above. At this point I'm lost, if its not the monitor and its not some sort of interference then what is it? Any other suggestions on what I could do to trouble shoot?
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12162515
Could it be the UPS?

They do have ****ing big transformers in them that will cause the interference problems that you're talking about...
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by:OliWarner
ID: 12162521
Speakers do exactly the same if you've got some unshielded ones nearby...
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12162594
The PC doesn't normally have a UPS I just used one to test it. It also doesn't have speakers.
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by:tapkep
ID: 12163542
Try moving PC to another place (whole system). If screen stops flickering - definitely you need to move from your old place :)
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12554398
This issue still hasn't been resolved. All good suggestions but none of them have worked. I don't feel the need to award points because in my mind its still an open case. Feel free to close it and refund me.
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by:tapkep
ID: 12563210
Have you tried temporary swaping your whole system (computer and monitor) with system, which monitor does not flicker? If you computer's monitor does not flickes at new place, you have 2 choices:
1) move your system to another location, where electromagnetic field is lower
2) try replacing CRT with LCD monitor
3) no other choices, unless you will ignore previous 2 :)
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by:bjbarnes
ID: 12570102
A co-workers LCD works just fine. So thats the fix but I still can't understand why this is happening. I turn off the lights, all other PCs, cell phones, printers anything taking up power in my office and it still flickers. Also even if its running from a battery backup with all other devices off, the monitor will continue to flicker. I guess my only solution is move the desk or get an LCD. Unless someone has a suggestion on how to block the electromagnetic field.
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by:Callandor
ID: 12571493
You could try the aluminum foil if you have some handy - at worst, it won't work; at best, you may get some insight on the direction of interference.
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by:tapkep
ID: 12575455
bjbarnes: can you cut electricity to whole office? I am quite sure, that your problem is electric cables in walls/floor. I myself have seen similar situation... Possible resolutions were: a) move to another place b) get LCD c) move cables to another place.

Callandor, were you successful in shielding electromagnetic field this way? In my case foil was uneffective (10KW cable nearby).
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by:Callandor
ID: 12575495
Yes, I was.  Your 10KW cable probably was too powerful for anything simple to shield - the power output of the source is important (much like what radar can do).
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by:tapkep
ID: 12578167
bjbarnes, cutting electricity to the whole office was supposed to be joke... :) i doubt it is easy thing to do.

Callandor, i will try to remember your suggestion next time i encounter flickering monitor.
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