I had bought a Philips 107E5 CRT Monitor some 7 odd years ago. I was an extremely satisfied customer of Philips as the monitor was exceptional and used to give a rich set of colors. My problem started over 6-8 odd months ago when while working on the system the OSD (On-Screen Display) menu would pop up for several minutes and take a major portion of the screen. Trying to manipulate so that the OSD Menu would go away did not have any effect and I had to work within a miniscule area of the screen. As it was the CRT Monitor size and the monitor size reported by X.org was different. To X.org and the kernel it was a 15′ CRT Monitor (another topic altogether).
At that time I had consulted Keith Packard and other kernel and X.org hackers. I was little bit confused as I also did a dual-boot instance to check out how it was working under MS-Windows and to my delight and horror it was taking the whole 17′. Further consultations with those people had revealed that while the monitor identified itself as a 15′ CRT Monitor, the MS-Windows developer had written the driver in such a way that it performed as a regular 17′ CRT Monitor. As in GNU/Linux we try to use whatever the monitor says it was performing as 15′ CRT Monitor so 2′ loss straight away.
Now with the new problem, it was becoming increasingly unusable for me. A casual web search revealed quite a people who had the same issue without any solution so far.
After being lazy for few months on one Saturday I tried opening the CRT Monitor. While I was able to see 2 screws at the back which I unscrewed there is still something which is holding the back cover in place. I am still to figure out what it is that is holding the back cover. I could not see any additional screws anywhere. Anyways that loosening was good enough for me to take out the front control panel below the CRT Monitor and checked that the buttons functioned good and the plastic which pressed the buttons was/is acting normally and all was good.
Before doing this, I had also downloaded a schematic diagram of the Philips 107E5. I had also invited a friend who is an electronics major as I am not an expert on resistors, capacitors etc and do not have access to a multimeter and things. While I’m too lazy to use xfig and draw the simplified diagram, what became known was that there are four parallel resistors which are connected to the buttons at the bottom of the control (plus,minus,OSD Menu,Power) . Manipulating either one of the buttons would generate/give a certain ‘unique’ voltage signal to pin 15 of the 42 pin IC101 – NT68F65 (8-bit microcontroller for CRT Monitor). Now what is/was happening probably (and its a theory still as haven’t been successful in opening the back cover) is that there is probably some moisture on the path from the button to the IC somewhere and hence it is shorting and showing the OSD Menu from time to time. All the buttons now do is replicate the function of the minus button further strengthening the suspicion.
With the above issue, I had to finally go in the market to hunt for a LCD/LED Monitor. As there are only a couple of companies which do any business more in the CRT market it is becoming increasingly rare to get one of those. Even if you are able to get those, the prices are not that competitive anymore 😦 . The only pro in CRT’s favor is the ability to tinker and figure out things.
In LCD/LED I was looking for either a 20-22′ as I’m not getting any younger and moreover my mother also shares the same desktop. I was looking for one which does not have sound in-built but unfortunately the choices near my place are/were extremely limited. The one ruling the roost was/is the 20′ Viewsonic VA2038wm-LED in the 20′ category which I bought at the princely price of Rs. 6,500/- . The cons for this are only two :-
a. Because it’s an LED/LCD Monitor it probably would be an IC and multiple layered board solution. I haven’t opened it up but that’s the suspicion. Which means I cannot do even the basic tinkering I attempted above.
b. It has in-built speakers (which I have not connected) but still not nice for a monitor as in-built speakers do make a bit of interference with the video signal.
So if anybody has any idea about :-
a. How to remove the back cover of a Philips 107E5 CRT Monitor, please share
b. Does anybody have any idea if an IC101-NT68F65 microcontroller is available (in loose) and probable price for the same .
Looking forward to any replies/mails etc.