Lcd monitor testing

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A How-To


Pick up a monitor from the shelf where Receiving has placed it.

  • Note: ALWAYS test Adoption/Build Spec monitors 1st, see below for the spec

The monitor needs to be plugged in by two cords:

  • a VGA (video cord, usually blue, labeled with a diagram) and a power supply.
    • Some power supplies are PC power cords (labeled with a diagram) and will plug into the monitor with three slots. Others may be more specialized (3-prong & 2-prong, for example, which are labeled with a diagram).
      • Boxes of power supplies are labeled with their volt and amp output. On the monitor there should be a sticker with specifications about what kind of power supply is needed (for example, “12V 3.5A”). Find a cord in the boxes that will fit.
  • Sometimes there will be no cord that fits the monitor. In this case, determine whether the monitor is fancy, new, in really good condition and worth saving, or not (disambiguation needed).
    • If it is worth saving, especially if it measures 19 inches diagonally or larger, label with the kind of power supply needed (i.e., “12V 3.5A”) on a blank sticker and place neatly with other such monitors.
  • Sometimes you can find a power cord that fits, but is not an exact match with the output listed on the monitor. So long as the volts (“V”) match up and the amps (“A”) are above the listed requirement (never under!) this is okay.
  • Sometimes the video cord will be DVI rather than VGA (labeled with a diagram). Find a DVI/VGA adapter (they are in a box on the shelf with the multiplexer in Build) and use it in the multiplexer to plug in the cord.






Recycle any monitor that shows damage/defects (cracked or scratched screen, broken case, uncleanable). Recycle a monitor if it has no base.


Plug the VGA cord into the multiplexer and the power cord into the vertical strip.


Turn on the monitor - NOTE: some monitors have an on/off rocker switch in addition to the on/off button.

  • Does it turn on?
  • How is the quality of the video?
    • Is lettering in focus?
    • Are the colors "true" (is white really white, not grey; is red really red, not pink or purple or brown, etc)?

If the monitor does not turn on, or there are a lot of weird stripes, or it's flickering (or any other number of things that amount to a non-functioning monitor):

  • first determine whether it is “Covered” or “UnCovered” (it is "Covered" unless there is a sticker on the front reading "Uncovered Electronic Device") and mark as such on the clipboard.
    • If it is "Covered", put it into the big cardboard box labeled “Covered LCD-Monitors Only” in the warehouse.
    • If it is "UnCovered", put it into the big cardboard box labeled “UnCovered LCD-Monitors Only” in the warehouse

Add as many monitors to the test batch as you have room for. Working monitors should be left on for 3 hours. Write the start time of the batch on the whiteboard.

  • Once that time has passed and it seems to be working, unplug them and clean them off with the available cleaning supplies.
  • Label them with your initials on a “Tested by ___” sticker (also usually on the clipboard).

While you wait, please sort through any incoming power supplies.

  • They need to be wrapped neatly, rubber-banded and placed in their appropriate home.

If the monitor doesn't pass but is really, REALLY nice

  • Bring it to Santiago in the Tree House to try to repair. Ask a Reuse Program Coordinator for clarification on this if you're unsure.

If the Monitor passes test:

  • REMEMBER: ALWAYS fill the Adoption/Build shelf 1st

Adoption/Build Spec:

  • <= 17 inches
  • Black, Beige, or White
  • Power Adapter OK
  • NO built-in speakers
  • NO extra ports, just video (no USB, no speaker jacks, etc)
  • Power cord and video cable
  • Wrap the monitor and power cable neatly around the base of the monitor
  • Bring it to the Adoption/Build shelf in the warehouse.

Store Spec:

  • >= 19 inches
  • No Beige, no White
  • Standard Power
  • No power cord or video cable (unless permanently attached)
  • Bring it to the Store shelves in the warehouse.

Grant Spec:

  • <= 17 inches
  • Black, Beige, or White
  • Power Adapter OK
  • Power cord and video cable
  • Wrap the monitor and power cable neatly around the base of the monitor
  • Bring it to the Hardware Grants shelf in the warehouse
  • Position the monitor so that it is facing outwards the hallway.


Thanks for your help!