Monitor Burn-in HOWTO

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This HowTo describes how to burn-in monitors for long-term use.


After the monitor is powered up, go into the Menu Settings & select IN THIS ORDER:

  1. the Recall or Reset function (it may be a separate button or it may not exist)
  2. Color Temperature to 9300K
  3. Degauss
  4. Adjust Contrast and Brightness to a maximum of 85
    • if the Contrast or Brightness need to be higher than 85 to be up to par, then RECYCLE IT

Monitors must burn-in for AT LEAST AN HOUR (longer is better!!!)

If the picture is not looking good, RECYCLE IT

THE LONG VERSION aka Explanations

(1) Double check for initial quality

Recycle if...

  • Monitor is ugly (i.e. dirty, covered in stickers, dingy, yellowed, etc.)
  • Plastic case is cracked or damaged
  • Year on back is 1999 or before (Year may change. See optimization section below.)
  • The base is missing, leaving a round unstable bottom
For recycled monitors, if it has a detachable cable then remove it (otherwise, leave the cable attached)

(2) Testing

  1. Put monitor on testing shelf
  2. Plug in a power cord to the back of the monitor
  3. Plug the monitor's signal cable into one of the nearby signal sockets
  4. Power up the monitor
  5. In the Menu setting, select in this order:
    • the Recall or Reset function (it may be a separate button or it may not exist)
    • Color Temperature to 9300K
    • Degauss
    • Adjust Contrast and Brightness to a maximum of 85
If the Brightness or Contrast must be set above 85, then RECYCLE it.

(3) When to Recycle a Monitor

After adjusting the Menu Settings listed above, look for the following:

  • Picture clicks or jerks around
  • You cannot clearly differentiate between the 3 black/gray stripes in the middle
  • Picture is darker than the reference monitor even when brightness/contrast turned up to 85
  • Picture is black or doesn't show the Linux desktop
  • Picture is blurry and text is difficult to read (wipe dirt off screen with cloth to be sure)
  • Color is uneven across the screen
  • You are unable to center the picture properly with the controls
  • The picture is warped and not fixable with the controls
  • You smell BURNING or hear SQUEALING

If any of the monitors fail while setting them up (see criteria above) recycle them & replace them with potentially good monitors until there are 8 on the shelf worth testing. Make sure to safely stack the monitors in the Recycled Monitor Gaylord - ask someone to show you how!

(4) Burning in the Potential Keepers

Monitors must "burn in" for AT LEAST AN HOUR (although longer is better)!!!!!!!!!
  • If you are not going to stick around for the whole burn in process, record the time you set up each Monitor on the clipboard so the next person knows how long they've been running.

(5) What To Do With Keepers

  • After 1 hour, if the monitor picture is still good, bright and not jerking around, and you do NOT smell BURNING or hear SQUEALING:
    • Put a round, color sticker on the front of the monitor & mark the size in inches.
    • Unplug the cables (leave the power cord attached to the power strip).
    • Put the monitor on the Keeper shelf and continue with another.

Optimization of your time

  • Before testing a monitor, check the back of the monitor for the manufacturer's date.
  • Near the monitor testing area, keep a tally sheet with three columns:
    1. A column listing the year of manufacture
    2. A column for hash marks indicating number of passing monitors
    3. A column for hash marks indicating number of failing monitors
  • Put a start date at the top of the tally sheet and after awhile check to see what year (and before) is not worth testing.
  • Place a sign up that says "RECYCLE ALL CRT MONITORS MANUFACTURED BEFORE YEAR 20XX". You can change the year depending on your tally results, supply of monitors, and production needs.