Monitor Initial Testing

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FREE GEEK Initial Monitor Test HOWTO

This Howto describes how to run initial test of monitors coming into FreeGeek.

Here are some quick steps to help you get through monitors.

Send newer Macintosh monitors with SVGA, ADC or DVI connectors to the Macintosh pile. SVGA connectors have 15 pins in three rows. DVI connectors are rectangular with 24 pins in three rows and a separate larger flat pin on one end. ADC connectors have round ends, 30 pins in three rows and a separate larger flat pin on one end. Older Macintosh monitors can be recycled directly. Older Macintosh monitors are beige/light brown, very boxy looking, and usually have the rainbow colored Apple logo on them. They also have connectors with two rows of pins for plugging into the computer (rather than three rows for regular SVGA connectors).

Inspect monitor and mark recycle if:

  • Plastic case is cracked or damaged
  • Year on back is 1995 or before
  • The base is missing, leaving a round unstable bottom
  • Signal input is a 9-pin connector. (We want 15-pin SVGA connectors. These have three rows of pins. It's OK if some of the pins are missing.)

NOTE: For recycled monitors, please keep the 15-pin VGA cable if it is detachable. Set up the monitor:

  • Plug a power cable into the monitor.
  • Plug the monitor signal cable into testing station.
  • Turn on the monitor.
  • Adjust the screen for brightness and properly centered and sized picture. (See details below for more info.)
  • If the colors look weird, use the "degauss" option and then experiment with any color controls to see if you can correct it.

Compare the monitor you are testing to the "Reference Monitor" and use that as a guide for what is too dim or fuzzy. The reference monitor has been chosen to be "just good enough" to keep. Mark the monitor recycle if:

  • Picture clicks or jerks around
  • Picture is dark or doesn't show the Linux desktop(check power and brightness/contrast)
  • 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

At this point you should have a working monitor. Write the tube size, the manufactured year and "OK" down on the label.

Store the working monitor in the warehouse for later burn-in testing.

Detailed Instructions

If the monitor testing machine is not up and running, please turn on its power and wait for it to boot. It should boot up with a Linux desktop with a help browser showing some detailed text at 1024x768 resolution.

There are three basic types of controls that let you adjust the monitor:

  1. Analog
    Use the knobs on the monitor to adjust colors, brightness, and position.
  2. Digital (with on screen menu)
    Generally there is a button that brings up a menu, a few buttons (or a knob) for navigation, and a button for selecting an option from the menu. Use these controls to adjust colors, brightness, and position.
  3. Digital (without on screen menu)
    Generally there are a series of buttons with little lights, one for each feature and a few buttons for navigation. By looking at the lights, you can tell what you are adjusting. Use these controls to adjust colors, brightness, and position.


See also: Monitor Burn-in HOWTO | Sizing Monitors | Storing Monitors | Old Instructions