Knowing where to start when your monitor goes out can be a valuable time saver when repairing arcade games. In this post, our resident monitor repair guy Michael will give us some quick tips on how to troubleshoot some common issues.
Troubleshooting Monitors With Michael
There is not a whole lot of difference between an arcade monitor and a regular tv. The same electronic principles used in arcade monitors are also used in televisions. Knowing how to repair arcade monitors can help in repairing not just older televisions but newer televisions as well.
If your arcade monitor won’t come on, a good place to start is in the power supply. Follow the power cord from the connector to the chassis. This should lead you to the primary power supply. Check to see if there is a fuse around this area. If so, check the fuse to see if it is bad or good. If the fuse is bad, replacing it might not solve your problem. There is always a reason why a fuse blows. Check the surrounding components and make sure that they are not shorted to ground before replacing the fuse. You can refer to our article on Checking Fuses With A Multimeter for more information on fuses.
We have already talked about how dangerous arcade monitors can be in our Safely Discharge An Arcade Monitor post, however, this point can not be reiterated enough. Please be careful around the suction cup as it contains an anode that goes to the monitor tube. The wire coming out of the suction cup is attached to the flyback. A flyback can put out a large amount of volts depending on the chassis. If you suspect flyback trouble, the first thing to check is the HOT (Horizontal Output Transistor) with a standard multimeter to see if it’s shorted. If it is shorted, that’s a good indication that you have a bad flyback. If you hear a hissing noise around the flyback that might indicate that the casing is cracked. If upon futher examination you find that the casing is in fact cracked, replace the flyback.
Another good thing to know is that while cap kits can be helpful they will not fix everything. Some signs that might you need a cap kit include washed out colors, vertical drop, and/or lines across the top of the screen. A bad electrolytic capacitor will often swell or bulge at the top or leak out of the bottom, however, they can still be bad even if they don’t look bad. It’s a good idea to go ahead and replace all the caps if you are going to do one. A cap kit is easy to do and cap kits are pretty inexpensive.
If your monitor only displays a thin horizontal line in the middle, check the IC (Integrated Circuit) that powers the vertical to see if it is good and to see if it is getting power. You can check it with a standard multimeter.
You don’t need expensive tools to work on monitors. A good soldering iron and a multimeter will allow you to troubleshoot the majority of arcade monitor problems. ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance) meters also help as they allow you to check capacitors in circuit so you don’t have to desolder and remove them to see if they are bad.
Well, good luck in the future with all of your arcade monitor troubleshooting. If you have any questions for Michael, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.