Repairing Monitor Collapse Issues

Repairing Monitor Collapse Issues

If you’ve worked with arcade games for any length of time, you’ve probably come across your fair share of monitor issues. One of the more common problems we see with arcade monitors is known as screen collapse. In this post, we will discuss how to repair monitors that are experiencing screen collapse issues.

Repairing Monitor Collapse Issues

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Let’s start our troubleshooting by determining what kind of collapse we have. It’s important to note that screen collapse can happen in varying degrees. You could have a partial collapse where you can still see some of the screen or a complete collapse where the entire screen has been condensed into one thin line. Monitors can collapse either vertically or horizontally. The orientation of the collapse is based on where the anode (or suction cup) is located on the tube in relation to the collapse. If the collapse runs parallel with the anode, you are experiencing a vertical collapse. Otherwise you are probably experiencing a horizontal collapse.

Many people tend to mistake vertical collapse for horizontal and vice versa. In order to help you identify the difference between the two, we have posted the picture below. This picture illustrates vertical collapse on both a horizontally mounted monitor and a vertically mounted monitor. Also, keep in mind that Installing A Cap Kit first might solve your problem if you’re only experiencing partial collapse.

Vertical Monitor Collapse Examples
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Once you have identified the type of collapse you are experiencing, you can begin the process of repairing your monitor. We will mainly focus on vertical collapse since it is more common of the two types. Vertical collapse usually occurs when the parts in the vertical section of your monitor chassis fail. One of the primary parts that’s located in this section is the vertical IC (or Integrated Circuit) chip. This chip is usually attached to a heat sink which looks like metal railing protruding from the monitor chassis. If you’re having trouble locating the vertical IC chip or the vertical section as a whole, you can follow the yellow and green yoke wires to where they connect on the chassis. Keep in mind that sometimes the yellow and green wires will come into one part of the chassis and will have traces that connect them to the vertical section.

Vertical IC Chip On The Chassis
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Before you suspect your vertical IC chip of being bad, you might take a look at the rest of the parts in the vertical section. Often times manufacturers will assign similar numbers to parts that are in the same section. An example of this would be the Electrohome G07 monitor chassis which labels all of the parts in the vertical section starting with the number 400. Look for broken or cracked solder joints around the parts in this section. You can also check these parts with your multimeter to make sure they are working. These are some good steps to take before suspecting the vertical IC chip of being bad.

If you check the parts around your vertical section and your monitor is still not working properly then you probably need to replace the vertical IC chip itself. These chips come in several different configurations. The most common style of chip in arcade monitors is the “small” style which looks like a standard transistor with more legs. If you need help identifying which chip to order, you can use the NTE Electronics Cross Reference page to put in the number that’s currently on the chip and get the NTE part number of the chip that you will need to order as a replacement.

With the new vertical IC chip in hand, remove the old chip from the chassis using either a desoldering iron or desoldering braid. You will also need to remove the old chip from the heat sink using either a screwdriver or nut driver. Place your new chip into the solder holes of the previous chip and attach it to the heat sink. Using your soldering iron, solder the pins of the new chip in place and that should fix the problem.

While vertical collapse is more common, there may be an instance where you come across horizontal collapse. Bad polypropylene capacitors, bad transformers and/or a bad horizontal width coil are just some of the factors that can contribute to horizontal collapse. You can order a Horizontal Width Kit from Bob Roberts that includes many polypropylene caps that tend to go bad. You can also get a replacement horizontal width coil from Bob if you think that the one currently on your chassis is malfunctioning.

Screen collapse is one of the more common issues that you can have with an arcade monitor. Being able to identify and repair the different types of collapse will help you immensely when troubleshooting these types of monitor issues. Please leave any questions or suggestions you have in the comments section below.

  1. Avatar

    thank you so much for taking time to read my arcade issue.

    the problem is the monitor lights up and i can faintly see the words thats all. what do you think the problem is. thank you. dan

  2. Avatar
    Jonathan Leung


    We have seen this problem a couple of times. Let’s start off by trying to clean the screen. You might be laughing at that but we’ve see games where there was so much caked on dust that it made the screen look dim. If you clean the screen and it still looks dim, try adjusting the monitor. Check out our post on Adjusting An Arcade Monitor for more information. After this point, you might look at trying a cap kit or a tube rejuvenation. Keep in mind that if a tube rejuvenation solves your issue then you’re probably due for either a new tube or a new monitor at some point in the future.

    Thank you for your question and good luck with your repair.

  3. Avatar
    Brian Hanifin

    If instead of a line you see a spot in the center of the screen the monitor is collapsed in both directions, right? So I would probably need to replace both the vertical and horizontal ICs, right?

  4. Avatar
    Brian Hanifin

    Never mind my previous comment (unless you want to answer for posterity) I had two connectors that I forgot to plug in. The monitor works great again!

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