I recently relocated and during the process of doing so, I had sold a number of my possessions, including most of my computers and electronic gear. One item that I held onto, was this high end monitor, a 23 Inch Apple Cinema Display which had been broken and given to me to recycle. These displays are worth nearly a thousand dollars and typically do not go down in value. The monitor was not working and would refuse to turn on and show anything.
I grew up in an environment where we did not have much and rarely threw anything away. It was because of that, I decided to keep this non-working monitor in the vague and distant hope that I could magically fix it and personally utilize it for my own purposes.
I had a television repair friend of mine look at it in his own spare time, and after about a year and a half, he gave it back to me telling me that there was nothing wrong with the screen itself; and the power adaptor had no visible problems with it; but it was still not working. I even went as far as to take it with me when I re-located! I lost the power adaptor for it a while back, throwing it away surmising since it did not turn on, that the power adaptor must have fried itself.
So a couple of days ago, I decided to purchase a new power adaptor for it, thinking that a simple replacement would make it work again. Since I do not drive, and therefore utilize the mass transit system; tracking this part down, and purchasing it turned into a half day affair! The monitor has been out of production for nearly 4 years now, so finding parts for it was rather rare.
With new power adaptor in hand, and the monitor set up, I turned it on only to be greeted with.... a whole lot of unlit screen, with an ominous white light on the bottom right hand corner flashing morse code. This was an improvement over not turning on at all! I used my laptop to look up the morse code on the internet, and got back a lot of information regarding a common issue with these monitors that occur following a power failure.
Since this was a salvage, it was definitely out of warranty, and the time-window that Apple allowed for repairs has long lapsed. I still had some hope of being able to fix it somehow, since there were no visibly fried electronics inside the monitor, according to my television repair friend. After searching some more, I stumbled upon this massive forum thread full of people with the same problem; and after the second page, an individual with the handle of "Jakobean" who had fixed his monitor with a slip of paper and a lot of patience.
His method of fixing it involves cutting up two THIN slips of paper, and wedging them on two sets of metal contacts on the inside of one of the monitor's cord; followed by careful re-connection of that cord to the power adaptor. There were scores of people who applied this "Jakobean fix" with great success, and others who enhanced the fix to use different materials and other adaptations to make their monitors work.
I went ahead and tried this; and after a lot of patience and many attempts; much to my surprise and delight, this $1000 monitor was working! I only spent $164 on the power adaptor - not a bad price to pay for a perfectly working professional grade monitor!
What I did was a bit different from the actual fix - I had to adapt due to my poor eyesight and relative low dexterity. I took an old envelope, and tore off a single sliver about 1 inch in length. I then rolled it between two fingers so it became a cylinder shaped sliver and folded it into a very tight U. I then wedged this U into the two sets of metal contacts inside the connection hole on the power adaptor housing; using a couple of fine needles. I then slowly and carefully slipped the connecting cord into this hole. The reason for being slow and careful, is that if that slip of paper had slipped even a single millimeter, it would caused an electrical short, or even worse, a fire!
Here is a video of the "Jakobean Fix" for your amusement. Click on the word in quotes to watch the video!
I am a young working professional with a grand plan that is continually being refined; loves computers and food; and has a lot to figure out!