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I fixed two Samsung 22inch 226BW monitors with flicker and CCFL probs.

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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March 31, 2012 8:10:40 AM

I thought I would describe my experiences with fixing two of my Samsung 22 inch 226BW monitors. They each had different problems so the solutions were different.

I own 4 of these monitors. I bought them in mid-2007 and my originals all happened to all be from a batch made in Mexico, although similar problems are common with those made in China. These monitors have good pictures but are notoriously unreliable.

Fortunately these had 3-year warranties, and ALL 4 OF THEM went bad in 1-2 years! Samsung "fixed" each of them for free, although it was an annoyance to be without a monitor until each was fixed. All my replacements were made in China. Unfortunately, after the 3-year period, 2 of them went bad again. I stored one just for parts, and then recently a 2nd one began to flicker (for 5-10 minutes) after restarting the computer or when turning on again after screen save. For my application, I need 3-4 matching monitors (preferably 4, all side-by-side) and I really didn't want to spend $600 - $1000 for 4 new 22-24 inch monitors, so I did some online searching and found tons of information describing how to fix the problems.

First off, you're going to have to open the monitor up. Search with google for "samsung 226bw youtube" and you will find at least two helpful videos that I watched. However, nothing I found really describes well how you pry open the case. One video mentioned using a "butterknife". I prefer to say "common table knife" that does NOT have a very sharp edge. Once you remove the 3 screws that hold the stand base, there are 3 more smaller screws for the case. Once those are out, you can begin to pry open the bottom of the monitor. Once you get a slight gap, you can fit the dull table knife in the gap and carefully slide it along the sides towards the top. You are spreading apart the two halves. The normal gap is like a fingernail width, but with the table knife, you're spreading it open to ~3X that amount, then you'll hear and feel several loud "POPS" as the plastic sides come apart. Slide along the top edge and do the same. First time I did it, I thought I was breaking it, and indeed there were a couple of tiny bits of black plastic that fell out, but it was of no real consequence. It snapped back together fine, and I actually have opened each of my monitors several times, each time easier than before, yet it still snaps together like new. (If you let the table knife slip, you're likely to scratch the plastic frame a bit. Minor cosmetic flaws in the frame don't bother me, but if I was more careful I might not have slipped and scratched the case).

The flickering problem is usually caused by a bad power-supply board, although it *might* also be caused by bad/worn out CCFL backlight fluorescent tubes. Most often with the flickering problem, you can open up the monitor, take out the power supply board, and inspect the board for blown capacitors, which usually have a noticeable bulge in the cylinder or the top of the capacitor. The problem brand most often mentioned is "CapXon" which are indeed a crappy brand of capacitor, per reports from many users (and my board too). There are pictures of these boards and blown capacitors online, in particular at youtube or badcaps.net (look for a 226BW thread).

You can buy the replacement caps (from http://www.mouser.com or from many eBay sellers) for your specific board if you like. There are at least 2 possible board versions and the capacitors for each board are different, so be sure which one you have! The specs for each are also important! (Radio Shack didn't carry the right ones when I checked). The badcaps.net forum has some specific models you could buy. Then you can get a soldering iron, new solder, and desoldering braid (or suction) from Radio Shack. Plenty of people who have never soldered have successfully taken out the bad capacitors and replaced them with new ones. (Usually the huge 100uF or 150uF cap is Ok and not replaced, but the other 5-6 caps are being replaced; but you can do every one if you want to).

HOWEVER... the replacement caps were going to cost me maybe $10 - $12. I have solder tools but if I didn't it would be ~$20. With soldering, there was some risk that I might not do the job right, so I took a chance with an eBay seller and bought the entire replacement board for $26+3 shipping = $29 total! The board model number I needed was this one: IP-45130A Power Board Without Switch For SAMSUNG 226BW (EBay seller is monitor-09 ) Perhaps the brand of capacitor on those new boards will vary, but mine were by "Sam Young" which I think are Ok. Most importantly, these were NOT the CapXon brand. (Worst case, the CapXon brand would probably have worked for a year then I'd have two boards I could repair at the same time with better odds of success).

I got the board fairly quickly (shipped China to U.S.) in maybe a week or so. I installed the replacement board and it instantly fixed my "flicker" problem! It's working like new again.

My other monitor, however, was at first a mystery as to what was wrong. It did not flicker. Rather, it would come on for 1 second and then the display would go dark. If one would look very close-up at the dark screen, you could see that the image was there, it just wasn't lit up. I didn't know squat about these things, but after some more research and some testing with swapping of boards, I decided that it was the actual monitor screen that was the problem and not either the power-supply or the video card. It turns out this monitor (whose model label says it's "226BW C") uses a different power supply board (IP-43130A, *not* IP-45130A). These are different sizes from each other, and they don't fit properly in the wrong case. The wire connections, however, are the same, and so I hooked them up using some towels as electrical insulators, plus I swapped the actual monitor screens, and through various combinations, I proved that my problem wasn't the power supply or the video card, which meant it was the screen itself. (WARNING: I know how to be safe with exposed 120V circuits. The boards weren't well grounded the way I tested it, and it might have screwed them up but it didn't. Most people shouldn't try this, plus if you don't have multiple 226BW monitors you wouldn't even have the parts to swap around).

By the way, at first I was convinced the video card was the likely cause because it actually looked like it was somewhat burned. The color varied across the board in a way that was likely caused by high circuit temperatures. However, when I swapped monitor screens, everything worked so I knew the video card and power-supply were both working. This implied that the original monitor screen was bad.

The bad monitor screen has a label that says: Model M220EW01 V.0 by AU Optronics. I found an eBay seller (servermonkey) that had that similar model but "V.2". It turns out that the price is cheaper by skipping eBay and using the direct web site http://www.servermonkey.com On eBay, it was $90+5, and now it might be even higher. On the direct site, it was $80+7. ( EBay has Buyer Protection but I took a chance with a direct purchase). That's a good price I think, but to fix an old unreliable monitor, I thought twice about it. New 22 inch monitors can be had for only $150, but for me, I needed matching monitors, so I went ahead and bought it.

That turned out to be just an Ok decision, and not actually necessary, and there were some drawbacks. Yes, the replacement screen works with my 226BW. I think that is the same panel model used by Sony Vaio (??) and maybe some other 22 inch monitors, who knows. But I failed to consider two differences which are not really that important to most people, but... The first is that the replacement is a glossy screen. (I didn't even think to ask the seller what it was). Personally I much prefer the original matte screen. Once it's in use, however, you hardly notice it. The second is that the colors are somewhat different hues than the originals. Because I have 4 monitors side-by-side, I easily notice the difference. I tried a little bit to adjust the brightness and hue, but didn't get a good match. Maybe with more effort it might have worked.

That got me thinking about my original bad screen, and what specifically was wrong with it. I hooked it back up, and saw as before that the image was still there, and the backlight flashed on for about a second then it went dark. Some websites mentioned that it could be that the CCFL's went bad and could be replaced. What the heck does that mean??! Turns out it simply means that the screen has 2 pairs of tiny-diameter fluorescent light bulbs that are 22 inches long, and they are found along the top and bottom edges of the screen when you open it up.

I'm pretty handy with detailed work. Replacing those CCFL's was kinda tricky, but I pulled it off. I bought replacement bulbs from http://www.ccflwarehouse.com . Search for "M220EW01" and you can buy 2 pairs of bulbs for $33+5 That's enough for one monitor. Perhaps the color spectrum of those CCFL's is ever so slightly different from the original, but it is very close to the same. In fact, I can't be sure it's not the same because my video card and screen are slightly different from my other three 226BW monitors, and they all look almost identical brightness and hue.

If you're going to replace your CCFL bulbs, there are a few tricky details you need to know:

Start with a very clean dust free work area, and once you get the metal frame apart with gentle prying on all the edges, start using (latex or similar) gloves. You will remove the electronic LCD screen first, then behind that is a 1/4 inch thick plastic sheet surrounded by multiple layers of clear or opaque plastic. If you get fingerprint smudges, or flecks of dust or hair stuck anywhere in the stack, you will be so annoyed looking at it all the time. Keep track of EVERYTHING as you take it apart. Take pictures if necessary. There are 2 screws of one size, 3 of another. The orientation of the frame and sheets of plastic, and the wires coming from the CCFL's must be on the proper end. Take your time and with proper attention to detail, you can get it back together and working like new. Once I got my old one apart, I could see very black rings of mercury that were deposited at the ends of the bulbs. One of the bulbs was actually broken and open. I didn't mention this before, but when I was testing the bad screen, I could actually hear the sound of an electrical "pop" when the light came on for the 1 second. I'm certain that was the sound made because of the broken/worn out tube. The power-supply board is designed to power up 2 *pairs* of bulbs, no more and no less. If any one bulb goes bad, it will screw up at least the adjacent bulb, and due to protection circuitry on the board, it will probably shut off the power to the other, possibly "good" pair of bulbs. I tried turning on the power supply with less than all four good bulbs connected and it never worked. I should mention that there's a possibility that the "1 second blink on then off" problem could still possibly be a bad power supply, either instead of, or in *addition* to bad CCFL bulbs.

When you take off the old CCFL strips, the bulbs are actually encased inside a 3-sided metal frame. You must remove the bulbs from the frame. The "taller" of the two parallel sides is the side that abuts the back side of the monitor. The 2 tiny screws you removed to get the frame apart actually go through tiny holes in one end of these frames. YOU MUST ALIGN those tiny holes when you re-assemble the frame, before you sandwich the plastic frame back in place or else you won't be able to put the screws back in. Another key detail: There are two tiny wires that connect the two ends of the bulbs. The original tiny wires were sort of "glued" in place (maybe rubber cement?) in two tiny channels on the back side of the metal frame. I stripped off the old wires and didn't much care if I stressed or had broke the wires of the old bulbs, but for the new ones, you'll have to be careful with the delicate wires and put them into the same two tiny channels. The tiny wires will actually slip through the connectors at one end which will give you a couple inches extra wire to help while you put it back together, then you can take out the slack once the wires are in place. Rather than glue them, I just used maybe a half-dozen small strips of scotch tape to hold the wires in place. It worked.


Bottom line: I fixed both bad monitors for $29 (power supply) + $38 (CCFLs). The CCFL repair was a bit tricky and should probably not be attempted unless you're very handy at such things. I spent $87 for a screen that I ended up not needing after all, which I'll hang onto for a spare, or maybe just sell it.

Hopefully my description will be of help to those of you who have one of the two most common 226BW problems that can be repaired as mine were.
June 25, 2012 2:54:12 PM

Very thorough and informative thread! Thanks for the free info.
March 13, 2014 8:08:54 PM

Thank you for this, I found it very valuable. I repaired my Samsung SyncMaster 226BW, but because I bought components (Capacitors) directly from distributors it only cost me $1.50
a c 98 C Monitor
a b Ô Samsung
March 17, 2014 10:35:39 AM

Old thread but worthy to get to the top again, these repair techniques can be used to fix just about any monitor or TV with similar issues.
!