My Sony Monitor

I got my Sony GDM-500ps, 21 inch CRT in 1998 or so. Right after they came out. It was just about the best monitor you could get at the time. And, of course, I loved it. Big, bright, beautiful. It worked great for many years, until Saturday, July 31st, 2004. On that day, I turned it on and it looked like this:

Well, this sucked! (to borrow a line from my cell phone story) I tried the On Screen Menu to adjust the display. Everything worked fine, except for the Horizontal Convergence. The value changed, but the screen stayed the same. The arrow points to the effect of no Horizontal Convergence. The image appears 'blurry' or 'ghosted'.
Ok, something was obviously broken. But the monitor was 99.9% functional. Just not very usable.

So I called Sony Service. They were actually very good, but also concluded that something was broken. Cost for them to repair $450. No thanks.

Since I am cheap, know a thing or 2 about monitors and electronics and I didn't want to scrap a 99.9% working monitor, I decided to see if I could debug this. Well, mostly because I am cheap.

I found the service manual here. A very nice site. After a thorough review and consulting my buddy Rich, I suspected the so called 'L board' was the problem. In fact, I suspected a single part, the LA6510. So I called the Sony Part center. Again, very efficient. They informed me that the 'L board' could be had for $215.69. This is a very simple board, I was thinking $30, maybe $50. Again, no thanks.

I sent out a 'call for help' email to a few other friends to see if anyone knew of a scrap or defunct GDM-500ps that I could get for cheap and try swapping boards. I really did not want to try soldering.
Nothing from them.

So I was looking at $1000 for a new monitor, $450 for a Sony fix, $215 for a maybe fix with a new board. Or I could try replacing the part I suspected. I found it here for 3 bucks. I decided to try that route.

The first step was to open up the chassis:

The board I was after is on the bottom, here is a closer look:

I got it out and fired up the iron. Here's a closer look at the board. Certainly not worth $215!

It was pretty easy to replace. Here are the parts:

And it worked! Here is how the monitor usually looks:

This is actually a bad representation of the quality of the monitor, but thats what happens with close up pictures of CRT's. At least notice the Horizontal Convergence is working.

Whoo-Hoo! I got my beloved monitor back!

Done. Saved $997. For 3 hours of research/debug/work.