HP Pavilion f1703 Flat Panel Display Blackout Solution



I am not responsible for any damage you might cause to your monitor or yourself by following these instructions. If you open up your monitor case to this point, you will probably void your warranty.

CAUTION: There may be HIGH VOLTAGE present. Disconnect all power during disassembly. Inverters can generate high voltages.

If this repair is too daunting, HP has offered an extended warranty in this HP Support document. Thank you, tsmitty, for this link to HP Support. (Jan. 23, 2009: HP has discontinued this offer)

My HP Pavilion f1703 LCD Monitor suffered the same blackout symptoms as other posters in the CNET forum. After powering on, the display would go black after a few seconds. It was not the power supply in my case – I tried another working power supply with the same result.

It was also not a software problem, e.g., XP SP2, power management, screensavers, etc. In my case, it was a hardware problem, as I tried the monitor on a different machine with the same result: power on, brief display, then black. It also exhibited this behavior with no cable connected to the monitor.

I noticed the screen was faintly visible under bright light and realized that the backlight was not working. It seemed unlikely that the fluorescent tube would fail – I have had my Toshiba Portege 7200CT notebook computer on for 5 years, running SETI@Home.

Since the monitor was out of warranty, I decided to try to repair it myself. This is not a step-by-step procedure, but an general overview of how I solved MY problem with this monitor.

After reading the posts, it seemed that there must have been a loose connection on the circuit board that drives the monitor’s backlight. I especially noted gromit588’s post about disassembly and followed the instructions. gromit588’s experience must have shorted some connection closed to fix the problem. I found that it did not help me, so I looked for bad (cold) solder joints on the backlight inverter board.

After a close inspection of the board, the bad solder joint was obvious. The bad solder joint on my board was on one of the coils – the bare pin on the coil was sticking through from the component side with very little solder on the pad on the circuit board. I resoldered it and that fixed the problem. There may be other cold solder joints at different locations on YOUR board. You just have to inspect each joint carefully.

HP f1703 monitor with bezel removed
HP f1703 monitor electronics disassembled from the case
HP f1703 monitor component side of the backlight inverter board
Component side of the backlight inverter board
HP f1703 monitor solder side of the backlight inverter board
Solder side of the backlight inverter board with the bad joint circled (the bad solder joint may be different on your circuit board)

Close-up of the backlight inverter board with the repaired cold solder joint circled. Inspect the board for cold solder joints – they will be fairly obvious. It’s possible that the cold solder joints on YOUR board are in different locations on the board from the one circled here: (Jan. 23, 2009: If the cold joints aren’t obvious, I recommend using a 10x magnifier, or just reheat the solder joints on the components that have white glue holding them to the circuit board, see fig. 2)

HP f1703 monitor circuit board close up
HP f1703 monitor circuit board close up

Alfa Seats

SEM Colorcoat

I bought these vinyl seats for my 1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce in 2002 on eBay for $99. They had no rips or tears but looked dirty.

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Front Seats
Alfa Romeo Alfetta Front Seats

At the local automotive paint store I bought three cans of SEM Colorcoat 15093, Light Buckskin for about $10/can (13 oz). There were also SEM cleaners and surface prep. The guy at the store said just to use lacquer thinner, which I did. Two and half cans later they looked OK. I painted them in July 2002 and they have held up very well – no cracking or chipping.

Colorcoat seems to be more of a flexible paint, than a dye. The driver’s seat shows dirt but it cleans off with Simple Green. The apparent unevenness in the color in the photo is due to the lighting, rather than the application of the paint.

New Braunfels

Barbecue smoker
The smoker, smoking

I am writing while I have some brisket in the smoker that I know is going to turn into cardboard. My friend David Burnett always carried a bottle of Tabasco with him. He said if it’s gonna taste like cardboard, it might as well taste like hot cardboard.

The two little pieces of brisket are less than two pounds each and are turning into jerky. I can sit out in the “side” backyard with my Macintrash and write while I”m watching things not work on the barbecue.

I have been looking at smokers since we moved out here and reading the BBQ FAQ. It was mainly vicarious. There aren’t any good barbeque places around here: a soul food place in Seaside has baked ribs and the two pits aren’t anything to write home about. Sometimes when we go up to Oakland we try the known places – Chef Edwards, Doug’s, Flint’s, etc.

Lazy-Q Smoker Setup

I had been looking at the New Braunfels Black Diamond, a smoker that I thought wouldn’t be too ambitious. Of course I procrastinated. My first excuse was that we didn’t have a vehicle large enough to put the box in. (Once, when my friend Chuck was here from Santa Rosa, we went to Home Depot in Salinas. It was sort of a busman’s holiday, since he works in a hardware store. He has an SUV but I couldn’t make the commitment that day.) About two years later, Chris was borrowing her friend’s truck. We went to Home Depot again and she bought it after a detour to In-N-Out in Salinas. We brought it home and it stayed in the box for about three months while I researched hooking up the gas.

I saw “Big” Jim’s Lazy Q Smokers and being lazy, this was the way to go. Lazy-Q uses propane as a heat source and then for the wood flavor, chunks of your favorite hardwood are burned in an open container to make the smoke. This way, there’s no fire to continuously tend to for the 3 to twelve hours it takes to smoke this crap.

Essential Tools

One day Chris decided to take open the box and started putting it together, forcing me to start working on the heat source. Unfortunately, I waited too long to buy the smoker. New Braufels was bought by Char-Broil. So instead of having a real Texas smoker, I have a Chinese smoker with real bamboo fittings. It isn’t made as well as the New Braunfels I saw a few years ago.

For the fire, I bought an outdoor deep fryer burner from Ace Hardware. I had to hack-saw off the burner from the stand. Then I had to get some copper tubing and fittings to hook up the propane hose. To get the propane fittings to work with the tubing I had to get a tube flaring kit (affiliate link). This was beginning to be a pain in the ass.

Dutch OvenI bought a Lodge 7 Quart Dutch Oven (affiliate link) to put the wood in. I’ve seen some pictures on the internet where people just use an empty coffee can – I guess that works. I thought about using our Lodge 5 quart and then buying a 7 quart to use in the kitchen because when I’m making arroz con pollo or something it never seems big enough. After all, I was just going to be putting wood in it so it would smoke. I ended up getting the 7 quart dutch oven from Amazon, so I wouldn’t have to run around looking for it.

I got the propane tank from Costco and I can actually get it filled at the tool rental place that isn’t too far from here.

My first attempts were with pork ribs, which are sometimes $1.99/lb at Costco. Actually the best pork, beef and seafood we get is at 99 Ranch (which for some reason we call Ranch 99), the closest of which is in San Jose. It’s a big Asian supermarket chain in the west. You wouldn’t believe how well trimmed the meat is.

The Result

Pork ribs seem to be easy to cook. I make a rub with all the bulk spices and shake them up in an old chicken liver container. Usually I just grab whatever is in front, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar, sometimes MSG and brown sugar. I tried the mustard rub before putting on the dry rub because they say you end up not tasting the mustard and it makes it stick to the meat better. It didn’t seem to make any difference so I just use the dry rub.