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Dual Monitors Redux

My trusty 1050×1680 portrait monitor began resetting itself, which probably indicates failing capacitors in the power supply or logic board; eBay has capacitor kits, but it may not be worthwhile fixing the poor thing. I snagged a new 2560×1440 Dell U2713HM monitor, added a dual-Displayport PNY NVS310 video card, told Xubuntu 14.04LTS to use nVidia’s binary driver, and, somewhat to my astonishment, It Just Worked.

The xrandr report:

Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 4000 x 2560, maximum 16384 x 16384
DP-0 disconnected primary (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-2 connected 2560x1440+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 597mm x 336mm
   2560x1440      60.0*+
   1920x1200      59.9
   1920x1080      60.0     59.9     50.0     24.0     60.1     60.0     50.0
   1680x1050      60.0
   1600x1200      60.0
   1280x1024      75.0     60.0
   1280x800       59.8
   1280x720       60.0     59.9     50.0
   1152x864       75.0
   1024x768       75.0     60.0
   800x600        75.0     60.3
   720x576        50.0     50.1
   720x480        59.9     60.1
   640x480        75.0     59.9     59.9
DP-3 connected 1440x2560+2560+0 left (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 597mm x 336mm
   2560x1440      60.0*+
   1920x1200      59.9
   1920x1080      60.0     59.9     50.0     24.0     60.1     60.0     50.0
   1680x1050      60.0
   1600x1200      60.0
   1280x1024      75.0     60.0
   1280x800       59.8
   1280x720       60.0     59.9     50.0
   1152x864       75.0
   1024x768       75.0     60.0
   800x600        75.0     60.3
   720x576        50.0     50.1
   720x480        59.9     60.1
   640x480        75.0     59.9     59.9

Inexplicably, xsetwacom once again expects the "HEAD-0" parameter that was "DP1" the last time around:

xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 stylus" MapToOutput "HEAD-0"
xsetwacom --verbose set "Wacom Graphire3 6x8 eraser" MapToOutput "HEAD-0"

The new display presents crisp characters; seeing 140 source code lines at once is wonderful.

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-01-27 - 10:03

    I got a Dell 2240 when my (re-capped) Princeton 20″ lost color balance (got a year out of the cap repair–not planning to go back in to see what’s wrong). 1920 x 1080 Landscape works well for me, and the display is sharp.

    FWIW, if one goes the cap kit approach, I had good luck with lcdalternatives dot com. The Princeton monitor was unusable (wouldn’t finish powerup), and aside from my guessing the wrong system board, the kit was easy to do. Not that easy opening the monitor–they like to use really fragile plastic clips to help hold the shell halves together. Broke a couple, but the screws that do the real work covered for the clips. Note to self–if there are two alternatives for anything, Murphy will try to help out.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-01-27 - 11:04

      Oddly, I stumbled over them through their eBay outlet, so they must own the field.

      Our Larval Engineer says she needs another monitor. Maybe she needs another project, too… [evil grin]

  2. #3 by Brent Crosby on 2015-01-27 - 10:16

    Moar pixels:
    http://www.amazon.com/Seiki-Class-2160p-120Hz-UHDTV/dp/B00Q2VFC4U/

    Moar pixels and teh bigger dots for old guyz eyes (what I’m looking at right now :) ):
    http://www.amazon.com/Seiki-SE50UY04-50-Inch-Ultra-Discontinued/dp/B00BXF7I9M/

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-01-27 - 11:05

      Hokey smokes, Rocky, those would work on Texas-scale desks!

      • #5 by Brent Crosby on 2015-01-27 - 12:19

        Actually, the 39″ is not that huge, which makes the pixel pitch tiny.

        • #6 by Ed on 2015-01-27 - 12:57

          It’s about the same 110 DPI as the U2711/2713 monitors, but, zowie, the thing is a yard wide!

          On the other paw: one desk, one monitor. What’s not to like? Whew…

  3. #7 by hexley ball on 2015-01-27 - 11:57

    I’ll bet your junk box will do just fine in lieu of an official Capacitor Kit — at least that is what I found when reviving a dumpster-dive special (Samsung 22″ monitor) that had a three Hertz self-reset cycle.

    That puppy had two 680uF/25V caps in the switcher that had bulged. On removal they measured about 8uF, and had an offscale reading on my ESR meter. Ouch.

    I had some 470uF/25V (105C) caps on hand, and they worked fine.

    Sort of. The display was better, but still blanked occasionally. Then I noticed a discolored HV ceramic disk [12pF/3kV] on the CCFL inverter output that had blackened from excessive heat. Seemed odd, so I swapped it out for three 30pF/1kV units in series. Voila, it has worked for three years since. Not sure what the failure mechanism would be on the ceramic disk capacitor, but the heating suggests some sort of dielectric loss mechanism.

    Rhetorical question: why do the LCD monitor makers insist on mounting the power supply filter caps RIGHT NEXT TO A HOT HEAT SINK?

    Sheesh :-)

    • #8 by Ed on 2015-01-27 - 12:11

      The power supply cap kit is on its way for eleven bucks delivered. Some poking around with the ESR meter suggests a few of the logic board caps are fading, so I’ll replace those from the stash while I have the hood up.

      Easier on the mind than mailing off a dead monitor; color me doting.

  4. #9 by david on 2015-01-27 - 19:13

    FYI, typo in the second sentence (2650 instead of 2560). (I only noticed because I’m horrified at the obscene short-screen aspect ratios used by Kids These Days… 1.84:1 would be the worst I’ve seen yet. I’ve been stuck with a horribly 1.6:1 laptop and desktop at work for the last year and that’s awful enough, never mind the 1.777:1 they want to “upgrade” me to. Sorry, )

    • #10 by Ed on 2015-01-27 - 20:20

      Done! Thanks…

      Somebody recently announced a 1920×1920 monitor, which might be too square!

    • #11 by Red County Pete on 2015-01-27 - 21:22

      I started with 4:3 displays, but I’ve grown to like the wide ones. Seems my windows tend to be 4:3, but windows for secondary processes can be stuck alongside so I can see if they need attention, but they aren’t using real estate.

      Besides, some of us actually started with 80:1 aspect ratios. [grin] Hollerith cards FTW! Anybody seen my type 26 keypunch? (We had some at U of Illinois in the mid-70s, for a machine running FORTRAN 2. It was paid for…)

  5. #12 by david on 2015-01-28 - 17:56

    Thanks for the tip on the EIZO! I’m very intrigued. Up until now the best modern-ish hardware I could find was the Chromebook Pixel (only 1.5:1, and too damned heavy/bulky/gimpy to replace my beloved fleet of Thinkpad X40s…)

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