Trees -- They Fix Everything
By Jeff Alan
Over the holidays I dismantled another misbehaving giant LCD. The problem was that periodically, the screen would garble, and if you waited a couple hours it might fix itself. Or it wouldn't. Either way, it wasn't behaving and it was being replaced. The only indicator that it might be an easy fix was that bashing the top right of the frame would correct the error, if only temporarily. Other investigation aside...
Reducing the device to the point where we had access to (what was probably) the data feeds in the top of the TV, my accomplice and I found that there were flat ribbon cables attached along the top of the LCD panel from long, thin boards (each half had its own board and set of four). We fiddled with these while the TV ran, unable to trigger the dysfunction. So, we waited and hoped and... sure enough, the problem started.
We inspected all the flat cables for any indication of broken contacts or splits but found nothing. What we did find was this: when I pressed on the slack curve of the last cable, the display problem (temporarily) corrected itself. Well, alright. After some mulling over the situation, we thought about pulling the board back slightly to increase the cable tension. Tried that, didn't help.
In the end, we noted that there was a gap between the pieces of the frame where the cable sat, and that we could push the cable flat with something thin-yet-thick enough. Turns out this space was the thickness of a generic wooden popsicle stick. We taped one in place, slid the outer frame back on and waited and hoped...
Weeks later, the TV is still going strong.