"Shaking" Computer Monitor


Old 05-25-04, 04:18 PM
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"Shaking" Computer Monitor

We added an office in our unfinished basement. I used a seperate 15A circuit for the space (3 receptacles & 2 Halogen lights controlled by a pair of 3-way switches/1 dimmable).

After painting & carpeting, it was time to hook up the computer. The monitor image shakes when the overhead halogens are on regardless of the lighting level. I have tried deguassing the monitor and changing the refresh rate to no avail.

The lights are small halogens (1 track & 1 fixture).

Could there be a problem with the lights or the dimmer? Or did I screw up by not putting the lights on a separate circuit from the receptacles?

Any advice would be appreciated, as I'm getting dizzy while typing.

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Old 05-25-04, 05:05 PM
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Have you tried replacing the dimmer with a regular switch? My guess would be that that is where your problem lies. Dimmers are funny like that (John may be able to explain better.) If not, at least you will have eliminated the possibility.

Good luck!
Old 05-25-04, 07:56 PM
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Take look at what is near the monitor. I had the same problem once and it turned out to be a wall wart that was too close.

Clear off everything near it and look at what else may be close by and see if the problem goes away.
Old 05-25-04, 08:34 PM
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To see if the problem is with trash on the power line try powering the computer with a long drop cord plugged in somewhere else in the house. If that fixes the problem then chances are a power filter will fix your problem. I have a simular problem at work with the computer whenever someone opens the door that is near the computer monitor. When the door opens the monitor image shimmys. The shimmy certainly is coming from external magnetic or electric fields. I might be tempted to try putting some sort of metal shield between the monitor and the source of the extraneous field as an experiment to see if the shimmy can be changed or reduced. Aluminum foil may be a starting point or some other flat metal object. You can also eliminate the problem with an LCD monitor. It would be a good excuse to get one; I like them better anyway.
Old 05-26-04, 07:03 AM
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One other thought if all else fails: Replace your monitor with an LCD flat panel. They're available for around $350 (15" which is only slightly smaller than a 17" CRT) now and are much less likely to be effected by power line noise or magnetic fields. They're also easier on your eyes - no flicker.

Doug M.
Old 05-26-04, 08:04 AM
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I'll second what bhyman said. Any fans within 6 ft of my monitor at work will make it shake like a polaroid picture. The dimmer switches also make quite a bit of noise on the line. Does it still shake when the lights are off?
Old 05-26-04, 03:59 PM
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Fans mess with the monitors in a big way. Other culprits are speakers, the magnets inside cause distortion. So make sure your PC speakers are atleast 4-6" away from the monitor.
Old 05-26-04, 05:32 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies. I haven't had a chance to experiment yet.

In response to "kuhurdler", when the lights are off, the monitor is fine. Damn!
Old 05-26-04, 07:30 PM
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Depending on what you are doing, either turn off the light or turn off the monitor.
Old 05-27-04, 08:32 AM
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Well, at least you have it narrowed down to the switch/lights. I guess I would try what safewatch suggested then: find out if it shakes with a normal switch. We have a cheap dimmer in our dining room that makes our lights hum... I've been meaning to replace it for 2 years.
Old 05-27-04, 08:37 AM
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jayhawk hurdler (110 or 400?), don't replace the dimmer. Replace the light bulbs with a better brand.

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