Faulty LCD Monitor Lightbox

Finished Lightbox

I was given this faulty Acer AL1913 LCD monitor a while back but was unable to repair it. The backlight was still functional but the LCD panel wouldn't display anything. Not wanting to throw it out I thought if I could manually switch the backlight on it could be converted to a decent lightbox.

This modification involves stripping the monitor down to the backlight and the inverter. This inverter takes the 16v DC coming from a powerpack and converts it to the AC supply required by the monitors fluorescent backlight.

I made this short video of the process, take a look. If you enjoy it, subscribe to my youtube channel.

ASUS AL1913 LCD Monitor

The internals of an LCD monitor include high voltage AC components. This particular model uses an AC/DC supply located in a power brick however they're usually inside the monitor casing with the other components (sometimes combined with the inverter board). Both the AC/DC power supply and the inverter present a potentially lethal danger and I wouldn't recommend attempting this modification unless you're able to do so safely. It's fairly obvious this would void any warranty you may have on the panel and it's all at your own risk.

Inverter and Driver Board

The plastic casing is removed to reveal the guts of the unit. As this screen has a built in amp, I was able to salvage two 2.5w speakers, score! The driver board on the right receives the video input signal, processes it and displays it on the LCD panel, this was removed as it's no longer necessary.

Switch attached to Inverter

While poking around with the multimeter, I noticed when the two pins shown above were connected that 16v was registered and the backlight would switch on. LCD monitors use many variations of components so they're all likely to work differently.

Switch attached to Inverter

This toggle switch was connected with a female header pin. Now the monitor is switched manually, it can be stripped down to the bare backlight. 

Backlight, LCD Panel and Diffusing Layers

The LCD and diffusing panels are removed (right) leaving only the backlight (left). To improve the appearance of the bezel, a few coats of matt black were added. The original power switch was popped out with a screwdriver to make way for the new toggle switch. Everything was then reassembled and ready for a test.

Lightbox On

It's suprisingly bright but would probably look better with a custom built enclosure. Considering it was originally headed for the junkpile, it's a quick and tidy conversion.