It’s not often I go on forums period. If I do it’s to correct some misinformation on a piece of XCS gear. However in this case it's for a more practical reason. For all the operators out there that I have stated to me over the years “I wish I knew about that before I bought xyz” piece of equipment before I bought it”
Last weekend 6/22 I was repairing/updating gear for a number of operators. Two of which had the Cinemonitor two. After the first repair was complete, I was testing the sled monitor and letting it burn in for typically 4 hrs to watch for any failures in my repair work or component failure. After a few hours of running the sled and monitor I turned to look to see if it was still running and I noticed the Cinemonitor’s bottom portion of the screen was 1/3 black, top 2/3rds fine. I of course went over to look at it and could immediately see that the pixels had over heated. They turn black on LCD’s when overheated. I grabbed my inferred thermometer and took a few readings.
I turned the monitor off, let it cool down, and tested it again. It was fine. However the difference was the sunlight was now behind the trees in my shop and didn’t shine through the widow where the monitor was sitting on the bench.
I set up the monitor outside facing the sunlight. The monitor settings were at 50% for brightness and contrast with no LED’s lights on the touch panel. It was 72 degrees outside, in 17 min 47 sec. the monitor again over heated.
I grabbed the second Cinemonitor 2 monitor that was here. Set it exactly the same brightness/contrast feeding it 14 vdc from a power supply, same thing happened in 19 minutes. It failed.
I had a third LCD screen on Tuesday. 79 degrees outside, same setup, same failure.
The longer the screen sits in the sun the worse the heat build up on the LCD the greater the pixel failure on the monitor.
I know this screen manufacturer (1024 x 600 pixel, 900-1K nit output) and the company that does the aftermarket backlights. These companies are like steadicam manufacturers. There are a half a dozen in the world, so it’s pretty easy to know the companies and specifications for engineering a high output screen.
A test like this is pretty basic to run. In fact environmental testing of products should be done on all components at all times prior to marketing. This monitor is marketed as a full sunlight readable monitor if I am not mistaken?
Now there may be an off chance that I was doing something wrong in my setup/testing. Cinetronics response to one of the operators went something like this “ We have had the monitor out in the sunlight and have not seen the problem. And that it hasn’t been a production issue”
Well, take a look at this photo which I had taken. Its shows a fraction of the pixel failure after a short time because the longer you let it sit in the sun the greater the pixel failure. I am told by an electronic engineer friend at Smith Medical that you should not do repeated over heating and that it could damage the screen permanently. They couldn’t, however, tell me the number of failures it takes to achieve that point of permanent damage because of the elevated light output of the screen we are talking about.
I will be glad to repeat any test if Cinetronic wishes, to show them the failure so they can see it because they are unaware. Contact me and we can do that. This is pretty basic mode of operation for steadicam operators. We are on location, we are outside and the sun is shining on the monitor screen, but it’s turning black.
I do see an opportunity to have the grips run 4x4’s over the top of us. And on a day like today where it’s 95 in the valley, that sounds pretty good.
“The new standard” we have issues.