Question about Apple Cinema Display 23" HD Monitor

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Apple Cinema Display 23" LED short-long-short flash prob.

Hello everyone.
This sounds like something of an epidemic... My Apple Cinema 23" HD Display (bought Dec. 2007) hasn't been turning on after a power outage hit our area last week.

The Computer and Display were OFF when the outage occurred. Everything was plugged into a surge suppressor. Everything ELSE plugged in to the suppressor is fine (including my Mac CPU)... but not the monitor.
It’s not dead-dead…. It's a blank screen, but there IS a morse-code flash on the LED (short-long-short). According to Apple Support’s LED Translation , it SHOULD be something to do with the power adaptor. The adaptor IS correct… a 90 watt… but just in case I bought ANOTHER 90w adaptor brick. I plugged the monitor to the new brick. THE RESULT WAS THE SAME.

I’ve tried power cycling, I’ve tried plugging it into different outlets, I’ve tried connecting to other computers. The same LED result remains.

And, yes, of course, I’ve got no Apple Support, and from what I read in similar posts, outside-the-warranty repairs could hit around $400. I REFUSE!

For now I have a Samsung monitor from Costco. It’s not bad, but it’s not the Apple monitor with it’s awesome color-fidelity.

I wonder… has anyone else incurring this same problem (with the same LED flashing deal) tried to use a 150-WATT adaptor brick? I would try this myself, but I’m currently financially unable (and personally unwilling) to throw more cash at this problem unless I know it’ll fix it.

If enough people have the same problem, what does it take for Apple to take notice and issue a recall?

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  • 3 more comments 
  • legalfee May 11, 2010

    The exact same thing happened to me. Power fail, light flashes short long short, no display. I tried another brick same results. I think I may to open the case and look inside. I believe it's an internal power issue. It could be as simple as a blown fuse.

  • Dennis Deane Jul 25, 2012

    **** smart solution. This fixed two of my 23 inch screens. Great!

  • halibuthank
    halibuthank Oct 30, 2012

    I'll be damned. It worked. I now have TWO power bricks but, hey, I know how to make 'em both work now! Really great, and easy, fix. Thanks!

  • Peter
    Peter Nov 23, 2012

    Hi. I have that problem too but I am a little bit comfused about "the middle pin". Fron the "brick" there ia a cord to the moniotor and one to the wall socket. In my country, the wall socket only has two pins, so i wonder if not the middle pin by default is not used? Can anybody send me a picture or describe the procedure more graphic? Is the the cord from the brick to the monitor or the cord from the brick to the wall? Kind regards, Peter

  • Moozler
    Moozler Dec 17, 2016

    (ooooo) before

    (oo oo) after

    You want to block the middle pin(both sides) of the small connector cord from brick to monitor with a small piece of paper or tape. The plug doesn't exactly look like this diagram, but you will see a grey plastic bar in the connector hole on the power brick, with metal pins on either side. Wrap a sliver of paper over both sides of the bar at the middle set of pins. Then insert the little plug over the paper as you seat the plug.

    ***CAVEAT AND WARNING***
    Use this fix at your own risk.
    A faulty voltage regulator is probably the cause of failure. Voltage regulators can start a fire if too much voltage is applied.

    Bud Martin's post below describes the electronic component failure that causes this problem. Thank you Bud.

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Hello, I had the "short long short" blinking led problem with my 23" ACD after a power outage which left my screen blank and my cheek wet with a tear for my baby. I read somewhere that a guy was getting a 1 volt reading on the middle pin of his damaged 90 watt power block. I figured maybe the display might work if I could somehow block the middle pin. So I cut a small strip of paper wide enough to block just the middle pin and long enough to cover both sides, folded it to look like a "W" from the side. I then carefully pressed it into the brick receptacle with a toothpick leaving just a little slack so it would not tear when I pushed in the small white plug. It was a bit of a tight fit but guess what. IT WORKED! I am now enjoying my beloved monitor anew and saved $$$ on replacement brick or repair. If you want to try it and you feel you’ve nothing to lose, make sure you cover just the middle pin (both sides) and you may have to try a couple of times. It worked for me. I hope you have good luck too. Regards, Moozler

edit December 2016. Still working after 7 years.

***CAVEAT AND WARNING***
Use this fix at your own risk.
A faulty voltage regulator is probably the cause of failure. Voltage regulators can start a fire if too much voltage is applied.

Bud Martin's post below describes the electronic component failure that causes this problem. Thank you Bud.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009

  • 19 more comments 
  • BerkshireJim Jul 21, 2010

    still working after 3day on and off I'm going to try to use electrical tape instead of paper invade the paper eventually dries out or wiggle free, thanks again for the 899 dollar answer, I wonder what that pin does because I missed s a couple of times and had weird bright color reactions from the screen, I finaly got and it work, but I still would like to know why and what it does?

  • Moozler
    Moozler Jul 21, 2010

    Hello again,
    I am glad that my "W" paper fix is working for many of you. FYI: My ACD is still running fine today July, 20th 2010, with the same original piece of paper that I installed in October of 2009. I don't know why it works, but I think that the middle pin may signal to the monitor, which watt size of power brick is connected.
    Don't know. Someone from Apple would have to answer that, and lose a lot of repair dollars if they do.
    I won't hold my breath.
    I do stress however, that if you are worried about damaging your monitor, then don't try it. Mine was dead and now it works, and cost nothing to repair.
    It now seems to be working for others too.

    Good luck,
    Moozler


  • Ricardo Licorish Oct 19, 2010

    This works, thanks for the tip. I used a small, thin piece of clear tape about 3mm wide wrapped around the middle pin of the brick, forming a "U" shape.

    Thanks
    Riclic

  • John Korchok Oct 20, 2010

    Worked for me too, thanks! a little bit of electrical tape and this tip saved me hundreds of $$$!.

    John

  • donnajean1 Nov 29, 2010

    UNBELIEVABLE!! Worked like a charm!! Thank you for the quick fix!

  • The_H Dec 24, 2010

    Hey all, I was having a slightly hard time visualizing what Moozler was describing, and with a quick YouTube search, I found a guy doing the exact same thing with a razor blade and some plastic:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vodDfic8o...
    My first monitor went out last night, but I'm very glad I have a second one so I could test whether it was the PS or not (and it's not...)
    Enjoy the video!

  • abertu Jan 30, 2011

    That's unbelieveble! An unhappy day has been turned back to very happy day. Thank you so much from north Italy.

  • denisegra727 Jan 31, 2011

    I desperately want to get this to work for me too. What do you mean by the W thing? I get that it's how you folded the paper but I still don't get where the prong goes in the W. We are talking about the middle prong of the three-prong male part of the connector that is actually ON the power brick...right? Please help asap!

  • Moozler
    Moozler Feb 14, 2011

    @denisegra727
    Yes, from what you say, it seems that you have the right idea. You must block the middle pin (of 5) from making contact with the plug. I used a "W" shaped piece of paper so when I pushed in the plug, the paper helped seat itself properly. If you examine the plug and the socket that it plugs into, you see 5 2-sided connecting pins. block both sides of pin 3 (middle pin) to make this work. You say 3 prong, so maybe you are trying on a different model. I think there were 5 prongs on my acd 23". But I haven't had it unplugged since Oct. 2009, so my memory of it is limited now. Still working for me with original paper fix of Oct. 2009. Today is Feb. 14, 2011.

  • AyeSeaDog Mar 31, 2011

    Wow, I can't believe that worked. Had been so disappointed that I'd lost such a good display. When I first set out to fix it, I covered over the middle pin of the power input of the block with the W, but infact it was meant to be the middle pin of the output of the block (a tiny pin. The middle of 5 pins). Anyway, thanks Moozler... I owe ya ($950?).

  • nerioplay May 31, 2011

    Same problem, same solution, works fine many thanks Moozler.

    The "W" means that you have 5 small pins sided by piece of white plastic if you place a small piece of paper or tape when you stick it into de hole it make a sort of "w" .

    The toohpick is the right tool to make it happen.

    Best everybody

    Nerio

  • w a p Jun 19, 2011

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Same monitor and same fix. I did buy another monitor tho, (not apple) so upside is I now have my 23" Cinema display plus a second cheapo to boot. Woo hoo.

  • createb Jun 27, 2011

    Hello Moozler,
    Again you will have an happy customer hihihih.
    Thnx for your magic paper, it really helps. Not even apple service know this trick.
    It saved us a lot of money. Apple have told us it's inside the screen, man you should work for Apple.
    Thnx,thnx,thnx alot
    Henk

  • DDDietrich Aug 17, 2011

    Works also with just a little V-shape paper over the male middle of the little plug.
    Thanks for the hints

  • monkeywerx Feb 18, 2012

    As everyone else has said, PROPS TO MOOZLER!

    The only thing we did different was rather than paper or tape of some kind, my husband suggested using the insulation stripped from a micro audio wire. Works perfectly! I know, not everyone has that laying around, but if you do, try it.

    You saved me the stress of my man opening up the monitor to look at the resisters and capacitors and all that. Not to mention the money you saved me!

    THANKS AGAIN!

  • Dennis Deane Jul 25, 2012

    Woops, posted in the wrong box. Super smart fix. Saved two of my 23 inch screens going to the trash

  • camerontwats
    camerontwats Aug 02, 2012

    Does anyone have a good picture of this in action or the fix?

  • anomaly_pari
    anomaly_pari Aug 24, 2012

    Thx! That fixed it!

  • BOBBELLEVUE Oct 24, 2012

    IT WORKED FOR ME ALSO, THANKS.

  • Aranka Nolan
    Aranka Nolan Aug 06, 2016

    Brilliant! that is another fix thanks to you

  • Moozler
    Moozler Dec 16, 2016

    Glad to see this is still working for others too. So far 7 years with this paper fix and still working.

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Hi guys, I just whantet to writte because YOU MADE MY DAY... the pice of paper on the pin (in my case, I used a pice of tape) Worked really good, I was all disapoinetd because my screen did't whant to work but, that solution made my day, It works and REALLY GOOD.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010

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I just signed up so I could say: "Moozler's middle prong solution worked for me". I was about to buy a $130 power adapter when I found this page but now my 23 inch Cinema Display is working again. Hopefully this solution is permanent.

Posted on Jun 12, 2010

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Props to Moozler on this one. After buying a new power brick, then replacing the inverter board inside the display, my 20" Apple Cinema Display was still dead. All I got was the short-long-short LED array every 5 seconds. This little "ghetto" trick with the center contact on the power lead worked great and my ACD is alive again. Go figure.

Posted on Apr 22, 2010

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Just tried Moozler's paper "W" solution mentioned above for my 23" CD and it works!

Posted on Jan 25, 2010

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Holy sh------ I can't belive it It worked The thing worked!!!!! so I guess I will re install the monitor and get back to work! Moozer you are a Genius
Len Photo

Posted on Dec 19, 2009

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The real cause of the the problem is due to failed 3.3v Voltage regulator VR3 on the main board, the middle output pin should be 3.3v, bad one will read about 4vdc which will confuse the power supply detector circutit on the power supply pin due to wrong regulator output, sooner or later the main board will be damage beyond repair if the regulator is not repalced.
http://s807.photobucket.com/albums/yy352/budm/MAC%20Monitors/MAC%20CINEMA%20HD%20Display%2023%20inch/

Posted on Jan 19, 2012

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  • quik Feb 18, 2013

    hello Bud. would it be possible for you to add an arrow on your pic of the main board where that voltage should be checked? I would greatly appreciate that. I've got my monitor all torn apart thinking it was something else, now would like to check this out. Any guidance would be awesome. Thanks.

  • quik Feb 18, 2013

    actually, never mind! i found it. putting out 5v exactly across the two pins on the bottom. is that a common/serviceable part? or does the entire board need replacing for some ungodly reason? and would anything down the line have been messed up? thanks!

  • Moozler
    Moozler Dec 17, 2016

    Thanks Bud for explaining the actual culprit.
    My "paper W fix" has been working for 7 years to date and I've yet to see anything further fail. I'll keep an eye on the monitor though, now that it works. ;)
    I will put a warning on my original post, because I know that voltage regulators can fry if over voltage is applied and possibly cause a fire. Thanks again for the heads up.

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Moozer you are a Genius! Blocking the middle pin with electrical tape worked for me too.... non working Apple 23 inch HD display with short-long-short flashing white LED issue...

Posted on Sep 06, 2010

  • beefogg Sep 07, 2010

    Dude, you totally rock. Same exact problem, but with a ACD 20". A little tough getting the pin blocked, but persistence paid off. Totally incredible. You should be knighted. In fact, by the powers vested in me by the state of disbelief, you are henceforth Sir Moozler! Long live the King!

  • remydeveze Feb 12, 2011

    It works also for me, the paper in "U" in the brick's in the middle. I am going to translate this in french immediatly ! thx

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Hello my 23 inch cinema HD Display has done the same black screen and blinking light thing over nite so i tried everything and came across this middle prong thing i put masking tape on the middle pin and pushed it in gently and booted up the computer and voila it works and it even comes back on when i put it to sleep, but the question i have to ask is this going to harm the monitor over a period of time masking off the middle prong , what is the middle prong for is it also the negative ground any more info on this could save peeps alot of money either way

Posted on Mar 08, 2010

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Surge suppression is not fail safe. It is clear the problem is not Apple, related to the power outage.
The fact that you have no Apple Support is also your fault and not Apple's.
You've also tried to use an adapter that was completely the wrong rating.
Maybe you should speak to the electricity company or insurance company about a claim. Just don't tell them all the stupid things you've been doing with wrong adapters etc.

Posted on Sep 12, 2009

  • BerkshireJim Jul 21, 2010

    apple support is half and half. Half the the time they are great and go further than they are required and sometimes they are less than help but they are better than most.

  • cdmalpass Apr 29, 2011

    Do you work for apple? #1 the 150watt unit will work for all 3 models. the 90 will work with 20 and 23 inch models, and the 65 is 20 inch only. As far as having no Apple support, let me ask you this....does apple not cut you off after "x" amount of time. There are endless amounts of folks out there with this same issue. So to correct you, the problem IS clearly Apple's.

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This works! thank you so much. means a lot.

Posted on Aug 06, 2016

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Yes its working, i repaid my cimena 4 years ago - still working fine

Posted on Mar 11, 2015

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Hi. I have that problem too but I am a little bit comfused about "the middle pin". Fron the "brick" there ia a cord to the moniotor and one to the wall socket. In my country, the wall socket only has two pins, so i wonder if not the middle pin by default is not used? Can anybody send me a picture or describe the procedure more graphic? Is the the cord from the brick to the monitor or the cord from the brick to the wall? Kind regards,Peter

Posted on Nov 23, 2012

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I just tried this handy little trick, but it didn't work for me -- now NO lights are coming on. Is there an order I need to be plugging everything back in to get it to come on? Surely it can't be completely broken now??

Posted on Sep 20, 2012

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One Word: Unbelievable. I've got 3 cinema displays, each one gave the short-long-short led message. Put a piece of paper in the power brick covering the upper and lower pin and it worked! It even works with a 65W power brick.

Posted on Aug 28, 2012

  • Mark Jorissen Aug 28, 2012

    One Word: Unbelievable. I've got 3 cinema displays, each one gave the short-long-short led message. Put a piece of paper in the power brick covering the upper and lower pin and it worked! It even works with a 65W power brick.

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I am kinda' in shock. This solution actually worked. Good job! Awesome!

Posted on Jul 27, 2011

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