View Full Version : Dell Ultrascan P990 19" (trinitron tube) found

August 28th, 2017, 05:52 PM
So I was at the local thrift shop and dropped by the electronics section. Picked up a nice Dell 19" LCD for $2.99, but that's another story.

On the shelves was also a Dell Ultrascan 19" Trinitron monitor. No idea if it works, but they're asking about $12 for it.

My question is: is it worth getting? I generally avoid CRTs these days as they're big, heavy, and suck down electricity. I do have one 17" CRT but everything else is LCD.

It occurs to me that if the Trinitron tube is still in good shape it might be a nice monitor to have.

I invite comments...

August 28th, 2017, 11:55 PM
While trinitron tubes are indeed nice, I would inspect the monitor at the store as thoroughly as possible. Get up close and personal with the screen to see if there's any burn-in, and power the unit up to make sure it doesn't have any obvious faults like a bad flyback or it just going on fire.

But you should expect pretty much any CRT based display today to have some fault related to age since all of the components are basically stuffed in a hot box with a huge power hungry vacuum tube. Capacitors are the first thing to go, even some of the last CRT monitors that were made in the mid to late 2000s are starting to have cap problems.

Both of my Dell P1130s have started showing horizontal retrace lines, with one of them getting a green tint. I've disassembled one of them and it has a number of caps which have gone dead short, open, high esr or some other failure mode. I dread recapping them because the chassis is ridiculously complicated to get apart, these units were obviously never designed to be serviced.

August 29th, 2017, 06:36 AM
IMO is not worth it. I have one 17" CRT that came with a Pentium AST setup I bought two weeks ago. I used to have lots of CRTs. Unless they are very specific (MDA, CGA, EGA, TGA) there is no point to it really because TFTs/LCDs/LEDs work just fine.

August 29th, 2017, 07:10 AM
Trinitrons did exhibit a "shadow" from the tension mask setup. Some found this objectionable, others thought it was worth the tradeoff in image quality.

But I'm with Peter--LCDs have gotten a lot better over the years. I'm looking forward to reasonably-priced medium-format OLED displays.

August 29th, 2017, 08:29 AM
Trinitrons did exhibit a "shadow" from the tension mask setup. Some found this objectionable, others thought it was worth the tradeoff in image quality.

I remember a few people making a big deal about it back in the day, but I've had so many Trinitron CRTs over the years that I don't even see the support wires unless I go looking for them.

17" and smaller just had one wire, while 19" and bigger had two.

August 29th, 2017, 09:08 AM
At least Trinitrons lasted. Are there any Zenith FTM (http://www.nytimes.com/1988/03/22/science/personal-computers-big-advance-in-monitors.html?mcubz=0) monitors (ZCM-1490) still operating?

August 31st, 2017, 01:35 AM
Thanks, all. It sounds like a doubtful purchase, even for $12.

Part of this was my confusing Trinitron monitors with Multiscan monitors. Didn't realize that until the other night. Oops.

If I wanted a 19" 4:3 display, as I mentioned I now have one. A Dell 1907FPV LCD. Has a USB input & 4 USB 2.0 ports output. also has a weird stand that swivels between landscape & portrait. Apparently I need video drivers which include that change. I know my Win7 Home system has that.

Anway, it works quite nicely and gives me a big 19" 4:3 display.

...Just did a little inventory and all of my spare monitors are old Dells. I have the above 19", an older 17"LCD, and a 17" CRT. All 4:3. Useful for older systems.