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Apple Cinema Display 23" - Blank Screen, "short-long-short" LED code

189845 Views 344 Replies Latest reply: Apr 1, 2014 11:36 AM by hncl RSS
  • asoz Calculating status...

    The paper trick worked for me...however noticed a problem: whenever I insert the USB cable from moitor to Macbook/PC, the monitor goes off. Anybody having such issue or am I the only one?

  • MattLTH Calculating status...

    I came to the studio today to find my 23 inch Apple Cinema display doing the short-long-short blinking LED. After reading the instructions here on blocking the center pin of the power connector, my monitor came back to life. I just used a thin piece of business card, folded it in half, and inserted it into the power connector, and voilà! That beats the **** out of a new power supply, monitor repair, or new monitor. Thanks to everyone who posted these fixes.

  • Northcroft Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Just fixed a 23 inch monitor with the blocking center pin trick.


    I wonder  -


    1.  How long the fix will last - since the trick was discovered some time ago - has anyone had a monitor fail since applying the center pin trick?  How long did it last?


    2.  Why it was necessary - does anyone really understand what has happened in the monitor?

  • Northcroft Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Drew Reece wrote "I wish Apple could fix every failed product, but it seems like a lot of people expect fixes beyond 3 years even when they have not purchased Apple Care, see my deadmac raw data for an idea. I do wish they would release more technical info to allow people to fix their own equipment, but asking Apple to do so for free many years after purchase seems unfair, unless a product recall was issued."


    Apple have the technical information on day 1 of the monitor being on sale.  It is on their computer servers.  It would cost nothing to make it public.  But they are a secretive company - the entire business is based on obsessive secrecy.  Sure it has helped make them the biggest company on the planet - but I would prefer to see humans progress in an open, shared information, sort of way.  Secrecy disgusts me, I am afraid.  It makes sure that every bad decision made in this way is repeated endlessly.  And it makes sure that an endless array of problems take forever to get fixed.


    Thank God Apple allowed this forum to exist.  And let us poor end users share our problems and fixes in an open way. 


    It would still be helpful if Apple would publish the technical stuff - it could probably be done by a single employee who had access to the technical data. 

  • Drew Reece (Re:co) Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    Northcroft wrote:


    I wonder  -


    1.  How long the fix will last - since the trick was discovered some time ago - has anyone had a monitor fail since applying the center pin trick?  How long did it last?


    2.  Why it was necessary - does anyone really understand what has happened in the monitor?


    1. No idea, I decided to solder a new LDO onto the logic board since the old one had failed. Covering pins is a lousy long term idea IMO, there is no way to tell if the plastic has moved and may cause other pins to be blocked too. The supply is outputting enough current to damage the other parts of the connector if one side is overheating (by carrying all the load designed to be split across both sides of the connector). Opening the monitor & cutting the centre wire from the power connector would be a moderately better solution IMO.


    2. I think a few people have grasped that the centre pin is for detecting the type (power rating) of supply attached. The 'detection line' is there to protect you from using an 'under rated' supply. Electrical items get hot when overloaded & may even catch fire so you should really think before you use the monitor with any other supply. It seems to be tied in with some low voltage circuits on the main board - the LDO fix.


    I blogged about my resolution, it still is working for my friend. t-long-short-error


    PS Apple employees who leak Apple tech manuals don't stay employees for long, they are all out there if you look hard.

  • hexdiy Calculating status...

    Anybody who reads this thread should read your excellent and concise review of it in your blog. Many thanks, Drew!

    As for tech manuals used by Apple techs: I have it on the authority of a correspondent of mine who has worked for a European AASP (and who has not breeched any confidentiality agreement in telling me this, I believe):  they seem to be of little or no use for people trying to attempt component level repair. Component level repair is simply not done by them: they just swap parts and circuit boards. E.g.: 1 broken hinge on a Macbook Air gets replaced by an entire screen array!

    Actual schematics must exist somewhere. But they necessarily- and understandably so, alas- carry an even higher level of confidentiality. Probably R&D only.

    Relevance for this thread? A lot of people including myself have been trying in vain to identify Q1 on the mainboard of the A1081(20") and A1082 (23") ACD models. It seems to be a transistor, carrying an infamous SMD code, and is probably related to the 'detection line' or in any case to the secondary power supply circuit which is located on the mainboard. Failure of this transistor is probably the 3rd common cause of these monitors dying on us (and possibly related to the short-long-short error code), after "wrong powerbrick detected" (cause #1, error code short-long-short), and a defective/malfunctioning 3.3V LDO (LM1117, cause #2, may be even originating the error code in question here).

    So: can anyone of you define either of the following SMD markings for a transistor: HEZH4; H6FU9; HEVQ9 or HFXS5? These, I gather, have all been found in the same aforementioned "Q1" position.

    Thank you!

  • Tom Thistle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Much respect to Jakobeon. This worked for me, although did take a few tries and didn't work with paper. I came very close to buying a new monitor today...

  • anniefarkle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have had my 23 " apple cinema display go bad after installing Lion. There was a power outage issue last week as well but I have a surge protector and thought that protected my Mac? 'Went on line and got a support guy to call back as a "one time exception" since I recently intalled Lion. Together we tried to restore the display going through his suggested steps. He mentioned that there was an update for Lion and cinema displays but I had everything up to date. ... 'No luck getting the display to work and tech told me to get it serviced. I live 2+ hours from Apple stores. Is it as simple as getting a larger 150 W compatible power adapter instead of my current 90 Watt one?



  • Drew Reece (Re:co) Level 2 Level 2 (310 points)

    You have failed to mention what symptoms it has. What does go bad mean, black or dim screen, no power light, distorted display…?


    This issue is about Apple Cinema display's that show the short-long-short flashing error on the power light.

    If yours shows this error then the issue may apply, the fix seems to vary, some will use the 'cover center pin hack' and others will open the display & replace components that appear to be dead. Others find that a 150W PSU will work.


    It's impossible to answer your question without an idea of the symptoms.

  • anniefarkle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The display is black and does not "open" so I cannot read the screen. It's not flashing.

  • MattLTH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Does your power LED (the little blue one in the lower right-hand corner of the displays aluminum frame) blink in a short-long-short pattern?

  • anniefarkle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    no ... does not blink

  • MattLTH Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Since this thread pertains mainly to the symptom of the power LED flashing a short-long-short pattern, my supposition is that the issue with your monitor (since the LED not blinking) would not be cured by the solutions contained within. You could certainly try a 150W power supply, or a 90W that you know for a fact is working properly. You could even try blocking the center pin (see previous posts) to see if that helps. But my guess is that if none of those solutions work, your monitor is in need of repair or replacement.



  • anniefarkle Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a million, Matt! Will try your suggestions! Have a super weekend!



  • dportis47 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    OMG this worked I love you!

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