Monitor Saving Hack


What used to be my main workstation monitor developed a little problem last summer-it decided that if it had been in sleep mode for more than a few minutes, it would only turn back on momentarily when it received the signal to do so either from the computer or from its own power switch.

I couldn't believe it at first, so I did what anyone would do:turned it on and off several times. Eventually, it "kicked in." That is to say, it flickered on the way it had the previous few tries, then got a little brighter and stayed on. That's how I discovered that it wasn't broken beyond use, it was just too much of a hassle to have it on my main workstation.

Since I am out of work right now and had some parts lying around, I decided to move it to the tinkerspace (for use with my SBCs and a Wintel machine) and use a timed servo to do the power switch on/off cycles for me. Initially I was going to use another kind of microcontroller for this project, a very tiny one, but I discovered it wasn't able to handle the servo with the reliability and timing precision of the 08m2. (The actual board I'm using is a RocketBrand Studios 08M2e.)

Thanks to PicAxe, I'm able to keep a monitor out of the landfill and extend its useful life another few years. Reduce, reuse and recycle!

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