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need horiz. scan rate for old Packard Bell monitor


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#1 junklover

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 01:48 PM

Can anyone help me find the horizontal scan rate for an old Packard Bell color monitor?

I'm trying to use an old Packard Bell model PB 8551 VG monitor with a used 80486 machine that a friend was getting rid of, but I can't get it to work properly under Windows 3.11 (it works OK when I'm running under DOS). When I start Windows, the initial Windows 3.11 "placard" displays correctly, but when it changes to the Windows desktop I get four overlapping images (shifted left-to-right in relation to each other). I presume I need to change the monitor selection, but I don't know the proper horizontal scan rate. Can anyone help me? (The monitor was made in 12/90 in Korea, serial # MC-01210005, chassis # CA-9, DHHS code GG. The label also says "EDP equipment LR53545, UL listed 59B9, E82982.")

The computer has a Hercules Stingray Pro model S901 PCI bus video card. I haven't tried changing the drivers yet -- I plan to do that, too, but I figure I should try changing the monitor selection first...

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#2 rigel

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 03:12 PM

Question?? Is this a VGA display?

Long term dusty memory kicking in here... I am guessing VGA, then try 640X480 at 60 hz. If there is something in the 50hz range, go for that first.

good luck

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#3 junklover

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 01:03 PM

In answer to the question above about whether it's a VGA monitor -- as far as I know, it is. (The monitor was originally part of a 386 system that I also got as a cast-off, and according to an MSD report run on that machine, it is a VGA monitor.) MSD doesn't tell me the horizontal scan rate, though, and I'm worried that I'll damage the monitor if I use it at too high a rate with the 486 machine.

Can anyone give me more information about what kind of damage improper horizontal scan rate settings can do to a monitor? Will improper settings damage the monitor instantly? Or does the damage occur over a longer period of time, so you could try various settings for brief intervals without harming the monitor too much? If an improper setting is used, will the display be screwed up (making it obvious that something isn't right), or is it possible that the display will appear normal (thus masking the fact that the setting is wrong and giving you a false sense of security)?

Any help would be appreciated... By the way, both the 386 and 486 are upgrades from my "normal" computer, which is a 10Mhz 8088 with 640K of RAM and a 20Mb hard drive (which I dearly love, because it can do things that the newer systems can't handle)!

Addendum: I found a good website (www.monitorworld.com) that may have answered my question. It implies that the standard for an IBM VGA color monitor is a 31.5KHz horizontal scan rate and a 70Hz vertical scan rate. This site also has copious information about specific monitors, and while it doesn't list the Packard Bell model PB 8551 VG, but does list the PB 8552 VG (31.5KHz horiz., 50-70 Hz vert.), the PB 8531 VG (31.5KHz horiz., 60-70Hz vert.) and the PB 8551 SGG (31.5KHz horiz., 70Hz vert.). If anybody knows the exact specs on the PB 8551 VG please pass them along, but in the meantime I'm gonna assume it's 31.5KHz @ 60-70Hz...

Edited by junklover, 17 March 2005 - 04:10 PM.


#4 rigel

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 04:28 PM

From Webopedia

http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/r/refresh.html

They list the old standard as 60 hz

Personal opinion still says use something in the 50hz range.

1) Will improper settings damage the monitor instantly? Or does the damage occur over a longer period of time, so you could try various settings for brief intervals without harming the monitor too much?


I would not run a monitor out of spec. Incorrect refresh rates can damage the display by prematurely wearing out the inner surface of the CRT... much like burning in a screen pattern by leaving one image up for a long period of time. With an old monitor, it could damage the video circuitry. I have never damaged one myself.

2) If an improper setting is used, will the display be screwed up (making it obvious that something isn't right), or is it possible that the display will appear normal (thus masking the fact that the setting is wrong and giving you a false sense of security)?


Generally, if you do something the display can't handle, it will reward you with trash on the screen.

For the record... I search the web over for specs on your display and never found anything listed with yahoo, google, or Packard Bell.

My first computer was an Atari 400 .. and then I graduated to an IBM PC with dual 360k floppies at a whopping 4.77 mhz. At its time, it was a cadillac with its green monochrome screen.

Edited by rigelslight, 17 March 2005 - 04:31 PM.

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#5 junklover

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Posted 19 March 2005 - 12:22 PM

Thanks, Rigelslight, for your help and information.

I did a web search too -- I'm really surprised that Packard Bell's own website doesn't have any information on obsolete equipment (are most manufacturers like that?). Ah... the halcyon days of 4.77 MHz and 360K floppies!! I still love my old software. It's simple, compact and efficient; and I'm continually surprised to discover that it has many handy features which have been dropped from the ponderously bloated, more "modern" versions! (Try using Microsoft Word to search for text strings that include certain "invisible" characters like tabs, or to cut and paste a column of text from a plain text file!)




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