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27" display with 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution Thunderbolt & MagSafe cable attachments

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Definitive answer to flickering screen?

A coupe of years ago, I purchased a used Thunderbolt Display. A few months later, the screen would occasionally flicker/go black. That is when I discovered that this is a common issue. I really love this monitor, and don’t mind spending the money to either fix it myself, or have someone else do it.

However, I am frustrated by the fact that there does not seem to be a definitive answer to the cause of the problem. Every time someone has solved the problem, it either comes back , or another person will say that it did not work for them.

Adding to my frustration, is the fact that the display can go for months at a time, and operate perfectly. When it does act up, I find that closing some of the open tabs/windows seems to stop the flickering. ( I don’t know if this is related, but once in a great while, the speakers quit working, and disappear from the menu bar.)

As I said, I am willing to spend up to a few hundred dollars to fix the display, if the problem would be permanently solved. If not, then I am considering cutting my losses, and purchasing a new monitor…

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Just like a good soup the ingredients matter!

I can’ tell you what your exact issue is but the time I was working with a ton of them we found the following:

The first issue is how clean the power and ground is. Basically, we ended up getting one building each station their own fill-in UPS. So both the voltage was stable and the sine was clean as well.

We also made sure the outlets where properly grounded and the breaker panel was likewise properly grounded. We had to get the two buildings re-wired as the ground was poor on a quite a few outlets.

It also turned out the transformer servicing one of the buildings was bad as well. We had the power company place a few power meters in the building to monitor the powers quality (this should be a free service if you request it). Make sure you get a copy of the logs and save it when you finally get all the kinks worked out as a base reference for later.

We did need to replace a few of the displays cable assemblies as they where worn or just damaged! How you store the cable is important! You want to be a seaman! Loose coils, no kinks or excessive bends. One of the engineers made a vey tight coil strapped up and a second did a bow-tie each killed the cable! The tension of the internal wires broke the connections internally.

We did note some of the backlight drivers on the logic board had issues. I can’t tell you what exactly the tech replaced but I do suspect it was the capacitors as over time they do loose the efficiency. or the driver chip was replaced. Of the twenty of so displays I think half ended up getting rebuilt logic boards over a two years before they jumped to HP systems - hiss!!

I would recommend doing a search for the schematics for the logic board 820-2997 as well as the 2011 27” iMac 820-2828 and its board-view as its basically the same backlight circuit to compare between them.

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Thanks! I do have it plugged in to a UPS--However, I did make the mistake of doing the bow tie strap, with the excess cable! It just so happens that I do have a spare all-in-one cable that I purchased shortly after getting the display, but I never attempted to install it, after reading of other potential causes of the flickering...


If you'er good don't forget to mark the question answered - Thanks!


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