Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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Flickering backlight after Inverter change

I have a black Macbook Core Duo A1181 (last 4 # of serial are: RVMN) running Mac OS X 10.6.8

I started having trouble with the backlight on my screen a few months ago.

Basically, my monitor flickered badly for the first minutes of startup, every startup or every time I brought my laptop back from an extended period of stop.

After some "warming up" the backlight returned to its regular functionality, save for some seconds of flickering every now and then.

I then replaced the inverter board, a month ago. That did not entirely fix the problem, even if it lessened that somehow.

Currently, after going awake from stop, my monitor still flickers, but for a maximum time of five minutes. When it does that, it never goes dark as it did before, it just seems to jump between the maximum brightness setting and the one before that.

After a while, it stops. But whenever I shut down or put the laptop in stop for more than a few hours, the trouble returns. Seems almost like the display "needs" to reach some heat, or tension, or whatever.

I managed to replicate the issue only by placing the laptop in stop for some hours... a short burst of "Stop and wake up" doesn't affect that.

I'm trying next swapping the LCD Panel

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Thank you for posting your question. Your problem is slightly different than the other one, insofar as your backlight does not blackout. The CCFL bulb is very similar to a Florescent bulb. They have the same principles behind how they work, though one works at high voltage and the other at low voltage. As you have properly diagnosed the problem is heat related. With your symptoms - 99% chance the problem is the CCFL bulb. The mercury vapor in it needs heated up to react (exchange ions) with the phosphor coating on the glass. The chances are you can hear a low humming sound near the bottom part of the bezel during this time. The other 1% is the capacitor from the tank circuit leading to ground is the component that needs time with electricity applied to it to fully charge.

The suggested repair is one that involves replacing the CCFL bulb. Most people option to replace the entire LCD to do this. Click here, for a vendor that sells the LCD, new, for $79 in the US and $110USD world wide. That price includes shipping. A used LCD will be less. The last used LCD I purchased for this model was $50USD, about a year ago and the new one was twice the price I have given you, at that time. Had the price for the new one been what it is today, I would have purchased the new. Click here, and look under LCD Panel for instructions on how to replace it. The CCFL bulb is sold and can be replaced independently, but most people feel it is beyond their abilities. Since you have not inquired about this, I won't add the details for that repair option.

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Yes. I just tried placing my ear on the bezel when my monitor seems to have "a fit", and I heard a really faint hum. Someone I noticed only when you told me to care for it.

In general use, with the low-level noise of my office cubicle and with the faint hum of the cooling pad I use at home, I never heard that.

The local Apple Store suggested me the change of the whole LCD assembly, and I'll be searching, just for safety reasons, a spare for the cable running from inverter to Logic Board too.

If the capacitor is busted, I guess I'd have no choice to keep the laptop the way it is. But since the LCD panel also has some wear and tear (visible marks where the keyboard and the trackpad button are, a scratch the pal I called upon to help with the inverter seemingly did...), I guess I'll order it ASAP.

I'm not from the USA, but I found a vendor here that applies the same prices you suggested me.

So, I guess I have to thank you. Eventually, if you want, keep you up-to-date when the new LCD gets in my grasp.


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Stefano Gigante will be eternally grateful.
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