It’s Not Dead Yet – Replacing an Auria EQ276W Power Supply

TL;DR – If you need a replacement power supply for the Auria EQ276W monitor:

  • The manufacturer, EQD, has apparently declared bankruptcy.
  • One reader purchased this replacement by Upbright, but hasn’t reported back as to how it worked out. From the description and reviews, it seems like a good choice.
  • A couple readers of this blog have found this T-Power power supply on Amazon. Be warned, however, that this model is rated for only 5A, which is less than the 6A factory power supply. Readers have reported it works. One reader received a defective unit, and T-Power demonstrated great support and replaced it with a working unit.
  • If you’re electronically inclined, you can purchase any properly rated power supply and solder the old power cable onto the appropriate leads. You’re looking for a 24 volt supply that can handle over 6 amps. Make sure the supply has adequate heat sinks or cooling to handle that much power. Here is one power supply a reader has successfully adapted.

On to the story…

In July 2012, I read Jeff Atwood’s post, The IPS LCD Revolution. Super-high-resolution 27″, no-name computer monitors from Korea for under $400? Yes, please!

The local Microcenter had just one EQD Auria EQ276W left, but it was “open-box”. Someone had returned it. I had them plug it in to prove it worked. I negotiated a bit extra off the already-reduced price, a return guarantee and a 1-year warranty from date of purchase, and took it home.

The monitor expired nine months after its warranty.

When I’d plug in the monitor, the green power supply light would light up, the monitor would come on for an instant, then go off. No amount of fiddling could keep the monitor powered up.

My suspicion was that the power supply was dead. It’s usually the power supply, and within the power supply, it’s usually the capacitors that fail (see my post, It’s Not Dead Yet – Fixing the Onkyo TX-SR606 HDMI board).

Here’s the power supply’s badge. Make/model is “Coming Data LP-2460”.

Image

The power supply puts out 24V at 6A through a 4-pin round connector. You can see the “pin-out” diagram above the “MADE IN CHINA” text. Two positive leads on the left, two negative on the right.

I tested the power supply with a multi-meter and it seemed to still be putting out 24V, but I know that under load, it probably wouldn’t be able to sustain the amps. If I’d had more time, I might have put together some kind of testing circuit to see if I could determine if the supply would fail under load. My discretionary time is limited, so I instead decided to throw money at the problem and get a new one.

I found a couple of sources online that wanted $70 for an exact replacement power supply. $70 is highway robbery for a monitor power supply, IMHO. So I took a flyer on this $30 one from Amazon.

I should not have bought the power supply without seeing a pin-out diagram. Turns out the replacement’s pins are wired differently. They’re off by 90-degrees, meaning the top two pins are positive and the bottom two are negative. That’s a non-starter, quite literally.

The new power supply was also quite a bit lighter than the old one, which is a red flag. It doesn’t contain as much metal to dissipate heat like the old power supply. This could mean even if I get it working, it could burn out or become a fire hazard in short order.

I sat on the problem for a couple weeks until I had some time off work.

I called EQD at their support number and a very helpful tech took my information and said he’d inquire to see if they could send me a replacement power supply out of warranty. So that’s now working in the background.

I decided to take apart the new power supply to see if I might be able to rewire it to correct the pin-out. Nope. There were just two leads in the connector wire, red and black, to feed all four pins. The red would forever be wired to the top two pins, and the black to the bottom two.

It occurred to me that I might be able to re-use the connector wire from the old power supply. I snipped the old connector wire off the old power supply and compared the wiring. Again, just two wires, red and black. But in the old wire, the top left pin didn’t appear to be connected to red. It wasn’t connected to anything I could discern. This was worrisome, as it might mean it was the wire itself that failed. But given the wire hasn’t had any significant stress since I bought the monitor, it seemed unlikely the wire would be faulty. More likely the monitor was pulling all 24V from a single pair of pins.

I soldered the old wire to the new power supply and put everything back together.

Lo and behold, the monitor powered up!

My victory was soured shortly after by several issues.

  1. The new power supply is HOT! Like, “can’t touch it”-hot. Not great, and not worth the fire hazard.
  2. The monitor now hums loudly, which it didn’t before. There’s noise being induced into the monitor. Even with the monitor’s volume set to zero, it hums.
  3. The monitor supports a maximum native resolution of 2560×1440 pixels, but only when connected to a source using DisplayPort or DVI-D Dual-Link connectors. The new laptop I just bought has neither of these kinds of connectors, only HDMI and VGA. So I can’t use the monitor to its fullest potential and instead I’m forced to use up-scaled 1920×1080. I’ve tried some tricks to set custom resolutions using the Intel HD Graphics 4400 configuration app, to no avail. Yuck.

So, an incomplete victory and a long way to go to get this monitor working again. I’ll put the monitor aside for now until either EQD comes through with an OEM replacement power supply, I find another 24V 6A well-designed power supply, or I decide to suck it up and buy an OEM replacement for $70.

Update: June 26, 2014

I ran with the new/modified power supply for a few hours today. It started emitting a toxic burning plastic smell, so I unplugged it. Next stop? The trash.

EQD called back yesterday to tell me they would sell me a new power supply. $45.00 plus $12.35 shipping. The new supply will be rated for 6.25 amps instead of 6.0, so it’s a bit beefier than the original power supply. I took the deal, as I can only find exact OEM replacements on eBay and elsewhere for over $70.

I (somehow) found this 113-page test report for the Coming Data LP line of power supplies. Could be useful if anyone else wants to take a swing at fixing their broken power supply.

Update: July 22, 2014

The replacement power supply arrived last week and the monitor is back in business! The power adapter runs relatively cool, and there’s no hum.

Additionally, I bought my way out of the predicament with my laptop not being able to drive the monitor to its full resolution with this StarTech USB 3.0 to DisplayPort external video card. Not the ideal solution, but as close as I could come without returning the laptop which I otherwise like.

Update: September 18, 2014 

A reader let me know that the (877) 375-1065 phone number for EQD is no longer working. I tried the number myself and confirmed it.

Update: October 2, 2014 

Great sleuthing by an anonymous commenter! The number to reach EQD directly is (949) 246-5270. Guess they got tired of paying the bills from the toll-free number with all of us dissatisfied owners calling.

Update: June 18, 2015

It appears EQD filed for bankruptcy on September 25, 2014. I guess there’s no profit in replacing burned out power supplies. QED, EQD.

Update: June 23, 2015

More praise coming in for the T-Power replacement. A reader received a defective power supply via Amazon, and T-Power replaced it with a working one.

Update: June 23, 2016

My own Auria is still chugging away happily on the replacement power supply I received from EQD before they filed bankruptcy. I’m writing on it right now.