i used to use a screwdriver to check and see if a coil pack in a car was firing. Very dangerous. about every 10th time or so that the coil fires, the spark jumps right across the handle of the screwdriver and knocks you back off of it. for the curious, the reason that you dont get killed, is because a coil pack pulses for a fraction of a second and then turns off. the voltage hitting a spark plug is about 40KV, same as a monitor.
Monitors however dont turn the juice on and off every 1/4 second or so.
Using a regular screwdriver and a wire to discharge a monitor might not kill you today or even shock you, but it will eventually.
I do have a rather inexpensive solution however, for people who cant afford a high voltage probe.
Get an insulated linemens screwdriver like the guys at the power company use for working on the HV lines.
theyre not cheap for a screwdriver, but the whole thing except for the tip is insulated to 100KV. all you need to do is add a wire to it. it will run you about 35-40 bucks for one of these screwdrivers. Much cheaper, and just as safe as a high voltage probe.
Ive got one i use for discharging monitors, and another one with a spark plug boot, for checking coil packs.
How to discharge a monitor:
See here for pictures and directions: http://www.arcadegames.net/sightsound/discharge.ppt
As this gentlemen points out, it isn't so bad if you pay attention!!! DO NOT connect your alligator clip to anything other than the chassis of your monitor and the end of your screwdriver. The ground in your outlet has absolutely nothing to do with your monitor do not ground the anode to anything other than the chassis of the monitor.
Just to hi-lite some points:
1. unplug the monitor from the power source
2. use a long handled screwdriver with a well insulated handle
3. keep the screwdriver side of the alligator clip as close to the end of the screwdriver (away from you)
4. keep one hand in your pocket
5. take off watches or rings and conductive things
6.be mindful of the chassis padawan--if you are touching it you could become the primary circuit path--NOT GOOD
7. its always a good idea to pause a minute and discharge another time and another before removing the sucker cup (anode cap).
I left this vague so that you will go to the site and read how its done in its entirety.
Now that you have discharged the monitor, desolder the caps and replace with new ones that you ordered from Bob Roberts or elsewhere. BE VERY OBSERVANT AS TO THE - AND + MARKINGS OF THE CAPS!! If you get one backwards--poof! it could also take other components with it.
I am getting ready to start my third cabinet and I am interested in using a television, but I need to remove it from the case so it fits my cab properly. I have read quite a bit about properly discharging a television, but I am missing something fundamental...and have a question.
If I am not servicing my monitor and want to remove the casing from my television, is discharging necessary? I was reading Martjin's thread about his cabinet and saw that he discharged his after he removed it from the case for mounting - I am just sure why the discharging is necessary - and [follow up question] after you discharge it, are you OK to leave the anode off the back and still operate the TV?
Thanks for helping to clarify this for me.