LCD Cakes – can baking an old LCD screen really fix it?

Of my collection of Psion MC400s all of them have screen faults: one has a faulty flexi-cable, one has some half-height columns of dead pixels and the other 2 have what is sometimes known as “screen rot” – dark splodges that are permanently there. The LCD is an old monochrome 640×400 retardation film Hitachi assembly (LM819FXGW using OKI M5298 & M5299B driver chips).

Splodgy blotches? Or blotchy splodges? Splotchy blodges!

I’ve searched for fixes, and asked on a couple of retro computing forums – the most common suggestions were fixes that are demonstrated in the 2 YouTube videos embedded below: rubbing with a cotton bud or baking in an oven. I tried both…

Cotton bud

This video shows positive results on an old Nintendo gameboy screen:

I rubbed the dark spots with a cotton bud for a considerable amount of time but couldn’t see any change. A while after I’d stopped I noticed one of the marks had migrated up the screen:

So no real improvement, but some re-distribution!


This video shows positive results on an old calculator screen:

After a couple of cycles at ~85C in the oven, all that’s happened so far is the dots have coalesced into larger blobs:

Reminds me of Pontefract cakes 🙂

Another 2 cycles at ~85C for 90 mins and no real improvement – maybe slightly different shapes but the same area? 😦

Lower splodge now looks like a hot air balloon to me 😀 Rorschach test anyone?
A couple of weeks after baking: Bigger blobs spreading and little blobs getting bigger too…

I’m not an expert on LCD panels but I’m guessing the dark splodges are due to mechanical failure of the layers/cells that make up the screen and are due to some sort of leakage of the liquid crystals. Is there even a “fix” possible…?

LCD panel removal covered in the Psion MC400 tear-down/disassembly guide

Published by zedstarr

Chilled out human being, doing techy stuff.

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