Monday, 3 August 2015

How I fixed my Scratched Cyntiq: Part 1

This is my Wacom Cyntiq monitor. I draw right on the screen like it's some sort of magical computerized art paper. And now I've scratched it all up. Why did this happen to me? WHY??!!

Drawing on your Cyntiq will cause scratches

Since I started working on my "Heroes Rising" part 1 preview, I've been doing a lot of drawing on my Cyntiq. I've probably drawn more in the last 4 months than in the last 4 years. Little did I know that I was slowly destroying my primary drawing tool. I scratched it all to hell, thanks to a sharp pen nib and lots of niggly hatch lines in my drawings.

I began to really notice the scratches about a month ago, and unfortunately didn't clue in to it becoming a serious problem. I just thought it was natural wear. But my Cyntiq is also my primary monitor, so when I was browsing I saw a noticeable 'hazing' right in the middle of what I was reading or watching, which would cause me to scroll up or down to get out of the 'haze' zone. Annoying. (God I have to do it right now as I'm editing my own damn post!!)

So I started to research how to repair it. Sadly, most sites advised sending the monitor to Wacom for repairs, costing around $200 to replace the plastic anti-glare screen. So I emailed Wacom support to see if they could suggest a way to polish out the scratches. At their request, I sent them images of the scratches, the product info sticker (below), and original receipt.

Their response was a little shocking. And I quote:

"We do apologize but based on the Model Number of your Cintiq21 its the first generation (DTZ2100)
and we no longer have repair option for that kind of Legacy Cintiq, we do apologize but the device is already obsolete, you can try to check on a local technicians that can have your unit repaired like Geeksquad or Radioshack."

Legacy? Obsolete? Radioshack?!?? It's only 5 years old, purchased in 2010! This made me sad on a number of levels.
1) I was out of luck for repair options.
2) A $2400CAD monitor is considered a consumable good, not worth fixing by the company that manufactured it.
3) So much of what we buy these days is 'consumable' ie. companies churn out newer 'better' models of their crap and drop support for the old ones so you have to buy the new stuff.

It sort of made me want to chuck all the consumable electronics/goods/clothing I have out the damn window, just to show my anger at the wasteful, globalist, consumerist world we live in.

Anyway, I was thus left to figure out my own repair solution.

Wacom Repair Part 1 - Cover the Glare Shield in Acetate (sheet plastic)

Here's my advice: if you have a Cyntiq, and use it a lot, tape a big piece of sheet plastic over the anti-glare screen. Do it ASAP, before the scratching becomes out of control.

I used an old sheet of cellulose acetate from my animation school days, and affixed it to the monitor using Magic Tape.
It's not perfect, as the acetate is a bit glare-y. But it will protect the screen from getting worse.

In Part 2, I'll attempt to polish out the scratches using a buffing wheel and some toothpaste. I kid you not. People do it to repair car headlamps that have gone all scratched and hazy. But first I'll have to get up the nerve to actually do it on a $2400 piece of electronics.

Or I might just head over to Radioshack.


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