Uses for Old Computer Monitors

Written by joyce ellison
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Uses for Old Computer Monitors
Find a new use for your old computer monitor. (computers screen 2 image by chrisharvey from

If you've upgraded your computer system, you may be wondering what on Earth you can do with your old monitor. Many people choose to donate or recycle their unwanted computer monitors, but there are several more creative options you might want to explore if you prefer to keep your old display rather than recycle it.

Turn It Into a TV

You can turn that old computer monitor into a television set for a lot less than the cost of a new flat-screen TV. The CNET website calculates the cost of such a project at less than £97 as of 2010. All you need is a TV tuner adaptor (see Resources), which will give your old computer monitor the same inputs as a regular television set.

Turn It Into a Fish Tank

Most people have seen the old "swimming fish" computer screensavers. Take the idea one step further by converting your old CRT monitor into a fish tank, as suggested by the TechQuarium website. You'll need to remove all the "guts" of the monitor and will also need a variety of supplies, including silicone caulk and expanding foam. Be extra careful when you remove the cathode ray tube--you may want to take the monitor to a computer or television repair person for this part of the project.

Turn It Into an Oscilloscope

Another nifty idea for repurposing an old computer monitor is to make an oscilloscope out of it. An oscilloscope is a scientific instrument used in engineering, medicine, telecommunications and other fields to measure the wave shape of electrical signals. It can be an expensive piece of equipment to purchase. Save money by using your old computer monitor, along with a microcontroller and a handful of parts you can buy at any electronics hobby store. As pointed out by the Cornell University website, this type of oscilloscope is better suited for use in electrophysiology applications rather than audio ones.

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