IBM 5151 (MDA display) - common faults / gotchas?

Jules Richardson jules.richardson99 at
Fri Nov 7 19:00:30 CST 2014

So, my local bookstore guy has an IBM 5151 monitor for sale, which is 
surprising because:

a) I haven't seen *any* vintage IBM PC kit locally in the last 8 years,

b) I picked up a 5160 with an MDA display adapter but non-IBM monitor from 
John over in Duluth a few weeks ago, and I was thinking what a shame it was 
that it didn't have the original IBM screen.

So, it's almost like it's meant to be, or something...

Of course working condition is unknown, so before I commit to it, are there 
any common showstoppers with these displays (failed CRT, yoke windings, 
LOPT etc.) - or are whatever faults that may be typical with them all in 
components that are still available?

(I'm kicking myself a bit because he said I was welcome to bring it home 
over the weekend to try it out and then bring it back if I decided I didn't 
want it - I just couldn't remember at the time if the 5151 was the MDA 
display or something else, but with hindsight I probably should have just 
taken it regardless!)



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