Hot swapping VGA (D-sub) cable

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by Philbee, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Philbee

    Philbee Member

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    This is something that gets brought up every now and then in the office.
    I work in live production and we are often inserting vga cable to laptops or pulling them when the machine is on.
    I have been doing this for 10 years and just chatting with my workmate who has been in the industry for 20 years, we have both yet to see problems from our hot swapping.

    There are those in our circle who believe this can damage the PC. I am seeking opinions from those in the PC world.
    I know the cable carries volts and mA in the way of video signal and as we also convert VGA to RGBHV on bnc and connect those all the time without problem I think this might be an overestimate on the dangers of hot swapping.

    I can recall one time at home where I missed my VGA port (try looking next time) and it gave a spark off the pci plate or something like that, pc and CRT monitor are doing well.

    Generally its not practical for us to plug in, then bootup. What sometimes happens is the vision switcher becomes the monitor and the laptop screen wont initialize, unless you have a preview screen or know the toggle commands for the particular laptop this isnt ideal, especially when a presenter is on stage in 2 minutes and hands the laptop over giving you little opportunity to fiddle.

    Im sure we've all heard a mic plugged in when the volume is up, the spike at volume is quite dangerous for speakers and amps. What is stopping this type of surge with the VGA/RGBHV cable?

    Cheers!!!

    EDIT: 95% of the time we work with laptops.
     
  2. -KoMoD0-

    -KoMoD0- Member

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    Ive never had any problems, and i have never heard of anyone having any problems either
     
  3. AMD2400

    AMD2400 Member

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    i do that usually when formatting my friends computers, no electrical problems.
    My first CRT did have a fixed vga cable and all that hotswaping has twisted and destroyed the cable. thats my only problem...

    AMD2400.
     
  4. tin

    tin Member

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    No device problems whatsoever. Anyone thinking it can damage things is a crackpot who shouldn't be let near anything technical.

    There are some software issues though... But all are minor and resolvable without a reboot. The OS may not bother checking the monitors specs and some really retarded drivers (*cough* S3) may not detect the monitor automatically.

    The absolute only way I can see things being an issue is if you connect the cable, the PC has a high refresh rate on that output (like 120Hz plus), and the connected monitor is an older one that spazzes out at that refresh. You may kill the monitor then, but it'd have to already be half dead or really old anyway.
     
  5. LethalCorpse

    LethalCorpse Member

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    Only way that can cause a problem is if the graphics card is dislodged from its socket when you plug the monitor in. Even then, I've gotten away with this in the past.
     
  6. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    It's perfectly fine, except for a potentially increased risk of mechanical damage to the pins if you're unplugging and pluggind all the time, and the possibility that you'll be running with sub-optimal resolution and colour depth if the OS hasn't been configured perfectly for a particular monitor - sometimes. Anyway, you'll always get some display on the screen, even if it's 800*600, that's the worst that can happen.
     
  7. tin

    tin Member

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    Hehehe... Same. I've knocked out at least 2 video cards and one sound card with the power on before. All parts involved are still in working order (some are still in use).
     

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