Computer: Display: Accessory
Degauss gun   (+11)  [vote for, against]
Your monitor's favorite feature from afar

The best thing about monitors is the degauss option - you know the one that makes the screen go all wobly. I've discovered that if there is another monitor directly behind and facing away from yours then it will woble in sympathy...

So the degauss gun is born. A small firearm that when fired at a monitor causes it to spontaneously degauss. Possibly also: degauss greanade etc
-- imagooAJ, Oct 31 2000

UglyJack's Link as a Link
from August 14 [contracts, Oct 04 2004]

Home users with great big expensive speaker systems hooked up to their computers are great for this as well. Does the monitor go all psychedelic when a customer is playing a CD? Take the monitor off of the subwoofer! (Of course, some songs sound *better* when the monitor is all weird looking- it adds to the whole experience.)

The degauss gun would be great for tech support help desks as well.
-- BigThor, Nov 01 2000

Shirley, de-Gauss "rifle" would be a better name for the device (and more reminiscent of Battletech), even if it were palm sized.

What happens when someone jacks up the power on this baby and points it at someone else's cerebellum or pacemaker?
-- centauri, Nov 01 2000, last modified Nov 02 2000

Maybe in the not too distant future, a cerebellum will be wired to detect stress chemicals and cause any close computer to flash "I'm dying, dyyying, dyyyyning, oh!" I think pacemakers already do this.
-- reensure, Nov 01 2000

"cutting edge of drug abuse"

That's funny.
-- centauri, Feb 02 2001

No, it's not.

...don't encourage him...
-- iuvare, Feb 02 2001

Has anyone come up with a version of NetBunny for Windows? Does anyone know what I'm talking about?

In case anyone doesn't, NetBunny was a program which, if installed on a collection of Macintoshes on a localtalk network, would enable a prankster to cause the Energizer Bunny to walk across all the screens in network-name order. Since many labs have the machines named Mac01, Mac02, Mac03, etc. the result was that the bunny would walk across the entire row of computers.
-- supercat, Feb 03 2001

i have this really cool real-time split-screen worms type game called liero that has a weapon called the 'gaus gun' which is really dangerous
-- chud, Feb 03 2001

I realise I'm straying off-off-topic here, but the de-gauss coil is used in video workshops to manually de-gauss TV screens. It's about eight inches in diameter and about an inch thick, and is basically a coil of wire connected to the mains, wrapped around an iron core. You push a button and it generates a huge magnetic field to over-ride the residual field on the tube's internal coating. Sorry to get boring, but it's well baked.
-- IanBennett, Apr 19 2001

In my first job I worked at a place that still used those big mainframe reel tapes you see in old movies. When certain data was licensed from another corporation, part of the license arrangement typically required that all copies of it be destroyed when the license period expired, including the original copy on the tape. Since loading the tape simply to zero-out its contents was time consuming and put unnecessary wear and tear on the read/write heads, we had a powerful hand-held magnet that plugged into the wall socket and then simply rubbed over the case of each tape we wanted to wipe.

We soon discovered some interesting side effects. First off, your had to remember to remove digital watches before sitting down to wipe some tapes, or you got to discover the effects of EMP on microelectronics (i.e. your watch was now either always blank or read 88:88:88). Locking your wallet with your bank and credit cards back in your desk was also recommended unless you were extremely careful.

The other, more relevant side effect, was that it took a while for the magnetic field to dissipate. So as you walked back to stow the hand-magnet you could helpfully degauss your buddy's screen simply by tapping the magnet against the glass. The only difference was that the magnetic field is a big stronger than is used in the monitor and thus the visible effects lasted for about 20 minutes instead of 1 second. Thus, your buddy would be working through a big rainbow-hued halo of distortion cursing you for quite some time.

We once tried this with the magnet plugged in at the time. The circular rainbow was still there a couple hours later when we left, and only cleared up sometime in the night. The monitor was never quite the same again.
-- nobody_important, May 10 2001

Why do most monitor manufactures put Degauss on the menu - it's the most commonly used function - a button on the front would be more usful.

Some monitor have it on it's own button and some don't, but why not make all of them have it?
-- CasaLoco, May 10 2001

Because if you do it too often it can damage the monitor, and it really isn't necessary to do very often anyway. I do it occasionally at work because it's amusing to watch it wiggle, but I've only ever HAD to do it once, on someone else's monitor when they'd set something with a powerful magnet on top of it.
-- StarChaser, May 12 2001

Frequent degaussing can damage the monitor?
-- egnor, May 12 2001

From what I understand, from the monitor manuals. I'm not about to try it on mine...

Think about it, though. It's a high-energy release of magnetism...or an electromagnetic pulse. What might that do to electronics?
-- StarChaser, May 12 2001

I'll vouch for the stories of permanent CRT damage. I've had two monitors go extremely blurry in the past because of some powerfull speakers placed on a shelf above my montor.

Also got a free TV from a friend. He was going to throw it out because the the screen was.... (can only be described as 'blotchy') Anyhow, I found that duct taping magnets to the outside of the TV in just the right places corrected the picture to almost perfection.

- ipinkus debating a life on the "cutting edge of drug abuse"
-- ipinkus, Jun 11 2001

[IanBennett] In addition to degaussing rings there are degaussing wands which work similarly. Both are used by passing the device in an expanding spiral across the front, sides and top of the forward part of the CRT. The idea is to remove stray fields from the internal metal structure around the CRT.

[SC][RT]Repeated degaussing will not damage a monitor unless the field is applied toward the rear of the device (where the electronics are). (an aside to [ipinkus] - focus is another issue unrelated to degaussing and is caused by coils on the neck (rear) of the CRT... And a reputable appliance store should be able to degauss the TV for you)

[CL] Many modern monitors automatically degauss on power-up. (In many cases it's audible; listen for the power surge sound) A newer monitor can be degaussed by turning it off and back on again.

[NI] A certain Intelligence Agency used to have devices that looked like microwave ovens into which they would place hard drives which they wanted to get rid of. Press a button, stand back, wait two or three seconds then *POOMP*. The drive would bounce once or twice in the magnetic field. *Then* they took them and ground them up to tiny pieces. (One can never be too careful, I guess)
-- phoenix, Jun 11 2001

Phoenix, as I said, -I- do not claim this; the manual for the monitor claims it. Many monitors have the ability to degauss built in, as you say; not only on powerup, but if necessary while the monitor is running.

Have also experienced the somewhat odd effect of someone on the other side of my cubicle wall turning on a monitor, and causing MINE to degauss. <They were pushed into the corners on either side of the wall, in a mirror image.>
-- StarChaser, Jun 11 2001

PeterSealy mentioned degaussing your brain in passing...

I was at a lecture by Hany Farid on steganography, and he went way off on a tangent about a wand which interferes with brain signals. When you turn it on it creates a magnetic field which impairs brain activity.

He says he tried it on himself. He held it behind his head, near the visual cortex, and everything went blurry.

And he did kind of seem like the kind of person who would use mind-altering devices. :)
-- PurpleBob, Oct 20 2001

I believe that Nikola Tesla experimented with (among other things) powerful electromagnets, high-frequency AC power (like Tesla coils) and so on - on his own body. From memory, it had various adverse effects.

[StarChaser] I have had to degauss my monitor twice, both times due to placing my stereo speakers too close to the monitor. I have seen a monitor which has a degauss button on the front, and many which degauss themselves when switched on.
-- cp, Oct 20 2001

PurpleBob (if you're still here!), at work we have a bulk tape degausser, which, apparently, makes your vision pulse if you lay your head on it. (I'm taking someones word for this one, I'm not deaussing my head, my memory is terrible anyway)
-- dare99, Jun 20 2002


Degauss is cool. I love doing it when there are people sitting to both sides of me in the comp lab... I do it to my monitor, and theirs do it too because the field apparently is powerful enough to affect neighboring monitors, about a foot away.

I've used a bulk tape eraser to degauss my monitor(after playing with magnets and watching the funky colors... and creating a big blotch on it).

And, I've heard, a Weller soldering gun is pretty much dual function-- it works just as well as a degausser, if you turn it around.

Never tried degaussing(or soldering, for that matter) my head...

How about making a degausser that creates a specific pattern on your screen? Whirls your desktop into a spiral of gooey colors?
-- Crazy Bastard, Jul 31 2002

Some Sun monitors have a remote control, which includes a degauss button. It can lead to some silly behaviour in a room full of identical monitors...
-- furmobile, Aug 02 2002

Oh God that's SO cool!!! I want a room full of sun monitors!!!
-- Crazy Bastard, Aug 11 2002

I can just see it: a bunch of nerds are sitting and busily pecking away at their work, as the lone prankster sneaks up behind them, aiming the control so as to trigger as many degauss coils as possible...

Then he hits the button, and a chorus of "GAAAAH!"s erupts...

-- Crazy Bastard, Aug 11 2002

My ole' CTX VL700 Degausses on startup, and uses the menu-exit button to degauss (when not in a menu, silly!). Incidentally, our old TV had porblems after our speakers were next to it for too long. It had no degauss function of its own, and we didnt wanto to pay the inordinate rates (£40) just to have some guy come round with a big magnet. So, I stuck my monitor in front of it and degaussed. Voila! TV is clear again.
-- EdZ, Jan 27 2004

AFAIK, **ALL** color CRTS need degauss at startup in case they have been reoriented WRT the Earth's magnetic field.

I've scrapped out dozens of color TVs and color monitors, and they all had degaussing coils around the front of the CRT.
-- oldvan, May 28 2004

Well, I guess you really can't call a degaussing coil a "gun" ... but for years they've been degaussing CRT and monitor screens. In fact, if ya' wanna see one here's a link: . I own one, and it works great ... but, alas, not software initiated ... one of you guys will have to do that!
-- UglyJack, Aug 14 2004

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