DreamColor: Nightmares & Daylight

Doing maintenance updates & calibration on a HP DreamColor LP2480zx.  Renowned great display – once it’s up and running…  Not user-friendly to me though (and from forums I am not the only one), having spent hours on attempts to upgrade its firmware and perform calibration using the Advanced Profiling Solution (APS).  Finally got it to work -by upgrading to a non-latest version of firmware and associated calibrator (APS)  etc, – but unable to update further than this (firmware updater failed to recognize monitor USB, despite connection as earlier and reboots etc.).  And it was a real pain (many hours) to get just that far.   The working-fix was simply to keep trying different USB ports to find one that one worked (with this system – they all worked fine on other kinds of device).  Without understanding what’s going on, it feels like there are some flaky issues around the driver for the USB-based connection to the DreamColor (when updating firmware or calibrating).  However, at least having got that far, I was glad it (DreamColor system) wasn’t broken and even worked.  And the colours certainly looked better by eye.

  • Calibration (in principle)
    • It’s a hardware calibration, the result is stored in the monitor itself.
      • Hence e.g. if during calibration you connect it to a Mac (e.g. BootCamp-XP) via DVI port, then that calibration will still apply when it’s instead connected via HDMI or BlackMagic card.  Simple way to verify this – deliberately calibrate it well off, see if it is maintained over various different kinds of connection.
      • But on completion of each calibration, the APS prompts to save a “.icm” file.  Where is it saved and what does it do?  Is it saved to the device or to the computer that did the calibration, in which case, I guess I’d need to recalibrate every time it was connected to a new computer. Too little knowledge on my part…
      • The calibration is done for one of the profiles, default being “Full” profile.
        • Does that equally affect all the other profiles e.g. “sRGB” or do these each require individual calibration?
    • System: Mac Pro (early 2009) running WP Pro (32 bit)

    Early attempts, failures, experiments, time-wasting, finally a guessed fix:

    • “No displays were found”
      • Wasted many hours rebooting,  trying different USB leads, running from a laptop, googling forums etc.
        • Tried laptop due to nagging doubt that maybe Boot Camp driven USB sockets weren’t up to the job.
          • Though on some forums people had reported success with it.
          • Also, later (below) I did manage to get it to work on certain (only) of the sockets.
        • Later abandoned the laptop when its OS (XP-home-32) reported its USB sockets as not being full speed (even though they were USB2).  Maybe some internal USB hub thing?
      • This was like a game of random combinations and guesswork!
    •  On a hunch, tried a different USB socket on the Mac Pro.  This now worked – the monitor (USB) was recognized and calibration could proceed.
      • Repeatably, for some reason it is recognized on some USB sockets but not others.  Driver issue
        • I am no expert on fixing driver issues, and simply re-installing the driver software doesn’t achieve anything, maybe I need some way to remove old/corrupt driver-associated stuff from the ports that don’t work then reconnect the USB to get good driver on those particular sockets?
      • When the USB is recognised OK, you get the rising dings sound from the OS, likewise when disconnecting the USB or powering down the monitor you get the descending dings.
      • USB Socket that worked:
        • The last one to work today was the 2nd one down on the front panel.
        • Earlier it had failed on the first one down, so I moved to one on the back (one of the pair of USB sockets normally used for Cinema display monitor USB stream on DVI-1).  But when I tried the further firmware upgrade (to latest) it failed in a way that thereafter when I connected the DreamColor, the OS (BootCamp XP Pro 32) said “USB Device Not Recognized” (and also it gave three low dings of despondency, not the rising dings of success).  Rebooting and re-running the driver installation setup achieved nothing.  I don’t understand what is happening here…

    Finally, having got it working, performed some actual calibrations:

    • Ran the APS (puck, without its white diffusion-cover, vaguely near screen centre, connected to USB on side of DreamColor)
      • Completed but at the end the screen had a massive red tint.
    • Power-cycled the DreamColor
    • Ran the APS again, with greater attention to positioning of the”puck”
      • This time the result looked fine by eye.
        • Was the issue its fussiness / my puck-positioning or was it simply a random issue?
      • It prompted to save the profile as “HP_LP2480zx 3CM82400C4_FULL.icm”
        • “CM82400C4” is the display’s serial number.
    • On DreamColor, I switched Color Space (profile) to “sRGB”, which in the past (rightly or wrongly) I have used with it as DVI-driven computer monitor.
      • In response, DreamColor said “Color settings have changed.  Recommend you update the monitor profile”
    • Re-ran the APS, specifying the matching profile (“sRGB”)
      • Worked OK.
      • As prompted, saved profile “HP LP2480zx 3CM82400C4_sRGB.icm”
    • And again, this time for Rec 601.
      • Worked fine (thought at first I’d missed a step, but no).
    • And again, for 709 (monitor and calibrator)
    • Switched it back to “sRGB” (for use, for now, as a computer monitor).
      • It still said “Color settings have changed.  Recommend you update the monitor profile”, even though I had already calibrated for sRGB.
        • I had assumed that “update the monitor profile” meant “calibrate”, but maybe either it doesn’t mean that or perhaps one is expected to recalibrate every time one switches profile/colorspace.  Uncertain.  Will try the documentation…when I next get time (back from doing some real life….).

    So now it basically works (if not yet fully understood) and it “ain’t broke” so maybe I should stop there.  But I don’t like devils in details.  Can the “USB not recognized” issue be tracked down, so I can update my firmware fully?

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