Touch screen ghosting/ unresponsive? Read this.

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by ftgg99, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. ftgg99
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    ftgg99 Developer Developer

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    So - my phone has now suffered a second round of unresponsive touchscreen behavior: scrolling by itself, clicking on stuff at random and generally impossible to use.

    The first time this happened, it got rained on at my moscow dacha. So i left it out in the sun for three hours (on the window sill as the sun was coming up, so that isnt an accurate time). I worked fine after that.

    And here i am with the same problem in the south of france - it was in a beach bag with a wet towel for half a day and went crazy again. I googled it and found a whole plethora of totally bogus advice from know-it-all weirdos without a clue: its the protector, conductive grease on the screen (complete nonsense), rfi, blah blah blah. None of these are strong enough to cause prolonged ghosting.

    But I would have to assume that it is humidity. Remember - the moisture sensor is on the opposite side of the phone from the screen, so it wont show anything you wouldnt guess at after dropping it in the pool anyway. Moisture builds up over the course of hours or days, eventually becoming a blob that actually conducts a significant amount.

    Scientific method then should tell. So i put the phone in the freezer for 20 mins. Sure enough - the inside of the screen had three spots of frozen condensation, one the size of a nail head.

    I then left it in the sun, screen up, for two hours. Opened up as much as possible - no battery, keyboard slid out. The water evaporated entirely and now i can use my crossword puzzler again. Alternatively you could get a load of books from your bookshelf, and put them in a airtight space (large drawer/ storage bin) with the handset, but that takes longer. You can dry many things this way...

    Also, to anyone who wants to discourage using the sun - dont be alarmed! Its one of the best ways of drying stuff because of the contact with open air and the relatively low temperature.

    Oh, and it might start working after a half hour or so, but its best to give it a good soak in the heat as a quick dip may only disperse the moisture around the inside, leaving it to condense again later!

    Hope this helps... and remember too much sun and or freezing may be bad for your set :)
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. 4maxwelz
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    4maxwelz New Member

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    Thank you! I took a call with wet hair once and my phone went haywire. Ever since then in the extreme heat/humidity it goes unresponsive and gets all jumpy (for lack of a better word). I'm going to take your advice and open it up as much as possible and set it in the sun for a few hours. Thanks again for the great info.
  3. DroidFan
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    DroidFan New Member

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    Mine has been doing this in dry buildings and apartments... no water has gotten to it...no moisture is anywhere near this phone... but nevertheless, my Droid is doing exactly what you're describing... ugh!
  4. mikecolorama
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    mikecolorama New Member

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    i keep my droid in my pocket at work and have the exact same problem
  5. DroidFan
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    DroidFan New Member

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    That's what I was doing too...

    Just got off the phone with VZW tech support... basically they had me do a hard reboot. Seems to be working fine now... let's hope for the best!
  6. portree228
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    portree228 New Member

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    Same Issue

    I have been having the same issue. I have even tried a factory refresh of the phone. It has not gotten wet and I live in a very dry climate. I think I may take the phone back as it is unusable in this state.
  7. ccommcomm
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    ccommcomm New Member

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    Ghost Screen. Touch screen going crazy. Replacement touch screen

    So I am having my second bout with ghost screen. The first time it started was when I gave the phone to my 6 month old son. He only had if for a few minutes but it ended up getting sucked.

    I took all the stuff off and cleaned it well and it finally cleared up after a week or so. I live in a dry climate.

    Last night i gave it to him again knowing that he caused me problems last time. this time he had it in his mouth for quite a while. Now I can't get it to work without going nuts.

    I put it in the oven last night on warm and left it for about 1 hr and it seemed to work a little better.

    I saw replacemenet screens on ebay and wondered if that could solve the problem. the electrical connectors are on the top right hand side of the screen and were in prime sucking possition for my son.

    Does anyone know if this solves the problem?
  8. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    With all due respect, sorry to disagree on several points. Contaminants on the screen (and down along the edges of the digitizer glass, as well as behind it), can affect the CAPACITANCE (not conductivity), since this is a capacitance touch screen.

    Measured capacitance has little to do with conductivity and virtually no electrons actually cross the capacitance gap (think insulator). It is a measure of a change in the electromagnetic field around the anode and cathode...causing a change in the difference of pressure between negative and positive electrons on those competing surfaces separated by an insulator (or ambient charge).

    By bringing something capable of either holding a static charge, conducting electricity or otherwise affecting the measured capacitance (electromagnetic field) near it, the capacitance changes and this is how it determines where the screen is being touched. It doesn't have to actually contact (or conduct) which is why you can place a thin cloth or piece of paper over the screen and still activate it.

    Don't believe me? Try it. Put a piece of printer paper over the screen and then try to select an app. Don't be too shocked when it loads. Another test , even more revealing to prove it... Put your phone in a zip-lock bag (the plastic bag doesn't conduct electricity), and zip it closed. Then watch in amazement as the phone's touch screen works perfectly inside the bag. If this weren't true, then screen protectors wouldn't work unless they conducted electricity.

    Moisture, grease, dirt...even dust changes the capacitance and can create an unstable reading such that it can detect "ghost" touches, or real touches can be distorted fooling the digitizer into thinking it has more than one press going on (this is a multi-touch screen digitizer), or that the actual press is somewhere else on the screen.

    Someone here mentioned answering the phone with wet hair and the phone went crazy, and ever since then high humidity causes the phone to go bonkers. This points to residue which may have come from her hair, such as moisturizer, gel or some other hair treatment still affecting the digitizer and then with the increased humidity causes the residue to change the capacitance. This is exactly what can happen if dust is in a variable capacitor.

    If you choose to disbelieve this, then next time you have a can of WD-40 handy, why don't you spray it into the fins on the variable capacitor that is in your home stereo receiver's tuner and let's see if it receives any radio stations anymore. If your old radio tuner seems to have difficulty receiving stations, often times it simply needs to have the years of collected dust blown or vacuumed out. If you've never heard of "tuner cleaner", that's what it does. Mistakenly, people will use "contact cleaner", which contains non-conductive lubricants included), and wind up making the problem worse. Repair shops make a killing on tuners working poorly, and tuner cleaner is often the only thing they wind up doing.

    Voltage fluctuations and "dirty power" such as produced by lower quality wall adapters can also cause similar results. There are plenty of threads on the subject.

    In your case, it was obviously moisture, but just because you identified and resolved your issues regarding moisture, doesn't mean anyone else who offers an alternative potential cause is a "know-it-all weirdo". By making blanket statements like that one, you effectively rule out all but your own hypothesis, and then you make yourself look like the "know-it-all weirdo".

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using DroidForums
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  9. johanflora
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    johanflora New Member

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    i readt her on old topic but i have the same problem i was playing a game i have low bat and the Phone was al ready warm so i thru it off und charge it next day full bat so i thurn it one and i cant use it then exact wher is the 2 its ghosting
    und ther i have on pin code i cant open me Phone so i made hard reset ond all date incl peronal date ar lost only not the chost . i take one other batery wat is in low power now i can use it but my chost is still ther im happy then its not so often

    but what is now the problem of my screen ghost no water no dust realy nothing then i take it out of the box 1 day be for and it work perfect ontil the game and charge the batery

    for info thanks johan
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