External display cutting out?

Hi folks. On the off-chance that someone has experienced this before…

I have a non-M1 2020 Mac Mini hooked up to a 32" Samsung Space Monitor SR75 via an Answin USB C to Mini Displayport, a Logitech Brio webacm, on a few other typical peripherals.

When I’m in Zoom calls, the display occasionally blacks out.

It looks like the monitor’s struggling with signal or power somehow. My first instinct was that the Mac Mini was overheating or something, as it was usually very hot when this issue happened. Sadly, it just happened again in the middle of a presentation I was giving even though the Mini was perfectly cool.

I have fiddled with cables to see if there’s something loose, but no luck. I’ll try again, but I’m wondering if anyone has any other troubleshooting suggestions. Is it telling that it only happens during video calls?

Could it be the Answin cable? Maybe it’s too cheap?

Have you got the monitor on a surge protector or UPS? Sometimes power fluctuations can do weird things.

It is on a surge protector. Good point though: it’s a new one. Now I’m wondering if I was experiencing this on the last one… Something to try! Thanks!

You might have saved my conference calls for the foreseeable future.

I didn’t notice that only some of the ports on the new power bar are surge-protected. The monitor was not plugged into one of the surge-protected ones. I’ve switched it, so we’ll see if this happens again.

Thank you (hopefully)!

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I hope this fixes it! I made a point of making sure all my extension cords are all surge protected—fortunately that’s not been tricky here in the UK!

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Did you get it fixed? I had been playing around with settings “optimizing” :slightly_smiling_face: my Mac when my external monitor began briefly going dark (aka flickering off and on) when I was using it. Oddly, what eventually worked was to increase the “Turn display off after” Energy Saver setting to 15 minutes and restart the Mac. Now I use Screen Saver hot keys manually to start the screen saver or lock my screen. I probably should shave some minutes off that “15 minute” setting, but I still haven’t gotten around to it.

@RosemaryOrchard Yeah, this house is ancient. The theory fits the problem…

@karlnyhus Too early to say yet. I’ll try to report back in a couple of weeks if it stays fixed.

Following up on this. I’ve had fewer cut-out incidents over the past month or so, but it happened again on video calls on Skype and on Zoom in the past week.

So, I investigated my power strip a second time. I noticed that the 90% full 10-port USB hub I’m using was also on an unprotected outlet on the strip. The hub drives my Logitech Brio webcam, an external HDD, a Stream Deck, my mic, and a few other accessories. The Brio in particular probably demands a lot of power during calls. So, I’ve switched that plug to a surge protected outlet. We’ll see if that solves it for good! :crossed_fingers: