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Old 08-06-2022, 04:48 PM   #1
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Question dash board back up screen brightness control

Hello,

Can any tell me how to make the dashboard Sonny screen brighter! Driving down the highway, I can barely see what the picture is showing. It is a more or less foggy view. However, in the evening, it is fine, as there is no sun glare coming in through the front window. Seems like there should be an adjustment to make the picture clearer from the drivers seat during the day.

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Old 08-06-2022, 05:51 PM   #2
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Hello,

Can any tell me how to make the dashboard Sonny screen brighter! Driving down the highway, I can barely see what the picture is showing. It is a more or less foggy view. However, in the evening, it is fine, as there is no sun glare coming in through the front window. Seems like there should be an adjustment to make the picture clearer from the drivers seat during the day.

Ratracer
Iíd need to know what FR motorhome and what year you have to direct you exactly to the right page, but manuals for many of your motorhomeís components can be found here: https://forestriverinc.com/Owners/Interactive-Manuals

The Sony screen brightness setting is buried in the menus of that radio unit.
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Old 08-06-2022, 09:15 PM   #3
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we have a 2021, model 2860 Sunseeker Classic. It was bought used with 3800 miles on it!

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Old 08-07-2022, 10:27 AM   #4
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we have a 2021, model 2860 Sunseeker Classic. It was bought used with 3800 miles on it!

Ratracer
Awesome. Try the link to the online interactive Forest River manuals from post #2 and see if your Sony radio manual is there under Components Manuals, Television-Radio-Multimedia
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Old 08-07-2022, 10:46 AM   #5
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manual

Hi,

What I find strange, but will go to the link, The previous owner/ owners as I think their may have been two and that is another story, left all of the paperwork for the components in the unit. I did find one on the Sony radio system, but reading through it, I found nothing on how to change the screen brightness. Itis probably there, but how do I get to it!

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Old 08-07-2022, 02:14 PM   #6
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Curious if you have your headlights on? Both my previous Jensen and my present Pioneer dim the displays when the headlights are on.
Itís kind of annoying if I want to run with the lights on and if youíre wearing sunglasses itís impossible to see lol.
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Old 08-07-2022, 05:43 PM   #7
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Smile lights on

I have never noticed, as I have the day running lights/ headlights on automatic. The next time I am out on the road, I will have to check. Thanks for the possible tip!

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Old 08-08-2022, 09:05 AM   #8
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Aha! Sunglasses!

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Curious if you have your headlights on? Both my previous Jensen and my present Pioneer dim the displays when the headlights are on.
Itís kind of annoying if I want to run with the lights on and if youíre wearing sunglasses itís impossible to see lol.
Aha! Sunglasses! That's the key.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) include polarizers. (They prevent ambient light from entering the display, bouncing off the backlight reflector, and returning to the user, washing out the display by illuminating all the red, green, and blue pixels.) The backlight itself becomes polarized as a result.

If you are wearing polarized sunglasses you will find it difficult to read the display. Either change to non-polarized (ND filter) sunglasses or change the display to another type, e.g,. OLED or CRT.

To appreciate what's going on, try this experiment:
Get two pairs of polarized ("Polaroid") sunglasses.
Fold the temples.
Hold the sunglasses so one lens of each overlaps.
In bright daylight, start with both pairs of glasses are horizontal, observing with one eye through the stacked lenses.
Continue holding one pair of spectacles horizontal, while gradually rotating the other pair to vertical. You'll be winking and looking through the stacked lenses with one eye as you see that crossed polarizers quench nearly all light transmission. This is what happens when you wear Polaroid sunglasses and try to read any LCD, even phones. The only phones you can read are some high-end phones with OLED displays.

(Spent a year or two of my career studying and pitching LCD technology.)
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Old 08-08-2022, 09:19 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Aha! Sunglasses! That's the key.

Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs) include polarizers. (They prevent ambient light from entering the display, bouncing off the backlight reflector, and returning to the user, washing out the display by illuminating all the red, green, and blue pixels.) The backlight itself becomes polarized as a result.

If you are wearing polarized sunglasses you will find it difficult to read the display. Either change to non-polarized (ND filter) sunglasses or change the display to another type, e.g,. OLED or CRT.

To appreciate what's going on, try this experiment:
Get two pairs of polarized ("Polaroid") sunglasses.
Fold the temples.
Hold the sunglasses so one lens of each overlaps.
In bright daylight, start with both pairs of glasses are horizontal, observing with one eye through the stacked lenses.
Continue holding one pair of spectacles horizontal, while gradually rotating the other pair to vertical. You'll be winking and looking through the stacked lenses with one eye as you see that crossed polarizers quench nearly all light transmission. This is what happens when you wear Polaroid sunglasses and try to read any LCD, even phones. The only phones you can read are some high-end phones with OLED displays.

(Spent a year or two of my career studying and pitching LCD technology.)

Absolutely, I wear my Maui Jimís for fishing and driving and the polarization is fantastic for seeing fish, as you mentioned some screens are okay like my fish finder and IPhone.
And you get used to other car rear windows looking like a checkerboard
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Old 08-08-2022, 10:36 AM   #10
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polarization

Hi,

Yes, I am familiar with the effects of polarized filters, sunglasses, etc. Prior to having to wear prescription glasses, I did use polarized sunglasses. Now I have the light sensing grey lenses in my glasses. Have had them in various pairs for over 30 years! I have not noticed this phenomena previously with other displays, including my wifes smart phone. In fact, she does wear polarized sunglasses and many times will turn the phone toward me so I can tell her if the "potential spam" wording is on the screen. Also, we have an LED display in our Ford SUV and I have no trouble with that, so I don't think it is my glasses.

One thing I wish the people who designed this radio/ monitor display would have done is to articulate it so it can be turned toward the driver. I am wondering if part of the problem is looking at the screen from a rather acute angle. I know older TV screens were affected with that.

So, I have some suggestions here and when we are out with the camper the next time, I will try each of them to see if there is a difference. Right now I am leaning toward the screen dimming in daylight when the headlights are turned on.

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Old 08-08-2022, 10:41 AM   #11
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Some screens are okay

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Absolutely, I wear my Maui Jimís for fishing and driving and the polarization is fantastic for seeing fish, as you mentioned some screens are okay like my fish finder and IPhone.
And you get used to other car rear windows looking like a checkerboard
iPhone X and most of the ones after it are OLED, hence visible with polarized sunglasses, as are the Samsung Galaxy phones.

I oversimplified the LCD issue a little. There are three types:
  1. Transmissive LCDs have a backlight. Each picture element (pixel) acts as a shutter that lets light through or blocks it. These have polarizers (as previously described) to prevent ambient light from reducing visual contrast. These can be used at most ambient light conditions (but not with polarized sunglasses.)
  2. Reflective LCDs have no backlight, just a mirror at the back. These are often the monochromatic (silver/dark-gray) ones, like the stick-on clocks you used to see (and the Harbor Freight multimeters). The display is illuminated by ambient light--the brighter the light, the higher the display contrast. Not useful in dark situations.
  3. Transflective LCDs are a hybrid of these two types. Occasionally you see them in battery-operated devices with an option to turn the backlight on when needed (like my grill timer which turns on the backlight while setting the time, but switches to reflective once the timing begins).
Guessing that the Maui Jims are polarized, the iPhone is OLED, and the fish finder is either reflective or transflective (since many people fish during daylight.)
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:13 AM   #12
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OK Larry, lets keep my thread relative to the problem I voiced. Fish don't swim in my Sony radio! I want to know if there is a setting for adjusting the screen brightness during the day!

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Old 08-08-2022, 11:19 AM   #13
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Good Point!

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Originally Posted by Ratracer View Post
One thing I wish the people who designed this radio/ monitor display would have done is to articulate it so it can be turned toward the driver. I am wondering if part of the problem is looking at the screen from a rather acute angle. I know older TV screens were affected with that.

Ratracer
Good point. There are various ways that the crystals themselves in an LCD can be oriented between the two glass places containing them. Electrodes are deposited onto both plates using Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).

The cheapest and easiest way to do this is Twisted Nematic (TN) crystal alignment. This results in a display that works well if you are directly in front of it, but not so well of you are off-axis. More specifically, viewing is moderately limited *maybe 90-120 degrees) if you are off-axis in one direction (e.g., east-west aka left-right) and extremely limited (maybe 15-20 degrees) off axis in the other direction (north-south aka up-down). It's quite common to use these for computer monitors, as people sit directly in front of their monitors. In this case, the display is oriented so there's a wider viewing angle horizontally than vertically. (It's common to see people with laptop computers changing the lid (screen) angle for optimum contrast. Even funny to watch them since Zoom has become popular, alternating the screen angle between optimum contrast and keeping your head in the camera view frame.)

A more expensive LCD construction is In-Plane Switching (IPS) crystal alignment. These units are more expensive to produce but the viewing angle can extend up to 170 degrees in BOTH planes! The high-end phones used IPS before OLEDs came along, and large TV panels are all IPS.

In looking at pictures posted here on FRF, I often see dashboard images where the camera display is located way low in the dashboard center panel. I wonder how many of those are TN mode, causing exactly the concern you just articulated. (Thus far I've represented the viewing axis as perpendicular to the LCD panel--it doesn't have to be. One of the quirks of TN mode displays is that the optimum viewing angle in the vertical plane varies with the voltage bias on the display. (When the battery in my handheld grill timer gets weak, I have to angle the display away from me for best contrast.) I keep thinking those RV dashboard units should have a bias (contrast) knob so the driver can tweak the display for optimum contrast.

I realize that I have characterized modes of LCD crystal alignment without actually explaining how it is that they work that way. Here's a link.
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:23 AM   #14
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OK Larry, lets keep my thread relative to the problem I voiced. Fish don't swim in my Sony radio! I want to know if there is a setting for adjusting the screen brightness during the day!

Ratracer
There is a screen brightness setting in my Sony radio’s menu, and settings for auto brightness control. What did you find when you looked at your radio’s menu?
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Old 08-08-2022, 11:24 AM   #15
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Answer(s)

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OK Larry, lets keep my thread relative to the problem I voiced. Fish don't swim in my Sony radio! I want to know if there is a setting for adjusting the screen brightness during the day!

Ratracer
Short answer: Check the manual to see if it's a menu option.
Long answer: See Post #13.

Question: Is it really brightness you are after, or off-axis viewability? Contort yourself and see if there's a sweet spot that's off-axis from the driver's seat.
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Old 08-09-2022, 01:03 AM   #16
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On our 2012 MBS, the headlights are used as daytime running lights - so they are always on. The aftermarket “entertainment center “ installed by Forest River tied to the headlights to sense night - and dim the radio display. As a result, the display was always in “night - dim” mode.
My “fix” was to put a switch in the headlight connection - essentially made nighttime dimming manual.
No idea if this applies- FYI, Jim
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