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Old 29-05-2015, 13:20   #1
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Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

I just thought I would share some info I came across. I had and old (1980's) depth gauge that had a very dim display. I was thinking about having to replace it when I came across an article about an easy possible fix.

Most displays use layers of polarizing film. The outer layer often gets damaged by exposure to the sun over the years. Someone wrote in another forum about replacing the old film and their display looked bright and sharp.

I did a little research on how LCD displays work and why you must have a layer of polarizer on the front for you to see anything. I took apart some old laptop computer screens and removed the front layers of plastic film. I was not sure which layer was the polarizer, but it was easy to find out. Hold the sheet in front of your computer screen, phone, or tablet. When you rotate the film you can get the display to go dark and eventually disappear.

I took a peice down to my boat and held it front of the bad gauge display. I twisted it around until I saw a nice bright display. I then took the gauge apart and peeled off the old film and stuck on the new film at just the right angle of rotation. I now have a nice bright easy to read display again.

I think you can buy small sheets of the film for iphone screen repairs and such on line if you don't want to take apart an old laptop or phone screen.

This may not fix your problem, but it did for me. I am glad I stumbled across it. Do a google search and I am sure you will find more in depth descriptions.
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Old 29-05-2015, 13:31   #2
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Hhhmm I've known how LCD screens worked for ages, but it never dawned on me to try that on an old screen.. Good Job..
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Old 29-05-2015, 13:44   #3
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Thanks for the research and good thinking! Just the sort of techo info that one gleans from CF.

Jim
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Old 29-05-2015, 15:06   #4
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

I felt very fortunate to stumble across it, saved me a lot of money. I was reminded of it last weekend while on the boat. I was wearing polarized sunglasses and discovered I had to tilt my head slightly to get the brightest screen on my ipad running a chart plotter. If I turned my head a full 90 degrees I could make my Garmin display disappear.
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Old 29-05-2015, 15:10   #5
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Another thing I have done on small displays (GPS, ect) is to replace the LEDS when they die. Between these 2 solutions, I bet you could save %50 of failed chartplotters.
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Old 30-05-2015, 10:17   #6
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Thanks, I love this kind of stuff, use the sunglasses to diagnose if it's the problem before you do anything. I've got a few of these to fix, the most expensive one is a fluke O-scope meter that has gone dim. I'm going to go test that with the glasses right away. Never got into the problem and studied the displays to know that's how they work.
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Old 30-05-2015, 11:37   #7
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Quote:
Originally Posted by jheldatksuedu View Post
Thanks, I love this kind of stuff, use the sunglasses to diagnose if it's the problem before you do anything. I've got a few of these to fix, the most expensive one is a fluke O-scope meter that has gone dim. I'm going to go test that with the glasses right away. Never got into the problem and studied the displays to know that's how they work.
Slightly OT, but my Fluke Scopemeter backlight got dimmer over time.
Fluke no longer supports repairs for it, so I bought fluorescent backlight material on eBay and fixed it for cheap.
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Old 30-05-2015, 11:56   #8
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Good one Thanks
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Old 30-05-2015, 18:17   #9
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Re: Possible fix for old LCD instrument displays

Thank You for this info. Some time ago, somehow, something, probably bug repellant was misted on the screen of our Garmin plotter. It now has small spots all over the screen. It is usable in the day but much better at night. Wonder if this trick will work?
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