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Old 15-10-2010, 13:28   #1
Ade
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Raymarine ST7000 Unreadable at Night

Hello mariners,

I have a Raymarine ST7000 autohelm unit (acquired with my Nic 38 2 years ago but I don't know how old) which works fine EXCEPT whilst during daytime the LCD display is clear enough, at night when illuminated it is virtually invisible with a very very faded antique look. I have tried holding down appropriate buttons for "a brief time" and "for one second" as suggested in 2 different manuals but my unit doesn't seem to respond with any option to change best viewing angle etc.

I contacted Raymarine and was invited to buy a ST7002 unit (for about 400 in the UK) since they don't have any spares for the ST7000. This would be a costly solution just to improve legibility. I have taken digital timers apart previously when the display dimmed, and found that cleaning the mysterious LCD connectors (rubbery strips) and wiping them with WD40 solved the problem.

Has anyone encountered such a problem and found a solution which doesn't cost 400 or even $400? I am tempted otherwise to manage without my ST7000 display in the dark.

Regards, Adrian.
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Old 16-10-2010, 07:36   #2
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Does the unit actually say ST7000?

To change the background lighting, press and hold the "disp" button until it beeps (after the initial press-beep). It should display "LAMP #" where # is a number 0 - 3. Zero is off, 3 is brightest. Every time you tap "disp", it will change the LAMP setting. Leave it alone for 10 seconds or so and it'll revert back to the normal display.

If the display is good in normal light, it's got to be the background light that isn't bright enough in darkness.
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Old 16-10-2010, 13:20   #3
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Well Jeffrey, thanks for that advice, but setting background lighting to the brightest "3" makes no difference to the display's visibility; all I get is a luminous yellow screen with scarcely discernible characters where in daylight I would see them perfectly well. Seems to be a problem with contrast or angle of viewing maybe.

The unit just is a Raymarine ST-7000.

Regards,

Adrian.
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Old 16-10-2010, 13:36   #4
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I have a feeling that the lamp that does the illuminating needs replacing. If there's a way to take the cover off and look for the bulb, you might be able to fix the whole thing yourself pretty easily.
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Old 16-10-2010, 14:23   #5
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That's a thought.. although the ST-7000 seems on a par for brightness with the other LCD displays in the array. Probably is worth a fiddle since I won't be invalidating any guarantee, but I shall wait a while and see if anybody else has had a similar experience.

Adrian.
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Old 16-10-2010, 14:56   #6
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Hi Adrian, my boat came with ancient Datamarine instruments - the displays are visible during the day but not at night ... then I figured out that during the day I am wearing polarized sunglasses. If I put on my polarized sunglasses at night I can read the displays just fine. I don't know what this means, just a thought for you.
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Old 17-10-2010, 02:57   #7
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Have you tried altering the contrast?
This is usually adjustable, buried in the menu somewhere.
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Old 17-10-2010, 03:45   #8
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That's interesting Shipshape. Wearing sunglasses at night might also help counter the overly bright chartplotter display for which my usual remedy is to put its cover on. However, it can't help general night vision much can it?
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Old 17-10-2010, 03:50   #9
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Noelex 77, I did try adjusting the contrast; in the installation instructions it refers to altering the contrast for best viewing angle by pressing "display and track" simultaneously which I did unsucessfully; but I probably needed to be already in Calibration Mode, which I wasn't so this is certainly worth checking again!

Thanks all, Adrian.
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Old 17-10-2010, 06:31   #10
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ST-7000 control heads appear on Ebay from time to time at reasonable
prices. There is one in the UK right now.

AUTOHELM ST7000 AUTOPILOT CONTROL HEAD DISPLAY - eBay (item 140463509457 end time Oct-18-10 13:10:26 PDT)

I had a ST-7000 in the cockpit that was suffering from exposure. I opted
to replace it with a ST-6002+.
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Old 17-10-2010, 07:26   #11
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We have an st7000, it is acceptable at night. Might be able to be serviced, or as suggested, getting another (used) unit
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