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Old 02-07-2021, 16:26   #31
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

I have an Axion 9 and can turn the brightness way down. It is still a little too bright so I have planned to get a sheet of dark red tinted acrylic to put over the display to see if that works better. Has anyone tried this trick?

Also, don't forget to turn the brightness back up again before the sun comes up. it is really hard to trun the brightnes back up in bright sunlight.
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Old 02-07-2021, 17:00   #32
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
I have an Axion 9 and can turn the brightness way down. It is still a little too bright so I have planned to get a sheet of dark red tinted acrylic to put over the display to see if that works better. Has anyone tried this trick?



Also, don't forget to turn the brightness back up again before the sun comes up. it is really hard to trun the brightnes back up in bright sunlight.


Have you updated recently? Our axiom 9 color palette shift, plus the extra dark option don’t require acrylic. I’ve never found turning the brightness up on the axiom a problem either. Two swipes and done.
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Old 02-07-2021, 17:42   #33
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The best strategy to to have instruments that convey vital information such as depth, compass and speed set up with dim red illumination. Simple numbers such as this can be read while still preserving the best night vision. If you need the more detailed information from the radar and chart accept this will reduce your night vision and plan accordingly.
On one boat I was on, the plotter went into night mode well enough, but the small instrument displays at the helm did not. We ended up having to cover them. This has inspired me to dig through the manuals and realize that for some, e.g. the Raymarine, a night mode might need to be accomplished with a color palette switch as well as adjusting the brightness.

Like others, I've generally found that a chart plotter left in night mode will appear as if switched off in daylight; they get plenty dim. Memorizing the buttons to revert modes is wise.

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Originally Posted by BillKny View Post
As far as I know, every LCD screen relies on transmitted light coming out through the liquid crystal layers. That’s required by the physics. There are some that are “transflective” but that just bounces ambient light back out though the liquid crystals and in low light situations they still require a back light.
Perhaps for the active screens, but the antique LCD displays (think old digital watches) work purely on reflected light. Those should still work for displaying large numbers.
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Old 02-07-2021, 18:33   #34
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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Originally Posted by carstendenmark View Post
Thanks a lot, Stu
Good for my bedtime reading !

Frankly, I didn't knew about that...
CF is SOOOO big !

Bottom line, the chartplotters should now (2021) be made to facilitate reading in very low light conditions for night sailors.
My phone can do it, but not a 3000$ chartplotter.

Thanks for all replies !
Still, anyone here know of a good one ?

Yes, my B&G Zeus, about 5 years old, has a very adjustable brightness plus a night mode (mostly red in place of daytime blue and green). It can be extremely dim, no problem. And it's readable in sunlight. The only problem is that if I set it dim for night use then forget to increase brightness before morning, the screen will be unreadable in daylight so I have to put a coat over my head and the screen to be able to see the controls to increase brightness!
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Old 02-07-2021, 18:49   #35
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

we have a fairly new (2yo) raymarine c/p - running lighthouse 3 - and are very happy with both the dimming and the night palate (although rarely use the night palate)

how old are the plotters that folk are complaining about ?

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Old 02-07-2021, 21:09   #36
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
Have you updated recently? Our axiom 9 color palette shift, plus the extra dark option don’t require acrylic. I’ve never found turning the brightness up on the axiom a problem either. Two swipes and done.
That sounds like an update worth downloading. The problem I have is turning the brightness up the next morning in full sunlight where I can't see where to swipe the brightness adjustment.

On a $3000 plotter you would expect automatic brightness adjustment. It is about 50c worth of electronics and a couple of lines of code.
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Old 02-07-2021, 21:29   #37
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

I’ve yet to find an auto brightness feature that doesn’t suck.
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Old 02-07-2021, 21:51   #38
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

Raymarine Axiom 7 here and with the new software it seems to work ok. Besides night mode it has the "extra dark" mode too. You can see a short video about entering night mode here and see the option for extra dark.

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Old 03-07-2021, 01:12   #39
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

My B and G Zeus 2 quite good in this regard I think.simple to change to night mode (red light) and then dim very low. It also automatically dims the Triton displays. Worst lights affecting night vision are my navigation lights.
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:49   #40
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
That sounds like an update worth downloading. The problem I have is turning the brightness up the next morning in full sunlight where I can't see where to swipe the brightness adjustment.

On a $3000 plotter you would expect automatic brightness adjustment. It is about 50c worth of electronics and a couple of lines of code.
I find it quite easy to turn back up from “full-dim”, even in sunlight. Swipe once on the bezel to bring up the menu (even if you can’t see the menu), then tap ~anywhere near lower right corner of screen. If it doesn’t immediately brightenen up, just tap again. You don’t have to “grab” the brightness slider with your finger to adjust it... you just have to touch anywhere along the slider.

But you’re right. Seems like they could easily make it automatic, or at least optionally automatic.
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Old 09-07-2021, 06:30   #41
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

Our B&G Zeus had night mode. Great machine
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:10   #42
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

Our chart screen on deck is in a splash resistant box. The screen minimum is too bright. We sometimes (long transit, open water) throw a towel over it. I recently made a replacement window of tinted plastic. Problem solved. Better screen control would be better.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:26   #43
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

Our Garmin chartplotters automatically dim at night but they are still too bright. I place a dark plastic film over them if we travel at night.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:26   #44
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

Have current model Furuno TZT Touch MFD’s. Dimming is easy and works great. There is also a Night mode that I don’t use.

Another Post is correct: the Red Lights at night has been completely and throughly disproven as better for night vision. Dim white light is best.
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Old 09-07-2021, 07:27   #45
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Re: Night sailing - chart plotter brightness

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I am considering to buy a completely new navigation system, but as I've read in several magazines, they all say that the most important for night sailing is the low light ability of the chart plotter and other instruments.

If the main information (exept the compass) at helm is the chart plotter, which ones has the sufficient low light setting for night sailing, to not disturb my night vision ?

I appreciate all inputs :-)
Bright displays drive me crazy once dark adapted. I'm an avid astronomer too and any stray light is a real detractor and for that reason I'm a big fan of optically clear red screen films. Depending on your display colors you may need to be careful as you can lose resolution however failing that, these are great ways to preserve your night vision while still maintaining safe navigation. Here's a link, you can adapt this to just about any display, tablet, laptop, phone etc. https://shop.astrogizmos.com/category.sc?categoryId=7
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