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  • "On-the-fly" contrast/brightness control...

    It seems that everyone wants to put the largest display right in the middle of their dash but no one is really addressing the issue of how bright and distracting these things can be at night. Don't get me wrong, I'm trying to put an 8.5" screen in my dash, too, but safety is my number one concern.
    One of the ways I think this can be achieved is by using the contrast/brightness slider controls on some of the old laptops (Fujitsu had these in particular ). This gives you QUICK manual change control vs. going into the display software and making changes that way.
    The reason I believe this feature is important is because I drove 2000+ plus miles from Phoenix to Austin (and back) recently and alot of the driving was at night with a laptop in the passenger seat listening to MP3's. The 15.1" screen (as you can imagine) is WAY too bright and much of a distraction when driving at night, especially with the danger of deer wanting to play "Chicken" with me on the freeway. I would like the same quick response convenience (shutting the laptop closed) in my dash, but still be able to see the data onscreen.
    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to build such a control? Does anyone else feel what I am trying to say or am I alone in this?

  • #2
    I was thinking that myself recently.

    Perhaps now is the time to have a light sensor/CDS Cell or perhaps a wire that connects to the cars headlight switch that would auto dim the display.

    Some cars have a wire that goes from the radio to the headlight switch that dims the Radio. That would be a first step.

    -Mario

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    • #3
      the "kiss" solution would be to choose skins/windows colors that are dark at night. what if windows could choose display properties based on the time of day? that would be cool.

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      • #4
        Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm...

        -Mario

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        • #5
          as a quick followup, "windowblinds" http://www.windowblinds.net/default.asp allows for easy skins.

          but, what about something as simple as changing the gamma setting based on the computer's clock?

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          • #6
            Can you put a dimmer switch in-line with the backlight? Then just mount the slider/rotary switch inside the car?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nxt125
              Can you put a dimmer switch in-line with the backlight? Then just mount the slider/rotary switch inside the car?
              No, I think you have to do PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) in order to 'dim' the backlight. It's not exactly an incandescent bulb or an LED in there.
              [------------------|--] 90% Completed
              Not installed, yet.
              Developing Completely DirectX shell.
              P4 1.7GHz, 256MB RAM, 40GB-7200RPM HD

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              • #8
                I have thought about trying an inverter from an old laptop that has a built in dimmer.
                A 97 Dodge Ram pickup with a 14" LCD running at 1024x768. A Dell desktop PII 400, 128MB Ram, 8GB & 20GB Drives, TV tuner, Cd Burner, Garmin legend GPS, Mappoint 2002, win98, and winamp.
                pics

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                • #9
                  I'm working on a small, three position switch to put in the dash next to the screen. It will be "both backlights", "one backlight", and "off".
                  www.arbybean.com

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