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Xenarc 700tsv woes

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  • Xenarc 700tsv woes

    Warning - this is a rant thread. Feel free to disagree with / criticize anything I say here.

    Okay - I purchased a Xenarc 700tsv-b some time ago, roughly a year. This screen has been a mixed bag in terms of quality. I realize they've moved on to better and newer screen models, but still:

    The good:

    Decent daylight visibility.
    Decent touchscreen responsiveness - usable even with gloves on during the winter.
    No (maybe) issues with temperature, survived a cold winter, and a hot summer (the hot melt glue holding it in place melted, but the screen survived )

    The bad:

    Stupid video connector and power connecter placement - really annoying that this monitor doesn't use pigtails.

    Weak clips on the video connector means it falls off easily. Probably a good thing, else the screen-side connector would have broken by now given:

    Cheap power socket that ripped off the motherboard. I ended up soldering in a pigtail of my own.

    Impossibility to get 800x480 native working properly. The best I've been able to do looks right, but crops the rightmost ~15 pixels from the display. Not a big issue as I just adjusted the layout of my on-screen controls.

    Horrible backlight bleed-through. I opted for this monitor because Xenarc advertised it's higher brightness in hopes that this would improve daylight visibility. This works, but even with the display set to a red text on flat black background at night the display bleeds too much light through. I end up dropping the brightness to 0 in the OSD, and even then turning the screen off when not using it, lest my nightvision be destroyed.

    The ugly:

    Backlight problems. For the longest time I thought that this was related to temperature, apparently I'm wrong. My screen will randomly turn off the backlight during operation. Turning the monitor off then on again from the power button will bring the display back, sometimes for only an instant, sometimes for a good 2 minutes. I finally removed the screen from my car and opened it up and fussed with things to find the problem: if I flex the motherboard even a little bit near the backlight power supply section/inverter (top center of the board) it goes out. Alongside this - one teensy tiny chip next to the big flat transformer gets hot enough while the light is running to burn my finger. I'm guessing the heat is normal, but the light cutting off if the board is flexed a little is just plain annoying.

    I've tried touching a hot soldering iron to the solder points of all the components in the area, hoping that re-flowing the solder might fix a cold joint, but no luck.

    So now I have a screen that doesn't quite display my screen properly, is too bright at night when it works, but generally doesn't stay backlit at all, with a repaired power connector.

    Next time I think I'll try their competition.

  • #2
    I'm not sure if the 700IDT is the same model just in the in-dash package, but I have the exact same "too bright" problems at night, I wind up just setting what song I want playing and closing it. Never had any of the other issues you've had though
    "stop with the REINSTALLS, what do you think we got some lame-o installer!!!" - mitchjs
    My Shop


    • #3
      Well - i can live with the good and the bad, as for the ugly?

      I'm considering getting one of these: The middle one on this page looks like it has the right connector for the existing CCFl tube in the xenarc. Hopefully the output is close enough to appropriate.


      • #4
        I have the same problem. When i tap the side of the screen it goes black. But only the light i think.
        Does anyone have a solution to this?


        • #5
          You really think it's too bright? I have my brightness set to 99 (max) and I think it's fine at night. I used to use the remote every night to turn it down, then back up again the next day but decided it's not really that bad. I like how bright it is now.
          Ampie Case
          2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
          256 MB DDR2 PC5400
          Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
          Intel D945GCLF Motherboard

          2005 Honda Civic


          • #6
            Thanks to everyone for their feedback. We do our best to monitor these forums to get feedback on our products and appreciate everyone's input, good, bad, or ugly.

            I'm sorry to hear you are having some issues with the 700TSV. Please note that we did receive a bad batch of monitors with faulty soldering on the inverter late last year. Please do contact Xenarc Technical Support directly to have your monitor returned to us and repaired under warranty. It was only 1 batch of monitors, and we have repaired almost all of them already.

            Monitor brightness has always been a concern of ours. We are proud to say the next version of the 700TSV will have an auto brightness sensor that will adjust the brightness according to ambient lighting. We expect to have this unit available in June 2009.

            If anyone should have issues or questions regarding their monitors, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
            FKA Xenarc_Tech


            • #7
              Me again

              huh - should've checked this forum more frequently.

              Re: brightness: I live out in the middle of nowhere - no street lamps, pitch black when the moon isn't up. In town with plenty of ambient light (as far as night goes) the screen brightness is just fine. But in the pitch black night of my drive home I can tell that my nightvision is significantly impaired by having the screen running. I figure this would be the same for almost all LCD panels.

              Re: warranty repair.

              To be honest I haven't seen Ashley's message until just now - and may have missed out on warranty service. However I'm certain this problem first showed itself after my warranty ran out - AND I've already attempted to re-do the solder for the backlight transformer/replaced the power jack - I wouldn't expect any company to honor a warranty after I did this.

              Yesterday the screen went dark, and wouldn't come back for anything I'd do. So, once again I opened my screen - to see that the transformer block for the backlight inverter had failed. Specifically one leg of the high voltage output side (towards the lamp connecter) had come free - leaving a divot and burnt spot in the circuit board beneath. Strangely enough the copper trace beneath was half intact, leaving a spot to reconnect the transformer.

              Unfortunately - repairing this broken connection has failed to fix the problem. Some other component in the backlight has failed. I lack the tools to test every capacitor / resister / IC or the ccfl tube itself.

              Of course, now that it's impossible to use I realize how completely I've come to rely on this screen. :-D

              So for now, I'll contact xenarc service to see if my unit's serial number matches their unfortunate bad batch of screens, if only so that they can mark it off their list. In the long run I figure I'll try a new inverter in the hopes that the bulb is in decent shape. Just gotta save up


              • #8
                I'd suggest you give Xenarc a chance to fix it. Sounded like Ashley almost made an offer to fix it under warranty.

                I really can't fault their service. I was devestated when my monitor died after I had taken it out of the case but they sorted it out for me and they even paid the freight back to Australia. I was relieved to find the fault was in the input box, not the monitor so they covered the warranty. Now I am a very happpy Xenarc 706TSA owner. From what I can see, they really want to resolve faults to keep their reputation to the fore.
                2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR:


                • #9
                  Two things annoy my about my 700tsv:

                  The little thing: 99 brightness levels. 5 would be fine. Does anyone really value the ability to adjust between level 56 and level 57? Having 99 levels just means it takes a ridiculously long time to dim the screen at night. In fact it takes so long that I never bother.

                  The big thing: About 2 times out of 10, it shows the image shifted an inch to the right, or to the left. Power cycling it usually works (sometimes takes a couple tries), or I can use the remote to straighten it out (works every time), but neither of those should be necessary. I have not touched my laptop's video timing ever. It gets the image in the right place most of the time. But it gets it wrong often enough to be a real annoyance.

                  If anyone knows of a way to solve this problem, I'd love to hear it. It's the most unreliable thing in my CarPC setup.


                  • #10
                    Can't help you with item 2, my PC does not support 800x480 (I tried) so I run mine in 800x600 mode and it is remarkably clear. I run the Road Runner BMV2 skin. I think it is predomonately black for a reason as it is not too bad at night.

                    I gave up on the Brightness menu (with it's 99 settings) ages ago. My remote for the 706TSA has a Picture button. During the day, I run it on Bright and approaching dusk, I change it to Soft. Within about 20 minutes, the GPS kicks into its night screen (black background) and that is fine. That is the only thing I use the remote for. If it is too bright, I just turn the monitor off because I have the buttons in the dash, but I have not done that for a while. The 706TSA has a light sensor for auto brightness, but I don't turn it on for two reasons:
                    1. I did not like it as it flickered as you drove through shadows
                    2. The light sensor is now hidden behind the dash.

                    I never use the RR Night/Day Gamma control to select between Day and Night as it did not make enough difference, the Picture button is much better.
                    2007 Toyota Hilux with a CarPC..

                    OziExplorer GPS Embedded in RR:


                    • #11
                      I should have mentioned that I'm running 800x600. I've tried refresh rates from 60-75 hz but that doesn't seem to have made any difference.