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db252

Dimmer switch for the dash

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db252

A winter project thought. Has anyone attempted or completed this type of project? I would like to be able to dim down the dash lights because when we are out at night, while it's nice to see the gauge display, I would prefer to not be so overwhelmed by the brightness and thus, dim it down. I have looked at different types, although I don't know what would be ideal, and I would probably hide it out of sight since I would rarely adjust it once it was set. What say you?

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jetskipro550
A winter project thought. Has anyone attempted or completed this type of project? I would like to be able to dim down the dash lights because when we are out at night, while it's nice to see the gauge display, I would prefer to not be so overwhelmed by the brightness and thus, dim it down. I have looked at different types, although I don't know what would be ideal, and I would probably hide it out of sight since I would rarely adjust it once it was set. What say you?

Last year at the NW WOW, it was my first time driving in total darkness...and I really didn't like how bright the dash lights were. Putting in some sort of dimmer would be a great fix to that problem...if you can figure out how to do it!

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WakeGirl

It would also be nice to be able to get some ambient light to the switches. As it stands now, you can't see what switch is for what.

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trevorb

This spring I am going to add a dimmer for the perfect pass light. Likely just an adjustable resistor that is hidden under the dash. The perfect pass light is way to bright for night time driving. I might also wire the PP light to come on with the dash lights. The dash lights don't bother me as much as the PP light but I might also put a dimmer on them at the same time. I think it would be great to at least have the option to dim the dash and PP lights.

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pennery

Man, how much night driving do you guys do? I have a dimmer in my boat and I thought it was a dumb idea but I am never out at night time so that may be why I thought that.... :) I can't remember though if it only works the digital dash part or the guages as well... I remember loading the boat a few times when it was starting to get dark and I can see how it would help with the glare off of the windshield but I never thought that was a regular occurrence....

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WakeGirl

Many times in the summer we put the boat on the trailer in pitch dark, there isn't even any light left coming over the hills & the sky is completely the same color. And when on the houseboat we've been known to take a quick set here & there. Innocent.gif Yes, it's a frequent thing for us.

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CedarLakeSkier
A winter project thought. Has anyone attempted or completed this type of project? I would like to be able to dim down the dash lights because when we are out at night, while it's nice to see the gauge display, I would prefer to not be so overwhelmed by the brightness and thus, dim it down. I have looked at different types, although I don't know what would be ideal, and I would probably hide it out of sight since I would rarely adjust it once it was set. What say you?

I REALLY tried to find this out some time ago, check out this thread

Adjusting Brightness link

I even sent an e-mail to Malibu to try to get some information. Malibu responded that they didn't have any information about the display, but that Medallion was the manufacturer of the display. Someone on the thread also mentioned Medallion as the OEM. Check out this link and it will look familiar

Medallion OEM Dash Display

I tried to contact them several times and I never received any kind of response. I asked for either a schematic or which wire controlled the "back light" and what the power requirements were.

After several failed attempts I just figured that, for some reason, Medallion and Malibu did not want people touching these gauges.

It's too bad though. Think about driving at night and someone is holding a bright flashlight about 12 inches from your face pointing at your eyes while you're trying to drive. It renders the dash unusable at night and I just have to shut all the dash lights off (also not that safe, but at least I can see past the bow of the boat).

If you find anything out, I'd really like to hear about it.

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jetskipro550
Man, how much night driving do you guys do? I have a dimmer in my boat and I thought it was a dumb idea but I am never out at night time so that may be why I thought that.... :) I can't remember though if it only works the digital dash part or the guages as well... I remember loading the boat a few times when it was starting to get dark and I can see how it would help with the glare off of the windshield but I never thought that was a regular occurrence....

I have been boating in the dark around 5 times. The last time was a good hour + past sunset so it was DARK and it was the most fun I have ever had driving a boat! I could see from the moons light, the canyon walls so we were driving about 45mph (not super safe) and it was an absolute blast!!!

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dalt1

I have several night time hours of driving each year. I used to throw a towel over the dash lights in my old Bryant to kill the dash lights. In the Bu I think we can turn the dash lights completely off while still having nav lights on. Someone here can confirm this, I haven't had the Bu long and can't remember the light set up. I can tell you that it is much better to drive in complete darkness (Nav Lights only) with no interior lights. It would be nice to be able to dim the dash to barely see it at night.

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sgtsandbagger

Surely just a varistat or varistor would work. Maybe even the led one like sjcoffey pointed out. I know the 04' and up Malibu's have the option of killing the dash lights while the nav lights are on. I'm not sure about the older boats.

I do know tinting the windshield makes the reflection even worse, but it's worth it on the boat and the truck.

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jgouveia3
I have several night time hours of driving each year. I used to throw a towel over the dash lights in my old Bryant to kill the dash lights. In the Bu I think we can turn the dash lights completely off while still having nav lights on. Someone here can confirm this, I haven't had the Bu long and can't remember the light set up. I can tell you that it is much better to drive in complete darkness (Nav Lights only) with no interior lights. It would be nice to be able to dim the dash to barely see it at night.

yes, there is a switch setting with nav lights on, dash off...

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pennery

There is a switch specifically for Nav lights on my boat as well...

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Gordo
This spring I am going to add a dimmer for the perfect pass light. Likely just an adjustable resistor that is hidden under the dash. The perfect pass light is way to bright for night time driving. I might also wire the PP light to come on with the dash lights. The dash lights don't bother me as much as the PP light but I might also put a dimmer on them at the same time. I think it would be great to at least have the option to dim the dash and PP lights.

Yep - Same for me. I need to get that PP light way down....its really bright and white.

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CedarLakeSkier

This spring I am going to add a dimmer for the perfect pass light. Likely just an adjustable resistor that is hidden under the dash. The perfect pass light is way to bright for night time driving. I might also wire the PP light to come on with the dash lights. The dash lights don't bother me as much as the PP light but I might also put a dimmer on them at the same time. I think it would be great to at least have the option to dim the dash and PP lights.

Yep - Same for me. I need to get that PP light way down....its really bright and white.

Trevorb and Gordo,

When you say "Perfect Pass" do you "REALLY" mean perfect pass or do you mean Malibu's Precision Pro Speed Control?

The reason I ask is during my previous quest to find information on this I seem to remember that Perfect pass actually had a setting that you could use to dim the light, not so with the Precision Pro Speed Control.

I also want to make sure that everyone interested in this is talking about the same thing. That became a problem on the thread I linked to above. In my case the Standard (as of 2006+)Malibu Precision Pro Speed Control is the offending gauge....

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db252

Alright, I'm gonna do this. Don't quite know exactly how but hopefully the way I do it will effect all gauge lights including the precision pro. I'll document as well as I can when I get to it.

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CedarLakeSkier
Alright, I'm gonna do this. Don't quite know exactly how but hopefully the way I do it will effect all gauge lights including the precision pro. I'll document as well as I can when I get to it.

db252,

Good luck, I can't wait to here how it turns out.

It's always best to be a back seat driver, so I'll make a couple of suggestions. You can ignore them or use them if you want, you just have to let us know how it turns out Thumbup.gif

Suggestion 1: The regular dash lights don't seem that bright (or maybe it's just because the precision pro light is so bright they don't seem bright). You may want to just try dimming the precision pro first.

Suggestion 2: If you decide to dim all the lights, you may want to throw an additional "fixed" resistor on the power line that goes to the precision pro. This would bring the level of the precision pro light to the level of the rest of the dash lights, then the dimmer for the dash would correct everything at the same level. One way to find an approximate value would be to get a cheap variable resistor and put it in line to the precision pro. Spin the dial until the level of the precision pro matches the dash lights. You can then use a multi-meter to check the resistance in the variable resistor or you can just take your best guess at a value based on the range of the variable resistor and the dial position.

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ibelieve

For just Perfect Pass, here is the solution:

"On newer versions you press the MENU and UP key to adjust the contrast and backlight level. On older versions there is no direct control. You can put a switch on the BROWN wire leading to the display to disable the backlight. You could dim it as well by adding a 0-100 ohm inline resistor."

For Precision Pro, I have no idea. Hopefully db252 will figure it out.

/Steve

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db252

Crap.....what am I getting myself into? ANY advise is appreciated and I welcome it because I will probably get info on something I didn't think of. I will post success or failure.

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db252

Alright, I'm gonna do this. Don't quite know exactly how but hopefully the way I do it will effect all gauge lights including the precision pro. I'll document as well as I can when I get to it.

db252,

Good luck, I can't wait to here how it turns out.

It's always best to be a back seat driver, so I'll make a couple of suggestions. You can ignore them or use them if you want, you just have to let us know how it turns out Thumbup.gif

Suggestion 1: The regular dash lights don't seem that bright (or maybe it's just because the precision pro light is so bright they don't seem bright). You may want to just try dimming the precision pro first.

Suggestion 2: If you decide to dim all the lights, you may want to throw an additional "fixed" resistor on the power line that goes to the precision pro. This would bring the level of the precision pro light to the level of the rest of the dash lights, then the dimmer for the dash would correct everything at the same level. One way to find an approximate value would be to get a cheap variable resistor and put it in line to the precision pro. Spin the dial until the level of the precision pro matches the dash lights. You can then use a multi-meter to check the resistance in the variable resistor or you can just take your best guess at a value based on the range of the variable resistor and the dial position.

Okay...small update. This project is involving Malibu's Precision Pro and gauges so not to create any confusion. B_Potts suggestion made me think that the Precision Pro is the biggest factor in brightness. Now, what I have done to this moment is something that works for my situation and may not be for others. That being said, all I have done is cut the wire that supplies the lighting to the Precision Pro and added a quick connect if I want it reconnected. I have no use for the light within the Precision Pro at night time since I can get all relevant info from the gauge clusters and this has made a huge difference. This has taken away all the light from that gauge when the dash lights are turned on and by no means effects the operation or standard display of the Precision Pro. I have also further disected the wiring and found the line that controls the lighting for the Medallion gauges and will be experimenting with a dimmer switch to control those and I will repost once I do that.

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mrothwell

So, now why don't you splice a resistor back into the wire you cut. That way you will have the light back, but permanently dimmer.

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ibelieve

What color wire is it and/or how else do you identify the correct wire.

Thanks,

Steve

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db252
So, now why don't you splice a resistor back into the wire you cut. That way you will have the light back, but permanently dimmer.

That would be a good idea for some but not in my case. My entire interior lighting is red and with that light on be it high or low is very distracting. When we are out at night, I am not using any cruise control and all other information is available on the Medallion gauge display so I really have no use for seeing that gauge at all.

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db252
What color wire is it and/or how else do you identify the correct wire.

Thanks,

Steve

If you are referring to the Precision Pro, it is the blue wire within the 5 wire harness. This is the one I cut about 2 inches behind the quick connect that attaches to the Precision Pro and then added a quick connect if I ever wanted it reconnected. Just so we are clear, I removed the entire gauge cluster on the dash by removing the 3 screws that hold it in for simple access. Other than kinda knowing that blue wires are usually the light power supply, I used an ohm meter to test voltage when activating the appropriate switches.

If you are talking about the wire that controls the Medallion gauge display, that wire is also blue (fairly common) in regards to coming off the dash switch. If you took the actual switch out, it is the bottom right contact that sends the power (throught the blue wire) to the Medallion gauges. This is the wire I plan on adding the dimmer inline with. We'll see if that works.

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ilovetrains

I am going to have to look at this when I get the LSV out later this year. We frequently pull in after dark and I would like to be able to see the speed etc., without the digital display.

The depth is also in the regular gauge, IIRC, so there really is no reason to have the LCD lit at all.

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