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IFD 540 Night lighting problems...

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SB Jim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SB Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: IFD 540 Night lighting problems...
    Posted: 11 Jan 2021 at 9:24am
I rarely fly at night these days as I am retired but I had the need to fly at night last week.

Much to my surprise the IFD 540 (new install in in Feb. 2015) was quite poor. The bezel and screen were so dimly lit they were very difficult to read. 

Checking the configuration page both were set to SENSOR. The other choices are DIM BUS (which does not work at all in my installation, I’m thinking the shop chose not to hook that up) or USER. I ended up selecting the USER option to fix the issue.

I am stunned at how poorly the SENSOR option worked on my unit. My very old CNX 80 has a sensor that controls the lighting beautifully. I’m wondering if something is amiss.

Anyone?
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oskrypuch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2021 at 11:44am
I think something is amiss. My IFD shows up very nicely at night.

Below are my settings, just go into the System pages, and adjust yours to the same.




Edited by oskrypuch - 11 Jan 2021 at 11:44am
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SB Jim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SB Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2021 at 5:25pm
Thank you; I will give the System pages a try.

Is your IFD wired to your aircraft Dim bus?

I think mine isn’t - but was hoping to rely on the sensor as I do with my CNX 80.

Regards, Jim
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oskrypuch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oskrypuch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2021 at 6:41pm
It was installed a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure it was wired. I don't use the dimbus.

* Orest
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Rallylancer122 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rallylancer122 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2021 at 7:37pm
I have a 540 and a 440 in my plane.  At dusk the 540 dims too aggressively and is difficult to see.  The 440 is fine all the time.  I checked the settings and turns out they identical.   Doh!

Point here is that apparently there is some variation in the sensors and what worked in someone else's plane, or perhaps  what your shop had used on previous installs, may not work on yours.
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skitheo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skitheo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Feb 2021 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by Rallylancer122 Rallylancer122 wrote:

I have a 540 and a 440 in my plane.  At dusk the 540 dims too aggressively and is difficult to see.  The 440 is fine all the time.  I checked the settings and turns out they identical.   Doh!

Point here is that apparently there is some variation in the sensors and what worked in someone else's plane, or perhaps  what your shop had used on previous installs, may not work on yours.


I think you make a good point. Orest's settings are a good starting point for non-dimBus configurations. I had to tweak them to what works best for me. A recent 3 hr night flight allowed us to observe satellites passing overhead and a fantastic view of the Milky Way, yet still be able to read the map on the screen. Following is what I've had since some time between May 2017 and May 2019:

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SB Jim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SB Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2021 at 10:26am
For what it’s worth, my settings were very far off from those above. I’ve changed them to be similar to those provided by Orest.

I haven’t yet had a chance to try them at night, but will. 

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paulr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2021 at 7:54am
Thanks for the discussion-- I need to recheck mine, as I noticed last night that it does the same thing. The IFD and the AXP340 both dim using the panel rheostat so they go from normal to dim to OMG MY EYES THEY BURN.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert114 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2021 at 11:35pm
I also had a problem with the 540 sensor auto-dimming the screen so that I barely could read it. After about a minute, it spontaneously dimmed again, almost to the point of complete darkness. I managed to change the auto setting to dim-bus. Fortunately, the settings were such that the brightness was right and I could read the screen for the last 15 minutes of flight. The manual suggests using the auto-dim mode but that doesn’t seem to be an option for several posters. Disappointing, having to fumble to see the screen in a critical phase of flight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skitheo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 8:53pm
Again, if you have a dimming rheostat in your aircraft, use the DimBus settings. If not, try the settings Orest suggested. There's no excuse to have a poorly configured IFD. Avidyne has made all of the necessary connections and settings available.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert114 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 9:51pm
I don’t fly at night. This was an exception less than an hour after sunset, but very dark. The rheostat for my panel had no effect on the 540 that I could tell (& very little effect on the the panel instruments). Fortunately, the Dimbus setting was the right intensity. I’ll try Orest’s settings but I expected the auto mode to work based on what I had read.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 9:19am
How about a webinar that covers lighting? I find that I dig into the setup pages at night and separately turn down the bezel (which is most obnoxious) then it’s kind of dealers choice of how dim to set the display that matches the “toned down” glass panels. 
I don’t find it a big deal, after all we are pilots with a lot of sitting around and our job is to fiddle with knobs and switches. ;-)
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