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Old 06-13-2015, 10:07 PM   #1
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2003 Tradewinds Electroluminescent Backlight Dimming

I recently purchased a 2003 Tradewinds M395 (Spartan)
The text for the dash switches, etc., is backlit by an electroluminescent strip. When I rotate the light switch knob to try to dim the display, I find that this lighting is either all on or all off. I can't adjust it so that it is dim. Is this the way it works for other people, or are others able to dim the backlighting? Interestingly, the dimming control that is associated with the gauges is a different rotating control.

In some other posts, I notice that some people have had issues with the inverter that drives this display (Teck Lite ISW 5657) going bad.

Thanks for any assistance.
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Old 10-23-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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We have recently purchased a tradewinds 2000, 7370. And I also noticed that the panel light is controlled with your dimmer switch for the dash. But it seems to merely go off or on there is no in between.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:28 AM   #3
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dash lights

I wish I had that problem, the dash gauges in my Islander are back lit in red, I just can't see them at night. I would change them all out if it wasn't so expensive.
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Old 11-13-2015, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daledrob View Post
We have recently purchased a tradewinds 2000, 7370. And I also noticed that the panel light is controlled with your dimmer switch for the dash. But it seems to merely go off or on there is no in between.
Sounds like a dirty rheostat. If you can get to it a couple shots of contact cleaner and cycling it back and forth a few times should have it back in action. You wouldn't need to take the rheostat apart, but you would need to get to it so you can shoot cleaner in through and small openings.

There's a wiper that slides across a wire winding that creates a voltage drop to dim as it moved down the wire (rheostat). When the wiper hits the stop you'll get full brightness. When the wire and wiper get dirty no voltage gets through and so you'll have no lights.

Hope this helps!
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:22 PM   #5
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Thanks I hadn't thought about that, the rheostat on the back. I am familiar with rheostats. I have not thought that deep into the problem yet. So thanks for that and I'll let you know how it turns out. I will be gone for over a month, so when I get back it's time to get back into the old motorhome and start working on it so we can hit the road again.
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Old 11-15-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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You might also just try turning the knob back and forth really fast a few times. I have repaired many control panels in aircraft doing this. They just get dirty. Spraying with contact cleaner as mentioned earlier is best but try this if you can't get to the rheostat to spray it.
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