Topic: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

I always thought the minimum brightness on the Dash was a bit too high. Years ago I found this "hack" by altering the factory calibration of the ambient light sensor and display. It works great - at night the Dash adds barely any light to the room but is easily readable at 18"" from my head.

Im not exactly sure where this came from originally, its in my notebook now. perhaps the forum post at designstudioschool dot com.

Reposting here for reference:

It's best to do this at nightime, or in a dark room. The dimness setting is on screen 12.

1. Open Notepad on your PC
2. Save the empty file as "fi_inspection", save as type "all files"
3. Copy the file to a blank USB disk, and insert into the usb port of the Dash and wait a minute or 2.
4. Unplug the power from the Dash, wait a minute, then plug back in.
5. In a minute or 2 the Dash should boot to a final inspection screen.

Do the following:

Press the green arrow.

Screen 1: press all the "dots" until they are all gone, press and hold your finger in the red circle until the next screen shows.
Screen 2: press volume + twice
Screen 3: press volume - twice
Screen 4: press snooze button twice
Screen 5: pick up the Dash and move the red ball to the 3 areas
Screen 6: filp the Dash upside down and back
you should see a green arrow, press it.
Screen 7: insert any 1/8" phono jack into to the headphone jack of the Dash.
Screen 8: Press the red button next to "Microphone"
wait a few seconds until the progress bar finishes. Then press the button next to "headphone"

unplug the phono jack

Screen 9: Press left speaker button. When sound has finished, press the right speaker button.
Screen 10: Turn off the lights in the room. When the "low lux" is zero, press the low lux button. Wait a few seconds for the green smiley face. Turn on the room light and hold the Dash so that the "high lux" will max out, and while it's maxed out press the high lux button.
Screen 11: just press "confirm", wait about 30 seconds for the green arrow, and press it.
Screen 12: Here is where you adjust the dimness. Turn off the lights in the room. Press the "-" button until the screen goes black, then press the "+" just until you see the faint screen. The increments are small so go back and forth with the "-" and "+" as many times as needed until you're happy. It's best to let your eyes adjust to the darkness of the room for final setting. When the low level is correct, press "confirm", wait about 20-30 seconds for the screen to go bright, then press the green arrow.
Screen 13: test all 3 backlight settings, off, dimmest, brightest. Press green arrow.

Press "finish", and turn your lights back on.

The Dash will reboot. It will ask to confirm your network. Follow the screens. When it's all booted up, you'll have to set reset your time zone. In the "menu" go to "time / date", press edit clock, select time zone. Remove the usb disk.

That should do it. It's still just a tiny bit too lit for my taste, but much better than it was out of the box. It's really easier than it's written, but I wanted to spell it out. I hope this is helpful.

Best Regards

Re: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

um... would a slider that goes all the way to 'barely perceptible' in night mode be good enough?

you have to look really close... that's my 'night sky' notebook background behind it, room lights off.

Cleaning up any loose bits and bytes.

Re: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

I know the B70 doesn't get dark enough at the minimum Night Mode slider. My C10s are dimmer enough at minimum slider. Thanks for your efforts.

Re: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

Is this brightness hack still possible with the new Chumby software installed?

I would love to dim my C10 below it's current minimum setting.

Re: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

I think it will still work, but I haven't tried it.  You'll need to use a dongle that does not have the chumby software on it, since it's likely to conflict.

6 (edited by Mr. Neato Yesterday 13:31:59)

Re: Sony Dash Brightness Hack

It looks like this hack may not be possible post-Chumbyfication. 

Using the same FAT 1GB dongle I used to install Chumby, emptied of all but a blank "fi_inspection" file, my C10 just boots into Chumby as normal.  3 attempts, no final inspection screen.

If anyone else has any success, please let me know.