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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 E39 M5, I recently upgraded the navComputer to MKIV and replaced the LCD screen with a new sharp screen from eBay.
Prior to this upgrade, I hadn't ever used the GPSNAV function but had used the radio so I know the display was visible.

Since I replaced the screen, the display is very dim. as per some posts, I adjusted the brightness in the <Settings> menu and went to the hidden settings menu in the Nav and updated the brightness there too.
I have the interior lights rolled to the brightest setting and still far too dim. in the daylight, the nav is just unusable.

Any suggestions as to what might be affecting this, I suspect that had I connected something wrong, the new screen just wouldn't work.
Is this effect part of the auto-dimming?
I'm trying to avoid taking it all apart again.

thanks.
 

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It would be helpful if you have a picture of the actual working screen.
I am assuming
1. A faulty screen, the backlight died, so it would be pretty dim almost as if its not working.
2. If the new screen is a glare type maybe the sunlight is too bright?..
2.1 if that is the case, try and put an anti-glare screen protector on it, it might help

Honestly, I don't know about everyone else, but MKIV is a old technology with no map updates at this point.
I am just using my phone for satnav purposes
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah. I don't really use the satnav cause the phone is better. wish I could project google maps to screen. sigh.
anyway having the map on all the time is a novelty for me. I'm hoping I can find some usefulness to it, but regardless. the screen is dim for all functions.
I was hoping that there was some correlation to the auto-dimming feature and this sudden dimness. maybe I obscured the sensor during the "fix"

I guess ill have to take it apart and check everything.
 

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Taking apart is usually the way to go on these kind of stuff. But if it looks fine during the night, you probably didnt do anything wrong. These old LCD screens are never that bright.
If you wish to project google maps, honestly consider using a Android Unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah ill have to. it was far brighter before.
 

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Assuming the job and connectors were all done properly, you either;

A) Have the incorrect screen (ie. Viewing angle)
B) Need to adjust the control board brightness ( NOT the nav gps brightness ) this is a physical adjuster. And a mini-PITA to do.
C) Faulty LCD

Pics would help lots though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Two requests for images... I'll get pictures for this in the daylight tomorrow, Took some tonight but in contrast to the dark, they are virtually worthless.
While I was out there, I took a look around and noticed that my main brightness settings were configured at 50% after I had set them to 100% yesterday.
I remember reading somewhere on a thread that unplugging the battery for about 15 min has some effect on this. I'll try that after I take the pictures rather than jump into the major surgery of taking it apart again.

This is the screen that I bought on eBay. (BMW NAVIGATION MONITOR RADIO DISPLAY WIDE SCREEN LCD E38 E39 E46 540i 740i M3 M5) it matched the one it pulled out almost exactly except that the orange and black wires (thicker two) are about 2 cm shorter than the original ones.
The viewing angle definitely brightens the screen when i look at it from drivers position rather than leaning over the center armrest. while there are various differences in viewing angle, this unit had the correct part number and looked the same. but anything is possible. ill make sure to take pictures if i do take it apart.

What is this control board brightness you speak of and how do I adjust it?
 

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It's a long read. Just replaced LCD screen in Nav monitor! - Xoutpost.com

I had used GermanAudioTech for my E53 (Which is overpriced and sucks FYI). The E39 LCD should be plug and play.

I had used their E53 version, thinking "Oh, they have the E53 specific one, perfect" ....Nope. They give you a rando one and say "You have to adjust the brightness yourself". Which is top tier level BS for the price. As stated in the link above, adjusting this is for the feint of heart and a royal PITA. (E53's are weird in that they use a unique viewing angle)

Literally any semi-trustworthy Chinese sourced LCD is more worthwhile. Which is what I did for 2 E39 screens in the past for fraction of the price.

What you should notice when installing a new LCD is more contrast and increased brightness.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's a long read. Just replaced LCD screen in Nav monitor! - Xoutpost.com

I had used GermanAudioTech for my E53 (Which is overpriced and sucks FYI). The E39 LCD should be plug and play.

I had used their E53 version, thinking "Oh, they have the E53 specific one, perfect" ....Nope. They give you a rando one and say "You have to adjust the brightness yourself". Which is top tier level BS for the price. As stated in the link above, adjusting this is for the feint of heart and a royal PITA. (E53's are weird in that they use a unique viewing angle)

Literally any semi-trustworthy Chinese sourced LCD is more worthwhile. Which is what I did for 2 E39 screens in the past for fraction of the price.

What you should notice when installing a new LCD is more contrast and increased brightness.
which model number or supplier would you suggest? i saw the thread had a LOT of discrepancies over model numbers 51 through 60's. Ill see what they say about taking it back and getting me the correct model
 

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From what I've gathered, most are the E39 spec.

I don't see too much correlation on part numbers anymore. I specifically went with GAT since they had what I thought was the P/N for E53s, but that was even a wash.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I assume then that I should try to keep the screen I bought and then adjust x, y, & z on the board. After a couple of less invasive things
 

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Take a look at my thread here. There are viewing angle, contrast, and brightness adjustment screws on the back of the screen. You mentioned that your brightness is resetting to 50% as well. That cannot be fixed without replacing the entire 16:9, which is what I had to do. You can probably mitigate it to some extent with the brightness adjustment screw on the back of the screen though. The root cause of all my issues was a bad eBay map disk. Strongly recommend using the OE map disk or nothing at all.

 

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Take a look at my thread here. There are viewing angle, contrast, and brightness adjustment screws on the back of the screen. You mentioned that your brightness is resetting to 50% as well. That cannot be fixed without replacing the entire 16:9, which is what I had to do. You can probably mitigate it to some extent with the brightness adjustment screw on the back of the screen though. The root cause of all my issues was a bad eBay map disk. Strongly recommend using the OE map disk or nothing at all.

Funny, Ryan on E39Source just posted a video about bad map disc from ebay causing issues. My car still has its original 2002 disc maps. It does still work, but I have no intentions of ever using it. I just keep it for s**ts and giggles lol.

Sent from Uranus with Love.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I find it unlikely that the disk causes the brightness issues. im not having any other problems just dimming. were i to get a bmw dvd i suspect the issue would continute. I'm more inclined to suspect that these boards get twisted in this car cause of the vibration and some solder joints end up flexing. heating, cooling and just general use might make them go haywire as evidenced in the aforementioned thread where the system board was bad in the nav unit.
 

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Hi,

Do have a search around various BMW forums as I recall there's a few threads about the screen brightness settings changing from a default setting each time the car is started. This 'might' be linked to it. I can't remember if there's a definitive reason or resolution but I do recall it's possible there's some issue/problem with the GPS computer module (and possibly a video module) that's mentioned.

Also, the viewing angle has been mentioned, but prior to pulling the monitor panel apart again to adjust the small potentiometers, check to see if the displays brightness appears better if you move your head further inwards to the car. If the screen then does indeed appear brighter and clearer then it'd suggest the panel itself isn't faulty and will just need the viewing angle adjusted once you open the panel up. If the brightness stays the same no matter what angle you look/view it then keep the possibility it's a faulty panel. Once you've had a chance to check out the threads (check the UK centric bmw5.co .uk forum) on various forums and try any suggestions there, a new panel may be the way you'll need to go.

You're correct in that the internal PCB's and electronic components and IC's do deteriorate over time and given the newest OEM modules are now at least 17/18 years old (depending on the cars actual build date and the build date of the modules themselves) it's well known that each module in the audio/multimedia system has multiple points of failure. The Monitor has the TFT screens issues, the ribbon cables issue, the gears for the panel slide down/up mechanism and the illuminated buttons sometimes not working in terms of backlighting and non functioning buttons on one side, sometimes both to name the common ones. There's numerous issues for the GPS computer, the amplifier both DSP and non DSP too, so in short, keeping the OEM setup is potentially the costliest in the longer term.

Good luck with resolving this & to hoping the rest of the setup doesn't go wrong .. too often!

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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To date, I replaced the screen, purchased a replacement amp and a replacement radio when the amp didn't fix the problem of having no sound. The radio did fix it. All 3 cost around $50 for used parts and a new (probably China, can't recall but price) replacement screen. So, around $150 total and it sounds great (to me).

Funny, I too recently noticed the screen was really dim and wouldn't adjust through the on-screen adjustment or the manual side dash toggle. I also installed a screen protector, yeah they are actually sold and are perfect fit.

I didn't considered the potentiometer, but good call, maybe I'll check. Did not know the screen has one too. The CD changer that wasn't working now works after years after having adjusted the potentiometer, having read some comment from other thread about broken CD changer, probably from DennisCooper, too, I think. Fixed it a few years ago, time flies.

Point is, my screen is also dim after replacement. Looks great and brand spanking new though in 2020. Um, data point.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Im going to try some less invasive options this weekend and hopefully something simple works before i have to take it apart and play with dials.

thanks for everyones help so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
so driving around the other day i re-evaluated the screen and noticed that if i move my perspective farther left, the screen does get brighter. so I think after all I will have to adjust the viewing angle so that my resting position is synced with the screen. def a weekend project. well see how it goes. I'm still working so i cant do any of this during the week.
 
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