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Discussion Starter #1
I just got done installing an Alpine CDA-9827 in my 1997 Camry. Everything seems to be working well except for dimming. Isn't the panel supposed to dim when I turn on my parking lights or headlights?

According to my manual, the CDA-9827 is supposed to support dimming whenever the vehicle's lights are turned on. I connected the orange "illumination" wire on the radio to the orange "dimmer" wire on the Toyota. Is this known not to work, or did I make a mistake? Or did the wire come loose?

Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I get angry when Im sober
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There should be positive and negative dimming wires. Try using one, then the other and see how it works out... I think if you use the positive, the lights will dim with your dimming knob (left of the stereo) while if you use the negative, the display will dim when you turn your lights on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hrm. I only saw one wire for "dimming".

I called Crutchfield and they told me that the Toyota dimming wire is from the dashboard dimming circuit. So I guess when you turn on the headlights, the wire supplies less power to the factory radio display. The dimming cable doesn't supply a discrete on/off signal. It's a variable power setting that allows you to adjust the brightness of the radio display along with that of your dashboard.

In the case of the Alpine unit, it is looking for a 12-volt signal when the lights are supposed to be dimmed and no signal when it is daylight. The tech support guy suggested that I splice into the headlight switch wire to activate dimming.

What do you guys think?
 

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Where's my boomstick?
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why would you want it to dim when you turned you headlights on?

i want mine to get brighter when i turn my lights on.

dark=need more light to see right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Contrast. It's like the display on your alarm clock. During the day, the display needs to be brighter to be able to stand out from the background. At night, it doesn't have to be bright at all for you to read it clearly. In fact, it might be too bright at night.

That's the case with my Alpine radio. It's way too bright at night. It's distracting and it sorta interferes with night vision.

Take a look at stock radios. Almost all of them dim their displays when you turn on the parking lights or headlights.
 

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well that and wouldn't it be nice to match your instrument panel lights?.... picture this scenario...


driver:"damn its a cop"
passenger:" hurry up turn off all your lights and park it"
driver: " i can't turn them off.. the cd player's to bright"
passenger " shit he saw us"
*police sirens*

haha that could be you

but in all seriosness it makes it nice that you can turn it down along with your dash lights. the more control you have over something the better.
 

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There really should be 2 dimming wires coming from the Toyota side... assuming that you did use a harness instead of just snipping wires... not sure if the wire will do anything in you case, but I assume they didn't change the wiring much in just a couple years.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nope. There is just one dimming wire. I used to a voltmeter and found that it was giving 12 volts when the parking lights were on and 0 volts when they were off. That seems to check out.

So it would seem to be a problem with the dimming circuitry in the radio. I will confirm when Crutchfield sends me a new one.
 

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Interesting. I want my Alpine to do the same thing. I had it installed by Circuit city and those lazy mo fos didn't connect the dimming. Just like your stock radio, it dims when you turn on the headlights. I wanted my Alpine to do that too. Its capable of it. calpchen, let me know how it works out.
 

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TN's SRT-4
2005 Dodge Neon SRT4
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All the aftermarket head units that I have seen have had only one dimming wire and the feature comes on when that wire gets 12v.

I, too, have an Alpine head unit (TDA-7558) which I bought back in '95 and the dimming feature does not work wired as is. I did not try to get the feature to work as I am fine without the feature. My head unit has a contrast feature and my setting on the contrast serves me just fine both during the day and night. An Eclipse 5506 did replace the Alpine head unit briefly and the dimming feature worked just fine on the Eclipse but I found it hard at times to read the display. The Alpine did get thrown back in and the Eclipse was tossed out as I liked the features of the Alpine better.
 

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Tarzan said:
Interesting. I want my Alpine to do the same thing. I had it installed by Circuit city and those lazy mo fos didn't connect the dimming. Just like your stock radio, it dims when you turn on the headlights. I wanted my Alpine to do that too. Its capable of it. calpchen, let me know how it works out.
More like the smart harnesses they used didn't have the wires connected or what not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update:

The Alpine CDA-9827 and CDA-9825 will only dim the group of 4 buttons on the left. The display will not dim. Also, the amount of dimming is very, very minute. It was so small that I thought it wasn't working at all. This was confirmed talking to a tech at Alpine support who pulled out a CDA-9827 unit and tried it out himself.

The same tech told me that the CDA-9830 and CDA-9831 units will dim the buttons AND the display, and that the amount of dimming is noticeable. *sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Received and installed the CDA-9831 yesterday. It sounds great and the display dims! I didn't get a chance to test it out at night, but I think I'll be satisfied with this deck. It cost a pretty penny, though.
 
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