During the installation of Saitek’s Flight Instrument Panels (FIPs), a few images of the company’s other products will also be copied to the device’s driver directory. These product shots, since they are useless, can be removed or replaced easily (see my Post 28: Flight Instrument Panel Tweak – Part 1). However, by doing so, the FIP will show the serial number screen all the time when FSX is not engaged.
Saitek’s official states in the company’s product forum that because the intensity of the LCD is so mild that the screen of FIP won’t get hurt even it is left on for a long period of time.
Above situation stayed true for more than two years for my first three FIPs until I bought two more FIPs for my system recently.
Although I immediately spotted that the two new FIPs are far more brighter than the previous ones, I didn’t at once realize that the screens of the two new FIPs would get burn-in so easily in the first two days of normal use, in which they were left on with the static serial number screen for extended periods of time during session switchings, etc.
Normally, these LCD burn-in marks will fade away after the screen is turned off for a few hours or over-night. Unfortunately, the burn-in marks on my new FIPs were so persistence that simply turning off the power of FIPs wouldn’t cure the problem.
In order to erase these burn-in marks, I built two sets of single solid color images — one pure BLACK and one pure WHITE — they were put under C:\Program Files\Saitek\DirectOutput directory, and be used only one set at a time since the 95 images (320 x 240) in both sets are using the same filenames from Fip1 to Fip95.
After running these two solid color sets alternately for a few days, the pixels persistently imprinted were slowly resetting to their natural states again, meaning the burn-in marks were gradually recovered.
At present, I am using the pure BLACK image set as the screen saver for my FIPs, so that the serial number screen will only display for 5 seconds and then all FIPs turn into black for up to 8 minutes (each of the 95 images lasts for 5 seconds) while FSX is not engaged. This is good enough to prevent the FIPs from burning-in again even they are powered-on all the time.
DO NOTE that Saitek’s original product images are NO GOOD to be used as the screen saver for FIPs. Even though these images are rotating in every 5 seconds in the original setup, their identical backgrounds still inevitably form a static display that is bad enough to cause burning-in to the FIPs.
Also, the effectiveness of this recovering process would still be affected by how long the solid-color image sets are run, and whether the FIPs are kept being used extensively during the period.
In order to get a good result,
- One must minimize the usage of FIPs during the recovering period (at least for a few days) so that the FIPs can take a “good rest” for recovering; and
- Try running the pure WHITE image set more because its high contrast and high intensive would slightly “burn in” the whole areas of FIPs, making the burn-in marks less significant. In my case, the time was a double than the BLACK one.
Finally, this recovering process is no panacea, especially to those seriously burnt FIPs. But in most cases it should help to a certain extent.