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Consumer Advocate
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The only real big complaint I have about the 02 Altima is the lack of illumination for the steering wheel control buttons for stereo and cruise control. The other night I had to wait for freeway lights to pass by while I tried to figure out the buttons for the cruise control. I was thinking just then if only the buttons were somewhat illuminated...then it hit me. Glow in the dark material! I wondered if there was some glow in the dark stick-on material that can be cut to cover the lettering and symbols that are laid out on those controls.

Did some searching on the net and found some good leads. One place here -

http://www.glo-net.com/glow/index.html

has material in sticker, powder, and paint form. What is interesting is the paint form, when covered with a protective epoxy coating, will allow the glow material to last 10 years. Problem is this stuff is expensive. They offer sample kits, but at $188 for the baby green color kit it would be a very expensive experiment.

The sticker form is more managable in cost at $30 for a Sample Sheet = 0.5 meter width by 1 meter length. I'm thinking of trying this to see how thick the material is and how good it can take abuse from my thumbs. If this stuff holds up to my tests then I may look into mass producing the layout for those controls. Only problem I have is figuring out how to make a custom cutting templates to stamp out the layouts on these glow sheets - any ideas out there? I can tell you right now that looking at the size of the lettering on those buttons it is going to take some steady hands and lots of patience to get the entire buttons layout completed. If anyone wants to take this project on be my guest. If you make money on it, patent it, turn it in to a multi-million dollar business that is fine with me - just give me due credit as to who first thought of it. ;) My time is quite limited and I can't guarantee project results in a timely manner. Or if anyone else out there has better ideas on how to make those buttons glow I would love to hear them.

Keep in mind the purpose of these glow in the dark materials is so we don't not have to wire any lights.
 

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Consumer Advocate
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Found another glow material and....ah...don't laugh but it is the Jonny-Glow for the toilet bowl.

http://www.jonnyglow.com/

Apparently the material is made from the same stuff with a 10-hour glow life as seen in the website mentioned above, but for only $6.95. I figured if this stuff can take a lot of...well...shit then it must be very durable. :D

Oh yeah, gotta love their theme song!
 

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Just a warning about glow-in-the-dark products. They don't produce light, only store it. As such, they need to be exposed to light to "charge up", and the glow will diminish the longer it goes without exposure to light.

How about one of those "book lights" that clip on? Self contained battery, and if you find the LED versions their very low power drain=long battery life. It might be possible to adapt the clip to integrate nicely with the wheel rim. Just a thought. Add a light sensor and the light will only come on when you need it.

OpalBlue
 

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This is a problem on the Altima

I rented an Altima for a business trip after they first came out (2.5S). We took turns driving and although everyone thought the car was great, we all had trouble with the cruise buttons. It is not just the fact that they are not lit, but that they are somehow not intuitive. When I want to quickly hit cancle I couldn't find the button. We all seemed to be pushing on the plastic around when the buttons are instead of the actual buttons.
I think this is just poor design, as we drive all different kinds of cars as rentals and are always using cruise without this kind of confusion.
Remember I am a big altima fan, but this seemed to be the biggest weakness compared to other cars in this class.

KMC
 

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Consumer Advocate
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From what the first web site indicated, the glow products you are referring to are the cheaper and older version that do not produce a glow for a very long. This new material is supposed to glow anywhere from 8 to 10 hours with 10 to 15 minutes of exposure to light. That recharge likely can happen during the day when you have your car parked outside. They also state the illumination is much improved than the older material - brightness is at greatest within first hour I think, then down to half its initial illumination.

I figured there should be enough glow to at least be able to discern the location and meaning of the buttons in the dark. Don't want anything too bright to be a nuisance while driving, so the minimal glow should be enough. I'm hoping the illumination level is as much as that found on the buttons along the door panel. That amount would be just right I think.
 

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I really can't understand how the cruise control buttons are not intuitive. It looks pretty standard issue. Resume/accel - cancel - set/cruise and there is an on/off button on the steering wheel.

I've had no problems without it being lit up. Granted that I would also prefer the buttons if it was lit up but it's certainly not a big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
lsc said:
I really can't understand how the cruise control buttons are not intuitive. It looks pretty standard issue. Resume/accel - cancel - set/cruise and there is an on/off button on the steering wheel.

Yes, it is intuitive if you leave your hand in the position near those controls. For me I more than often have my hands on the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o'clock positions for long drives. At night, it is when I move my hands down to those controls is where I lose track of where the buttons are located.

I've had no problems without it being lit up. Granted that I would also prefer the buttons if it was lit up but it's certainly not a big deal.
Well, if I do manage to successfuly find a way to illuminate these buttons I'll promise not to make it mandatory that everyone implement my methods to make them glow. Deal? ;)

By the way, for those interested I found another site that sells the yellowish-green glow stickers here -

http://www.mfiap.com/halo/index.htm

These may better match the colors with the gauge lights. I've still yet to order any of this stuff yet. Still mining for more sources.
 

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04-05 Pedal Insert
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Isc

You are gifted, I fumble with it in the day time, at night I am lost. I bought a miners helmut with the cyclops light for night vision in the car. Also Installed Xenon bulb
 
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