Polarized glasses and car radios
September 12, 2005
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I just got a new pair of prescription sunglasses, and when I wear them in the car, the radio display on my 1998 Jaguar XJ8 turns almost black. I can't read it at all. This never happened with my other pair of glasses. Are the glasses defective, or is the radio going?
Billy, the good news is you just bought some very nice polarized sunglasses. The bad news is you won't ever be able to read that radio display while wearing them. The outside glass of the monochrome LCD, like on your radio, is polarized, which is part of how such displays work. When you put on a pair of polarized glasses, you add another rotation of polarization, and this makes the display unreadable. I've noticed this seems to affect only simple LCDs, not the more sophisticated active TFT LCDs, such as those used for in-dash GPS navigation screens and PC monitors. You have to choose: excellent glare reduction from polarized sunglasses or a readable LCD.
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