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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

LCD Backlight Not Working on Smartfade


LCD backlight not working
Text is displayed
LCD backlight may occasionally flicker on and off

Explanation of Issue

If the LCD backlight is flickering from time to time, it is most often due to a loose nut holding the LCD assembly to the main fader board. The ground for the LCD goes through a metal screw and a metal nut. If this connection is loose, it can cause LCD backlight flickering.
This may also be the cause for the backlight to be non-functional


  1. Open the console by removing the 6 (Smartfade 12/48) or 10 (Smartfade 24/96, ML) screws along the underside top and bottom edges
  2. Lift the face panel off of the bottom tray. If desired, unplug the ribbon cable
  3. The face panel back side will be visible. There is no need to remove the circuit board from the top metalwork
  4. There will be four nuts in one corner, under the LCD, that are visible from the back side of the board. Check that all these nuts are tight or are present. If needed, tighten the four nuts. Nut driver size: 5.5mm
  5. If the ribbon cable was unplugged, plug back in the ribbon cable
  6. Place the face panel back on to the bottom tray, taking care not to pinch the LCD ribbon cable between the two metal pieces
  7. Power on the console and check if the LCD backlight is functional. If so, power down the console and reinstall the short screws.

If the LCD backlight remains off, the backlight may have failed entirely. The console will still be functional without the backlight.


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