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Astronomers need lights-off mode

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by SucreTease, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. SucreTease

    SucreTease Teslarian

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    I am an amateur astronomer. I periodically travel to remote dark-sky locations with my astronomical equipment, which are generally events for many astronomers hosted my an astronomical organization.

    These organizations generally have a rule on the observing field that bans white lights of any kind. This is because white light destroys night vision, which can take as much as 30 minutes to reach its maximum sensitivity. Astronomers use dim red lights, at the far end of the visible spectrum, which do not destroy night vision. If you do not want to have dozens of astronomers start yelling at you, do not turn on a non-red light. Failure to respect this rule can result in you being asked to leave.

    The Model S does not provide any means for extinguishing all lighting. As a result, I am unable to use my Tesla for transportation to such events. Even taking the rash measure of turning off power to the vehicle, which the manual states will remain off until either the brake is pressed of the display screen is touched, does not work, because, as soon as a door is opened, the car turns back on (i.e. the manual is incorrect, and this action basically makes the "power-off" feature useless, since the car turns right back on as soon as you open a door). Since most of my equipment is in the vehicle and needs to be accessed at various times throughout the night, there is no way for me to stop lights from turning/remaining on.

    I have found ways to stop the headlights, parking lights, and dome lights from coming on. However, every time a door is opened, the display screens and all the interior lighting comes on as well as the lights in the door handles. I counted at least 20(!!) interior and exterior lights (not counting dome lights), that come on when a door is opened, in addition to the two displays.

    Tesla needs to implement a lights-off mode (that includes blanking the displays) in order to support not only astronomers, but others with similar needs.This mode should prevent all lighting and display screens from illuminating when a door is opened. I would suggest that a touch of the central display would reawaken it.
     
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  2. Max*

    Max* Charging

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    You can set the dome lights to off.


    Also, while I get where you're coming from, I wouldn't hold my expectations that Tesla would actually do this. This features seems like it would be applicable to a very small market segment, and for them to divert their resources seems like a waste.
     
  3. Jimmy 1

    Jimmy 1 Member

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    Cant you do this with the screen cleaning mode and shutting off all the lights on the control panel?
     
  4. kugasman

    kugasman Member

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    You could easily cover up the interior displays with a cloth or blanket. I think you should do a thread on replacing all the other interior lights and door handle lights with red LEDs. That would look awesome. A matte wrap or paint protection film with all red LED would be a stealth fighter for the road! Very cool.

    As an amateur photographer, I am also frequently trying to work in the dark. I find it very useful to have "some" light for working, changing lenses, adjusting focus etc. I usually use a red headlamp to free my hands.
     
  5. Don TLR

    Don TLR Member

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    You'll just have to get there earlier, I do a lot of night photography and yes its a bummer when a light source ruins a shot..
     
  6. robby

    robby Member

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    I know we're a niche but I want to give a big +1 to this. Our other car is a compact sedan and I can't even get my rig into it without near-complete disassembly:

    IMG_4079.JPG

    On the spectrum of complexity this would be an easy feature to build, and there may be other use cases like camping which have larger user bases.
     
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  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    There might be more of us astronomers out there than you think, especially in Tesla’s demographic.
     
  8. JHuberman

    JHuberman Member

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    Try a clever tweet to Elon... sometimes it works
     
  9. SucreTease

    SucreTease Teslarian

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  10. SucreTease

    SucreTease Teslarian

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    Already tried that. But my account is fairly new, and anyone who has been on Twitter for more than a couple of weeks knows that it is a cesspool of scammers who create new accounts for each scam faster than they can be shutdown (just look at the replies to every single tweet from Elon to see how many fake Elon Musk accounts and supporting accounts swarm like flies to scam people about "free Etherium cryptocurrency").

    All that leads one by necessity to filter out tweets from new account holders. Hence, I doubt it is possible for any tweet I post to get through to Elon. I will have to ask someone else with an established count to tweet to Elon a link to this thread.
     
  11. kingjamez

    kingjamez Member

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    I need this too. I travel to star parties and do astrophotography at dark sites and just got my S with the hope of using camper mode while the AP setup is happily chugging along. Kinda of bumbed reading this thread.

    I’m all for asking Elon, but is there nothing that can be done from the API side?

    -Jim
     
  12. SucreTease

    SucreTease Teslarian

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    I have had a productive conversation with the service manager of my nearest service center about a work-around. There are no fuses to pull, because the Model S now uses electronic fuses. However, he told me that if I throw the latches (my term) in the door or lift gate, you can have them open and not have the interior lights or displays on, because the car is fooled into thinking that the doors are closed. Here is how:

    When a door or lift gate is open, take a small screwdriver and press it sideways into the latch in the door (or lift gate) in the same manner that the strike would engage the latch. There will be two strong clicks: the first is a pre-latch; a further press results in a full latch. Then you can slide the screwdriver out and leave the door open (or pushed almost closed up to latch contact with the strike). The car will believe that the door or lift gate is latched and the lighting will shut off after a brief timeout. Just don't try to throw the door or lift gate closed, because the closed latch will slam against the metal strike.

    Now you can access the vehicle all night long through that door or lift gate without triggering the interior lights, door-handle lights, or displays.

    To undo it, either activate the usual door or lift-gate handle to open the closed latch, or use the fob to unlock the doors or lift gate, at which point the interior and door-handle lights will come on.

    Not ideal, but workable. Just make sure that you don't disturb anyone when resetting the latches on the vehicle at the end of the night's work. This can be minimized by making sure that you set the displays into night mode and reduce their brightness to minimum before darkness sets in. Then they won't illuminate too brightly when they do come back on.
     
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