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Old 09-01-2012
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Re: Digital vs. Analog engine gauges

"Had never thought of installing them in a similar optimal position."
Part of the studies, and I totally forget who did them but something about a British power company comes to mind, eventually concluded that the best guages were the "edge on" type analog ones. That is, a vertical rectangle, not a round guage. And having the needle go "up and down" instead of around like a clock. That design is rare in consumer products, except for old-fashioned boat voltmeters. But the concept is that if the entire SYSTEM is designed properly, all the needles will normally be halfway up the display, so if you've got a wall full of them to monitor, you just have to pass your eyes over them and see "everything the same" in the middle of all the displays, and you know everything is OK.
Which is why Homer Simpson is so good at his job.

Twisting the guages is what one does when one can't design the entire system, but has to work with whatever was in stock at the store.

The other rawback to digital is simply trying to read them. LCD? You can read in daylight, if polarized glasses aren't a problem. Can't read it at night without illumination, which consumes power or burns out. LED? Yeah, great at night but can't see it during the day, burns even more power. Anything else? Pricey! So...sometimes obsolete needles aren't such a ba way to go.
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