Question about Cobra 29 WX NW ST 40-Channels Base CB Radio

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The lights on the front of my nightwatch is not working but the rest is the meter and channels light up and the dimmer works just the backlighting wont whats the problem thanks

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  • That Night Watch face plate is AC ran by a converter inside the radio. The LEDS are part of the face plate and sold as one unit. The face plate goes out often on these radios. In short the face plate needs replaced if you want it to light up. The radio's performance will not be effected by this. Cobra can actually switch that out fairly cheap. Cheaper than buying a face plate used on the net.
Regards, Tony

Posted on May 21, 2011


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find a good ASE shop. they will make short (no pun) work of this.
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are you saying the warning lights in cluster or blinking
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I replaced the S meter light bulb with no problem. Now I have no Nightwatch. Did I short out the Nightwatch Feature?

The Nightwatch feature is actually AC feed. The wire harness runs from the faceplate to a box. That box is a DC to AC converter. Replacing the bulb in the meter should have no bearing on the NW feature. They do frequently go bad and in such a case the entire faceplate has to be replaced. Often times the faceplate will have a peeling or a bit of black color on the backside of it when the NW feature goes bad. If you have a watt meter you can diagnose some of the parts around the NW unit to see if that be the case. If you do find you need a new NW faceplate a piece of advice, try to find someone who has a junk/parts radio for sale that the NW still works in. Often time $30-$40 will get you the radio because the NW faceplate itself cost around &80 and are hard to find.
Regards, Tony

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The "nightwatch" lighting uses an EL or electroluminescent material that does degrade with age. If the radio is old, then it may be lighting very dimly (check in a dark room with the dimmer at full bright). The material is connected by a ribbon to a special high voltage pulsed powersupply that runs at about 500 volt. If the power supply is working then a new face would be in order or a new radio. If the powersupply is not working it may be repairable but requires working with surface mount components. Either way, it is NOT a simple lightbulb fix. I have successfully repaired and do stock the smc components to repair but cannot get the faces through cobra ($$$). More info? Contact through

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