I've had mine for a year and it looks exactly the same as it did when I first saw it. I store it the same way you do.
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Well, you got me curious so I just looked at mine and guess what? It is also that dirty brown color. Now I don't really remember what it looked like new but I purchased mine about the same time- 1-1/2 to 2 years ago. I wonder if a bad batch went out? I have to say though, even with the brownish color I have no problem seeing the critical points.
Am on my 3rd Mint LP in 3 years and apart from some scratch marks at the null points caused by the stylus , I have observed no other wear and tear and certainly no brown marks or discolouration of the kind Mark found. I live in a relatively more inhospitable climate in terms of heat and humidity etc
I'll send Yip an email and ask him for input. He really is very friendly and helpful and approachable. I don't know why people don't just ask him. ;-)
I have an older MintLP for my Triplanar that does show the material under the overlay has turned brown like the OP reports. The overlay itself is clear and clean. This material under the overlay appears to be an aide to facilitate using the mirrored surface. I suspect Yip may have found a substitute at some point that doesn't fade like this.
I don't think this is a cleaning issue. However, from the front page of the MintLP intstructions:
"The plastic surface can only be cleaned with lighter fluid [i.e. white petroleum] by a soft dry cloth. WATER, and any other kind of cleaner, water base or whatever, SHOULD NEVER BE USED.
I have no financial interest in MintLP, but I am a very happy customer.
You are correct sir, that my manual as well says only the use of Lighter Fluid as a cleaner.
Why I thought alcohol, is beyond me, and it seems like so long ago, that I do now forget what I actually used as a cleaner? lol
I do have lighter fluid around here, but if I did mistakenly use Alcohol, that could be the reason why I'm noticing a brownish tint to the Applique Overlay Sheet?
As another poster has mentioned though, the Protactor seems to have no other faults other than this brownish tinge, and certainly doesn't appear to warrant a return all the way back to Hong Kong.
I did email Yip, but haven't heard back from him. In any case, I'll live with mine, and as I've previously mentioned more times than I can count in other threads, it is a really great tool! Mark
the discoloration I see is definitely under the overlay. It looks like Yip scrapes this material away from the area around the null points, and at those points I see no discoloration. This is why I believe it is not the surface of the overlay. If yours is not foggy looking after using the alcohol I wouldn't worry about it. But, don't do that. Obviously. :-)
I compared the two Mint LPs I still have. The older one that came over 2years ago for the Triplanar does have a copper hue or tinge as compared to the one I received with the Talea(thanks Dan), which has a silvery white background. On second thoughts am not entirely sure if the older Mint was always this way. More important this is, I am sure, a cosmetic difference, and has no effect on usability .