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Old 11-05-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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How cold is too cold for storing computer components such as memory DIMMs, DVD drives, power supplies, etc?
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:30 AM
 
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Most PC components will survive just fine in below freezing temps as long as they're allowed to warm to room temp before using (maybe even not). LCD's on the other hand can freeze and crack.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:07 AM
 
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Storage? Anything above freezing. The bigger problem is not the cold, but the condensation that comes with it. Make sure you store them with desiccant.

You can make your own desiccant package this way:

Lay out some epsom salt on tinfoil on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Allow to cool. Break it up into tiny pieces and put them into a tyvek envelope (available at your friendly neighborhood post office for free). Put the envelope in with your electronics and it will suck all the moisture out of the air and keep your precious components dry in storage.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarmig View Post
Storage? Anything above freezing. The bigger problem is not the cold, but the condensation that comes with it. Make sure you store them with desiccant.

You can make your own desiccant package this way:

Lay out some epsom salt on tinfoil on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Allow to cool. Break it up into tiny pieces and put them into a tyvek envelope (available at your friendly neighborhood post office for free). Put the envelope in with your electronics and it will suck all the moisture out of the air and keep your precious components dry in storage.
Do you label them "Not for human consumption"? Make sure you don't put it into a bowl of salsa.

As NHDave said, always allow the PC to warm up before turning it on. If something is really cold and suddenly gets really hot, it can crack.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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I'll agree about letting things warm up. However, I've got computers, flat panels, laptops, and many other things that stay frozen all winter and then work fine in the spring when they are turned back on.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
Do you label them "Not for human consumption"? Make sure you don't put it into a bowl of salsa.

As NHDave said, always allow the PC to warm up before turning it on. If something is really cold and suddenly gets really hot, it can crack.

The sealed tyvek envelope is usually a pretty good deterrent.

Plus, once it's baked, it doesn't look like salt. It is very hard and brittle and melts into large chunks that are not at all appetizing.

Plus it is infinitely reusable. Just bake it again and use it again. Far cheaper than the chemical desiccants they ship with electronics. But if you have some of those left over they will work too.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarmig View Post
The sealed tyvek envelope is usually a pretty good deterrent.

Plus, once it's baked, it doesn't look like salt. It is very hard and brittle and melts into large chunks that are not at all appetizing.

Plus it is infinitely reusable. Just bake it again and use it again. Far cheaper than the chemical desiccants they ship with electronics. But if you have some of those left over they will work too.
I was doing a bit from a Seinfeld episode. I didn't put any context into it, so if you didn't see the episode you wouldn't have understood. My bad.
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Old 11-06-2009, 11:04 AM
 
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Ah ha.. no I don't watch TV, so TV references from the past 10 years usually fly right over my head. LOL
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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How would you suggest I deal with needing to carry such items in a cold car and be able to power them up right away once brought inside? Do you think an insulated bag of some kind would keep them above freezing most of the day if they start out at room temperature?

Right now, I carry a few spare computer parts in my trunk for use on service calls. I never know what I'm going to need and don't want to lug everything into every job on the off chance I might need it. Of course it doesn't freeze where I live now but my next location will actually have a winter so leaving everything in the trunk 24/7 doesn't sound like a good idea.

So I'm thinking of maybe leaving the stuff in the trunk that won't be affected (mainly cables, fans, my crimpers, etc) and sticking the more sensitive stuff in some insulated container that goes inside at night but stays in the trunk during the day. Do you think this would work? I do have a 12v outlet in the trunk that could power a small heating element.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
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I'd keep the laptop in the heated part of the car if you need to use it right away. Or if you're traveling for long distances (say driving 3-4 hours and want it secured if you need to stop) lock it in the trunk until about 1/2 hour before you get to where you're going and then bring it into the heated part of the car.
I don't think I'd use a heating element in the trunk but you may want to look into heating pads or heated throws. Something like this meant for pets would work. You don't want something that gets too hot, just warm.
Litterboy.com
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