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Starting Machines in the Cold

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neoretro View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 7:18pm
Hi all,

Rather a random question to ask during the hottest UK summer in 40 years, but is there a recommendation when starting cold Arcade machines?

It’s been a bleak day here in Essex and my U4 Candy Cab was particularly cold, being all metal and closest to the door. It made a funny noise the first few times I fired it up (had to change and test carts). Like a groan noise for a couple of seconds from the monitor region.

After half hour of playing I fired it up again and no noise so I’m putting it down to the cold, and wondered if there’s any recommendations?

Cheers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dj_yt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 7:26pm
Don't start them when cold. Let them slowly reach room temperature. You'll stress the components and likely cause things to fail.

Whilst I'm sure most of these cabs were more robust and lived in drafty seaside locations when new, they are approaching 30+ years old and parts are scarce so I would be careful.

Goes without saying, if there's any moisture then definitely don't turn them on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neoretro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 7:36pm
Cheers buddy.

It has no artificial heating out there so I can imagine it getting pretty cold out there.

What would you do, stick a fan heater out there and let it run for a bit in the general area to get some warmth into them first?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RaveN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 8:10pm
The IC's are generally fine, they have a rated temp to deal with temperature changes. It's more the solder joints that suffer.
That's PCB wise, I'm sure monitors are a different story due to their higher temperatures.
But... it's not cold now?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neoretro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 8:22pm
We’ve just had hail stones like grapes round here and temperature has dropped. First time for months. It seemed too much of a coincidence that whilst the machine felt cold it made an odd noise. But was fine later.

Since the noise came from the monitor area, and that’s now probably the hardest thing to fix or replace, I’m just being cautious.

This will be my first winter with the machines when it comes and I don’t want to be the man that retires them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flinnster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 8:31pm
I once screwed a CRT monitor as I was too eager to switch it on after delivery. It was cold outside on the delivery lorry and I brought it inside, where clearly it got condensation on the tube.
Anyway the whole thing discoloured in one corner. I was never able to use degauss to get rid of it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote big10p Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 9:02pm
Originally posted by neoretro neoretro wrote:

Hi all,

Rather a random question to ask during the hottest UK summer in 40 years, but is there a recommendation when starting cold Arcade machines?

It’s been a bleak day here in Essex and my U4 Candy Cab was particularly cold, being all metal and closest to the door. It made a funny noise the first few times I fired it up (had to change and test carts). Like a groan noise for a couple of seconds from the monitor region.

After half hour of playing I fired it up again and no noise so I’m putting it down to the cold, and wondered if there’s any recommendations?

Cheers

Does the monitor chassis have a cooling fan? Fans tend not to like the cold, and moan about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neoretro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 9:31pm
Cheers all these are the sorts of anecdotes I needs.

The sound was kind of like a comedy bouncing noise. Sort of noise you could imagine being played if Wiley Cyote bounced of a trampoline on a cliff edge. Ha.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kev A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:21pm
degausing sound perhaps?  Other than extreme temps. My main concern is humidity as air cools its ability to hold moisture drops dramatically and will condense on cold surfaces like glass and metal. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RaveN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:36pm
Tubes are air tight, otherwise they wouldn't form a vacuum. They're not affected by humidity. Discrete components largely aren't either. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bomjac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:43pm
The issue is not so much the cold - condensation is the problem.   If the internals are cold and are sudenly introduced to warm, moist air then you can get condensation forming on the cold parts.

It's the same reason that TV's and the like used to tell you not to switch them on until they had been in the "warm" for a few hrs.

Hence the reason electrical switch boards and control panels the world over gave "anti condensation heaters" in them
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bomjac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:44pm
Originally posted by RaveN RaveN wrote:

Tubes are air tight, otherwise they wouldn't form a vacuum. They're not affected by humidity. Discrete components largely aren't either. 


Perhaps, but 25kV will happily arc across the outside of a damp tube
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JAG555 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 11:45pm
Bloody hell, the temperature has dropped a bit, but we are still well above 20 degrees today.

If you are worried now, you are in for a long 8 months!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RaveN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2018 at 12:40am
"Perhaps, but 25kV will happily arc across the outside of a damp tube"
It will also happily arc across the outside of a dry tube, if the insulation isn't adequate.
The problem in both cases being that there's an issue with the integrity of the LOPT wiring.

There's a reason why CRT TVs lasted decades with almost non-stop use, and we had to then throw them in the skip.  How many times did our lounge TVs die because of hailstones outside?

Andy



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dj_yt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2018 at 6:34am
Yep, but your lounge TV was in your lounge. If you'd kept it in the shed and used it regularly it probably wouldn't have lasted so long. I'm presuming we are talking about cabs in outbuildings without heating that are getting very cold. Going from cold to hot quickly with the risk of condensation could cause a short.

Yes, it's probably unlikely unless conditions are really bad. I would have thought you would be fine at this time of year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote simonden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2018 at 7:36am
I have seen similar on many occasions and in the majority of cases it was a capacitor starting to fail (in one it was a dry solder joint on a cap).  I would get a cap-kit done on the chassis first and see if that fixes it.
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