Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thaw Iced Cubes Carefully

This comes under the heading of "What NOT to do with a Cube".

I managed to short out the control board or power supply on my Cube due to condensation that formed when I left my Cube in the trunk of my car overnight in sub-freezing temperatures, brought it into a warm room and immediately tried to start it.

Bad idea.

I should have known better.  Back in my years of video production with reel-to-reel video recorders I learned that condensation instantly can form on cold equipment when it's brought inside.  The tape would actually stick to the head drum from moisture forming on the drum.  We ALWAYS waited a few minutes before turning on our video tape machines that had gone from very cold conditions to a warm room.

Now, I know that leaving a Cube in the truck of my car in sub-freezing temperatures requires that same patience in starting up that Cube in a warm room.  Even a few minutes would have made a difference.

It's not that the Cube cannot survive the cold.  The outdoor studio in which mine usually sets regularly goes down below freezing.  But, I always warm of the building before firing up the Cube and so no moisture is formed due to the differences between the ambient temperature of the air and the Cube.  Both air and Cube warm simultaneously.

In this particular case the air was warm and the Cube was cold.  As we all learned in Science this can cause the water in the warm air to condense on the cold surface.  Water on electrical surfaces is NOT a good thing.

It's now in the hands of the good Cube doctors who will be performing open Cube surgery.  I'm told the prognosis is good and it should be back home shortly.  That is very good news.  I'm suffering a severe case of Cube withdrawal.  I've still got my RepRap; but, it's just not the same.


It's OK to let your Cube go below freezing.  But, when bringing a freezing Cube into a warm room, give the Cube some time to warm up before turning it on. Better safe than sorry.


Keep watching the comments to this post as Mike continues to troubleshoot and make additional discoveries.  Thank you Mike for taking the time to chase this down!

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