[AMRadio] Freezing electrolytics and other stuff

Mike Sawyer w3slk at verizon.net
Sun Jan 3 18:18:16 EST 2016

Charlie, (and others),
	I had the exact same set up as you. I had a shack with pretty much
fiberboard on the outside. I insulated it and I used to run one of those
ceramic Polonius heaters, until I got the electric bill! So, I would go out
and warm up the ET-4336F until it was a balmy 52°F. I had my Apache, DX-100,
and Ranger out there. They suffered no ill effects from the cold. I have
them inside today but I never had to do anything with the electrolytics, (or
anything else for that matter!).


-----Original Message-----
From: AMRadio [mailto:amradio-bounces at mailman.qth.net] On Behalf Of
w5jo at brightok.net
Sent: Sunday, January 3, 2016 5:45 PM
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net; rbethman
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Freezing electrolytics and other stuff


Check the specifications for the caps you plan to use.  Looking at the
specifications for aluminum electrolytic caps I see the minimum operating
temperature range from -25 to -50 C.  I looked at the Mouser site to find
those numbers.  Give that information I don't think I would be concerned. 
What is of concern is how old they are.  As they age the paste will dry so,
if you are using caps that are old I would do a leakage test.

A few years back I ordered some Sprague caps to have for stock.  They have
been stored in a climate controlled atmosphere (read indoors heated and
cooled) for about 6 years.  I installed some of them in a receiver and in
about a year they started leaking.  I replaced them with more from stock and
the same thing, so I ordered new ones and the problem went away.  I can only
guess they all came from a bad batch.  They were of different values and
voltages.  I have yet to understand why that happened.


-----Original Message----- 


Put a few Electrolytic caps in your freezer.  after a week or so, take out
and test.

I'm going to do that myself, and then test to see if issues arise.

Regards, Bob

On 1/3/2016 3:39 PM, CL in NC via AMRadio wrote:
> Do to circumstances beyond my control, I am having to relocate my shop 
> to another building.  Prior to this move, my shop was attached to the 
> house and had some residual heat getting in that kept it OK, nothing 
> like the temp swings now.  Right now I use a kerosene heater when I am 
> out there working, but have been leaving a special type of electric 
> heater on when I am not there when freezing temps are expected.  So 
> far, the electric unit keeps the temp around 40 if it's 20 out, but a 8
cents a KWH, it will get
> pricey fast.   The building is insulated, but ran out of money to put 
> siding on it yet, just insulation board and R13 fiberglass.  On the 
> chance that power fails and it is zero outside, and other than a long 
> time for tube gear oscillators to stabilize after turn on,  what are 
> the effects of freezing temps on things like electrolytics?  I've got 
> a couple pieces of higher end test equipment, a comm service monitor 
> and a Tektronix 465M scope, any adverse effects on those?
> Charlie, W4MEC in NC

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