Have you had problems operating a DRO in cold temperatures? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Some thoughts on this:

    The actual display was suggested as the problem. I don't doubt that a display can go wonky at temperature extremes, but it would likely show erratic style problems like missing segments or digits or loss of contrast. An error in the actual reading is not likely as that must come from the electronics BEFORE the display. You may have display problems, but I doubt that they could be responsible for jumps in the readings.

    Moisture? In an ice cold shop, the air is probably very dry. A small fan could move any moisture that you exhale away from the DRO. But in such dry air circumstances, I really doubt that humidity is your problem.

    Most electronic components are rated for temperatures well below freezing. I am talking about the parts in the circuitry that supplies the numbers to the display, not the display itself (transistors, diodes, ICs, resistors, capacitors, inductors, etc.) But there could be a temperature dependent problem inside one of them. Trouble shoot with a small heat gun. If you find a component that, when heated, instantly cures the problem when heated, then it is highly suspect. Hit it with a freeze spray. If the problem comes back, replace that component.

    My biggest suspicion is a bad joint somewhere. Possibly a solder joint. Possibly just a mechanical one: screw terminal, connector finger, etc. Any of these could easily cause a temperature dependent failure. Wiggling the connectors may be the first thing I would do. The solder connections can be a lot more difficult to check. I have seen near perfect looking solder joints that were on terminals or wires that were covered with corrosion. These can easily be temperature sensitive. In some cases the problem was only uncovered when the solder was melted and sucked off the joint, showing the surface under it was covered with a layer of corrosion and had not been weted by the solder. These were often on a brass terminal that was not plated before being soldered. These were among the hardest problems to find in my electronics career.

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