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Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

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Old 08-02-2005, 12:39 PM
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brokensolo
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Default Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

What are the normal temperatures that your radio sees? I would expect that some of you AZ/NM guys could be seeing well over the 100° mark every day. My 8U never saw any of these temperatures until lately, when the heatwave passed through Oklahoma and it got to 105° ,although I doubt it got that hot in the storage building where I keep my stuff. Now my radio wont work at all. It gives me the "all programming lost" sound, and the LCD won't work. If you guys don't think this is heat damage, I'll tell you what I think it could be, but I'll wait on that so you don't think I'm crazy right off the bat. So... is it heat damage or not?

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Old 08-02-2005, 05:31 PM
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Default RE: Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

Not!
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Old 08-02-2005, 09:44 PM
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Default RE: Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

My gear stays in a uninsulated storage building and I have seen the temp. in there at over 110 a lot of times. I have never had any problems, but I dont use computer radios.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:57 AM
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Default RE: Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

Here is the email I sent to Futaba about it:


Guys,

I live in Oklahoma. The weather got rather hot here lately, with temps going into the 105°-106° range. I left my radio in my storage building during the heatwave, since the heat and a trip to Scotland kept me from flying. After the weather cooled down a little, I charged my Tx, turned it on, and that’s when all the problems started. First the "frequency module not connected" beep sounded, so I turned the radio off, made sure the module was fine, and turned it back on. It apparently booted just fine, since it gave me the "airbrake" warning. However, the only way I knew it was the airbrake warning was because I found out the airbrake switch was flipped (my LCD display didn't come on). So I shut the radio down again and made sure the battery was well charged. By this time I had taken the radio into the air condiditoned house to let it get down to room temperature. After the battery was in tip-top shape (about 3 hours), I plugged it back in, turned the radio on, and it gave me the constant "beep beep beep beep beep beep beep" that told me all the programming was lost. So now I'm stuck with no radio and I can't fly, and I'm wondering 1) What caused it to do this? And 2) Should I send it in for repairs. It is not under warranty, as I am the second owner. I am the classic "poor college student", so I can't afford costly repairs. And since I only spent $150 on it anyways, I don’t even know if it's worth it.

So… I need some help…

Did the heat make it screw up? I used to live in Louisiana, where it is hotter than here, and we left our radios in unairconditioned buildingd all summer, including 3 8Us and 4 6XAs, with no problem. I know that at the all day fly ins in Arizona and other states, those Tx get left in over 100° heat for hours on end and don’t have problems. I would understand if I had left it on the back seat of my car where it gets like 140° in direct sunlight that I could have a problem with heat damage, but not in an insulated shop that is consistantly 10°-15° cooler than the outside air (I know that because it is the only way I can stand to be in there and work on my planes). If not the heat, I have one other theory as to what could be the culprit: EMI or some kind of induced magnetic field in the building. I get a 0.5V reading on my multimeter holding the leads about 3 feet apart when I'm standing at my work table. To me, that is a very substantial field, and I'm an engineer. I have a hard time believing that ANY unintentionally induced field would produce enough potential or emf to fry a circuit. I've tried to do it before and I couldn't. I don't think some electrician that wired that building could have that much of a happy mistake, even if he tried. I have fried a guitar amp and some effects pedals in there mysteriously. The effects werent even on, and the guitar amp quit while I was playing. I chalked it up to bad wiring, and I never charge my transmitter in there for that exact reason. I never imagined that leaving it in there UNPLUGGED and POWERED DOWN that it would fry. Geeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……. Can ya help me guys?

Do you think it will be cost effective to fix just based upon my desription of the problem?

I could just fill out a service request and send it to you guys, but spending $30 just to have you look at it doesn't sound so appealing to me. If I have to, I will, but if I should just forget it and buy a new Tx, I don’t want to be out that $30 since it could be spent on better equipment.


Mmmmmkay.....

And no reply so far, but it's only been 1 day.

Guys... I'm a young engineer (read not out of college yet), but I know more about electronics than most people I know. I have NEVER heard of a building producing enough electromagnetic flux to fry a circuit or induce enough magnetic field to erase flash memory. I have TRIED to erase a USB flash drive by throwing it through an inductor, a 3 ft long tight wound solenoid flowing 4A at 120VAC, and a helmholtz coil flowing the same, and I couldn't get it to work.

I don't have a Gauss meter, and I dont plan to get one. They are like $200. I could build one I guess... I think all it takes is a 5V regulated power source and a Hall effect sensor.

Have any of you ever heard about this happening? Anyone you know of ever heard of this happening?
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:33 AM
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Default RE: Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

Probably not heat failure. But you never know. I take my planes to work with me and it gets about 125deg in the truck during central texas summer. Harder on the batteries than the equipment. I've been a tech for 35 years. Sometimes components just fail. Thats why I have more than one transmitter.
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Old 08-03-2005, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Radio Survivability in High Temperatures

Ease up on the theorizing there, Einstein. One bad thing about going through undergrad is that you're exposed to enough engineering theorems to fill your head with weird ideas.

The high temp probably isn't a direct cause, but it sure doesn't help ensure a long life for your 8U. Most things electronic don't like repeated hot-cold temp cycling. Condensation is a concern as well. We have rig istrumentation systems out at oil rigs that are specially design for harsh and hazardous conditions. Even then, some of the failed boards come back to engineering looking like they just got dugged out of Al Capone's grave - stains, rust and corrosion everywhere. LCDs are particularly vulnerable to temp. They don't like extemely high or low temp. Most LCD manufacturers produce high-temp-range versions of the same panels. I don't know if RC TX makers spec them out or not.

Unless I am flying, my 9C is kept in its carrier box or at least out of direct sun (and in the trunk not in the cabin). At home, it stays in the A/C with me. I am not going to doubt those whose radio gear survive just fine in the heat or cold, but I sure as heck don't want to do environemental testing for Futaba with my own equipment.
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