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Gaul

Keyboards and their exposure to coldness

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"My" borrowed synth is placed next to an open window and I want to make sure it does not do any harm to it.

Does exposure to coldness affects the instrument, and do you know any "safe" temperatures for storing and operating instruments?

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The one thing I would worry about having it close to a window is actually the level of humidity it's being exposed to. I live in a duplex and used to have all my gear set up in a basement close to a window. Even though it's always about room temperature down there, humidity was leaking in every time it rained and caused some of the scews to rust. There was no internal damage and I was able to replace the screws, but I certainly no longer keep any electronics next to windows.

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I asked a similar question to Kurzweil however it was about heat. I was concerned about the keyboard in direct sunlight on 95+ degree shows outdoors. Here was their response (did have a blurb about cold weather):

" .. The formal spec sheet for the PC3 LCD specifies an operating temperature range of 0C - 50C (32F - 122F). Storage temp range is -20C - 60C (damn cold to 140F). LCDs tend to get darker as they warm up. It will probably be necessary to tweak the Contrast control to compensate. Beyond the high end of the operating temperature range, it may become too dark to read. Damage isn't likely until the storage temperature range is exceeded. 140F is the temperature of very hot domestic hot water - you basically can't hold your hand in it for more than a couple of seconds.."

I would think that since the storage temperature range (of at least my synth) is -4 degrees fahrenheit to 140 degrees fahrenheit storing it next to an open window should not be an issue unless the room with the open window gets below -4 degrees. That being said bringing in an extremely cold keyboard into a normal temperature room could cause condensation on the board and if turned on immediately could cause a board to short out as the condensation vaporizes. You should let the keyboard sit around in room temperature for a while before firing it up to avoid an "uh oh" moment.

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The concern for cold could be the possibility of the condensation going from cold back to warm. Any of your electronics will want time for that moisture to evaporate before powering up.

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Anecdotally, I had a Proteus lose all of it's programs overnight, sitting in the cold truck, while touring Japan in the 1990s. It didn't seem like it was much colder than 30 degrees, and I've left gear in my car in colder weather than that with no problems.

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In General, gear likes the cold. But if it gets icy cold, Id let the gear warm up to room temp for while before turning on, primarily for the reason ClavAnother wrote.
But its not like a cap is going to explode, or a key crack.

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My gear has lived in the back of my vehicles for the past thirty years. I would at least recommend a cover for it to keep the sunlight off of it and keep the dust out. It may also keep some of the moisture in the air at bay. A towel works fine and there are some inexpensive conversion could buy. When my rig sits overnight at a club I cover them with a plastic drop cloth in case a fire breaks out and the sprinklers may go off. Never can be too cautious.

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So leaving it in the garage during below freezing days is okay? .... of course safely in its case

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Quote Originally Posted by Gux View Post
So leaving it in the garage during below freezing days is okay? .... of course safely in its case
I live in the metro Detroit area - which means it can be hot and humid in the summer and witchtit cold in the winter. It's common to go weeks on end where the temperature doesn't get above freezing (32 F) during the mid-December thru mid-February stretch. My gear has "lived" in the cold for days on end (either sitting in the van and/or in the unheated garage) when that made sense in terms of schlepping - including stints during the coldest weeks when the temperatures drop below zero (0 F). I've never had a failure that I've attributed to cold - and that includes issues with LED screens.

Obviously the gear lives in cases that protect it against moisture the degree possible. I am also pretty carefull about giving my gear a little time to come up to temperature (and permit any condensation that may have formed as a result of temperature change to dry) before I power it up.

I've never had any issues with the cold - or for that matter - the heat. The gear handles the temperature extremes much better than I do!

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Quote Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
I live in the metro Detroit area - which means it can be hot and humid in the summer and witchtit cold in the winter. It's common to go weeks on end where the temperature doesn't get above freezing (32 F) during the mid-December thru mid-February stretch. My gear has "lived" in the cold for days on end (either sitting in the van and/or in the unheated garage) when that made sense in terms of schlepping - including stints during the coldest weeks when the temperatures drop below zero (0 F). I've never had a failure that I've attributed to cold - and that includes issues with LED screens.

Obviously the gear lives in cases that protect it against moisture the degree possible. I am also pretty carefull about giving my gear a little time to come up to temperature (and permit any condensation that may have formed as a result of temperature change to dry) before I power it up.

I've never had any issues with the cold - or for that matter - the heat. The gear handles the temperature extremes much better than I do!
+1

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Its a valiant point however, that when coming in from cold to warm theres a potential for condensation. I would think it takes quite a long time for condensation to dry up, if it develops inside.

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If you keep your stuff in bags or cases the condensation builds up on the outnside of the case. Buy the time you get your stuff in and stands up things should be acclimated enough to set up and by the time your cords are run... you should be able to turn on the juice. I always buy SUVs so my stuff gets some warmth on the way to the gig. Most gigs are only a short distance though so not really much time to warm up.

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I have an Yamaha Motif XS and it’s my main keyboard (only) and we only have one worship service per week and once the keyboard warms up it would detune itself in the middle of our service and it leaves the look on faces of that’s a different chord “wow”

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Back in the 80's, we were practicing in a friends unheated garage.  We'd walled off a section, and put a small space heater in there, it stayed around 50 degrees, and was okay, nothing seemed to suffer for that.  You can get a window seal kit for about $1, if you're really worried about temperature from that one window.

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