Affects of moisture (or lack thereof) on components (was: Powering up sleeping uVAX II)

Lyle Bickley lbickley at
Mon Feb 6 14:05:33 CST 2006

On Monday 06 February 2006 08:19, Richard wrote:

> Does anything bad happen to electronics that are stored in very dry
> conditions for long periods of time?  Cities like this would be anything
> in Utah, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho (Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Phoenix,
> Boise, Reno, etc.).

I pickup a lot of vintage gear the southern S.F. Bay Area (mostly Silicon 
Valley) - which has what is called a "Mediterranean" climate - generally 
"mild" temperatures and a typical humidity in the 25%-35% range. (Not quite 
desert, but practically no rain from May to October).

Other than the usual DEC foam problems and HP rubber/capstan problems, which 
seem to be unrelated to climate, equipment stored under a roof here is 
generally in excellent condition.

Equipment I've received from humid environments often has rust, mildew, 
damaged capacitors, etc.

Based on years of collecting experience, I'm a firm believer that climate 
plays a very important role in the condition of vintage gear that hasn't 
"lived" in a controlled environment.

BTW: Slightly "off-topic" - vintage cars are also in abundance here for the 
same reason. I have a 1973 Mustang Convertable, and it has practically no 
rust - and it's rubber parts are almost entirely original and in good shape.

Lyle Bickley
Bickley Consulting West Inc.
Mountain View, CA

"Black holes are where God is dividing by zero"

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