safe storage temperature

ok guys so i have a problem. right now my electronic work area is in the basement and i am running out of space. so i thought that i might move to my shed that is in the back yard. but the shed is not climate controlled and so it gets really hot ( like a max of 102 F) in the summer and cold ( below freezing) in the winter. i guess my question is it this an ok place to keep my arduinos and other electronic things or not. right now it dose get a little damp in there but i can fix that by putting the windows on and keeping the door shut.

The problem is really moisture. If the place is bone dry, it could be okay, but when things go from hot to cold, moisture in the air will condense everywhere and fungi and such can grow. I've had to throw out some electronics due to this.

true but if i seal the place and put a dehumidifier in there will it be ok then??

nmmbeginner:
true but if i seal the place and put a dehumidifier in there will it be ok then??

Most dehumidifiers won't work over such a wide range of temperatures.

The temperature in your shed isn't as bad as the temperature in an automobile. Many people would install arduinos in a car and expect that they would usually work. Yes, moisture, condensation, and rapid thermal changes from ice cold to hot are items that will cause some "wear and tear". You may get some mold or oxidation on components which will hurt your soldering ability. If you put your inventory in some sealed boxes with a desiccant pack, you probably would be ok.

Ziplock bags are great too. They keep moisture out and keep all your relevant components together. Just be careful the pins on the bottom of the PCB don’t puncture the bag.

Some electronics parts are delivered in ziplocks. I always keep a lot of them handy to put completed projects into.

I would absolutely not store electronics outside in the shed. Things stored in outdoor sheds don't hold up well - the temperature swings in poorly insulated sheds not protected from the outside frequently result in condensation, which in turn leads to corrosion. I've come across a damned lot of electronics (surplus) that has gone right into the bin.

The electronics bench is not the thing you should move to the shed. Surely something else in your basement is more durable and better able to sit outside.

Ziplock bags are great too. They keep moisture out and keep all your relevant components together.

Except for what aarg said… It can be dry inside the bag, but as the temperature goes down the relative humidity goes up and you can get condensation.

And, get anti-static bags. Standard plastic bags can generate a static charge that can damage active components (ICs & transistors, et). They are safe for resistors, capacitors, or inductors, but it’s easier if you use anti-static bags for all electronics. The pink bags are not too expensive and they don’t generate a charge. The black anti-static bags are shielding so they offer more protection, but they are more expensive.

During the environmental screening of electronic products that my company produces, we temperature cycle them between +100°C and -40°C, at a ramp rate of 60°C/minute. They then have to work at between the temperature of the upper atmosphere,(-54°C) and 90°C.

Arduinos may not be quite so hardy, but the temperatures in a shed should be no problem.

[quote author=DrAzzy link=msg=2381320 date=

The electronics bench is not the thing you should move to the shed. Surely something else in your basement is more durable and better able to sit outside.
[/quote]

Mine is along with some heavy metal machinery.

No problems.

It depends on the shed, and what you want to do with it.

I probably spent about 600 preparing the shed and its comfortable year round.

DVDdoug:
Except for what aarg said... It can be dry inside the bag, but as the temperature goes down the relative humidity goes up and you can get condensation.

And, get anti-static bags. Standard plastic bags can generate a static charge that can damage active components (ICs & transistors, et). They are safe for resistors, capacitors, or inductors, but it's easier if you use anti-static bags for all electronics. The pink bags are not too expensive and they don't generate a charge. The black anti-static bags are shielding so they offer more protection, but they are more expensive.

Yes, always use dessicant, USE A NEW ONE.

Using an old one can be a recipie for trouble.

I personally zeolite , its somewhat dusty but cheap and reliable when used correctly.

Filling a ziplock in your front room then wintering it in a shed is a bad idea, unless you are sure about the dessicant.

Boardburner2:
It depends on the shed, and what you want to do with it.

I probably spent about 600 preparing the shed and its comfortable year round.

Well yeah, but OP said that his isn't like that though - he said it ranges from >100F to below freezing.

Your space doesn't sound like what I'd call a shed.

You guys gotta examine your priorities.

A dozen years ago, I moved the wife out to make room for a workroom.

DrAzzy:
Well yeah, but OP said that his isn't like that though - he said it ranges from >100F to below freezing.

Your space doesn't sound like what I'd call a shed.

True , it was designed as a workshop,

but.

nmmbeginner:
true but if i seal the place and put a dehumidifier in there will it be ok then??

I recently dry lined a 8 X 6 foot shed for about 150, less than a dehumidifier would have cost.

ChrisTenone:
A dozen years ago, I moved the wife out to make room for a workroom.

Never came back, eh?

It may be better to ensure good ventilation rather than sealing your shed.

If the temperature is 100 F and the RH is say 50% then every cubic metre of air contains over 2 kg of water. When the temperature drops to 32 F the air can only support 1/10 th of that amount so, if the shed is sealed where does the water go? It falls out as condensation all over your carefully stored components. With good ventilation it can escape.

Large lumps of metal such as machine tools can stay cold when warm air arrives and they encourage condensation. Such items can be slightly warmed with avery low power heater such as a light bulb.

Russell.

russellz:
condensation. Such items can be slightly warmed with avery low power heater such as a light bulb.

Russell.

This is the method i use.
Small oil filled heater controlled by a humistat not thermostat.

Requires insulation though to keep bills down.

russellz:
If the temperature is 100 F and the RH is say 50% then every cubic metre of air contains over 2 kg of water.

I would believe 20g, not 2kg. The air in 1m3 at sea level is only about 1kg and there’s not going to be twice as much water as there is air.

MorganS:
The air in 1m3 at sea level is only about 1kg and there’s not going to be twice as much water as there is air.

That’s a fascinating figure. It may seem surprising, but implies that a hydrogen/ helium balloon of that capacity would have a lift of a substantial proportion of 1 kg. And we comprehend from tornadoes throwing cars about that air really does have a substantial mass.

Shed or basement ? Temperature in shed is likely to fluctuate more than basement.