Wednesday 18 January 2017

Where to keep your machine

In this post, I am going to tell you where to keep your machine and I will do it using the example of a cross-trainer. I will try to explain to you why it is not a good idea to keep your machine in a place like a cold garage, a shed, an outhouse or some similar places.

Firstly, it’s because LCD displays can start working slowly. When this happens people may think that the problem is with the console. When the actual problem is the temperature. The liquid crystal in the display won’t react quickly enough until certain temperate. When it’s too low it affects the performance and you start having these problems. 
Secondly, in low temperature metal parts of the machine will be at the same temperature as the surroundings. If that temperature happens to be, let’s say, zero degrees or minus five degrees and you go into the garage or shed and start working out. Or even worse you turn on a heater on and suddenly heat the room, then all of the moisture and humidity which is in the air is going to start to build up water drops on the cold metal parts of your machine.

The same as when you’re having a cold pint of beer and you can see the condensation forming on the glass, the same happens with the machine.
The same reaction will happen to electronics.

 Every machine has electronic parts, electronic switches. All these things will be affected by that moisture what will cause a short circuit and you will start having some problems in the work. This is the very least what can happen. 
Otherwise, in some cases, it can cause a catastrophic failure and cause circuit board failure and things like that are not particularly cheap to replace. So, you need to watch out for that.
There is an easy way to get rounded. I mean that I appreciate that sometimes you have to keep it in a shed or garage, because that’s the only space you’ve got and, if that’s the case, then it’s worth investing in the products such as a treadmill heater, which it’s effectively a low wattage heater which you position near the machine.

I get that in some cases you don’t have other choice and have to keep your machine in a garage or a shed, for example, if it’s the only space you have. In such cases, there is a way to avoid those problems. Think about buying a treadmill heater. It’s a small heater which you can place near your machine.
It works perfectly with cross trainers, bikes, vibration plates and so on. This heater will provide the machine with a temperature that is just high enough to stop the condensation process on the frame and electronics. So that would be one way to solve the problem, unfortunately, things like putting a blanket over the machine are not going to make any difference other than keeping the dust off.

Other aspects if, let’s imagine, you were to keep this in a conservatory where you’ve got bright sunshine, conservatives are generally south-facing so they get a lot of bright sunshine, and the direct sunshine on the machines can start to affect the glue on the membrane keypads.

So the membranes might peel off and the buttons may start to fail. And you could also get fading on the plastic and on some of the buttons here. So before placing your machine somewhere, you need to think about the direct sunlight as well.
So it isn’t much about you, it’s about the machine. But from an engineer’s point of view hopefully, those aspects give you some insight into where to place your machine in order to avoid possible problems!

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