Mancave advice needed!

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Matt.price
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Mancave advice needed!

Post by Matt.price »

Hey guys, hope everyone had a great Christmas. I'm after some advice and cant find any good answers online, although not specific to Acorn, I know you will give me good advice, so here goes!

Like a lot of people, I now work totally from home and have revamped my study to fully accommodate the usual boring PC multi monitor nonsense. Unfortunately this has meant that I now need to relocate the proper computers! Currently my preferred solution is to move my 2 beebs and ahem, other vintage equipment, into the garage. So what are your opinions on that? Its painted, so not dusty in there, my main concern is around the cold weather... is that going to be harmful?

Any advice welcome! Thanks.
:D
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flaxcottage
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by flaxcottage »

Cold severely interrupts retro computing! :lol: I mean, if one is not warm where's the pleasure?

Along with cold may come damp; condensation from breath and warmer air in the garage, damp conditions outside permeating into the garage. Such damp will rapidly degrade any magnetic media, cause documentation to become foxed/mouldy, rust screws, tarnish circuit boards, allow fungus to grow on PCB connectors, make connectors have unreliable contacts including ICs in sockets. Any battery leakage will be much worse. Analogue joysticks will become 'noisy'.

If you can insulate the garage and keep it dry then it should be OK, provided you don't get burgled.

You will need about a million mains outlets for all your gear too.
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cmorley
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by cmorley »

If it is damp the machines will corrode & might stop working eventually. If it is dry then shouldn't be a problem.

Hot/cold cycling is only really bad if there is humidity/moisture as it promotes condensation and corrosion.
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1024MAK
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by 1024MAK »

Either plug in all your classic computers and leave them on so they don’t get cold and damp. Or install air conditioning (the type that can do heating as well as cooling). And insulate the walls, ceiling and the garage door. Or do all three! :mrgreen:

:arrow: The legal disclaimer (inspired by Richard from the Crystal Maze) follows: No liability accepted if any of your classic equipment does not enjoy being left on continuously and transforms into magic smoke production equipment. No advice is offered and any action is yours alone. Thank you for reading, if, indeed, you still are.

Is this garage built as part of the house? Or is it a separate structure?

If most gear is only going to be stored, put in plastic bags, put a desiccant in the bag and seal it. Then wrap in three layers of bubble wrap. Put in another plastic bag, seal it. Then put in a cardboard box and tape shut.

But the best idea (but less practical according to some) is to move the so called modern PCs into the garage... :mrgreen:

Mark
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by guesser »

1024MAK wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:19 pm
If most gear is only going to be stored, put in plastic bags, put a desiccant in the bag and seal it. Then wrap in three layers of bubble wrap. Put in another plastic bag, seal it. Then put in a cardboard box and tape shut.
"Then affix suitable postage and a label containing the following to the outside of the box: Mark 1024 Esq., 62 West Wallaby Street"...
Various teletext things including a web based teletext editor which can export as mode 7 screens.
Join the Teletext Discord for teletext chat.
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1024MAK
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by 1024MAK »

guesser wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:40 pm
"Then affix suitable postage and a label containing the following to the outside of the box: Mark 1024 Esq., 62 West Wallaby Street"...
:lol: =D> :D

Mark
Matt.price
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by Matt.price »

OK, thanks guys for your opinions. I'm sure its not damp in the garage, as I keep 5 bicycles in there so I would have noticed beforehand, as they would have quickly shown rust and mildew. Its well vented due to the garage door. Its only the cold I was concerned about.... and its effect on the machines, not me... central heating is way overrated! I can't see any obvious reason not to try this, as it has power and is secure.. I do tend to leave the machines ready to use, and have a quick thrash of revs or whatever at least once a week.. but if anyone else can see any obvious drawbacks, please shout!
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1024MAK
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by 1024MAK »

Excluding magnetic media (which is better off being stored in the house), the cold temperature will not cause any damage as long as the rate of change is reasonable (that is not quick, but being in a garage, that should not be a problem) and the temperature does not go too far below -5°C.

Some equipment may not like being operated at low temperatures though, but as long as there is no condensation, it should not cause any damage.

I have a garage that is attached to my house. Some steel items have started to rust due to dampness in the air, but to me, it does not feel damp. Hence if you are going to leave your computers and related equipment set-up, I do recommend at the very least, putting a cover over it. Something that won’t trap moisture under it.

You may also want to consider fitting one of those low power tubular heaters (I mean one rated at 60W to 120W) just to give a little bit of warm air near to your set up. Fix it near the floor. This creates a slight air movement upwards which helps move the air around and this helps to reduce the likelihood of damp air settling on your computers and equipment.

Mark
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JasonStonier
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by JasonStonier »

You can get quite cheap cabins these days - double skin pre-insulated wooden buildings, all you need to do is put a concrete pad down and throw the thing together. Do one of those for your proper computers and your Scalextric (other childhood aspirations are available).

If the garage is your only option, then put Celotex insulation up inside and use a dehumidifier to keep it damp-free.

But, my view is that...you'll stop using your retro kit if it's not in a nice environment, so I would try and squeeze them in the house somewhere.
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anightin
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by anightin »

Most of my 'man-caving' is done in the garden shed. I was advised to go for wooden construction as they 'breath' apparently. To this point, our next-door neighbour has a pre-fab concrete slab single garage with galvanised steel roof separate from his house. It was incredibly solid and secure, but his tools went rusty within 6 months and he ended up having to keep some of them indoors!

My shed is double skinned and has 40mm of expanded polystyrene in the walls and ceiling, a double glazed window, and sits on concrete slabs.

I put a small heater on in the winter on a timer to keep the temperature a few degrees above freezing. Once I'm in there and soldering it reaches about 19 deg. C within an hour.

Books, papers and metalwork I have in there are have stayed untarnished for the four years they have been in there, despite it being very wet outside for days at a time during winter months.


One thing you might consider, if you've got a garage with enough space is to make an insulated 'cabin'. That should keep you nice and cosy.

Just a thought.
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BeebMaster
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Re: Mancave advice needed!

Post by BeebMaster »

Put all this work-related nonsense in the garage and keep the Beebs in the house. That way, you won't be tempted just to do a bit more work when it's your own time because it will be cold and unpleasant, which is the correct environment for work in order to discourage us from getting used to it.

Sadly much of my spare kit was in the garage for quite a few years before I began shuffling it into storage. Things the garage has claimed include my A3020 and a nice late-issue Master 128 with the Cherry keyboard.
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