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tezza
March 18th, 2008, 12:28 AM
Hi,

I've read on the web (and here) that our old systems should be powered up now and again and run for a while just to keep the components (capacitors etc.) healthy.

Is there any general rule for this? I try to run each computer in my small collection for about 4 hours or more continuously once a month. Am I overdoing it? How often and how long per session should they be exercised?

DreadStorm
March 18th, 2008, 12:51 AM
I actually use mine for a full day every two weeks, but that's just me. This particular one I'm on now never shuts off. heh

I don't know of a rule, but I DO know for a fact, that if you don't use it, you lose it. I've lost alot over the years for that. Keep them exercising, and they'll stay strong.

Dwight Elvey
March 18th, 2008, 05:40 AM
There is no rule. If one lets electrolytics sit, unused, they
tend to fail. These are usually easy to replace if they
don't take anything else with them.
ICs fail with time of use. This is through a process of
electro migration( the interconnecting wires actually
move on the IC ). Older ICs tended to fail at the bonding
wires from moisture and air.
Most processors today are intended to have a half life
of about 10 years. For use in servers, if it can last for
2.5 years, that is all that is needed. It takes that long
to be obsolete.
Dwight

Trixter
March 20th, 2008, 08:49 AM
I try to run each computer in my small collection for about 4 hours or more continuously once a month. Am I overdoing it? How often and how long per session should they be exercised?

That sounds just about right to me, although maybe only an hour is necessary.

Half-Saint
March 26th, 2008, 04:26 AM
I also heard that this should be done regularly although I can't say I do it thanks to the lack of desktop space. And I'm too lazy to pull things out of boxes just to test them on the floor... this probably won't end well...

Floppies_only
April 24th, 2008, 09:17 AM
That sounds just about right to me, although maybe only an hour is necessary.

Bad capacitors are the bane of the military radio collecting community. They can be reformed by applying a quarter of the voltage and then stepping it up. This is something that you do over the course of several hours. The reforming process would be much faster at full voltage, and would require that the capacitor isn't that far gone.

I would imagine that to keep the capicitors healthy, about ten minutes at full voltage every six months or so would do.

Sean

Yzzerdd
April 24th, 2008, 11:18 AM
Ahh, but it isn't about the capacitors necessarily, although they are involved. You see, you should definately run your computer for that purpose, as well as to make sure the disk drives don't seize, and that the MFM HDD (if you have on installed) doesn't "stick." Just make sure that when you run them you have enough time to let them run for 4 hours at least. That is to make sure everything is evenly heated. Computer circuit boards (PCBs), ICs, capacitors, etc, dont like to have one end hotter than the other or to experience being cold, jolted into heat, then rapidly cooled in a short amount of time. So that is why it is best to turn the system on, let it run for 4 or so hours, then turn it off. If it is below 48F in the room you store the PC in, let it cool to room temperature first before putting it in there.

My general guidelines for my vintage machines is to turn it on for the first time when I need it (usually my morning check of e-mail) then let it run until bedtime. A book tells me that if the computer has no HDD to let it run constantly unless you wont be using it for 2 or more days. If you have an external HDD, you can let the PC run but turn off the external unit (park the heads!). Letting your machine run constantly is bad practice for HDDs, as it causes wear on the bearings, and without them the data on the drive is useless.

I don't know how much you all use your vintage machines in your life, but whichever ones I have set up are used daily for my entertainment(on floppies, and BBS) and for e-mail(on the BBS).

--Ryan

evildragon
April 24th, 2008, 11:42 AM
I use my IBM 25 all the time. It's on when I wake up, and off when I go to sleep.

It's sometimes switched off during the day, but rarely.

It's still going strong.. :D

Aposke
April 25th, 2008, 10:40 AM
I'm using every computer of my collection for at least 2 hours a week, and they still running fine.