Cold Circuits

It’s not just human beings that have trouble working well in the cold, hard cold. Electronic devices show an array of fascinating behaviors.

  • The LCD screen on my GPS slows way down, and sometimes appears to have stopped updating altogether even though it continues to track.
  • My iPhone–even when fully charged–will often show the “I’m too warm” screen. This is apparently also its way of saying it’s way too cold to function.
  • Lights run down faster, and die abruptly.

Essentially, anything with batteries is in for some trouble when exposed to subzero temperatures for any length of time (e.g., more than about 30 minutes). It’s only a question of what kind of trouble, and when it’ll happen.

It turns out also that my camera’s autofocus only works so well when it’s really cold…

2015-01-06 07.53.21

But if I give it a little time to get itself sorted out, it’s passable…

2015-01-06 07.53.42

Either way, I get to stop and look at the sun rising over the frozen lake.

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