Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Trimble SX10, Leica BLK360, C5, C10, P15, P16, P20, P30, P40, P50, HDS8800, HDS8400, Riegl VZ6000, VZ4000, VZ2000, VZ1000 & VZ400i, Topcon GLS2000S, GLS1500, etc
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designmule
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Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by designmule »

Hi all

This is kind of a general question about scanning in cold weather. What are the concerns with scanning in temperatures below the rating of a given scanner? I can think of internal condensation as a possible concern but one that can be managed by ensuring the device isn't moving from a warm humid environment to a cold dry one. Are there concerns over capture accuracy, mirrors, batteries?

Our BLK360 is not rated for operation under 41 degrees fahrenheit, RTC360: 27 degrees fahrenheit and Faro S series -5 degrees fahrenheit (I believe). I don't really want to scan anything when it's -5 outside nor really 27 but I'm curious what happens to scan or scanner at those temperatures. I suppose it could be based on the amount of internal heat the device generates but the Faros can be run in warmer temperatures than either the BLK or the RTC so if they generated a lot of heat I would think you couldn't run them in high temps.

Because, as you know, "winter is coming".

Appreciate the discussion.
Matt

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by bdawood »

Hi Matt,

I have a Faro S70 and worked with -20 deg C with no issues with the scanner or the scans, I had the S120 before and used to stop working at around -10 deg C when the internal temp reaches-1 deg C. I used to worm it up every once and while and get it back to work, other than that the scans coming out were very good.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by Rikore »

We have P40's and a C10. They start to slow when temps get below 20 degrees F. I have found that the cold affects the batteries more than the scanner itself. Cold drains the batteries faster as scanners like the P40 will use both at one time.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by designmule »

That's interesting. Batteries not lasting but scan quality holding up.

We scan a lot of grocery stores and have needed to scan walk in coolers and freezers. I've done that knowing that the temps are below what I should run my BLK at. The very first time I stuck the BLK in a freezer it crapped out which gave me a figurative panic attack until it rebooted and scanned fine.

We're looking at upgrading scanners and one of the comments I've received is that we can't say "no" to a scan job just because it's cold. I'm not sure which scanner we will upgrade to but getting some anecdotal stories on the effects of cold is good.

Cheers
Matt

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by jitender »

I think so, but when the time we work on a cold or freeze area then you see the Scanner lens side a smokey very thin line appears, what kinds of precautions for before using the scanner on site for the smokey line remove?

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by Rikore »

We use our P40's inside coolers quite offten. Never had any proplems. As with our external cameras, we allow the scanner to sit in the cold for a few minutes before starting. It allows the condensation to disapate.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by brian715 »

Last winter our x330 was shutting off every couple of scans when it was 10 deg F or so. We dismissed the warnings until it just shut off and then we had to warm it up before it would turn on again. I was cold. The scanner was cold. It was cold. I'm sure our S350 will be tested this winter at some point. Never had an issue with the scans themselves.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by JeffT »

Working out of Minneapolis, I have run into this a few times. Down to about 10-15 degrees (F) the C-10 through P-40 pretty much act like normal. Below that I have noticed the P-40 will limit its speed. It slows to half speed, basically, around -5 to +10 degrees.

I have used the C-10 to -25F. It works fine, then after about the 6th scan (at medium, so like 45 minutes) the mirror will slow down. Then it will stop and just error out. I'm assuming the grease in the bearings freezes up or something. You just go warm it up in the truck for 20 minutes and go back out. That big aluminum block in the middle takes forever to warm up.

I have used the P-40 at -15 before. Similar experience, but I could get like 15 scans a pop.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by MajorDomo »

JeffT wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:07 am
Working out of Minneapolis, I have run into this a few times. Down to about 10-15 degrees (F) the C-10 through P-40 pretty much act like normal. Below that I have noticed the P-40 will limit its speed. It slows to half speed, basically, around -5 to +10 degrees.

I have used the C-10 to -25F. It works fine, then after about the 6th scan (at medium, so like 45 minutes) the mirror will slow down. Then it will stop and just error out. I'm assuming the grease in the bearings freezes up or something. You just go warm it up in the truck for 20 minutes and go back out. That big aluminum block in the middle takes forever to warm up.

I have used the P-40 at -15 before. Similar experience, but I could get like 15 scans a pop.

That is the battery management kicking in.
Replace the batteries with warm ones, and you will be good to go.

The batteries will pop long before the grease does.

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Re: Effects of Cold Weather on Scanners

Post by stutosney »

I was speaking with a guy who works in Antarctica and has just started scanning with a P40 with no issues, I'm guessing it gets pretty chilly down that way! As mentioned, I think the batteries would probably suffer the most.

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