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Old 01-08-2009, 07:12 AM   #1
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Cold Weather and contrast?

Okay has anyone else noticed a distinct difference in the contrast of the 505 when it's cold?

Over the past few days it's been getting down to about freezing in London and I've noticed that when out and about in the cold the contrast drops dramatically. Not unreadable by anymeans, but clearly there.

I don't remember this happening last year though, and I can't see any other threads about it.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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I can't say I've noticed any difference. My reader is in my bag at all times (when not being read) which sits in the hall - the coldest place in the house (being right next to the front door).
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:31 AM   #3
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Oh yes. Since I smoke and live in horribly cold weather, I've noticed this. It gets slightly lighter but I've noticed the ghosting gets much worse. Once you warm it back up it works fine though. I think it happens mainly because the case is metal so it gets cooler fast.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riocaz View Post
Okay has anyone else noticed a distinct difference in the contrast of the 505 when it's cold?
I noticed it with both my 500 and 505, so I've just been assuming it's a feature of e-ink displays. I do a fair amount of waiting for buses, and if if the display in the cold-enough long-enough then it gets close to illegible .
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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Not contrast per se, but last year I did report to this board that my 505 took a little while to "warm up", and during those first 20 or 30 page turns, the two pages would display simultaneously for a very short time, rather than do the simple "flash". Once I warmed the back of the cold metal with my hands, this behaviour would go away. Its not been cold enough for that to happen to me yet this winter.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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I did notice some difference in cold weather but I wasn't sure if it was just the lighting. I often read on the bus after being outside 15 minutes at -15 Celsius. The text does seem lighter and page turns take slightly more time than usual. Nothing too important though, I can read without any problem. It also seems to get better after a couple of page turns.

I guess it's normal at that temperature... kind of like when my car's radio display does not work well in Canadian winter until the car is warmed up enough.

Last edited by Shiren; 01-08-2009 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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I will add to the chorus: yes, cold definitely affects the display on the 505. I was very worried the first time I experienced this, afraid it was permanent. So far, so good, however. After a while, or once the device is back up to normal room temperature, everything goes back to normal with no discernible ill effects.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:32 AM   #8
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maybe the cold makes the liquid in the e-ink capsules more viscous and the pigment particules can't move around as freely.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
maybe the cold makes the liquid in the e-ink capsules more viscous and the pigment particules can't move around as freely.
I was thinking something along those lines.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:37 AM   #10
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I found this info on Google Product search for the 500:

Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F


Which I think translates to minimum of 5 degrees celsius, just above freezing.

I couldn't find other specs but I doubt these have changed much in the 505 and the 700, anyone care to look it up in the actual Sony manual? Because I suddenly don't feel like taking my Sony out in subzero temperatures.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:44 AM   #11
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from the 700 user manual :

Operating Temperature
41 to 95 °F (5 to 35 °C)

maybe everybody living in cold areas should knit a little sweater for their sony.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #12
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Grabbed the 505 manual from the Sony site, same specs as the 700 and 500.

It does mention in the troubleshooting section that low temperature also ties in to extremely short battery life, so it might be more about that. Still... better safe than sorry.

Can my sweater have a little hoodie?

No, no no, wait, I want a Doctor Who rainbow scarf!
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acidzebra View Post
Can my sweater have a little hoodie?

No, no no, wait, I want a Doctor Who rainbow scarf!
heehee !! we're going to need a sony sweater fashion show pretty soon.

my sony will need a hat. hats are very important for keeping warm : 90% of body heat is lost through the extremities.
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
maybe the cold makes the liquid in the e-ink capsules more viscous and the pigment particules can't move around as freely.
I don't think there was liquid in an eInk display like in an LCD (l=liquid).

And, I'm wrong:

The principal components of electronic ink are millions of tiny microcapsules, about the diameter of a human hair. In one incarnation, each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid.

So, what you say makes perfect sense.

BOb
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Old 01-08-2009, 01:55 PM   #15
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could also have to do with the battery.
Many manufacturers warn saying there's a decrease in performance when battery temperature drops, the actual voltage on the output pinns drop.

It may be a combination of a variety of factors (like e-ink, and battery,and perhaps some other stuff).

If you're near an AC outlet, and can plug in your device, while it being cold; see if you still experience the same issues!
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