Debugging the freezer

Posted on Fri 27 April 2007

For some time my freezer at home was behaving strangely. Going to alarm mode because of temperature rising, but then restarting normal freezing operations when setting super-freeze mode on the control panel. It was then working correctly for one or two days and then going to alarm mode again.

Weird... obviously not a mechanical problem because super-freeze quickly brought the temperature to -30°C. A malfunctioning relay? Let's open the beast.

No relay there. All electronics, and... a tiny fly, less that 2 millimeters long, that got burnt between a transistor and a LED pins on the control panel and was perturbating the temparature regulation.

I removed the dead body of the poor fly, put back together the freezer pieces, and there we go. The freezer has been freezing normally again for about one week now!

A nice reminder for us computer geeks of where software bugs come from!

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