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Thread: weather proofing carputer

  1. #1
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    weather proofing carputer

    I've really given allota thought to my build, but Ive Missed one thing..i completley forgot about the weather, the heat and humity should be fine, its the cold and condensation that i'm concerned about. I live in a state that has plenty of frosty morning. my concearn is i'm gonna turn the car on and it's gonna fry it. I've thought about patrolium jel but that can be pretty messy :\ are their any products on the market like that, that harden and can be removed easier? or does anybody have any other ideas on how to make sure i'm safe. sorry if this has been covered, just loking for help

  2. #2
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    I've put a ton of thought into this myself. I haven't posted a work log or a build yet (been too busy actually doing the build itself), but since I have a soft top Jeep, and Jeep hasn't figured out how to make a soft top that doesn't leak yet, I had to come up with a rugged and secure solution myself. I ended up going with Pelican Cases. All components are mounted into Pelican Cases with bulkhead connectors providing the interconnect. Peltier type thermoelectric devices provide active cooling to the entire box. This way, the boxes are waterproof, cooled, and secure (bolted down and cable locked).

    Outside of what I've done, it may be difficult to find a happy medium between keeping the condensation off and allowing the case to cool properly. Is your vehicle open? I haven't heard of anyone having issues with condensation with a standard, closed vehicle. Does it mess with your existing radio?

    Maybe you could try laying a breathable fabric over the case, like cheesecloth. It would let the heat out but keep the moisture off....? Possibly. But don't quote me on that one, it's just an idea.

  3. #3
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    Ya know, I remember being in the same position last winter (about this time when I was putting in my first install). I build a crappy plexiglass box which had an open top/side to it for connections and upgrades. I put all the parts in (mobo/hd/wifi/cpu/heatsink/etc) this box and it was "set" inside my trunk. I had an suv with swinging door from side to side, so when I opened the trunk, some moisture would fall for sure. I was like oh crap!!!

    1 year later, I built a new system. It's not because of weather, but an accident that caused the mobo to malfunction. If my install can survive a winter with an open top on the case (think side perma off a tower but facing up) without being buried in a compartment, I'd think your fine with pretty much any design that doesn't have snow actually touching the mobo. Moisture did not a thing, started up everytime...

    However, I will say don't take my first initial design as a "I'll throw the system here and forget it". I was worried, changing things everytime I could (without proper time) and never got it out of the elements. Don't make the same mistake, but at the same time, cover the basics and you'll be fine.

    I bet it doesn't get any worse than living about 2 minutes away from Lake Erie .
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  4. #4
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    my pc is mounted on a sheet of acrylic, and have zero temp-related issues-- this is kind of the second winter(last winter, my car sat for 3mo at a time, so there was very little usage). (though i do have a consistent issue with my ram vibrating loose..)

    and, btw, i drive a leaky-topped convertible...


    out of curiousity, how many times have you had frost inside the car?!?

  5. #5
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    my alpine PDX amps and jbl mS-8 used to have frsot if it was nice and chilly out.

    right now im having trouble finding a case, i did pick one up, but its to small for the heat im gonna have it turns out, Heat sink wont even fit. and to top that, the power supply in it, is a 20 pin not a 24 pin. i know your supposed to use legacy when doing something like this, but i like top of the line and 'm gonna make this thing beastly powerfull.

    some cases im looking at -

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811108196

    I really like this one - I dont know if it'll have enough hight for my heatsink though.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811233060

  6. #6
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    out of curiousity, how many times have you had frost inside the car?!?
    None, I didn't have a leaky soft top like jeeps/convertibles...

    But, my first install I mounted the open top case inbetween 2 subs and never had any ram vibrating issues either. It looked horrible though, but for the year-ish I got out of that pathetic install, maybe I should play the lottery or something ...

    I bet it would still be kicking to this day if my girl didn't get rear ended. The mobo doesn't post anymore ...
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  7. #7
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    then i really wouldn't worry about it.

    the main area of concern is trying to route air conditioning air onto the pc during hot summer months-- it cools the board down too much and allows condensation to collect on it as soon as the door is opened.

  8. #8
    FLAC -zip-'s Avatar
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    Should not have issues as long as the carputer is placed in a dry area in the car. Been running CarPCs in Canadian winters for several years now without issue. Ever notice the frost is never inside the car? When it get really cold the hard drives stop spinnning and the monitors get washed out but thats about it. SSD drive would cure the drive problem.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by -zip- View Post
    Ever notice the frost is never inside the car?


    Haha, I've had over an inch of ice on the floor of my Jeep (understandably, since the folks over at Chrysler are new to the soft-top thing.......lol). I know what you're saying though. It's probably best to think of a Carputer the same way (or at least similarly to the way) you would think of a nice Car Radio Head Unit. If that doesn't freak out in the weather, the carputer probably won't either.

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