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definatly have heat issue, also have silicone encapsulant

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  • definatly have heat issue, also have silicone encapsulant

    Everything works fine except when the car has been sitting in the sun. Location= Raleigh, NC
    The failure always presents itself as a hung BIOS screen. Eventually it will boot up maybe 10 minutes later. The hard drive is spinning but nothing is booting. Power is clearly getting to all the components. I have an unorthodox setup with most of my components exposed. (my budget was and still is very small) The motherboard is a foxconn 45CSX which is an atom 330 board. PS is OPUS 150 watts. OS is Windows 7. My commute is very short so having this issue is very annoying. Will getting an SSD solve my problem, or could it be something to do with the motherboard? I have this stuff called sylgard 164, which is a silicone elastomer, which is supposed to shield electronics from the environment including temperature and vibration. Has anybody messed with encapsulants/pottants. my buddy received the stuff in error from dow corning and nobody in his lab wanted it so he gave it to me, due to my mad science predilictions.

    this is what I got for free
    and I have a picture of what my setup looks like. I have since taken off the rubber jacket and rolled it up and put it between the screen door handle and the top of the hard drive to no avail. (i found a non right angle sata to molex. yay) I am going to put the drive in this enclosure i got now that i can fit the sata cable in it....see if that works before i try anything crazy with silicone.
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  • #2
    Without temperatures from the devices...I'd first suggest some active cooling. Get a fan on the heatsinks there. Fans are cheap - and you likely have some laying around or that you can pull from another machine.
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    • #3
      Maybe the board has flexed and broken tracks etc - especially if mobile with insufficient mounting standoffs etc.
      Lack of shielding from PSUs and other emag sources.
      Dirty sockets & joints.

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      • #4
        Okay, try this: Take the hard drive off, take it into the house with you. When you are ready to take your trip, take it out of the house and plug it into the computer setup.

        It's possible that the hard drive is not liking the heat in the car when it is sitting in the sun. Trying it with a cold hard drive will eliminate that as a possibility.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by OldSpark View Post
          Maybe the board has flexed and broken tracks etc - especially if mobile with insufficient mounting standoffs etc.
          Lack of shielding from PSUs and other emag sources.
          Dirty sockets & joints.
          it does work fine eventually and mostly every other time which leads me to believe this cannot be true

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bugbyte View Post
            Okay, try this: Take the hard drive off, take it into the house with you. When you are ready to take your trip, take it out of the house and plug it into the computer setup.

            It's possible that the hard drive is not liking the heat in the car when it is sitting in the sun. Trying it with a cold hard drive will eliminate that as a possibility.
            this has been suggested to me before...and I do see the value as it can isolate the problem between the hdd and the MoBo. I will try it and report back. If it is the hdd I'm thinking an ssd should speed up my boots and provide reliability. I would just hope the mechanical hdd wants to play music right away. I'm still hoping somebody will dare me to use this silicone elasotmer.

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            • #7
              are you sure it is a hard drive causing the hung bios? if it is, a hard drive test is in order to double check if the drive is still good..

              otherwise, try unplugging some usb devices-- it is also possible one of them is causing it.
              My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
              "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


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              • #8
                OK, can I put my 2 cents into this? I am very anal about cooling, especially since my setup has so many heat generating components. Your amp is very close to the PC and I think its helping to contribute to the over heating issues. Build a box for around the PC only, then what your going to do is put 2 small or medium fans on one side that force air into the box, then place 2 small or medium fans on the other side to pull the air out. I use this method for my Car PC and its a instant 10 degree drop when they turn on. You will not see that drastic of a drop, because yours is in the trunk, but it will be enough to get the PC to normal tempature.

                Here is a picture. I built mine into the framing of my middle seat. Then the center console which is also the case goes over it.

                See on the first top picture, you can see the fans to the left hand side (front) and then fans to the right hand side (back). The front pulls air in, sending it across the PC and PSU, then the rear fans pull all the air out. No heat has time to build up.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                  are you sure it is a hard drive causing the hung bios? if it is, a hard drive test is in order to double check if the drive is still good..

                  otherwise, try unplugging some usb devices-- it is also possible one of them is causing it.
                  I can't be sure it the hard drive. I unplugged the bu-353 GPS at lunch today. I was parked in the sun and it was hot as when i came back out at 5pm. the carputer did still seem to hang at the bios screen but not for very long at all(still longer than a reference boot). During lunch my roomate thought that pressing buttons on the mouse seemed to help. I was trying it and it booted. I will try similiar things over the next few days i guess and really try to nail down the culprit. I may have to unplug the mouse all together. maybe it is the mouse...or the gps and not the hard drive. I also have a powermate and the touchscreen. Have you heard of any of these products causing this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ZX1Cruizer View Post
                    OK, can I put my 2 cents into this? I am very anal about cooling, especially since my setup has so many heat generating components. Your amps is very close to the PC and I think its helping to contribute to the over heating issues. Build a box for around the PC only, then what your going to do is put 2 small or medium fans on one side that force air into the box, then place 2 small or medium fans on the other side to pull the air out. I use this method for my Car PC and its a instant 10 degree drop when they turn on. You will not see that drastic of a drop, because yours is in the trunk, but it will be enough to get the PC to normal tempature.
                    so you think that fanning the parts for the few seconds while its booting could solve it? I will probably try something similiar if needed. The board is supposed to be totally passive and it does survive road trips with the music loud. I have a bunch of wires laying right on the amp and they do not melt. I assume they are made not too. I think the heat has something do with my issue based only on observing the conditions when the bios hangs, but I feel its worth noting the setup has in fact survived these long duty road trips just fine.

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                    • #11
                      i have never been very keen on passive cooling-- esp. in a cars trunk-- the trunk is full of non-moving air, so i think that it could help to have at least one fan(even a 80mm) blowing across the carputer, and amp. though i don't think it is too much of a problem to have the carputer that close to a amp

                      for the usb stuff-- that is electronics, anything can happen-- i had a tech call me the other day trying to repair a computer that the display had crazy lines going through it--he tried everything, from a new monitor, ups, computer power supply, motherboard, etc. but in the end, it turned out to be a bad keyboard causing it...

                      i think that you are off to a good start-- try unplugging things one day at a time, to see if they make any difference.
                      My OLD 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT:
                      "The Project That Never Ended, until it did"


                      next project? subaru brz
                      carpc undecided

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bramlet View Post
                        so you think that fanning the parts for the few seconds while its booting could solve it? I will probably try something similiar if needed. The board is supposed to be totally passive and it does survive road trips with the music loud. I have a bunch of wires laying right on the amp and they do not melt. I assume they are made not too. I think the heat has something do with my issue based only on observing the conditions when the bios hangs, but I feel its worth noting the setup has in fact survived these long duty road trips just fine.
                        It doesnt hurt to try..... What happens is the heat sink is designed to allow heat to pass up and out of what ever its cooling. Now if the air around it is also hot, the heat sink is going to try to retain that heat. Once air starts going over the heat sink, it should immediately cool them off.

                        Also I read that you think it might be the hard drive. I see you have it in a iPhone case. Dont HDD have a tiny special hole that cant be blocked or it damages the HDD. I am curious if this hole has been covered up.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by soundman98 View Post
                          i have never been very keen on passive cooling-- esp. in a cars trunk-- the trunk is full of non-moving air, so i think that it could help to have at least one fan(even a 80mm) blowing across the carputer, and amp. though i don't think it is too much of a problem to have the carputer that close to a amp

                          for the usb stuff-- that is electronics, anything can happen-- i had a tech call me the other day trying to repair a computer that the display had crazy lines going through it--he tried everything, from a new monitor, ups, computer power supply, motherboard, etc. but in the end, it turned out to be a bad keyboard causing it...

                          i think that you are off to a good start-- try unplugging things one day at a time, to see if they make any difference.
                          I agree..... my rear setup is so limited that I have to smash 6 computers, 4 amps, 3 PSU, 6 KVMP switches, and a distance sensor module all back there. Its a very tight space, but I also have 3 huge fans cooling it all so it shouldnt be a big deal. I have always believed in forced air cooling. Taking a small space and using high velocity fans to force more air into a space then it can handle. So far everything is ok. Although the rear area isnt finished so I do not know how it will work. For the main PC though, the idea works. The only draw back from having the amp so close to the PC is possible EMI and whinning noise into the speakers.

                          The USB point is right..... one device can cause a whole system to run like $h!+. It took me so long to build up my USB device line up.

                          Test the HDD on another PC, if your other PC doesnt have a SATA port, I recommend a USB to SATA converter. They run like 14.95 or less. I use this to connect my media drive to my laptop to transfer songs and movies.
                          Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                          1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                          4X MK808b
                          3x Perixx Touchpads
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                          • #14
                            if you think its cooling then it shouldnt be hanging on the bios screen. heat takes time to travel through the heatsink and raise the heatsinks temperature above the ambient air so I highly doubt its the heatsink. I have my atom 330 board in a case thats about the size of the board itself in my glove box and have had 0 issues with heat.

                            It should be fairly easy to see if it IS heat. open the trunk....if its not insanely hot in there you are fine. try touching your heatsinks. if they are too hot to touch then it could be an issue but atom boards dont consume much power. i dont think the northbridge is getting stressed too much upon boot (most power consuming component on board)

                            As far as the amp being too close to the mobo....thats not even close to an issue.

                            i think the silicone cover on the HDD is a horrible idea. The hole on the HDD is to allow pressure changes inside the HDD enclosure to equalize quickly since the platters spin on a sort of air suspension.

                            I dont think heat or HDD covers are the issue here but its worth noting what changes should be done to make your design better. I would point towards the USB device connected. Are any usb thumb drives installed....? Is your HDD or possible thumb drive seen as external from the mobo and having issues booting.

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                            • #15
                              Today was the mouses turn to face the music, and it turned out to be the mouse at fault. Apparently the mouse cooks up in the car and hangs the bios. Unplug the mouse and it boots right up no matter the heat. Plug the mouse back in and its good to go. Knowing this makes my problem much less annoying. Thanks guys. I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing making the totally passive choice and I feel vindicated that the crappy Targus mouse was just talking jive to my foxy foxconn.

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