Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cold weather operators, how do you keep the 'puter warm?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cold weather operators, how do you keep the 'puter warm?

    Well,

    Temp dipped below -17 c last night. Took 20 mins for the puter to warm up enough to boot.
    I don't mind the 60-odd second boot times, but 20 mins isn't going to cut it (puter is in the trunk and seperate from the passenger compartment).....

    So, has anyone implemented a "warming method" for cold weather operations? Just something to get it up and running as it's more than capable of keeping itself warm once started (as we all know!).

    I need to come up with a solution as teh temps stay low for extended periods of time here (as in months) and very often -17c can be the high.

    I've got a few "switchable" electric heating options running around my head, but would like to see if anyone has gone down this road before.

    Cheers
    For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
    Leonardo Da Vinci

  • #2
    maybe a fan to circulate cabin air to the trunk & a remote start... might still take a little while, but if you remote start like 15min beforehand, you should be able to boot when you get in the car at least...
    MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

    first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

    Comment


    • #3
      There was another thread on this a month or so ago. One suggestion was to use multiple car batteries so the computer never has to be shut down and always stays warm.

      Edit: Link

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems to me that adding heat externally to the system is merely a bandaid to the problem. Your carpc will still take time to warm up with a heater. Ideally, the best solution would be to build your carpc from components that will take the cold. I have been having a ton of cold related problems so I am rebuilding by using a M2-ATX and M10000 motherboard because I have read that combination will work ok (havent tested it yet though).

        Alot of people recommend the remote start thing, or to redirect heat from the heater system. I dont know about other cars, but my car takes a while for the engine temperature to actually rise enough such that the heater will start blowing hot air if the car is just idling. Engine temperature rises much faster when the car is being in use vs idling. So I dont know if 15 minutes of idling will be sufficient to create enough hot air to warm up the pc.

        Do you know what part of the system is having problems in the cold? To warm up the entire system would take alot of wattage and be inefficient. Maybe you can narrow it down to a specific component so that you can either choose to replace that component, or build a heating device out of ceramic resistors.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had my last unable to locate boot device error today (due to the cold). I just ordered a 16 gig Mtron SSD drive. Lightning fast and solid state, so no worries of it not starting. I can't wait.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would suspect the HD as I just switched to a 320g drive (3.5) this summer from the 40g drive (3.5) I was using last winter (no issues). Although, it didn't even post which doesn't seem to jibe with the HD being the problem.

            My thoughts are a small electric heat and fan solution that can be switched on when the car starts and runs for a preset time. It would also be switched to disable it in warmer temps or to shut it off when the Mputer starts to boot. Or I may come up with a temperature controlled on off switch. Haven't quite nailed it down yet.............
            For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
            Leonardo Da Vinci

            Comment


            • #7
              check today's www.woot.com

              Cheap solution, maybe hook it up to a timer or some means of being able to shut it off after a few mins...

              www.mobile-effects.com

              Free file hosting, picture gallery hosting for installs, PM me.

              Internet's first Front End Skin browser, featured installs, downloads, links, informative articles - all free to registered users.

              Comment


              • #8
                greatwhite: In one of your replies to one of my cold weather related posts, I somewhat recall you saying you had no problems in the cold Alaskan winters, so it must be your new upgrade. I once did consider a heater for my hard drive. Then after looking at manufacturer recommended specifications, most drives are listed as having a maximum recommended temperature gradient of 20 degrees celsius per hour. If you are trying to bring the drive from -20C to operating 0C in just a few minutes by a heater (exceeding specifications), I would think that this would probably kill your drive much sooner. People seem to say that it is the changes in temperature which kills hardware (causing contractions/expansions), which is why there is all that debate about leaving computer on/turn it off. If you are okay with that, then maybe you could build a heater. I have tried building a 100watt blower type heater which blows hot hair onto my hard drive. That was terribly inefficient and you are probably better off building some type of heater which transfers heat to the drive via convection (such as wrapping the drive with ceramic resistors). In the end, I scrapped the idea and ended up going with an automotive boot drive. For my music, I use a removable 80gb when it isnt winter, and a 2gb usb key during the cold.

                Comment


                • #9
                  like others have said, the real solution is to use hardware that can handle the temps, either a solid state drive or an automotive drive. average laptop drives in general are more resistant than 3.5" drives from what I've seen, I use a laptop drive for the os & a 3.5 for media... there are times it's too cold for the media drive but I have yet to see it too cold for the laptop drives...
                  MY NEWEST INSTALL:modded infiniti fx with big screen

                  first windows carpc install........my liquid cooled LVDS screen :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    -17 C is about 1 F

                    I have had no issues down into the single digit F range. I suspect the HD as well. The bearings (when very cold) do not allow the platters to spin at the right speed for correct reading of data.

                    In another thread I was asked how cold my system has booted. The coldest I recall seeing in the morning was an air temp of 9 F (about -13 C) no issues. Mostly i do not look at the temp though.

                    I am in the process of finally joining the ranks of modern PCs for car use, I'll let you guys know about the changes and the temps as soon as it is in the truck.

                    My short term suggestion is get a drive that does not use FDB (fluid dynamic bearings) they seem to be more prone to cold temp issues. That being said, i have no idea if my new drive uses FDBs.
                    TruckinMP3
                    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

                    Yes, you should search... and Yes, It has been covered before!

                    Read the FAQ!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nobb View Post
                      greatwhite: In one of your replies to one of my cold weather related posts, I somewhat recall you saying you had no problems in the cold Alaskan winters, so it must be your new upgrade. I once did consider a heater for my hard drive. Then after looking at manufacturer recommended specifications, most drives are listed as having a maximum recommended temperature gradient of 20 degrees celsius per hour. If you are trying to bring the drive from -20C to operating 0C in just a few minutes by a heater (exceeding specifications), I would think that this would probably kill your drive much sooner. People seem to say that it is the changes in temperature which kills hardware (causing contractions/expansions), which is why there is all that debate about leaving computer on/turn it off. If you are okay with that, then maybe you could build a heater. I have tried building a 100watt blower type heater which blows hot hair onto my hard drive. That was terribly inefficient and you are probably better off building some type of heater which transfers heat to the drive via convection (such as wrapping the drive with ceramic resistors). In the end, I scrapped the idea and ended up going with an automotive boot drive. For my music, I use a removable 80gb when it isnt winter, and a 2gb usb key during the cold.
                      Alaskan!?!

                      Ha, not quite. But I have seen -35c temps while I lived in the prairies (down to -45, but didn't have a carputer then). The drive spun up back then, and it was a 3.5 rive. My new 320g drive is a different brand and is a 7400rpm instead of the old ones 5400rpm. May be something there.
                      It usually doesn't drop down this low where I'm living now. A supplimental heat source for the puter seems like a reasonable solution for now (seeing how I can make most of it from spare bits I have lying around).
                      Maybe when the price of auto grade drives comes down, I'll switch over.
                      Saving my pennies for a better touchscreen right now (transflective or whatever I can afford)...............
                      For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                      Leonardo Da Vinci

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well -17C is cold enough for most people to have engine block heaters in their cars. If so, then when you plug it in to the wall to keep the engine toasty, it can keep the computer on.

                        And the high was around 1F last week just a bit west of where I am in CO right now too.
                        Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                        1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                        30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                        15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                        Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
                          Well -17C is cold enough for most people to have engine block heaters in their cars. If so, then when you plug it in to the wall to keep the engine toasty, it can keep the computer on.

                          And the high was around 1F last week just a bit west of where I am in CO right now too.
                          Hmm, plugging in is an interesting idea. The only thing is that the block heater/battery blanket is on a timer. It comes on about an hour or so before I'm ready to leave. Not such a big deal at home in the morning, but hardly useful after sitting a whole 8-10hrs in the parking lot at work.

                          Still thinking a passive heat solution is the best way to go. Just enough to warm the compartment enough to have the drive reach speed......
                          For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
                          Leonardo Da Vinci

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Also remember cold air + heat = water
                            Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
                            1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
                            30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
                            15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
                            Buy now in the MP3Car.com Store

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              WOW, im glad I dont live in that type of area. It recently dropped to like 40 degress in miami and when i started the PC, the screen seemed dimmer, but eventually got bright, but the cooling fans in the front that suck air in, were sqeeking like they had been rust for years, after about 5 minutes it goes away..... i can only image what would happen if i live in an area you guys do.
                              Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                              1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                              4X MK808b
                              3x Perixx Touchpads
                              3x 7 inch Screens
                              1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                              1x Win 7 PC

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X