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Real usable temperatures for carputers

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  • Real usable temperatures for carputers

    Hey everyone. I'm planning to build my first CarPC in the near future. I've put together numerous desktop computers before so I'm not too worried about the technical aspect. However, I'm still hesitant because of harsh environments a carputer encounters in one's car. I'm planning to buy VoomPC2 with M2-ATX and Versa C7 mobo. Most websites list their motherboards to work in a 0-50 degrees celcius environments. Please share your experiences along with possible solutions/workarounds for running your carpc outside of this range of temperatures (hotter and colder!).
    Please include processor idle/load temperatures if you have those saved somewhere!
    Thanks a lot!
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

  • #2
    asked quite a bit. Absolutely trouble free from -20 to 40. Above 40 it overheats in my experience unless the AC is on.

    Below -20 the screen becomes dim, you need to press harder for touches to get noticed. The screen however warms up within about 5 to 10 minutes. The HD however is most people's problems. I have not had any problems at -35 with it, but the cabin wasnt -35 because it was in a garage.

    That pretty much covers the temp extremes. Where do you live?
    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

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    • #3
      around Boston MA. So I should be ok with temperatures? It RARELY gets -20 at winter and it hovers around 30 during the day here. However, the car heats up a lot under the sun, I'm not sure what the temperature inside is when you open the door. Judging by the hot blast I get, it is pretty high. I plan to put the carputer itself inside the car and not in the trunk, like most people do.

      I always wondered how things like navigation systems in Acuras and BMW's and such keep working during summer/winter. They are almost full-blown computers, running some version of embedded WinCE
      ------------------------------------------------------------
      My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nivanov View Post
        around Boston MA. So I should be ok with temperatures? It RARELY gets -20 at winter and it hovers around 30 during the day here. However, the car heats up a lot under the sun, I'm not sure what the temperature inside is when you open the door. Judging by the hot blast I get, it is pretty high. I plan to put the carputer itself inside the car and not in the trunk, like most people do.

        I always wondered how things like navigation systems in Acuras and BMW's and such keep working during summer/winter. They are almost full-blown computers, running some version of embedded WinCE
        That 40C was outside temp. Inside it is the temperature that melts CD's into a goo. My friend left one on my dash last summer and it became like silly puddy. Had to get a tree branch to get the goo out because it was so damn hot.

        PC still worked... ish. It overheated. So I left it off for 5 minutes and blew the AC full blast and it worked. Mine was under my seat at the time. I just (this Monday) moved it to the trunk for a more stealth install and because with a coupe backseat legroom is at a premium.

        Those nav systems are usually flash based. Or solid state. And the big data (like maps) are read from the DVD drive. But they too have problems in extremes. Neighbour's nav screen grew a big 'ol bubble in the middle of it last summer as well. We dont like them though so it wasnt so bad.
        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


        • #5
          I only have experience up to 107 degrees outside temp...not sure how hot it was on the carpet on the floor of my truck above the baking pavement and my transmission...but I think it was hot enough.

          Computer worked fine.

          I have only seen somewhere above zero and below freezing with this rig...like they said, the monitor took a while to warm up, but everything else was fine.
          current projects

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          • #6
            Thanks a lot guys, looks like I'm going to go ahead with this project after all!
            ------------------------------------------------------------
            My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

            Comment


            • #7
              There are other ways to mitigate the heat issue too. I'm using a laptop, which when combined with certain software lets you take full control of its cooling (fan at 30% at <45C, 50% at 50C, 90% at 60C, etc.), and my proc. and video chip haven't gone above 50C yet (it's a new install). So depending on the motherboard's features you may be able to do that.

              Also since my van (and all other cars) has a 'passive' ventilation exhaust, I put three PC fans back there to push hot air out of the car, and draw air by the laptop which is behind a side panel just in front of that exhaust (and not in the main compartment-away from the sun). I blocked the rear interior vents so the exhaust pulls all its air from near the driver's window, which gets opened on the hottest days until I turn on the AC.

              I approached this like cooling an overclocked desktop PC - sometimes you have to get creative, but it's also fun!

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              • #8
                I personally think trying to get a carpc working in the cold is harder than figuring out how to cool it. If you need your carpc to work in -20C, I really think you should search/ask around to see which exact model product will work. For example, certain models of various components such as lcd screens, power supplies, hard drives will NOT work in -20C. I have never read about motherboards suffering from the cold, but you could probably ask people for their personal experiences as well (just to be safe).

                It would be awesome if there was a compilation of various components and real world experiences of how cold they can operate in. That sure would have saved me alot of trouble.

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                • #9
                  one of my friends brought in a computer from a -15C degree and turned it on. This was a regular desktop computer, so you can usually see the processor heat up to about 36-40C right after boot up. Heating up from -15C to 40C didnt sit well with that processor and it cracked right down the middle

                  I'm not too worried that this would happen to a carpc, since the processor im going to use draws much less power and therefore generates a lot less heat, so the warmup process will be much slower.

                  However, I'm not so sure about other parts, so that's why I started this thread in the first place. Once I build my CarPC (WHEN, not IF!), I'll post my experiences during extreme temperatures.

                  Now if only Metra would come out with a dash kit for my 2007 Yaris, I'd start right now!
                  ------------------------------------------------------------
                  My Project: All-in-one Double Din Unit

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