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

  1. #91
    Variable Bitrate rizaydog's Avatar
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    I am starting to have issues with the cold now. Its been getting below frezing hear, and my puter wont boot until I get the cabin warm. I have my laptop mounted in the trunk. For now, I have just been dropping the back seat and letting the heater blow warm air into the trunk. This does take a long time and is kind of anoying. I thought about adding a 12v heater in the trunk that would turn on with the car. However, that is even more draw, and, as others stated, temp shock to the pc. I have been searching for a better HDD for my lappy that is more suitable for in-car use. Still no luck. My second idea was not to shut down the pc, and just leave it in standby all the time. My idea was to add a battery in the trunk. Something small, like a riding lawn mower battery. Then run a wire from my cig lighter (only carries current when car is on) to the battery. Then I could wire the laptops dc power cord to that battery. Then the laptop could stay in standby until the laptops battery, and the aux battery where both drained. Since the ignition is off, it wouldn't be able to draw power from the cars battery.

    Im not sure how this will work, or exactly how to wire in the battery. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  2. #92
    Low Bitrate Salmizar's Avatar
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    Hey,

    I did the 12v heater thing last year. And it sucked for a few reasons I wont get into here.

    The battery in the trunk would be useless. Standby mode is fine, but not all motherboards cut power to the usb devices, and those can drain your battery in a matter of hours. I use stand by, but have to use hibernate in the winter because my battery cannot take it. I have a yellow top optima (deep cycle battery) and I still only get about 48 hours of standby power. The cigarette lighter idea is also no good because of the draw that would be required to charge the battery would probably blow the fuse.

    I would recommend getting this http://store.mp3car.com/2_5_inch_Sea..._p/hrd-010.htm Its a automotive HD. I am using it now instead of my Mtron SSD. Its rated down to -30c.

  3. #93
    Variable Bitrate rizaydog's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll take a look at the drive.

  4. #94
    Newbie Jeff D.'s Avatar
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    slower HDD maybe...

    How about trying first gen 4500 rpm HDD's. I have one in my system and although I have some minor cold issues it's never been the HDD.

    Possibly because the slower spin rates of the older drives make it easier to acheive 4500rpm when cold, rather than the 10,000rpm new hot rod HDD's selling today. Probably when cold it's easier to get to 4500 than to get to 10,000 as far as I can see.

    I have a SFF Dell in my trunk. When I apply power to it from a switch on my dash I see the activity light flicker very slowly when extremely cold. At normal temps this flicker described above is so fast you almost don't see it. These SFF Dells have a different type of MB than regular pc's. Seems there is a pre-startup power cycle that happens before you actually boot up, it happens when voltage is applied to the MB, but before the you push the start up button. If I apply power to the Dell and let it sit for a min. or so, then push the start button it boots everytime no issues with cold, at least down to 5 degrees F.

    So my issue is not with the HDD but the initial power up of the MB.

    2004 Galant & it's about to become something....more.
    2004 Galant, 1.8gig P4, 512mb ram (in trunk), 7" indash VGA monitor, Sirius RS232 upgrade, wireless internet, remote start carpc and inverter, 2500+ mp3's.

  5. #95
    Variable Bitrate bemenaker's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried ssd hdd's?

    Has anyone tried one of the newer solid state (flash ram) hard drives instead of a rotating platter? This would seem to me to be the ideal situation here. Flash ram shouldn't be effected by the cold and with no moving parts, the viscosity and shrinking clearances become irrelevant. I know they cost a little more but it should solve the problem.

    Option two, is boot the system off of USB thumb drives and run it purely off of that. I am currently researching my first carpc, and that is what I had in mind so far. Booting the OS off of a smaller 2 or 4 GB thumb drive, and then having an 80GB or larger thumb drive for holding my media. And you can swap them out with some simple file system structure. Not all motherboards will support this and it's a more difficult option to do because XP doesn't support this out of the box, but a few secs on google will have you to modern methods to do this.

    Looking forward to starting my equipment purchases and getting going. I will document and share all as I'm building and/or finished.

  6. #96
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    I know this post is a bit late, but I saw no one suggest a water "cooler."

    Here is an example kit: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/Produc...C=1160&ID=1618.

    What you could do is mod something like a teakettle to replace the radiator, and reduce the kettle's power usage to heat less. (minimize boiling )

    here after much searching is a hard drive water cooler. http://www.koolance.com/water-coolin...product_id=678

    But it would be critically important to include several fail safes (automatic and manual) in this system to ensure it doesn't over heat.

    Also, due to often excessive vibrating of cars, some sort of liquid absorbing fail safe should be used, making this a more difficult mod than i initially planned.

  7. #97
    FLAC
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    i am planning to run a deep cycle battery off a solenoid and also have a small rooftop solar cell to help the battery when the car is off. even if i only get 2 days of sleep mode time, thats ok with me. ill be using vista and it can do hybrid sleep where it writes to the disk in sleep anyway- just in case the power gets cut. best of both worlds.

  8. #98
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    If you have a secondary battery in the car then you could use an inverter to convert the power to 120vac and plug in a temp controlled heat lamp. I have one in my well house to keep the pipes from freezing up. Just have to make sure your bulb doesn't burn out. Set the temp on the thermostat and you don't have to worry about the pc getting too cold. Just an idea.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by RONBO0314 View Post
    If you have a secondary battery in the car then you could use an inverter to convert the power to 120vac and plug in a temp controlled heat lamp. I have one in my well house to keep the pipes from freezing up. Just have to make sure your bulb doesn't burn out. Set the temp on the thermostat and you don't have to worry about the pc getting too cold. Just an idea.
    I can't imagine that would last very long on battery power.
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  10. #100
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I can't imagine that would last very long on battery power.
    Not to mention, that sound dangerous. My solution would be that if you know its going to be cold, keep your heater on, then buy a autostart solution to start your car remotely and heat up the inside. Then maybe you can tie the PC into the security system also and when you think your car is warm enough, hit a AUX button to activate the PC. Although I live in Florida, I plan on doing this for the opposite reasons, i want the car to be cooled off then the PC turns on.
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