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

  1. #11
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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  2. #12
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #13
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
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  4. #14
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    Also remember cold air + heat = water
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
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    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

  5. #15
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #16
    FLAC greatwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2k1Toaster View Post
    Also remember cold air + heat = water
    Not a whole lot of humidity in air temps between -15c to -30c.....................

    Anyways, the "warmed" air will be blown in to the cavity, not directly on the components. The warming effect will be gradual at best. The way it is now, there's no heat in the trunk compartment at all as it is separated completely from the passenger compartment. So, the puter warms itself or it never gets to start. A supplimental source in extreme cold still seems a reasonable solution.

    I'm also beginning to think the non-start condition may have been caused by the lcd. The power button on the Lilli went from blue (power on) to red (power off) and when I pushed it to turn the monitor back on, it flashed red. Nothing would stop it. The puter never spun up as there was no music as there would be with the puter on and the screen off. The only thing that worked was a complete car off /car off cycle after the interior warmed up.

    Wouldn't be the firt time I've had the lilli and the nvdia card do something weird..............

    hasn't repeated this behaviour since, but it's only been around -10c the last day.

    Could have been an unrelated to the cold "glitch" I suppose.........
    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.
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  7. #17
    FLAC
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    Maybe a tad OT. but wouldn't it be cool to have a wireless power transmission solution here. where there is a stator under the car and at home, in your garage, you park over the source of a rotating field, which then induces voltage that can be rectified...etc... down to 13.8V, this would allow for things like keeping the car warmed up, computer on, and for electric cars... Anyway if the car is that cold, maybe it's not in a garage.
    Out in town, there's always the idea of automatic monitoring of temperature and battery voltage where the car can start itself (after a basic automatic safety check) up long enough to recharge and maintain the necessary minimum climate conditions and charge state. Maybe an external controller would be best for that, to minimize drain and allow for hibernation/sleep/off/whatever.

  8. #18
    Fusion Brain Creator 2k1Toaster's Avatar
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    I like the more modern wireless power transmission using harmonic frequencies to oscillate some semiconductor material and produce itty bits of power each but they are so small that it adds up with a bunch of them.
    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

  9. #19
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h3rk View Post
    Maybe a tad OT. but wouldn't it be cool to have a wireless power transmission solution here. where there is a stator under the car and at home, in your garage, you park over the source of a rotating field, which then induces voltage that can be rectified...etc... down to 13.8V, this would allow for things like keeping the car warmed up, computer on, and for electric cars... Anyway if the car is that cold, maybe it's not in a garage.
    Out in town, there's always the idea of automatic monitoring of temperature and battery voltage where the car can start itself (after a basic automatic safety check) up long enough to recharge and maintain the necessary minimum climate conditions and charge state. Maybe an external controller would be best for that, to minimize drain and allow for hibernation/sleep/off/whatever.
    Yea and say your working on your car, and forget to turn it off and you roll right in the field...... Can you say instant fried mechanic!!!!!!!!

  10. #20
    FLAC
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    Eh, I know lots of mechanics.
    Ok so maybe just turn the garage into a giant microwave like 2k1Toaster says.

    Anyway, I don't think a garage solution is the appropriate answer here, being that many people have their cars parked out on the street.

    but it seems that any valid answer needs some electricty. And heaters can be power hogs, blowers too. So I thought I'd add the idea.

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