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Thread: Carputer Condensation

  1. #1
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    Carputer Condensation

    Howdy all. Question ya. I am in the processes of modding my 2003 Mazda Protege 5 to accept a carputer. The problem i keep banging my head aginst the wall with is this. Does anyone know about condensation with the puter in cold weather regions. Between its warm operating temptures and the outside temps in like the midwest and northeast of the US. It would really **** me off to short the whole thing out. Any advise?????

  2. #2
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    Do a search on "cold weather" and you will find many threads discussing the effect of cold temperatures on the Car PC. Most discussions seem to focus on the hard drive, since they are generally only rated from 5C to 55C. I live in Denver and my computer does not like to boot below freezing, however, others report no problem in colder areas. Condensation is generally not thought to be a problem.

  3. #3
    Newbie saito's Avatar
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    Slightly OT, but related to the weather. It's been about -2F to 5F above here in NE for the last week. My ITPS power sequencer will not pass current to the computer until the interior temperature warms up for about 10-15 minutes.

    At first I thought the computer was "frozen." Sorry. Couldn't resist. But after putting a meter on the board, I could see it wasn't passing the juice til things warmed up a bit.

    It's 30F now, and everything is fine.

    FWIW, I've had a box in my car in one form or another for 3 years and condensation has never been an issue. As usual, your mileage may vary.
    Aku, Soku, Zan.
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  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate
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    No problems here with my hardware all week
    where in the north east are you saito? i was out all night in that freezing weather on saturday

  5. #5
    Constant Bitrate parawing742's Avatar
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    I've used my system in freezing weather before (New York State) and the only problem is I have to wait for my truck to warm up before it will boot. Seems the hard drive doesn't like temps well below freezing. The hard drive usually makes a screeching sound for several minutes after starting up.
    Phillip Hullquist

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  6. #6
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    Hcomplyr No problems here with my hardware all week
    I am actually in chicago but i journy to toronto from time to time. The weather that hit you folks came here first and it sucked.

  7. #7
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sigma957
    Do a search on "cold weather" and you will find many threads discussing the effect of cold temperatures on the Car PC. Most discussions seem to focus on the hard drive, since they are generally only rated from 5C to 55C. I live in Denver and my computer does not like to boot below freezing, however, others report no problem in colder areas. Condensation is generally not thought to be a problem.
    Hey Sigma,

    I assumed (bad of me) that I was the only member in the Denver area.

    You acctually have cold boot issues here?

    I'll throw in with sigma "Condensation is generally not thought to be a problem."
    TruckinMP3
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  8. #8
    Variable Bitrate
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    well, uh, on space hardware, they use high power high ohm resistors to generate heat by passing a current through them (this is the most power consuming thing in a space device such as the mars rovers, besides radio communications) so that the components that don't like it don't freeze...
    I don't need no stinkin' startup-shutdown controller... That's what journalized filesystems are for...
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  9. #9
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    High power consumption components (heat generating)
    and Heat are gennerally the enemy for small footprint installs that run from battery power (car PCs)
    TruckinMP3
    D201GLY2, DC-DC power, 3.5 inch SATA

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

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  10. #10
    Variable Bitrate
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    well, they use these on the current mars rovers that only generates 900w/h per day. so guess they have found a way to do it...
    the warm electronics box is composed of a very good insulating structure (mebbe that's where the secret is )
    the rovers are able to withstand -190 C , and the computer inside is still functionnal.
    in our case, we'd need to use a power resistor (those that have an aluminium radiator) and a temperature sensor. turn the power to the resistor when temperature of the HDD casing is under a certain threshold (10 C sounds about right), turn it off when temp goes over threshold (15 C)
    I don't need no stinkin' startup-shutdown controller... That's what journalized filesystems are for...
    NavSys, the ultimate navigation app
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