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Thread: Has anybody tried this approach for cooling...

  1. #1
    Newbie AcidPunch's Avatar
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    Question Has anybody tried this approach for cooling...

    I'm not even sure if this is a good idea or not, based on the fact that you would probably end up introducing a whole lot of condensation, but...

    I was wondering if anybody has tried to fabricate a duct that goes from a car or trucks' air conditioning to their PC and incorporated it into the overall case design for cooling.

    I don't know, stupid idea?
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  2. #2
    Vendor - Qube colin's Avatar
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    I think the problem is the rapid change of temperature.
    I considered it but I was lead to believe from other topics that it's generally a bad practice.

  3. #3
    And then I was mod. Tidder's Avatar
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    I had mine setup under the seat for a while, with the duct blowing directly over my cpu cooler. Worked fine except when winter rolled around, then had to move so wouldn't be blasted by the heater. So I've since then moved it.

    However, it may be worth a shot to help with lowering running temp a tad. Maybe just a tiny duct that delivers cold air directly over cpu cooler. Like colin said, rapid changes in temp are never good, but with a small enough duct, the temp change would be gradual. Then again, this could never be a permanent solution, unless you live in a place that never uses heating, or you wanted to sacrifice the use of your heater.
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  4. #4
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    When warm, moist air comes in contact with a cool surface, it will cool and moisture condenses out of it. We've all seen this happen when you have a glass with ice and cold water in it on a hot day.

    So, it is possible that your PC, cooled by the A/C, would cause condensation to form on it -perhaps when you park and shut the car off and you let warm moist air into the car when you open the door.

    WizardPC experimented with this idea quite awhile ago.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
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  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate
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    Mine is under the seat vents blow directly into it both heat and cold (winter or summer) I have never had any problem whatsoever with it.

    Furthermore you are extremely unlikely to have a problem with condensation. Look at a psychometric chart and you should see why. It is basically impossible unless you have extremely high humidity outside the car and very hot temps so when you get out if you leave the doors open, or wind is blowing and the interior cool and very dry air is replaced with outside warm moist air.

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    Isn't that what happens when you shut the car off? The A/C removes humidity from the interior while cooling it. Parts of the PC like the case could get quite cool. As the car sits after turning it off, both opening the door and leakage of air would allow warm, moist air to enter the car.

    I'm not saying it is likely, just that it is possible. I don't think cooling it with A/C air is near as important as making sure that it has a fresh supply of ambient air. Often when I read about people with an over heating problem, the PC is in the trunk where it simply reingests warmed air with little supply of fresh, cooler air.

    If the cabin is cool enough for you to get into, then it is unlikely to be so hot your PC will overheat, even if it is 110+ degrees. I guess some folks have monster PC's that put out a lot of heat or are poorly ventilated, but the key is to keep from recirculating the air that was just exhausted from the PC without letting it cool down.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate
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    Better than an ac duct (condensation, heater bypass needed for winter) would be a duct that forces air from outside the vehicle, but that gets you all kinds of additional difficulties, such as snow, rain, road dirt...

    An exhaust vent to outside would be better: push hot air from around the computer outside the vehicle, letting cabin air provide cooling.
    Getting complicated enough yet?

    The best solution overall really is to use a cool-running system and ensure adequate airflow.

  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate kibble's Avatar
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    I thought about doing that and supplying A/C to the pc. I took a 7 hour trip last week and I was going to leave the back seat down to allow air to flow out of the trunk, but I forgot to.

    About 4-5 hours into the trip, the PC had gotten REALLY hot and I didn't notice any problems until the music started to sound distorted and I couldn't control the PC, at which point the only thing I was able to do was hit reset. When the BIOS came up all it said was: "Disk Boot Failure". I thought my hard drive had died for sure. When I opened the trunk it felt like I had just opened up an oven! A later inspection with a multimeter revealed that the 5V wire going to the SATA power connector had stopped making proper contact. All I had to do was tighten the metal contact and re-seat the wire. Worked with no problems after that!

    I'm surprised nothing fried at temperatures most likely over 50 degrees C! It never gets too hot on short trips or even just driving for about 2 hours, but I still want to make something that removes warm air from the trunk. I just don't think A/C is completely necessary after witnessing my computer not dying from really hot temperatures.

    I know I don't want it to get THAT hot again, but as long as it's receiving some sort of cool air, I'm sure it'll be ok.

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