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Thread: So has anyone actually come up with a hard drive heating solution?

  1. #1
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    So has anyone actually come up with a hard drive heating solution?

    I've read a bunch of posts with people shooting out ideas, but haven't seen anyone actually implement anything.

    BB HDDs don't seem to be completely immune to these problems, I don't want to boot from CF, and it's cold in Canada...

    Some ideas that people have had:

    Watlow Flexible Heaters... these are really cool.

    http://www.watlow.com/products/heaters/ht_flex.cfm
    http://www.watlow.com/products/heaters/ht_syringe.cfm

    Looks like they have temperature sensors.

    Another idea:

    Use a Stamp module (http://www.parallax.com/html_pages/p...sic_stamps.asp) and their digital thermometer (http://www.parallax.com/detail.asp?product_id=604-00002).

    I've never programmed these before, but it's probably ridiculously simple to program these things. When you deal with the temperature measurement, sure you could easily tell what the ambient temp around the drive is.

    If you provide a low amount of constant heat, you might be able to keep this heat applied, safely, until the ambient temperature naturally rises (I would imagine that the heat given off by the heater would be minimal, although I am not sure). Unless you could actually measure the temperature of the drive itself, and not the air around it? This way you can probe the drive for a temp. reading, and not care about the air around it.

    You would also need to have some sort of heating element. The Watlow would work well here, I would imagine (providing it does not have its own sensor circuitry).

    Does anyone know of any other heating elements that would work well? Or how to accurately measure the temperature of the drive? Or if this would work with only one side of the drive having direct heat applied to it? Or if this is a good idea?

    Obviously lower power consumption is better, although I am quite sure that I am adding a 2nd battery, so current usage is not extremely critical.

    I've actually sent a "Heater Application Request" to Watlow. I wonder if they'll get back.
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  2. #2
    Newbie recompiler's Avatar
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    Peltier (has side benefit of being reversible during summer months for cooling)
    Heating element for Nitrous bottle?

    Take a look at iButtons (ibutton.com) and affix the temp sensor ones to the hard drive, run interface with it using serial cable and you got temp monitoring.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by recompiler
    Peltier (has side benefit of being reversible during summer months for cooling)
    Heating element for Nitrous bottle?

    Take a look at iButtons (ibutton.com) and affix the temp sensor ones to the hard drive, run interface with it using serial cable and you got temp monitoring.
    Peltier has me feeling a little weary. I'd rather not go that route unless completely necessary.

    So are you suggesting iButtons with the N20 heating element? Do you have any more info on these heaters?

    I'm still not sure about the actual "hard drive heating part". I mean, you're just heating the surface.

    If I put the sensor and the heating element on the same side, then naturally the sensor is going to be a lot warmer than the temp on the other.

    If I put the sensor on the opposite side of the heating element, then the side with the heating element is going to get a lot hotter than the side with the sensor, before the sensor reaches its cutoff temp.

    Or I could try two sensors and two heaters.

    I think one key issue is determining how hot these hard drives actually are, not on the surface. They are made up of several materials...
    '03 Intensa Blue Pearl Lexus IS300

    Specs: Xenarc 700TS, Opus 150W PSU, CarCPU Case, 2.0 GHz Celeron D, DFI PS-35-BL, SB Audigy2 NX, Centrafuse 1.4

    Progress: Car PC up and running!
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  4. #4
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Move to a warmer climate?


    Sorry. I know this was a blatant post-whoring, but I really felt I had to.

    Here's my take on the situation:
    Hard drive casings are made of aluminum, which is very good at transferring heat (or cold). The idea of heating up the external case of the HDD to the point where it will make the fluid bearings viscous enough for the HDD to spin up is a sound idea.

    If you're going to go with a heating element that heats up a small surface area (such as a peltier), you'd want to focus that heat on the area near the spindle, as that's where the bearings are. Another point to consider is the axle for the arms that have the read/write heads attached (I'm sure there's a name for this, but I don't know it).
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



    Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate schpanky's Avatar
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    What about the power draw of the peltier?
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  6. #6
    Newbie Bait-Fish's Avatar
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    A quick, dirty, and cheap way that came to my mind first was to use a small incandescent light bulb. Paint it black and affix it close to the point/s needing warmth. It depends on just how much heat you need. Not very elegant and probably not as efficient as a dedicated heater due to some of the energy going to light output.

    Don't hard drives use 20 watts or so on their own? If it was wired to its own separate power supply that never turned off keeping the platter/s spinning continuously, it would (hopefully) keep itself heated. Add some insulation if needed to blanket the drive if it doesn't stay warm enough. Tailor things as seasons change, etc.

  7. #7
    Newbie recompiler's Avatar
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    you can kill your battery, you will wear down and kill motors in your drives faster, you can start a fire by heating up the blankets enough.
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  8. #8
    Newbie intel_eclipse's Avatar
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    this is just an idea, but what about mounting the HDD or possibly the whole computer near one of the HVAC vents in the vehicle? you'd have to wait a few minutes to let heater warm up, but you could also use the vent to cool the drive in the summer... not that you would need to living in canada though...

  9. #9
    Newbie recompiler's Avatar
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    If you ran a dryer hose from the vent to a specially crafted box that concentrates hot/cold air and lets it out at a rate slower then it allows in, you may have somethign workable. My borther did somethign similar on his desktop machine and ran a dryer hose from the vent to the 120mm fan intake.
    Lets see what others think.
    2004 Eclipse GTS v6 Turbo, NOS

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  10. #10
    MySQL Error jcdillin's Avatar
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    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.co...tem=6&mitem=14

    just get something like this and make a small temp sensor circuit and make it pic controlled.
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