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Thread: Mac Mini in colder seasons?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Mac Mini in colder seasons?

    Hi all! With the help of an engineer friend who LOVES Hondas and some hardware from and Ebay, I've gotten my ultimate audio/visual dream setup in my car. I'm using a Mac Mini with the Carnetix 1900 PS and Mac Pac cable bundle which I would recommend to anyone here also.

    Now i'm not going to go in depth on the install itself. Suffice it to say that it works, and works great. I commonly keep the Mac in Front Row so that when I turn the car on, I do not have to press anything to have my music start up from where it left off. iTunes does not do this by default, and requires you to press the play button (either on screen or on remote.)

    The mac is mounted directly below the front passenger seat and sits next to the power supply. This seemed to be a good place because it didnt require giving up space in either the glovebox or center console area. In the summertime it is out of direct sunlight and resides in the technically coolest area of the car, save for maybe the trunk. The mini has passed the Summer months test, with some of the hottest and most humid weather we've seen in a few years.

    What i'm concerned about is the winter months here in Nebraska. The hard drive is a traditional platter-type hard drive. There is also a heating vent which passes warm/hot air to the rear passenger's feet. The vent sits to the left of the Carnetix P1900, and the Mini sits to the right of the P1900.

    If, at most i'm just looking at swapping to a solid state hard drive, does the Mac Mini allow that kind of hardware upgrade without fuss? If the hard drive is the least of my problems, is that vent going to be a problem for either the powersupply or mac?

    Apple's official word is that the mac mini will operate between 50 to 95 F. I'm sure the heat index was over 95 degrees farenheit this summer, so is the lower limit flexible also? Or does it simply matter if we get below freezing for fear of condensation?

  2. #2
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Bugbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Corning, NY
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    It will operate in much lower temps. Anything down to the 20's F and you should be fine. When it gets very cold, the most likely effects are a stalled hard drive due to the fluid in the bearing becoming viscous and the screen will be quite dim until it warms up.

    I recommend you try and see how it works before doing some kind of upgrade. You may be fine.

    As for the heater vent, you should be okay if there is space around it for air flow.
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  3. #3
    FLAC Machinehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    hijacks small portable city
    I've had mine work fine below 10 degrees F. Touch screen is flaky but the mini is rock solid.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I've got a Lilliput EBY701 for a monitor, and I notice that it needs to "warm up" even in higher temperatures. The touch screen is flaky, and I would not recommend the screen to someone who needs the touch feature. Other than that, the price is right and the display looks great when its ready. Thanks for the tips guys!

  5. #5
    FLAC Machinehead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    hijacks small portable city
    I had a Lilliput 729 and I was in the same boat. I have a wireless mouse I keep around for those cold days.

    I have a Xenarc now, I'll find out this winter if it's any better.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate onepuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    The mini is a tough sob. It never flinched the past few winters for me here in northeast ohio. It shouldn't give you any problems.

  7. #7
    CarFrontEnd Creator iamgnat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    One more here for no issues with the Mini down into the teens, but the CCFL in my Lilly isn't happy below about 40ish until it warms up. No issues with the TS though.

    My pathetic worklog.
    CarFrontEnd (now it's own sub-forum!!!!)

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