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Extreme low temp. operating conditions

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Last response: in Systems
December 18, 2008 1:19:12 PM

Hey Guys.

Initial planning is underway here for a Car mod, (Or Extreme PC mod, if you prefer.)

Given the climate I live in, (Minnesnowta, USA) I need to be sure that the entire thing can survive wide variations in temperature, including occasional temps as low as -20C

Planning on SSD attatched to a nano-itx board. Any suggestions you guys have think might be important?

Will be running off a 200w 12v dc power supply, and I'm not sure yet if I'll need to swap in a high-output alternator in order to keep the juice flowing.

I guess in the end, I'm hoping you guys can help me think this through properly before I get my hands dirty.

More about : extreme low temp operating conditions

December 18, 2008 3:03:11 PM

most pc components can withstand extremely low temperatures for short amount of times, ie LN on the CPU/GPU. The usual parts to cause trouble in the cold are optical drives, hard drives and possibly displays.

If anything, you might be limited more by the PSU than anything else in your build.
December 18, 2008 3:05:10 PM

ya that's going to be tight with only 200w to play with. is there any ways to get a bit more juice?
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December 18, 2008 3:13:44 PM

I bet 200 watts ends up being plenty. I can't see using a high-power CPU or GPU in this kind of build.
December 19, 2008 12:03:03 PM

Thanks for the comments, guys. Higher capacity PSUs are an option, but they get a little pricy from 200w out. As far as performance, the most it will do is playback SD video, capture video from a webcam (15 fps low res stuff.) I don't see any reason draw from a system for this purpose will be very high. -- I'll revisit the topic once I have a more solid part list in mind.
Anyone have working experience with LCD's in low temps? maybe there are some variables we can look at there.
a b ) Power supply
December 20, 2008 7:31:47 PM

Temp is not too much of a concern honestly, but condensation is a BIG problem.
January 8, 2009 2:43:03 PM

if you are a handy craftsman, you could probably build a plexiglass enclosure for the lcd screen to prevent snow/ice buildup or damage.

I'd suggest looking at mini-atx setups as a starting point though.