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Hard Drive survival in a car .....

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HeXenViRii

Member
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
Right near the Beach, FL
Im working on putting a small computer in may car ; i know the car itself wont cause any problems like netsumbling with a laptop ... but the best place for my comp will be in the trunk . This is the part im not sure about ; will vibration from the sub's (2x 10's) corrupt my drive ? im not worried about magnitisim as much as the virbration . So far the only info i found on the topic is here and it basically says 'maybe' .....
 

matrixzen

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2003
Location
CA
I've always thought about this but I didn't think a hard drive would survive in a car. I'm interested in this.
 

Bulwark

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Wouldn't temperatures in the trunk of your car be a problem...either for your hard drive or your cpu?
 

FireMogle

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2001
Location
Lawrence, KS
I would be with Bulwark in the sense that the temps would be more dangerous than the rocking of the car. If you want a HD in there just make sure to isolate it as much as possible from the vibration and it will be fine. Cooling is what you should worry about.
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
The operational shock and vibration specs on a laptop HDD are significantly better than a desktop HDD. Thermal specifications are also better since laptops typically have no HDD ventilation. I would consider mounting the drive in a gaussian cage(basically a grounded mesh enclosure) to help eliminate magnetic flux issues from the sub's motor assemblies.
 

Ravsitar

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2003
Location
Minnetonka, MN
I'd also suggest mounting it on its side. That way if you hit a BIG bump the head on the HD wont crash into the disk.

HeXenViRii: Where do you live and what is the average temp in the summer? If it only peaks at 70 where you are the HD should be ok in the trunk.

You could also put a laptop HD into an external USB housing and run it from inside the car and leave the rest of the computer in the trunk. I think USB cables can be pretty long before they cause troubles.
 
OP
HeXenViRii

HeXenViRii

Member
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
Right near the Beach, FL
Ravsitar said:
I'd also suggest mounting it on its side. That way if you hit a BIG bump the head on the HD wont crash into the disk.

HeXenViRii: Where do you live and what is the average temp in the summer? If it only peaks at 70 where you are the HD should be ok in the trunk.

You could also put a laptop HD into an external USB housing and run it from inside the car and leave the rest of the computer in the trunk. I think USB cables can be pretty long before they cause troubles.

That is a good idea to mount it vertically.

In florida it gets quite hot :D

the mobo im using dosent have usb 2.0 so the speeds would be terrible. , but if i did have usb 2.0 how much of a performance hit would i see ? little to none ? the drive is ata100
 

Bulwark

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
maybe I'm just speaking out of ignorance, but if this computer is just being used to play mp3s, then the only point where performance would be an issue is when u transfer mp3s. So after the the initial transfer of mp3s (which might take a while), you wouldn't notice any performance issues during mp3 play back.
 

wquiles

Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Location
Dallas, Texas
There are several vendors that now use a hard drive to store MP3's in the trunk (http://www.phatnoise.com being one of them) so I know for a fact that "some" hard drives do survive in a car.

I agree that using a laptop HD is probably a better idea given they are designed for a harsh environment. I would also keep the HD as far away as possible from the actual speakers in the trunk.

William
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
If you're going to put a HD in your trunk, be sure that you won't be putting the drive in an enviornment it's not rated for. The specs below seem fairly typical of the few drives (non-laptop) I looked at:

Shock
Operating Shock (Read) 65G, 2ms
Non-operating Shock 300G, 2 ms

Temperature (English)
Operating (English) 41° F to 131° F
Non-operating (English) -40° F to 149° F

Temperature (Metric)
Operating (Metric) 5° C to 55° C
Non-operating (Metric) -40° C to 65° C

Humidity
Operating 5-85% RH non-condensing
Non-operating 5-95% RH non-condensing

Altitude (English)
Operating (English) -1,000 feet to 10,000 feet
Non-operating (English) -1,000 feet to 40,000 feet

Altitude (Metric)
Operating (Metric) -305M to 3,050M
Non-operating (Metric) -305M to 12,200M

Vibration
Operating
Linear 20-300 Hz, 0.25G (0 to peak)
Random 10-300 Hz, 0.004 g2/Hz

Non-operating
Low Frequency 5-20 Hz, 0.195 inches (double amplitude)
High Frequency 20-500 Hz, 4.0G (0 to peak)



To combat temperature and humidity problems, you could build a sealed insulated enclosure for it (which is where the drive supports would anchor). The insulation should help protect it from cold days (as you can see, hot is no problem) and being sealed should help protect it from Florida's humidity :) You could even throw a dessicant such as Silica Gel into it to help keep humidity low.

JigPu
 

Xaotic

Very kind Senior
Joined
Mar 13, 2002
Location
Greensboro NC
This may give a better picture of typical laptop HDD characteristics:

Environment

Air Temp. 10°C Humidity 8% Time 8 hr.
Air Temp. 40°C Humidity 8% Time 8 hr.
Air Temp. 40°C Humidity 40% Time 8 hr.
Air Temp. 35°C Humidity 55% Time 8 hr.
Air Temp. 30°C Humidity 95% Time 8 hr.
Air Temp. 10°C Humidity 95% Time 8 hr.
TOTAL 48 hours

Shock and Vibration

Random vibration for 30 min. in each of the three axes on vertical test fixture.
15g/11ms half sine shock
30g/3ms half sine shock
40g/3ms half sine shock 20 shocks (10 positive/10negative) VERTICAL AXIS ONLY
The test specimen is physically positioned to obtain the desired axis for shock input.

Extreme Conditions
-Heat
Disable Power Management. Set up the system in a chamber and power-on.
Set the condition : Air Temp. 50°C Humidity 30% Time 2 hr.
Check if the system is still alive after 2 hours
Power off the system.
Change the condition : Air Temp. 82°C No Humidity Control Time 2 hr.
Remove system from Chamber to Ambient Room Temp. (25°C +/- 2°C)
Leave the system for 30 minutes.
Check if the system is still bootable.

-Freeze
Disable Power Management. Set up the system in a chamber and power-on.
Set the condition : Air Temp. 0°C No Humidity Control Time 2 hr.
Check if the system is still alive after 2 hours
Power off the system.
Change the condition : Air Temp. -20°C No Humidity Control Time 2 hr.
Remove system from Chamber to Ambient Room Temp. (25°C +/- 2°C)
Leave the system for 30 minutes.
Check if the system is still bootable.

-Drop
(1) Open the LCD, and Power-on the system
Drop a bottom surface flat to P-tile w/carpet (t=5mm) floor from 120cm height (free-fall) while its HDD is in the Idle (Stand-by) mode.
Not active or Sleep mode.
Check if the system is still bootable
(2) Power-off the system, and close the LCD.
Drop a right side to P-tile w/carpet (t=5mm) floor straight from 120cm height (free-fall).
Check if the system is still bootable

All except for the last group of tests are run while using HDD stress algorithms. There are many other test methodologies as well, including 70G and 210G damage boundry testing. Some tests are destructive to the laptops. By the way, the temperatures listed are ambient, not the physical drive temperatures.
 

matrixzen

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2003
Location
CA
With the humidity would dust really be that much of a problem? What would be better, mounting the computer case frame to your car frame or use some sort of spring system between them?
 

reverse

Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2003
I've had one of those Neo Car Jukeboxes for over a year with no problems thus far. This is with a stiff *** annoying suspension and 90+ degree summers with near 100% humidity.
 
OP
HeXenViRii

HeXenViRii

Member
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
Right near the Beach, FL
Bulwark said:
maybe I'm just speaking out of ignorance, but if this computer is just being used to play mp3s, then the only point where performance would be an issue is when u transfer mp3s. So after the the initial transfer of mp3s (which might take a while), you wouldn't notice any performance issues during mp3 play back.

i have an mp3 head unit , hehe ; i will be using this comp for games, dvd's , divx, road maps, gps, netstumbling , and i gues mp3's as well :D
 

DaWiper

Image Compare Man
Joined
Nov 15, 2003
Location
Norway
You could try mounting it something like this using 8 rubber bands. I once saw a ordinary home cdplayer mounted this way with chains instead of rub. ban. This was in a carousel control room in a amousementpark. You could se the cdplayer beeing thrown around, but it moved in a more liquid kind of way....
 

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Bulwark

Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
I think I just confused along the way, but could you give me a general layout of how your system is going to be installed?
 
OP
HeXenViRii

HeXenViRii

Member
Joined
May 11, 2002
Location
Right near the Beach, FL
Bulwark said:
I think I just confused along the way, but could you give me a general layout of how your system is going to be installed?
carwire.jpg

carwire2.jpg


items for project :

old dell computer-
p3 800mhz
pc133 256mb
20gb maxtor
liteon dvd rom
oem 32x burner
radeon 9200 pci
pci 2 pcmcia converter
ornico gold wifi card

300w power inverter (in comp case)

omni wifi antenna

7.2" lcd powered somewhere under the dash

mini keyboard for glove box
logitech wireless gamepad for glove box
(will also function as mouse)

garmin usb converter
garmin etrex
garmin power adapter

svideo cable to lcd
1/8" jack cable from computer to headunit for sound

sub's :
2 - 10" Bazooka EL1004's
sealed box
800w amp
1 farad cap w/ digi top :D

I cant think of any more details to include , so if u need some more data let me know ...
 

DayUSeX

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2003
i dont know about the trunk but up in the passanger seat i have had no problems using my 250gb USB 2.0 hooked uptop a laptop for playing divx and MP3's though the systems speakers. Granted my 1 12' probably isnt like youre 2 12's but the terrain out here is pretty narly and my system seems to be holding up fine.